Archive for August, 2013

Seamus Heaney – Death of a Naturalist

Saturday, August 31st, 2013


Seamus Heany, Irish Poet of Soil and Strife —Acclaimed Irish Poet dies at 74.

“His last few words in a text message minutes before he passed away in his favourite Latin were ‘noli timere’ (‘don’t be afraid’),” he said.
Over the weekend, tributes continued to pour in from across the world to Mr Heaney, who has been hailed as the greatest poet Ireland has produced since William Butler Yeats.
Writer Colm Tóibín said Mr Heaney was not merely a central figure in the literary life of Ireland, but in its emotional life, in its dream life and in its real life. (via)

  • Paris Review

  • Czeslaw Milosz and Seamus Heaney

  • (repost) Making Sense of Life.

    Poetry Foundation

    Heaney was especially moved by artists who created poetry out of their local and native backgrounds—authors such as Ted Hughes, Patrick Kavanagh, and Robert Frost. Recalling his time in Belfast, Heaney once noted: “I learned that my local County Derry [childhood] experience, which I had considered archaic and irrelevant to ‘the modern world’ was to be trusted. They taught me that trust and helped me to articulate it.” (Poetry Foundation)

    Three Oracles and Three Sculptures – Snake or Spoon

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

  • Two Sculptures by Fung Lin Hall – 1999

  • 1) Love Enters the room disguised as a spoon
    from “Valentine” by Joni Wallace

    2) No longer shall the grasses weave quilts for our revenge
    of lying down on, or a faint breeze stir milady’s bangs.

    from “On Seeing an Old Copy of Vogue on a Chair” by John Ashbery

    3) The past does not return, nor do past loves.
    Under the Pont Mirabeau flows the Seine.
    By Guillaume Apollinaire

    Divination through literatue (Ask the Oracle)

  • Sculptures by Fung Lin Hall – 1999

  • Guillaume Apollinaire – (Apollinaire’s Letters to Madeleine – previous post)

    John Ashbery -( Where is Rimbaud – previous post)

    Elmore Leonard – The Dickens of Detroit

    Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

    R.I.P Elmore Leonard

    Elmore passed away this morning at 7:15 AM at home surrounded by his loving family.

    Early Calling

    Leonard, nicknamed “Dutch”, became interested in writing at the age of 10 after reading All Quiet on the Western Front and spent much of his time in high school pouring through novels. After graduating in 1943, he joined the navy, where he served in the South Pacific with a Seabee unit. After three years of service, Leonard attended the University of Detroit, where he studied English and philosophy.

  • Writing Cinematically (youtube)

  • (Time obit)

    Then Quentin Tarantino took a turn with “Rum Punch,” turning it into “Jackie Brown,” a campy, Blaxploitation-style film starring Pam Grier. But Steven Soderbergh stayed faithful to Leonard’s story and dialogue with “Out of Sight.”

    Elmore Leonard actually liked Tarantino’s Jacky Brown. See the video here..via the article by the Atlantic.

  • Elmore Leonard Discusses His Career and New Novel
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Poets, Teacher Man & Orientalist

    Monday, August 19th, 2013

    Speak Low wiki

    Lyrics by Ogden Nash (Aug 19 birthday) Music by Kurt Weil
    The opening line is a (slight mis)quotation from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (1600), where it is spoken by Don Pedro.

    Frank McCourt – the Teacher Man
    (August 19, 1930 born in Brooklyn -Limerick childhood came later. )

    “Your mind is a treasure house that you should stock well and it’s the one part of you the world can’t interfere with.”
    ― Frank McCourt, ‘Tis

    Happy birthday Li young Lee <> <>
    Poet’s father was Mao’s physician. (See Station – a great video)

    Arthur Waley-the Orientalist

    Waley (Chinese: 衛利- 19 August 1889 ) was an English orientalist and sinologist. Translated Tao Te Ching. The I Ching..

  • Alain Robbe Grillet anti-roman author (Aug 19 birthday) directed Trans Europe Express (a stylish film – see on youtube)

  • R.I.P John Hollander Poet known for his range dies at 83

    John Hollander, Poet at Ease With Intellectualism and Wit, Dies at 83

    “His mind was singularly capacious, filled with baseball statistics, detective novels, mathematical formulas, vintage wines, German hymns, you name it,” Mr. McClatchy wrote. “It is said of a man like John Hollander that when he dies it is like the burning of the library at Alexandria.

    R.I.P Jacques Vergès – An Anti Colonialist Who Defended War Criminals

    Saturday, August 17th, 2013

    The lawyer who defended Klaus Barbie, Pol Pot, Slobodan Milosevic, among others has died. (the Guardian)

    NY times obit

    “The ideal place for the last theatrical act that was the death of this born actor who, like Voltaire, cultivated the art of permanent revolt and volte-face,” the statement said, reflecting the lawyer’s reputation for asking disturbing questions on behalf of notorious clients.

    Barbet Schroeder and Jacques Vergès

    “He’s a slippery man,” the director Barbet Schroeder, who made “Terror’s Advocate,” a 2007 documentary on Mr. Vergès and terrorism as a political weapon, told The New York Times in 2007. “You can never touch him. He loves the mystery. The reason is that there are certain things he cannot talk about. He would be in deep trouble if the truth came out.”

    I was using Vergès as a way to tell the history of terrorism, using him to lead us into the world of terrorism. It all started with the war in Algiers. It ended with the two towers in New York. But it didn’t end with the two towers, unfortunately. Never before Algiers did you have blind terrorism attacking people in cafes who were guilty of being part of a race or group. The Palestinians after that took their lead from the Algerians. This was the story of the film, to see how terrorism evolved from the very beginning, when it was more beautiful and heroic and got corrupted rapidly

  • Algerian Day algerianday
    Celebration of “Algerian Day”, carrying the portrait of Djamila Bouhired.
    He had a life long sexual attraction to terrorist women (read previous post)

    Terror’s Advocate (Previous post)

  • Vergès with Brando’s daughter?

  • Look Now – The Significance of Nicolas Roeg

    Thursday, August 15th, 2013

  • Man Who Fell to Earth’ director Nicolas Roeg on sci-fi without ‘buzzes, beeps and bullets’

  • The World is Ever Changing: Nicolas Roeg on Film-making (youtube)

  • Nicolas Roeg began as a cameraman, working for such masters as Francois Truffaut and David Lean. His explosive debut as a director with Performance established an approach to film-making that was unconventional and ever-changing, creating works such as Don’t Look Now, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bad Timing, Insignificance, and, more recently, Puffball.

    Happy birthday Nicolas Roeg

    Nicolas Roeg: ‘I don’t want to be ahead of my time’
    Once audiences make sense of his work, Nicolas Roeg has usually moved on. As the film world rushes to canonize him, he tells Ryan Gilbey about the curse of bad timing

    “I’m doing installation pieces and I don’t even want to be credited.” Roeg said.

    D. S in Venice

    Don’t Look Now – based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier.

    Julie Christie

  • Don’t Look Now – a review + interviews here.

  • In all of his films Nicolas Roeg shows what happens when characters from different cultures intersect. From Performance (gangster meets rock star) to Walkabout (abandoned white children saved by Aborigine on his walkabout) to The Man Who Fell to Earth (alien crashing on Earth needs to return to his home planet) this intersection forms the core dramatic element of his films.

    Rainbow Trouts, Jackson Pollock and Birds

    Sunday, August 11th, 2013
  • Rainbow Trouts in action –

    Model from Arizona Fishery

    Jackson Pollock died on Aug 11 1956.

    Make your Jackson Pollack.. designed by Miltos Manetas..

  • The Birds

    Photos by Fung Lin Hall

    Viva Zapata, Kazan, Steinbeck, Brando & Soldaderas

    Thursday, August 8th, 2013

    Emiliano Zapata – 8/8/1879 – 4/10/1919 –

    “It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.” Emiliano Zapata

    Click to see large (Diego Rivera)

    Marlon as Zapata (10 seconds Zapata on youtube)

    Fake Latino

    Marlon Brando played Emiliano Zapata in the award-winning movie based on his life, Viva Zapata! in 1952. The film co-starred Anthony Quinn, who won best supporting actor. The director was Elia Kazan and the writer was John Steinbeck.


  • Soldaderas photos (very interesting)

    Zapata’s army was unique in that he allowed women to join the ranks and serve as combatants.[8] Although other revolutionary armies had many women followers, in general they did not fight (although there were exceptions).[8] Only in Zapata’s army were there large numbers of women combatants:[8] some were even officers.[8] Some modern Mexican feminists point to the historical importance of these soldaderas as a milestone in women’s rights. Emiliano Zapata-wiki

    Calpuleque (náhuatl)” – leader, chief
    “El Tigre del Sur” – Tiger of the South
    “El Tigre” – The Tiger
    “El Tigrillo” – Little Tiger
    “El Caudillo del Sur” – Caudillo of the South
    “El Atila del Sur” – The Attila of the South

    R.I.P Ruth Asawa – Art/Activism from Black Mountain College to San Francisco

    Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

    Ruth Asawa died at age of 87

    Ruth Asawa, one of California’s most admired sculptors and the first Asian American woman in the nation to achieve recognition in a male-dominated discipline, died Monday night. She was 87.
    Ms. Asawa’s name perhaps will serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving artwork. This year, a proposed Apple store threatened her early 1970s “Hyatt Fountain on Union Square,” on steps between the Hyatt Hotel and the adjacent Levi’s outlet.
    After furious public protest, the city rejected Apple’s plans and told the company to redo them to ensure that the fountain sculpture survives.

    Ruth Asawa: Objects & Apparitions (youtube)

    Ruth Asawa’s Faces on the wall

    Asawa with kids

    Because of anti-Japanese prejudice, Ms.A sawa was unable to obtain mandatory teaching credentials. She instead entered Black Mountain College in North Carolina, an educational experiment that in its brief life span became a hotbed of artistic innovation. It attracted future luminaries such as Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Franz Kline, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson and Bauhaus exile Josef Albers who, improbably, acted as Ms. Asawa’s mentor.

    Ms. Asawa left Black Mountain after three years, emboldened to devote her life to art. She had met there, and soon married, architect and designer Albert Lanier (1927-2008), with whom she had six children.

    Ms. Asawa’s other notable public work includes the Japanese-American Internment Memorial in San Jose and the Andrea Mermain Fountain in San Francisco. In addition, the de Young Museum, which honored Ms. Asawa with a career retrospective in 2006-07, has dedicated the ground floor lobby area of its tower to ongoing display of her work.

  • View a gallery of Interment photos

  • Chair drawing by Ruth Osawa

    Portrait of Ruth Asawa by Immogen Cunningham..

    Update: now that she is dead.. she gets rare Solo show in NY.

    Hiroshima & Fukushima – 2013

    Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

    Bombhead bruceconner by Bruce Conner 1933 – 2008 (scroll down)

    MoMa Collection
    Title: Christian with Keloidal Scars – Photograph by Shomei Tomatsu

  • Hiroshima Mon Amour Alain Resnais, Emmanuelle Riva, Eigi Okada.. soundtrack by George Delerue
    Full film Hiroshima Mon Amour

  • Bei Dao -An August Sleepwalker Answers

    Friday, August 2nd, 2013
  • Bei Dao (Poetry Foundation)

    Bei Dao is the nom de plume of Zhao Zhenkai, widely considered one of China’s most important contemporary authors. His poems have been translated into more than 30 languages. In English he is represented by numerous collections of poetry, fiction, and essays, including The August Sleepwalker, Old Snow, Unlock, Landscape over Zero, Midnight’s Gate, and Waves, which have been internationally acclaimed for their subtlety, innovation, and eloquence.

    Each Language Keeps the Secret Code of a Culture – Stanford edu

    In an early poem, Bei Dao wrote, “freedom is nothing but the distance/between the hunter and the hunted.”
    All too true, as he soon found out.
    Protesters once shouted his poems in Tiananmen Square, and after his exile (he had been in Berlin during the 1989 uprising),

    Photo of Bei Dao via
    Happy birthday Bei Dao.

    The poetry of Bei Dao, great page for Chinese language student

  • The Answer
    By Bei Dao

    Translated By Bonnie S. McDougall

    Debasement is the password of the base,
    Nobility the epitaph of the noble.
    See how the gilded sky is covered
    With the drifting twisted shadows of the dead.

    The Ice Age is over now,
    Why is there ice everywhere?
    The Cape of Good Hope has been discovered,
    Why do a thousand sails contest the Dead Sea?

    I came into this world
    Bringing only paper, rope, a shadow,
    To proclaim before the judgment
    The voice that has been judged:

    Let me tell you, world,
    If a thousand challengers lie beneath your feet,
    Count me as number thousand and one.

    I don’t believe the sky is blue;
    I don’t believe in thunder’s echoes;
    I don’t believe that dreams are false;
    I don’t believe that death has no revenge.

    If the sea is destined to breach the dikes
    Let all the brackish water pour into my heart;
    If the land is destined to rise
    Let humanity choose a peak for existence again.

    A new conjunction and glimmering stars
    Adorn the unobstructed sky now;
    They are the pictographs from five thousand years.
    They are the watchful eyes of future generations.

  • Bei Dao returns to China (published Jan 8, 2013 – Chinese only)

    Adios Leon Ferrari – Controversial Argentinian Artist

    Thursday, August 1st, 2013

    León Ferrari 1920-2013, Argentina Sicardi Gallery

    image via

    Controversial Argentinian artist Leon Ferrari has died

    The controversial conceptual artist León Ferrari, whose work famously upset the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now Pope Francis, due to its anti-clerical message, worked in many media, including wood, wire, concrete and collage. Born in Buenos Aires in 1920, Ferrari began his career as an engineer. He became one of Argentina’s best-known artists for work that often combined religious iconography with erotic and violent imagery that called attention to abuses of power, not least by the Catholic Church.

  • Previous post – Latin American artists Chaos the Space Between.