London churches of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries

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This is another of those books that I’ve been led to by the requirements of the current workload, in this case the need to find pictures of a particular London church. George H. Birch’s book was published in 1896, and while it’s possible to find contemporary photographs of these buildings, I like the exterior views for showing the churches in a different time to our own.

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The photographs were by Charles Latham who avoids the usual street-level portraits in favour of views of each steeple from the highest floors of surrounding offices and warehouses. The buildings of London in the 1890s didn’t reach very far, St Paul’s Cathedral still dominated the City skyline, but Latham’s pictures have the additional attraction of showing us that skyline as it was over a century ago, before it was radically reconfigured by the bombs of the Luftwaffe and several generations of planners and architects. George H. Birch was the curator at the time of one of my favourite places in London, the Sir John Soane Museum. Browse or download the rest of his book here.

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Eiko Ishioka album covers

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Eastward (1970) by Gary Peacock Trio. Photography by Hiroshi Asada, Tadayuki Naitoh.

Continuing an occasional series about artists or designers whose work has appeared on record sleeves. Also another jazz-related post which includes Herbie Hancock via the V.S.O.P. album.

Eiko Ishioka is best known outside Japan for the costume designs she created for feature films, especially those in Francis Coppola’s Dracula, but she also had a parallel career as a graphic designer and art director, working with photographers and other designers on a large number of album covers. The examples here are a partial selection, many of which were created for East Wind, a label established by Nippon Phonogram to promote Japanese artists overseas.

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Circle 2: Gathering (1971) by Circle. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Seiya Sawayama, Yoshio Nakanishi.

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Weather Report Live In Tokyo (1972) by Weather Report. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi.

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Miles Davis Story Vol. 2 (1972) by Miles Davis. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi. Photography by Columbia Records Photo Studio, Tadayuki Naitoh.

Black ink on silver foil, something that always looks impressive but doesn’t wear very well. This cover may have led to Ishioka’s work on Tutu (see below).

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Winter Love, April Joy (1975) by David Friedman. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse.

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Weekend links 574

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Poster for Beauty and the Beast (1978) by Josef Vyletal.

• Next month, Second Run release Juraj Herz’s 1978 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast on region-free blu-ray. I watched this last year on a Czech DVD so it’s good to hear it’s being given an upgrade. Herz’s film is a distinctly sinister take on the familiar tale, with a bird-headed Beast that’s closer to Max Ernst than anything you’ll find in illustrations for Perrault’s stories.

• “In a coincidence so unlikely it almost seems, well, magical, the girls traced illustrations from a book of folklore that also contained a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, a reflection of a reflection of a reflection.” Audrey Wollen on the Cottingley fairy photographs. Related: The Coming of the Fairies by Arthur Conan Doyle.

• “[Mark E. Smith], with his love of Stockhausen, HP Lovecraft, and (bizarrely) the sitcom Keeping Up Appearances, becomes a reverse coder, an apostle of avant pulp, a ‘paperback shaman’.” Sukhdev Sandhu reviews Excavate! The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall, edited by Tessa Norton and Bob Stanley.

• “Found photos of men in love from 1850–1950“. Maybe. As before, I’m always cautious about imposing a narrative on old photographs.

• Mixes of the week: A mix for The Wire by Pamela Z, and a dose of post-punk esoterica by Moin for XLR8R.

DJ Food takes another dive into back issues of International Times in search of ads for London’s Middle Earth club.

• At The Smart Set: Colin Fleming watches John Bowen’s drama of pastoral horror, Robin Redbreast.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Heavily plotted non-linear structures whose velocity lacks narrative drive.

Ryan Gilbey attempts to rank Robert Altman’s features into a list of 20 best.

• Still Farther South: Poe and Pym’s Suggestive Symmetries by John Tresch.

• New music: At One Point by Scorn.

Visionist‘s favourite albums.

The Beast (1956) by Milt Buckner | Leggo Beast (1978) by Gregory Isaac’s All Stars | This Beast (1983) by Tuxedomoon

Weekend links 572

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L’Insolite (1980) by Jean-Marie Poumeyrol.

• “As we move down the ladder of prestige into the world of unvetted tweets, we observe an increasing difficulty, among people with very strong opinions, in exercising that basic critical competence of distinguishing between the authorial creation of a character, and the author’s affirmation of that character’s every moral trait and political view.” Justin EH Smith on the HR managers of the human soul.

• “When is a Didone not a Didone? How far must an exemplar Didone, like a Didot or a Bodoni, be altered before it loses its ‘Didoneness’?” John Boardley on the vexed question of font classification, and the need for an alternative to the present system.

• “Birds with Human Faces and Birds with Human Souls share shelf space with The Book of Owls and Expert Obedience Training for Dogs…” Joanna Moorhead visits the Casa Estudio Leonora Carrington in Mexico City.

“Indolent” is a funny way to characterize her natural state, which seems more like “incisive” to me, but I also have the unshakable sense—for myself—that writing can’t or shouldn’t look like staring into space or feel like not wanting to move from the couch. “A fraud is being perpetrated: writing is not work, it’s doing nothing,” she states in that first essay, from 1992. But she immediately counters with, “It’s not a fraud: doing nothing is what I have to do to live.” Listing a few more pertinent existential options, Diski ends with, “Or: writing is what I have to do to be my melancholy self.” The protoplasmic, chattering, melancholic “I” of these essays is, of course, the collection’s constant, its true subject. I can commiserate with her on every page even if emulation is out of reach.

Johanna Fateman on the incisive long-form criticism of Jenny Diski

• At Spine: Vyki Hendy identifies sunburst as a new trend in book cover design. I often think I overuse these things in my own cover designs which means I may be inadvertently (and fleetingly) trendy.

• At the Magnum Gallery, London: Metamorphoses, photographic studies by Herbert List of male bodies and Greek statuary.

• At Spoon & Tamago: A butterfly sipping moisture from puddles, sculpted entirely in wood by Toru Fukuda.

• At Dangerous Minds: Joseph Lanza on the easy listening side of psychedelic pop.

• At CounterPunch: Louis Proyect on thinking like an octopus.

• Mix of the week: Fact Mix 510 by Britton Powell.

Bye Bye Butterfly (1965) by Pauline Oliveros | Butterfly Mornings (2001) by Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions | Butterfly Caught (2003) by Massive Attack

Weekend links 569

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City with Eyes in Blue (1989) by Paul Lehr.

• “Lehr chose science fiction illustration because he saw it as a path to making a living and an opportunity to ‘depict the epic’. ‘War, destruction, celebration, congestion, marching armies, waving flags and banners—the strange and mysterious atmosphere of it all, rather than the literal illustration.'” Jane Frank on the art of Paul Lehr (1930–1998).

• “Time isn’t the only thing Harrison treats as firmly malleable. The same is true of his willingness to play with genre conventions…” Tobias Carroll on M. John Harrison, and an article where you have to ignore the clickbait clichés in the headline.

• The narrators for the forthcoming audiobook of Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore have been revealed.

• At Public Domain Review: A remembrance of aerial forms: Odilon Redon’s À Edgar Poe.

• The weight of the ritual: Frank Rynne on The Master Musicians of Joujouka.

• “Cerne Giant in Dorset dates from Anglo-Saxon times, analysis suggests.

Aaron Moth, the artist creating exquisite collages from vintage [gay] porn.

Clive Hicks-Jenkins on revision in illustration.

• At Wikimedia Commons: Lesbian pulp fiction.

• Mix of the week: A Wire mix by BLK JKS.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Psychedelics.

Colleen‘s favourite albums.

Ritual Fire Dance (1969) by Tuesday’s Children | Ritual (1973) by Vangelis | Rituals (1981) by Bush Tetras