Weekend links 287


Cover by Valentine Hugo for Contes Bizarres (1933) by Achim d’Arnim. See Hugo’s interior illustrations here.

• “In spite of the blood-drinking pursuits of Rollin’s protagonists, there’s very little in the way of body horror to be found. His undead are sensual, romantic creatures that are frequently delicate of mind and body. These movies attempt to evoke nuanced emotional responses with their mixture of romance, loss, eroticism, and tragedy.” Tenebrous Kate on Sex, Death, and the Psychedelic Madness of Jean Rollin.

• “Late at night, [Melville] ‘turned flukes’ down Oxford Street as if he were being followed by a great whale, and thought he saw ‘blubber rooms’ in the butcheries of the Fleet Market.” Philip Hoare on Herman Melville’s time in London.

Haunted by Books, a new collection of writings by Mark Valentine, “explores the more curious byways of literature.” Full details at the home of the esoteric, Tartarus Press.

I am completely an elitist, in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it’s an expert gardener at work, or a good carpenter chopping dovetails, or someone tying a Bimini hitch that won’t slip.

Art critic Robert Hughes quoted in a review by Siri Hustvedt of The Spectacle of Skill: Selected Writings of Robert Hughes

• “Art, art – I couldn’t give a crap about art.” Oscar Wilde’s nephew, Arthur Cravan, puts in another appearance at Strange Flowers.

• “The Tarot is utterly fascinating,” says Evan J. Peterson discussing his Tarot-inspired writing with Tarot Poetry.

Manuel Göttsching: “A lot of crazy music happened at the end of the ’60s, very strange, and very curious…”

• Mixes of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 169 by Chra, and 28th November 2015 by The Séance.

Czech Artists’ Radical Book Designs of the Early 20th Century

• Ten things you might not know about Yayoi Kusama.

• More megaliths: Francis Pryor on ritual landscapes.

Peaches gets wild in the desert: Rub (uncensored).

Irmin Schmidt‘s favourite records (this week)

Mount Etna erupts

Rituals (1981) by Bush Tetras | Ballet For A Blue Whale (1983) by Adrian Belew | Etna (2006) by Boris & Sunn O)))

3 thoughts on “Weekend links 287”

  1. I, what would be the word, saw, attended, experienced a Yayoi Kusama installation at the Kennedy Center as part of a contemporary Japanese cultural expo a few years ago. There was one entrance and one exit and I suppose the idea was to walk through the enclosure and absorb the environment, in this case fantastic bulbous shapes in a room covered with black polka dots on a yellow background. By the time I exited I was so “disoriented” I had to go sit down for a few minutes. I make it sound unpleasant but it was overwhelming and words like pleasant or unpleasant are simply facile. Perhaps we use words like hallucinogenic or psychedelic too freely and forget they actually mean something.

    I’ve always had a thing for polka dots anyway. I have vague memories from childhood and I can only imagine that I saw some striking visual image when I was a very small child that seeped into my little brain and was contacted by the art half a lifetime later. Wow.

  2. Those dots fascinate me for being completely abstract yet having the potential to create these emotional effects. I find some of her dot-covered things to be disturbing, like things experienced during some psychotic episode. And I felt this way long before I read about her having lived in a hospital for many years. I’ve not seen any of them in a gallery, however. The psychedelic art show at Tate Liverpool in 2005 had two of her small mirror rooms that you peer into through little windows. I’d have preferred to see one of the ones you can walk inside.

  3. When her oeuvre appeared at the Wellington gallery a few years ago, the mirror / suspended-lights room was to be entered (only a few people at a time, therefore queuing). Hardly anyone fell off the end of the ‘jetty’ into the water.
    I visited several times, and usually it was an immersive experience like being stuck in a 3D Bridget Riley world; sometimes no effect at all.

    You seem to be going through a Krautrock period. As a fan of Ashra and Can, I can only encourage this.

    On another subject entirely, we were enjoying the BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, but we were tantalised by the glimpses that are shown of the illustrations from Strange’s book of magic — illustrations of a Piranesi / Escher nature, showing his experiences of the King’s Roads. I wouldn’t mind seeing close-ups of those.

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