sexta-feira, 26 de outubro de 2012

Ryoko Suzuki

Ryoko Suzuki, I am (2011)
Copyright (C) Ryoko Suzuki All rights reserved.

Lost in translation—again?

My name is Ryoko Suzuki and am an artist, born in 1970 in Sapporo, Hokkaido. I am currently working on mainly photograph and I set myself as an “artist”, not an “photographer”. My main themes are gender and sexuality and I always focus on such as self-concsciousness, human being and its desire through my works.

 — Ryoko Suzuki (Shift, October, 2011)

I have been following this Japanese artist since two years now. Her work belongs to a de-constructivist genre. Manga, Anime as well as peculiar Japanese street culture, media and adult entertainment is replayed by Ryoko with a critical twisted distance. In a gentle way though not always.

Ryoko Suzuki, Anikora Kawaii (2009)
Copyright (C) Ryoko Suzuki All rights reserved.
Japan is a country submerged in “cuteness”.

I have been surrounded with “cute” things since childhood and thus they seem natural, but I have come to believe this “cuteness” is unique to Japan.

Along with ANIKORA series 1 and series 2, the purpose of these works is to investigate the desire of men to see “anime” or cartoon characters of young women with child-like face and improbably voluptuous bodieis. It is easy to see how men’s desires are reflected in these characters, but less so how this way of seeing women is expressed in Japan’s culture of “cute” things.

Women who are immersed in the culture of “cuteness”define themselves and present themselves to society as objects of “cuteness”. Being “cute”is the most important value for Japanese young women. But aren’t they losing themselves and their own identities and personalities by trying to become objects of masculine society’s desire for “cuteness”?

— Ryoko Suzuki (Shift, October, 2011)

People become characters in Tokyo Harakuju street fashion walks on Sundays
Japan and the Exhaustion of Consumerism   (October 18, 2012)
By Charles Hugh Smith/ of two .

All consumerist fashion is based on superficiality and self-indulgence, of course; but if we look at the energy, money and attention "invested" in fashion lifestyles in Japan, we might conclude it is strong evidence that there is plenty of "money and time to burn" in Japan. While that is certainly true, this reliance on consumerist excess for self-identity and pastime is also evidence of a deeply troubled economy and society.

Young people have money and time to burn on outlandish costumes because few earn enough to have their own families or flats. They work part-time for low wages and live at home or in tiny one-room apartments. Few own cars because they 1) don't earn enough to support a car and 2) they're uninterested in acquiring status symbols or prestige signifiers.
This is not just a generational shift: it reflects a realistic understanding that opportunities for secure, high-paying employment have diminished over the past 20 years. There are plenty of low-level jobs, but few with the guarantees that their parents took for granted.
Sound familiar? This reality is playing out in Europe and the U.S. as well.


 -- Once-egalitarian Japan is becoming a nation of haves and have-nots.

-- More than one-third of the workforce is part-time as companies have shed the famed Japanese lifetime employment system.

-- The slang word "freeter" (for part-time worker) combines the English "free" and the German "arbeiter" or worker.

-- A typical "freeter" wage is 1,000 yen ($12.60) an hour.

-- As long ago as 2001, The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimated that 50 percent of high school graduates and 30 percent of college graduates now quit their jobs within three years of leaving school.

-- Japan's slump has lasted so long, a "New Lost Generation" is coming of age, joining Japan's first "Lost Generation" which graduated into the bleak job market of the 1990s.

-- These trends have led to an ironic moniker for the Freeter lifestyle: Dame-Ren (No Good People). The Dame-Ren (pronounced dah-may-ren) get by on odd jobs, low-cost living and drastically diminished expectations.

Japanese Harajuku, Tokyo
Dame-Ren (No Good People)
in Adbusters.

This year, Japanese police have officially reported at least eight incidents of what they call “random assaults,” indiscriminate stabbing sprees perpetrated by pathologically lonely, underemployed younger Japanese. Part-timer Tomohiro Kato stabbed 17 and killed seven in June; in July, an underemployed laborer stabbed two women in a bookstore, killing one, and a week later, a frustrated young woman stabbed seven on a busy Tokyo train platform.

In each case, the perps had little or no job security, and nothing else in their lives to provide stability or satisfaction. 

Ryoko Suzuki, Bind, 2011
I wonder if Ryoko's remarks to Japanese gods and devils are inspired in Western humanist approach to life and deadth, to beauty and perversion, or if those remarks translate to us the way a conceptual oriented Japanese artist and woman sees contemporary Japanese reality.

Ryoko Suzuki website

Masturbation (1999)
Anikora Kawaii (2009-11)
I am (2011)

domingo, 29 de julho de 2012

Manuel Casimiro

Manuel Casimiro, L'univers des Orientalistes (art book), 2012

Flying gestalt

I know Manuel Casimiro work for thirty-years now. He paints, he does sculptures and installations and occasionally accepts commissions for designing objects. In all his works there's a common seme that he calls the ovoid. It is an ovoid form indeed, but not as biomorphic as it is supposed to be. To my mind it has more of a void sign than of an egg shape. Sometimes it looks like a discus, in other pictures more of a flying saucer, or a stain. I also associate this operative gestalt manipulated by MC over his artworks as a black hole, a negative vortex that can swallow the image that it reveals on the surface. It is this complexity that gives formal powers to Casimiro's original approach to existing artworks and artifacts as an ideal locus for ready-made operations.

It is also true that MC applies his famous ovoid to original artworks created by him from the start. But in this particular trend I have to suspend my judgment. I see the ovoid as a pattern and as a cultural interference — and that's what I love about that flying gestalt.

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Manuel Casimiro's atelier. Excellent wines, I must confess, we tasted! But I also had the opportunity to see a new ovoid operation; black and gold paint on a glossy and heavy book by Gérard-Georges Lemaire titled L'Univers des Orientalistes.

It is an impressive work. Not exactly un livre d'artiste, but more of a capsule for a voyage in time, from the industrial offset book printing to a medieval handmade illumination.

I would like to see this rectified ready-made in a clean white cube soon.

Manuel Casimiro, L'univers des Orientalistes (art book), 2012

Manuel Casimiro, L'univers des Orientalistes (art book), 2012

Manuel Casimiro, L'univers des Orientalistes (art book), 2012

Manuel Casimiro, L'univers des Orientalistes (art book), 2012

Manuel Casimiro, L'univers des Orientalistes (art book), 2012

sexta-feira, 20 de julho de 2012

The syndrome of Alfred Leslie

Who's Alfred Leslie? 

Alfred Leslie (b.1929) and Robert Frank (b.1924)
Pull My Daisy, 28 min., 16mm (1959)
Made with writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Pull My Daisy is a 1959 short film, a classic look at the soul of the beat generation. It starred Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers, Peter Orlovsky, David Amram, Richard Bellamy, Alice Neel, Sally Gross and Pablo, Frank's then-infant son. Pull My Daisy is recognized as one of the most important works of avant-garde cinema — in Virtual Circuit.

Back in 1989 I draw and painted several red sentences on paper, that I named propositional images. One of these sentences says: The syndrome of Alfred Leslie. These propositional images are either enigmatic, nasty or funny. A few weeks ago a potential buyer of these drawing-paintings asked me what was the meaning of "the syndrome of Alfred Leslie". I was speechless because I couldn't remember any more why I did compose that sentence!

Now I remember: Alfred Leslie is a living American artist almost unknown in the art world though he has been a crucial presence in the core of such cultural moments in America as the abstract expressionism, the beat generation and even pop art. He's biography says, “born in the Bronx, New York, on October 20, 1927, multidisciplinary artist Alfred Leslie gained notice in the postwar period on the strength of his early abstract paintings, later figurative works, and independent films. An outgoing personality with close ties to Abstract Expressionist artists, Leslie turned his studio into a lively gathering place for New York’s avant-garde.”

Alfred Leslie. Telephone Call, 1971
Alfred Leslie.The Accident,1969-70
From abstraction to urban and almost photo-realism, from beat to pop. Alfred Leslie longevity has not been enough to give him the front pages in art exhibitions and magazines as he surely deserves from at least an historical point of vue. What is missing? Some name this accident as being just behind the curve. I call it Alfred Leslie syndrome.

Alfred Leslie. Casey Key, 1976
Alfred Leslie. Brenna Gordon, 1976
Alfred Leslie. Laura Apastalou, 1976

Alfred Leslie website

domingo, 8 de julho de 2012

Single coin

Mining gold in Indonesia. The value of gold measures its unique qualities, its rarity and above all the amount of work needed to get it! Photo © unknown

Is there anything beyond reality? Well, yes: death!

Title: Single coin
Head: a gold coin with my mother’s image and an algorithm.
Deck: art and money were born the same year — speculation on a single coin.
Lead: art and money have found themselves in the same deadlock. So if we want to save money we have to save art as well, and the other way around: if we want to save art we have to imagine a new protocol for love and for value exchange too. Accumulation has always been a menace for societies, and the thin air of debt is even worse. We happen to be already inside a new cave — kind of a run-out of fuel spaceship. Big time for smart guys and for the artists too!

What does valuable money mean? Trust! How can we rebuild trust once we have jeopardised it on bad bets? Can we do it without a deep symbolic reconstruction of the Self? Can we accomplish that necessary reconstruction without coming up with a new image, and a new narrative about fair exchange and love?

Let’s begin with a new memory tale about genes, motherhood and Gaia, and for this purpose let us discuss technology, what we know about knowledge, conscience and reality.

Cognitive art is something new. It means that post-contemporary artists either need a substantial body of logic knowledge, and proficiency in more than one formal language, be it a classical discipline of Academia (Physics, Mathematics, Biology, History, and so on) or some sort of computational cocktail, or he or she will stay somehow off tune and loosing the main conversation that is going on among the new post-contemporary art practitioners. My point of view on this particular issue though is that in the end if we expect artists to create artworks this still means techne (τέχνη). Cognitive representation without craftsmanship and holism, is not art. The difficulty though is to know where does conventional knowledge, technology and science stops to aesthetic representation begins. I am since the last two years in the mental process of conceiving a new form of local currency, of symbolic bartering. In the end I will have to design, model and mint a new coin that may respond to the huge collapse of trust that is presently destroying so many things we cherish for so long. It is not a practical solution I am working on though. It is a cognitive-symbolic one! In the beginning money and art were the same trade. I’m wandering the way back to Paradise.

Obs: this is a keynote to the 12th Consciousness Reframed International Research Conference, presented at Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisboa, on December 1st, 2011.

Copyright © 2011 by António Cerveira Pinto

The following is a collage of previous texts of mine revised and edited for this seminar and a theoretical background for the ongoing art project, Single coin.

domingo, 13 de maio de 2012

O artista sem qualidades

Hegel retratado por Schlesinger

Fernanda Maio e a deriva populista e burocrática da arte nas sociedades do Capitalismo tardio

"A presença da arte em espaços públicos, através da presença do artista, serve muitas vezes para colmatar a ausência de uma intervenção política efectiva. Dessa forma, a promessa da colaboração das pessoas num empreendimento criativo substitui o diálogo realmente democrático."

in Fernanda Maio, A Encenação da Arte (2004, 2011), p.245

O livro A Encenação da Arte (2004, 2011), de Fernanda Maio (1968), que acabo de ler em Português, resulta da sua tese de doutoramento realizada no Goldsmiths College, de Londres, em 2004. É um estudo fundamentado e impiedoso sobre a miséria da arte na fase tardia, populista e burocrática das democracias capitalistas ocidentais. Na realidade, o livro poderia levar um de dois subtítulos: da arte moderna à arte burocrática nas democracias capitalistas ocidentais, ou, para ser mais  curto e incisivo, do fim da modernidade ao artista sem qualidades.

O estado de indigência da arte produzida no âmbito protegido e ao mesmo tempo manipulado e instrumentalizado do dito Estado Social é uma consequência paradoxal do declínio deste último.

Desde a década de 1970, sobretudo depois da primeira grande crise petrolífera e da constatação do Pico do Petróleo nos Estados Unidos, que os países capitalistas se viram na contingência de trocar o antigo colonialismo focado na exploração das matérias-primas fundamentais existentes no chamado "terceiro mundo", por um mal-disfarçado neocolonialismo, cujos pressupostos foram, por um lado, a promoção da independência política das colónias europeias que ainda subsistiam nas décadas de 1950, 1960, 1970, e por outro,  a formalização democrática (sobretudo depois de 1990) dos povos colonizados pelo Ocidente desde o início do século XV (Ceuta, 1415). Esta nova colonização sofisticada, igualmente agressiva, tem sido mediada por supostos poderes soberanos que, na realidade, não deixaram nunca de ser, até à emergência da China, a partir da década de 1990, instrumentos imperiais de exploração e domínio. A novidade do neocolonialismo é esta: para lá das matérias primas preciosas a extrair dos territórios de soberania formal, o Ocidente capitalista desenvolvido precisava agora de somar à extracção barata dos recursos materiais das antigas colónias, a exploração de um outro recurso que no Ocidente começava a escassear e era em todo o caso cada vez mais caro: o trabalho!

A economia de serviços não produz nem batatas, nem automóveis, nem telemóveis. Limita-se a criar e desenvolver conceitos e ideais de não-trabalho. No limite, tentou imaginar, desejar e tanto quanto foi capaz implementar uma civilização de consumo e prazer. Centenas de milhões de camponeses abandonaram os campos para, num primeiro ciclo, trabalharem nas cinturas fabris que rodearam as antigas cidades de origem burguesa e comercial. Depois de as fábricas começarem a emigrar para a América Latina e Ásia, os subúrbios industriais e novas periferias sucessivamente conquistadas ao campo deram lugar ao crescimento suburbano das chamadas metrópoles, onde os antigos operários substituíram os martelos e os tornos por secretárias e telefones. Em apenas dois séculos o homem europeu (na Europa e na América) deixou de produzir alimentos e utensílios com as suas próprias mãos, entregando tais tarefas às máquinas, aos autómatos e aos novos sobre-explorados da América Latina, de África e da Ásia — que respondem, aliás, por mais de 5/6 da população mundial.

A tecnologia e o novo-mundo, pelo melhor preço e nenhuma ou fraca resistência política ou social à exploração, atraíram "naturalmente" o capital, deixando atrás de si um exército crescente de desempregados e uma escassez crescente e sistémica de emprego. A solução paliativa encontrada pelos poderes demo-populistas ocidentais para este enorme problema foi, desde o início da década de 1970 até à crise de endividamento público e privado em que os chamados países desenvolvidos estão imersos desde 2008, a criação de emprego fictício, cada vez mais burocracia, e o financiamento do consumo pelo endividamento. A monetarização necessária para cumprir este objetivo em última instância suicida assentou numa economia de casino, puramente especulativa e virtual. Um tal castelo de cartas teria que inevitavelmente sucumbir à pressão conjunta da progressiva mas inexorável escassez de energia barata, de matérias primas industriais, de água e de bens alimentares suficientes para uma demografia em crescimento exponencial.

O Estado Social, que começara por ser, no tempo em que o conservador Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) o lançou (1881), uma estratégia para apaziguar os movimentos operários revolucionários e para, ao mesmo tempo, aumentar a competitividade do novo "império alemão" face aos desafios da América, onde o trabalho era mais bem pago do que na Europa, foi-se degradando a partir do momento em que se transformou numa rede social alargada para proteger da indigência uma população sem empregos produtivos que não pára de aumentar desde a crise petrolífera de 1973.

Assim, e para além dos serviços tradicionalmente prestados pelo Estado Social nos seguros contra acidentes de trabalho, na assistência à doença, no subsídio do desemprego, na educação e na jubilação dos que chegam ao fim de uma vida longa de trabalho, fomos assistindo ao longo das últimas quatro décadas a uma verdadeira hipertrofia burocrática dos países desenvolvidos, do Japão aos Estados Unidos, passando obviamente pela Europa. Para suprir os efeitos mais nefastos da maciça destruição do emprego produtivo ao longo destas décadas, os governos demo-populistas foram levados, todos eles, a aumentar o gasto público sob a forma de investimento em redes públicas e semi-públicas de educação permanente e emprego social, mas também sob a forma de criação de liquidez financeira orientada para o consumo. O crescimento tornou-se desta maneira um verdadeiro embuste estatístico e uma miragem de progresso atrás da qual se escondeu, como agora estamos a constatar, um enorme e árido vazio!

A digressão foi longa, mas é porventura a esta luz, que a dissertação de Fernanda Maio revela a sua tremenda oportunidade crítica.
"Ao concluir o meu estudo estou inteiramente convencida uma prática de que não precisamos de uma arte que desempenhe o papel da política e da regeneração urbana, mas seria bom que tivéssemos uma prática artística verdadeiramente empenhada politicamente. Não considero relevantes os discursos sobre 'arte  democrática' que esvaziam de sentido todo o argumento político. Defendo, em vez disso, uma p´ratica artística eticamente responsável e socialmente comprometida."

in Fernanda Maio, A Encenação da Arte (2004, 2011), p.247

A arte característica do período de apogeu e declínio do Estado Social durou o que durou este declínio, denotando na esmagadora maioria dos casos e ao longo da sua breve existência um sobrevoo superficial sobre disciplinas alheias e uma ética quase sempre oportunista. Condenada pela pressão dos subsídios a procurar as comunidades que pela via fiscal os subsidiam, a verdade é que ficaram e continuam a ficar quase sempre muito longe das audiências e dos públicos pretendidos. Nunca puderam nem podem competir com a televisão, nem com o cinema, nem sequer com os espectáculos musicais, ocorram estes nos grandes festivais ou na rede capilar dos bares e discotecas que acolhe por esse mundo fora os celebrados DJs e VJs. Há um tremendo fracasso na arte dita conceptual e post-conceptual: nem foi tomada a sério pela Teoria, nem amada pela prole urbana e suburbana da cultura Pop.

Isto, a arte comercial sofisticada e especulativa do complexo galerístico-museológico, ou o consumo espetacular de uma cultura assente na produção e consumo de estímulos estéticos e ideológicos superficiais parecem pois dar uma vez mais razão ao pessimismo de Hegel (1770-1831) sobre a sobrevivência da arte como domínio espiritual autónomo da humanidade.

E no entanto existem imagens, palavras e vozes que na sua inexplicável perenidade e capacidade de nos comover contradizem o fatalismo do negativismo filosófico em que estamos fechados há pelo menos dois séculos. Talvez regressando a John Dewey (1859-1952) e ao estudo da "experiência estética" possamos reconstituir os caminhos genuínos de legitimidade e autonomia da técnica, da tecnologia e do estudo (τέχνη) que alicerçam o grande edifício das artes.

Copyright © 2012 by António Cerveira Pinto

segunda-feira, 30 de abril de 2012

Miguel Palma unpublished

Miguel Palma, Little boy, 2007
Five years later

Note: I decided to publish an essay I wrote in 2007 for Miguel Palma's exhibition at Culturgest — Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos. Though I wrote it on commission for the exhibition, by motives I never quite understood it was never published as well as the promised catalogue.

I think it is time to make it public for all reasons.

Carcavelos, April 30 2012

Extract from The Archaeology of Lost Time

To propose an interpretive model is always a risky business, and it is more than likely that there will be flaws at some points in its construction. Whatever the case, if we donʼt try, we run the risk of leaving the dialogue about works of art at the mercy of the inertias of tastes, or of the more or less sophisticated popular clichés of their worldly reception. Greenbergʼs formalist and neo-Kantian paradigm has withstood and survived the linguistic criticism unleashed against it by the English and American Conceptualists, largely because, amongst other reasons, this was an incomplete, inconsequential and opportunistic criticism. 

Copyright © 2007 by António Cerveira Pinto

Dan Graham unpublished

Pavillon Dan-Graham
Dan Graham, pavillion


Twelve years later

I decided to publish an old essay I wrote for Dan Graham's retrospective at Serralves museum. Though I wrote it on commission for the museum, by motives I never quite understood it was rejected by Dan Graham. About it Marianne Brower, co-curator of the show wrote an enthusiastic email to me after she got the English version of my text originally written in Portuguese. I kept the email as a testimony that it is about time to make public my words:

“Schema Likes Children’s Day Care
Art and complexity in Dan Graham’s work.”

Email transcript:

“very good, very different from the others, very radical, funny combination of old-fashion and future, the only true theoretical view on the pavilions, very intelligent”

Marianne Brower
August, 23  2000

I wrote in the end of the essay about Graham:

“Dan Graham’s biggest contribution to contemporary art has, in my opinion, been the reiterative launch of the philosophic and æsthetic grounds of an interactive art in a state of rupture with the elitist notions that tend to view it as a private property of taste, in a state, of rupture, too, with the formalist notions that tend to restrict it to a mere place for anarchistic contemplation of the innominable.”

It was true in August 2000 as it is now.

Carcavelos, 30 April 2012.

Copyright © 2012 by António Cerveira Pinto

quinta-feira, 12 de abril de 2012

Next Biennale

Six degrees of art [6 DoA]

I sometimes realize that ideas behind contemporary art shows are of secondary nature. In big art events ideas and artworks are unnoticed, temporary and subdued by a shadow. Is there a possibility of introducing some objectivity in the process of gathering artists and artworks for an art biennale?

Next Biennale/Six degrees of art bets on an algorithm for selecting the artists:

(1x6)+(6x6)+(36x6) = 258

Six invited artists appoint six other living artists, and the thirty six new invited artist will appoint six other living artists each.

A curatorial team formed by six personalities — 

i) an artist, 
ii) an art critic, 
iii) a museum director, 
iv) an art professor, 
v) an art collector, and 
vi) a gallery owner will then discuss the outcome of such an experiment and will ultimately decide the best way to present the artists and their artworks to the public.

Every artist in the biennale should invite up to six guests to the opening of the biennale. A total of 1548 attendees are expected at Next Biennale/Six degrees of art opening.

invitational procedure
1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f
1a1 1a2 1a3 1a4 1a5 1a6
1b1 1b2 1b3 1b4 1b5 1b6
1c1 1c2 1c3 1c4 1c5 1c6
1d1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d5 1d5
1e1 1e2 1e3 1e4 1e5 1e6
1f1 1f2 1f3 1f4 1f5 1f6
2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
2a1 2a2 2a3 2a4 2a5 2a6
2b1 2b2 2b3 2b4 2b5 2b6
2c1 2c2 2c3 2c4 2c5 2c6
2d1 2d2 2d3 2d4 2d5 2d6
2e1 2e2 2e3 2e4 2e5 2e6
2f1 2f2 2f3 2f4 2f5 2f6
3a 3b 3c 3d 3r 3f
3a1 3a2 3a3 3a4 3a5 3a6
3b1 3b2 3b3 3b4 3b5 3b6
3c1 3c2 3c3 3c4 3c5 3c6
3d1 3d2 3d3 3d4 3d5 3d6
3e1 3e2 3e3 3e4 3e5 3e6
3f1 3f2 3f3 3f4 3f5 3f6
4a 4b 4c 4d 4e 4f
4a1 4a2 4a3 4a4 4a5 4a6
4b1 4b2 4b3 4b4 4b5 4b6
4c1 4c2 4c3 4c4 4c5 4c6
4d1 4d2 4d3 4d4 4d5 4d6
4e1 4e2 4e3 4e4 4e5 4e6
4f1 4f2 4f3 4f4 4f5 4f6
5a 5b 5c 5d 5e 5f
5a1 5a2 5a3 5a4 5a5 5a6
5a1 5a2 5a3 5a4 5a5 5a6
5c1 5c2 5c3 5c4 5c5 5c6
5d1 5d2 5d3 5d4 5d5 5d6
5e1 5e2 5e3 5e4 5e5 5e6
5f1 5f2 5f3 5f4 5f5 5f6
6a 6b 6c 6d 6e 6f
6a1 6a2 6a3 6a4 6a5 6a6
6b1 6b2 6b3 6b4 6b5 6b6
6c1 6c2 6c3 6c4 6c5 6c6
6d1 6d2 6d3 6d4 6d5 6d6
6e1 6e2 6e3 6e4 6e5 6e6
6f1 6f2 6f3 6f4 6f5 6f6

last update: 2012-07-20 15:52 GMT 

© Antonio Maria a.k.a. António Cerveira Pinto

domingo, 1 de abril de 2012

Lissy Elle

Lissy Elle — Get Back In Your Book
Born web

I don't know much about Lissy Elle. She is an artist apparently with no CV, that owes her recognition to web travellers. She is from Canada, where many digital manipulators (Jeff Wall) come from and where consistent experimental animation and film making began around the 1950's with pioneers such as Norman McLaren. When I first saw Lissy Elle's digital images I was transported to the anti-gravity worlds by Magritte, as well as the wonders and ghosts that invaded Delvaux or Cindy Sherman imaginary worlds. Elle's images are surprisingly strong and subtle at the same time. And the fact that we know nothing about her, leaves us more space for an open judgement, as if this not verified author appears to us as an anonymous artist, a testimony from the virtual space-time of the neighbour world we call the Net.

Lissy Elle — Up In The Air

Lissy Elle — The Things We Miss

Lissy Elle — Get Back In Your Book, Wendy

Lissy Elle — Get Back In Your Book,Belle

Lissy Elle — Defying Gravity

Lissy Elle in her own words

I am someone who likes to pretend that I don’t care what other people think of me. I like to pretend that I make my art for ME, and no one else. But there comes a point in every artist’s life that they crave recognition. Admit it. Be not ashamed. This is only human.
The overwhelming support I’ve received from the online community may be the only reason I’ve been able to get this far. Whenever someone says I have inspired them I realize I can never stop. If anyone creates anything that wouldn't exist if it weren't for me, I feel like I can change the world. When I don't have that rush for a while, I need that feeling back. My images are half for me, and half for you.

The more views I got on a photo I’d post to Flickr, the more offers I got. For book covers for album covers for magazines for ads, and I feel insanely blessed to do something I love because a few people took a liking to what a teenage girl posted on the internet.

Lissy Elle website

quinta-feira, 15 de março de 2012

Sainkho Namtchylak‬

Sainkho (Tuva)
A voice from otherness

When one think that Amanda Galás is the most radical voice around, we stumble upon Sainkho, an eclectic singer and performer who's guttural tones and extreme plasticity surpass almost everything done so far by human voice. This is form, art as art as Reinhardt once named the human capacity of infinite modulation. But then concept is also strong within Sainkho variety of songs, not only is terms of avant-garde strategies, but also as a deeply anthropological approach to popular collective expressionism. What a wonderful experience to listen to her voice!

Sainkho Namtchylak is an experimental singer, born in 1957 in a secluded village in the south of Tuva. She has an exceptional voice, proficient in overtone singing; her music encompasses avant-jazz, electronica, modern composition and Tuvan influences. In Tuva, numerous cultural influences collide: the Turkic roots it shares with Mongolia, Xinjiang Uighur and the Central Asian states; various Siberian nomadic ethnic groups, principally those of the Tungus-Manchu group; Russian Old Believers; migrant and resettled populations from the Ukraine, Tatarstan and other minority groups west of the Urals. All of these, to extents, impact on Sainkho's voice, although the Siberian influences dominate: her thesis produced while studying voice, first at the University of Kyzyl, then in the Gnesins Institute in Moscow during the 1980s focussed on Lamaistic and cult musics of minority groups across Siberia, and her music frequently shows tendencies towards Tungus-style imitative singing.

— in Wikipedia

Dance of the eagle
Digital Mutation (live vers)
Jazzy overtone swing
Let the sun shine (remix vers)
Lost rivers
Red Orange
Running tapes
Tuva Blues

by Sainkho at MySpace

Primavera branca e cinzenta

Monte Cativo

enxotei os pombos e o seu insuportável arrulhar
o som e o voo das gaivotas que povoam agora o Monte Cativo são mais toleráveis
vê-las tão perto, o esforço quando ascendem,
vê-las tão perto aproveitar e gozar as correntes de ar,
vê-las assim a voar
tem sido a maior descoberta nesta viagem a um passado que me faz sentir, pela primeira vez, o tempo...

parecem querer deixar o mar falho de peixe
e acabar na cidade comendo pombos
e eu a vê-las voar de manhã, com o Sol pelo ombro, olhando o mar e o petroleiro que espera autorização para atracar...
por quanto tempo mais?
virado a sul e a poente, no alto da cidade galega, respiro aqueles volumes de vida e a brisa do mar,
aquecido por um Sol que dá que pensar, saudades e um resto de ser

com uma faca bem afiada
retiro a película fina do limão
para recuperar o perfume do seu óleo
retiro depois a fibra branca
espremo o limão
copo, água, fibra e perfume
bebo lentamente, olhando o Sol e as gaivotas que não se cansam das táticas nupciais
gritam, encantam, tentam, namoram, olham-me às vezes nos olhos, tão perto passam diante da minha filosofia de ver
só não sei onde finalmente fornicam!

Copyright © 2012 by António Cerveira Pinto 

sábado, 4 de fevereiro de 2012

Sanne Sannes

Sanne Sannes — Untitled (1960's)
Swingeing Holland

I really haven't heard about this guy! He died to soon to be known: 1937-1967. Left some unfinished notwithstanding marvellous pictures, of naked or half-naked women, for us all to see. He auto crashed himself, too drunk, too soon. A book was published two years after his death, just for the record. Ten years later, in 2009, the world finally had the opportunity to see a retrospective of his wonderful work, at FOAM, in Amsterdam, and at Laurence Miller Gallery, in New York. Pop art is unfinished business so far.

Not many words from him have been recorded, or printed. Let's then keep the few that have been rescued from oblivious...

There are many men who’ll never see a woman in ecstasy. They change from one thing to something else completely different. Human emotions are my subject matter. I photograph people. They’re what interest me, obsess me. I want to know what pushes them to do what they do. I don’t look for them in the street; I don’t do random photography. I direct them and record the moment they open up and become naked. I chose the most emotionally charged moments, the point of no return. I’m fanatically zealous!

— Sanne Sannes.

Curiosity has some built-in pornographic pulsion, or a -scopic attraction if we mean the visual world alone, and is sexual in nature. This is standard knowledge since Sigmund Freud, and more from Edward Bernay's Propaganda (1928) onwards. Photography was of great help to make this otherwise difficult technique, I mean painting, an everyday gesture. A hundred years were enough to each of us to fantasize in almost perfect ready-made pictures our near world. The technique came from Niépce, Fox Talbot and Nadar, but the narrative as well as the new naked moral have been established by Manet, Courbet, and other painters alike.

Pop art is nothing but a urban crossroad of new media and older narratives. Think about Diderot, Sade and Masoch. Think about D. H Lawrence, and think about the nineteenth-century realist writers George Eliot and Balzac, remember the early twenty-century D. H. Lawrence. The embarrassment about photography though comes from its somehow frightening realism, as the French Roland Barthes put it in Camera Lucida (1980), here summarized by Jenifer Schadlick:

The "thing" Barthes hopes to arrive at is alternately called photography's eidos or noeme; it is what essentially differentiates Photography from other images. The "community" of images Barthes attempts to distinguish Photography from includes Film, or Cinema, and Painting. Barthes' first taxonomic challenge lies in the contingency of the photograph; "it is the absolute Particular, the sovereign Contingency…the This…in short, what Lacan calls…the Real, in its indefatigable expression." The photograph essentially says, "Look. Here it is." However, it points to and repeats something that "has been" and "could never be repeated existentially." Barthes connects this eternal present tense of the photograph to the impossibility of separating a photograph from its referent. The apparent difficulty this causes Barthes ultimately serves him in his purpose; he says, "I didn't yet know that this stubbornness of the referent in always being there would produce the essence I was looking for."

— in Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida—Reflections on Photography (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981) / annotation by Jenifer Schadlick (Theories of Media, Winter 2004).

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

Beauty, beauty! Even in misery, violence and crime, even in the midst of the big horror of near death, we worship for a bit of beauty, for a bit of mercy —a moment of silence, please!

An instant of time to see and to listen to that big universe we all belong to, innocent creatures, dying victims, and demons. The curiosity about transformation, that joke of all life forms, overcoming any fake sureness. The shape of time is the shape of a woman, the body of life has the form of a vulva! Shocking —of course!

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

Sanne Sannes — Untitled, 1962-65

terça-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2012

Die Antwoord

Photography by Kobus Holnaaler
Zef: from low avangarde to hi-fi and back

I love being naive about music. I really am! I like it, or I don't like it. I miss almost of the gossip though.

I listen to Hip hop sampling and rap poetry as some kind of updated ex-low pop art, visually powerful, swingy, rythmic, intellectually agressive, multilayered if good enough, marvellous repetitive. It's like a techno realization of post-modern de-construction, a wall defacement, a post-marxian dérive, a suburban psychogeography. Tonight I was struck by the almost dark, deeply cool, dry and clever Die Antwoord. What a punch in my sophisticated perusal rituals! Entering the web of ¥o-Landi Vi$$er ["Fuck da System, I Got My Own System"], Ninja ["If u going thru hell … Keep Ging"] and DJ Hi-Tek ["DJ Hi-Tek Will Fuck U in The Ass"] is like feeling an exploded ex-museum crashing into my face. What the fuck is the white cube for?

For more:
  • Die Antwoord website 
  • Die Antwoord in Wikipedia 
  • Zef definition by ¥o-Landi Vi$$er: "It's associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you're poor but you're fancy. You're poor but you're sexy, you've got style."

quarta-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2012

Alex Prager

Alex Prager - "The Big Valley; Virginia", 2008.
The new Cindy star of American photography?

I know when I see good stuff! So far the wonderland and nightmares of this young American photographer and film maker (Los Angeles, 1979) tells me that there is future beyond conventional media and old fashion realism. Her images and her perlaborations around Hollywood lost paradise certainly brings a new flavor to ex-voto iconography by Cindy Sherman, the horrors of Paul Mc Carthy, and even Nan Goldin daily dramas. Alex Prager is none of these great artists, nor is she even close to Diane Arbus, neither to my beloved Larry Clark. There's something else out there. Her work make me think, and this is the marvellous uniqueness of all ingenuous outcomes by creative sensible minds. I'm looking forward to know her future images and narratives!

For more:

sábado, 21 de janeiro de 2012

Poema ridículo


quem me dera nascer gato
haver Deus e amar-te
sou ateu e vagueio...
o coração raso, a razão perdida
querendo - raios me partam! - querendo...