Weekend links 670


An octopus catching a lobster (1894) by Gustav Mützel.

• RIP Barry Humphries. He emailed me a couple of years ago in his capacity as a collector of fin-de-siècle art, hoping I might answer a question about a very obscure artist. If you require justifications for the blogging habit then add this to the list. Humphries’ first book, Bizarre (1965), is a more cerebral counterpart to Charles Addams’ Dear Dead Days, and a compendium of oddities that I’d buy if I ever saw it in a secondhand shop. RIP also to incendiary singer Mark Stewart.

• “Schulz gets compared to Kafka because of his dreamy, disconcerting stories, but in Balint’s book, a version of Schulz emerges that is closer to one of Kafka’s characters—a man on the run who can’t get past the city walls; an artist exiled by a shape-shifting, unknowable tormentor—than to Franz himself.” Leo Lasdun reviewing a new biography of Bruno Schulz by Benjamin Balint.

• “Instead of asking whether an octopus shows aspects of human intelligence, perhaps the better question is whether humans can show aspects of octopus intelligence.” David Borkenhagen on octopuses and what they might teach us about the perception of time.

• “Uproar was my element, I wanted to get people moving, the more they roared, the bolder I became.” The pioneering theatrical performances of Valeska Gert are explored at Strange Flowers.

• Digital copies of albums by the mighty Earth may currently be purchased at the group’s Bandcamp page for $1 each. I’ve got everything already but you may wish to sample something.

Charles Drazin on the director who dared to tell uncomfortable truths: Lindsay Anderson at 100.

Steven Heller on Commercial Art, a magazine from the 1920s that chronicled UK design.

• At Unquiet Things: The luminous drama of Frants Diderik Bøe’s bejewelled floral still lifes.

• New music: This Vibrating Earth by Field Lines Cartographer, and Draw/Orb by Extra.

• Mix of the week: XLR8R podcast 796 by Gold Panda.

• The Strange World of…Andrzej Korzynski.

The Jewel In The Lotus (1974) by Bennie Maupin | Jewel (1985) by Propaganda | Black Jewelled Serpent Of Sound (1985) by The Dukes Of Stratosphear