Archive for February, 2008

Strange and Beautiful – John Lurie

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

<> <> John Lurie painting My Prostate Belongs to God
My Prostate Belongs to God (image source)

More paintings at his Gallery with great soundtrack from John Lurie’s Strange and Beautiful homepage

John Lurie has been ill for the last many years. He has been exhibiting and selling his paintings. (These paintings have saved his life)

John is an excellent dancer

M: People are most familiar with your work as a musician and actor/director. How did you make the leap to visual artist?
JL: I believe you have me mistaken with someone else. I am mostly known for being an excellent dancer, in some neighbourhoods more than others.

Big Heart Music Video by John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards

John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards (Big photo of John included from European Jazz Net)

John Lurie is huge in Russia (A post from two years ago).

Sun Rings and Dracula

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Kronos Quartet plays Sung Rings composed by Terry Riley

(Fresh from youtube, this clip was added just a few days ago on Feb 18, 08.)

Sun Rings by Terry Riley

This is a multi-media work for string quartet, chorus, and pre-recorded sounds. Those sounds include recordings by NASA spacecraft journeying through space e.g. ambient space sounds found in plasma around the planet Jupiter. The sounds have been a part of Don Gurnett’s research at the University of Iowa. Willie Williams did the visual design. Williams was notably the visual designer on U2’s Zoo tour among other rock shows.
Riley also sought inspiration after the events of 9/11, seeking meaning from the universe.

Dracula Enters

Several years ago we saw Kronos perform this piece by P. Glass while they sat behind the huge film screen. Instead of paying attention to their music, we had to stay focused on this famous silent classic. It was an annoying concept where music becomes just a soundtrack or background music.

Yesterday on Feb 22,08, Kronos Quartet played John Adams at Carnegie Hall

Tonight, they perform world premieres that hammer this point home. John Adams, that longstanding titan of American minimalism, brings gravitas to the program with his compact, exhilarating new work, Fellow Traveler.

Nixon in China by John Adams is here. (Previous post)

L’insiemista – Raymond Queneau

Thursday, February 21st, 2008
  • Raymond 1araymondqueaneauQueneau

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    The above is a found video experiment inspired by Raymond Queneau.
    Raymond Queneau was born on February 21, 1903 in Le Havre.

    Although Queneau’s novels give an impression of enormous spontaneity, they were in fact painstakingly conceived in every small detail. He even once remarked that he simply could not leave to hazard the task of determining the number of chapters of a book. Talking about his first novel, Le Chiendent (usually translated as The Bark Tree), he pointed out that it had 91 sections, because 91 was the sum of the first 13 numbers, and also the product of two numbers he was particularly fond of: 7 and 13.

    Readng Raymond Queneau by Barbara Wright

    Darkly interview on Queneau

    Ouilipo <> <> <> Zazie dans le Metro (Directed by Louis Malle)
    “Under the Net” Iris Murdoch’s first novel was dedicated to R. Queneau.

    Iris Murdoch’s first published novel, Under the Net, presents the picaresque adventures of Jake Donaghue, a feckless failed artist who guides the reader on pub crawls through London’s City district and Paris’s Left Bank while he searches for love and meaning in his life. The novel is dedicated to French novelist Raymond Queneau, and Murdoch has admitted his and Samuel Beckett’s influence in this work: “I was copying them as hard as I could!”

    Queneau spent much of his life working for French publisher Gallimard, where he began as a reader in 1938, rose to be general secretary, and eventually became director of l’Encyclopédie de la Pléiade in 1956.

    More on Feb 21 birthday writers

    Anais Nin was born on the same day, Feb 21, 1903.
    Here on youtube you can hear her voice, talking about Miller and Durrell.

    Two American writers were born on Feb 21, 1962 Chuck Palahniuk and David Foster Wallace.

    Minorities in Kosovo

    Monday, February 18th, 2008

    TRAILER: A Minority Report-Kosovo Minorities Eight Years…

    China, Russia Baulk at Self Rule of Kosovo

    Kosovo, Democracy and Ethnic Cleansing

    Concern over Roma refuges

    In its annual human rights report, Human Rights Watch expresses concerns over the situation of Roma in Serbia and particularly highlights the destitute condition of IDPs and forced returnees from Western Europe. This includes Roma from Kosovo forcibly returned to other parts of Serbia, where the organization points out to [sic] the lack of adequate assistance programmes placing a high burden on the local Roma communities.

    Romany Journey (Photographs by Joakim Eskildsen)

    R.I.P Kon Ichikawa

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
  • 1aaKonMakioka
    Makioka Sisters

    Sasame Yuki -(Makioka Sisters – adapted from a novel by Junichiro Tanizaki)

    The great Japanese director, Kon Ichikawa, died today of pneumonia. He was the man behind such films as The Burmese Harp, Fires on the Plain, and Tokyo Olympiad. (via)

  • The Key 1aIchikawaKagi

  • Kon Ichikawa (image source)
    More on Kon Ichikawa from previous post.

  • (An Actor’s Revenge – Wakao Ayako)

  • John Hutnyk

    A place maker for a future review of Kon Ichikawa’s great funny poignant anti-imperialist film “A Billionaire”, as soon as I find a copy.
    We screened a series of his films at Goldsmiths two years back. The big famous ones are deservedly praised, but A Billionaire was just great – especially the student who built her own atom bomb upstairs in her flat.

    Denkmal – Jan De Cock

    Sunday, February 10th, 2008

    Twenty Eght Millimetres at Tate

    Lots of nice photos of the exhibit from James Wagner

    Like the work of his contemporaries who manipulate assembled elements, what makes it art is both what he picks and what he does with it after its picked. What makes it monumental is its encyclopedic ambition. (James Wagner)

    Jan is cocky – he has an unBelgian big mouth (via Belgian art blog – The Low Countries)

    There’s also an element of wry humor: look for the half-denuded Koons basketball in a image of the conservation studio. (Flavorpill)

    How can we create something new if we don’t go back into time? (The Back Story)

    Jan has Manfred Pernice and Peter Friedl in his home.
    (Then there is Peter Fried a Vermont artist – googled him by mistake)

    Art, he explains, ” creates a mold for thought”—a cute formulation, though not very satisfying. Like his installation, it slights the roles in art of sensation and emotion. In any language, Denkmal 11 is over-thought and under-felt: De Cock’s mold is hollow. (Villagevoice-Daniel Kunitz)

    Happy Rat Year

    Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

    Banksy dead rat (via)
    Google Banksy Rat
    Rat Dude is on sale.

    Before Banksy there was Blek Le Rat

    I am Blek le Rat. I am a French graffiti artist. I was one of the first artists to use stencils for an artistic purpose in Paris in the beginning of the 1980s—in ‘81 exactly. At first, I put rats and I made them run along the wall. I wanted to do a rat invasion. I put thousands all over Paris.

    Between me and my heart there is nobody – Blek Le Rat on youtube

    It is worth noting that the Rat Brigade did not discriminate on the basis of species.

    Monkey on high bike monkey on high bike
    The above image from A Speculative History of Rat patrol

    Chinese New Year Rat Happy Rat Year 2008

    Chinese New Year 4706, which begins Thursday, is the Year of the Rat, which holds a place of honor as the first creature in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar.

    Porcile and Earthly Delight – last Chinese New Year post

    Update:Not everyone is celebrating New Year in China
    <> <> <> <> <>Lunar new year 08 google gif


    Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

    Happy Birthday Alan, how many beans will you be eating today?
    Today is Setsubun. Previously on this day this blog has celebrated the birthday of Alan Sondheim, Gertrude Stein and Simone Weil. Recently Alan reminded me that February 3 is bean throwing day in Japan. Bean throwing sounded too matter of fact in English compared to the poetic sounding Setsubun. Setsubun was never used for a title or subject of any Ozu film (Ozu was not into exorcism) Ozu had Soshun, Bakushu and Banshun, all of which indicate changes of season.

    Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi (devils out, fortune in)

    Japanese Drive Out Devils in Spring Ritual
    Setsubun Festival celebrated with a fanfare of bean-throwing exorcisms

    Censer and censor Alan’s book review – (bio of Baudelaire the author of Flowers of Evil)

    Keith’s book fascinates me, in particular because of the violence it does to the text, or at least what appears to me as a violence, and a ‘tenor’ in the translation that strikes me as Jon Stewart meets Bartok; it’s a kind of breeziness across what appears as the subterranean rootings of melancholy, a bridge across that, which is far too often, for me, the bridge of the fast read, which this translation is not. So a contradiction at the beginning. This is founded, for me, on the belief, that the unconscious plays an enormous role in FoE and that the unconscious is, in fact, not breezy, but on the order of the Kristevan chora – inchoate, dark, abject – the murmurings, not the signposts, of language.

    Devils are out in the Arizona desert, fortune in and out – (the world needs plenty of luck these days).
    Oni wa soto Devils in the desert, digital image by Fung Lin Hall