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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for July, 2012

 

Chris Marker, 1921–2012

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“A recurrent rumour says that Chris Marker and the cat Guillaume-en-Egypt sank with the Titanic.” Photo credited to Wim Wenders. In our moments of megalomaniacal reverie, we tend to see our memory as a kind of history book: we have won and lost battles, discovered empires and abandoned them. At the very least we are […]

Posted in {film}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 1 comment »

 


The Catherine Wheel by Twyla Tharp

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The music links this weekend were all related to my favourite Talking Heads period, 1979–1982, which not only encompasses the release of the band’s Fear Of Music and Remain In Light albums but also saw the individual group members produce some great solo records. I’d been playing one of these, the first Tom Tom Club […]

Posted in {dance}, {music}, {television} | 6 comments »

 


Weekend links 119

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The BFI’s recent DVD release of Peter de Rome’s gay porn films has been mentioned here a couple of times already but I only bought a copy this week. It’s a remarkable release for a number of reasons, not least for showing how much attitudes towards pornography in Britain have changed in recent years. De […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {drugs}, {film}, {gay}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {music}, {politics}, {science} | Comments Off

 


Greek games

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Ganymede from an Attic red-figure bell-krater, ca. 500–490 BC. And ye Megarians, at Nisæa dwelling, Expert at rowing, mariners excelling, Be happy ever! for with honours due Th’ Athenian Diocles, to friendship true Ye celebrate. With the first blush of spring The youth surround his tomb: there who shall bring The sweetest kiss, whose lip […]

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Charles Ricketts’ Salomé

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Here is my scheme. I proposed a black floor – upon which Salomé’s white feet would show; this statement was meant to capture Wilde. The sky was to be a rich turquoise blue, and across by the perpendicular fall of strips of gilt matting, which should not touch the ground, and so form a sort […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {painting}, {theatre} | Comments Off

 


Albert Robida’s Vieux Paris

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After several posts about Albert Robida it seems more-or-less mandatory to write something about his spectacular creation for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. “Vieux Paris” was an elaborate theme park-style attraction which sought to recreate some of the lost buildings of medieval Paris on the right bank of the Seine, a short distance from […]

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The End of Books, 1894

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More illustrations from Albert Robida, and a riposte to anyone thinking that the idea of the end of books is a recent thing. This article by bibliophile Octave Uzanne appeared in Volume 16 of Scribner’s Magazine (July–December 1894). The piece opens with a description of various scientists and artists at a Royal Society evening making […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {magazines}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 4 comments »

 


Le Vingtième Siècle by Albert Robida

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More 19th-century futurism from French illustrator and author Albert Robida. Le Vingtième Siècle was published in 1883, and is a far more comical look at life in the 20th century than La Vie Électrique, showing a future where most of the airships are shaped like enormous fish. This is a copiously illustrated volume of over […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 3 comments »

 


La Vie Électrique by Albert Robida

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Albert Robida (1848–1926), a French illustrator and writer, might be less well-known today had he not authored several books which attempt to predict what life might be like in the 20th century. He was sufficiently well-regarded in his lifetime to be given the task of imagining “Old Paris” for one of the attractions at that […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 4 comments »

 


Weekend links 118

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The Garden of Urban Delights (2010) by Marcin Owczarek. His protagonists are misfits: alienated, implicitly gay, longing for love, frequently hard to be around, always fixated on small pleasures that compensate for an essential feeling of not belonging. [...] His patroness Edith Sitwell termed him “that rare being, a born writer.” William Burroughs dedicated The […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {comics}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {music}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {technology} | 7 comments »

 


Burgonets by Filippo Negroli

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Parade burgonet of Emperor Charles V (1545). burgonet a. A very light casque, or steel cap, for the use of the infantry, especially pikemen. b. A helmet with a visor, so fitted to the gorget or neck-piece, that the head could be turned without exposing the neck. Filippo Negroli (c. 1510–1579) was a Renaissance master […]

Posted in {art}, {fashion}, {sculpture} | 4 comments »

 


Un Chant d’Amour (nouveau)

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A brief homage by Sam Scott Schiavo to Genet’s masterwork of homoerotic cinema Un Chant d’Amour (1950). Genet’s film works so well, and is so closely tied to his artistic obsessions, it’s difficult to approach but it’s good to see it still wields an influence. For comparison the original film can be watched at Ubuweb. […]

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Terminus by John Schlesinger

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Before John Schlesinger made his debut feature, A Kind of Loving (1962), he directed a number of short documentary films. Terminus (1961), a day in the life of the Waterloo railway station in London, is the most notable of these, an award-winning snapshot of a period when Britain’s railways were still nationalised and steam trains […]

Posted in {electronica}, {film}, {music}, {photography} | 5 comments »

 


Be prepared

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Sodomites (no date) by Robert Sherer. The Boy Scouts of America yet again proved itself a retrograde organisation by deciding this week after a two-year review to maintain its policy of exclusion for gay scouts and gay scout leaders. The Girl Scouts of America don’t have this kind of policy, nor do UK Scouting organisations. […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {politics} | 3 comments »

 


The Royal Natural History by Richard Lydekker

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The second surprise of the weekend came, as in the best Lovecraftian tradition, with the chance discovery of a small sheet of paper, a reminder from the librarian when I was at sixth form college to return three overdue books. This was an odd survival from my schooldays since I kept hardly anything from that […]

Posted in {books}, {science} | 1 comment »

 


Haçienda ephemera

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Haçienda Members’ Newsletter IV, 1982. (The head collaged onto the male figure is from RanXerox by Tanino Liberatore.) Searching through some papers at the weekend turned up something I’d completely forgotten about: a members’ newsletter for Manchester’s Haçienda club. When the place first opened you needed to be a member to get in, unless you […]

Posted in {architecture}, {design}, {music} | 2 comments »

 


Weekend links 117

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Illustration and design by Karlheinz Dobsky. Above and below: samples from Die Lux-Lesebogen-Sammlung, an exhibition of booklets for young people published by Sebastian Lux from 1946–1964. All were designed and illustrated by Karlheinz Dobsky. • At The American Scholar: “Vladimir Nabokov’s understanding of human nature anticipated the advances in psychology since his day,” says Nabokov […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {design}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {technology} | Comments Off

 


Zeppelinology

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Robe dans le style Zeppelin, Berlin, vers 1930. So after you’ve donned your very best Zeppelin dress (and grabbed a pair of binoculars)… …you can head on over to the Zep Diner for lunch. Try some of the Zeppelin Bread: it’s light as air! Afterwards (if it’s not too early) you can relax with a […]

Posted in {design}, {fashion}, {music}, {photography}, {technology} | 6 comments »

 


William Mortensen’s Salomés

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Joyzelle Joyner as Salomé. Two undated photographs by William Mortensen (1897–1965) which use the Salomé theme as a possible disguise for motives that have little to do with Biblical storytelling; looking at this collection of Mortensen’s work he evidently had a thing for arty erotica. Joyzelle Joyner was an American actress who appeared in minor […]

Posted in {film}, {photography} | 1 comment »

 


The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

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This animated short by Anthony Lucas isn’t exactly obscure but I’ve only just noticed that the distributor has the whole film available for viewing on YouTube. The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello blends silhouetted characters and decor with elaborate steam-powered machinery in a manner that looks like the kind of thing Lotte Reiniger might have […]

Posted in {animation}, {film} | 6 comments »

 


Reverbstorm update

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The photo shows a detail of the design embossed on the front board proof of the forthcoming Reverbstorm book, publication of which has been put forward while the printers address some production problems. Without getting overly technical there’s been trouble with the ink causing a number of pages to print far too dark for reasons […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {miscellaneous}, {work} | 3 comments »

 


L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres

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Back at the fin de siècle with this study by Octave Uzanne of book cover design in the 1890s. L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres is over four hundred pages of very varied designs, from covers for popular novels to the state of the art by usual suspects Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Ricketts et al. […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {illustrators} | Comments Off

 


Silent Engine

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Artist/composer Paul Schütze unveiled some new photo prints this weekend, a series he calls Silent Engine. At first glance I thought the view on the left above was indeed an engine interior, with that radial construction being some kind of extractor fan. But these are actually nocturnal views of one of my favourite places in […]

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Weekend links 116

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Ankle Deep, a pyrograph by Robert Sherer whose work is showcased at The Advocate. • “Bertrand Russell wrote in 1932, during another period of economic distress, ‘that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial societies is quite different from what always […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {electronica}, {gay}, {music}, {politics}, {sculpture} | 1 comment »

 


Exercises for boys

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Physical Fitness Exercises For Boys (1960). One of these things is full of gay sex, the other is a William Burroughs novel… A juxtaposition that amused me here. LPCover Lover has a slightly better copy of the record sleeve. Incidentally, I’ve been working on some artwork inspired by The Wild Boys. Not achieved much so […]

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The Occult Explosion

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So here’s a strange thing: having spent another working week sifting through scanned books at the Internet Archive what do I find but scans of album booklet art by Wilfried Sätty only a couple of days after writing about his album covers. The album in question may be familiar to some readers but it was […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {collage}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult} | 3 comments »

 


Lucifer Rising posters

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Lucifer Rising: A Love Vision by Kenneth Anger (1967) by Rick Griffin. The status of Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising as a kind of poly-cultural crossroads even extends to its poster art. The original poster by Rick Griffin dates back to the earliest drafts of the film, and with its swipe from Gustave Doré makes me think […]

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Starowieyski in Switzerland

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Nike (1971) by Franciszek Starowieyski. My thanks to Marco Witzig for sending some promotional materials for a new exhibition of work by the great Polish artist Franciszek Starowieyski (1930–2009). The exhibition is running at the gallery of the HR Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland from now until Spring 2013. There’s a selection of photos of […]

Posted in {art}, {design}, {painting} | 1 comment »

 


Wilfried Sätty album covers

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Gandharva (1971) by Beaver & Krause. Cover art by Sätty, lettering by David Singer. There aren’t many, unfortunately, and half the ones here have already featured in previous posts, but since I’m often referring people to Sätty’s work it seems worthwhile gathering them together. His album cover art shows he was equally adept at working […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {music}, {psychedelia}, {science fiction} | Comments Off

 


Nature Boy: Jesper Ryom and Wilfried Sätty

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Interest in the work of collage artist Wilfried Sätty (1939–1982) increases by slow degrees, and did so again last year although I completely missed the occasion. Better late than never. Nature Boy is a 12-inch single by Jesper Ryom on the Berlin-based Power Plant label which comes adorned with this Sätty collage of a tattooed […]

Posted in {art}, {collage}, {design}, {electronica}, {music} | 1 comment »

 


Weekend links 115

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Untitled painting by Suzanne Van Damme (1901–1986). • Eric Berkowitz, author of Sex and Punishment: 4000 Years of Judging Desire, chooses five books for The Browser. • Venus febriculosa is running another competition: Design a new cover for Brian Eno’s Music For Films. • Paul Mayersberg and Tony Richmond on making The Man Who Fell […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {design}, {film}, {music}, {noted}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography}, {science fiction}, {science}, {surrealism} | Comments Off

 


 


 

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“feed your head”