Posts Tagged ‘Liberating Negative Space’

Take Two Tuesday — Per mi amico: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day, “Happy birthdohs, Jonohs” edition with brief bookfoolery

July 19, 2011

This post originally appeared on July 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm. Congratulations on another trip around the sun to you, my good true friend, and I hope you have many more to come.

Happy birthday to the one and only Jonohs Danger Welchos!


Nolite te bastardes carborundum.

This encouragement is doubtless unnecessary because I doubt that you ever would. I’m sure you would talk the bastardes around to your point of view and you’d all have Fin du Monde and play Beatles Rock Band and they would vow never to carborundum again. I’m finishing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter shortly and I’ll be starting next on my yearly Atwood. How nice to know this year when I re-read it that you will have just done so recently too. Last year I knew you, and was re-reading Handmaid’s Tale as always, and you had not read it yet. This time it will be different and I’ll know that I’m reading words that yet another of my friends has also enjoyed. See the interstitial power of the shared unconscious experience of reading? That’s impressive shit. If that is not impressive enough, I will buy you some sushi the next time we are both in town. But really, dude — the gift of reading. Come on. Be excellent.

But just in case you ever do feel down, remember that you are an awesome friendoh and I’m so glad to have gotten to be friends, and that I know great things are going to happen for you like in a perpetual motion engine powered by amazing karma for all your kindnesses and good humor to others.

And, of course, be prepared for whatever befalls you on this, the day of your birth —


A very recent addition to the pantheon of inside jokes via uglyxdutchling on the tumblr.

Hope you’re off work and having a great birthday, Mr. Welchos! But do try and hold it together.

I will be thinking of you!

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Urge for salvation

July 18, 2011


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Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Garbo writes

July 17, 2011


Cecil Beaton photograph of Garbo, 60, in Greece. Late 1965.

Letter from Greta Garbo to Grace Kelly, 1965.


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Being “upside-downy”: Garbo gets it.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Eventually

July 16, 2011


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I hate the “alright” spelling but I like the message. It gets a check-plus.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Smiley face

July 11, 2011

That explains the smilling faces.

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Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Danger, Danger — High Voltage

July 10, 2011

Fire at the disco. Fire at the Taco Bell.

I took this last month in San Francisco while in a vintage arcade machine museum. The door was shut, but I tried it anyway. The chain and the people around me prohibited further exploration. I have a problem with doing this. Like, a lot. Ask people who’ve traveled with me. I just really, really enjoy going where I’m not “supposed” to go. “Authorized personnel only,” “Employees Only,” “Keep Out,” “Do Not Enter,” “Door to Remain Closed” — that kind of phraseology chafes me: it does not sit well. When I see signs like that, I sort of get overtaken by impulse. Fuck you; is it not an area that can be walked in, and have I not got feet? Don’t ever say never to me.

Doubtless I will one day accidentally witness a heist in a warehouse after which physically comedic hijinks and fruit-stand-overturning mob evasion will lead to my false accusation by the police, and, in the process of clearing my name and regaining the stolen goods from the warehouse, a straitlaced cop who has a not-too-sad but semi-serious Secret from his past which keeps him from cutting loose will recognize me for the plucky diamond in the rough that I am, and, once I am proven innocent and the people of the village are Safe, we will totally see that our wacky personality differences mesh so crazily that they just might work, and we’ll fall in love and bang, and take the suitcase full of just a little bit of the warehouse goods to Monaco, where we will feast on cheese plates. Doubtless.

This is all true. Very plausible. Likely, even.

I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet, to tell you the truth.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Are you doing this?

July 9, 2011


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Are you doing this? Are you taking this advice? I’m not. I need to work on that.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Breaking news — Cars apparently have sex

July 8, 2011


The sentient car has found love, and some jerk goes and bashes it. Is it any wonder the machines rise against us?

So that’s a Thing.

Look out for all those gayass cars out there, dudes. Don’t let them sell you organic locally grown leeks or get married or some shit: it totally cheapens the deep bond of love and committment found only in a traditional marriage between two straight cars. … And leeks are not in season in July. Amateur hour.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Be aware

July 7, 2011

Perfect.

Take-two Tuesday — The Way They Were: Egon and Wally

July 5, 2011

This entry was originally posted March 1, 2010 at 11:50 am.

Yesterday I was reminded that I had a bunch of these “Way They Were” entries planned and had only followed through on one (Jayne and Mickey). That’s cowardly. I’m going to try to motor through more in the coming months.


“Sitzende Frau mit hochgezogenem Knie”/”Seated woman with bent knee”, 1917.

Although artist Egon Schiele had been separated from Valerie “Wally” Neuzil and married to Edith Harms for two years by the date of this painting, most everyone agrees this is from an earlier study of Wally. It looks too much like her not to be, and he uses the colors that are associated with the Wally work. It’s my favorite work by him. It was on the cover of the Schiele book that my husband, who is a painter, had at our house in Portland, and was the entire reason I found myself opening and reading the book one day. I was interested in Schiele’s work, which is provocative and weird and has many shockingly modern features, all things I like, but, because his life was tragically cut short by disease, his career arc is brief. Coming away from the slim book about his life and art, I felt that his work was dominated by the chief feature of his life, which is to say in a nutshell his time with the real love of his life, which he royally fucked up, and it was the story of that, of Egon’s eventually jacked-beyond-repair relationship with Wally Neuzil that really sucked me in.


“Das Modell Wally Neuzil”/”The model Wally Neuzil.” 1912.

Artist Egon Schiele and his model, Valerie “Wally” Neuzil, were together from 1911 to 1915. He met her in Vienna when she was seventeen and he was twenty-one. Supposedly they were introduced by Gustav Klimt. Supposedly she had been Klimt’s mistress before she got together with Schiele. These things are all conjecture because everyone involved is dead, and they happened before the Great War, which so influenced the German-speaking art world in the years just following it that anything which contributed to or influenced an artist’s work before the War kind of fell by the wayside until later generations resumed their scholarship of turn of the century artists. That’s fair. Such radical changes happened during and after the War that I imagine it seemed crazy, outdated, and irrelevant to really consider too deeply the little emotional outbursts and criminal trials that came before the dramatic political events of the 1910’s and 20’s that literally reshaped the landscape.


“Rothaarige hockende Frau mit grünen Strümpfen (Valerie Neuzil)”/”Crouching figure with green stockings” (Valerie Neuzil).” 1913.

Egon and Wally left Vienna because they considered it too oppressive. They sought an inspirational, romantic, and bucolic lifestyle of freedom in the countryside, moving to Krumia — which also had the more practical benefit of much cheaper rent than Vienna — where, though Schiele’s mother was born there, they were summarily run out of town not too long after for being a little too inspirational, romantic, and bucolic: they’d been using the town’s teenagers as “models”. There’s a Schiele museum there now, so I guess that, like cream cheese, their hearts eventually softened to a spreadable cracker topping. That analogy got out of control in a hurry. It’s almost time for me to grab lunch, sorry.


“Wally in roter Blouse mit erhobenen Knien”/”Wally in red blouse with raised knees.” 1913.

Essentially fleeing the angry mob in Krumia, Egon and Wally moved again, this time north to Nuelengbach, where it was apparently same shit, different day, as they were not there even six months and Schiele was arrested for seducing a minor. Once in custody, they dropped that charge (apparently the young lady changed her tune when the absinthe wore off?) and an abduction charge the parents had insisted be levied originally, and instead tried and found him guilty of displaying inappropriate art in a place where minors could see it. He was released from prison after serving twenty-four days in April 1912 — are you getting the idea of what an awesome prince he was? such the lucky girl, that Wally — and they moved back to the Vienna area.


“Auf einem blauen Polster Liegende mit goldblondem Haar (Wally Neuzil)”/”Reclining female figure with gold blonde hair on a blue pillow (Wally Neuzil).” 1913.

Settled with Wally in Heitzing, a Viennese suburb, Schiele wrote to a friend in early 1915 that he was going to marry one of the Harms sisters, two locksmith’s daughters named Edith and Adele who lived across the street from his studio, for money. I guess running around for three years painting erotic pictures and pissing people off while sleeping with teenagers and doing jail time had not turned out to be the lucrative life of luxury he’d anticipated; the cash flow was getting low, and, despite that he considered Wally his partner and soulmate, marrying for money was Schiele’s timeless solution to their financial woes. He followed through on this, marrying the older of the daughters, Edith, on June 17, 1915, exactly 91 years before my own wedding day.


“Frau in Unterwäsche und Strümpfen (Valerie Neuzil)”/”Woman in underwear and stockings (Valerie Neuzil).” 1913.

A few days after his wedding, Schiele was called to the war, but managed to always serve in Austria, so he was able to continue with his art and stay close to his ties in Vienna. Wally had broken up with him when he told her he was getting married. Schiele wrote to friends expressing shock and grief: he’d actually expected her to understand and stay with him. He wrote a letter to Wally asking her to meet him at a billiards parlor that he liked to go to. There he gave her another letter, proposing that every year they go on an extended holiday, without his wife. She did not write back or respond positively to this. Instead, she left him and never saw him again.


“Frau mit schwarzen Strümpfen – Valerie Neuzil”/”Woman with black stockings – Valerie Neuzel.” 1913.

I was furious when I read this. I still remember sitting in my little house in Portland and my jaw dropping, and my blood boiling, all this anger and resentment simmering in me, directed at people I never met who’d been dead nearly a century, but I couldn’t help it. I hate him for marrying someone else, I hate him and I hate the story of how they were because it reveals that through all that time they spent together, Schiele must have considered Wally lower than him, and though she stood by him , asshole though he could be, he thought her to be the unimportant one, expendable and suppressable, and he literally threw her away like garbage even though she was the best thing that had happened to him; his drawings of her are the best things he did. But that is how some stories are, and I deserve to feel angry because I need to accept that, I have to work through my sadness about the fact that nothing and no one has ever been perfect not even for a day or an hour or a moment, every joyful thing is secretly riddled through with the knowledge that this is so good now because there will be pain later and every lucky penny has a tail side of the coin, and if I have to search my soul and see if there is any gold in the dross of this love story that I in my infantile understanding of human nature found so devastating than I guess I must say that I do love that Schiele really loved Wally in an incredibly broken way, and had that time with her in which there must surely have been good moments.


Photograph of Wally and Egon from the Schiele Museum online.

Schiele died only three years after his breakup with Wally, on Halloween 1918, in an influenza epidemic which had several days earlier killed Edith and their unborn child. He passed away completely unaware that Wally Neuzil had herself succumbed to death from disease around Christmas of the previous year. She’d become a nurse for the Red Cross and, stationed at Split in Dalmatia, she caught scarlet fever from one of her patients and died in the same hospital at which she’d been working for over a year.

edit 7/6/11. Question for discussion: on a large enough timeline, aren’t we and all our petty passions and tragedies truly sound and fury, don’t we signify nothing after all? I want to think not — likely only because of vanity and childish fear of my own meaninglessness — but it seems so true.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Textual healing, “It’s something I’m feeling all over”

July 5, 2011


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Living around the blanks.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Prada Marfa

July 4, 2011


“Prada Marfa” by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, via.

Prada Marfa is a permanent art installation near Valentine, Texas, USA. (Where Giant was filmed.) Erected October 1, 2005, it’s modeled after a Prada store, with all the needless shit inside it, but the door doesn’t work.

On the front of the structure there are two large windows displaying actual Prada wares, shoes and handbags, picked out and provided by Miuccia Prada herself from the fall/winter 2005 collection; Prada allowed Elmgreen and Dragset to use the Prada trademark for this work.

Prada Marfa “was intended to never be repaired, so it might slowly degrade back into the natural landscape.” Again — no repairs, so that “50 years from now it will be a ruin that is a reflection of the time it was made.”

It’s a commentary on, like, society. (Deep drag on clove cigarette.)

Three days after it went up, the artists’ lofty plan for Prada Marfa to naturally degrade in to the landscape with no interference or repair was shot to hell when vandals broke in, stole six Prada purses and 14 right shoes, and graffitied the outside of the building with the word “Dumb” repeatedly.

The graffiti was quickly covered up, the windows repaired, and security cameras went in to the installation’s handbags.

That’s a commentary on, like, society.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Don’t be a Don’t Bee

July 3, 2011

Do be a Do Bee: a cheerful, smiling drone.


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You don’t want to be a Don’t Bee. Then you’ll never be very happy.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Vintage girl’s French prayer card

July 2, 2011


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Catholicism is for lovers.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: PSA, No one wants to fuck you

July 1, 2011

PSA: No one wants to fuck you. Sorry it had to come to graffiti on plywood but you just weren’t getting the message.


via. It looks as though someone tried to cross it out to make it read, “EVERYONE” but the original artist returned to merely underscore “no” in reply.

Why This Is Relevant: a daring and austere one-act ripped from the headlines.

Scene: Gas station.

Dramatis personae: Good ol’ E., pluckily on line to pick up smokes for panda on another Manic Monday; dark hair, blue dress with white polka dots, determined expression — let’s have a quick trip.
Man in inside-out shirt, black-on-black Pittsburgh Pirates hat, leaning heavily on walker with a basket attached: the basket is filled with an 18-pack of beer stood tall, buffeted by two 40 oz. bottles of beer. The man is visibly swaying from drinking already. He has meth face and flicky eyes. The overall effect is not pitiable but emphatically creepy.
Cashier, not important but an ugly person should play her because she is absolutely not good at keeping her customers from getting in to weird situations.

MAN: I like your dress.
E: Thank you.
MAN: It looks good on you.
E: Thanks.
MAN: I like … how it looks.
E: …
MAN: I’ve got a cab. I’m not driving.
E: Cool — you a big Pirates fan?
MAN: What?
E: Your hat.
MAN: I have this hat.
E: Right.
MAN: For the Pirates?
E: Yeah, the Phillies are doing so well this year, it must kind of be tough for Pirates fans to take. Rivalries and all, right?
MAN: I think … I like … the A’s.
E: Okay.
MAN: You’re pretty. You’re the prettiest girl I’ve seen … (long pause) today.
E: Well — thanks.
MAN: Can I call you?
E: I need to think about that.
CASHIER: I can help who’s next.
MAN: You want to go in front of me?
E: VERY MUCH.

Scene.

To quote Liz Lemon, “Another successful interaction with a male!”

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Textual healing — “Moving, moving, since creation”

June 30, 2011


Capped by me, via diggers on the issuu.


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From The Children’s Encyclopedia, by Arthur Mee. (London: The Education Company. Orig pub. as The Children’s Encyclopædia 1908). Specifically the first image and its caption appeared in the “Ideas” section, Volume I, p. 112, the text snippet from p. 118, of this revised edition c. 1930.

August is going to be The Children’s Encyclopedia Month because I’m totally in love with its beauty and bizarreness. Tell a friend.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: this is the way the earth dies

June 28, 2011


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Not with a whimper, either, as it ends up.

The Earth Dies Screaming (Terence Fisher, 1964).

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Let’s pretend

June 27, 2011


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Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Destruction! edition

June 26, 2011


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So … the doily itself will destroy me? Or the act of tatting? I’m not totally clear: I just felt like posting up something twee with lace and handwork prophesying doom. But I have heard tatting is a gateway drug. It starts innocently enough with crochet, then someone tells you about cross-stitch, and then you want to make lace, and then tatting leads to freehand embroidery and next thing you know you’re swapping your firstborn in back of the bead store for a good tight french knot.

Quelle disastre! O, what your craftiness hath wrought, thou Witch of the Fabricland. Fie upon thee! All kinds of fie.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: I was innocent once

June 25, 2011


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