Archive for September, 2005

Glenn Gould as Umeboshi – The Idea of North

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

“This is Glenn Gould This programme is called The Idea of North. I’ve long been intrigued by that incredible tapestry of tundra and taiga which constitutes the arctic and sub-arctic of our country….”
(From A transcript of the prologue to The Idea of North, a sound documentary by Glenn Gould.)

Glenn Gould’s birthday today (Sept 25, 1932, Glenn was a Libra/Monkey – a glib manipulator).

GG interviews GG

David Teague Interviews David Teague About Glenn Gould

Glenn plays Goldberg Variations 1-7 (youtube)

Glenn Gould

Glenn Gould
Photo collage by a Canadian poet, P.R. Pottelberg (From an ill fated project of mine called icON cOFFin – background images comprise of miniture candy bento, and nothing to do with global warming or the Penguins ).

What is Umeboshi?

Excerpt from a play “Glenn” by David Young
Prodigy The twenty-fifth of September. No Cake, No candles. No celebration. Instead this … this inconsolable longing.
Puritan It was a test. A chance to look at myself on the barren heath, so to speak.
Progidy I feel like I’m circling above my childhood, never finding a place to land except…..
(The Prodigy moves toward the phone again. Should he call?)
Puritan (gaining conviction) The idea of solitude was with me from the very beginning. Isolation was a doorway to ecstasy.

Another excerpt from the same play,
The Perfectionist I believe that all the spiritual energy that has ever been is with us now, radient and invisible. We should not confuse ourselves with these bodies. I am not this body.
I am an electromagnectic field that animates this body.

Phone Fetishist, the Glenn Gould Factor by Margie Borschke

“Phil: Was there ever any kind of relationship between Glenn Gould and John Cage?
Kevin Bazzana: Yes, in fact the intellectual relationship between Gould and Cage is the subject of an article in the next issue of GlennGould which should be published within about a month. There was a brief correspondence between Gould and Cage in the early 1970s at the time of Gould’s CBC Radio Documentary on Schoenberg and Gould interviewed Cage, who was a student of Schoenberg’s, for that documentary.” (from here)

Glenn plays Schoenberg here with Menuhin (youtube)

Love, Russia and the Next Glenn Gould

“Gould’s Solitude Trilogy is a main inspiration for my RNC Protest piece” wrote Christopher DeLaurenti a Seattle composer. (via email)

Raise the Red Lantern & Mosuo Women – A Meditation on Contrast

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

“Saturated in hothouse colors, the three-act “Lantern” is an intense dance-theater version of the multi-award-winning film by Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “House of Flying Daggers”). The stage version is as lush and fluidly cinematic as Zhang’s — which, ironically, was banned in China when it was released in 1991.” (LA Times)
Raised the Red Lantern

“Raise the Red Lantern is now a “Chinese Ballet making an American premiere this month in Berkeley and will be also at the Orange County Performing Arts Center for six performances beginning Tuesday. (The company then goes to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.)
“Having seen and admired the film of the same name, I have to report that the ballet is entirely different and only the theme of female subjugation remains” (from past review when it showcased in England)

A few days ago BBC had this curious article about Mosuo Women in China – it says ” The Chinese region with women in charge

The two images from BBC.

Now read Mr. Zhang Jia in a comment to the blog Peking Duck referring to this same article.
“A huge fuss is made of the supposedly “matriarchal” Mosuo who live around Lugu Lake. The Mosuo were just one of a whole patchwork of local ethnic groups who had adapted in different ways to their environment. They mingled with Tibetans who practised polyandry [several brothers, one wife] and Han Chinese who still practise polygamy with their Da Laopo and Xiao Laopo. The Mosuo were a lot more than just a matriarchal society: to label them as some unique sexual social group is to misrepresent them as freaks. Unfortunately, they have attracted the attention of prurient tour group visitors who come thinking that they will be able to partake of casual sex in the name of a “walking marriage”.
If you want to read more about the traditional mix of Mongols, Mosuo, Pumi, Naxi and Tibetans in this area, try:
In the Footsteps of Joseph Rock

Edge on Dan Sperber talking about Anthropology.
“Anthropologists started studying themselves and trying to reflect on their own situation. It was a kind of reflective anthropology, which had a number of interesting aspects. I certainly don’t think it was useless although it became a bit obsessive. Parallel to these developments, were the post-structuralist and then post-modernist movements in the humanities and the social sciences, the development of “cultural studies,” and many anthropologists felt at ease in these movements. This produced a new kind of discourse, taking the study of other cultures as much as a pretext as a subject matter to be investigated in a standard scholarly manner. Again, some of the products of this appraoch are of genuine interest, but on the whole more harm has been done than good.”

Paul Malone – Open Studio, Deptford, London

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Shadow Dot Bar
Perspex, spirit dye and aluminium.
100x2x2cms : 2004
Paul Malone
‘Light Ballistic Spectrum’
Perspex and shellac.
100x15x8cms : 2000Ballistics

An email announcement from Paul Malone.
Just to let you know the A.P.T. Artists Open Studios are on this weekend – the 17th and 18th September, 1 – 6 pm.
At 6, Creekside, Deptford, London. SE8

Featured artists are Andy Parsons Chris Marshall Liz Harrison Nicola Rae and Paul Malone

Visit their beautiful website.Splash

“A2 Arts is an independent group of contemporary visual artists, named after the main A2 road in South East London, along which we all live, work and travel.”

Michael Ondaatje – Coming Through Slaughter + Herodotus

Monday, September 12th, 2005

Happy Birthday. Michael Ondaatjie is 62 years old today (Sept 12).

The past is still, for us, a place that is not safely settled – Michael Ondaatje

Michael Ondaatjie Michael Ondaatje
(Photo by Adam Elder via)

One of his beloved books “Coming Through Slaughter” is a fictional story of New Orleans, Louisiana about 1900, very loosely based on the lives of jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden and photographer E. J. Bellocq. Winner of the 1976 Books in Canada First Novel Award.
New Orleans and vicinity at the turn of the century is the setting for the novel. Consider the places where the action occurs: N. Joseph’s Shaving Parlor, the river, Shell Beach, the Brewitts, Webb’s cottage, the streets of Storyville, Bellocq’s studio, Bolden’s home with Nora and the children, the mental hospital.

He has given many interviews but the interview with William Dafoe

Michael became more open and revealing. He said, “I went into a tailspin after The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. I won an award for it in Canada and I went into this hole. So I wrote Coming Through Slaughter, which was a huge fury about fame. It was on a very small scale, but it was big enough. I mean, the thing is to continue to avoid being self-conscious. To write and forget that you wrote other books.”
“I have a tendency to remove more and more in the process of editing. Often I’ll write the first chapter last, because it sets up the story. The last thing I wrote in Coming Through Slaughter was “His geography,” almost like a big landscape shot, with buried clues you can pick up later. ”

On the genesis of plane crash image for English Patient:

“WD: Where did you get the central image of the plane crash, do you even remember?
MO: I just got the image and it was there. The artist, Joseph Beuys, was in a plane crash in the far north, not in the desert, but I already had this image in my head. It was one of those things where I’d heard about Beuys and his obsession with felt and that worked its way in too. That was enough. I didn’t need to know anymore. The medicine man… ”
He then continues to talk about Herodotus, Charles Olson and Robert Creeley.
“MO: I had already read some of him. Then there was a reference to him in one of the explorer’s desert journals; one guy who said, “I was responsible for our library on one of our expeditions. But our library was only one book, Herodotus” And I thought that was great, because he was an historian writing about a place where these guys are many hundreds of years later. The idea of a contemporary history and an ancient history that links up… These explorers in the 1930s were out of time. I love the idea of them checking out sand dune formations. I love historical obsessives. And I kept thinking of writers like Charles Olson and Robert Creeley in some odd way. Creeley in his toughness, brittleness and lovely guarded lyricism was a clue for me about the patient, Almasy. And this wonderful, heroic era of exploration that was then ignored, while the twentieth century became more mercenary or mercantile. Also Herodotus’ sense of history is great because it’s very much based on rumor. “

The End Judges Everything by Herodotus (with original greek text)
The world according to Herodotus
Herodotus’ Histories

Michael O. shares birthday with these two historical figures.
Lorenzo di Medici
9/12/1492 – 5/4/1519
Florentine ruler (1513-9)

Francis I
9/12/1494 – 3/31/1547
French king and patron of the arts and scholarship (1515-47 )

Passion and Heartbeat + D. H. Lawrence

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Frieda Frieda and D.H. Lawrence and Lawrence

Today (Sept 11) was D. H. Lawrence’s birthday.
D.H. Lawrence is an important writer for a great many writers, ask Anais Nin who wrote her first book on Lawrence or Richard Rodriguez (Talking to the Dead: Richard Rodriguez on D.H. Lawrence, Lawrence of Arabia, and Writing as a Conversation with the Past).

“Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and instinctive behaviour.” (from wikipedia).
Poetry, Regeneration, and D.H. Lawrence ( Kenneth Rexroth on DH Lawrence)
” It is never theology in the first; it is never aesthetics or any teachable craft in the second. The craft is the vision and the vision is the craft.”
“All men have to die, and one would think a sane man would want to take that fact into account, at least a little. But our whole civilization is a conspiracy to pretend that it isn’t going to happen — and this, in an age when death has become more horrible, more senseless, less at the will of the individual than ever before. Modern man is terribly afraid of sex, of pain, of evil, of death.” (Kenneth Rexroth)

DHL Shrine Lawrence_Shrine_2004 in Taos
<> <> <> <> LawrenceShrine.Interior.1998
The Shrine of Lawrence in Taos a must visit, Georgia O’Keefe’s painting of tree is there at the tiny hut.

“Women in Love” by Ken Russell and Larry Kramer, a memorable film. (Women in Love on youtube – Alan Bates, Glenda Jackson)
Here is Larry Kramer talking about “Women in Love”.

“Sons and Lovers” Jack Cardiff with Dean Stockwell as Paul Morel.
(Dean Stockwell should come out and talk about this important film.)

“The Kangaroo” Judy Davis and her hasband in Lawrence’ novel about Australia

“The Rainbow” by Ken Russell

“The Fox” by Mark Rydall

“The Priest of Love” a Lawrence biopic, Ian Mckellen plays Lawrence.

Coming Through Helen Mirren plays Frieda and Kenneth Branagh
as Lawrence. (A clip from youtube here)

Yuri Kochiyama

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Yuri Kochiyama
image source

“A story Ms. Kochiyama is often asked to retell is how she first met Malcolm X in Harlem. Ms. Kochiyama had been an admirer of Malcolm X for sometime when she happened to see him walk into a courthouse in Brooklyn, where he was instantly surrounded by people shaking his hand. Ms. Kochiyama was shy at first of approaching him amongst all his African followers, but when he met her eyes she found herself asking if she could shake his hand.
“What for?” Malcolm had asked, almost suspiciously.
When Ms. Kochiyama finally answered, “You’re giving direction [to your people]”, Malcolm strode out of the crowd with a smile, and shook Ms. Kochiyama’s hand.”

Who is Yuri Kochiyama?

“As an Asian among blacks, she was always sensitive of her place, working more as a facilitator and supporter. Her genius was networking, and as many leaders began being arrested in FBI crackdowns, she became the point person for those arrested, as well as those released from prison.” (From here.)
“Asked to name a few of the [prisoners] she writes to, Yuri can’t stop, hoping to get all their names in the paper: Mutulu Shakur, Yu Kikumura, George Baba Eng, Bashir Hameed, Abdul Majid, Oscar Lopez Rivera. …” from Interviw here.

Her new book is out, Yuri Kochiyama, Heartbeat of Struggle

Yuri talks about Malcom X, here.

Another Yuri K. interview On War, Imperialism, Osama bin Laden, And Black-Asian Politics

Integration vs. Separation:
“As long as we don’t know our history and other’s history, there will be no positive interactions or understanding”
– Yuri Kochiyama

  • A film with Angela Davis here ..

  • A Streetcar Named Desire – Love Note to New Orleans

    Thursday, September 8th, 2005

    “Welcome to Johnny White’s, a New Orleans bar that has actually managed to stay open all through the Katrina disaster and has turned into a kind of community center for folks who have refused to leave the city. ” (via Sfgate)

    Bellocq bellocq11

    FIRST 0F ALL, the pictures are unforgettable – photography’s ultimate standard of value. And it’s not hard to see why the trove of glass negatives by a hitherto unknown photographer working in New Orleans in the early years of this century became one of the most admired recoveries in photography’s widening, ever incomplete history. (Susan Sontag on Bellocq )

    13 more photographs by Bellocq from Masters of Photography

    Step inside A Gallery for Fine Photography, located in an historic 19th-century building at 241 Chartres in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
    Bellocq at A Gallery, here.

    Luois Malle and Pretty Baby.
    “Violet (Shields) is the daughter of a prostitute (Susan Sarandon) who works at one of the brothels in New Orleans’ legendary red-light district, Storyville. One day photographer Ernest Bellocq (Keith Carradine) arrives at the brothel to take photos of the prostitutes and becomes fascinated with Violet, who is fast approaching her 12th birthday and a subsequent initiation into prostitution. When her mother moves to St. Louis in search of marriage and respectability, Violet determines to marry the much older Bellocq. Malle infuses the potentially lurid subject matter with a lyrical beauty that brings humanity to his characters and story, with the assistance of a sensitive script by Polly Platt and superb cinematography by Sven Nykvist.”

    Andre Codrescu on Love Note to New Orleans

    The Lady with the Cross from A Gallery of Eccentrics from New Orleans

    My Family Can Help

    World Changing on Katrina home.

    A Street Car Named Desire on Wikipedia

    “A strong, soulful, wicked, frail city” wrote Reed Johnson –
    “After disaster recedes, the rebuilding will begin. Artists and others wonder: What will become of the culture?”

    New Orleans is a ghost town, an occupied city, from Life in the Necropolis.

    Spike Lee is headed to New Orleans to make a documentary examining how race and politics collided in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    The Subject Supposed to Loot and Rape:
    Reality and fantasy in New Orleans by Slavoj Zizek
    “New Orleans is one of those cities within the United States most heavily marked by the internal wall that separates the affluent from ghettoized blacks. And it is about those on the other side of the wall that we fantasize: More and more, they live in another world, in a blank zone that offers itself as a screen for the projection of our fears, anxieties and secret desires.”

    Back to Ephemeral Cities

    Charles Yuen – Honolulu to New York

    Thursday, September 1st, 2005

    Charles Yuen

    Big Oil Small Mountains
    Big OIl Small Mountains

    Sky Grid
    Charles sky grid

    Pay attention to titles like “The World Trouser Center”, “Life Along Denial” “Oil Brain’ , Charles Yuen goes straight to the great crisis our world faces today. Will Condi Rice buy his “Ribbon on Her Shoes” or
    better yet commission Charles to paint the shoes she bought at Ferragamo?

    New Primitive paintings by Charles Yuen in “Psychographic” mine the subconscious in dreamlike imagery, (a review by Rachel Youen)

    Charles Yuen at The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii entitled “Honolulu to New York”
    May 13 – Sept. 27 2005