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


 

Giger’s Necronomicon

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Another artist documentary only this time the artist concerned is a full participant and co-creator. Giger’s Necronomicon was filmed from 1972 to 1976 and functions as a taster for the first book collection of the artist’s work, also called Giger’s Necronomicon, which was published a year later. JJ Wittmer was the co-director. The paintings are very familiar now so it’s worth being reminded how shocking and outré Giger’s work seemed in the 1970s. In addition to interviews with the artist’s parents and some of the painting’s owners there are shots of a very modish gallery event, and we get to see inside Giger’s studio and witness one of the paintings being produced. The sound quality is somewhat erratic since the video appears to come from a Japanese tape but the voiceover is in English. The most notable thing about Giger’s Necronomicon is that all the mobile camera shots are from the artist’s point of view, we only see him when he looks in a mirror.

Giger’s Necronomicon: part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4

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There’s some additional interest here for Krautrock aficionados. Giger’s books mention his associations with a couple of peripheral figures from the Swiss end of Cosmic Courier/Cosmic Jokers scene: Sergius Golowin and Walter Wegmüller. Golowin is credited with one of the spacier albums on the Cosmic Courier label but he was better known in Switzerland as a writer, and he appears briefly in Giger’s Necronomicon offering some thoughts about the artist’s paintings. The music for the film sounds like the ambient jazz doodlings of Stomu Yamash’ta but is the work of Joël Vandroogenbroeck and Carole Muriel. Vandroogenbroeck recorded a lot of library music, including one release entitled Biomechanoid (1980) which has a Giger cover painting. Prior to this he was a member of German group Brainticket and plays on Cottonwoodhill (1970), an album with a (deserved) reputation as the most demented Krautrock release.

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Also at YouTube is another Giger film from the same period, Giger’s Second Celebration of the Four (1977), a four-minute piece directed by JJ Wittmer showing a ritualistic club event. The combination of robes, torches and some of Giger’s more Satanic imagery resembles a black metal music video, albeit with a jazzy soundtrack.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The fantastic art archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Dan O’Bannon, 1946–2009
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune
The monstrous tome

 


 

Posted in {art}, {film}, {music}, {painting}, {surrealism}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Evan

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    Thanks for posting the link to Biomechanoid. I’m a bit paranoid about downloading music from websites… what’s your opinion of the safety of downloading from Discogs?

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Are there downloads at Discogs? They often have YouTube videos on the pages to give an idea of the music that’s being listed. Elsewhere there’s a very good sales section where people can exchange vinyl & CDs.

 




 

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