Ooh, I wasn’t aware anyone followed this blog. I jumped ship for Narcissist’s Home Journal a couple of years ago, go follow me over there if you like.
Threads of light, peeking between the curtains.
The People Living in the Drains Below Las Vegas
People living in storm drains below Las Vegas. They live off of spare change left behind in slot machines.
Isn’t their resourcefulness astounding? They’re like Henry David Thoreau in Walden, living off the land. Their land just happens to have fewer deer.
There’s a post-apocalyptic feel to their pictures, the subterranean quality, the eerie underwater-light (bounced flash?).
From “Lost Vegas”, The Sun, 24th September 2009. Pictures by Austin Hargrave.
Serrano, Andres. Piss Christ. C-type print, 1987. 152.4 x 101.6cm.
By Andrew Hudgins
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
If we did not know it was cow’s blood and urine,
if we did not know that Serrano had for weeks
hoarded his urine in a plastic vat,
if we did not know the cross was gimcrack plastic,
we would assume it was too beautiful.
We would assume it was the resurrection,
glory, Christ transformed to light by light
because the blood and urine burn like a halo,
and light, as always, light makes it beautiful.
We are born between the urine and the feces,
Augustine says, and so was Christ, if there was a Christ,
skidding into this world as we do
on a tide of blood and urine. Blood, feces, urine—
what the fallen world is made of, and what we make.
He peed, ejaculated, shat, wept, bled—
bled under Pontius Pilate, and I assume
the mutilated god, the criminal,
humiliated god, voided himself
on the cross and the blood and urine smeared his legs
and he ascended bodily unto heaven,
and on the third day he rose into glory, which
is what we see here, the Piss Christ in glowing blood:
the whole irreducible point of the faith,
God thrown in human waste, submerged and shining.
We have grown used to beauty without horror.
We have grown used to useless beauty.
Kimothy Anson, End of Ash, 2009.
Killers Kill, Dead Men Die
Annie Leibovitz’s 2007 Vanty Fair shoot, “Killers Kill, Dead Men Die.”
The variety is exciting, and some of the pictures are really very lovely. Though these are the least flawed ones from a series of 14 or so.
A lot of the pictures are composites from different shoots, and its those images that are least impressive.
Look at their faces, each has been obviously lit differently, and nobody seems to quite look at each other. Nobody seems to be quite there, and the ensemble cast isn’t working together.
The best pictures are when she allows the actors to act, like in Jennifer Connelly’s picture at the top, and Penelope Cruz’s. Some are just visually impressive, like the ladder and the Hotel sign.
Many of the pictures with the greatest potential are lost due to the digital effects though, like the strangely awkward composite pictures, and some where lighting has been obviously manipulated. It’s a little disappointing, I’m sure Leibovitz could do better. But she was probably working in a limited time frame, and getting all of the actors in a room together at once would have been a struggle. There are three amazing pictures in the series, which is a decent number.
Potentially sorted out my final line-up! (These pictures are all taken from contact sheets,a nd aren;t necessarily representative of the final prints).