Having recently seen the documentary film
(to be viewed in its entirety on Vimeo here Microcosmos ), I’d like to share these two pictures of snails mating.
These images are instances of
zoological horror or the zoological fantastique, depending on your view.
horror and the fantastique are just as much rooted in fascination as in revulsion, ergo in ambiguity of emotions. And what could be more ambivalent and cause more ‘mixed feelings’ than slimy slugs and snails ‘getting it on’, an act which may involve hermaphroditism, firing love darts (a source of the Cupid myth, state some sources), apophallation (gnawing at stuck penises) and even sexual cannibalism?
Of course, the attentive reader will have noticed that in the photo of ‘Courtship in the edible snail, Helix pomatia’ the soft bodies of the snails look exactly like the
labia majora of an adult female human mammal.
It needs not to be said that the whole field of
animal sexuality is highly fascinating and has been represented in art not often enough. Apart from Microcosmos, there has been and the magnificent films of Green Porno Jean Painlevé ( Acera, or the Witches’ Dance  comes to mind).
This entry was posted in
aesthetics, eroticism, fantastique, grotesque, horror, life, nature, visual culture and tagged fantastique, gastropoda, grotesque, sex life on . January 26, 2013
Jacques Sadoul, 78, French writer and book editor, working in the so-called ‘ mauvais genres‘.
Illustration: Cover of
, 1971. Ed. Les Filles de Papier Elvifrance. The title translates literally as Paper Girls, meaning, Girls in Comic Books.
portrayal of women in comics, French fantastique, French science fiction.
Nagisa Oshima (1932-2013) , Japanese film director, best-known for his penis-severing film . The film (based on the true story of Empire of Passion Sada Abe) was produced by French producer Anatole Dauman.
Roland Topor film poster for Oshima’s Empire of Passion .
Of all the works I re-examined while reading
Hans Holländer‘s , the detail of Hieronymus Bosch: Weltbilder und Traumwerk is the one that caught my attention most. Just look at this delightful brightly coloured The Last Judgment (Bosch triptych fragment) critter!
Ultimately, I find it very satisfying that
nothing of the work of Bosch can be said with certainty.
So: in praise of
This entry was posted in
absurd, aesthetics, art, culture, fantastique, grotesque, irrationalism, Northern Renaissance, surrealism, visual culture and tagged Bosch, grotesque on . January 12, 2013
(2011) is a The Seven Deadly Sins video animation by Belgian artist Antoine Roegiers based on by The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Bruegel is the best-known Bosch follower and Karel van Mander called him “Pieter the Droll” in his : Schilder-boeck
“Oock sietmen weynigh stucken van hem, die een aenschouwer wijslijck sonder lacchen can aensien, ja hoe stuer wijnbrouwigh en statigh hy oock is, hy moet ten minsten meese-muylen oft grinnicken.”
“There are few works by his hand which the observer can contemplate solemnly or with a straight face. However stiff, morose or surly he may be, he cannot help chuckling or at any rate smiling.”
— Here reprinted in F. Grossmann’s translation (
Bruegel, The Paintings, [London, Phaidon Press, n.d.], pp. 7 ff.)
are a series of four paintings by The Four Seasons 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 . This weekend is your last chance to get a look at them. Flemish Landscape Fables
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 , draughtsman of Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass ; The Book of Idolatry Franz Boas, German-born American anthropologist, author of , Anthropology and Modern Life and The Mind of Primitive Man ; Primitive Art Stefan Zweig, Austrian author of , Letter from an Unknown Woman and Fear ; 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
(1930) by American painter Grant Wood. This is the best-known work of Wood, up to the point that it is one of American Gothic the most famous works of art. But in his oeuvre you will also find Rousseau-esque discursions such as . Young Corn