Bought a few items:
Linder - Woman / Object (Walther König), £13.14
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Street Trash is a 1987 comedy horror film directed by J. Michael Muro (credited as Jim Muro). It won the Silver Raven at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film. The film has acquired a status as a cult classic horror-comedy and is one of a number of movies known as "melt" movies.
The plot revolves around a consignment of out-of-date hooch and its devastating effects upon the daily lives of a dysfunctional community of hobos living in and around a New York junkyard brutally ruled by a violent, PTSD-afflicted Vietnam veteran with a penchant for ultra-violence. Of course, the ramifications of the toxic beverage go way beyond its impact upon coping mechanisms, contributing to emotional instability and causing long-term liver damage. Fortunately the results for the audience are not ill-smelling, overbearing and depressing but deliriously entertaining, gooey and hilarious.
Roy Frumkes claimed, “I wrote [Street Trash] to democratically offend every group on the planet.” He was successful. If the necrophilia scene doesn’t disrupt you, then you are desensitized to a point of reckless abandon. There are so many scenes that cross boundaries in Street Trash, and only for the sake of crossing boundaries, that it’s simply exhilarating. How so?
The offensiveness isn’t serious. It’s obviously artificial and exaggerated: it’s camp. In her 1964 essay, Susan Sontag claimed: “The whole point of Camp is to dethrone the serious. Camp is playful, anti-serious. More precisely, Camp involves a new, more complex relation to “the serious.” ” In all of its un-pc, outlandish lunacy, that is precisely Street Trash’s accomplishment. Self-consciously ridiculous, it makes a tall tale out of human depravity; it’s a liberating mockery of seriousness. Street Trash is not only funny, it’s anti-serious. How can you not love it?
Melt movies usually have superb, gory special effects. Of its kind, Street Trash has some of the most creative and grotesque effects ever staged. Not only do human bodies melt, explode, and disintegrate by chemicals, they do so with vibrant bursts of colorful slime. Street Trash is truly a movie that disgusts with all colors of the rainbow. Why show vomit when you could show bright purple vomit? The gore is comical on the one hand (Saturday Night Live‘s makeup artist Jennifer Aspinall worked on the effects team), and surreal on the other. The sanguinary moments of the movie give it a cartoonishness. It makes Evil Dead 2 look like Cinema Verite.
Saturday, 22 February 2014
A Hand of Cards (installation view, Nottingham Contemporary) 2012
Francis Upritchard (born 1976) is a New Zealand born artist living in London.
Her second solo museum show, at Nottingham Contemporary in 2012 was called A Hand Of Cards.
Already well established as an object-maker, a sculptor often incorporating found objects in her work, she decided in 2007 to explore the figure. "I didn't think there was so much good figurative work in contemporary sculpture," she explains. 'I went to Munich and saw [the 15th-century sculptor] Erasmus Grasser's Morris Dancers.'
Upritchard and Gamper bought their current space with Silver in 2009, when Gamper was evicted from his flat upstairs as the property went on the market. Upritchard's studio, reached through Silver's noisy workshop, is exceptionally clean and empty, the army of figures having decamped to Nottingham for an exhibition. One remains, bewigged and inscrutable, as witness to our conversation, while modelled heads lie on the window-sill. Upritchard points out their unlikeable expressions, saying you have "to allow them to be as ugly as they wanted to be – I find them quite gross." They are "found in newspapers or photographs of friends".
I ask about the clothing she has put on some of her figures and she says she has made it all herself. "I had dolls and I made all their clothes. I was on the sewing machine when I was three years old. I really like making stuff.'
Originally from New Zealand and now living in London, Upritchard makes figures that appear archaic, yet they also seem to be devotees of contemporary cults, marooned in an alternative universe, ineptly groping after spirituality. We are left with artefacts as clues to meaning. Here Upritchard both draws on and parodies contemporary craft techniques in a series of dislocated domestic settings. For this exhibition she has worked with her husband, master furniture maker and designer Martino Gamper. The sculptures amongst the furniture become explorers.
Upritchard also works closely with contemporary writers – including the acclaimed novelist Ali Smith, who has written an essay on Upritchard’s exhibition here. Upritchard has also used her exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary to revisit the medieval myths of Nottingham. Some of her works that play on disappeared societies and have migrated into the Alfred Kubin galleries. Despite working a century apart, the two artists share a visual language of dreams, and inhabit the dark side of the domestic. Strange creatures, including Upritchard’s sloth, echo Kubin’s disturbed animalistic imaginings, and have made their home here.
Upritchard made a name for herself in the early 2000s by turning consumer tat into ritualistic objects – a biscuit jar reworked as a funeral urn; an ancient Mummy whose tributes include a pack of B&H instead of a gold bar. She often referenced tribal cultures like New Zealand's Māoris. Turning the tables on colonial anthropologists, she drew analogies between the cheap trinkets westerners amass and talismans and amulets traditionally used to protect against evil spirits.
For the mysterious soldiers in her current show, A Hand of Cards. Inspired by British history and myth, including the Bayeux tapestry and Robin Hood, they wear chainmail or white costumes with billowing sleeves, striking balletic fighting poses. They seem locked into war, as if elegantly choreographed by an invisible puppet master, though who they are fighting is unclear.
Upritchard works mainly in Super Sculpey, a polymer clay. Her awkward dolls are alarming yet vague; they seem to be imbued with a desperate bid for life, rather than life itself; a desperate bid to know and not know. The single moment of communion in the show occurs between two decapitated heads, part of a mock-indigenous necklace fashioned out of a tennis racket (Men Who Hongi, 2006). The heads touch noses, about to kiss. On closer inspection, they are not lovers, but twins, each an imperfect image of the other. Here is Upritchard’s echo, a truncated narcissus gazing at his own reflection.
The eeriness of the work belies its political urgency. If the countercultural movements of the 1960s sought to liberate the collective as well as the individual soul, to give social meaning to the notion of losing oneself, now a nihilistic darkness prevails. Such a darkness is evident in these figures’ inward-looking eyes.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
The strip chronicles the football team Fulchester United F.C. (Fulchester is the fictional town in which many of Viz's characters live). Originally the strip was produced in serial format, a rarity for Viz, but later became an occasional strip, usually appearing when major tournaments were being played or parodying major incidents in the world of football.
Plot elements in the strip are frequently nonsensical, inconsistent, and highly contrived, often being set up and then forgotten about for no reason.
Most people either hated billy the fish, or really hated him, I always thought it was one of the highlights of the magazine, and I really miss the strip, I wish viz would bring him back on a regular basis with most of the mad fulchester team.
Regular Characters in Billy the Fish
- Billy Thompson - the eponymous hero of the strip. For some reason not clearly explained he was born half-man half-fish, he has human head, replete with mullet, and a fish's torso. Somehow he floats above the ground in thin air and can propel himself using his fins and tail in this manner he has miraculously been a very successful goalkeeper for his home town club Fulchester United. The first Billy was killed saving a booby-trapped ball in an FA Cup final, but was replaced by his son,also called Billy, who happened to look exactly like his father.
- Tommy Brown - is the team manager. He is the stereotypical lower league manager, bluff and straight-talking who is never seen without his sheepskin jacket. In the past he has had open heart surgery on the pitch and also was revealed to be a woman in disguise. His catchphrase is "someone's out to make trouble for Fulchester United. The question is who?"
- Rick Spangle - is a millionaire pop star and the chairman of Fulchester United, much in the vain of Elton John and Watford. In one strip, Spangle was revealed to be a Martian in disguise who was out to get Billy to transfer to his team Dynamo Mars.
- Maxwell Baxter - is a "ruthless millionaire", based heavily on Robert Maxwell, who is usually out to destroy Fulchester United in some manner. Despite many "appearances", the real Baxter has never been seen, as he always turns out to in fact be a cardboard replica with a hidden tape recorder or in a later episode a waxwork dummy with a concealed CD player.
- Evil Gus Parker - is the boss of arch-rivals Grimthorpe City. Parker along with his henchman, Wilf, is often behind some highly contrived scheme to discredit Fulchester United.
- Syd Preston - is the team coach and is a bit of a hapless fall-guy. Syd is usually trying to make sense of events
- Brown Fox - is one of Fulchester Uniteds wingers, who also just happens to be a buxom scantily clad Native American woman.
- Johnny X - is the Fulchester United striker who just happens to be invisible. Although how the Fulchester team find him is not fully explained.
- Terry Jackson - is the Fulchester United reserve team keeper and is often involved either unwittingly or not in a plan to get rid of Billy.
- Professor Wolfgang Schnell BSc. PhD. - is another Fulchester United player who in his spare time is a mad scientist. He therefore will only shoot for goal after working out the best trajectory he should kick the ball at by use of his calculator, various charts and a geometry set.
- Shakin' Stevens - the 80's pop star signed for Fulchester United as a player, parodying the Roy of the Rovers strip that had members of Spandau Ballet signing for Melchester United. In later strips Mick Hucknall from Simply Red also signed for Fulchester.
The Death of Billy the FishLeading 1-0 in the Cup Final Billy the Fish faces a last-minute penalty to save the game however there is a forty pound bomb attached to the ball. He has to choose between saving the goal, or saving himself.
Finishes with these immortal words from Tommy Brown. "He may be dead but his memory will live on forever. We shall not see his like again. Wherever men may gather to talk of football or fish, they will toast the name of Billy Johnson"(sic).subbuteoz
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
The first album by The Detroit Escalator Co., entitled 'soundtrack (313),' was released in 1996 on London-based Ferox records. The album, now out of print and rare, is considered a cult-classic. The 2nd album by The Detroit Escalator Co., entitled 'Black Buildings,' was Neils' first recording for Peacefrog. Concurrent with the album production, he completed a long-planned series of acrylic oil paintings as part and parcel of the Black Buildings album project. The paintings abstract, monochromatic geometric landscapes were the subject of a solo exhibition at Detroit's Cpop Gallery. Today these paintings hang in homes and corporate environments in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Paris and London. In 2000, Peacefrog released a collection of early-era recordings and previously unreleased tracks by The Detroit Escalator Co., entitled "Excerpts."
Black Buildings — which is not to be confused with the 2000 EP of the same name, which features a number of tracks also on the new LP — continues where his earlier music left off. The songs here act as finite sonic environments, most only a few minutes in duration, which use slower, ambient textures to kill off techno’s dance-floor straitjacket (inherited from house) in favor of explorations into mood and space.
Pieces end almost as quickly as they come, with normally one strong original theme, provided by a bass line or synthesizer, repeating to hold the piece together. Though ambient in nature, there is percussion throughout the album, reminiscent of drum-and-bass, but without the “Amen”-slap, adding and releasing tension as the track dictates. There are deep and moody cuts such as “Ghana” and “No. 2,” faster, driving moments on “Manual Transmission” and even organ-painted, gothiclike moments on “Sil Lum Tao.”
Though there are sampled acoustic touches (a guitar on “Folding Space” and “The Inverted Man”) on the album, there are none of the real-life samples of Ollivierra’s previous work, allowing any casual listener to potentially file it into the ephemeral world of the headphone-sound track. Yes, the cityscape can be imagined in songs such as “Freeway,” and “City Lights.” But the audience is forced to work that much harder to hear Ollivierra’s serious observations within the synth-vamps, aquatic drum sequencing and daisy-chained beauty that he has created. It is a testament to Ollivierra’s work that this is such a pleasure.
Carleton S. Gholz
NEIL: The project arose out of my interest in slowing down to examine the dimensions of sound and visual space. With regard to sound, my interest stemmed from my observation of Gerald Simpson's tenacious pursuit of perfection with respect to his programming and recording processes. I didn't have the opportunity to observe him at length, but the time he took in exploring and stretching the capabilities of his tools made a really strong impression on me. I took to exploring the stereo space as I'd never done before.
I'd come home from work and program new sounds in a project studio I'd set up. Taking a cue from Gerald's slow-motion approach to musical exploration, I'd spent weeks working on a single program. It was a grand time. I worked like this for years, compiling sketches and programs and musical phrases, exploring and learning as I went.
As for visual space, the benefits I obtained by slowing down my process of music composition inspired me to likewise slow down the manner with which I'd long observed the world aroundme. While I'd for many years dashed through life at a mad pace in order to see, smell, hear and taste everything imaginable, I learned the benefits of slowing down for the purpose of observing greater detail. When I managed to slow myself down and smell the flowers, so to speak, a whole new world began to open up to me. I found myself amazed and entertained by the smallest pleasures, the tiniest details.
I kept a mechanical drafting pencil at my desk at work in Chicago, along with a stack of vellum paper and a ruler. Between phone calls, I'd sketch modified blueprints of my office cubicle on these sheets of paper. I imagined the angles of the paneled walls surrounding me taking on vast proportions, akin to geometric landscapes. I began to deconstruct them and re-assemble them as abstract sketches, architectural in nature. By the time the job ended, I had 15-20 of them, a few of which I thought were pretty good. I knew that I wanted to see them realized as very large format canvas paintings, rendered in monochromatic shades of blue.
But I had no idea how to execute the crisp straight lines required to achieve the result. I researched for a process, and in this way discovered that H.R. Giger used an airbrush to achieve his detailed masterpieces. And that's when I knew that I was going to take up the airbrush. A classmate of mine from school was making quite a name for himself as a graffiti artist in Chicago at the time. His name was Carlos Rolon, aka Dzine. He was teaching airbrush classes at an art supply shop in Wicker Park, and I signed up. It was Carlos who first showed me how to use an airbrush and compressor, over a period of a few days, in that shop in Wicker Park.
Sunday, 16 February 2014
Eifrau die man nicht schubladieren kann (Egg woman who defies categorization), 1996
Martin Kippenberger (25 February 1953 – 7 March 1997) was a German artist known for his extremely prolific output in a wide range of styles and media as well as his provocative, jocular and hard-drinking public persona.
Kippenberger’s refusal to adopt a specific style and medium in which to disseminate his images resulted in an extremely prolific and varied oeuvre which includes an amalgam of sculpture, paintings, works on paper, photographs, installations, prints and ephemera.
Untitled (Showcase with egg sculptures) close-up, 1996
I, if I may be so bold, think that Kippenberger is really about eggs. Eggs in the shell and eggs in their more exposed form, usually fried, generally sunny-side up. They pop up everywhere in his work. You might find an egg in the corner of an oil painting. The model of a fried egg can be found in the huge Kafka installation. Drawings of fried and whole eggs pop up here and there in his nearly infinite series of stuff-drawn-on-mixed-media. Importantly, you will never find scrambled eggs in the work of Kippenberger.
The egg, as we all know, is beautiful. There are few things more satisfying than its oblong sphericality. Held in the palm of your hand, there is a pleasant weightiness and texture. The hardness of the shell is nice, too, especially because you're aware that the hardness is fragile. One crack and the thing goes all to pieces. That's the surprise of an egg: One minute it is a perfect unity and the next it is a goddamn mess, spilling all over the place in various densities of goo. A primal thing, the egg is both the Truth and the Way — the Truth as it sits there in mute and singular glory, an infinite oneness; the Way in that the oneness gives way to the messiness and splatter of life. As Lenin is rumored to have once commented, in order to make an omelet, you've got to crack a few eggs. He was talking about murdering people, but you get the point. In order to use an egg you've got to get your hands dirty, you've got to spoil the pure simplicity of the original package. (The boiled egg does present a possible compromise, practical and metaphysical but we shall set that problem aside for the moment. Anyway, Kippenberger had no interest in boiled eggs.)
Eggman II, currently on view at the Skarstedt Gallery, reintroduces works by Martin Kippenberger that were originally shown in Der Eiermann und seine Ausleger (The Eggman and his Outriggers), the final exhibition of the aritst's work before his untimely death in 1997 at the age of 44. Consisting of nine paintings, a series of drawings on hotel stationery, and a sculpture, the works focus on the egg, a theme Kippenberger often revisited throughout his career.
"Always recycling imagery, the egg is the banal comedic device in Kippenberger's images," (from the show's press release). By playfully incorporating an egg into these works, Kippenberger made "indirect references to rebirth, reproduction, and the ideal of the circle." Whether showing a woman posing proudly with a giant golden egg, an embryonic dinosaur inside an egg, or the artist himself morphing into a bloated, grotesque Eggman, Kippenberger infused humor into his studies of the mundane egg form. As the artist stated: "In painting you must look what fallen fruit is left that you can paint. The egg has missed out there, Warhol already had the banana. You take a form for yourself it's always about angular, square, this and that format, about the golden mean. The egg is white and insipd, how can a colorful picture come from that?" That last bit must have been a rhetorical question.
The Happy End of Franz Kafka's "Amerika", 1994
"Every picture I see belongs to me the instant I understand it," Kippenberger once said and his art, in its rudimentary form seeks to challenge notions of authorship and originality. In the series "Dear Painter, Paint for Me" (1981), the artist hired the sign painter, Mr. Werner, who is credited for actually painting the works of art. This series, depicts Kippenberger in a performance; here the artist as actor, as impersonator, as (once again) humorist shines through. The recurring motif of a deluded fried egg finds its way into many of his works. Always "sunny-side-up," the egg acts as Kippenberger's alter ego-- supposedly he used the egg only because, "Warhol already had the banana."
Saturday, 15 February 2014
On Saturday 8th February Zine Idol took place at the Hannah Maclure Centre's Micro Cinema in Dundee. Zinesters from across Scotland made their pitch to our select panel, who somehow had to decide on a winner out of all the worthy presentations.
Official photos are finally online and here they are.
In attendance were CC, Barnum's Baby, Plastik Zine, St.art Magazine and Anti-Zine. All participants were able to make new connections, dialogues and friendships through the event, and all can count on Yuck 'n Yum's full support in their future endeavours. Yuck 'n Yum is massively thankful to all who took part.Finally, congratulations CC! We cannot wait to see what you guys come up with.
Official photos are finally online and here they are.