“It’s rarely a bad idea to show some sex films. I mean…really. This is a small series and is intended, certainly, to entertain. But it’s also intended to investigate both the fantasies and realities of sexual representation — that uncomfortable space where we so often find a huge gap. When you place a slick, erotic daydream like Camille 2000 against the gritty reality of A Labor of Love, the difference becomes all the more stark. And then there’s The Wild Pussycat, a masterpiece of what-the-fuck-is-this-ism. It combines erotic scenes with some pretty rough sadism — but somehow becomes an intense, unintentional black comedy instead of a just another crappy 60s sexploitation picture. Combined, I hope the three films illustrate some of the perils and positives of depicting sex, and raise questions about how, or if, anything has ultimately changed. Stay tuned for ‘Three-Way Redux: A Trilogy of Contemporary Erotica,’ coming soon.” — Joel Shepard, Film & Video Curator, Three Way: A Trilogy of Vintage Erotica is showing the weekend at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. www.ybca.org
Richard Crump Miller was a true American working class photographer. From photographing airplanes for service manuals during WWII, to his snapshots of the construction of the Hollywood freeway–and all the way to his unique, saturated carbro prints of celebrities, assignments for various magazines, and covers of the Saturday Evening Post, Miller is a photographer who has captured the pathology and false paradise of the American dream. Miller’s photographs ooze with a tenderness of a country still in the cocoon of its innocence. Moreover, Miller’s iconic portraits of James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Giant show not only a human side to celebrity, but the boredom suffered in the manufacture of our idols. Richard C. Miller — Portraits is on view at the Craig Krull Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica until June 11. www.bergamotstation.com
Series: The Prelude to Desire, 1799, Utamaro
It was a time when Japan was ruled by military dictators called Shoguns and much of the East was just large swaths of bucolic countryside, with flowing grass, and a certain mysticism you can only associate with “the Orient.” For centuries it was like this. Seemingly perfect and serene. The artistic output from this time is extremely recognizable: ornate woodcuts painted on scrolls, called ukiyo-e, that depicted the quotidien routine of Japanese life: work, play, love, theater, history, and pleasure. Shunga, a Japanese form of erotic art, that most think was deemed immoral, but was actually morally accepted, was common and many artists, without risking their reputations, dipped their pens in this type of ink. It was all the same–work and sex–it still followed a classifiable aesthetic of the quotidien. It begs the question–what did you do last night? (READ MORE >>>>)
Marc Swanson, Untitled Boxer, 2010
Marc Swanson constructs sculptures out of found iconographic sources, from taxidermy to tattoos, fabricating them from culturally-loaded materials so that the resulting sculptures in both form and content reveal the conspicuous constructedness of our personas in the modern mediated world. For example, taxidermy forms relating to his own father’s fantasy of an outdoorsy hunter’s life—one his dad never really lived but simulated—are overlaid with the glittered mirrored surfaces associated with the demimonde of the after-midnight nightclub world the artist inhabited for many years. (READ MORE >>>>)
Nino Migliori, Il tuffatore, 1951
Nino Migliori’s photography is the epitome of a definitively Italian cultural movement during postwar Italy called neorealismo, or neorealism. Its the stark black and white photography of an Italy that seems to sizzle to the touch. Whilst Migliori captured still images of Northern and Southern Italy’s street life, neorealism can also be exemplified with film–for example, Vittorio De Sico’s 1948 classic The Bicycle Thief. Nino Migliori, who was born in Bologne in 1926, is still alive and well–a new exhibit Nino Migliori “Neorealism” opens this july at the La Mar de Musicas Festival in Cartagena, Spain. Nino Migliori “Neorealism–July 11 to August 31 at the Palacio Molina–www.lamardemusicas.com
London based designer Tessa Edwards presents her fall/winter 2011/2012 collection inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. (MORE PHOTOS >>>>)
Test polaroid of James Franco for the first issue of Autre Quarterly, the print edition of Pas Un Autre. Shot earlier today in New York by the brilliant Adarsha Benjamin–styled by Paloma Perez–make-up/hair by Jordan Bree Long. Shot on location at the KDU Studios in Brooklyn.
“People like you should fuck people like me,” reads one her famous neon sign installations. ”Good smile, Great come,” reads another. Tracey Emin, a celebrated contemporary English artist, who has a retrospective of sorts opening today in London, is labeled a “wild child” of the art world with no chance of taming. Her neon scribbles are honest and personal, and speak of the post modern human condition on a profound level. Emin has had her fair share of hard knocks–growing up poor, raped at 13, and an abortion of twins at 18–so now, with her trademark lopsided smile and sexy glint in her eyes, she’s appropriately getting back at this fucked up mess we call a world–in a beautiful way.
Who is Jesse Ruins? No one seems to know. But, does it matter? Three brilliant songs have been released slowly over the past six months–Dream Analysis, Inner Ambient, and Sofija–each one just as good as the last. While we don’t know what Jesse Ruins looks like-we do know Jesse Ruins is from Tokyo and has put out a collaboration record on Cuz Me Pain records. In regards to the mystery–Jesse Ruins maintains “that [he or she] is not doing this intentionally.” There are no plans for a record release, but it seems as if a great record is tantalizingly just out of reach–perchance the next great buzz album of 2011, or maybe even 2012. And so we wait and fall right into Jesse Ruin’s web. Despite the mystery Jesse Ruins was nice enough to answer a few of Pas Un Autre’s questions. (READ MORE >>>>)