Weekend links 535

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The Wagnerites (1894) by Aubrey Beardsley.

• “Part of my problem with influence is that the concept is too univocal; most of us are impacted by many others during our lifetimes, but often in oblique ways. So many of the most interesting bits of cultural transmission happen nonlinearly, via large groups of people, and in zigzag mutations. Assigning influence can also have the unintentional effect of stripping artists of their own originality and vision.” Geeta Dayal reviewing Wagnerism by Alex Ross.

• “Buñuel stubbornly refused to have any group affiliation whatsoever. Even though critics always tried to categorize him, he never wanted to explain the hidden meanings of any of his films and often denied that there were any.” Matt Hanson on the surreal banality of Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel.

• Next month Soul Jazz release the fourth multi-disc compilation in their Deutsche Elektronische Musik series devoted to German music from the 1970s and 80s. The third collection was the weakest of the lot so I wasn’t expecting another but this one looks like it may be better.

James Balmont chooses the five best films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who he calls “cinema’s master of horror”. I’ve yet to see any of these so I can’t say whether the label is warranted or not.

• At Wormwoodiana: Mark Valentine in a two-part post here and here charts the emergence of an under-examined sub-genre, the metaphysical thriller.

• Power Spots: 13 artists choose favourite pieces of music by Jon Hassell. A surprising amount of interest in his first album, Vernal Equinox.

• At Spine: George Orwell’s Animal Farm receives new cover designs for its 75th anniversary.

• “Pierre Guyotat’s work is more relevant now than ever,” says Donatien Grau.

• Mix of the week: FACT mix 775 by Sarah Davachi.

May 24th by Matthew Cardinal.

• Ry Cooder with Jon Hassell & Jim Keltner: Video Drive-By (1993) | Goose And Lucky (1993) | Totally Boxed In (1993)

Weekend links 428

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Straat met standbeeld (1934) by Carel Willink.

• “[Edward] Gorey, who died in 2000 at 75, was the unequaled master of—of what? Gothic whimsy? The high-camp macabre? Existential black comedy in the Firbankian mode? Essentially unclassifiable, he was, at the end of the day (and it’s always twilight, in Gorey’s stories), simply, inimitably Edwardian.” Mark Dery’s Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey, the first full-length biography, will be published in November.

• “In an East Prussian manor house, a Bohemian library, a Bulgarian railway station; in a Venetian citadel, a Breton harbour, a city in the Caucasus, characters encounter not only the vicissitudes of history but also the subtle influences of the uncanny.” Inner Europe by John Howard and Mark Valentine.

• “To the good men I offer the hand of friendship, to the foes of our sex I offer resistance and annihilation!” The next title from Rixdorf Editions (due in November) will be We Women Have no Fatherland (1899), a novel by Ilse Frappan.

• At Dangerous Minds: “The career of Penny Slinger, intrepid surrealist artist of the 1970s, is ripe for rediscovery,” says Martin Schneider.

• Mixes of the week:  FACT mix 668 by Smerz, and XLR8R Podcast 557 by re:ni.

• Dreaming of Walter Benjamin on Walter Benjamin Platz by Roger Gathman.

Alison Kinney on Ludwig II’s obsession with the operas of Richard Wagner.

• A trailer for The Other Side of the Wind, the final film by Orson Welles.

• A happy tenth anniversary to The Quietus.

Wizards (1982) by JD Emmanuel.

The Wizard (1964) by Albert Ayler Trio | The Wizard (1970) by Black Sabbath | Dancin’ Wizard (1973) by Sopwith Camel

Weekend links 31

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One of a series of illustrations by Vera Bock for A Ring and a Riddle (1944) by M.Ilin and E. Segal. Via A Journey Round My Skull.

The Creator of Devotion: Photos from a Vogue Hommes Japan feature by Matthew Stone. And also here.

Dressing For Pleasure: Jonny Trunk gets out the rubber gear. Related: King of Kinky.

Salvator Rosa (1615–1673) is having a show at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Hackney Dissenting Academy #1: Throbbing Gristle, Iain Sinclair & Alan Moore.

Out Of The Flesh (1984) by Chakk. A great single never reissued on CD.

• Photographer Charles Gatewood remembers William Burroughs.

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The Endless Mural. Follow links here to have a play around.

Vinyl record sales are at the top of a four-year sales trend.

Can explosions move faster than the speed of light?

• Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Car is reborn.

• Maximus Clarke talks with William Gibson.

Why Stephen Fry loves Wagner.

Kafka’s Last Trial.

• Alice Coltrane in concert, Warsaw, 1987: Harp solo | Impressions | Lonnie’s Lament | A Love Supreme.

Schloss Neuschwanstein

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This weekend’s film viewing was a DVD of Luchino Visconti’s Ludwig (1972), something I’ve seen in parts before but don’t recall ever having watched all the way through. I enjoyed it on the whole although Visconti’s “hose-piping” camera style and crash zooms are frequently annoying. Helmut Berger was very good as the tragic King of Bavaria and the subject was given additional interest by my reading earlier this year of a number of Philippe Jullian books. Ludwig II was camp enough to have interested Jullian whatever age he lived in but the way his life connects to the Symbolist period lends him a special significance. He can’t quite be described as a Symbolist monarch but his tireless support for Symbolist god Richard Wagner, and his lavish construction projects, made him a hero to Verlaine and others, who saw in the realisation of his fantasies the actions of an artist working on the grandest scale.

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Of all the palaces, Schloss Neuschwanstein at Hohenschwangau is easily the most spectacular, and Wikimedia Commons has a great selection of photos of which the two here are examples. The first picture is a 1900 photochrome print originally from the Library of Congress collection and the large version makes a great desktop picture. The helicopter view shows how the apparent isolation of the castle depends on where you place the camera. Visconti’s film makes use of all the King’s buildings although we never see a full exterior shot of Neuschwanstein possibly because the castle was unfinished at the time of Ludwig’s death in 1886. While he was alive Ludwig’s palaces were regarded as outrageous extravagances by a government dismayed by his patronage of Wagner, his scandalous homosexual behaviour, and his lack of interest in the nation’s political squabbles. Over a century later, Wagner’s music receives endless performances around the world while Schloss Neuschwanstein is the most popular tourist destination in Germany. Bavaria’s wars are long forgotten yet it was the King they declared to be “mad”. There’s a moral there.

The Neuschwanstein pool at Flickr

Previously on { feuilleton }
Temples for Future Religions by François Garas
Willy Pogány’s Lohengrin
Dallamano’s Dorian Gray

Temples for Future Religions by François Garas

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Temple à la Pensée, dédié à Beethoven, vue en cours de construction (1897).

Another artist discovered whilst searching for something quite unrelated. The Musée d’Orsay are custodians of this drawing by François Garas (1866–1925), and they also have the most substantial appraisal of his career.

François Garas remains a mysterious architect, whose artistic pantheon included Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as John Ruskin, Richard Wagner, Jean Carriès and Edouard Manet. He obtained his diploma in 1894, and until 1914 regularly exhibited utopian architectural projects at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux Arts. His career started with the exhibition Architects’ Impressions in 1896 at the Le Barc de Bouteville gallery, alongside his fellow architects Henri Sauvage, Henry Provensal and Gabriel Guillemonat. This exhibition, accompanied by a rebellious booklet by the architect Frantz Jourdain, wanted to get rid of “the mental slavery produced by the exclusive study of Greek and Roman architecture, and by a knowledge of nothing but the Italian Renaissance”. This drawing featured in the exhibition; then it was seen again, the same year, in an exhibition by the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, as part of a collection entitled Artists’ Interiors.

From 1897, Garas exhibited increasingly oneiric projects at the Salon – “temples for future religions”, dedicated to Beethoven, Wagner, Life, Death and Thought. While his companions from the early days were designing social housing, Garas continued along the same fanciful path, then disappeared from the architectural scene without any of his projects ever having been built.

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Temple à la Pensée, dédié à Beethoven, vue perspective depuis l’arrière du temple (1897).

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Temple à la Pensée, dédié à Beethoven, visions du temple, clair de lune (1900).

The museum has several pages of various plans and sketches for these Temples for Future Religions, and also some quasi-Gothic designs for “Artist’s interiors” which would benefit from being seen at a larger size. Among his other works are a series of very diffuse pastel studies which look more like Claude Monet drawing the ruins of Angkor than architectural designs.

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Un temple pour les religions futures (1901).

Previously on { feuilleton }
Exposition Universelle publications
Exposition cornucopia
Return to the Exposition Universelle
The Palais Lumineux
Louis Bonnier’s exposition dreams
Exposition Universelle, 1900
The Palais du Trocadéro
The Evanescent City