Monthly Archives: November 2007

Introducing Les Krims

Les Krims (born August 16, 1942) is a United States conceptual photographer. He is noted for his carefully arranged fabricated photographs (called “fictions”), various candid series, a surreal satirical edge, dark humor, and long-standing criticism of what he describes as leftist twaddle. Works such as Heavy Feminist with Wedding Cake [1] (1970) has been criticized by anti-pornography feminists and feminist photographers as being fetishistic, objectifying, body despising and a misogynist who uses his photography to humiliate predominantly women. Even though Krims does include men (often himself, nude) in his photos, these critics contend that his primary viciousness is reserved for women.

Tip of the hat to [1].

To Have Done With the Judgment of god

Antonin Artaud’s radiophonic play ‘To Have Done With the Judgment of god‘.

This work was shelved by Wladimir Porché, the director of the French Radio, the day before its scheduled airing on February 2, 1948. The performance was prohibited partially as a result of its scatological, anti-American, and anti-religious references and pronouncements, but also because of its general randomness, with a cacophony of xylophonic sounds mixed with various percussive elements. While remaining true to his Theater of Cruelty and reducing powerful emotions and expressions into audible sounds, Artaud had utilized various, somewhat alarming cries, screams, grunts, onomatopoeia, and glossolalia.

Artaud coined the term body without organs in this radio play.

Two excerpts and the full text here.

“I deny baptism and the mass. There is no human act, on the internal erotic level, more pernicious than the descent of the so-called jesus-christ onto the altars.
No one will believe me and I can see the public shrugging its shoulders but the so-called christ is none other than he who in the presence of the crab louse god consented to live without a body…”
All this is very well,
but I didn’t know the Americans were such a warlike people.
In order to fight one must get shot at
and although I have seen many Americans at war
they always had huge armies of tanks, airplanes, battleships
that served as their shield.
I have seen machines fighting a lot
but only infinitely far
behind
them have I seen the men who directed them.
Rather than people who feed their horses, cattle, and mules the
last tons of real morphine they have left and replace it with
substitutes made of smoke,–Artaud via [1]

Gratuitous nudity #4

The Eroticist

Fulci, The Eroticist

The Eroticist (Image sourced here)

The Eroticist is a 1972 Italian film by Lucio Fulci about a government official who suffers from frotteurism. Lucio Fulci (1927 – 1996) was an Italian film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known for his directorial work on some of the goriest horror films ever made, although he made films in genres as diverse as erotic films, giallo, western, and comedy. He is also known for his use of enigmatic titles such as Don’t Torture a Duckling.

Previous entries in this series.

Deleuze on Wittgenstein: a ‘massive regression’ of all philosophy

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt24h_Ia2UA]

L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze (recorded in 1988, first broadcast in 1996)

An abecedarium is a a means to learn the alphabet. It is also used to denote an A to Z of a certain subject. Such as David Toop‘s A to Z of Dub and A to Z of Electro, and Gilles Deleuze’s A to Z of his thought, as interviewed (for seven and a half hours) by Claire Parnet.

On W, Wittgenstein, Deleuze says:

« Pour moi c’est une catastrophe philosophique […] c’est une régression massive de toute la philosophie […] S’ils l’emportent, alors là il y aura un assassinat de la philosophie s’ils l’emportent. C’est des assassins de la philosophie. Il faut une grande vigilance. »

In English:

« ‘a philosophical catastrophe’, a ‘massive regression’ of all philosophy »

Update: A summary to be found online says:

Parnet says, let’s move on to W, and Deleuze says, there’s nothing in W, and Parnet says, yes, there’s Wittgenstein. She knows he’s nothing for Deleuze, but it’s only a word. Deleuze says, he doesn’t like to talk about that… It’s a philosophical catastrophe. It’s the very type of a “school”, a regression of all philosophy, a massive regression. Deleuze considers the Wittgenstein matter to be quite sad. They imposed <ils ont foutu> a system of terror in which, under the pretext of doing something new, it’s poverty introduced as grandeur. Deleuze says there isn’t a word to express this kind of danger, but that this danger is one that recurs, that it’s not the first time that it has arrived. It’s serious especially since he considers the Wittgensteinians to be nasty <méchants> and destructive <ils cassent tout>. So in this, there could be an assassination of philosophy, Deleuze says, they are assassins of philosophy, and because of that, one must remain very vigilant. <Deleuze laughs>

More online clips:

A comme Animal:

 

1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxcdrid0Rsw&mode=related&search=
2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNa41stps90&mode=related&search=
3, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6XnPEmWGvs&mode=related&search=
4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yRK6xcG4z4&mode=related&search=
5, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0PO5Cqc7VA&mode=related&search=

B comme Boire:

1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqn0k6alf9g&mode=related&search=
2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGyuB4f7_IQ&mode=related&search=

See also this previous post.

Headlessness, armlessness and dismemberment

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmb34upfAro]

A Night to Dismember is a film by Doris Wishman. The story is about a woman from a “cursed” family who is released from a mental facility, and soon dismembered corpses start turning up.

Excuse the lack of coherence in this post. I wanted to show you the trailer above (which is undoubtedly for a bad film) and shine the light on a Chinese contemporary artist I discovered by way of Lemateurdart. The artist is Liu Jianhua and he makes armless and headless porcelain female bodies in suggestive poses such as this one, this one, and this one. His work reminds of china by Luigi Colani such as this, and the bas relief hors-d’oeuvre plates produced in the seventies (no photo as of yet, check Designing Tomorrow in Car Styling 23, chief editor Akira Fujimoto, published September 1978).

Esotika wants your help

Esotika, the most adventurous film blog on the web, is self-consciously taking the nobrow route [1] :

“I’ve been throwing myself into contemporary critical theory … one of my main goals is to translate the idea of no-brow culture into criticism. What I mean by this is that I want to talk about and discuss the films that I’m writing about in a manner that isn’t obtuse and utterly academic, but I also don’t want to ignore the “academic” elements in the films reviewed, as for me that is part of their major fun.

By “academic” I mean to imply the elements of these films that are ostensibly more “intellectual” than a reductive cinema incorporates. Take, for example, the films of Alain Robbe-Grillet. Traditionally there have been two opposing ways to read his films (and very rarely do these readings overlap). The first way is to ignore the “intellectual” elements of the film and focus on the genre elements; vampirism, eroticism, le fantastique. The second method seems to ignore or pay little attention to the genre elements and their contextual implications, choosing rather to focus solely on ideas of critical theory; narratology, structuralist construction, montage. Alain Robbe-Grillet is probably the most blatant example of this cross-pollination of readings, but obviously there are many other films and directors that fall into this divide.

My goal, which has hopefully become clear, is to read the films from BOTH perspectives, allowing the “low-brow” and “high-brow” readings to play off each other in order to create a much stronger way to think about the film. “

Icons of erotic art #6

The work I present today is erotic and sad at the same time. Its eroticism is implied by its transgression, most transgressions are erotic by nature. For its sadness, you only need to look at the facial expressions of Valie, the “toucher” and the bystander in [1].

Valie Export‘s Tapp- und Tast-Kino (“Touch Cinema”) [1] [2], a piece of performancebody art“, was performed in ten European cities in 1968-1971.

Valie Export built a tiny “movie theater” around her naked upper body, so that her body could not be seen but could be touched by anyone reaching through the curtained front of the “theater“. She then went into the street and invited men, women, and children to come and touch her.

The context of “Touch Cinema” was the bra burning feminism professed by New York Radical Women and Germaine Greer‘s The Female Eunuch.

World music classics #13

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_n4vwTNu_E]

Runaway Love (1978) – Linda Clifford

Linda Clifford‘s 1978 album, If My Friends Could See Me Now produced two of Clifford’s biggest hit and put her on the music map. The first single, Runaway Love became an R&B hit peaking at #3 for two weeks. It was released as a 9:44 twelve inch on Curtom Records, written produced and arranged by Gil Askey, mixed by Jim Burgess. The lyrics (in the twelve inch version, not on the album version) dealt with female liberation.

See previous entries in this series.

Icons of erotic art #5

Today I present the 2006 painting Rotterdam [1] by American artist John Currin.

As I’ve explained before, most works of erotic art aren’t really erotic at all in the strictest sense. The strictest sense being that the works actually sexually arouse you. Today’s work is truly erotic. This also and inevitably means that it borders on the pornographic. It is then not a coincidence that this painting is from a series [2] by John Currin based on late 20th century Scandinavian pornographic photos. A good French language analysis is over at lemateurdart.

Notes

Hans_Baldung_Grien_The_Young_Woman_and_Death_Dornai

Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives) died, so did Norman Mailer (The Naked and the Dead) a couple of days ago. Above is an image by Grien celebrating one of my favorite themes: death and the maiden. The painting is probably a detail of a larger – unidentified – piece. I had never seen a painting with a blindfolded baby. Tip of the hat for the painting: Morbid Anatomy.

No Beast is there without glimmer of infinity,
No eye so vile nor abject that brushes not
Against lightning from on high, now tender, now fierce.

–Victor Hugo, La Légende des siècles