Saturday, November 28, 2009

Emily Smith

New York

Wall Street 1920

Ernesta Petkeviciute

Bruno Schulz: The Wanderings of a Sceptic

The Wanderings of a Sceptic

The strolls of a sceptic through the debris of culture — rubble and dust as far as the eye can see. The wanderer has found everything already in ruins, furrowed, down and across, by the plough of unremitting human thought. The wanderer puts forth his walking stick with caution, then he comes to a halt, leaning on it, and smiles. Despondently, he digs around in the rubble with that walking stick: problems, problems, and the remains, shards and fragments of problems. Here, a broken off head looks askance — there, a leg scrambles out, and hobbles over the rubbish heap on its own. Those remnants still have a weak pulse of life in them. Brought up close, they fuse together and revive. The wanderer likes to reconstruct them, to assemble them, although not always with the right head on the right body. Thus monstrosities arise. The wanderer is pleased, and breaks into quiet laughter when those anomalies argue between themselves over their swapped heads. He rubs his hands when he manages to stir up general confusion — a masquerade of misunderstandings, a Tower of Babel of ideas. He plays with enthusiasm the part of mediator, adjudicating the disputes between those apparitions of problems — he adjudicates them most unsuitaby, with an ill will, with the single intention of reducing all matters to absurdity. He seems to claim their stolen limbs in the service of some damaged idea — an ill-favoured idea: soon he will have choked it with a surfeit of reclaimed contents.
One human generation back, another sceptic wandered over the expanses of culture, an old man in a long dressing gown, with a grey beard. How much more human was his face than the face of that gnome. He too was affected a little; he carried the germs of the fever that has touched the other one — but his scepticism was a childhood illness, a kind of chicken pox that one does not die of. The world he believed in was only slightly weathered, just a little corroded on its surface, coarse with a fine deposit of unhealthy mould.
A kernel of pragmatic dogmata still remained intact. That wise old man did not know then about the insidiousness of the natural sciences; he harboured an ingenuous and naïve belief in atoms and matter. His cosmos had, in comparison with the cosmos of that gnome, relatively human proportions. It was measured in accordance with the categories of human thought. But since that good old man’s time, the world has passed through many sieves, with narrow openings, where it has gradually lost its consistency. Freudianism and psychoanalysis, the theory of relativivty and microphysics, quantum physics and non-Euclidean geometry. What has been filtered through those sieves is a world that no longer resembles the world — mucilaginous and ill-proportioned fauna, plankton with flowing and undulating outlines.
By what miracle did we come out alive? And are we now to be forever fish in a deep sea? And so, does this debris of problems lie on a sea bed, while our walker wends his way like a crab over the rubbish heap of the bottom, lighting his way with the phosphorescence of his brain? How was he able to survive the catastrophe? How did he arrive at that carefree symbiosis with an agnostic parasite? From where does he draw that lightness, that grim humour? How did he throw off gravity, weight and responsibility, to become the dancer of the bottom? Simply, perhaps — we shall reveal it in whispers — he is dead... Perhaps he survived the catastrophe as a corpse — the easiest form in which to survive it. That would explain everything: his lightness, his effortless acrobatics — his breakneck, but in fact risk-free, juggling. Such lightness falls freely into the lap of the dead — at no cost whatsoever.
Or could it be that he was a convalescent, returning from the borderlands of death? It is so difficult on that border to distinguish between a convalescent and a corpse. They might be as alike as two peas in a pod. For convalescents too have that same lightness, blitheness and irresponsibility. They have, after all, returned from the other side, where they have cast aside all of their burdens. Their limbs move recklessly, in fun, for a joke, as a game, for the sake of new and innate pleasure in the disporting of their body parts. They are still taunting, and flirting with death.
A new hunger for adventure, for the unknown and the untried, swells his breast with a strange sigh.
And perhaps it was all for the best that everything lay in ruins, that nothing anymore is sacred — pacts, laws and dogmata — that all things are permissible, that all things are possible, and that anyone may build what they like from the ruins — each according to his own caprice, according to an as yet unseen chimera.

(translated by John Curran Davis)

Marloes Horst

ph: Laura Sciacovelli

New Stuff

Who's That Girl?

Illustrator: Mikko Rantanen

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Luize Salmgrieze

ph: Robert Jaso

Alien Sex Fiend

Alien Sex Fiend were rock'n'roll with a fuzzbox and Gothic overkill to me, so never did buy an album, but at times they are quite entertaining.

Alien Sex Fiend - Here Cum Germs


Living on the ceiling
Under your floor
Outside your back door
Upstairs in the bedroom
Underneath the sink
Anywhere you care to think

Here Cum Germs!
Here Cum Germs!

They live on your dog
They live off your cat
In your house
Or in your council flat

Here Cum Germs!
Here Cum Germs!

Some are pink
Some are blue
Some are green
Green as the peas in a pod

Night is night
Day is day
Night is night
Day is day

Peace and love is a silly thing
Peace and love is a silly thing
Peace and love is a silly thing
Peace and love is a silly thing
Peace and love is a - silly thing

Here Cum Germs!
Here Cum Germs!
Here Cum Germs!
Here Cum Germs!
Through your door

Upstairs in the attic
In the arm of your coat
In the drink slipping down
The back of your throat

Coming through the window
Coming through the door
Living underneath the floor
Underneath the sink
They're underneath the sink
Now what do you think
Living under my sink

Here Cum - Germs!

Ania Jozwiak

New Stuff

(art: Wayne Thiebaud)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Karen Mulder

 ph: John Rutter

From my vaults: Camilla Akrans

ph: Camilla Akrans

Doutzen Kroes

New York

(ph: Christopher Thomas)

Amélie Lens

Lydia Davis: Almost Over: What's the Word?

(art: Heather Nevay)

Almost Over: What's the Word?

He says,
"When I first met you
I didn't think you would turn out to be so

Who's That Girl?

Illustrator: Tanja Szekessy

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Luisa Bianchin

Vignettes #49

One of the many acquaintances I had from my cinema days was a fellow I knew by the name of Peter. About my age, maybe a few years younger, he was a film buff, too, and also shared my interest in American literature. So we usually had a jolly chat every time we met.

I did notice that he often emphasized all the big and little mishaps in his life, although he always appeared to be good-humoured. It was either the flooding of his apartment, a bad job, a supervisor who was constantly going after him, or generally his notion that most people didn't like him, although I could hardly ever understand that last point. I also found out that some friends knew him by the name of Peter, while others insisted that his name was Josef. Obviously he had 2 categories of friends he'd distinguish by the name they called him.

I hadn't seen him for a few years, when he did turn up again at my cinema. We started chatting, and he came up with lauding my life. He said I was such a lucky fellow with a beautiful girlfriend, a cinema of my very own and so many good friends.

This made me a bit uncomfortable so I tried to change the subject and asked him how he was doing, since I haven't seem him for such a long time. With a big smile on his face he replied: "Well, I came by, since today's a very special day: it's the first anniversary of my suicide attempt!"

Eva Herzigova

ph: Dusan Relijn

Miniatures #17

One of the main reasons I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning is that I don't like to have my dreams interrupted. Once the alarm goes off, and I'm half awake, I close my eyes again and try with all my might to continue that interesting dream I was just having. Usually it doesn't work, though...


Charo Ronquillo

Willie 'Loco' Alexander

Willie Alexander is the grand old man of American punk, probably known to a broader audience as the singer replacing Lou Reed in the late Velvet Underground, but it's better to check out the stuff he did otherwise.

Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band - Kerouac

Jacquetta Wheeler

ph: Simon Emmett

From my vaults: Rina Akiyama

New York

Wall Street 1878

Anya Kazakova

ph: Blaise Reutersward

Lydia Davis: A Different Man

A Different Man

At night he was a different man. If she knew him as he was in the morning, at night she hardly recognized him: a pale man, a man in a broken sweater, a man with dark eyes who kept his distance from her, who took offense, who was not reasonable. In the morning, he was a rosy king, gleaming, smooth-cheeked and smooth-chinned, fragrant with perfumed talc, coming out into the sunlight with a wide embrace in his royal red plaid robe...

Romina Lanaro

ph: Taki Bibelas

Natalia Vodianova

Who's That Girl?

Illustrator: Francois Supiot

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Masha Tyelna

ph: Julia Kennedy


This French electronic duo has meanwhile achieved cult status, not least because they have a good ear for melodies. Not really my kind of music, but I do have their Moon Safari cd.

(directed by Mike Mills, vocals: Beth Hirsch)

All I need is a little time,
To get behind this sun and cast my weight,
All I need is a peace of this mind,
Then I can celebrate.

All in all there�s something to give,
All in all there�s something to do,
All in all there�s something to live,
With you ...

All I need is a little sign,
To get behind this sun and cast this weight of mine,
All I need is the place to find,
And there I�ll celebrate.

All in all there�s something to give,
All in all there�s something to do,
All in all there�s something to live,
With you ...

Elyse Taylor

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Korina Longin

From my vaults: Oksana Akinshina

Knowing (2009)

A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.

Above average end-of-the-world prophesy drama, good in foreboding and atmosphere, but of course with the usual loopholes concerning logic.

Lydia Davis: Happiest Moment

(ph: Dave Beckerman)

Happiest Moment

If you ask her what is a favorite story she has written, she will hesitate for a long time and then say it may be this story that she read in a book once: an English language teacher in China asked his Chinese student to say what was the happiest moment in his life. The student hesitated for a long time. At last he smiled with embarrassment and said that his wife had once gone to Beijing and eaten duck there, and she often told him about it, and he would have to say the happiest moment of his life was her trip, and the eating of the duck.

Yasmeen Ghauri

New Stuff

Who's That Girl?

Illustrator: Gregori Saveedra

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