Weekend links 408

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Kujaku (2018) by Yasuto Sasada.

• “The Ernst picture [Of This Men Shall Know Nothing] has also been interpreted as depicting sexual alchemy, which also ties in with much of Peter Grey’s writing on Babalon and the goddess’ connection to sexual magic and the three ‘Fs’: f(e)asting, flagellation and fucking!” Hawthonn’s Phil & Layla Legard talk to Folk Horror Revival about their superb new album, Red Goddess (of this men shall know nothing).

• South London “Psychic Circuit”: A walk with London writer Iain Sinclair inspired by cult writer Steve Moore—from Shooter’s Hill and the Shrewsbury burial mound to Charlton House then Maryon Park and the locations used in Antonioni’s Blow Up.

• Czech filmmaker Juraj Herz, director of The Cremator (1969) and Morgiana (1972), died last week. One of his later films, The Ninth Heart (1978), featured an animated title sequence by Jan Svankmajer and Eva Svankmajerova.

• The week in psychedelic visuals: Ben Marks on Bill Ham’s San Francisco light shows (a piece from 2016), and Dangerous Minds on Astralvision’s Electric Light Voyage (1979), a light show on Betamax tape.

• “From glaciers to nuclear bunkers, photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews descends into the dark heart of the Swiss mountains that inspired Mary Shelley.”

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 250 by Sote, and XLR8R Podcast 537 by SNTS.

When The Horses Were Shorn Of Their Hooves, new music by Dylan Carlson.

Emily Temple on Edward Gorey’s illustrated covers for literary classics.

Hidden Hydrology: Coil’s Lost Rivers studio sessions.

Tube: Minimalist YouTube search

Sukhdev Sandhu is In Wild Air

• Lost Roads (1988) by Bill Laswell | Lost Sanctum (1994) by Lull | Lost Ways (2016) by Pye Corner Audio

The Torchbearer by Václav Svankmajer

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Svankmajer? Yes, Václav is the son of Czech Surrealists Jan Svankmajer and Eva Svankmajerová, and The Torchbearer (2005) is the third of three short films he’s directed. Like the celebrated films of his father this is an animated piece in which a faceless warrior navigates a ruined labyrinth where lethal traps are prepared by a group of living female statues. The style reminded me more of some of the Brothers Quay shorts than the snapping, jerking works of Svankmajer Sr.: the gliding statues are reminiscent of the tailors’ dummies in Street of Crocodiles (1986) while the mechanical traps call to mind Gilgamesh’s murderous table in This Unnameable Little Broom (1985). (And, yes…also the death machine in The Pendulum, the Pit and Hope.)

Václav Svankmajer’s website has a page devoted to the production of the film. Also on his site are several galleries of the paintings and drawings that are the focus of his attention today. Via Form is Void.

The Torchbearer on YouTube: Part 1 | Part 2

Previously on { feuilleton }
Jan Svankmajer: The Complete Short Films

Surrealism, graphic design and Barney Bubbles

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Poster for Mademoiselle (1970) by Franciszek Starowieyski.

Work has cranked into overdrive this week so posting will no doubt be minimal until some semblance of normality is restored. I can however mention two essential exhibitions which will be running through the forthcoming months.

Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design at the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic, is curated by design writer Rick Poynor and runs to 24 October, 2010. On display is an intriguing mix of work from familiar names such as Jan Švankmajer and Eva Švankmajerová, poster artist Franciszek Starowieyski, graphic designers Vaughan Oliver and Stefan Sagmeister, and many others.

Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design uncovers the presence of an alternative tradition in graphic design. The Surrealist movement of the 1920s and 1930s focused on literature, painting, photography and the object, and the Surrealists’ publishing activities provided only hints of what a fully conceived Surrealist graphic design or typography might look like. Many of the most suggestive early examples came from Czechoslovakia, where Surrealism would become a lasting influence. Subsequently, Surrealist ideas and images had a profound impact on image-makers in every sphere of art and design, and by the 1960s the effects of Surrealism were widely felt in international graphic communication. Uncanny traces this intermittent line of development up to the present.

There’s further information at the gallery site including a page of related works.

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And launching later in the year is Process: The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles, a very timely exhibition of the designer’s work at Chelsea Space, London. Bubbles biographer Paul Gorman is the curator and the event will also see the launch of a second edition of his study of Barney’s life and work, Reasons To Be Cheerful.

The show will contain many never-before-seen items drawn from private collections, including student notebooks, working sketches, original artwork, paintings, books and photography. These were the raw material for videos, record sleeves, t-shirts and posters created by Bubbles for such performers as Ian Dury, Hawkwind, Elvis Costello, The Damned and Billy Bragg (who is contributing a one-off rug with a rendition of the designer’s Masereel-quoting cover for his album Brewing Up With).

Process opens on September 14 and will run to October 23, 2010.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Franciszek Starowieyski, 1930–2009
Jan Svankmajer: The Complete Short Films
Barney Bubbles: artist and designer