Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for August, 2004

Sudek - The Poet of Prague

by Suzanne G. on August 28th, 2004

Everything around us, dead or alive, in the eyes of a crazy photographer mysteriously takes on many variations, so that a seemingly dead object comes to life through light or by its surroundings... to capture some of this - I suppose that's lyricism.

- Josef Sudek

© Josef Sudek
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

"I remember one time, in one of the Romanesque halls, deep below the spires of the cathedral [St. Vitus] - it was dark as in catacombs - with just a small window below street level inside the massive medieval walls. We setup the tripod and camera and then sat down on the floor and talked. Suddenly Sudek was up like lightening. A ray of sun had entered the darkness and both of us were waving cloths to raise mountains of dust 'to see the light,' as Sudek said. Obviously he had known that the sun would reach here perhaps two or three times a year and he was waiting for it."

- Sonja Bultaty, assistant to Sudek

→ Works by Josef Sudek are currently exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (through 17th January 2005)

NYT article on Josef Sudek (by Sarah Boxer)

Monograph on Josef Sudek
(Kehayoff publishers, 1998, ISBN 3-9290-7855-4)

... if only Steven Soderbergh had had a chance to engage Sudek as a creative director for Kafka...


Picture index:

(From top to bottom, left to right)

Josef Sudek: Cover photograph for Kafka magazine
Josef Sudek: Evening on Charles Bridge, 1940
Josef Sudek: Magic Garden, 1952
Josef Sudek: Svaty Vit, 1928
Josef Sudek: Chrám Sv. Víta - St. Vitus Cathedral


Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny

by Suzanne G. on August 28th, 2004

Art Forms in Nature

© Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

"Die Früchte vom Baum der Erkenntnis sind es immer wert, daß man um ihretwillen das Paradies verliert."

- Ernst Haeckel, 1834 - 1919

→ Kurt Stüber's e-facsimile edition of
Kunstformen der Natur

Kunstformen der Natur on amazon.de
(PRESTEL Verlag, 1998, ISBN 3-7913-1978-7)


Picture index:

(From top to bottom, left to right)

Portrait of Ernst Haeckel

Ernst Haeckel: Blue Burst Ahedron
Ernst Haeckel: Aqua Nine Flower
Ernst Haeckel: Discomedusae
Ernst Haeckel: Paisley Egg
Ernst Haeckel: Pink Pin Cushion
Ernst Haeckel: Anthromedusae
Ernst Haeckel: Sixteen Black Dot Tentacles

Gott ist tot.

by Suzanne G. on August 25th, 2004

Nietzsche auch.

15th October 1844 - 25th August 1900

© La filosofia e i suoi eroi
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

Die Krähen schrein
Und ziehen schwirren Flugs zur Stadt:
Bald wird es schnein. -
Wohl dem, der jetzt noch Heimat hat!

Nun stehst du starr,
Schaust rückwärts, ach! wie lange schon!
Was bist Du Narr
Vor Winters in die Welt entflohn?

Die Welt - ein Tor
Zu tausend Wüsten stumm und kalt!
Wer das verlor,
Was du verlorst, macht nirgends halt.

Nun stehst du bleich,
Zur Winter-Wanderschaft verflucht,
Dem Rauche gleich,
Der stets nach kältern Himmeln sucht.

Flieg, Vogel, schnarr
Dein Lied im Wüstenvogel-Ton! -
Versteck, du Narr,
Dein blutend Herz in Eis und Hohn!

Die Krähen schrein
Und ziehen schwirren Flugs zur Stadt:
Bald wird es schnein. -
Weh dem, der keine Heimat hat.

(Friedrich Nietzsche: "Vereinsamt")

→ Very comprehensive resource website in Russian


Picture index:

(From top to bottom, left to right)

• Gruppenbild der Philologischen Gesellschaft zu Leipzig (3rd from left, 2nd row)
• Bonner Burschenschaft "Franconia"
(3rd from left, 2nd row)
• Lou von Salomé, Paul Rée und F. Nietzsche
• F. Nietzsche in Preussischer Uniform
• Ex-libris von F. Suter de Soder (1907)

Spondylitis For Fun And Profit

by Suzanne G. on August 24th, 2004


Please skip this post if you're easily offended
by... BRACES. :)

© Scoliosis & The Milwaukee Brace
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

Let us start with a simple sloping plane used in treating kyphosis (there will be more exciting uses for this later). The patient is reasonably comfortable with the head in a traction harness. The traction is adjusted by changing the slope of the table. Even when used as an adjunct to exercise, this treatment appears rather ineffective for curing scoliosis or kyphosis.

Rising the patient to a fully vertical position increases traction but also the strain on the head. This forced extension will not win you the patient’s affection.

→ Scoliosis & The Milwaukee Brace:
Traction at the Turn of the Century


Picture index:

(From top to bottom, left to right)

• Vintage German korsett
• Vintage scoliosis brace, 1905
• The Kuehnegger CTLSO Milwaukee brace
• Example of early traction, ca. 1910
• An Italian extension Milwaukee brace (with neck ring)

(Link culled from the deep slimy abyss of
Trevor Brown's Baby Art Forum)

Fun for the whole klan!

by Suzanne G. on August 22nd, 2004

(click image to enlarge - via BoingBoing)

A 1924 photo from the archive of the Canon City Colorado Library showing a whole troop of Klansmen riding a Ferris-wheel.

The Filthy Monkey...

by Suzanne G. on August 22nd, 2004

... it stares...

© Jill Greenberg
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

"If I let my fingers wander idly over the keys of a typewriter it might happen that my screed made an intelligible sentence. If an army of monkeys were strumming on typewriters they might write all the books in the British Museum. The chance of their doing so is decidedly more favourable than the chance of the molecules returning to one half of the vessel."

- Arthur Eddington, in: The Nature of the Physical World: The Gifford Lectures
(which initiated the Infinite Monkey Theorem)

→ Jill Greenberg's monkey images as well as some great new ones will be on exhibit from October 23rd until December 11th, 2004 at the
Paul Kopeikin Gallery.

Leda, Her Swan, Her Friends And Their Pets

by Suzanne G. on August 20th, 2004

(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

(W. B. Yeats "Leda and the Swan", 1928)

There's nothing more sexually piquant yet sweetly intimate than a portrait of a lady with her favourite pet...

I'm currently trying to collect a bunch of enchanting and haunting illustrations of Grandes Dames and their pets. Submissions from any art-historical period are very welcome.

Please contact me via e-mail, MSN, snail mail (you have my address if you're a chosen one...), smoke signals, cryptograms, alphorns, morse signals, or helicopter banners. Just don't call me - I didn't pay my phone bill this month. Thanks! :)


Picture index:

(From top to bottom, left to right)

Cesare da Sesto: Leda and the Swan, ca. 1510
École de Fontainebleau: Diana, ca. 1540
Leonardo da Vinci: Lady with an Ermine, ca. 1485
H. H. (d. J.): Lady with a Squirrel & a Starling, 1528
S. Anguissola: Portrait of a Lady & Her Dog, undated
Michael Sowa: Herbert, 1985
Masaru Shichinohe: Black & White, 2003
Esao Andrews: Chandra, 2004
Aurélien Police: Lady Bird, 2003
H. Bourne (after J. C. Horsley): The Novice, 1867
Fred Zinnemann: The Nun's Story (movie still), 1959
M. Von Trotta: Rosa Luxemburg (movie still), 1986
N.N.: Theda Bara With Dog, ca. 1925

What's In A Name...

by Suzanne G. on August 18th, 2004

(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

From top to bottom, left to right:

Jean-Baptiste Santerre: Susanna Bathing, 1704

Guido Reni: Susanna and the Elders, ca. 1620
Guido Cagnacci: Susanna and the Elders, undated
Paolo Veronese: Susanna in the Bath, undated
Tintoretto: Susanna and the Elders, c. 1556
Franz von Stuck: Susanna Bathing, 1904
Sir Anthony Van Dyck: Susanna and the Elders, 1622
Lorenzo Lotto: Susanna and the Elders, 1517
Albrecht Altdorfer: Susanna im Bade, 1526
Gustave Doré: Susanna in the Bath, ca. 1860
Hans (Jan) Collaert: Susanna and the Elders, ca. 1590


Susanna or Shoshana

(שושנה, Standard Hebrew Šošanna, Tiberian Hebrew Šôšannāh: Egyptian loan: "lily")

Part of the biblical Book of Daniel (Daniel 13), is considered canonical by Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox, and spurious by Protestants.

It recounts the story of a fair Hebrew maiden who is falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, three lusty men secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she sought to seduce them. She refuses to be blackmailed, and a young man clears her name. The false accusers are punished, and virtue triumphs.

(Retrieved from Wikipedia and inspired by a conversation with Corran...)

Oh, yeah... and I'm back! :)

R.I.P. MaxData

by Suzanne G. on August 12th, 2004

10th November 2000 - 12th August 2004

© b3ta

Dear Reader

I'm writing to you from my flatmate's iBook.

My good old MaxData is no more. He died early this morning after a series of short and painless electro-strokes.

He took my HD with 3 years worth of emails, university files, personal data, photographs and GIFs with him.

Over 9'700 emails are gone forever...

I cannot describe how I feel right now. But it comes close to the feeling you get seconds before some bastard with acute encephalitis blasts your guts out with a 122mm bowel-disruptor.

I cannot afford to buy a new PC right now. Please bear with me and understand that I'll be away from this blog and my forum for several weeks.

Take care.

Die Nachthexen

by Suzanne G. on August 10th, 2004

© Soviet Women Pilots in the Great Patriotic War
(click on thumbnails for detailed view)

From top to bottom, left to right:
• Lieutenant Natalya Myeklin - Wearing the
Hero of the Soviet Union gold star (I, II)
• Major Marina Raskova - A record-breaking aviatrix (III)
• Nachthexen - Female pilots from the Russian
588th Night Bomber Regiment (IV, V)

In 1942 the Soviet Union formed three regiments of women combat pilots who flew night combat missions of harassment bombing. They flew obsolete Polikarpov
Po-2 biplanes, that were otherwise used as trainers, and which could only carry 2 bombs that weighted less than a ton altogether.
They were so successful and deadly the Germans feared them, calling them "Nachthexen" — "Witches of the Night".

The Soviet women bomber pilots earned in total 23 Hero of the Soviet Union medals and dozens of Orders of the Red Banner. Two women bomber pilots — Katya Ryabova and Nadya Popova — in one night raided the Germans 18 times. The Po-2 pilots flew more than 24,000 sorties and dropped 23,000 tons of bombs. Most of the women bomber pilots who survived the war in 1945 had racked up nearly 1,000 missions each. They had served so exemplarily throughout the whole war that they participated in the final onslaught on Berlin.

→ Resources:

Soviet Women Pilots in the Great Patriotic War

Marina Raskova and the Soviet Women Pilots of World War II