Under the edge of february in hawk of a throat hidden by ravines of sweet oil by temples of switchblades beautiful in its sound of fertility beautiful in its turban of funeral crepe beautiful in its camouflage of grief in its solitude of bruises in its arson of alert
Who will enter its beautiful calligraphy of blood
Its beautiful mask of fish net mask of hubcaps mask of ice picks mask of watermelon rinds mask of umbilical cords changing into a mask of rubber bands Who will enter this beautiful beautiful mask of punctured bladders moving with a mask of chapsticks
Compound of Hearts Compound of Hearts
Where is the lucky number for this shy love this top-heavy beauty bathed with charcoal water self-conscious against a mosaic of broken bottles broken locks broken pipes broken bloods of broken spirits broken through like broken promises
Landlords Junkies Thieves enthroning themselves in you they burn up couches they burn down houses and infuse themselves against memory every thought a pavement of old belts every performance a ceremonial pickup how many more orphans how many more neglected shrines how many stolen feet stolen fingers stolen watchbands of death in you how many times
hidden by ravines of sweet oil by temples of switchblades beautiful in your sound of fertility beautiful in your turban of funeral crepe beautiful in your camouflage of grief in your solitude of bruises in your arson of alert beautiful
Via Pop Matters: "Every short film, documentary and home movie here tells you something about this indefatigable dynamo and largely overlooked artist. The folks at Milestone have been industriously restoring and packaging the output of Shirley Clarke. Their operating theory, aside from loving her work, is that its unavailability has been responsible for eclipsing one of America’s most important filmmakers and for many years its most visible woman director. After releasing The Connection followed by Portrait of Jason and Ornette: Made in America, they’ve packaged a head-spinning three-disc set of shorts called The Magic Box, available on DVD or Blu-ray."
The list is the work of the celebrated artist and educator Sister Corita Kent and was created as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968.
At a time when pop art was finding its footing and the nation was in a state of upheaval, Sister Corita helped make art more accessible to the public.
Love is hard work December 30th, 2022
Via The Marginalian: "Buried in various corners of the web is a beautiful and poignant list titled Some Rules for Students and Teachers, attributed to John Cage. The list, however, is the work of the celebrated artist and educator Sister Corita Kent and was created as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968. It was subsequently appropriated as the official art department rules at the college of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent, her alma mater, but was commonly popularized by Cage, whom the tenth rule cites directly. Legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham, Cage’s longtime partner and the love of his life, kept a copy of it in the studio where his company rehearsed until his death. It appears in Stewart Brand’s cult-classic Essential Whole Earth Catalog, published in 1986, the year Kent passed away. The list, which can be found in Sister Corita’s Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit (public library), touches on a number of previously discussed themes and materials, including Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments of teaching, the importance of embracing uncertainty, the pivotal role of work ethic, the intricate osmosis between intuition and intellect, and the crucial habit of being fully awake to everything."
Via Corita Art Center: "Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching and then heading the art department at Immaculate Heart College. During the course of her career, her artwork evolved from using figurative and religious imagery to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and social injustice. In 1968, she left the order and moved to Boston. After 1970, her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions. [...]
1985: Corita was asked to design a postage stamp in 1983. After several years in limbo, the design is issued. The unveiling takes place on the Love Boat. Furious, Corita refuses to attend saying that was not the kind of love she meant. She had wanted the stamp to be unveiled at the United Nations. In response she makes the work Love is hard work."
Via Wikipedia: "Between 1938 and 1968 Kent lived and worked in the Immaculate Heart Community. She taught in the Immaculate Heart College and became the chair of its art department in 1964. Her classes at Immaculate Heart were an avant-garde mecca for prominent, ground-breaking artists and inventors, such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Cage, Saul Bass, Buckminster Fuller and Charles & Ray Eames. Kent credited Charles Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and art historian Dr. Alois Schardt for their important roles in her intellectual and artistic growth. By the early 1950s, she had such a unique and well-known aesthetic and teaching style that clergy members from all over the country were sent to be educated at Immaculate Heart College. Her students were drawn to her selflessness and unique teaching methods such as large class assignments like asking students to create 200 drawings or take three hours to draw their arm without looking at what they were creating."
Via Macro - Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome: "After taking a degree in Philosophy, she worked with her father in various contexts: she assisted him in the making of the frescos at Palazzo del Bo in Padua (1940), played an active role on the editorial staff of the magazine Stile published by Garzanti (1941-1946), and was an editor-in-chief inside Domus (1940-1979), then specifically editing the magazine’s art coverage until 1986. [...]
Lisa Ponti began drawing while she was still working with Domus, but her first solo exhibition came only at age 70, in 1992, at the gallery of Franco Toselli in Milan. The child-like character of her imagery and her touch like sudden lightning fill sheets of paper in one format only: A4. 'Within the standard the minimum reduces immensity to distance between signs' Like apparitions, the words and text graphically and ironically contribute, performing together with the rapid gesture that outlines the profile of cherub-like characters, figures of fantasy but also companions of hopes and turbulence. The duel between drawing and watercolours on the white page is enhanced by many other ways of narrating, thanks to the use of a range of materials and tools: newspaper pages and personal photographs with which to produce collages, markers and paintbrushes, cotton and wadding, stickers that dot or sketch forms on paper surfaces. For the artist, drawing is an intimate location, a moment in which to stake out and claim a private space of abandon. The A4 format is a limit to overcome through a mark that takes flight and compresses the dream or apparition into an instant."
From Lisa Ponti and Franco Toselli in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist: "Hans Ulrich Obrist: Why should we be optimistic today in this world?' Lisa Ponti: Because it’s not up to us! I’ve had a lot of surprises from the world, simply with optimism, without having made an effort. Making an effort is of no help at all; in fact it’s a bit depressing. Once you have found the right path, things then come along, one at a time, and so I took advantage. [...] Hans Ulrich Obrist: What advice would you give to a young artist? Lisa Ponto: Try all the paths, to try them all out! That’s the way to learn, by making mistakes! For example I learned from Sottsass about the color pink. In Milan, the custom is for rooms to be white, and then inside the rooms there are colorful objects and furniture. But from Sottsass, whom I visited a great deal because he collaborated on Domus, I learned the pink backdrop—the pink backdrop, with a few dashes of other colors. Sottsass came from Turin, which was outside this Milanese business according to which the house has to be a blank page punctuated with one, two, three, four, five objects. And so I painted my home in via Randaccio all pink! Even though pink was somewhat frowned upon then."
Thanks to Edda Charlie Eckardt!
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Daisies (Czech: Sedmikrásky) is a 1966 Czechoslovakian surrealist comedy-drama film written and directed by Věra Chytilová.
An overheated kettle that you can’t turn down September 17, 2022
Via Wikipedia: "Chytilová described herself as a control freak and, 'An overheated kettle that you can’t turn down'. Chytilová's overheated attitude made it difficult for her to gain work within the Soviet Union controlled film industry. She was known as being actively critical of the Soviet Union, stating that 'My critique is in the context of the moral principles you preach, isn’t it? A critical reflection is necessary'. She would routinely cause havoc and hysterical scenes to attempt to make films that were loyal to her vision regardless of the heavy censorship that was routinely imposed.
Chytilová embodied a unique cinematographic language and style that does not rely on any literary or verbal conventions, but rather utilizes various forms of visual manipulations to create meaning within her films. Chytilová used observations of everyday life in accordance with allegories and surreal contexts to create a personalized film style that is greatly influenced by the French New Wave, and Italian neorealism.
Chytilová actively used a filmic style similar to cinéma vérité in order to allow the audience to gain an outside perspective of the film. Her use of cinéma vérité is best illustrated in her 1966 film, Daisies, in which these techniques create a “philosophical documentary, of diverting the spectator from the involvement, destroying psychology and accentuates the humor”. Through these manipulations Chytilová created a disjunctive viewing experience for her audience forcing them to question the meaning of her films."
Via Criterion about Daisies ( Czechoslovakia, 1966, 76 minutes, Color): "If the entire world is bad, why shouldn’t we be? Adopting this insolent attitude as their guiding philosophy, a pair of hedonistic young women (Ivana Karbanová and Jitka Cerhová), both named Marie, embark on a gleefully debauched odyssey of gluttony, giddy destruction, and antipatriarchal resistance, in which nothing is safe from their nihilistic pursuit of pleasure. But what happens when the fun is over? Matching her anarchic message with an equally radical aesthetic, director Věra Chytilová, with the close collaboration of cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, unleashes an optical storm of fluctuating film stocks, kaleidoscopic montages, cartoonish stop-motion cutouts, and surreal costumes designed by Ester Krumbachová, who also cowrote the script. The result is Daisies, the most defiant provocation of the Czechoslovak New Wave, an exuberant call to rebellion aimed squarely at those who uphold authoritarian oppression in any form."
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Written and presented by Max Tobin.
Death is a trip
Farewell, Julee Cruise June 9th, 2022
Today the beautiful, fabulous, highly intelligent, courageous, and incredibly creative Julee Cruise passed on. Her husband said that she "left this realm on her own terms. No regrets. She is at peace [...] I played her [The B-52's song] Roam during her transition. Now she will roam forever. Rest In Peace, my love." I had the great pleasure meeting Julee Cruise several times, in New York and in Cologne while she was working on two Pluramon albums with composer Marcus Schmickler. Every conversation with her was deep and light at the same time, and wherever she went she worked her program. Julee continues to be a huge inspiration for me. She was a giant.
Via aoen: "Over the past several decades, scientists have began to better understand dying as a biological process – whether it happens over the course of weeks or appears to occur in an instant. In this short video, the UK filmmaker and presenter Max Tobin deploys a heavy dose of gallows humour to investigate a groundbreaking series of studies that may offer hints at what the stage between clinical death (cessation of vital functions) and brain death (cessation of brain activity) actually feels like. In particular, he looks at the biological and experiential similarities between near-death experiences and taking the hallucinogenic drug DMT, in discussion with Chris Timmermann of the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, who led the research."
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Marcel Dzama made some new large drawings that he is showing in Miami at David Zwirner & Sie & Höke Gallery at Art Basel Miami.
"0-7 age of the body and dreaming/socialization, yet retaining imagination 7-14 age of separating yet weaving together reason and the imaginal 14-21 age of new body/young maidenhood/unfurling yet protecting sensuality 21-28 age of new world/new life/exploring the worlds 28-35 age of the mother/learning to mother others and self 35-42 age of the seeker/learning to mother self-seeking the self 42-49 age of early crone/finding the far encampment/giving courage to others 49-56 age of the underworld/learning the words and rites 56-63 age of choice/choosing one's world and the work yet to be done 63-70 age of becoming watchwoman/recasting all one has learned 70-77 age of re-youthanization/more cronedom 77-84 age of the mist beings/finding more big in the small 84-91 age of weaving with the scarlet thread/understanding the weaving of life 91-98 age of the ethereal/less to saying, more to being 98-105 age of pneuma, the breath 105+ age of timelessness"
Via Plum Village: "With a deep mindful breath, we announce our beloved teacher Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh has passed away peacefully on 22nd January, 2022."
"We are a wave appearing on the surface of the ocean. The body of a wave does not last very long – perhaps only ten to twenty seconds. The wave is subject to beginning and ending, to going up and coming down. The wave may be caught in the idea that I am here now and I won’t be here later. And the wave may feel afraid or even angry. But the wave also has her ocean body. She has come from the ocean, and she will go back to the ocean. She has both her wave body and her ocean body. She is not only a wave; she is also the ocean. The wave does not need to look for a separate ocean body, because she is in this very moment both her wave body and her ocean body. As soon as the wave can go back to herself and touch her true nature, which is water, then all fear and anxiety disappear." –Thích Nhất Hạnh
Via The New York Times: "Thich Nhat Hanh dismissed the idea of death. 'Birth and death are only notions,' he wrote in his book No Death, No Fear. 'They are not real.' He added: 'The Buddha taught that there is no birth; there is no death; there is no coming; there is no going; there is no same; there is no different; there is no permanent self; there is no annihilation. We only think there is.' That understanding, he wrote, can liberate people from fear and allow them to 'enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way.'
Kirtan: Turiya Sings by Alice Coltrane September 9th, 2021
Via Pitchfork: "Turiya Sings was the first album she made alone. Having left the commercial music industry behind, she released these uncanny compositions based on Hindu devotionals, or bhajans, on cassette through her Vedantic Center’s publishing imprint, Avatar Book Institute. Luxuriating in every prayerful syllable, naming deities like Krishna and Ramachandra, Coltrane made a small number of the tapes available to her students and Vedantic Center visitors. Though she used relatively spare components—the subtitle of the original album cover read, 'Devotional Songs in Original Composition with Organ, Strings and Synthesizer'—they contain an unusual, self-contained grandeur. In the aching shimmer of these hymns, which evoke both South Indian classical music and the Black church, you can hear Coltrane’s life coursing through: her journey from gospel accompanist to jazz prodigy, the drama of the European classical music she loved, the soulful melodies of her Detroit youth, grief and exaltation. Yet the power of this music is elemental. The tone of the original Turiya Sings is as certain and spectral as anything associated with the Coltrane name. Her voice hovers distantly above the mix as if she’s floating, or astral projecting—which she wrote about extensively in Monument Eternal—like a woman actively inhabiting a higher dimension.
The recordings of Coltrane’s ashram period have taken on a mythical status in her catalog over the past decade, particularly Turiya Sings, which has circulated online and on bootleg cassettes, never officially re-released. The 2017 Luaka Bop compilation of Coltrane’s ecstatic music included no tracks from Turiya Sings. If there is reluctance to make those particular recordings commercially available, it’s understandable: The music emerged at the very moment Coltrane was trying to divorce herself from the material world. On a more technical level, according to a label representative, the original Turiya Sings remains formally unreleased because the Coltrane family has never found its master synthesizer recordings.
What Coltrane’s son Ravi did find—around the time of his mother’s final album, 2004’s miraculous Translinear Light—were 1981 recordings she made of Turiya Sings featuring only her voice and Wurlitzer electric organ, an instrument that she once said came to her in a divine vision. ('In one meditation… the precise instrument I should get was revealed to me,' she said in an interview. 'I didn’t need to do any research; it was just conveyed to me.') These pared-back tracks of Coltrane’s most minimal music are now released as Kirtan: Turiya Sings, like seeds of the cassette that also, in some sense, expand it. As Ravi Coltrane writes in a producer’s note, this is 'functional music,' meant to guide the practice of chanting: creating vibrations inside of oneself in order to transcend, like embodied meditations. During a call-and-response kirtan performance, the leader sings devotionals, typically with a harmonium pump organ, and the audience joins in collectively. Despite the surge of interest in kirtan in the U.S. in the 1990s—and Coltrane’s groundbreaking fusion of gospel and jazz elements into the form—her spiritual music remained little known in the U.S., as scholar Franya J. Berkman notes in her 2010 Coltrane biography, in considerable part because she didn’t perform it outside of her ashram.
Where before, the stately music of Turiya Sings had evoked celestial bodies, inquisitive synth lines whirring as if in accordance with their own cosmology, now there’s the tactility of earthly reality. The click of the organ on Jagadishwar makes its soul-stirring melody—which Coltrane reimagined unmistakably on Translinear Light as well—feel newly intimate, and she enunciates each word with enlightened precision. It puts you in the room, into electric air. By this point, Coltrane had been playing the Wurlitzer for a decade, having first used it on 1971’s mind-bending galactic trip Universal Consciousness. Her subtle flourishes of extra notes make the compositions bloom and groove anew. Her mystic organ lines seem attuned to the drone of the universe. [...]
Listening to the Kirtan: Turiya Sings recordings feels less like discovering a hissy cassette lost in time than what it must have been like to experience Coltrane leading the songs at one of her legendary Sunday services."
Also, check out this 16mm color film print. A "short documentary made for a segment of National Education Television's Black Journal television program. The segment focuses on the life of Alice Coltrane and her children in the wake of the death of her husband, famed jazz magician John Coltrane. This film was shot sometime during 1970; three years after the death of John Coltrane."
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Can't Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World is a six-part BBC documentary television series created by Adam Curtis. It was released on BBC iPlayer on 11 February 2021.
Can't Get You Out of My Head
An Emotional History of the Modern World by Adam Curtis February 13th, 2021
Via The Guardian: "Examining the power structures and political intrigue that have shaped our world, the filmmaker’s new BBC documentary series is a dense, ambitious triumph. [...]
The power dynamic, how it shifts, how it hides and how it is used to shape our world – the world in which we ordinary people must live – is Curtis’s great interest. He ranges from the literal rewriting of history by Chairman Mao’s formidable fourth wife, Jiang Qing, during the Cultural Revolution to the psychologists plumbing the depths of “the self” and trying to impose behaviours on drugged and electro-shocked subjects. He moves from the infiltration of the Black Panthers by undercover officers inciting and facilitating more violence than the movement had ever planned or been able to carry out alone, to the death of paternalism in industry and its replacement by official legislation drafted by those with hidden and vested interests. The idea that we are indeed living, as posited by various figures in the author’s landscape and (we infer from the whole) the author himself, in a world made up of strata of artifice laid down by those more or less malevolently in charge becomes increasingly persuasive.
Whether you are convinced or not by the working hypothesis, Can’t Get You Out of My Head is a rush. It is vanishingly rare to be confronted by work so dense, so widely searching and ambitious in scope, so intelligent and respectful of the audience’s intelligence, too. It is rare, also, to watch a project over which one person has evidently been given complete creative freedom and control without any sense of self-indulgence creeping in. It is always exciting to be in receipt of the product of a single vision. Not quite singular, perhaps: I suspect a lot of men born, like Curtis, in the 1950s, harbour many of the same concerns and would make a lot of the same arguments, although most would lack the ability to enshrine them so accessibly or attractively. But nevertheless, a triumph. For Curtis, of course, but also for publicly funded broadcasting. No commercial channel would have touched this thing. Unless, of course, that’s just what Auntie wants us to think."