Category Archives: 1001 things to do before you die

Once more, one thing leads to another

Encore” is a musical composition by Nicolas Jaar.

As usual, one thing leads to another.

This particular Youtube upload (above) features the photo “Dancers Wearing Gas Masks In England On February 1940“.

The photo stems from the Edward George Warris Hulton collection and features girls wearing gas masks and dancing a can-can-like dance.

The sample at the beginning of the song:

“from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing”

is from an audio recording of “The Creative Act,” a speech by ‘mere artist” Marcel Duchamp given in 1957.

In view of its non-elitist (although it can also be read as a defence of Duchamp’s own greatness) point of view (considering bad art also as art); its emphasis on reception and audience participation; its view as the artist as a mere medium, I pronounce “The Creative Act” to be a nobrow manifesto of sorts.

“Encore” by my poulain Nicolas Jaar is World Music Classic #699.

A specter is haunting the world: the specter of capitalism

I finally watched Cronenberg’s latest film Cosmopolis and understand why it was top ten film for both Cahiers du cinéma andRichard Scheib.

Memorable moments: the rats, the prostate that has to “express itself”, the Jenny Holzer-like LED screen with the slogan “A specter is haunting the world: the specter of capitalism ” (above), the Nancy Babich-scene, Robert shooting a hole in his hand[1]and of course the prostate examination in itself.

The film is World Cinema Classic #139.

It’s a political film and a philosophical film.

The anthropomorphic landscapes of Joos de Momper

The Four Seasons are a series of four paintings by Joos de Momper, allegorically depicting spring, summer, autumn and winter in the form of anthropomorphic landscapes. As of 2013, all four of these paintings are in private collections. At least one of them is believed to be in the collection of Robert Lebel. I saw all four of them over the weekend in Lille, France at the superb exhibition Flemish Landscape Fables. This weekend is your last chance to get a look at them.

Spring

Summer

Autumn

Winter

See also

Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’ in the public domain

The following authors and their works are in the public domain as of January 1 of this year according the 70 years rule:

Robert Musil, Austrian author of The Man Without Qualities; Bruno Schulz, Polish author of The Street of Crocodiles, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, draughtsman of The Book of Idolatry; Franz Boas, German-born American anthropologist, author of Anthropology and Modern Life, The Mind of Primitive Man and Primitive Art; Stefan Zweig, Austrian author of Letter from an Unknown Woman, Fear and World of Yesterday; Germaine Dulac French director of The Seashell and the Clergyman; Jindřich Štyrský , Czech artist, author-photographer of Emilie Comes to Me in a Dream; Grant Wood, an American painter, best known for his painting American Gothic; Bronisław Malinowski, Polish anthropologist, author of The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia; Léon Daudet, French journalist, writer, often called the French Dickens and Walter Sickert, painter known for his The Camden Town Murder.

Illustration: American Gothic (1930) by American painter Grant Wood. This is the best-known work of Wood, up to the point that it is one of the most famous works of art. But in his oeuvre you will also find Rousseau-esque discursions such as Young Corn.

The History of Erotica, from Caveman to Marquis de Sade

In September 2009 I bade you farewell.

I’m back with a book, a history of erotica which starts in prehistory and ends for now with Henry Fuseli,  J. – J. Lequeu and Marquis de Sade.

It features some 250 images and about as many citations.

It is for the time being only available in Dutch and costs 25 euros.

The book was presented on the evening of valentine’s day, 2011.

Icon of Erotic Art #54

The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1878) is a watercolor painting by Belgian artist Félicien Rops. Freud commented on this work in his essay “Delusion and Dream in Jensen’s Gradiva”:

“The engraver has chosen the model case of withdrawal into the life of saints and penitents. An ascetic monk takes refuge – probably to escape worldly temptations – near the image of the crucified Saviour. This cross fades like a shadow and in its place the radiant image of a naked woman in full bloom, takes its place, also in the shape of a crucifixion. Other painters, whose psychological insight was not as penetrating, positioned their analogous representations of temptation, with sin insolent and triumphant, somewhere alongside the Saviour on the Cross. Only Rops made it take the place of Our Lord Himself on the Cross; he seemed to know that the repressed thought returns at the very moment of its repression…” —Translation James Strachey

Some snippets in original German:

“Eine bekannte Radierung von Felicien Rops illustriert diese wenig beachtete und der Würdigung so sehr bedürftige Tatsache eindrucksvoller”

“Ein asketischer Mönch hat sich – gewiss vor den Versuchungen der Welt – zum Bild des gekreuzigten Erlösers geflüchtet. Da sinkt dieses Kreuz schattenhaft nieder und strahlend erhebt sich an seiner Stelle, zu seinem Ersatze, das Bild eines üppigen nackten Weibes in der gleichen Situation der Kreuzigung.”

Some of the stories of the demons and temptations that Anthony is reported to have faced are perpetuated now mostly in paintings, where they give an opportunity and pretext for artists to depict their more lurid or bizarre fantasies. Emphasis on these stories, however, did not really begin until the Middle Ages, when the psychology of the individual became a greater interest.

Many visual artists have depicted these incidents from the life of Saint Anthony; in prose, the tale was retold and embellished by Gustave Flaubert.

The subject of Saint Anthony was first presented in the 10th century at Italian fresco paintings. In the European Middle Ages one can watch an accumulation of the theme in book illumination and later in German woodcuts.

About 1500 originated the famous paintings of Martin Schöngauer (ca. 1490), Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1505) and Matthias Grünewald (ca. 1510).

In modern and contemporary art (Félicien Rops and Salvador Dalí) the Temptations of Saint Anthony are stable elements in European art.

I would love your company

Hi WordPress crowd and longtime friends.

I’m probably spending too much time at Tumblr and I need questions answers with things such as image IDs.

Please come and see my lifestream there, I would love your company.

Latest post from Tumblr:

RIP Phyllis Gotlieb, need image cover-ID
image via members.cox.net

RIP Phyllis Gotlieb, 83, Canadian science fiction author, best-known for her novel Sunburst, a post-acopalyptic novel. A strong element in contemporary Canadian culture is rich, diverse, thoughtful and witty science fiction. Its best-known exponents are William Gibson (Neuromancer), David Cronenberg (The Fly) and Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale).

What does it mean to be a revolutionary today? by Slavoj Zizek’s @ Marxism 2009

Via Belgian blogger Martin Pulaski comes What does it mean to be a revolutionary today?, Slavoj Zizek‘s response[1] to Alex Callinicos at Marxism 2009.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GD69Cc20rw]

At exactly 21:55 comes a hilarious joke on the self-inflatibility of futile resistance.

In the good old days — now comes the dirty conclusion, I’ve warned you, it’s really dirty — in the good old days of really existing socialism a joke was popular among dissidents. A joke used to illustrate the futility of their progresses. In 15th century Russia, occupied by Mongols, that’s the joke, a farmer and his wife walked along a dusty country road, a mongol warrior on a horse stops at their side and tells the farmer that he will now rape his wife. He then adds, but since their is a lot of dust on the ground, you should hold my testicles, while I am raping your wife so that they do not get dusty — dirty. After the Mongol finishes his job and rides away, the farmer starts to laugh and jump with joy. The surprised wife asks him: “How can you be jumping with joy when I just brutally raped?” The farmer answers: “But I got him! His balls were full of dust.”

This sad joke tells of the predicament of dissidents. They thought they were dealing serious blows to the party nomenclatura. But all they were doing was getting a little bit of dust on the nomenclatura’s testicles.

What is so brilliant in this piece of “toilet philosophy[2] (I am more inclined while writing these words of nobrow philosophy, of which Zizek and Sloterdijk are the greatest contemporary examples in this category) is that Zizek returns to this joke for closing his arguments. In the same vein in the same speech he has the embodied metaphor of “cutting of the balls of capitalism” and how to proceed for capitalism’s castration. Brilliant.

Other outstanding episodes include Victor Kravchenko I Chose Freedom/I Chose Justice case.