Tag Archives: 1940

RIP Jon Gibson (1940 – 2020)

RIP Jon Gibson was an American musician and visual artist.

Gibson’s death happened in 2020 but I forgot to give it attention.

Two Solo Pieces (1977)

Maybe I did not find the right record to play with it.

Today, via The Saturn Archives, a recently discovered high quality music channel on YouTube, I give you Two Solo Pieces (1977).

The beginning is a highly accomplished drone piece. The end is a piece with gamelan echoes.

RIP Johnny Nash (1940 – 2020)

Johnny Nash  was an African-American singer-songwriter, best known for his 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now“.

On the Belgian popcorn scene, popular recordings of Nash included “Some of Your Lovin'”, “Old Man River”, “Moment of Weakness”, “Kisses”, “I’m Leaving”, “I’m Counting On You” and “Don’t Take Away Your Love”.

RIP Tony ‘afrobeat’ Allen (1940 – 2020)

Tony Allen (1940 – 2020) was a Nigerian musician and drummer.

The importance of Allen? You simply cannot imagine Fela Kuti nor afrobeat without the drumming of Tony Allen during the period 1968 to 1979.

After parting with Fela Kuti it would take time for Allen to find his own sound.

This happened with the sublime EP Never Expect Power Always (1984), one of my favorite afrobeat compositions.

Other solo work of note includes Black Voices (1999), Tomorrow Comes The Harvest (2018, with Jeff Mills) and Sounding Lines (2018, with Moritz von Oswald).

To the international hipster crowd, Allen is probably best-known for playing drums on “La Ritournelle” (2003) by Sébastien Tellier, an iconic track for the contemporary cosmopolitan class.

The drumming on that track sounds like a “Funky Drummer” sample but it is in reality the live drumming of Tony Allen.

I’d say, if you are new to all this, start by listening to “Shakara (Oloje)” (1972) by Fela Kuti, then switch to Never Expect Power Always (1984) and end with Sounding Lines (2018).

RIP Germano Celant (1940 – 2020)

Germano Celant was an Italian art historian known for coining the term “arte povera” (poor art) in 1967.

The ‘poor’ of that epithet refers to the materials.

I’ve always thought of ‘arte povera’ as a bit of a non-concept.

It is exemplary of that 20th century mania of coining names for invented new art movements.

Think surrealism, dada, popart, post-popart, avant garde, post-avantgarde, nouveau réalisme, neomodern, remodern, metamodern, postminimal, stuckism, neoism, op art, fluxus.

Oh please stop already.

Art Povera: Conceptual, Actual or Impossible Art? (1969)

But then again, I like the cover of the 1969 book that made the term arte povera known around the world.

I wanted to check the book out, since my university has it in its library.

However, this being corona-time, the library is closed.

RIP Claire Bretécher (1940 – 2020)

Claire Bretécher was a French cartoonist, co-founder of L’Écho des savanes.

I used to buy issues of L’Écho des savanes in the late 1980s, a particularly fruitful time for comics, with highlights such as Tanino Liberatore, Enki Bilal, Wim T. Schippers, Jacques Tardi, Guido Crepax, Jean Giraud, Milo Manara, Georges Pichard and François Schuiten.

There was something subversive about the whole comics scene in those days, what you may now call the pre-internet days. Shops all of over Europe catered to the tastes of underground comic lovers, or so it seemed.

Only now that Claire Bretécher is dead, I discover her Agrippine character who was the heroin of nine albums. On the first self-titled album of 1988 Agrippine is shown reading the fictional Heidegger in the Congo (1988), a reference to Tintin in the Congo (1931).

I have not had the time to fully investigate  Heidegger in the Congo but I suppose the link is that Heidegger was a Nazi and that Hergé’s album in the Congo is now considered racist.

Above, you will find an episode of the televised  Agrippine.

Alas. No subtitles.

RIP Pierre ‘eden, eden, eden’ Guyotat (1940 – 2020)

Pierre Guyotat was a French writer. He is one of the last writers in the history of Western literature to have his book banned. The book was Eden, Eden, Eden and is a actually an enumeration of obscenities and atrocities in the tradition of Marquis de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom (1785, 1904).

The backdrop is the Algerian war, which was not really an Algerian war but a French war. Or at least a French-Algerian war. Pierre Guyotat fought in that war as a teenager and was arrested on charges of inciting to desert and put in a hole in the ground for three months.

RIP Panamarenko (1940 – 2019)

Panamarenko was a Belgian artist famous for his cars that did not drive, his flying machines that did not fly and his submarines that did not submerge.

He was the archetypical artist, living with his mother in the Seefhoek until she died; a strange man who seemed out of place in the real world.

RIP Anna Karina (1940 – 2019)

Anna Karina was a Danish actress best-known for her work with the French New Wave and Jean-Luc Godard.

‘Monsavon’ commercial

She appeared four times in the film On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time (1959) by Marxist/situationist Guy Debord, a much more interesting figure than Godard.

On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Unity of Time (1959)

These four appearances were from television commercials. Three fragments are from a Monsavon commercial, a fourth I have been unable to identify.

In the first clip (13:53) Anna stands in front of a mirror in the same bathroom as in which she takes a bath in the third clip.

The voice-over: “What was directly lived reappears frozen in the distance, engraved in the tastes and illustions of an era and carried off with it.”

In the second clip (14:41) she is in the bath and rubs herself with soap.

The voice-over: “There is no more should-be; being has been consumed to the point of ceasing to exist. The details are already lost in the dust of time. “Who was afraid of life, afraid of the night, afraid of being taken, afraid of being kept?”

In the third clip (17:30) she is seen at the wheel of a convertible car, a bird’s eye view, three young people get out of the car.

The voice-over: “In the final analysis, stars are not created by their talent or lack of talent, or even by the film industry or advertising. They are created by the need we have for them.”

The fourth clip (18:09) begins where the first clip left off.

The voice-over: “The advertisements during intermissions are the truest reflection of an intermission from life.”
Translations are from [1].

C’est quoi Anna Karina ? – Blow Up – ARTE

RIP Roger ‘outsider art’ Cardinal (1940 – 2019)

Roger Cardinal was a English art scholar famous for originating the term “outsider art” in his book Outsider Art (1972). Outsider art coincides with the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1970s.

In that book, new to me was the work of Pascal-Désir Maisonneuve (1863 – 1934) who made work with seashells such as Mask of Queen Victoria (above), reminiscent of rocaille .

In that tradition is also Festoon, Masks and Rosettes Made of Shells (1656) by Jan van Kessel senior and Arcimboldesque Head and Beethoven Portrayed by Arcimboldo by Jan Švankmajer.