Pants, Pants, Pants.

Pants3

© C. Ford.

Marcus wanted to know what was on the flip side, and this is it for now. The pants must be finished today, to be worn into town tomorrow. That ought to be fun – I’ll be at the pain clinic, which is, naturally, mostly populated by older people who listen to Fox news in the waiting room at a deafening level. Must remember headphones…

Starting My Book.

I love these books of handmade paper. They are just for me, to mess about, play, get ideas out of my head, get me in the mood, whatever. This is my second book, the one I got for winter solstice. On my mind, Wakinyan Rising, probably because it’s very windy and cold.

Book

Book1

Book2

© C. Ford.

Don’t Call It Fashion.

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Raw Meat, Cabbage, Moldy Bread, and other things that have inspired Japanese fashion label CUNE.

Don’t call it fashion. At least that’s what Hironori Yasuda will tell you if you ask him about his label CUNE, which he started in 1994. If anything, they’re “barely clothes,” he says.

Yasuda isn’t swayed by trends. He makes what he wants, and each season he picks a seemingly arbitrary theme, one that typically has no place in the world of fashion, and designs his entire collection around it. He doesn’t think about who would wear his clothes, or how they would wear them. In fact, he even says “you don’t have to buy them.” But with two stores in Tokyo, one in Fukuoka and a thriving online shop, people seem to like his bizarre creations.

You really need to click over and see all the stuff, it’s amazing. I love the red cabbage dress, and I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Same with the meat jacket pictured above.

It’s all at Spoon & Tamago.

Art History and Modern Sensibilities.

Warning: blood, gore and human nastiness on display.

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I was reading an article about some street art in Brussels, and how a lot of people are shocked, disgusted and upset by it. These two works:

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Some people are quite distressed and outraged, and many protest on the basis of children seeing these works. Thing is, there’s history bound here, as these are takes on paintings by Jan de Baen and Caravaggio, or at least attributed to those august painters. If people don’t want children to be upset by Caravaggio’s Sacrifice of Isaac, they shouldn’t be teaching them anything about christianity, either.

Sacrifice_of_Isaac-Caravaggio_(Uffizi)

As for The corpses of the brothers De Witt, there’s not only a great deal of history bound therein, but also the depth of ugliness in human nature. The modern take on it is actually less brutal than the original, which, when viewed in person or at full size, shows terrible detail. Limbs sliced, toes and fingers cut off, noses cut off, genitals cut off, gutted, and hung upside down. It’s not a nice painting, but doing that to the De Witt brothers wasn’t nice, either.

During 1672, which the Dutch refer to as the Rampjaar (“Year of Disaster”), France and England attacked the Republic in the Franco-Dutch War. De Witt was severely wounded by a knife-wielding assassin on 21 June. He resigned as Grand Pensionary on 4 August, but this was not enough for his enemies. His brother Cornelis (De Ruyter’s deputy-in-the-field at the Raid on the Medway), particularly hated by the Orangists, was arrested on trumped up charges of treason. He was tortured (as was usual under the Roman-Dutch system of law, that required a confession before a conviction was possible) but refused to confess. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to exile. When his brother went over to the jail (which was only a few steps from his house) to help him get started on his journey, both were attacked by members of The Hague’s civic militia in a clearly orchestrated assassination. The brothers were shot and then left to the mob. Their naked, mutilated bodies were strung up on the nearby public gibbet, while the Orangist mob partook of their roasted livers in a cannibalistic frenzy. Throughout it all, a remarkable discipline was maintained by the mob, according to contemporary observers, making one doubt the spontaneity of the event.[18]

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I can’t say I’d be happy to see such a sight writ large on a building, but I can’t say it would bother me, either. Mostly, I’d be intrigued and interested. Overall, I’d be in favour of it staying, because it never pays to forget that we’re much more ape than angel. It’s not as though we have stopped being barbaric apes, we haven’t. What has changed is art. The old patron system of art is long gone, as are the specific schools held by various masters. The church no longer dictates what is to be depicted, and current events are no longer primarily chronicled by art, as we now have much better means to do that sort of thing. That said, most people remain completely unaware of just how much history is chronicled by paintings. Most people have also successfully distanced themselves from the atrocities we continue to commit, not all that different to what was done to the De Witt Brothers. We tell ourselves that we don’t do that sort of thing, those people do. Being reminded of our long lasting bad habits is not a bad thing. If these make people uncomfortable, good. If they make people think, all the better. It never pays to ignore history, or pretend it isn’t important, and if it takes a sort of resurrection of old pieces to drive that home, it works for me.

The article about the Brussels works is here.

Border House.

(photo by Chim Pom)

(photo by Chim Pom)

Japanese art collective Chim↑Pom, known for their provocative, politically-charged artwork, has built a tree house along the U.S.-Mexico border. It was built in a private backyard in Tijuana’s Colonia Libertad neighborhood and offers views of the border separating Mexico from the United States

Earlier this month the art collective tweeted out two pictures of the tree house being built. But now, as Carolina Miranda from the LA Times details, it’s been completed and is quite popular among the local kids. Chim↑Pom gained access to a private backyard simply by knocking on the owner’s door and asking for permission. The owner said yes.

The words “U.S.A. Visitor Center” are printed on the the tree house, which was built in response to President Trump’s dedication to build a wall along the border. But it was also built for Chim↑Pom member Ellie, who is currently barred from entering the United States after someone she was traveling with jokingly indicated on a customs form that he was involved in terrorist activities. (Note: Do not joke about terrorism with custom officials. They don’t think it’s funny). “Ellie can’t go into the U.S., so she sees it from here,” says Ryuta Ushiro, the group’s leader.

Spoon & Tamago has the full story.

John Hurt Has Walked On.

John Hurt.

John Hurt.

Actor John Hurt, who gave us all so many great and iconic characters, has walked on at age 77. He has long been one of my most favourite actors, his name in a film would be all I needed to see it.

Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, Hurt was the son of an actress and a vicar, and, after training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), made his film debut in 1966’s A Man for All Seasons. With his pained British voice and poignant stare, the actor would make an indelible impact on cinema, earning his first Academy Award nomination as Max, a heroin addict trapped in a Turkish prison, in Midnight Express, before performing one of film’s most memorable death scenes in Ridley Scott’s Alien. His next two films, as the severely deformed and chastised John Merrick in The Elephant Man (Oscar-nominated for Best Actor) and Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, cemented his status as one of the greats, and marks a stellar 4-film run.

Goodbye, Mr. Hurt, and thank you. I’d watch V for Vendetta again, but right now, it hits too close to home.

Via Daily Beast.

More Clay, Less Plastic.

Clay

MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC was born in 2014 as an open group on Facebook with the intent of creating a network between ceramicists and the public.
THE MESSAGE The message we want to put through is very simple: more clay less plastic.
PLASTIC POLLUTION Plastic pollution has reached dramatic levels. Reducing the use of plastic is a fundamental and urgent step to save the environment and improve the life quality of every living creature.
INVOLUTION AS A FORM OF EVOLUTION The aim is to highlight respect for the environment by inviting people to rethink their daily habits, for example by avoiding disposable plastic. Colanders, cups, plates, bowls … once made of clay and then substituted with plastic, can be made of clay again.
PEOPLE Today MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC is coming out of the web to meet people, promoting the reduction of plastic usage at cultural events, workshops and exhibitions.
ARTISANS MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC believes in craft as a means of going back to a more human dimension, in artcrafts which are not just “things” since they carry stories and ancient knowledge within. By replacing a plastic utensil with a ceramic one we can all be part of a big revolution.

I’m all in favour. When I was young, plastic wasn’t ubiquitous yet. It was getting there, but you still saw much more glass, ceramic, and wood than you did plastic. Go on over and have a visit.