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Andrei Tarkovsky: A Photographic Chronicle of The Making of The Sacrifice takes an intimate look at the making of Tarkovsky’s final masterpiece shot during the summer of 1985 on the Swedish island of Gotland. Author Layla Alexander-Garrett who worked as Tarkovsky’s interpreter took over two hundred photographs whilst on set recording the process of making the film as well as Tarkovsky’s life in Sweden. Each of the photos are accompanied by scene-setting English text (side by side with Russian text) and are often fascinating - Tarkovsky having an entire field plucked of yellow flowers before shooting, actor Erland Josephson snoozing between takes or Tarkovsky and cameraman Sven Nykvist waiting to play a game of tennis.

Published on the occasion of the 2009 exhibition Mike Kelley: Photographs / Sculptures at Wako Works of Art in Tokyo, this catalogue features color images of six photographic series and a body of sculptural works by the artist. A number of self-portraits from 1978 mimic 19th century spirit photography, and depict Kelley emitting cotton ball “ectoplasm” from his head. 

The Ectoplasm series is linked to a project made in association with artist David Askevold in 1978, titled “The Poltergeist.” David and I shared an interest in the aesthetics of the occult which led us to make a series of photographic works that addressed that history. We did not work collaboratively, though we had numerous discussions about the project as it was developed. Each artist’s works were produced independently, but with the intention that they should be seen simultaneously to inflect the reading of the other. My portion of the project includes faux spiritualist photographs of a “medium” (myself) exuding the mysterious ethereal substance ectoplasm. The photos mimic the look of period spiritualist photography from the early part of the 20th century
Mike Kelley, 2009

Another photographic series depicts dancer Anita Pace through a Vaseline-coated lens, and two untitled groups of photographs capture amorphous globules and puddles through a combination of layered negatives and colored gels. Also featured is an essay written by Kelley to accompany the exhibition, and a number of poetic texts printed in conjuction with the photographs.

Published on the occasion of the 2009 exhibition Mike Kelley: Photographs / Sculptures at Wako Works of Art in Tokyo, this catalogue features color images of six photographic series and a body of sculptural works by the artist. A number of self-portraits from 1978 mimic 19th century spirit photography, and depict Kelley emitting cotton ball “ectoplasm” from his head.

The Ectoplasm series is linked to a project made in association with artist David Askevold in 1978, titled “The Poltergeist.” David and I shared an interest in the aesthetics of the occult which led us to make a series of photographic works that addressed that history. We did not work collaboratively, though we had numerous discussions about the project as it was developed. Each artist’s works were produced independently, but with the intention that they should be seen simultaneously to inflect the reading of the other. My portion of the project includes faux spiritualist photographs of a “medium” (myself) exuding the mysterious ethereal substance ectoplasm. The photos mimic the look of period spiritualist photography from the early part of the 20th century

Mike Kelley, 2009

Another photographic series depicts dancer Anita Pace through a Vaseline-coated lens, and two untitled groups of photographs capture amorphous globules and puddles through a combination of layered negatives and colored gels. Also featured is an essay written by Kelley to accompany the exhibition, and a number of poetic texts printed in conjuction with the photographs.

Paul Rand's 1960 cover for D.T. Suzuki's Zen and Japanese Culture

Paul Rand's 1960 cover for D.T. Suzuki's Zen and Japanese Culture

David Foster Wallace Once Wrote a Very Strange Rap Book
By BRANDON SODERBERG  l  Spin  Sept.18, 2012

Since the tragic death of David Foster Wallace on September 15, 2008, we’ve seen a small but significant number of works by the author unearthed for the first time, or cannily repackaged. These include his incomplete novel The Pale King, his 2005 commencement speech for Kenyon College, and even his undergraduate senior thesis. Still out of print, however, and selling for hundreds of dollars used, is Wallace and Mark Costello’s 1990 book Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present. This book is often diminished by those studying Wallace, even though it is an early example of the author’s published non-fiction. According to 2003’s Understanding David Foster Wallace by Marshall Boswell, Wallace’s non-fiction career was based “on the strength of Signifying Rappers.” And so, it seems strange to treat a book about hip-hop co-authored by David Foster Wallace as barely even a footnote, especially when his college papers have been made available.
One problem, it seems, is that Wallace was candid in his dislike of his early work, and didn’t comment on the book very much. As a result, Signifying Rappers has garnered a reputation as insubstantial, or even a little bit of an embarrassment. In D.T. Max’s new biography of Wallace, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, Max dismisses the author’s interest in rap: “Wallace’s passion for rap was theoretical, verbal, abstract. The music never touched him as did the stoner songs of high school or the moody tripping songs of Amherst. His interest had the quality of a very smart kid slumming it.” Most slumming-it smart kids didn’t take the time to co-author a book about the then-burgeoning genre, though.
In the Village Voice , with the snarky glee of an Internet rap-blog commenter in the 2000s, Robert Christgau mocked Costello and Wallace’s inability to get their facts straight. Indeed, they did forget about Run-DMC’s King Of Rock when they moved through the group’s discography, and they hinged the book’s conclusion on misheard lyrics from Ice-T’s “The Hunted Child.” As the 140-page theory-soaked rant comes to a close, Costello and Wallace celebrate “a five-minute untraceable cut” with the “inscrutable chorus ‘Honeychild / I’m the honeychild.’”
Wallace didn’t like the book and “the dean of American rock critics” panned it, so most people decided that it wasn’t worth reading. Christgau’s criticisms are certainly valid, but they also seem beside the point. This is a book that works because its authors have more enthusiasm than knowledge, and don’t know any of the rules for how they’re “supposed” to approach rap music. That can be thrilling.
Signifying Rappers is also incredibly mindful of its whiteness, and even seems to predict the self-aware, open-source-inspired explosion of excited, amateur-ish blogging of the 2000s. The first part of the book is called “Entitlement,” and the book’s premise is pretty simple: Here are two dorks with “an uncomfortable, somewhat furtive, and distinctly white enthusiasm for a certain music called rap/hip-hop.” While their outsider-ness allows for goofy gaffes like not knowing an Ice-T song they probably should know if they’re going to write a book about rap, it also provides them with a nutty, ballsy freedom to riff and explore. A favorite is Costello’s dissection of Jesse Jackson’s lie about witnessing Martin Luther King Jr. die while sporting a shirt that Jackson claimed was splattered with the blood of MLK. Jackson wasn’t there, and this epic fib becomes (if you buy into Costello’s theorizing) one of the sources for hip-hop’s signifying and \complex wrestling between reality and “reality.”
Even if Signifying Rappers' obsequious style puts you off, it remains a fascinating artifact. It's quasi-juvenilia from one of American literature's best postmodern writers. And it's hip-hop commentary from a time when the genre was still forming, and the rules for how to approach this stuff critically, weren't established quite yet. It gives the book an unfettered freedom that couldn't exist at any other moment in hip-hop history.

David Foster Wallace Once Wrote a Very Strange Rap Book

By BRANDON SODERBERG  l  Spin  Sept.18, 2012

Since the tragic death of David Foster Wallace on September 15, 2008, we’ve seen a small but significant number of works by the author unearthed for the first time, or cannily repackaged. These include his incomplete novel The Pale King, his 2005 commencement speech for Kenyon College, and even his undergraduate senior thesis. Still out of print, however, and selling for hundreds of dollars used, is Wallace and Mark Costello’s 1990 book Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present. This book is often diminished by those studying Wallace, even though it is an early example of the author’s published non-fiction. According to 2003’s Understanding David Foster Wallace by Marshall Boswell, Wallace’s non-fiction career was based “on the strength of Signifying Rappers.” And so, it seems strange to treat a book about hip-hop co-authored by David Foster Wallace as barely even a footnote, especially when his college papers have been made available.

One problem, it seems, is that Wallace was candid in his dislike of his early work, and didn’t comment on the book very much. As a result, Signifying Rappers has garnered a reputation as insubstantial, or even a little bit of an embarrassment. In D.T. Max’s new biography of Wallace, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, Max dismisses the author’s interest in rap: “Wallace’s passion for rap was theoretical, verbal, abstract. The music never touched him as did the stoner songs of high school or the moody tripping songs of Amherst. His interest had the quality of a very smart kid slumming it.” Most slumming-it smart kids didn’t take the time to co-author a book about the then-burgeoning genre, though.

In the Village Voice , with the snarky glee of an Internet rap-blog commenter in the 2000s, Robert Christgau mocked Costello and Wallace’s inability to get their facts straight. Indeed, they did forget about Run-DMC’s King Of Rock when they moved through the group’s discography, and they hinged the book’s conclusion on misheard lyrics from Ice-T’s “The Hunted Child.” As the 140-page theory-soaked rant comes to a close, Costello and Wallace celebrate “a five-minute untraceable cut” with the “inscrutable chorus ‘Honeychild / I’m the honeychild.’”

Wallace didn’t like the book and “the dean of American rock critics” panned it, so most people decided that it wasn’t worth reading. Christgau’s criticisms are certainly valid, but they also seem beside the point. This is a book that works because its authors have more enthusiasm than knowledge, and don’t know any of the rules for how they’re “supposed” to approach rap music. That can be thrilling.

Signifying Rappers is also incredibly mindful of its whiteness, and even seems to predict the self-aware, open-source-inspired explosion of excited, amateur-ish blogging of the 2000s. The first part of the book is called “Entitlement,” and the book’s premise is pretty simple: Here are two dorks with “an uncomfortable, somewhat furtive, and distinctly white enthusiasm for a certain music called rap/hip-hop.” While their outsider-ness allows for goofy gaffes like not knowing an Ice-T song they probably should know if they’re going to write a book about rap, it also provides them with a nutty, ballsy freedom to riff and explore. A favorite is Costello’s dissection of Jesse Jackson’s lie about witnessing Martin Luther King Jr. die while sporting a shirt that Jackson claimed was splattered with the blood of MLK. Jackson wasn’t there, and this epic fib becomes (if you buy into Costello’s theorizing) one of the sources for hip-hop’s signifying and \complex wrestling between reality and “reality.”

Even if Signifying Rappers' obsequious style puts you off, it remains a fascinating artifact. It's quasi-juvenilia from one of American literature's best postmodern writers. And it's hip-hop commentary from a time when the genre was still forming, and the rules for how to approach this stuff critically, weren't established quite yet. It gives the book an unfettered freedom that couldn't exist at any other moment in hip-hop history.

MUBI Notebook; Ten Photographs by Alain Resnais: Mise en scène of Memory, Aesthetics of Silence

In the 1970s, Resnais published a collection of his photographs, taken between 1948 to 1971, in the country of his residence, France, as well as places in which he wanted to make films, among them England (for a film projectbased on Harry Dickson stories), the United States, and Hiroshima in Japan. Jorge Semprún, Resnais’s writer in La guerre est finie and Stavisky, wrote an introduction to the book. The publication was called Repérages (Chene, 1974), a title evocative of the volume’s searching nature.

What is so fascinating about these photographs is their deep relation with Resnais’ films, especially in the way in which the nature of photographic image is rejected, or as the Iranian-French philosopher Youssef Ishaghpour has observed, Resnais’ refusal to work with the camera as an instrument for the representation of reality, but as “the best means to approaching the working of the mind.”1

For Resnais, as you will see in these photographs, each space, regardless of its function and position within a broader urban setting, serves as a museum; a museum of time where the textures and signs of decay and aging become vital elements of each shot.

His photographs, like most of his early films, are filled with the uncanny silence and tranquility of the mysterious spaces, even if the subject is one of the busiest underground stations in the word, London’s Tube. It feels as if Resnais is observing the essence of a space, or what Juhani Pallasmaa, the Finnish architect and thinker, calls “the drama of construction silenced into matter, space and light.” In this regard, Resnais’ task in his still photography—parallel to his films—is decoding that “petrified silence” architecture has created.2

In Repérages, human beings are barely seen. Instead, dingy spaces, museums and architectural monuments, shot in the most untouristic manner, are the most repeated themes throughout the24 years the book covers. Nevertheless, Resnais is not in theleast interested in space and architecture as symmetric or geometric forms. He is examining the architecture as a living space, or to borrow from Pallasmaa, as the “Lived Space,” a space beyond the rules of physics and geometry that dreams, ideas, fears and desires are reflected into, whether a quiet alley in London or a deserted junction in New York City. If for Pallasmaa art is the act of giving mise en scène to memory, for Resnais evacuating that space from its inhabitants and studying it barefaced is the first step in recalling memories and rearranging them like an ingenious décorateur.

Ten examples you will see from the long out-of-print Repérages are some of the most enigmatic, haunting images ever created by Resnais in any format.

POOLS (Dashwood/Stüssy, 2013) provides an intimate look at a late 1970‘s pool skating session, captured by Craig Fineman who is well regarded for his artistic approach to photographing the burgeoning late seventies surfing and skateboarding scene. Unique angles and compositions, intertwined with an almost architectural feel were hallmarks of Craig’s work.