Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The courtship of Miles Standish, and other poems

“...for it is the fate of a woman
Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that is speechless,
Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its silence.
Hence is the inner life of so many suffering women
Sunless and silent and deep, like subterranean rivers
Runnng through caverns of darkness...”

Look at the Pictures

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mary Shelley: A Biography

The Pop-Culture Evolution of Frankenstein’s Monster

...The nuances of Shelley’s novel were largely shed in the formation of that myth. Victor Frankenstein, the complex, tortured genius, became a mad scientist; his creature went from a French-speaking, poetry-reading autodidact to a grunting, groaning killer. Through prints, paintings, ephemera and photography, Frayling traces the creature’s visual evolution. In Richard Brinsley Peake’s 1823 play “Presumption, or the Fate of Frankenstein,” the first stage production of the novel, the monster appears as an unwieldy, but not unattractive, muscle-bound giant in a toga. Political cartoonists simplified the monster to caricature perceived social threats (“The Irish Frankenstein” became a popular motif). By the time Boris Karloff appeared onscreen in 1931, the monster had become a heavy-lidded, bolt-necked brute...
NYTIMES link here.
chard Wynn Keene of the actor O. Smith as the Monster in the first revival of “Presumption!” or the Fate of Frankenstein, at the English Opera House, Lyceum, in summer 1828. Courtesy of Jennie Bissett.CreditFrom “Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years”

Milton Nascimento & Lô Borges ‎– Clube Da Esquina (1972)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Martha Rosler

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why Frankenstien

The artist Alex Da Corte in his 2017 work “Slow Graffiti.” CreditAlex Da Corte, “Slow Graffiti,” (still), 2017. Video: 12’33

...If vampires occupy a magical role in the erotic life of adolescents as cultivated loners (consider Robert Pattinson in the “Twilight” saga, 2008-12, or everybody in “Only Lovers Left Alive,” 2013), Frankenstein’s Monster is their nightmarish queer counterpart. He’s a misfit child spurned by his father who grows up to be a sensitive oddity, too strange to be accepted by society or reproduce naturally and forced to seek refuge in seclusion. The artist Richard Hawkins, whose oeuvre could be understood as a complex wrestling match with the meanings of the Monster, and who has painted stitched-together creatures alongside lusty young men, wisely pinpointed the reasons for this queer sympathy as well as whatever divides the zombie from the vampire in a 2009 interview in the book “Of Two Minds, Simultaneously.” As a child he fell for Frankenstein‘s Monster “because he’s clumsy, shy and misunderstood; Dracula because he’s dandyish, nocturnal and misunderstood.”
Full story in NYTIMES here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Yama no sachi.


From a book consisting mainly, but not entirely, of plant and insect illustrations. Japan. 1765.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Nikos Tranos crush... Documenta 14

I love and hate that I just found this artist and this work.

Wings of Desire

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tarnation

Monday, September 4, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

RUTH GORDON: ON ASSHOLES

1984
Oh, there are a lot of lousy people in the world. Also, a lot of terrific people. You've gotta remember that, and you've got to move in the right circles. I have days where I just want everyone to go fuck themselves or walk off a cliff, but I only say that to myself, and I smile and I walk home and I have some tea, I talk to Garson [Kanin, her husband], I might take a nap. Then I wake up and I write, and in writing, I wipe away all the unpleasantness of the day, of the people, of the city, whatever. We have it in our power to overcome assholes, and I think we have them thrown into our path to see if we have the chops to handle them.
Handle them.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gertrud Vasegaard

In search of beauty today.

The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded: Poems

Molly McCully Brown’s first book of poems, “The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded,” is part history lesson, part séance, part ode to dread. It arrives as if clutching a spray of dead flowers. It is beautiful and devastating. 

The title refers to an actual place. The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded was a government-run residential hospital in Amherst County, Va. It opened in 1910.
Its doctors were eugenicists. From the mid-1920s through the mid-1950s, thousands of patients, seen as defectives and moral nonentities, were sterilized without their consent. For many if not most of its residents, it was a house of horrors.
NYtimes article.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Favorite Pina Bausch scene

Ana Mendieta

Bird Transformation (1972) maps a transition from human to animal as Mendieta dresses the naked woman in feathers and thus transforms her into a bird-woman. Bird Transformation precedes and heralds Mendieta’s canonized Silueta series, which she began in Mexico in 1973, all of which show the artist’s silhouette in different landscapes, formed of various natural materials such as stones, twigs, driftwood and flowers.
Mendieta’s works revolve around themes like beauty, belonging, gender roles, female sexuality and men’s sexual oppression of women. Her work is associated with feminist performance pioneers in the USA, but her use of popular traditions and occult rituals, from among other places sources the Cuba from which she fled as a child, make her a loner.  Louisiana Museum of Art

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

pina bausch


Haruo Nakajima dies at 88

“One might regard him as a symbol of Japanese hate for the destruction that came out of nowhere and descended upon Hiroshima one pleasant August morn,” The New York Times wrote of the monster in a 1956 review of “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” the English-dubbed version of the film released in North America. “But we assure you that the quality of the picture and the childishness of the whole idea do not indicate such a calculation. Godzilla was simply meant to scare people.” NYTIMES


Monday, July 31, 2017

Teen Vogue

Teen Vogue is stepping up with great articles and politics. Here is one example.

OG History is a Teen Vogue series where we unearth history nottold through a white, cisheteropatriarchal lens.
As the transgender community continues to fight for civil rights in the U.S., one of the most common arguments against progress is that transgender people are a recent phenomenon. Some regard trans people as a symptom of the postmodern condition, or identity politics on steroids. Many claim that the struggle for transgender rights is difficult because the concept is still new to many Americans. Full article here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Let America be America Again- Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

Monday, April 3, 2017

me

Boogie!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Alice Coltrane

Friday, March 31, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why Millennial Pink Refuses to Go Away

Full article here.

1767: Jean-Honoré Fragonard paints The Swing.
The Gallery at Sketch London.
The upper half of the Grand Budapest Hotel.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Root: How Racism Tainted Women's Suffrage

A 1894 showdown between anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and temperance leader Frances E. Willard revealed the grip that racial resentment had over the American suffrage movement.
"I am in Great Britain today because I believe that the silent indifference with which she has received the charge that human beings are burned alive in Christian Anglo-Saxon communities is born of ignorance of the true situation. America cannot and will not ignore the voice of a nation that is her superior in civilization."
In 1893, journalist and early civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells crossed the Atlantic for the first time to deliver that sobering message to Great Britain. She had hoped to sway public opinion about the racial violence that plagued the U.S. The lynching of black men and women seemed to have become a sport among Southern white mobs — reaching a peak of 161 deaths in 1892.
That included the hanging of three black businessmen, one a close friend of Wells, during that year in her former home of Memphis, Tenn. She called for blacks to leave the city "which will neither protect our lives and property." More than 6,000 black residents left, and many others boycotted white businesses; Wells was exiled. Full article here.

More on Ida B Wells here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Similar but Different

Mail bag used in Houdini's escape act.
Picasso's portrait of Dora Maar

Monday, February 13, 2017

1898 Souvener Feather

Birdy

“Movement is most of what a bird is. When they're dead, they're only feathers and air.”

A Visual History of Society’s Monsters

Animation of the digital wall entry for ‘What Makes a Monster?’ by Kurosh ValaNejad
Anti-US “Liberators” poster from occupied Holland (1944)
From medical deformities to military enemies, the impulse to turn the unknown and threatening into mythical monsters has endured for centuries. What Makes a Monster? is an exhibition threading through five libraries on the two campuses of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, examining through art, literature, and other cultural objects who or what has been labeled a beast.
Full article here.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Monster Club

Toyen

The Czech surrealist (on the right, with her friend the poet and artist Jindrich Styrsky) was born 21 September 1902 in Prague. From an early age she had adopted her ungendered surname and rejected conventional attitudes to sexuality. After training at UMPRUM (the Academy of Art), she worked closely with Styrsky until his death in 1942. They exhibited and travelled together: in Paris the two of them founded an alternative to surrealism they called 'artificialism'. Toyen's work was often erotic in content; she contributed to Styrsky's journal Erotika Revue (only 150 copies were printed). They eventually founded the Czech Surrealist Group. During World War II they were forced underground; Styrsky died of a heart condition. Toyen and second artistic partner Jindrich Heisler fled to Paris. Toyen survived the war and remained in Paris, where she died in 1980.

Friday, February 10, 2017

“Hiding the Tears in My Eyes – BOYS DON’T CRY – A Legacy”

- by Jack Halberstam


2168c91819a2f1181fa5cef0d23ea297
"...How might we respond to these objections then in ways that do not completely dismiss the feelings of the students but that ask for different relations to protest, to the reading of complex texts and to the directing of anger about transphobic and homophobic texts onto queer cultural producers?
Here are a few thoughts:
1. We need to situate this film properly within the history of the representation of transgender characters. At the time that Peirce made this film, most films featured transgender people only as monsters, killers, sociopaths or isolated misfits." Full Article here.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Firestarter


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Charlie Chaplin: The Freak

Before Chaplin's death in 1977, he wrote the ultimate screenplay entitled The FreakAn unfinished dramatic comedy that revolved around a young South American girl who unexpectedly sprouts a pair of wings. She is kidnapped and taken to London, where her captors cash in by passing her off as an angel. Later she escapes, only to be arrested because of her appearance. She is further dehumanized by standing trial to determine if she is human at all.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Divorcee (1930)

Ten Days in a Madhouse

Journalist Nellie Bly
 In 1887, intrepid reporter Nellie Bly pretended she was crazy and got herself committed, all to help improve conditions in a New York City mental institution.
“The insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island is a human rat-trap. It is easy to get in, but once there it is impossible to get out.”
Those words, describing New York City’s most notorious mental institution, were written by journalist Nellie Bly in 1887. It was no mere armchair observation, because Bly got herself committed to Blackwell’s and wrote a shocking exposé called Ten Days In A Madhouse. The series of articles became a best-selling book, launching Bly’s career as a world-famous investigative reporter and also helping bring reform to the asylum. Full article here.
“My teeth chattered and my limbs were goose-fleshed and blue with cold. Suddenly I got, one after the other, three buckets of water over my head – ice-cold water, too – into my eyes, my ears, my nose and my mouth. I think I experienced the sensation of a drowning person as they dragged me, gasping, shivering and quaking, from the tub. For once I did look insane.”