Thursday, 30 April 2009


Patti Astor 1979

Feets on my bed 1979


'and that night.the white electric storm.the lake
in flames. you sleeping so soundly. your big bones.
smooth forhead. your dry pale mouth. split lip skin
flakes. to bite them off with needlepoint precision
teeth. to chew and roll in a minute translucent ball
and spit ball against the horizon. skin. its so
wonderful peeling your back after summer. a perfect
sheet of skin. pores backprint and some blonde down.
your backbone fossil. the sickly olive patch beneath

presing the veil of skin against my face. sucking
some in with every breath. sting rain the bay windows
hypodermic. in the skull the electric whirlwind.
sucking more with every breath. skin erection all symbols
of bliss. I was amazed so moved I loved you so much.'

Patti Smith


Flowers Fade

Possible Parallels ?

Top and Below: Stills from Pasolini's 'Salo'
Directly above and very bottom: Guy Bourdain images


Adam Fuss

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Black & White

By William Klein

Turn on

Guy Bourdin

Hunter S

Clé de rien

Instant Light

Andrei Tarkovsky

Double Vie

The opening frame, an upside down landscape image, is an immediate indication of Kieslowski's talent at using the frame to suggest and symbolise the elements about to unfold. 'La Double vie de Véronique' is simultaneously poetic, magical, and melancholic.

Irene Jacob plays the polish Weronika from the outset. Her character is a musical, passionate, free spirit. She stumbles into her doppelganger the French Veronika, who is clearly on holiday but too busy taking photos and fails to notice Weronika.
Both characters share an unknown distraction, they sense they are not alone. Dreams and strange occurrences confirm this belief. We are drawn into the mysterious yet eerie tale of these otherworldly women.

Mirrors and reflections that appear throughout the film are all subtle hints at the other. A shared musical background could be coincidental but as the film continues we learn both characters have endless parallels. These little clues help uncover and bring the two together, proving that is is just more than mere chance. Veronika becomes intrigued by a puppeteer performing at the school where she teaches. This encounter is especially surreal and tender, it leads to Veronika's discovery of Weronika.
This part of the film really had a sense of child like awe and wonder for me, the kind that makes one want to look at the world with fresh eyes and just marvel and note all things mystical.

Having said that the viewer is left with a unresolved outcome all the more fitting and poignant to this fragile and wondrous tale.

Factory Girls

Lewis Hine, 1909

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

San Gregorio

Andrei Tarkovsky, San Gregorio 11 December 1983

Jacob Holdt two

The umbrella

Avigdor Arikha 4 February 1973,
Sugar aquatint on Mino paper

Lady and the tramp

Wild is the Wind

Definition of freedom - 'No Fear/ an indescribable feeling' or words to that effect expressed by Nina in an interview. I refer to her as Nina simply because when you listen to someone so long a natural bond forms, you feel you are on first name basis.
For all the articles and reviews that declare Nina as the uncompromising Diva, throwing endless tantrums, her fowl behaviour, all this perversely makes me love this tormented soul all the more.

Aged 10 and true to her nature, she did not hesitate to get up and refuse to play when she witnessed her parents being asked to vacate their seats for 'white folk'.
Being a leader, and having strength of character as far as the staged is concerned is naturally inspiring. But underneath her evident sadness and vulnerability could perhaps be what fuelled and made her music all the more exceptional.

Seventh Heaven

Three Scenes

Scenes from a Marriage Directed by Ingmar Bergman


Dress fabric detail designed by John Held 1927


Guy Bourdin

RB Reflet

Robert Doisneau

Bon a tirer

Above: Anne with hand on mouth 1970 - Lithograph by Avigdor Arikha
Printed in an addition of 80 by Marcel Durassier at Mourlot's.
Below Lithograph of Avigdor himself

Tarkovsky Polaroid

Monday, 27 April 2009

A Map

'A Map is an object of study, take your time.
I am a map.
You are a different map.'

Louise Bourgeois,
Diary 12th December 1997

Père Lachaise

Joanna Pallaris

Nip and Tuck

Perhaps comforting to know that preoccupations with the female form are not a recent phenomenon. The early signs of using tools to perfect are clearly evident in this old snapshot. The pen marks demonstrate an attempt at adjusting the woman's waist, a nip here and we shall curve round there, shave a few inches off - who will spot the difference?

Who was actually responsible for this act of graffiti remains answered, the woman in the portrait, the photographer, a child ?
The image affirms that, Spirit and staged photography aside, there is generally more credibility in old photos. Of course the truth element is more questionable now, with all the possibilities that photoshop provides and especially where fashion/portrait photography are concerned. What we see on the page/internet etc.. is often only a part of the real often greatly enhanced to the point of unachievable perfection.

Legs Eleven - 1950s

On The Beach

Guy Bourdin

The Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1894-1895

Aubrey Beardsley

Friday, 24 April 2009


Found in a drawer at his home in New Orleans in 1949, and first shown in 1970 at MOMA, EJ Bellocq's series of female portraits has left many questions unanswered. All taken around 1912 they were originally found as glass plate negatives, which came into possession of the American photographer Lee Friedlander. He subsequently was the person who made them into prints for the exhibition.

The subjects and Bellocq's relationship to these women is where the intrigue lies. Supposedly prostitutes, the majority of the portraits surprisingly fail to suggest the lingering 'male gaze'. The women appear especially comfortable, relaxed in Bellocq's presence and their surroundings. Perhaps they are sharing a lighthearted moment. But again we don't know the whole truth. When the women, clad in seductive stockings / draped in veils embrace the camera with a smile there is great tenderness in these photos. They are extraordinarily beautiful in all their decaying glory.

So we come to the photos that have been deliberately defaced/ scratched out. Far from the relaxed atmosphere previously shown, the scribbles here remove the women of all identity. They are now merely naked female bodies, just female parts robbed of respect with a more dark and sordid effect. But who did this defacing ?

There is a side of me that actually sees great beauty and strength in these scribbles particularly in the image below, the ghost of drawn butterfly above the woman's right hand on the wall. Also the fact that she is facing the wall, the angles of her arms create an interesting shape all help add to its charm.
Again I stick to my guns and reiterate the scribbles add a further mystery and weight to EJ Bellocq' s ever lasting enigma.