Thursday, 26 March 2009

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal

Marley came over and we locked ourselves in the bathroom and I shot these pictures. We actually dyed the water in the bath red and started to think of lesbian-vampire ideas, but in the end we settled for shells and spouting water.

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other

These are brighter, less tinted, pictures taken in the bath. I think they convey more how funny the water, mermaid tube dress and spitting were.

Friday, 20 March 2009

In My Father's House Are Many Mansions

Alice came round yesterday when the sun was streaming through the windows and it felt like a summer holiday in the flat. We bought ice lollies and flowers and put on hold-ups and t-shirts, and I took a roll of film of her around the house.

I have a few more shots that I filmed of us together, which maybe I'll put up later.

In the Name of the Holy Spirit

These are some of the first pictures I took last summer. I exposed them slightly - there's a slight thrill in opening the back of my camera and letting the light rush in. They feel to me as though there is some mysticism in their glowing, washed out tones; it is as if a certain presence creeps through in the colour they retain.

"Let There Be Light." And There Was Light.

These were taken at the height of summer in the middle of London last year. The water looked incredible when the light hit it, but when you looked closely you could see a million particles of dirt and green tinted dregs. It gave it this sort of eerily repugnant sense, which felt odd when coupled with this heavy weight of heat and blinding sun.

There Is No Fear In Love

These are from a really old roll of film shot from our balcony. The colours seem to lend London a certain romantic quality that I never normally see.

Even a Land that Floweth with Milk and Honey

I was only in Hong Kong for a little over a week, but it left a deep impression in my mind of static, sticky air forever resisting the fast pace of the changes taking place there: shifts away from the West since its return from the British empire to China colliding with shifts towards the West in business, production, capitalism. A city fixated by money, spending, creating. Emaciated buildings stretching ever-further towards the unattainable of that above them, and memories of cramped rooms, my grandfather heckling "No, she too ugly!" at the Miss Hong Kong pageant on tv, and junk markets that stretched through the back-streets saturated with battered copies of Mao's little red book.

I shot and processed all of these pictures while I was out there - I remember spreading them all out around me as I started on the journey back to London.

And Death and Hell were Cast Into the Lake of Fire

My grandfather on my Dad's side (his stepdad) was an artist, Patrick Procktor, of whom I have only memories of sly swear-words at the dinner table, the stain of cigarette smoke, and a life-size cast sculpture of an African head that Patrick always treasured. The careless butt of a still-smoking cigarette cast all around him in flames as they ate up his home before his eyes. I saw the blaze from our window, then the painful rasping as we ran through the streets towards it, then the shrivelled watercolours and nudes rescued in the weeks to come.

These are shots taken in those weeks in the carcass of the house.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Pleasures of the Flesh

Around this time last year I was having a love affair with Yves Klein crossed with Hermann Nitsch and all his Vienna Actionist sordid pals, as well as a certain taste for meat (aesthetically, that is) and that strain of feminism that is pro-pornography - the ones that love a little hardcore female nudity.

I was also pretty heavily immersed in Marquis de Sade, Bataille and maybe a little Sacher Masoch, I'm not too sure anymore. This made for some extreme expanding of my horizons of the fantastically perverted.

So then images embedded in my brain from even longer ago, images from the New French Extremist cinema, started to surface: along the lines of a real time rape scene, S&M dungeons, and Beatrice Dalle and Vincent Gallo straining to satisfy their lust for caniballism.

Below are stills from the film I made - it was important that I directed myself: I always felt slightly strange about Klein's women being so central to his work whilst having no creative input.

I recently came across these cut-up images on Olivier Zahm's blog, which connect a lot in my mind to the heady cut-up mixture of meat and sexuality (flesh) - the living and the dead - that I was trying to achieve last year.

And so, in the ever-authorative words of the Bible:
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." (James 1:15)

And in the more relevant words of Bataille:
"Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death."

If this be the case, Bringeth Forth Death.