Posts Tagged ‘Carrie’

Blackpaint 658 – TV Robots, Elevating Poets and the Topless Cellist

November 20, 2019

Tate Britain

This Gainsborough now on display; I’m sure I haven’t seen it before.  The structural resemblance to the famous Andrews portrait is obvious – but what about the disparity in size between the two figures?  Like one of those optical illusions you sometimes get on TV where two people are on a sofa together and one is much bigger than the other; but with those, I think, the nearer figure appears disproportionately larger – here, the woman is “closer” to the spectator…

 

Tate Modern – Nam June Paik, until 9th February 2020

Crowded, but good humoured throng; reminded me in that respect of the recent Franz West exhibition or the present Takis (see below and previous blogs).  Some items on display:  TV “Garden”, with a battery of TVs showing dancers in 60s clothes dancing to Rock around the Clock; A Buddha looking at himself on a little TV; a camera on tripod “staring” at an egg on a pedestal, as if examining it as well as filming it; robots assembled from old TVs, radios, electronic bits and pieces; Rauschenberg-like junk pieces, resembling R’s “Gluts”; batteries of TVs, showing those super-rapid pattern changes that are too fast for you to pin down visually (or maybe mentally – or both); the earnest madman Beuys, he of the fat, felt, wolves and blackboards, everywhere in films and photographs, as well as Merce Cunningham and John Cage, all three collaborators with Paik at one time or another;  the fabulous Charlotte Moorman, the “topless Cellist”, playing the back of a man (Paik?) in photos and film, along with a collection of her stage costumes; and the even more fabulous Janis Joplin on stage, in a psychedelic film shown on all four walls of the last room, along with Beuys blowing in a mike, shoals of fish, Moorman on stage, a choir of Native Americans….

 

Can you pin those images down as they flash up in front of you and disappear?  No, me neither can I…

 

That’s me on the right, while my much older friend looks on admiringly.

 

Influence of Rauschenberg?  And Beuys maybe??

 

A pair of amiable robots…

 

And another.

 

An electronic “shrine”, collaboration with Beuys, I think; Beuysian sticks and metal bowls and pots.

 

Takis, again – Tate Modern, but finished in October.

 

Even though exhibition now finished, had to put in this amazing photo of a Takis happening, in which he elevated a crash-helmeted poet with the use of magnets (or so it says in the blurb on the wall).

Another Takis piece, which provided a rare and welcome splash of colour in this tech-heavy exhibition.

Carrie, dir. Brian de Palma (1976)

This was on TV around Hallowe’en night; the brilliant Sissie Spacek shimmering in white slow motion on the stage, seconds later drenched in pig’s blood, glaring in at the horrified audience and sending the lot up in flames…  I have to say that I still went cold all over when the hand shot out of the grave and grasped the lone survivor by the wrist.  I think only “The Ring” can also do this for me now.

Some of my life studies to end with, black acrylic on paper, done with a fan brush:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackpaint

20.11.19

 

Blackpaint 384 – I Hate Lists.

March 7, 2013

Stoker

Great film, directed by Park Chan-wook, starring Eva Wasikowska,  which seems to be dividing critics; Philip French in the Observer seemed to think it was just too much of everything, especially the Philip Glass score.  It’s full of references, visual and verbal, to other films  and it would be tedious to list the few that I got – so, here goes:

Psycho, throughout- Uncle Charlie’s appearance in distance on the hill,  echoing the Psycho poster, the motel, the shower scene; Carrie – India’s white dress stained red by the light outside the diner where she talks to the biker; Edward Hopper, the same scene (not the biker, the diner-and I know, Hopper a painter, not a film); Marnie (maybe) –  the red staining of the flowers recalling Tippi Hedren’s half-memory of the blood staining the back of Bruce Dern’s sailor’s suit…; Deliverance –  the policeman speaking to India, recalling the sheriff’s conversation with Jon Voigt – “Oh, he’ll come in drunk  probably…”..  A few fanciful ones – Deer Hunter?  Grease?  Stand by Me?  I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of teen vampire refs in there and I read that Shadow of a Doubt, another Hitchcock that I haven’t seen, has a murderous Uncle Charlie.

There are some visual moments that have to be mentioned; the spider disappearing up India’s skirt, Nicole Kidman’s hair turning to grass, the blood spattering the flowers – sorry, done that one already.

The Lair of the White Worm

A Bram Stoker book, appropriately; Ken Russell directed a 1988 “version” which was on TV last week and providentially, I happened on it whilst trawling the horror channels.  It has to be seen to be believed, and even then..  Hugh Grant as Lord d’Ampton – the whole thing is inspired by the legend of the Lambton Worm – and Peter Capaldi as Angus the archaeologist, who digs up the snake’s skull and the Roman temple remains.  The acting of the entire cast is reminiscent of the Five Go Wild series; you are contemplating switching channels, thinking how sad to see Ken in decline, when suddenly – a psychedelic interlude!  Christ bleeding on the cross, entwined by a revolting giant white worm thing, surrounded by screaming, bloodstained nuns being raped and slaughtered by Roman soldiers, all in acid colours – and we’re back in Russell territory.  In a later vision, the nuns are impaled on stakes, like victims of Vlad.

A later dream sequence has Amanda Donohoe wrestling with Catherine Oxenberg as a pair of sexy air “hostesses” on board a jet in which Hugh Grant sits tied up, playing with his pencil…  And Capaldi, in kilt, charming the serpent by playing the tune of the Lambton Worm to it on the bagpipes and suddenly producing a hand grenade – where did he get that?  Before leaving the film, I must mention that the virtually naked Donohoe drowns a harmonica playing boy scout in her bath.  Actually, he’s finished playing – she does a little snake dancing to it and then snatches his harmonica away, irritably, before pushing him under the water with her foot.

For me, it’s up there with The Wicker Man (Roeg version, of course); what a double bill that would make. NB – correction!  Wicker Man directed by Robin Hardy, NOT Nick Roeg.  Sorry – mix-up, because Wicker Man was originally released in a double bill with Don’t Look Now – which was, of course, directed by Roeg.

BBC yourpaintings website

I’ve just been browsing this website and the following paintings caught my eye from the first 10 pages of the 99 devoted to Tate collections:

  • A Man Who Suddenly Fell Over, Michael Andrews, 1952  
  • A Singer at the Bedford Music Hall, Spencer Gore, 1912 – is that the Bedford in Balham?  Looks a bit Keith Vaughan…
  • Abstract Painting, Vanessa Bell, 1914 – that pink and dark yellow very like a much later Ben Nicholson; love the roughness.
  • A Tree Study, Robert Medley, 1959 – never heard of him.
  • Abstract, Gillian Ayres.

(c) Gillian Ayres; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Ayres

This website is the sort of place where you might end up browsing for hours, days, months…

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Seaside

Blackpaint

07.03.13