Openings: JAMES FRANCO / GUS VAN SANT “Unfinished”
“Unfinished” features two films, Endless Idaho and My Own Private River, which are collaborations between Gus Van Sant and James Franco. After casting Franco in the award-winning film Milk (2008), Van Sant showed him the dailies and other footage that he had shot many years before for My Own Private Idaho (1991), which starred River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as street hustlers in Portland, Oregon. Much of this material did not make it into the final cut, and so Franco decided to fashion it into two new films, riffing off the original title. The opening is February 26th at the Gagosian in Beverly Hills and runs till April 9. www.gagosian.com
Lake Rudolf, Eastern Equatorial Africa
Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (21 August 1858 – 30 January 1889) clashed with his father Emperor Franz Joseph I. Amongst his many gripes, the Prince felt as though he were born at the at the wrong time. In a typically royal way, The Prince was repulsed by any sort of foul laundry that his father dished to the country. Prince Rudolf found refuge from his father in a loveless marriage to Princess Stéphanie and also by taking a mistress, Baroness Maria Vetsera. The two lovers, The Prince and the Baroness’, untimely deaths at the imperial family’s hunting lodge was ruled a combined suicide, yet some are still convinced of foul play. One year prior to this, in March of 1888, Count Sámuel Teleki de Szék of Hungary, whilst on a safari across East Africa, discovered a lake and named it Lake Rudolf, in honor of the Crown Prince. Years later in 1972, Richard Leakey, during an anthropological dig around the lake discovered a two-million-year-old hominid skull. In 1986 a nearly complete skeleton of a homo erectus boy was discovered. And more recently, another skull was discovered and estimated at being 3.5 million years dead. These fossil findings coined the nickname for the area “Cradle of Mankind” or “Cradle of Humankind,” as it has now be called for the sake, no doubt, of political correctness.
After my return from a once in a lifetime safari to Lake Rudolf (now referred to as Lake Turkana or The Jade Sea) in 2005 with fellow artist Fernando Apodaca, I met with Peter Beard at Bungalow in New York City. Before and after the safari to Lake Turkana I stayed on Peter Beard’s Hog Ranch in the ‘knuckle hills’ outside of Nairobi. At that time Peter had I think been banned from Kenya for five years due to numerous, miscellaneous arrests and spats with neighbors – mostly concerning the malnutrition of their animals or his partying. Back in New York with Peter Beard I described the safari, yelling over the club music, ”WE CAMPED AT LAKE TURKANA FOR OVER A WEEK!” Peter forcefully yells back, ”RUDOLF! ITS LAKE RUDOLF!” As if to say, “HOW DARE YOU!?”
Text and photography (excluding the post-mortem image of the Crown Prince) by Dustin Lynn
Soundtrack to Your Life: The Cannanes “We Drink Bitter” 1986
One of the coolest bands to emerge from the pop/shoe gaze scene in 1980s Sydney, Australia, The Cannanes have all the right angsty ingredients in their their 1986/87 album Witchetty Pole – which is more of a mish mash diary/collage of soul searching ballads and love tender absurdity.
The Cannanes – “We Drink Bitter”
Yves Saint Laurent Tribtoo suede pumps.
Daddy’s Girl: The Erotica of Anaïs Nin
Anaïs Nin by Carl Van Vechten 1949
February 21 marked the 108th birthday of Anaïs Nin, a controversial figure perhaps best known for her romantic dalliances with prominent figures such as Henry Miller, Otto Rank, Lawrence Durrell, Antonin Artaud and Gore Vidal. She worked as a psychoanalyst, wrote fiction, trained as a dancer, appeared in films by Maya Daren and Kenneth Anger, had an affair with her father, pianist and composer Joaquin Nin, and eventually married Rupert Pole sixteen years her junior when she was forty-four (she was already married to banker and experimental filmmaker Hugh Guiler at the time.) All of this and more she documents in her diaries, which span more than sixty years. It is, perhaps, not surprising then that Nin also dabbled in erotica; collections of her stories, Little Birds and Delta of Venus, are now considered some of the finest erotica ever written.
The books were not published until the late 70s, after Nin succumbed to a three-year battle with cancer. The stories themselves were written much earlier, in the 1940s when Henry Miller and Nin were both living in Paris. Miller, after publishing Tropic of Cancer, was approached by a third party to write pornographic stories for an anonymous collector at the rate of $1 per page. Soon, many of his artist and writer friends, including Caresse Crosby, Robert Duncan, and Nin were churning out what the latter termed “an abundance of perverse felicities,” encouraged by Miller to take advantage of this unforeseen source of income.
Anaïs Nin’s Little Birds and Delta of Venus, born out of what was part joke, part moneymaking venture, are erotica in the truest sense of the word. The stories are rich, vivid, beautifully written and populated by character types who embody the multi-hued spectrum of human desire. They deftly and, at times, humorously explore the various ways in which sexual hunger is felt, expressed, and consummated and the reader is often as surprised by the events that unfold as the characters are themselves. The settings, scenarios, and figures in Nin’s stories are largely informed by her own life and enriched and transformed by her considerable powers of invention and unique poetic voice.
Little Birds and Delta of Venus can both be purchased at Amazon.com.
Text by Anna Wittel
The SIP Interviews Oliver Maxwell Kupper
Photography by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
A wonderfully fascinating institute, The SIP “a research institute that aspires to facilitate, promote, initiate research, open debate and creative work in the field of photography and related media,” conducted an interview with Oliver Maxwell Kupper, publisher of Pas Un Autre. View interview here.
Artist: Chris Crites
Chris Crites paints delirious iconography of sin on paper bags – which only adds to the general back alley decadence of his work. When you think of paper bags you think of porn, malt liquor, and your old baloney stained school lunch. Add the hospital in-patient expressions of Christ Crites and you have art. Chris Crites is having a show with artist Richard Basset entitled Cold Comfort at the Jack Fischer Gallery in SF. www.jackfischergallery.com
Exclusive: D.J. Special Guest “Everything Must Go Vol. 1″
Pas Un Autre records presents D.J. Special Guest’s unbelievable all vinyl mix Everything Must Go Vol. 1. At roughly an hour and a half in duration this mix starts off pleasingly mellow, rises to a full on Italo disco dance party in the middle, and climbs back at the end for a melodiously brilliant climax. D.J Special Guest, aka Matthew Henri, is an artist based in San Francisco – during the day he is the owner and designer of the clothing label Free Gold Watch. This mix, with the ever so subtle richness of the record crackling, sounds like some lost musical gem from a buried time capsule. Stream the whole thing below for free and if you want to take it to go, and trust me you’ll want to after you hear the whole thing, visit the Pas Un Autre online shop to purchase – a high quality mp4 will be sent directly to your email on the same day. www.pasunautre.com/store
D.J. Special Guest “Everything Must Go Vol. 1″