William E. Jones: Punctured
During the Great Depression, the Historical Section of the Resettlement Administration, later called the Farm Security Administration, documented American society in photographs. The director of this program, Roy Emerson Stryker, devised scripts for the photographers of the Historical Section to follow. He also edited pictures taken in the field after they were sent to Washington, D. C. for processing. Not a photographer himself, but a social scientist and educator, Stryker had the ultimate say over which of the 145,000 negatives exposed by FSA photographers were worthy of printing and publication. Nearly half of the pictures made under the program’s auspices from 1935 to 1943 – perhaps 68,000 negatives in total – were rejected, or in Stryker’s term, killed.
Roy Stryker and his assistants routinely killed 35mm negatives by punching holes in them, thereby rendering them unusable forever. Photographers working under Stryker strenuously objected to an editorial practice that they regarded as dictatorial and capricious. Stryker finally stopped destroying his subordinates’ work in early 1939. After that date, all killed negatives were preserved and filed away, but they remained unprinted, and until recently, unseen. When the Library of Congress began making high resolution digital scans of FSA negatives available on its website, it included many rejected images, and among them, a small number of killed negatives mutilated by a hole punch.
Music: Porcelain Raft
Porcelain Raft – Tip Of Your Tongue
Porcelain Raft – The Back of My Eyes
The Songs of António Botto
“António Botto was one of Portugal’s first openly gay writers, a poète maudit whose unapologetic and candid verses about homosexual life and passion were both praised and reviled when they appeared in Portuguese in 1922 under the title Canções. Botto’s poetic voice-confessional, personal, and intimate-revels and luxuriates in eroticism while expressing the ache of longing, silence, and suffering. Yet for all of his acclaim and notoriety-he was both hailed as one of the great poets of his day and condemned for his frank depictions of male-male desire-Botto and his work fell into oblivion after his death.The Songs of António Botto recovers this important, urgent voice in modern poetry by making available-for the first time since its private publication in 1948-the English-language translation of Canções that Botto’s friend and artistic collaborator, Fernando Pessoa, completed in 1933. Pessoa, Portugal’s preeminent modernist literary figure, considered Botto the only Portuguese poet worthy of the label “aesthete” and, as a critic and publisher, championed his work. Featuring an introduction to Botto’s work and Pessoa’s previously unpublished foreword to the 1948 edition as well as a new translation of Botto’s 1941 elegy to Pessoa, The Songs of António Botto establishes Botto as a pioneering figure in modern gay literature and places him alongside C. P. Cavafy and Federico García Lorca as one of the major poetic voices of the twentieth century.” You can find a copy here.
Hans Bellmer, La Poupée. Seconde partie, undated (1936?)
Bellmer’s doll project is said to have been catalyzed by a series of events in his personal life, including meeting a beautiful teenage cousin in 1932, attending a performance of Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann (in which a man falls tragically in love with an automaton), and receiving a box of his old toys. After these events, he began to construct his first dolls: made of broomsticks, tubes, plaster and papier-mâché, which he then photographed in many different ways. In his works, Bellmer explicitly sexualized the doll as a young girl. The dolls incorporated the principle of “ball joint” , which was inspired by a pair of sixteenth-century articulated wooden dolls in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum. Bellmer’s 1934 anonymous book, The Doll (Die Puppe), produced and published privately in Germany, contains 10 black-and-white photographs of Bellmer’s first doll arranged in a series of “tableaux vivants”. The book was not credited to him, as he worked in isolation, and his photographs remained almost unknown in Germany. Yet Bellmer’s work was eventually declared “degenerate” by the Nazi Party, and he was forced to flee Germany to France in 1938. Bellmer’s work was welcomed in the Parisian art culture of the time, especially the Surrealists under André Breton. He aided the French Resistance during the war by making fake passports. He was imprisoned in the Camp des Milles prison at Aix-en-Provence, a brickworks camp for German nationals, from September 1939 until the end of the Phoney War in May 1940. After the war, Bellmer lived the rest of his life in Paris. Bellmer gave up doll-making and spent the following decades creating erotic drawings, etchings, sexually explicit photographs, paintings, and prints of pubescent girls. In 1954, he met Unica Zürn, who became his companion (until her suicide in 1970). He continued making work into the 1960s. In Double Sexus, an exhibit at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands, on view until Jan. 16, the oeuvres of Bellmer and Louise Bourgeois are brought together for the first time ever in an exploration of identity and sexuality in art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue containing contributions from eminent figures such as Elfriede Jelinek and Henry Miller. Vist www.gemeentemuseum.nl for more info.
Duffy: The Man Who Shot The Sixties
Curzon St. – London 1961
” [Brian} Duffy was one of the most dynamic and inventive photographers of the 1960s. Together with his friendly rivals Terence Donovan and David Bailey, he made up “The Black Trinity,” a soubriquet used by Norman Parkinson to describe his new, highly successful competition. Then, after more than twenty years at the cutting edge of photography, Duffy vanished from the scene. A rumor spread that he had burned his negatives. Ever the anarchist, Duffy had indeed begun this destructive yet cathartic procedure one afternoon in 1979. However, not all the negatives were destroyed. Now, after nearly three years of painstakingly archiving the surviving images, Duffy is displaying his extraordinary body of work that powerfully documents the vibrancy of London in the “Swinging ’60s.” You can view an amazing documentary on Brian Duffy in it’s entirety here. Or visit this website for upcoming exhibitions: www.duffyphotographer.com
Samantha Sweeting: In Came the Lamb
“Samantha Sweeting, born Singapore, 1982, is a London-based artist, working across photography, video, performance, installation, text and object….After several years spent living with her menagerie of abandoned animals between rural England and a falling-down farmhouse in a forest in the French Pyrénées, she returned to London, where she currently lives and works.” A group show opens tonight Nov. 27 at the Wynd Gallery in London featuring her work.
Gabriella Marina Gonzales S/S 2011
Gabriella Marina Gonzalez presents her ‘Spring/Summer, two thousand & eleven’ collection ‘The Cyclops Apprentice’. www.gabriellamarinagonzales.com
Film Still: KURONEKO (1968)
In war-torn medieval Japan, a demon haunts the Rajomon Gate, ripping out the throats of samurai in the grove beyond. The governor sends a war hero to confront the spirit, but what the man finds are two beautiful women who look just like his lost mother and wife. Both a chilling ghost story and a meditation on the nature of war and social hypocrisy, Kuroneko (Black Cat) is the second horror triumph from director Kaneto Shindo (Naked Island, Onibaba), who mixes stunning visuals, an evocative score, and influences from traditional Japanese theater to create an atmospheric, haunting, and emotionally devastating masterpiece. A new 35mm black and white print of the film is now being shown in select theaters. Tonight the film will be showing at the beautiful Castro Theater in San Francisco. Click here for more info.