Holly Warburton record covers

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Jesus Egg That Wept (1984) by Danielle Dax.

Most of the examples here are for singles and albums released by Danielle Dax in the 1980s but British artist Holly Warburton has done a lot more besides. The work from the 80s involved the re-photographing of images projected onto canvas or other materials, effects that are now more easily achieved by digital means. The Pop-Eyes cover was a substitute for the earlier, notorious “Meat Harvest” collage which Ms Dax hacked together from medical photos, and which caused the album to be shunned by shops and distributors for being too disturbing. (It’s here if you need to look.) There is a Holly Warburton website but there’s not much going on there at the moment. You can see more at Pinterest.

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Pop-Eyes (1985) by Danielle Dax.

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The Firebird (1986), the Montreal Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit.

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Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes

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Ida Rubinstein as Zobeide and Vaslav Nijinsky as the Golden Slave in Schéhérazade (1913) by Georges Barbier.

Another great exhibition at the V&A, London, Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes gathers a wealth of costumes, stage designs, photographs and ephemera—including some of Stravinsky’s manuscripts—to present a history of the legendary ballet company and their visionary impresario. For those who can’t get to London the museum website shows some of the items which will be on display, and there’s also a blog about the installing of the exhibition. The enormous frontcloth from 1924 based on Picasso’s Two Women Running on the Beach received a flurry of attention in the press here but my own attention was caught by the picture of Natalia Goncharova‘s even more enormous backcloth for The Firebird. The exhibition runs to January 9, 2011.

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Cover of Le Théatre showing Tamara Karsavina in costume as the Firebird, May 1911.

While we’re on the subject, a new biography of the impresario, Diaghilev: A Life by Sjeng Scheijen, was reviewed last week in the New York Times:

Diaghilev loved beautiful young men, and at a time when the fashion in ballet was to exchange patronage for sex, his company provided a bounty. Scheijen dexterously plays his sources against one another to examine the erotic and professional dynamics between Diaghilev and his stars.

For a fictional (and necessarily heterosexual) account of those erotic and professional dynamics, I recommend Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948) which not only has a central character based on Diaghilev but includes among the cast of real dancers Léonide Massine, dancer and principal choreographer of the Ballets Russes from 1915 to 1921.

See also:
Russian Ballet History | An archive and documentary site.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Pamela Colman Smith’s Russian Ballet
The art of Ivan Bilibin, 1876–1942
Jack Cardiff, 1914–2009
Magic carpet ride
Le Sacre du Printemps
Images of Nijinsky

Weekend links 24

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Delta-Wing (2009) by Chloe Early.

• “Feted British authors are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied, says leading academic”. Stating the bleeding obvious but it still needs to be said, apparently, especially when the announcement of the Booker list this year caused the usual confusion when Amis Jr. and McEwan weren’t included, as though the mere existence of their novels makes them prize-worthy. And as someone pointed out, the word “male” is missing from that headline.

Hero of Comic-Book World Gets Real: Alan Moore again, in the NYT this time. Related: a review of Unearthing live.

• Announcing The Hanky Code by Brian Borland & Stephen S Mills, a 40-poem book to be published next year by Lethe Press. For an explanation of the Hanky Code there’s this, and there’s also an iPhone app.

Folk—the ‘music of the people’—is now hip again, says (who else?) Rob Young who can also be heard on the archived podcast here. Related: the folk roots of Bagpuss. Related to the latter: The Mouse Mill.

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An endpiece from The Firebird and other Russian Fairy Tales by Boris Zvorykin.

‘Yes’ to Catastrophe: Roger Dean, Prog and SF. A lengthy and thoughtful analysis of Roger Dean’s early work.

Into the Media Web, the enormous Michael Moorcock book which I designed, is officially published this week.

Cassette playa: in praise of tapes. I’ve complained about tapes in the past but people continue to find them useful. Some technologies die harder than others.

Boy BANG Boy: “Quiet moments made suddenly very loud with the attitude and opinion of what it means to be a young male in an impossibly diverse world.” An exhibition opening at Eastgallery, London, on August 5th.

Empty your heart of its mortal dream: Alfred Kubin’s extraordinary novel, The Other Side.

Ghostly and Boym Partners devise a new way to deliver digital music.

Besti-mix #27: a great selection by producer Adrian Sherwood.

Agnostics are troublemakers. Amen to that.

• RIP Harry Beckett.

Acousmata.

Let Us Go In To The House Of The Lord by Pharoah Sanders (live, 1971): Part 1 | Part 2

The art of Ivan Bilibin, 1876–1942

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Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird’s feather (1899).

The Firebird again, one of Bilibin’s many illustrations of Slavic folktales. These examples are from the collection at Wikimedia Commons. SurLaLune has more of Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf (1899) along with other Bilibin books while the trusty Internet Archive has a 1917 edition of Russian Wonder Tales.

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Ex libris design (1922).

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Ruslan and Giant’s Head (1917).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Magic carpet ride