Friday, 21 December 2012

Where the Wild Roses Grow

Happy Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve-Eve! Ever since junior school I have approached Christmas with a slightly clinical approach, much like Jack Skellington in his festive laboratory. Hypothesis Miracle of the 34th street x The Snowman + decorating tree + paper snowflakes - current age = warm fuzzy festive feeling. Yeah um I'm still working on it... It's silly really because childhood has a sort of wildness to it which you can't pin down. A point beautifully illustrated in Tove Jansson's picture book 'A Dangerous Journey'. Whilst, I may have to accept that I will never hear Father Christmas's sleigh bells again (I ACTUALLY HEARD THEM DAMN IT!) a sense of childlike wonder is something to cultivate. It is a precious thing for seeing how exciting this place is.

Joseph Sterling, Comme des Garçons advertising campaign, Fall/Winter 1988-1989, Photo Jim Britt, Rachel Romero, 'Disinfectant Bath', image from 'Soviet Beauty Queens' zine, all images via Teenage blog. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Greedy (NSFW!)

I eat images like candy. I have absolutely no control of when to stop. I have always tried to justify this by saying I am searching for something 'special'. I have no idea what this 'special' thing is. I just want something that feels right...I guess? Well, hark the herald angels sing, on this morning's picture binge I found something special. His name is Asger Carlsen, he is six foot three with eyes like jewels and a mouth like a cupid's bow and he is taking me for cherry pie on Wednesday anddd ahh ohmygoodnessgraciousme his work is grotesque and nasty and PERFECT.  He complements so many of my other BFF's like Hans Bellmer, Vitto Acconci, Sarah Lucas, Gunter Bruss and Morton Bartlett. Carlsen's photo documentary style makes the work especially exciting, reminding me of the 'found' horror film footage of '[Rec]' and District 9'. The fakery of the work, how obviously manipulated, spliced and collaged these half framed flesh bags are, make his work even more lovely.And woop woop to the fact that It is not the actually genuinely vile peeping Tom model of photography, you know the cautionary tale genre, stark works by cis people, by able bodied body. Works that warn us when bodies deviate off the forest path. [Looking at you Charlie White! Looking at you Marc Quinn!] After all the body is the proto-type Judas, booo-hisss, liar liar pants on fire, it is absolutely, totally unreliable, and Carlsen totally gets this. Therefore, he is awesome. Our wedding is in the Spring. 

" I think is good for people to see things they don't believe or that gross them out. Seeing something you don't understand opens your mind up to new ways of understanding. Basically, I'm more interested in telling a good story than the truth. It’s like a lie you can get away with."

"[My work is] controlled confusion. I like to think that I can use photography for something other than its “original purpose” — like the way that painters can technically get away with blending very detailed work and casual strokes."

"My work is perhaps an expression of never having really belonged anywhere. I don’t want to sound “super special,” but growing up I never had a feeling of normality. In a way this is an outlet for that feeling."

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A Smile and a Ribbon

Because of a silly monster that chomps on my brain (no wants to with you at lunch dysphoria, seriously, didn't you get my note in class? Jeez) my relationship with my gender and my body is a big tangled mess 99% of the time. Nonetheless,  I wholeheartedly identify as a girl, okay not with my body, no, no, never my body. But certainly my lived experiences of It, and the culture that surrounds It. The superstitions, elaborate costumes and 90's high school films. I mean, the fantasy construction of gender has far more influence than anything 'real'. Especially as 'real' comes down to bodies and biology and messy gross things which prove to be infinitely more unreliable than a life spent lip-synching to Clueless. So yes, I have dysphoria, and I am a girl, and that's okay.

Japanese magazine advert, from 50 watts, Harry Clark The Fairy Tales of Perrault, from 50 watts, Ginger Snaps, Phil Kirkland. ‘Moving from Youth to Adulthood’, from TeenageRafael Barradas, Poisoned Flowers, from 50 watts, The Company of Wolves