Waterfall by Tsunehisa Kimura.
Continuing an occasional series. Japanese artist Tsunehisa Kimura (1928–2008) was initially inspired by the polemical graphics of John Heartfield to create his own photomontages, a painstaking collage technique now rendered obsolete by Photoshop. Kimura’s work exchanges Heartfield’s satire for an overt and frequently apocalyptic Surrealism, as in his most visible piece, Waterfall. The copy above is one of a number of pictures reproduced by Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG from a 1979 Kimura collection, Visual Scandals by Photomontage.
Design by Anne-Louise Falson & Paul Schütze.
I was first startled by Waterfall in 1996 when Paul Schütze released his Site Anubis album, the product of a “virtual group” comprised of musicians recording in different studios around the world:
The musicians comprising Phantom City—the name, incidentally, originating from the book title Topology of a Phantom City by French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet—never met for the recording of Site Anubis, as each one recorded in a different studio in a different country: guitarist Raoul Björkenheim in Helsinki, bass- and contra-bass clarinetist Alex Buess in a Basel studio, soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill in London, bassist Bill Laswell at Green Point Studio in Brooklyn, New York, trombonist Julian Priester in Seattle, drummer Dirk Wachtelaer in Brussels, and Schütze himself in London and Basel. Incredibly, Laswell had only Schütze’s electronic backing track to respond to. Wachtelaer had Laswell and Schütze to play against, Björkenheim had drums and bass,—in short, certain players had more information than others.
Kimura’s picture is an ideal accompaniment to this excellent album, especially when you note a Ballard reference in the titles (not the first in Schütze’s oevre), and read the scene-setting piece of fiction on the CD insert, an explanation of the album title:
That morning a report came in from an unmarked helicopter somewhere over the city. The waters were subsiding and the smoke from a thousand fires had begun to drift inland revealing an impossible new structure. Towering some eight hundred feet over the gleaming devastation of the streets, its base occupying an entire city block, was a colossal black basalt figure. The body was male and human, – the head, which stared expectantly toward the boiling western horizon, was the head of a jackal. From the air it was clear that the pattern of destruction on the ground was radial and that the massive figure was sited precisely at its centre.
Continue reading “Design as virus 13: Tsunehisa Kimura”