reflets de lumière

luminer.org – new website address

Posted in Uncategorized by B on February 13, 2011

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Taketeru Kudo

Posted in Performing Arts by B on September 26, 2010

Taketeru Kudo & Tetsu Saitoh at SuperDeluxe Artspace, 30 July 2010


Taketeru Kudo & Tetsu Saitoh at SuperDeluxe Artspace, 30 July 2010


Taketeru Kudo & Tetsu Saitoh at SuperDeluxe Artspace, 30 July 2010


Taketeru Kudo & Tetsu Saitoh at SuperDeluxe Artspace, 30 July 2010

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Butoh dance incorporates hyper-controlled body movements, grotesque yet beautiful imagery and at times taboo subject matter. Created by Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno in Japan after the Second World War, this expressionistic, highly visceral dance style was both a reaction against western classical influences in dance and also a means of challenging established authority and subverting established beliefs.

Kudo trained with the Butoh dance master Akiko Motofuji (Tatsumi Hijikata’s widow), worked for three years with the world famous Butoh group Sankai Juku, and then formed his own dance company. In recent years he has been active worldwide primarily as a solo performer, but he also collaborates with cutting edge artists in many fields.

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Taketeru Kudo

Tadao Ando

Posted in Architecture, Print by B on September 19, 2010


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Azuma House, Osaka, 1975


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977


Tadao Ando, Ishihara House, Osaka, 1977

_____

“Here and there in his oeuvre there is a deliberate monotony and repetitiveness designed to induce stillness, timelessness and quietude. In such moments he is able to express this rarefaction with an architecture of the utmost simplicity, and it is up to us not to miss these rare and unfamiliar experiences. Even in Japan, Ando’s architecture is often and too easily seen as mere nostalgia, a commonplace which Ando himself does not seem to refute. His cool style is seen as carrying forward a certain kind of Japanese tradition which cultivates a particularly charming relationship with nature.

Partly because of Ando himself (there are significant differences between what he says and what he does) it is all too easy for some to see him as one who has found a way around the crisis of Modernism towards a great restatement of its moral positions; but only by totally ignoring the things which have been happening in architecture elsewhere is it possible to really believe this, as so many seem to. For them, Ando’s buildings show that Modernism will march on somehow, as able as it ever was to make places in which modern man can look forward to ‘living poetically‘ in some sort of re-pacified coexistence between technology and transition, nature and artifice, poetry and utility. Ando, the self-taught innocent of Osaka, shows the way as the consoles and encourages us to carry on believing that ‘Full of merit, yet poetically man Dwells on this earth‘. That line from Holderlin, borrowed from Heidegger, has been responsible for so many banalities of contemporary criticism. The architectural poetic of Ando ‘the minimalist‘ (one can hardly recall it and not squirm with embarrassment) is supposed to be able to resolve the conflict between earth and world, no less; the ‘being‘ of one and the ‘becoming‘ of the other, to paraphrase Heidegger.

Obviously, these critics find it impossible to say anything about the complex and condtradictory meanings which make up the very nerve-system of Ando’s so-called minimalit architectural language: the intertwined truths and sleights of hand, the conciseness and echoing alusiveness, the occasional gravity and the frequent severity, the fastidiousness and (at times) the imprecision. In the middle of all this Ando, just occasionally, with ‘the candour of the fox and the cunning of the dove‘ hits on something that reaches the very highest level of serious and tragic discourse, crossing the line beyind which there is nothing but life itself, in all its emptiness.

In such moments when truth is able to get the better of trickery and he is able to acknowledge how precarious and painful it is to exist, Ando does return to tradition, but only to make a helpless and disconsolate architecture which sets out precisely how irreconcilable the distance is that separates tradition from real life. Hence the complete absence of anything playful in his architecture and his fondness for Piranesi’s Le Carceri; it is only the dark side of Piranesi’s mind that interest Ando. To salute him as the Messiah of a newly re-pacified Modernity is to strip his work of all its significance and nobility. Tadao Ando, at his most sincere, expresses on the devastation which marks the greatest moment in Japanese art, says how remote and inaccessible tradition is and demonstrates how pointless it is to think that simply to live in a beautiful house could in any way bring peace to the world.”

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Dal, Co Francesco, and Tadao Andō. Tadao Ando: Complete Works. London: Phaidon, 1995. Print.

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Tadao Ando

Francesco Dal

Phaidon

Dal, Co Francesco, and Tadao Andō. Tadao Ando: Complete Works. London: Phaidon, 1995. Print.
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Yohji Yamamoto

Posted in Fashion, Print by B on September 5, 2010

Yohji Yamamoto – Talking to myself


Yohji Yamamoto – Talking to myself


Yohji Yamamoto – Talking to myself


Yohji Yamamoto – Talking to myself


Yohji Yamamoto – Talking to myself


Yohji Yamamoto – Talking to myself

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“For some reason, I am moved by the female form, as seen from the side, or diagonally from behind. Like a feeling of waiting to chase after and restrain something that passes by, or passes through. You could call it a feeling of “missing” something. A lingering scent is the same. A kind of feeling of longing for something. There is always an adoration for women in me which resembles the temptation I have for things that have passed me by. And so I can only see a woman as someone who passes by, a person who disappears. Therefore the “Back” is important to me. I think clothes should be made from the back, and not the front. The back supports the clothes, and so if it is not properly made, the front cannot exist.”

_____

Yamamoto, Yohji, Kiyokazu Washida, and Carla Sozzani. Talking to Myself. [Tokyo]: Steidi Verlag, 2002. Print.

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Yohji Yamamoto

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René Daumal – Poetry Black, Poetry White

Posted in Poetry, Print by B on August 30, 2010


René Daumal on May 19, 1944, three days before his death, photographed by his friend Luc Dietrich.

_____

“As with magic, poetry is black or white, depending on whether it serves the sub-human or the superhuman.

The same innate tendencies govern the machinery of the white poet and the black poet. Some call these tendencies a mysterious gift, a mark of superior powers; others an infirmity or a curse. No matter. Or rather, yes! – it matters highly, but we have not yet reached the point of being able to understand the origin of our essential structures. He who could understand them would deliver himself from them. The white poet seems to understand his poetic nature, to free himself from it and make it serve. The black poet uses it and becomes its slave.

But what is this “gift” common to all poets? It is a particular connection between the various lives which make up our life, such that each manifestation of one of them is no longer simply its exclusive sign, but could become, through an internal resonance, a sign of the emotion that at a given moment is one’s own color, sound or taste. This central emotion, deeply hidden within us, vibrates and shines only in rare instants. For the poet, these instants will be poetic moments, and at such a moment all his thoughts, feelings, movements and words will be the signs of this central emotion. And when the unity of their meaning is realized in an image stated in words, then most especially will we say that he is a poet. This is what we will call the “poetic gift,” for want of knowing more about it.

The poet has a rather unclear notion of his gift. The black poet exploits it for his personal satisfaction. He believes that he can take credit for this gift, that he himself voluntarily makes poems. Or else, giving in to the mechanism of resonant meanings, he prides himself on being possessed by a superior mind, which has chosen him as its medium. In both cases, the poetic gift serves only pride and delusive imagination. Whether schemer or visionary, the black poet lies to himself and believes he is someone. Pride, lies – still a third term characterizes him: laziness. Not that he doesn’t act and struggle, or that it seems to come from outside. But all this movement happens by itself; he keeps from personally intervening himself – this poor, naked self that wants neither to be seen nor to see itself as poor and naked, that each of us tries so hard to conceal under masks. It is the “gift” that operates in him, and he takes pleasure in it, like a voyeur, without showing himself. He wraps himself in the way the soft-bellied hermit crab takes shelter and adorns itself in the shell of the murex, made to produce royal purple and not to clothe shameful little runts. Laziness at seeing oneself, at being seen; fear of having no richness other than the responsibilities one assumes: this is the laziness I’m speaking of – oh mother of all my vices!

Black poetry is fertile in wonders like dreams and opium. The black poet tastes every pleasure, adorns himself in every ornament, exercises every power – in his imagination. The white poet prefers reality, even paltry reality, to these rich lies. His work is an incessant struggle against pride, imagination and laziness. Accepting his gift, even if he suffers from it and suffers from suffering, he seeks to make it serve ends greater than his selfish desires: the as-yet-unknown cause of this gift.

I will not say: so-and-so is a white poet, so-and-so is a black poet. This would be to fall from ideas into opinions, discussions and error. I will not even say: so-and-so has the poetic gift, so-and-so does not. Do I have it? Often I doubt it; sometimes I strongly believe I do. I am never certain once and for all. Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety. But if I was once a poet, I wish to be a white one. In fact, all human poetry is a mixture of white and black; but some tends toward whiteness, the other blackness.That which tends toward blackness need make no effort. It follows the natural, sub-human downward slope. One need not make an effort to brag, to dream, to lie and be lazy; nor to calculate and scheme, when calculating and scheming are for the benefit of vanity, imagination or inertia. But white poetry goes uphill. It swims upstream like the trout to go spawn in its birthplace. It holds fast, by force and by cunning, against the whims of the rapids and the eddies. It does not let itself be distracted by the shimmering of passing bubbles, nor be swept away by the current toward soft, muddy valleys.

How does the poet who wants to become white wage this battle? I will tell you how I try to wage it, in my rare better moments, so that one day, if I am a poet, my poetry – grey as it may be – will exude at least a desire for whiteness.

I will distinguish three phases of the poetic operation: the luminous seed, the clothing in images, and verbal expression.

Every poem is born of a seed, dark at first, which we must make luminous for it to produce fruits of light. With the black poet, the seed remains dark and produces blind, subterranean vegetation. To make it shine, one must create silence, for this seed is the Thing-to-be-said itself, the central emotion that seeks to express itself through my whole machine. The machine by itself is dark, but it likes to proclaim itself luminous, and manages to make itself believed. As soon as it is set in motion by the seed’s germination, it claims to be acting under its own steam, it shows off for the perverse pleasure of each of its levers and gears. So be quiet, machine! Work and shut up! Silence to word games, memorized lines, memories fortuitously assembled; silence to ambition, to the desire to shine – for only light shines by itself; silence to self-flattery and self-pity; silence to the rooster who thinks he makes the sun rise! And silence parts the shadows, the seed begins to glow, lighting, not lit. That is what you have to do. It is very difficult, but each little effort receives a little glimmer of light in reward. The Thing-to-be-said then appears in its most intimate form, as an eternal certainty – a pinpoint of light containing the immensity of the desire for Being.

The second phase is the clothing of the luminous seed, which reveals but is not revealed, invisible like light and silent like sound – its clothing in the images that will make it manifest. Here again, reviewing these images, one must reject and chain down those which would serve only easiness, lies and pride. So many beauties we would like to show off. But once the order is established, we must let the seed itself choose the plant or animal in which it will clothe itself by giving it life.

And third comes the verbal expression, for which it is no longer a matter simply of internal work, but also of external science and know-how. The seed has its own respiration. Its breath takes possession of the expressive mechanisms by communicating its rhythm to them. Thus, these mechanisms should, first of all, be well oiled and just relaxed enough so that they do not start dancing their own dances and scanning incongruous meters. And as it bends the sounds of language to its breath, the Thing-to-be-said also compels them to contain its images. Now, how does it carry out this double operation? That is the mystery. It is not by intellectual scheming: that would require too much time; nor by instinct, for instinct does not invent. This power is exercised thanks to the particular relation that exists between the various elements of the poet’s machinery, and that unites matters as different as emotions, images, concepts and sounds in a single living substance. The life of this new organism is the poet’s rhythm.

The black poet does almost precisely the opposite, although the exact semblance of these operations is performed in him. His poetry, of course, opens a number of worlds to him, but they are worlds without Sun, lit by a hundred fantastic moons, populated by phantoms, decorated with mirages and sometimes paved with good intentions. White poetry opens the door to only one world, that of the unique Sun, without false wonders, real.

I have said what one must do to become a white poet. As if it were that easy! Even in prose, in ordinary speech and writing (as in all aspects of my daily life), all that I produce is grey, salt-and-pepper, soiled, a mixture of light and darkness. And so I take up the struggle after the fact. I re-read myself. In my sentences, I see words, expressions, interferences that do not serve the Thing-to-be-said: an image that meant to be strange, a pun that thought it was funny, the pedantry of a certain prig who would do better to stay seated at his desk instead of coming to play the fipple flute in my string quartet. And remarkably enough, it is simultaneously a mistake in taste, style, or even syntax. Language itself seems set up in such a way as to detect the intruders for me. Few mistakes are purely technical. Almost all of them are my mistakes. And I cross out, and I correct, with the joy one can have at cutting a gangrenous limb from one’s body.”

[]

1941

_____

Daumal, René, and Mark Polizzotti. The Powers of the Word: Selected Essays and Notes, 1927-1943. San Francisco, CA: City Lights, 1991. Print.

City Lights

Deaddrunkdublin

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Günter Brus

Posted in Art, Print by B on July 26, 2010

Self-Painting, Film Action, Studio Sailer, Vienna December 1964

Self-Painting, Film Action, Studio Sailer, Vienna, December 1964


Self-Painting, Photo Action, Perinet Cellar, Vienna, January 1965

Self-Painting, Photo Action, Perinet Cellar, Vienna, January 1965


Self-Painting, Photo Action, Perinet Cellar, Vienna, January 1965

Self-Painting, Photo Action, Perinet Cellar, Vienna, January 1965


Self-Mutilation, Film Action, Perinet Cellar, Vienna, January 1965

Self-Mutilation, Film Action, Perinet Cellar, Vienna, January 1965

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REMARKS ON SELF-PAINTING*

After my first action [Ana], I soon realised I would have to keep away for the time being from dynamic courses of action (monodramas). Before anything else, it was necessary to set down the ABC of my self-presentational language. And this consisted of self-painting, derived from abstract painting.

I viewed my body and the act of painting once again as a kind of “picture“, composed of my actions and observed by the camera. I described my plans to John Sailer, who allowed me to use his studio.

I arranged the action in three parts:

1. Hand painting
2. Head painting
3. Total head painting

Analogous to Arnulf Rainer’s “Overpaintings”, but extended by my own actionist means, the painter’s head was to become incorporated into the picture surface, become one with the picture and disappear into the picture. “Birth from obliteration,” as I wrote in a slightly different context, many years later. Admittedly my total head painting was only a partial success because it led to a distortion in my vision of myself (and of the painting). I was annoyed later by this shortcoming, for I realised that I had not demonstrated enough perseverance during the celebration. Generally speaking I always attempted to correct any errors in an action during the next one, when inevitably new ones would crop up. In my defence it should be said that “Direct Art” never afforded me the opportunity of improving a work at some later date, as was possible with normal working methods. It was thus necessary to put up with the weaknesses of a work and go along with them. This was all the more bitter for me when the piece was staged before an audience. However, putting myself in such an exposed situation was a deliberate aspect of my theoretical ideas. It helped me bring the fruits to ripeness.

Günter Brus

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Green, Malcolm. Brus, Muehl, Nitsch, Schwarzkogler: Writings of the Vienna Actionists. London: Atlas, 1999. Print.

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Günter Brus

Atlas Press

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Wim Wenders – Journey to Onomichi

Posted in Photography, Print by B on July 18, 2010

The Quay Wall
217,8 x 178cm


The House on the Corner
144 x 125 cm


Onomichi at Dusk
210,7 x 178 cm


The Chopper
124,5 x 125cm

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I have always wondered

where my favorite film (yes, of all times)

Tokyo Story,

(or Tokyo monogatari in Japanese)

actually takes place, except in Tokyo of course.

Yasujiro Ozu’s masterpiece from 1953

depicts a small seaside fishing town

in which the story begins and ends.

An old couple departs from there,

in order to visit their kids in the big city one last time.

After their return the old woman dies,

and her husband is left alone.

Eventually someone told me

that this coastal town was called Onomichi,

in the South of Japan.

So one day my wife and I

made the reverse journey

and traveled from Tokyo to Onomichi

where we stayed for a week.

Wim Wenders

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Wenders, Wim, and Heiner Bastian. Wim Wenders: Journey to Onomichi : Photographs. [München]: Schirmer/Mosel, 2009. Print.

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Wim Wenders

Schirmer/Mosel

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Dr Ikkaku Ochi

Posted in Photography, Print by B on June 29, 2010

Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection


Dr Ikkaku Ochi Collection

In an inconspicuous wooden box that had long gone unopened, Akimitsu Naruyama discovered 365 photographs of people with congenital and pathological deformations. After looking at just a few pictures, the Japanese art dealer and collector knew that he had discovered an extraordinary collection of photographs.

A doctor and photography enthusiast, Ikkaku Ochi practiced his profession in Okayama, a prefecture of Shikoku, one of Japan’s southern islands. He had his patients photographed during the last decade of the 19th century, producing images that are strikingly distinct from contemporary medical photographs, which serve as mere educational material and rarely as sensitive portraits of the diseased. Ochi’s patients were recorded with dignity and respect, though the exposed, diseased parts of their bodies are explicitly documented and not for the squeamish.

Individual photographs reveal the physical manifestations of syphilis in its final stages, elephantiasis of the testes or breasts, and other medical conditions – conditions that today are almost completely suppressed by medication or vaccination. Cruel and melancholic, these photographs seen today possess an undeniable elegance and uncomfortable beauty, qualities that Akimitsu Naruyama recognized immediately when he opened that forgotten wooden box.

Ochi, Ikkaku, Anna Von Senger, Sumio Ishida, and Akimitsu Naruyama. Dr. Ikkaku Ochi Collection. Zurich: Scalo, 2004. Print.

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Dr Ikkaku Ochi

Anna Von Senger

Sumio Ishida

Akimitsu Naruyama

Scalo Verlag AG

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Posted in Film, Print by B on June 19, 2010

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari – Yasujiro Ozu

“Ozu’s method, like all poetic methods, is oblique. He does not confront emotion, he surprises it. Precisely, he restricts his vision in order to see more; he limits his world in order to transcend these limitations. His cinema is formal and the formality is that of poetry, the creation of an ordered context that destroys habit and familiarity, returning to each word, to each image, its original freshness and urgency.”

Richie, Donald. Ozu / Donald Richie. Berkeley: University of California, 1974. Print.

Tokyo Monogatari. Dir. Yasujirō Ozu. By Kogo Noda and Yuharu Atsuta. Perf. Chishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama, and Setsuko Hara. Ciné Vidéo Film, 1990.

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Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Monogatari

Donald Richie

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Bill Cunningham New York

Posted in Fashion, Film, Photography by B on June 13, 2010

Bill Cunningham New York, Richard Press


Bill Cunningham, photographed by Craig Arend

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Bill Cunningham, photographed by Kelly Stuart

Richard Press’ documentary of Bill Cunningham describes a man who has devoted his life to fashion; not simply to the photography of clothing, but as a anthropological historian, examining the relationship between people and their clothes.

At 81, he is still full of vitality and to this day retains a genuine, youthful curiosity for the way people dress themselves, cycling up and down the streets of New York, rain, hail or sunshine, watching and waiting for the city and its people to reveal themselves. As well as a tireless photographer, he is also his own layout man, spending endless hours piecing together precise photographic montages for his two columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours”.

For a man so well known in the world of fashion (and recognisable in his signature blue worker jacket) he is surprisingly ascetic. He lives and eats very frugally, refusing to be wined and dined by the movers and shakers he photographs. He also resided for decades in in Carnegie Hall Studios on 57th St. in a tiny apartment crammed to the ceiling with a lifetime’s worth of files and file cabinets, permitting himself only a spartan single bed in one corner of a work area in which to sleep.

Yet what is most poignant in Press’ documentary is Cunningham’s clear passion for garments and how people wear them. He dismisses the typical media hunger for celebrity and simply focuses upon the clothes themselves; the fabric, the cut, the color, the line. And more importantly he makes it clear he is not an arbiter of fashion. “It isn’t what I think, it’s what I see,” he says. “I let the street speak to me. You’ve got to stay on the street and let the street tell you what it is.”

Bill Cunningham New York. Dir. Richard Press. 2010. Film.

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Bill Cunningham

Richard Press