Tag Archives: photography

This and that No. 4

Billy Monk photos. From a nightclub in Capetown in the mid-60s.

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 23 February 1968

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 23 February 1968 at Michael Stevenson Gallery.

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967 at Michael Stevenson Gallery.

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967

Billy Monk, The Catacombs, 1967 at Michael Stevenson Gallery.

They’re silver gelatin prints. Via The Guardian and a commenter there. Very much worth reading; he sounds like an interesting guy. It’s a review of a new book, Billy Monk:

De Villiers dubs Monk ‘the seedy eye of the 1960s’, but he was more than that. He had an eye for the revealing, the intimate as well as the brazen, and he often caught both in the same instant. A bleached-blonde woman in a white trouser suit, holding a bottle of brandy in each hand, shouts or sings across the room, while beside her a sad-looking man sits in quiet contemplation. Another woman, a love bite visible on her neck, gazes lovingly at the bottles of brandy and coke on an adjacent table, while her escort slumbers blissfully on her shoulder. Bottles of brandy and coke are a constant in his photographs, as are short dresses, cheap suits and comatose customers. Monk’s relentlessly intimate reportage often captures the edginess of the hard-drinking life: the steely-eyed gaze of a punter who resents his camera’s intrusion, the defiant stare of a woman baring her breasts for the punters – and Monk’s camera.

This is a glimpse here, too, of another South Africa, an underground scene in which the taboo of inter-racial sex is flaunted. Ultimately, though, Monk’s brilliant snapshot aesthetic adds up to a portrait of wild people having a wild – though not always a good – time. His job, and his reputation as a bruiser, gave Monk the freedom to poke his camera where he wanted, but his eye for the revealing moment was extraordinary. In a short foreword, Goldblatt notes: ‘Monk’s non-judgmental, even cool-eyed awareness of the photographic possibilities of the bizarre pervades the work, and yet this awareness is never denigratingly exploitative.’

*****

Sally Cruikshank, “Quasi’s Cabaret” trailer, 1980. Described on YouTube as: “Nightclub of the future with live alligators and a tipsy train that serves drinks.” So exciting it’ll make you dizzy! First encountered in an animation class I took in college.

This and that No. 3 is here.

No. 2 is here.

And No. 1 is here.

your moist little brain

Birgit Jürgenssen little fur

Photo (untitled self-portrait?) by Birgit Jürgenssen.

From Emma Markiewicz’s “Matters of the Head” in Cabinet issue 40, which is still laying around my apartment:

In the eighteenth century, hair was conceived of not only as an external indicator of a person’s well-being but also as a part of the body that could itself be affected by ill health. In either case, hair in the medical literature was rarely seen as a separate entity and was commonly discussed in conjunction with other body parts and physical conditions. Some considered it a primary marker for the humoral condition of the head, the intellectual seat of the human body. For instance, Aristotle’s New Book of Problems, Set Forth by Question and Answer, a 1725 volume . . . attempted to answer the question ‘Why does hair grow on the head more than any other body part?’ by asserting that hair is ‘an excrement’ that grows primarily on the head because of the moistness of the brain, and is therefore more likely to grow longer in women whose brains are more moist than men’s.

Birgit Jürgenssen ohne titel / untitled

Ohne titel / untitled by Birgit Jürgenssen.

hunger and its objects

In college I took a philosophy class called Art and Its Objects. We read a lot of Wollheim, but what I really remember is going to my professor’s office, him propping up a Modigliani print on his desk and talking to me with it sat there. So I am going to prop up some things on my blog for you.

Hungry Russian cats in stereo. Haunted by thoughts of having to slog through these to get to the coffee in the morning. Necessity of cat-tending intern and cat-free bedroom with coffee apparatus in it. Potential necessity of rules for intern prohibiting them wearing only tightie whities, socks and plastic sandals.

Tarako Japanese Kewpie pasta sauce.

Walker Brothers Japanese commercial for Look chocolate.

Year Round lion

Lion soup by Milton Glaser, scanned by me from The Year-Round Holiday Cookbook.

Solo Covtina

Women eating hamburgers, from RossoPiceno’s Flickr.

Yuzu, Calamondin, Finger Lime

Yuzu, finger limes, calamondin from ktepi’s Flickr.

time to bring in the seaweed

I think you’ll like these photos of amasan (sea women) by photographer / sake distiller Iwase Yoshiyuki.

Yoshiyuki Iwase, Harvesting Seaweed, 1956

Iwase Yoshiyuki, Harvesting Seaweed, 1956.

Yoshiyuki Iwase, Bluff Gazing, 1935

Iwase Yoshiyuki, Bluff Gazing, 1935. Photos via Creatures of Comfort Tumblr here.

Amasan harvested things from the sea such as seaweed, turban shells, urchins and abalone. The fetching little shorts they wear are called fundoshi and I urgently want to transition into a profession where I’ll need a stack of those in my wardrobe. (For adventuring in, obviously, not serving beer and grease-snacks in). Women are reportedly better-suited for diving into the ocean for goodies than men are because we have a bit more body fat, so we can stay warmer in the cold water, even topless, without whining about the temperature. I have not yet personally tested this theory in competition against male friends but it seems sound.