There was a big Hokusai show in Berlin at (I think) Martin Gropius Bau a couple of years ago, I went to see with Dasniya. No Shunga. No pervy octopus tentacle porn. Not even a mention. But in Marbella, in the small but very nice MGEC Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, in the very unexpected exhibition, Estampa japonesa — Imágenes del mundo flotante, amidst three rooms of Japanese Edo and Meiji era prints, a whole wall of Shunga. And this one, from Katsukawa Shunchō’s: series, Imayō irokumi no ito. One of my absolute favourites, just hanging on the wall in a small museum in Marbella.
On the afternoon of my hectic 36-hour round-trip to Marbella / Puerto Banùs, I had a couple of free hours in the afternoon. I could have slept, but I figured I’d be all perky at 10pm and needed some distractions. Museums, then. Yes, Marbella has one: MGEC Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, in the old town, down an alley on the north-east corner of the big church (very tourist; much eye-watering Catholic art), in a former late-Renaissance hospital.
I hadn’t looked at the museum’s website properly, mainly because I was rather thrilled to have found any suitable distraction for the afternoon, and had no idea what to expect. Straight into Picasso and Miró. Straight out and up the stairs into 3 rooms of Japanese Edo and Meiji era prints. I really wasn’t expecting that. And I really, really wasn’t expecting to see Shunga in an exhibition like this. Saving on of those for its own post. That good. So here, without much elaboration, pretty much every piece in Estampa japonesa — Imágenes del mundo flotante. As usual, besides straightening, cropping, and a bit of colour-balancing, this is pretty much what my now rather old Panasonic LX7 saw. The lighting was awkward (the usual direct light glare on glass type nonsense), I am very out of practice in visiting museums and photographing art, they’re all on the underexposed side and tinted a bit blue … excuses. Fuck it. I’m not much for omens, but stumbling into this after the whole reason I was in Marbella in the first place was Pretty Bloody Significant, if you know what I mean.
Oh if only I could make art as good as this. One of those “uuhhh… why didn’t I think of that?” moments, I mean as in what I was doing in hell, pestilence, thinking ideas for abjection… oh so obvious, Susan Norrie’s Havoc… mmm… perfect.
Dennis Cooper has been something of a personal influence these last couple of years, well since I discovered Sunn0))) and so on, or maybe to say his blog is, because despite wanting to, I’ve never read or seen his work or collaborations. He blogged on an artist called On, who makes Guro paper art, almost puppetry, almost performance, almost photography, deeply, wonderfully dark horror, enough to make me laugh with joy, so cruel and clever.
John Jasperse has been in town the last couple of weeks, making a work with Becky Hilton and jodi Meinick, Becky, Jodi and John (working title), and teaching class. I first heard of him through Phillip Adams, who persuaded me to do Chunky Move’s Choreolab with John in 1999. He’s a beautiful dancer, amazing teacher, and one of those New York types who seem to have walked out of a movie of a better world. So, dancing is wonderful right now.
After class today a sojourn into the city with Bonnie for more talk of art and dance, we seem to be doing this frequently lately, and this time something about your own art being something not just for the studio but something to be lived, to change your life. Bonnie mentioned Felix Ruchert, and his company’s performance Secret Service in Berlin. So curious to be talking around the body, our bodies, desire, and, I guess, all this in it’s place in our art and to find someone whose own work is so completely what I am looking for at the moment.
I’ve been reading his website much of the afternoon, taking a break today from the infernal cycle of grant writing. Ah, there is something here that gives me shivers. We become so used to our bodies, as dancers, and the bodies of those dancers with us, it becomes easy to forget how distant from the usual world we are. How our familiarity in another context could be understood as overtly sexed or even resembling precarious relationships.
When I saw Jan Fabre’s film Les Guerriers de la beauté in Vienna, it was one of those transcendental instances, a rapture, as if I was meant to be there only to see this. It certainly found a home deep within me and always since Troubleyn … it is like being in love, even after it is dead how this other person remains entangled inside. It was certainly while seeing Je Suis Sang I fell in love with performing. So now again I find someone else I would fly to Europe immediately for.
I don’t really want to be ‘tranny activist’ and have to get all political and fight-for-your-rights. Or perhaps more accurately I get resentful when I have to deal with stupidity or malice in others, so I tend to overcompensate while lashing out. Or run away crying and plan to rain nuclear death upon entire continents. Either or.
So, I’ve just woken up from a pleasant afternoon nap while reading Li Cunxin’s Mao’s Last Dancer, and reminiscing on what a boon to the world the Chinese post-lunch snooze is. While reading my usual news feed overload of daily blogging I was like “Guangxi’s first tranny? nah there’d be thousands there… nah actually they’re all in Guangzhou”.
Then I got to, “I must say, medical science did a pretty good job on him, eh, her.” Oh really? You must say eh? Oh. And did you pause your typing stumps long enough to consider whether your witty remark had ever possibly perhaps been considered by anyone in the past millennium at all, or were you so caught up in the sheer brilliance of your razor-like mind doing the personal pronoun equivalent of inventing the wheel, you were like, omg! wtf! lol! and went on to hit the ‘post’ button feeling well-smug with yourself?
I’ll probably regret it as I always do when I get snarky, imagining future decreases in employability from my lack of social graces, but once again, educate yourself coz you sound like the “gonna make you squeal like a pig” dude in Deliverance when you post rubbish like that.
Anyway, following the links to Shanghaiist where the title trannies in condom halter tops and anti-theft underwear manages to conjure up such profoundly funny images in my over-active imagination. And on to 变性美眉自创“安全套服装”秀火辣身材妖媚性感 where it all began, hot and spicy Nanning city trannies getting dressed up in condom clothes for World AIDS Day. Oh, and her name is 刘炫怡 Liú Xùanyí.
Another list of completely unrelated stuff that circulated through my news feeds in the last couple of days and makes me feel intelligent and superior. Of course I still will fail to recognise you and forget your name next time we meet. (And you’ll have to tell me things several times over the course of weeks before they stick… pi to 100 digits anyone?)
Somehow I got onto Keith Olbermann, who is quite simply the Orson Welles/Citizen Kane of political media in America and what media really should be – partisan, accurate and extending a swift middle finger to right wing imperialism. Reading the transcript of his special comments is a joy, seeing him in video delivering burning waves of unfettered rage against the Bush administration. Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”
Back to China. And of far more importance to anyone unfortunate enough to be discarded from the world’s circus of runting: smut. Other people’s smut. Or important men in China and the mistresses they keep. Quantity or quality?
Hawaiian earthquakes and Hollywood movies, physicists and American football, using grammar to fight bacteria. What does it mean? Who knows. Does it sell papers? Apparently. I really love Language Log.
After the mayor of Guangzhou got a bunch of poor fools to swim in the newly-cleaned Pearl River, and spent a long time dredging the toxic oily black sludge from the city’s canals, the United Nations Environment Programme has declared the Pearl River estuary is a “dead zone”.
Neal Stephenson, as any of you who come here even slightly often or know me personally will attest to my absolute admiration of, is in no small way responsible for my next performance, pestilence. In a roundabout way, he also got me intrigued with poisons and other chymicals, and so naturally I am salivating at the thought of reading Elements of Murder: The History of Poison.
South-East Asia’s biggest sex market that is, though I always expected Thailand, or Korea or Japan who have the first three places when it comes to matters of size, located off 战前路 Zhanqian Lu, near the main station, and like all main stations in all cities I’ve been, the part of town I have a mental border around labeled ‘dodgy’, though that is not the word that springs to mind to describe a meter high fat, erect schlong radiating a smutty deep orange glow.
Really I didn’t know whether to choose the walls of full-leather masks, ball-gags, restraints, harnesses and designer ropes, or the shelves of 20cm high manga-porno models, or the endless fields of dildos, vibrators, plugs, jelly-vibrating-crustations, things to insert into other things… So I settled on Orgaster! super vibration!, something about skinship scandal g-spot pornography? Is this turning into one of those sex-spam blogs? The other option was a poster of 鄧小平 Deng Xiaoping.
I’ve had a couple of enlightening moments in the beautiful, weird, endlessly diverse world of sex and desire in the last couple of days, just marveling at no matter what your predilection someone is happy to satisfy you, and this was another OMG!!! moment, when I clicked on La Petit Claudine‘s blog and on to Real Doll. After that, I would have been profoundly disappointed if they didn’t make shemale dolls, even though once again in everything I do I seem to be up against a barrage of perfect robots putting me out of a gig.
One of them sends to an article about the Real Doll Doctor, a man who’s job is to repair the world’s most lifelike love dolls, manufactured by Abyss Creations (who has also received requests for a Real Dog and Real Children, but the company firmly turns those customers away.)
Besides, the man not only buys and sells used dolls, he also welcomes the dolls the factory won’t sell: those that came out of the mold damaged or disfigured. With a little time and silicone, the doctor can fix almost anything. But a broken doll isn’t a problem. Plenty of people, the Doll Doctor says, just want a doll’s torso.
To Marta’s links i’ll add: Inflatable dolls rafting tournament, Tokyo love-doll call-girl service, Still-Lovers series by Elena Dorfman, and the super-weird Japanese pro-wrestling love dolls. Image from Bob Carlos Clarke‘s (RIP) love dolls.
I think I’m becoming a one-trick whore for we-make-money-not-art, because all I seem to do right now is read them and think, “aw! fully sick!” and then blog about it… Anyway, excellent performance art disturbances from Shu-Lea Cheang that kinda remind me of my plans for Guangzhou, and make me dizzy with glee , and wonder just how quickly we could get booted out of China for disturbing social morals.
In Norway, porn is illegal but the artist nevertheless organised a porn casting session inside a tent (images) for her Fluid project.
The casting was cancelled by law and the tent never finished. She was threatened to get a huge fine if she persisted and the curator of the festival would have run into troubles as well. But the press loved the story and wrote about it in a sensationalist way: “Sex tent” at music festival stirs debate, Music festival pulls plug on live sex film, etc. The misadventure also caused much debate in Norway about the censorship of art projects.
This from the master of doom, Emile Zile, I can’t really add anything except my first thought was Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.
SATANISTS! This weekend is your last chance to conceive if you want He Who Walks Backwards’ child born on 6/6/6. Any later and to be out then he’d be premature and perhaps a bit weedy. Go go Beelzebaby action.