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


 

Weekend links 344

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Axiom Dub – Mysteries Of Creation (1996), a Bill Laswell production. Art by James Koehnline.

• As noted earlier, the great Bill Laswell has made some of his sprawling back catalogue available at Bandcamp, news of which has prompted Vinyl Factory to put together a recommended listening guide. Judging by the comments I’m not the only Laswell-head deploring the absence of the masterpiece from Material, Hallucination Engine. Linked here before, and happily still being updated, the comprehensive Bill Laswell discography at Silent-Watcher. Related: An ESP-Disk Primer by Marc Masters.

Listen to the Voice of Fire, a symposium concerning alchemy in sound art, takes place at the National Library of Wales at the beginning of March. Phil Legard offers some thoughts on alchemy, music and John Dee.

• The guilty cinematic pleasures of John Carpenter. Related: Director and actor Alice Lowe chooses seven favourite horror films.

The Broomway, Essex, a tidal path known as “The Doomway” for its reputation as the most dangerous walk in Britain.

• Mixes of the week: K-Punk presents Return to the Fourth World, and FACT Mix 584 by Lawrence English.

• “There was more to the late John Berger than that TV series and art book”, says Richard Turney.

• “Music’s cassette-tape revival is paying off,” says John Paul Titlow.

Diamanda Galás announces two new albums.

Bob Dylan paints a Blackpool pier.

• Pixel art by Uno Moralez

One Letter Words

Reduction (1980) by Material | Ghost Light/Dread Recall (1996) by Material | No Guts No Galaxy (1999) by Material (feat. Ramm Ell Zee & phonosycographDISK)

 


Isles of the Dead

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The Isle of the Dead (version five, 1886) by Arnold Böcklin, Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste.

Reading old comics recently turned up the page below by Philippe Druillet which I didn’t remember having seen before. The drawing is from Gail, one of Druillet’s Lone Sloane stories (but not one included in the Six Voyages of Lone Sloane), and shows the entrance to a typically sinister Druillet city modelled on one of Arnold Böcklin’s Isle of the Dead paintings. (Druillet’s original was in black-and-white but was later coloured.) This derivation manages to keep all of Böcklin’s details while cleverly turning the cypresses into a fanged mouth.

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Philippe Druillet (1976).

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Böcklin’s cemetery isle has been the subject of several posts here, being one of my favourite paintings and also an object of fascination for its continuing influence in a variety of media: novels, films, music and, of course, comics. Druillet quotes from other artists in his Lone Sloane stories—notably Escher and Grandville—so the Böcklin quotation wasn’t too much of a surprise. Toteninsel.net, the website devoted to works influenced by The Isle of the Dead, turned up a few more comic-related examples, some of which are featured below. What’s notable about the examples at Toteninsel is that they’re all from European artists; that’s not to say there isn’t an example to be found in American comics but European comic art seems much more aware of Symbolist painting.

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Weekend links 343

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Sidhe, the white people of the Tuatha Dé Danann (1954) by Leonora Carrington.

• January brings a wealth of recommended-reading lists for the new year, together with the feeling that many of those lists are merely clones of each other. Not so the recommendations at Strange Flowers which also includes links to forthcoming events such as this exhibition of Symbolist art at the Guggenheim, New York.

Some Ceremonies are Better than Others, an exhibition of sound objects and drawings by Matthias König & Ibrahim R. Ineke inspired by Arthur Machen’s The White People, at The Bries Space, Borgerhout, Belgium, from 21st January. Previously: Ineke’s comic-strip adaptation of the Machen story.

• “These must-reads explore Dada, Futurism, Surrealism, and the art of opposition,” says Carol Cooper. One of the titles under discussion is the Bruce Sterling book I designed and illustrated last year, Pirate Utopia. Sterling talked to Wired about the book and its relation to the present moment.

RIP Mark Fisher, a cultural theorist whose death was announced just as extracts from his latest book, The Weird and the Eerie, were beginning to appear. One of those extracts is at The Quietus. Related: Fisher’s k-punk blog and its earlier incarnation.

James Cargill (ex of Broadcast) announces a debut release by his new group, Children of Alice. Related: Jonathan Miller’s 1966 TV film of Alice in Wonderland rescored with Broadcast songs.

We are the Martians: the Legacy of Nigel Kneale, a collection of Kneale-related essays and appreciations edited by Neil Snowdon, is finally appearing in print from PS Publishing.

• Pursuing paths hauntological, The Electric Pentacle offers “an unholy stew of library music, Kosmische, arcane ritual electronica, modular synthesisers and shortwave radio”.

• Mixes of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. XVI by David Colohan, and Low Visibility Across Sunken Village by The Geography Trip.

• “With Reflection, [Brian Eno] offers generative music for a turbulent time,” says Geeta Dayal.

Anna Biller, director of The Love Witch, talks to New Jack Witch about her film.

• The story behind Gay Bob, the world’s first out-and-proud doll.

Alice (1969) by Jon Plum | Alice (1982) by The Sisters of Mercy | Alice (2009) by Sunn O)))

 


Exhibitionism

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Art by Enki Bilal.

My work is featured in two very different exhibitions over the next few weeks, so different, in fact, that they’re almost at opposite poles to each other.

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Hard Core Horror 5 (1990).

The first, Shoah et bande dessinée, takes place at Mémorial de la Shoah, Paris, and opens on 19th January. This is an exhibition of comic-book art dealing with the Holocaust, and will include three of my pages from the death-camp scenes in the final issue of the Lord Horror series, Hard Core Horror (created with David Britton in 1990, and published by Savoy). This is one instance where the term “comic” is particularly inappropriate, unlike the more neutral French designation, bande dessinée. I haven’t yet seen a list of all the other artists being represented but I was very pleased to see a drawing by Enki Bilal being used to promote the event. Bilal was one of several French comic artists whose work I discovered in the pages of Heavy Metal/Metal Hurlant in the 1970s, and it was the example of the artists there that kept me interested enough in the comics medium to attempt something of my own a few years later. The exhibition will run until 30th October, 2017, and will feature a printed catalogue.

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The second event, Alice’s Adventures in the Underground, has already been mentioned here, and takes place at the Horse Hospital, London, at the beginning of February:

“Feed your head…” An evening discourse on all things Wonderland, with John Coulthart, Andy Roberts, Nikki Wyrd and Jake Fior (facilitator).

This event marks the opening of a three day exhibition hosted by the Horse Hospital, featuring John Coulthart’s psychedelia-themed ‘Alice’ artwork, printed for the first time as (drug-free) blotter art. John’s depictions of the twelve chapters of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ view the 1860s through the iridescent lens of the 1960s; Victoriana refracted through a psychedelic prism. Come along for a discussion of the links between psychedelic art and music, and the persistent fascination of Lewis Carroll’s books. There will be talk of many things, not only cabbages and kings, but far more than you can possibly imagine before breakfast. Signed blotter prints will be on sale.

Psychedelic artists – particularly in the 60s – and many other outsider creative types (before and since that influential decade), have drawn their inspiration from the well of imagery found within the ‘Alice’ books. As well as John’s artwork, there will be Alice themed creations by other artists on show. In addition, the Psychedelic Museum will be holding its second pop-up museum display, with particular focus on the 60s counterculture.

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This show came about after an offer from Paul at Blotter Art to produce a series of blotter prints from my psychedelic Alice series. The first set of sheets are shown here, and I’m very pleased with the print quality after having been a little worried that the paper might not reproduce the colour and detail to the best effect. As noted above, signed sheets will be on sale (either as singles or a series of 12) during the event and afterwards via the Blotter Art website. People often ask about signed prints but most of my print sales are through CafePress which doesn’t allow this; so here’s a rare opportunity to get something spoiled by my signature. In addition to my work there should be Alice-themed art by other artists filling out the space. This exhibition will run to 4th February. I’m looking forward to it.

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Weekend links 342

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La femme et le pantin (1909) by Ángel Zárraga.

• RIP John Berger. Berger’s essential TV series on art, Ways of Seeing (1972), is at YouTube and Ubuweb; “Such freedom is unthinkable today,” says series director Mike Dibb; the book of the series was designed by Berger and Richard Hollis; ways of seeing Ways of Seeing; Geoff Dyer, Olivia Laing & Ali Smith on Berger; M. John Harrison on Berger.

• The beginning of January means the LRB posting Alan Bennett‘s diary for the previous year. In related news, Network DVD will be releasing Six Plays by Alan Bennett next month, a collection that includes a favourite of mine, Me! I’m Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1978).

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Acid Westerns Day (Restated). Related: Jodorowsky’s El Topo and The Holy Mountain are being released on Blu-ray (Region B) by Gryphon Entertainment.

The acre of suburban lawn surrounding our house became like the Paramount lot for my feverish theatrics. I graduated to building “spook houses” in the family garage out back. Inspired by the ride-through Trimper’s Haunted House in Ocean City, Maryland, designed by Bill Tracy (and it’s still there in operation), I remembered excitedly wheeling through this attraction in these rickety little coffin-shaped cars and dreaming of befriending the crudely built, motorized corpses, cannibals, and skeletons who lived inside. I fantasized the cars breaking down, the panicked, chickenshit children screaming, bolting from their seats, tripping over live wires, and electrocuting themselves. I wanted to take this imagined fear, this frightened happiness, back to my own house where I knew I could preserve, protect, and stylize it on my own adolescent terms.

John Waters on his childhood home

Strange Flowers‘ latest reading recommendations include books on lesbian decadence, occult Paris, flâneurie and the queerness of the Benson family.

Where Evil Dwells (1985), a 28-minute preview of a longer piece of weird cinema (now destroyed) by Tommy Turner and David Wojnarowicz.

Francis Ford Coppola and Brian De Palma having a conversation about Coppola’s The Conversation.

The Edge Question for 2017: “What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?”

• Mixes of the week: Drone Theory with Roly Porter, and Secret Thirteen Mix 205 by Stavaris.

Simran Hans suggests where to begin with the films of Todd Haynes.

• More decadence, this time among the Mexican Modernists.

Moon Wiring Club at Bandcamp.

No Name, No Slogan (1989) by Acid Horse | Those Tapes Are Dangerous (1997) by The Bug | Spooky Action At A Distance (2014) by Sqürl

 


 


 

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