Friday, July 31, 2009

You Shouldn't Dismiss Insanity Until You've Tried It

Fig. 1. Johnny Depp as the The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (2010) - d. Tim Burton

'We're all mad here.'

The Cheshire Cat

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. The Exploding Girl (2009) - d. Bradley Rust Gray

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nocturne For The Candied Splendours Of Old Venice

Fig. 1. Vera Lutter - Ca Del Duca Sforza, Venice II - January 13-14, 2008

'Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.'

Truman Capote

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Treeless Mountain (2008) - d. So Yong Kim

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just Too Damned Tired To Think Of A Title, Folks

Fig. 1. Stuart Davis - Hot Still Scape for Six Colors - 7th Avenue Style, 1940

'The eye exists in an untamed state.'

André Breton

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Fishtank (2008) - d. Andrea Arnold

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go Swimming, But It Will Sometimes Be With Sharks

Fig. 1. Joseph Huber - Never Ask Why, 1980

'Love all, trust a few.'

William Shakespeare

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Kisses (2008) - Lance Daly

Monday, July 27, 2009

Echoing Footfalls Aroused Her Slumbering Hysteria*

* Fig. 1. Jackson Twins - Echo of Footfalls Heightened Her Flourishing Hysteria, 2009

'The still must tease with the promise of a story the viewer of it itches to be told.'

Cindy Sherman

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Troubled Water (2008) - d. Erik Poppe

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Once Upon A Time In A Little Place Called Optimism

Fig. 1. Wassily Kandinsky - Krass und Mild (Dramatic and Mild), 1932

'Being an artist means not having to avert one's eyes.'

Akira Kurosawa

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Still Walking (2008) - d. Hirokazu Kore-eda

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Body's A Room In Which Everyone Is Whispering

Fig. 1. Marlene Dumas - Death of the Author, 2003

'Death is the sanction of everything the storyteller can tell. He had borrowed his authority from death.'

Walter Benjamin

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Yuri's Day (2008) - d. Kirill Serebrennikov

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Reflection On Seeing The Tree Of Hanging Knights

Fig. 1. Excalibur (1981) - d. John Boorman

'Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own.'

Carl Jung

Melbourne International Film Festival: Film Du Jour

Fig. 1. Krabat (2008) - d. Marco Kreuzpaintner

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Romance Is Love's Way Of Making Eternity Present

Fig. 1. Still from the closing shot of Wuthering Heights (1939) - d. William Wyler

'Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.'

Nelly Dean (Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Savouring The Pleasures Of Sweating On The Inside

Fig. 1. Hans Haacke - Condensation Cube, 1963

'Masochism is above all formal and dramatic: this means that its peculiar pleasure-pain complex is determined by a particular kind of formalism and its experience of guilt by a specific story.'

Gilles Deleuze

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wherever We Saunter, She Treads On Higher Ground

Fig. 1. Still from Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) - d. Alain Resnais

'He remembered that she was pretty, and, more, that she had a special grace in the intimacy of life. She had the secret of individuality which excites - and escapes.'

Joseph Conrad

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome To The Mental Institution Of The Universe*

Fig. 1. Antony Gormley - Critical Mass, 1995

'You're obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn, and know lack all foundation. It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretenses of your civilization which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced. In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers. That's the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world.'

Octave Mirbeau

* 'We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.' (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Little Evil Goes A Lot Further Than A Little Good

Fig. 1. 'Don Draper' (John Hamm) - Mad Men

Power and agency are synonymous, but they are not isomorphic. At its worst, power is an end in itself, with the means to match; while agency, when it is predominantly benign, can never be utterly self-serving. Of course, agency without power, or power without agency, are rare. In order to set the two apart, we need to locate them within the matrix of human desire: agency is what we crave, power is what seduces us.


Nirvana -The Man Who Sold The World (click to watch music video)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hopefully, There Will Always Be An Artist At My Table

Fig. 1. Vincent Van Gogh - Still Life with a Plate of Onions, 1889

'Yesterday I sent you [Theo] a wire asking you for another 20 francs, I shall have nothing but that for my food all the week, but I have my frames at last and some stretchers.'

Vincent van Gogh (9th October 1888)

Friday, July 17, 2009

If Bored, Try Thinking Of Earth As An "Alien" Planet

Fig. 1. Man Ray - London Transport, 1938

'To the degree that a work breaks through the realm of art and becomes utopian perception, it is creation - meaning that it is subject to moral categories in relation not just to human beings in the act of conception, but to man's existence in the sphere of perception. The moral nature of creation gives the work the stamp of the expressionless.'

Walter Benjamin

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wherever We Lay Down Our Troubled Heads To Sleep

Fig. 1. William Kentridge - (drawing for the film) WEIGHING . . . and WANTING, 1997

'The place of art is for me a transport-station of trauma ... the transport-station does not promise that passage of the remnants of trauma will actually take place in it; it only supplies the space for this occasion The passage is expected but uncertain; the transport does not happen in each encounter and for every gazing subject.'

Bracha Ettinger

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Violence Against Beauty Is, In A Way, Beautiful Too

Fig. 1. Joel Peter Witkin - Las Meninas, 1987

Melissa Holbrook Pierson: What is "taste"?
Peter Schjeldahl: Sediment of aesthetic experience, commonly somebody else's.