Weekend links 545

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Colour wheel from The Natural System of Colours (1766) by Moses Harris.

• The Vatican’s favourite homosexual, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, receives the ludicrously expensive art-book treatment in a huge $22,000 study of the Sistine Chapel frescos. Thanks, but I’ll stick with Taschen’s XXL Tom of Finland collection which cost considerably less and contains larger penises. Related: How Taschen became the world’s most famous erotic publishers.

• “In a metaphorical sense, a book cover is also a frame around the text and a bridge between text and world.” Peter Mendelsund and David J. Alworth on what a book cover can do.

The Night Porter: Nazi porn or daring arthouse eroticism? Ryan Gilbey talks to director Liliana Cavani about a film that’s still more read about (and condemned) than seen.

What is important about reading [Walter] Benjamin’s texts written under the influence of drugs is how you can then read back into all his work much of this same “drug” mind-set; in his university student days, wrangling with Kant’s philosophy at great length, he famously stated, according to Scholem, that “a philosophy that does not include the possibility of soothsaying from coffee grounds and cannot explicate it cannot be a true philosophy.” That was in 1913, and Scholem adds that such an approach must be “recognized as possible from the connection of things.” Scholem recalled seeing on Benjamin’s desk a few years later a copy of Baudelaire’s Les paradis artificiels, and that long before Benjamin took any drugs, he spoke of “the expansion of human experience in hallucinations,” by no means to be confused with “illusions.” Kant, Benjamin said, “motivated an inferior experience.”

Michael Taussig on getting high with Benjamin and Burroughs

• “Utah monolith: Internet sleuths got there, but its origins are still a mystery.” The solution to the mystery—if there is one—will be inferior to the mystery itself.

After Beardsley (1981), a short animated film about Aubrey Beardsley by Chris James, is now available on YouTube in its complete form.

• Mix of the week: The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. XXIII – An Ivy-Strangled Midwinter by David Colohan.

Charlie Huenemann on the Monas Hieroglyphica, Feynman diagrams, and the Voynich Manuscript.

Katy Kelleher on verdigris: the colour of oxidation, statues, and impermanence.

• A trailer for Athanor: The Alchemical Furnace, a documentary about Jan Svankmajer.

All doom and boom: what’s the heaviest music ever made?

• At Strange Flowers: Ludwig the Second first and last.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Krzysztof Kieslowski Day.

Ralph Steadman’s cultural highlights.

• RIP Daria Nicolodi.

Michael Angelo (1967) by The 23rd Turnoff | Nightporter (1980) by Japan | Verdigris (2020) by Roger Eno and Brian Eno

Weekend links 480

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Tadanori Yokoo (1974) by Tadanori Yokoo and Will van Sambeek. A poster from the Colourful Japan exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

• The first decade of space-rock pioneers Hawkwind is explored by Joe Banks in Hawkwind: Days of the Underground — Radical Escapism in the Age Of Paranoia, coming soon from Strange Attractor Press. I created the wraparound cover for this one, and will be talking about it here in a later post. Those interested in the book should note that the special edition hardback will include an extra book, plus a print and postcards. Limited to 500 copies so don’t wait around.

• “What we look for in our formative years can be very different from the demands we make later as analytical adults, and it was certainly more important to me that representations of gayness were complex or colourful than that they were positive, whatever that meant.” Ryan Gilbey on 50 years of Midnight Cowboy.

• Mixes of the week: Through A Landscape Of Mirrors Vol. II – France I by David Colohan, and As Imperceptibly As Grief The Summer Lapsed Away by Haunted Air.

If we imagine the material world about us having a concealed component of the fictional and the fantastic, visions buried in its stones and mortar waiting for their revelation, then we may suppose that 18th-century Lambeth was a teeming hub of such imaginal biodiversity. Bedlam alone could account for this ethereal population boom, but then nearby was the Hercules Buildings residence of William Blake, which can have only added to the sublime infestation.

Alan Moore on the visionary art of William Blake

• At the Internet Archive: Ten issues of Ed Pinsent’s The Sound Projector Music Magazine (1996–2002), with bonus Krautrock Kompendium.

• “Like many dictators Franco considered himself an artist.” Jonathan Meades on how fascism disfigured the face of Spain.

Occulting Disk is a new album from the master of unnerving doomscapes, Deathprod, which will be released in October.

• Making MAD: Chris Mautner on the beginning and end of MAD magazine.

John Margolies’ photographs of roadside America.

Fair Sapphire by Meadowsilver.

Jarboe‘s favourite music.

Theme from Midnight Cowboy (1969) by John Barry | Astral Cowboy (1969) by Curt Boettcher | Dayvan Cowboy (2005) by Boards Of Canada

Weekend links 346

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Red Queen (no date) by Jo Brocklehurst.

• Happy birthday to Kenneth Anger, 90 years old this week. In 2008 Anger was interviewed by Nicolas Winding Refn at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen.

• “Fabeness be to the Auntie, and to the Homie Chavvie, and to the Fantabulosa Fairy”. “Church ‘regret’ as trainees hold service in gay slang.”

Andrew Male on Michael Chapman, an exceptional guitarist, and “the man who connects Elton, Bowie, Nick Drake and Sonic Youth”.

• A trailer for A Life In Waves a documentary about synth composer Suzanne Ciani by Brett Whitcomb and Bradford Thomason.

• The website for design company Barnbrook has been relaunched, as has the site for Jonathan Barnbrook‘s personal work.

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 209 by Umwelt, and XLR8R Podcast 475 by Melina Serser.

Ryan Gilbey: “From Sean Connery to Harrison Ford: actors who secretly played roles gay.”

• Writer and editor Russ Kick is selling his huge book collection.

Lucifer Sam (1967) by Pink Floyd | Lucifer (1968) by The Salt | Lucifer Rising (2002) by John Zorn

Weekend links 318

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The Meaning of Life by Alice Wellinger.

• A Kickstarter for A Hidden Landscape Once A Week edited by Mark Sinker: “How UK music-writing became a space for unruly curiosity, in the words of those who made it happen”.

• RIP Steven Young, one of the musicians in a cult group of mine, Colourbox, and the “S” in M|A|R|R|S, creators of Pump Up The Volume in 1987.

• At Greydogtales: The Pale Brown Thing & A Dose of De Quincy—Fritz Leiber, Dario Argento, Megapolisomancy, and The Three Mothers.

Pye Corner Audio lists some influences. Zones by Head Technician, another Martin Jenkins project, has just been reissued on vinyl.

• Mixes of the week: The Middle Eastern & African playlist For July by John Doran, and a Pye Corner Audio mix for 20jazzfunkgreats.

Evan Kindley on how the Proust Questionnaire went from literary curio to prestige personality quiz.

• To Surprise a Voice: Max Nelson on the subtitling and translation of foreign-language films.

• How the ’70s dethroned the ’60s as popular music’s Golden Age: Judy Berman investigates.

• “It puts a spell on people.” Ryan Gilbey on Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon.

• “Dennis Cooper fears censorship as Google erases blog without warning.”

Charlie Kaufman on freedom, the future, and the failure of Anomalisa.

Danny Heitman on why Nabokov’s Speak, Memory still speaks to us.

Daphne Oram‘s radical turntable experiments finally come to life.

Adam Kirsch on Walter Benjamin’s genius for surreal visions.

Shotgun (1983) by Colourbox | Baby I Love You So (1986) by Colourbox | Looks Like We’re Shy One Horse/Shoot Out (1986) by Colourbox

Weekend links 251

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Beliel (2013) by Dan Quintana.

Guida essenziale all’Italian Occult Psychedelia. Out next month: Nostra Signora Delle Tenebre, a tribute to “movies that…retained a decidedly Italian flavour, a bizarre mix of nasty violence, lurid sexuality and feverish Catholic mysticism, all filtered through a manic obsession with death, blood and the sins of the flesh.” In the meantime, try the Italic Environments mix by Lay Llamas.

• “His work matters more than ever now because it stands in contrast to all the sequels, the comic-book adaptations, that Hollywood makes to sell lunchboxes.” Ryan Gilbey looks at a new documentary about the great Robert Altman.

• Psychedelic Culture at the Crossroads: Erik Davis on the ongoing reappraisal of the value of psychedelic drugs. Related: Dude, You Can Draw Magic Mushrooms With an Oscilloscope.

Like [Ellen Sofie] Lauritzen, what I appreciate about music, writing, and films that vary from dated to downright misogynist is the rawness I see expressed, a sheer energy that can’t toe the line of perfect political obeisance. I join her in hoping that we back down from using “problematic” as a censorious bludgeon against creative achievements, no matter how problematic they are.

Sarah Seltzer on whether feminists can enjoy misogynist art

• Mixes of the week: Roger Eagle’s jukebox selection for Eric’s club, Liverpool; Switched On! Vol. 4 by AnchSounds; T-P-F Mix 3: Bucolic Intrigue Romance by The Pattern Forms.

• At Dangerous Minds: Paul Gallagher on the whimsical anarchism of the White Bicycle revolution.

• Opening the Ghost Box: Dave Thompson on a record label that’s mentioned here more than most.

Abominations Of Yondo (2007), a free album inspired by the weird fiction of Clark Ashton Smith.

• Placards of earthly delight: Isabel Stevens on Vera Chytilová’s film posters.

• I’m an artist to watch according to Nakid Magazine.

Tomb of Insomnia

Death Surf (2012) by Heroin In Tahiti | Voices Call (2015) by Lay Llamas | Averno (2015) by OVO