by Angeliska on June 8, 2011
(Photograph courtesy Jérôme Mondière)
✸ Battle of the Frogs from the collection of Louis Mantin. His majestic late 19th-century French mansion was shuttered
for more than a century, but opened its doors to the public in February, to reveal “an array of outdated luxuries and oddities”.
✸ My friend Natalie has an amazing band called Agent Ribbons, and the music they make is very wonderful indeed.
I am completely thunderstruck by the beauty of their new video: “In keeping with the band’s minimalist indie spirit,
“Edgar” is an elegant video with a Mobius strip-like construction the viewer will discover as the narrative progresses.”
Ruysch festooned infant skeletons with various objects, organic and non-organic, and arranged them in landscapes of body parts.
Ruysch’s “repository of curiosities” included displays of infant and fetal
skeletons, placed in landscapes of human and animal body parts.
This ghastly musicale is notable for its morbid whimsy.
I recently stumbled across the strange and wonderful world of Frederik Ruysch, via a link from a terrific resource: Dream Anatomy
These images, funnily enough, led me to the writing repository (The Laughing Bone) of an old friend, Scott Casey (aka. Bonesy Jones),
who I met back in the days of FringeWare. He wrote this great piece:
Frederik Ruysch: Vene, vidi et judica nil tuis oculis
No surprise then, that I was also led to this article:
Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731): Anatomical Artist, Museologist, Morbid Anatomy Patron Saint
from my favorite source for anatomical inspiration, Morbid Anatomy
A virtual new museum dedicated to his works has recently been set up,
and hopefully will soon be translated into English: Frederik Ruysch – Virtual Museum
“Ruysch made about a dozen tableaux, constructed of human fetal skeletons with backgrounds of other body parts,
on allegorical themes of death and the transiency of life…Ruysch built the ‘geological’ landscapes of these tableaux from
gallstones and kidneystones, and ‘botanical’ backgrounds from injected and hardened major veins and arteries for “trees,”
and more ramified tissue of lungs and smaller vessels for ‘bushes’ and ‘grass.’
The fetal skeletons, several per tableau, were ornamented with symbols of death and short life–hands may hold mayflies
(which live but a day in their adult state); skulls bemoan their fate by weeping into ‘handkerchiefs’ made of elegantly injected
mesentery or brain meninges; ‘snakes’ and ‘worms,’ symbols of corruption made of intestine, wind around pelvis and rib cage.
Quotations and moral exhortations, emphasizing the brevity of life and the vanity of earthly riches, festooned the compositions.
One fetal skeleton holding a string of pearls in its hand proclaims, ‘Why should I long for the things of this world?’
Another, playing a violin with a bow made of a dried artery, sings, ‘Ah fate, ah bitter fate.’”
– Steven Jay Gould – Finders, Keepers: Eight Collectors
✸ A Miniature Fascination – The Paris Review – The dollhouses of Huguette Clark
“…Miniaturists—the people, the hobby, the history—deserve more than to be dismissed as an easy metaphor.
It’s a fascinating world that continues to capture people—whether they admit to it or not. Wrote one confidante of Clark in later life,
‘She just wanted to be home and play with her dolls.‘”
I can relate.
My newfound friend Mr. Tom Negovan is launching a Kickstarter mission to create
the first cylinder record/all analog recording made since 1924.
He’s 19 days away, and just a tad short of making his goal – if you are a fan of archaic recording technology
and unusually beautiful music, please consider taking a moment to check out his amazing project.
✸ Mr. Sean Lee has been charming and entertaining me with his marvelous new bit of fancy bloggery over at Leaf & Arrow
His latest article about D.S. & Durga is making me exceedingly hungry for new scents…
There’s a few I think I’ll need to try out from them! Siberian Snow! Orris Root! Cowboy Grass!
✸ I’ve fallen hard for Sophie Ward’s brain: Paper Castle Press
“If New York’s junk shops, antiques fairs and confectioners have fielded some odd requests
recently, it may be because the British theater company Punchdrunk is coming to town for the first time.
The props list for its show “Sleep No More,” an environmental, stylized mash-up of Shakespearean drama
and Hitchcockian noir, reads like the contents of a madman’s shopping cart: plastic teeth, animal eyes,
hair samples, several kinds of blood, caramel spray.”
I so, so, so wish I had gotten to see this. Anybody in New York get to experience it while it was up?
✸ A Wayfarer’s Cabinet of Curiosities
Rima Staines and her ever-enchanting Into The Hermitage
So much loveliness!
Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes set to the song ‘Sherlock Holmes’ by Sparks.
This has been my dancing around in my underwear with a hairbrush microphone theme song lately,
thanks to Lau, who got me hooked on this amazing mix: Take Me Away – Mixed by The Cosmic Orphan
She says it best: “It is really a stunning, perfect mix, and very very recommended listening.”
For real. Go get it. In fact, I’m listening to it again right now!
Fog matters to you and me, but it can’t touch Sherlock Holmes
Dogs bark and he knows their breed
And knows where they went last night
Knows their masters too
Oh baby, hold me tight
✸ The Cave of Forgotten Dreams – If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to see Werner Herzog’s
new 3D documentary about the marvelous paintings of Chauvet Cave, I really cannot recommend it enough.
“There’s a cave in France where no humans have been in 26,000 years. The walls are full of fantastic, perfectly-preserved paintings of animals, ending in a chamber full of monsters 1312-feet underground, where CO2 and radon gas concentrations provoke hallucinations.
It’s called the the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, a really weird and mysterious place. The walls contain hundreds of animals—like the typical Paleolithic horses and bisons—but some of them are not supposed to be there, like lions, panthers, rhinos and hyenas. A few are not even supposed to exist, like weird butterflyish animals or chimerical figures half bison half woman. These may be linked to the hallucinations. The trip is such that some archeologists think that it had a ritual nature, with people transcending into a new state as they descended into the final room.”
Time to make a roadtrip up to Dallas – I absolutely must see this exhibit:
“The Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato”
I’ve wanted to go visit them for years, but now I really have no excuse…
✸ ATLAS SHRIEKED: Ayn Rand’s First Love and Mentor Was A Sadistic Serial Killer Who Dismembered Little Girls
– Just sayin’. An important read. Pass it on to anyone you know who lists Atlas Shrugged as their favorite book.
Oh and – “Ayn Rand Assholism” as Institution/Ideology
another gem on the subject from Coilhouse
✸ Queen of the Sun – I also really want to see this documentary about bees.
This baby tiger having a bath is showing a good example of my current facial expression.
Okay, well – not exactly. Internally, though – yes. I feel like I want to bite on some faces!
Irate baby tiger is my animal totem right now. Small, and apparently cuddly, but mighty fierce.