Yves Klein – Anthropométries (1960):
Klein’s idea for the Anthropométries stemmed in part from his practice in judo, as he became fascinated by the markings left on the mat as a judo fighter fell. His initial experiment into using the human figure as a medium dates back to June 1958 in a friend’s apartment. It was here that he first applied blue paint to a nude model and guided her in rolling across a sheet of paper that had been placed on the floor. Surprisingly, this initial work troubled Klein. To him, the heavily-coated paint traces left by the body on the paper were too much about the workings of chance and spontaneity. However, he continued to be intrigued with the idea of using “living brushes” and in February 1960 staged a live public premiere at his own apartment utilizing his new medium.Klein gave a signal to his model Jacqueline to first undress and then to cover her breasts, stomach, and thighs in blue paint. Under his supervision and direction, she pressed herself against a sheet of paper fixed to the wall.The torso and thighs of the female body had been reduced to pure essentials; to Klein, it was an anthropometric symbol that served as the pure canon of human proportion, and he called it “the most concentrated expression of vital energy imaginable.” He believed that the model’s impressions represent the “health that brings humans into being,” and that their presence in the work “transcends personal presence.”
More images here. More of the essay on Klein’s performance piece on the Walker Art Center blog.
David Murrieta at A Closer Listen:
Is ‘world music’ still possible? After all, the premise of it runs closely to that of colonial pasts, to the image of the 19th century anthropologist that turns cultures into curiosities, into preconceived slideshows of noble savages merged into natural landscapes, a straightforward appropriation of that which is being possessed. Mixing Western instruments with African chants can still reek of the new-age, in which integration is implacably forced, mis-translating myths into styles and lives into unique products.
J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace:
“Ultimately, I wanted this model to be interpretable from two perspectives: one, the perspective of the walker going through the path who cannot know what to expect next, and two, the perspective from above that is able to see the model in its entirety: to see the knife cuts, the single-minded yet zig-zagging path, and the reflection in the water at the end of it.” —Joanna Yao, J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
From the Paris Review write-up on Matteo Pericoli’s workshop on Literary Architecture at Columbia. See also Pericoli’s own description of the workshop, “Writers as Architects.”
Rick Poyner on Brian Schorn:
In 1994, SCHORN performed a series of incisions, amputations and sutures on the body of the letter “A.” “Letters can now be explored as living, organic wonders by removing old tissues, transplanting new organs, or grafting new limbs,” he said.
Laura June on The Verge:
The movement was physical: an essentially pre-internet band, Bikini Kill’s shows were small and visceral, their mailers were hand-lettered and often came with unasked for goodies — little handwritten notes from the KRS staffers (there were only a few of them) and stickers — reminders that you were ordering from human beings.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the release of their first record, the band has re-issued the Bikini Kill EP, on its own, brand new label, the first of a series of reissues of its back catalogue. The records — available digitally and on vinyl — are just one piece of evidence that riot grrrl has left a lasting and still relevant mark on American culture. NYU’s Bobst Library recently acquired, from Kathleen Hanna and others, documents, photographs, notebooks, and zines for its Fales Riot Grrrl Collection.
Bikini Kill is, according to Kathi, doing things in much the same way as they did back in the ‘90s: Tobi Vail (also the drummer of the band) is handling mail order of the records and t-shirts, and each package includes a note. But the world that those packages are sent into is very different than it was in 1992. Most people don’t actually buy records or CDs, or even MP3s: a growing number of people simply stream music through services like Rdio or Spotify.
Also highly recommend the photo collection on the Bikini Kill Archive’s blog.
Prosthetic Knowledge on Rhizome:
Enda O’Donoghue’s work presents a forensic interest in the medium and process of painting and an ongoing dialogue with the mediation of images through digital technology. Hovering between the realms of abstraction and representation, between the mathematical encoded and the organic, O’Donoghue’s paintings are the result of a process which is highly analytical and methodical and yet inviting of errors, misalignments and glitches. The imagery comes almost exclusively from found photographs sourced from the Internet, where O’Donoghue plays with random throw-away moments of everyday life, merging them together in various interconnected themes. In O’Donoghue’s work, the painterliness of his technique works with the disposable nature of his subjects to make the work sometimes poignant and melancholic, or alternatively brittle and harsh. His work is deeply influenced by our digital high speed reality and he transports these seemingly meaningless sound-bite images from a place of apparent futility to one that questions and searches for meaning through the transformative act of painting.