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

Archive for the ‘labyrinths’ tag


Genet art


Portrait of Jean Genet II (1950) by Leonor Fini. Artworks depicting Genet or based on his work are more plentiful than I thought. These are some of the better examples. It’s good to know that the great Leonor Fini was one of the earliest portraitists; in addition to painting two pictures of Genet she also […]

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Flowers: A Pantomime for Jean Genet


Flowers (1986) by the Lindsay Kemp Company. Photos by Maya Cusell. Weidmann appeared before you in a five o’clock edition, his head swathed in white bands, a nun and yet a wounded pilot fallen into the rye one September day like the day when the world came to know the name of Our Lady of […]

Posted in {books}, {film}, {gay}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Querelle de Brest


Querelle de Brest (1947) by Jean Genet. Cover design by Jean Cocteau. This weekend’s viewing was Fassbinder’s Querelle (1982) which is marvellous in its new Blu-ray transfer, and a great improvement on the muddy picture of the earlier DVD release. The film is still only the briefest sketch of Genet’s novel (although Genet biographer Edmund […]

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Underground labyrinths


Labyrinth (Westminster) by Mark Wallinger. A mandatory post, this one, seeing as how it combines two continual sources of interest: labyrinths and the London Underground transport system. Transport for London commissioned artist Mark Wallinger to create something for the 150th birthday celebrations of the Tube, the result being a series of 270 different labyrinth designs, […]

Posted in {art}, {design} | 2 comments »


Covering Joyce


First editions of Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939). I like Peter Mendelsund’s book cover designs so it’s good to find the designer given the opportunity to provide new covers for James Joyce. Mendelsund’s blog post announcing the news mentions nothing about his intentions, instead we have a reminiscence about Ireland à la Molly Bloom, […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | 2 comments »


Cthulhu Labyrinth


Something I was working on last August when I was putting together new pictures for the Cthulhu calendar, I’d actually forgotten about this until this week. The idea was to do something that was more of an abstract design than the rest of the art; having got this far I was undecided whether I wanted […]

Posted in {design}, {work} | 2 comments »


The labyrinth of Versailles


I ought to have mentioned this last week since a plan of the lost labyrinth of Versailles appears in the William Henry Matthews book. The labyrinth was completed for Louis XIV in 1677, and is unusual for being a series of paths without a central focus, and also a very ornamental affair containing thirty-nine fountains […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books} | 9 comments »


Maze and labyrinth panoramas


Parc del Laberint d’Horta, Barcelona by Valentin Arfire. Continuing the maze and labyrinth theme, a selection of panoramas at 360Cities. Panoramic photography helps when viewing these constructions at a distance, especially when the camera is centrally positioned. The selection may be small but it shows how universal the urge is to build these things, with […]

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Mazes and labyrinths


This book, Mazes and Labyrinths: A General Account of their History and Developments (1922) by William Henry Matthews, would have been very useful a couple of years ago when I was working on the cover design for Mike Shevdon’s The Road to Bedlam and required a labyrinth diagram. The one I used, a plan of […]

Posted in {architecture}, {books} | 9 comments »


Jean Genet, 1981


Until watching Antoine Bourseiller’s film, the only interview I’d seen with Jean Genet was the one filmed by the BBC in 1985 in which a tetchy and evidently irritated Genet made a fool of interviewer Nigel Williams, and compared the whole experience to a police interrogation. (Williams and his interview are memorialised in Iain Sinclair’s […]

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Chris Marker, 1921–2012


“A recurrent rumour says that Chris Marker and the cat Guillaume-en-Egypt sank with the Titanic.” Photo credited to Wim Wenders. In our moments of megalomaniacal reverie, we tend to see our memory as a kind of history book: we have won and lost battles, discovered empires and abandoned them. At the very least we are […]

Posted in {film}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 1 comment »


Un Chant d’Amour (nouveau)


A brief homage by Sam Scott Schiavo to Genet’s masterwork of homoerotic cinema Un Chant d’Amour (1950). Genet’s film works so well, and is so closely tied to his artistic obsessions, it’s difficult to approach but it’s good to see it still wields an influence. For comparison the original film can be watched at Ubuweb. […]

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Weekend links 105


A suspended fluid photograph from Demersal, a series by Luka Klikovac. • “Soon, Mr. Lachman was writing occult music. His song “(I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear,” which appeared on Blondie’s 1977 album Plastic Letters, was an example.” Gary Lachman: from Blondie to Swedenborg. • Neil Krug’s cover art for the new Scissor Sisters […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {design}, {electronica}, {film}, {gay}, {music}, {occult}, {photography}, {politics}, {religion}, {science} | 3 comments »




The Breamore Miz-Maze, Hampshire. Photo by Jim Champion. As part of the work-related research this week I was looking for designs of old turf labyrinths. It turns out I have two pages of the things in a book I’d earlier considered dropping into Oxfam so that particular volume may have gained a reprieve. Before I […]

Posted in {architecture}, {photography}, {religion}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »


Jean Genet… ‘The Courtesy of Objects’


Jean Genet… ‘The Courtesy of Objects’ is an exhibition by Anglo-French artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz currently running at The Gallery at Norwich University College of the Arts. Chaimowicz presented a show entitled Jean Cocteau in Norwich last year; this new exhibition will include “works on paper, theatrical props, furniture, slide projections, documentation and an imaginary […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {gay} | 3 comments »


Querelle again


Jean Genet is never far away, this photo being from a Querelle-themed feature for Schön magazine. The model is Sebastian Sauve, the photographer is Dimitris Theocharis, and it’s no surprise that all the clothes are by Jean Paul Gaultier. Homotography has the rest of the series while the photographer has plenty of other fine work […]

Posted in {books}, {eye candy}, {fashion}, {gay}, {photography} | 3 comments »


Victorian typography


“Victorian” isn’t really the correct term for the products of 19th century America but then “19th century” covers rather a lot of ground. Mr BibliOdyssey’s most recent post is a stunning collection of title pages from fire insurance maps of the late 19th and early 20th century. Rather than repost any you ought to go […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {typography} | 7 comments »


Saint Genet


Miracle of the Rose (1965). Photo by Jerry Bauer, design by Kuhlman Associates. [William Burroughs is] without a doubt…the greatest American writer since WWII. There are very, very few writers in his class; I think Genet is about the only one whom I’d put in the same category. All the British and American writers so […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {burroughs}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines} | 10 comments »


Emil Cadoo


Untitled (1963). One of a small number of pictures from a recent exhibition of work by American photographer Emil Cadoo (1926–2002) whose nude studies and often homoerotic themes were controversial in America of the Fifties and Sixties but welcomed in France, as was often the case at that time. In April 1964, all 21,000 copies […]

Posted in {books}, {gay}, {magazines}, {photography} | 1 comment »


March of the Penguins


top left: David Pelham’s classic design (1972); top right: photography by Lionel F Williams (Eye) and SOA / Photonica (Cogs) (1996). bottom left and right: photography by Véronique Rolland (2000 & 2008). In April this year I wrote about James Pardey’s excellent site devoted to book covers from the Penguin science fiction range. I’m often […]

Posted in {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {science fiction} | 7 comments »







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