Jan Švankmajer // “Kostnice” (1970)

Some years ago I came across the Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer and said to my self; “this guy, I simply need to check up on”. But I didn’t. I actual forgot all about him unfortunately, as it usually goes.

But when I yesterday randomly watched some pictures from the Czech roman catholic chapel; The Sedlec Ossuary, I immediately recognized that I had seen these incredible settings once before, and after a short search I found out where from. Namely, from the shortfilm “Kostnice” (which is the town church stands) by Jan Švankmajer.

The Ossuary chapel is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people, whose bones are artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. Watch it for your self right here.

the-sedlec-ossuary-in-the-czech-republic_338248Sedlec Ossuary, Kostnice, Czech.

Švankmajer (born in 1934) is possible the most surreal filmmaker/artist I’ve seen and actual like. He’s mostly famous and known from his work of surreal animations, but it is his shortfilm fictions that attracts me the most. I won’t begin to analyze or try to be wise on the film, cause I don’t understand anything of it. But I simply just recommend that you guys spend some minutes of yours watching the film and/or maybe some of his others, its’ quite entertaining and weirdly inspiring at the same time. Get to know him a bit more here.


Jan Švankmajer – Autoportrait (1989)

The life of China’s migrants // Aly Song

Shipping containers serves as home for Chinese migrant families.

Talented photographer Aly Song has been focusing on the poor and harsh side of the beautiful polished development of the skyscraper metropolis Shanghai. Here’s a few of her own comments.

Living in the metropolis of Shanghai for over 10 years, it makes sense to me that all the luxury malls, high-end goods and soaring skyscrapers are made by the hands of migrant workers. As a result, I pay extra attention to the migrant worker community.

I went to an area near the Shanghai Outer Ring Expressway, the edge of the city center, to look for some pictures to match property stories. A small road with piles of household garbage on both sides caught my attention. Further down the road, after walking past several blocks of old and shabby buildings, I found myself standing in front of dozens of shipping containers, piled up one after another.

 At first I thought it must be a post-modern art project, but when I got closer, I saw people inside the containers, and there were beds, tables and fridges.

While I was wandering around the area trying to shoot some more frames with the dusk light, the woman’s husband came back from work on an electric tricycle. After realizing that I was a journalist, he stopped me from taking pictures and threatened me to leave or he would call the police. I didn’t know the specific reason why he wanted me out, but I did understand that their insecurity sometimes prevented them from getting into trouble.

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On my way out, the sky turned darker and an elderly woman started to cook outside her container. I sincerely hope that their lives will be free of uncertainty and insecurity soon. The government creating a beneficial policy would be a good start, but people treating them fairly is the key.

Lyt: Machweo – U Stronger

Sahel – The Dynamics Of Dust / Work In Progress

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This guy, the french photographer Philippe Dudouit,  really just blow my mind. Somehow his photographs and associated ambience rouse and at the same time appeals to all that visually attracts me. I think it’s the combination of intensity, fear, gravity and banality that many of his series contains, and especially the series of his from the Middle Eastern and African regions. This one is an ongoing series from 2009 centered around the nomadic Touareg people from the northern part of Africa.

Stay tuned cause more of Philippe Dudouit incredible series will hit the Dortmund page in the nearest future.

December 2009. Philippe, we cannot go there this time ! Because over there, now, it is death. Ibrahim is a Tuareg officer, a former commander for the Alliance Democratique pour le Changement – The Democratic Alliance for Change. Sitting in a house in Kidal, Mali, he shows me a rocky area of the country with his finger, the area where the core group of AQMI, Al Quaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is active.

Nevertheless, the Tuaregs have always gone through the Sahara without asking anything to anyone. For a long time, they would lead tens of thousands of western tourists into the most beautiful places of the desert. For a long time, these areas were a racing track for the caravan of cars, dune buggies, motorbikes and trucks in the Paris-Dakar rally.

But now, the game has changed. At first glance, the rise of Islamic terrorism is to blame: it would have transformed the balance of the Sahara. But looking at things closer, the reality is much more complex.

The area is now facing a cocktail made out of the local population, armed Salafists groups, drug traffickers and smugglers, topped off with international interests jockeying to win mining rights.

Today, almost all of Mali, Niger, North East Mauritania and Southern Libya have become a red zone.

Sahel – The Dynamics of Dust, a work in progress, following the evolution of the Sahelo Saharian band from 2008 and ongoing.

Bez końca // movie poster

Beautiful theatrical poster for the polish film ‘Bec Konca’ (english title: Dead End) from 1984 by Krzysztof Kieślowski.

Bec Konca is a 1984 film directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski and starring Grazyna Szapolowska, Maria Pakulnis, and Aleksander Bardini. The film is about the state of Martial law in Poland after the banning of the trade union Solidarity in 1981. 

Listen to the “Bec Konca” theme song here and watch brief scenes here.

Greatest exhibitions pt. 4

Santiago Sierra, 250 cm Line Tattooed on 6 paid people. December 1999. 

“Six unemployed young men from Old Havana were hired for 30 dollars in exchange for being tattoed”.

Sierra’s mest kendte værker omfatter oftest leje af arbejdere til udførelse af simple opgaver. Disse værker er tiltænkt at belyse karakteren af arbejderen i det kapitalistiske samfund og hvordan arbejderen sælger sin fysiske arbejdskraft og dermed sin krop samt politiske spørgsmål i forhold til indvandring og indvandre-fattigdom i kapitalistiske samfund. Sierra opnår dette gennem en række forskellige teknikker som udgør disse temaer samt sætter spørgsmålstegn ved ​​kunstinstitutionen. F.eks. har Sierra da også betalt en mand for at bo bag en mur i 15 dage.. (!?!)

Lær Sierra bedre at kende her og her.


Espacido Aglutinador. Havana, Cuba. December 1999.

30 Homemade Knives by Chen Chen and Kai Williams

Igennem længere tid har jeg, uden rigtig at vide hvorfor, dyrket en mindre fetisch for knive. Det egentlig ikke noget jeg er videre stolt af, for knive har jo af ganske berettigede årsager en vis negativ social klang. Og det er i den kontekst naturligvis ikke knivens funktion når denne bliver misbrugt, som jeg på nogen måde hylder eller fascineres af. Men måske i virkeligheden en kombination af kniven som et utroligt godt stykke design i form af sin ganske effektfulde og til tider (desværre) grufulde virke og dets på samme tid simple og umiddelbare udtryk. Et design der udover at være godt, aldrig har ændret på sit formsprog, og hvorfor det – fordi det virker. Måske er dette den årsag der kan forklare min fetisch, altså en fascination af det gode design formidlet i et tidsløst og primitivt udtryk. Jeg ved det ikke – måske. Ikke desto mindre blev jeg lidt glad da jeg forleden stødte på Chen Chen og Kai Williams’ 30 hjemmelavede knive, da jeg synes at de er lykkedes ganske fint med at ændre på knivens piktogramiske formsprog samt tilmed tilført det et legende skævt bricolage element – hvilket jeg faktisk synes er en smule befriende. Interessante er de ihvertfald og de kan købes her, ligesom du kan tjekke op på supplerende litteratur her.

Lyt: The Streets – Sharp Darts

Greatest exhibitions pt. 3

Gunter Brus – Self Painting, Self Mutilation (1965)

For et par år siden var jeg en tur forbi Leopold Museum i Wien. Her blev jeg introduceret til samt betaget af, den østrigske kunster Gunter Brus (1938).

Gunter Brus er både maler, forfatter, og performance kunstner, og var i 1964 drivkræften bag kunstbevægelsen Wiener Aktionismus sammen med ligeledes kontroversielle kunstnere som Otto Muehl og Hermann Nitsch. Brus er lidt af en frisk fyr og hans aggresive tilgang til kunsten formidlet gennem aktionismussen fik ham i 1968, efter “Kunst und Revolution” eventet, idømt 6 måneders fængsel. Han flygtede da derfor til Berlin og vendte først tilbage til Wien igen i 1976. Her fyrrede Brus igen op og urinerede i en kop, dækkede sig selv til i egen ekskrement for derefter at drikke koppen med urin. Under udførelsen sang han den østrigske nationalsang samtidig med han onanerede. Han sluttede af med kaste op ud over sig selv og blev efterfølgende anholdt. Dét Brus ønskede gennem acts som disse, var at afsløre en stadig fascistisk side af nationen.

Små 20 år senere blev Brus tildelt “the Grand Austrian State Prize” i 1997. Vil man se mere til Brus og hans aktionimustiske venner, husere Universalmuseum Joanneum en permanent udstilling kaldet Bruseum.

“Self-painting is a further development of painting. The pictorial surface has lost its function as sole expressive support. It was led back to its origins, the wall, the object, the living being, the human body. By incorporating my body as expressive support, occurrences arise as a result, the course of which the camera records and the viewer can experience…”
—Gunter Brus

Gunter Brus´ “Self Portrait” gennem min iphone @ Leopold Museum i Wien

Greatest exhibitions pt. 2

Arik Levy – Personality Disorder Social Codes // Art Amsterdam Fair (2010)

Arik Levys kunstneriske kompetencer spænder vidt. Bedst kendt er han for sine møbel- og rum kreationer, og det er især hans rum installationer jeg finder inspirerende og ikke mindst hans Personality Disorder Social Codes fra 2010 synes særligt interessant. Selv beskriver Arik Levy det at skabe som “Creation is an uncontrolled muscle”.

Se flere billeder fra udstillingen her samt flere at hans projekter her.

Greatest exhibitions pt. 1

IRWIN Live, 1996, installation view at CCA, Ujazdowsky Castle, Warsawa.

(Photograph by Mariusz Michalski)

IRWIN Live consists of paintings from the “Was ist Kunst” series installed on the ceiling with the Irwin members suspended below them so as to appear standing as spectators in front of their paintings.
After the opening the “live” members are replaced with replicas, wich remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

DYSTOPIA // Leh Poulsen


Min gode veninde Leh udstiller på fredag og weekenden ud med sin allerførste solo exhibition; Dystopia – Postapokalyptisk Fortællinger på VESS. Hun er super dygtig, så tag og tjek det ud.

Mere info her.

If You Kill

… “God doesn’t exist”.

Citatet stammer fra den franske biolog og filosof Jean Rostand der i 1939 i bogen Thoughts of a Biologist skrev: “On tue un homme, on est un assassin. On en tue des millions, on est un conquérant. On les tue tous, on est Dieu“, og er blevet brugt i blandt andet Jean-Luc Godards Masculin Feminin fra 1966 som jeg altid har holdt utrolig meget af (billede ovenfor). Hvis du ikke kender til filmen så se lige trailer her. Det en film der stort kun handler om Paris og sex, hvilket man også fornemmer i titelsangen her: Chantal Goya – Tu Mas Trop Menti

Scenens manuskript dukkede op igen i mine øre da den kasserede Metallica guitarist og forsanger i thrash-metal bandet Megadeth Dave Mustain vækkede manuskriptet til live ved at benytte det i første vers af Captive Honur.
Hør det her: Megadeth – Captive Honour. Der vist ingen tvivl om hvor det bedst fungere..

Friend in Eastern Europe


Min græske ven Spyros der det seneste år har rejst rundt i øst Europa, har netop sendt mig en håndfuld af hans egne billeder.

Fra Uzbekistan i øst til Estland mod vest, er han rejst tværs gennem Europa via Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgisistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgien, Ukraine, Hviderusland, Moldova, Litauen og Letland.

Spyros’ fotografier kredser sig især omkring religion, arkitektur og mennesker, hvilket er identisk med mit eget rejse foto interessefelt. Billede otte til tolv stammer fra Šiauliai  i det nordlige Litauen – bedre kendt som The Hill of Crosses. Hvorfor de mange tusinder af kors og crusifixer er samlet lige netop her vides ikke med sikkerhed, men de menes at være bragt fertil af katolske pilgrimme og at der idag findes langt over 100.000 kors i diverse former og afskygninger.

Musik til: Unknown – #008