YOU CAN SURF LATER – A collection of engraved trench Art. GI Zippo lighters from the Vietnam War era.

 

‘Imagine being one of the young American soldiers caught up in the Vietnam War. You would have had a Zippo lighter with you, an indispensable ‘tool’ and an unfailing companion. After buying it at a supply shop from the Army, you probably would have had it personalised by a local Vietnamese engraver, or maybe you would have bought one on the black market already decorated with an engraving popular amongst your brother-in-arms.

Ivan Liechti collects pictures of engraved GI Zippos from the Vietnam War era. In this issue, he presented a collection of those artworks, redrawn and transferred onto paper in order to preserve their rather crude original appearance. The work represents a kind of modern day epigraphy.

On these small metal objects, one can discover a whole world of images, a direct insight into the mind of the soldiers thrown into battle, on average only 19 years old, as well as a reflection on a troubled period of war and socio-cultural shift in the history of the USA.  The pictures, apart from countless images of naked girls, explicit sexual drawings or military insignia, show that you could also have chosen a design related to your civilian life, inspired by songs you were listening to or by comic books you were reading. And aside from the bow tie Playboy bunny, there would have been images with political statements like Snoopy fighting the Red Baron, one-fingered salutes, or the raised fist from Afro American Black Power movement.

But in the end you might have decided simply to have your Zippo engraved with the terribly accurate:

‘WHEN I DIE I’LL KNOW I AM GOING TO HEAVEN CAUSE I SPENT MY TIME IN HELL’

You can buy the book here: http://side-issues.net

 

[...]


Women’s Ink: Tattooing in the New Millennium

Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo

On March 6th Powerhouse Books is hosting a panel on women in tattoo at their arena in Brooklyn. Including Black Art Tattoo 2 author Marisa Kakoulas, Saved Tattoo’s Stephanie Tamez and Virginia Elwood, 2Spirit’s Roxx and the painterly Amanda Wachob, the panel is hosted by author Margot Miffin, who released 1997′s Bodies of Subversion, the first exploration of the history of women in tattoo dating back to the mid nineteenth century and chronicling both the work of women artists and the women they tattooed.

To attend RSVP at rsvp@powerhousearena.com


Coum Transmission – Annihilating Reality

Transcript:

 

Coum Transmissions :

ANNIHILATING REALITY

”SCENES OF VICTORY”

COUM has changed. That is good. Up until late 1976 we performed many actions as art in streets, galleries and festivals. We explored our own neuroses and exposed them publicly. The article/directive ”Annihilating Reality” grew from our conclusions through doing all these actions. We found the artworld on every level less satisfying than real life. For every interesting performance artist there was a psychopath, fetishist or intense street individual who created more powerful and socially direct imagery. We also were unhappy about art being separated from popular culture and the mass media. It seemd to us that it was far more effective propaganda/information dispersal to be written up the the NEWS section of daily papers than in a back page column of a specialist Art journal. Now we much more rarely make actions in Art spaces, we create private documentation. We have moved into the public arena and are using popular cultural archetypes. We live our lives like a movie, we try to make each scene interesting viewing. We use the press to record our activities iike a diary. Our documentation is newspapers and magazines.

COUM TRANSMISSIONS has a diverse membership. At its active core are Peter Christopherson, Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis P-Orridge. Cosey Fanni Tutti is working as a professional striptease dancer and topless go-go dancer in London pubs, Peter Christopherson is using photography to create private archetypal situations and Genesis P-Orridge is producing private images as Art and then deliberately attempting to manipulate the media to absorb them as ”News” and via the news media distribute these images into hundreds of thousands of ordinary homes to see if it stays art, mutates or just what the implications of [...]


Sang Bleu Paris Fashion Week party at Silencio

 

On the 26th of February Sang Bleu will be hosting a Paris Fashion Week party at Silencio. The party starts at 10pm and MxM, Virgil and Acyde will be djing. There will also be a film playing created by Sang Bleu and ARMES.

To attend the party please email sangbleuRSVP@gmail.com


An interview with Safezone2, the ‘billowing’ fetishist

Safezone2 shares images that he has created of his fetish on the democratic platform of flickr.

Half of the images that he shares consist of stills from videos and the others have been created by himself either of women he knows or third party images manipulated into one image through Photoshop. These images are really like nothing I’ve ever seen before, Safezone2 enjoys watching women wearing clothes while in water and especially enjoys the effects of air being trapped underneath submerged clothing on the bodies of females. Most people have experienced swimming while dressed at some point or another but what is so fascinating about Safezone2′s collection of images is that he is aroused by visualising these rather mundane scenarios.

There is something hauntingly beautiful about the VHS stills of isolated women unknowingly becoming the object of his specialised attention. The demure colour saturation of the film quality and wet slicked back hair of the women is really quite appealing. Images of women drenched in water usually brings together visions of the female body being sexually exaggerated in a conventional way but these images don’t fit that stereotype. In fact the women captured in these images are quite normal and the focus of the images is trapped air underneath fabric. 

Safezone2 also makes quite drastically different images where he manipulates various images together through Photoshop with a kind of comic exaggeration of women basically floating above the water. In the more recent images that he has created there seems to be some cross over of women modeling for him too.

We have been emailing Safezone2 about how he creates these images and his fetish to find out exactly what it is that he is so attracted to.

Safezone2′s explanation of his fetish in his own words:

I first got into this interesting [...]


Derek Jarman: Pandemonium

Derek Jarman: Pandemonium is an immersive exhibition that celebrates the life and work of this truly innovative and multi-faceted artist. A student of humanities at King’s from 1960 to 1963, Jarman went on to become one of the most important creative practitioners of his generation and a crucial voice in gay politics in Britain. Painter, filmmaker, set designer, diarist, poet, gardener, activist – Jarman’s work across many areas and media was distinguished for its continual innovation and sense of daring. This exhibition, marking the 20th anniversary of his death from an HIV-related illnesses in February 1994, captures the unruly spirit of his work and his artistic times.

The exhibition focuses on Jarman’s life along the Thames and the ways his work engages with London – from his student days at King’s, to his time in artistically vital warehouses at Bankside and Butler’s Wharf where he lived for most of the 1970s. Pandemonium links Jarman’s studies as an undergraduate – especially the emphasis on the literature and history of the Medieval and Renaissance periods – to his later artistic and intellectual interests.

Among his most arresting work in the 70s were his Super 8 films, and the exhibition will be screening three films continuously. In addition a display of his astonishingly elaborate notebooks which he kept for each of his feature films and writing projects will be on display. The Super 8 films and the notebooks are still too rarely seen. Furthermore, Jarman’s life and work will be contextualised through the many collaborative relationships which helped to inform and enrich his output. In focusing on the warehouse culture of the 70s, the exhibition seeks to celebrate the collaborative spirit which was so important in cultural production at the time.

A programme of public events can [...]


Thoughts on Victorian Restriction

This post began with some initial thoughts about the Panopticon; I was curious about prison architecture, but also of the architecture of 19th century insane asylums, the ways in which these commanding structures revealed the philosophies of use and treatment that dictated their form. After looking at images of straitjackets and leather laced “mitts,” my thoughts quickly turned questions of restrictive apparel, both within the Victorian asylum and outside of it. We often associate the Victorian period with repression: sexual repression, physical restriction, and a severe code of conduct. Of course, the Victorian period was also a heyday of psychological research, when lunatic women first began emerging in pop culture (like the crazy attic-bound wife in Jane Eyre).

So, this post began with a dual-question: what role did physical restraints play in “normalizing” women, and what kinds of invisible systems of control did tangible restrictive garments enact. One interesting (and somewhat obvious) example of bodily control was the Victorian corset, which, in favor of an “attractive” silhouette, warped the body’s structure and severely limited the types of movements its wearer could make.  After a brief period in the late 1700s when freer empire waists were in fashion, the Victorian era saw a return to the tightly-laced corset, stiffened with boning and extending down to a woman’s hips. Of course, corsets did not originate in the Victorian period, but due to new technologies and styles – like steel frames, the emphasis on the “hourglass” shape, tightlacing – Victorian corsets were especially restrictive. Although I cannot articulate a direct connection, I found this intersection of norms, “style,” femininity, and physical constraint especially pertinent when  viewed in light of the rise of insane asylums in Europe and America and especially in the rise in “moral healthcare.”

Both the [...]