٠ The ‘ancient’ art of cut & paste (using one’s own hands, if you can imagine) ٠

c_02_hunde© Christine Gensheimer, Hunde, 2007. Photo-collage.

c_09_eberhard© Christine Gensheimer, Eberhards, 2010. Photo-collage.

Fauve© Maria Kassab, Fauve. Paper collage.

Sans Titre© Maria Kassab, Sans-titre. Paper collage.

Slow This Bird Down-01© Maria Kassab, Slow This Bird Down, 2013. Photo-collage.

6© Isabel Reitemeyer, Herr A. und Frau I., 2008. Collage.

2© Isabel Reitemeyer, Frau L.. Collage.

14© Isabel Reitemeyer, Auf dem Arm. Collage.

5© Isabel Reitemeyer, Im Dienst. Collage.

٠ Andreas Nitschke and the urge to play ٠

nitschke02© Andreas Nitschke, from Black Beauties

9© Andreas Nitschke, from Pro Kopf

It was Andreas himself who directed me to his work and I’m glad he did so. I’m always happy to help promote work I enjoy seeing and which manages to add something to the problems I’m dealing with at the moment.

Andreas’ work is definitely contemporary, for all the imagery used in his collages is easily recognizable. The stereotypes and the conventions often depicted in his work are also straight forward. I find that refreshing. Though the process at use is not original, in the sense of its uniqueness, his work does have some qualities that fit my study on the possibility of ‘authentic traces’ in works of art.

Andreas_Nitschke_5-450x681© Andreas Nitschke, from Verkappte

nitschke07© Andreas Nitschke, from Konvertiert

Besides the most common definition of what ‘art’ is – namely that art is what the professional elite authenticates as being art -, my position is that art is a kind of manifestation or symbolic expression that appeals to the senses, that expands our perceptions and potentates our imagination. Andreas’ imagery does that for me. Obviously some collages are more successful than others and not all of them work for me, but… There’s a great liberty in making ‘the urge to play’ one of your biggest drives, for ‘play’ is an aimless activity and, for that, it helps the subject to freely express oneself.

When I speak of the ‘urge to play’ I’m actually thinking of Hans Prinzhorn‘s (Artistry of the Mentally Ill, 1922) proposal of the main elements in the configuration of works by the mentally ill. Andreas’ work ticks several of the criteria and, as far as I’m concern, that only says good things about the origins of his drive to create and the man he becomes thru his expressive manifestations. Prinzhorn speaks of the ‘urge to play’, the ‘ornament urge’, the ‘ordering tendency’, the ‘tendency to imitate’ and the ‘need for symbols’, among others.

I would add that his work is also raw and compelling. Moray Mair, from MutantSpace, describes it as a punk style that’s rooted in the fashion of our day. A cut and paste process that gives his pictures a primal quality, a rawness that gets straight to the point.

In an interview by David Dean, from ‘So Magazine’, Andreas himself speaks of a childish quality to his work: My intention is very philanthropic: I steal from magazine pictures  – without blinkers – all these body parts and reuse them for my hand-made work to show how we can be as humans: full of contradictions, sometimes controversial, sometimes nasty but always vulnerable. I hope some of my work has a bit of a toxic effect although they are so small and childish.

Though I don’t find it grotesque, I do think that some of the montages are repulsive and subversive, for they challenge our conventional perception of ‘how things look like’. In Andreas’ words Nothing is sacred! Second-hand-photographs from contemporary magazines or pulp-fanzines, fast food for the eyes… I use everything. It’s the out-of-the-box-thinking of the punk culture that is very close to my work, too.

nitschke08© Andreas Nitschke, from Pro Koft

nitschke01© Andreas Nitschke, from Koexistenz

More of Andreas‘ work can be seen @ andreasnitschke.com

٠ Multiexposed/Multilayered Ukrainian photography ٠

741123© Alexander Lyapin

hj-01© Denis Kravets

DOT_Sint_tym_01_800© Yaroslav Tymchyshyn

lia_dostlieva7_800© Lia Dostlieva

602986© Misha Pedan

10© Roman Pyatkovka

_04© Roman Pyatkovka

vita_buivid_summer_10© Vita Buivid

107_800© Marina Frolova

٠ “Our intellect rationalizes away all avenues to authenticity” ٠

ap2-d2745e58c3c487290b2494d350f8© Anna Parkina, Good Cob, 2006

anna_parkina_blackscreanwritars© Anna Parkina, Blackscreanwritars, 2008

‘Our age is essentially one of understanding and reflection, without passion.‘ Kierkegaard’s contemporaries indulge in ‘the coils and seductive uncertainty of reflection’, which kills action and brings them to ‘inertiae’. Much as Nietzsche asserts ‘Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion’, Kierkegaard holds that action requires passion, which is lost when the individual sinks into the bottomless pit of reflection. Too much analysis leads to paralysis, and since ‘man stands or falls by his actions’, there is no way to attain authenticity without significant lifeshaping action. To counter this tendency to ‘over-reflectiveness’ that hinders the emergence of authenticity, Kierkegaard attempts to wake us from our existential slumbers by infusing us with passion, the motivating force for action.
By passion Kierkegaard does not mean any emotion that affects us, but rather, emotion originating in the first days of Christianity, more precisely, in the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the Cross: an overpowering emotion that changes, or even ends, one’s life. To be sure, his age is also pervaded by the ethos of sincerity and Hegelian ‘Reason’, an ethos which has led his generation into apathy, lack of commitment, shallowness, and evasion of any decisive and determined course of action. Kierkegaard did not want to abolish this ethic completely, but only to ‘correct’ it. He wanted to infuse his age with passion, contending that passion together with sincerity of intention produces authenticity.
Kierkegaard believes that intellect and reasoning are the main ways in which people escape their selfhood. Our intellect rationalizes away all avenues to authenticity. It provides people with rationalizations for not becoming what they are. And Kierkegaard, who spent much time and energy on rationalizing his life in order to escape from commitment and from his genuine self, was well aware of this. Since Kierkegaard felt that ‘for the individual as for the generation no task is more difficult than to escape from temptations of reflection’ (ibid., p. 42), he attempted to make passion for authentic action a counter-temptation.
Another aspect of the ‘present age’ that requires ‘correcting’ has to do with ‘the levelling process’ that is an outcome, on the sociological and theoretical levels, of the abstract and ‘passionless’ nature of reflection. This levelling process is a symptom of the victory of abstraction over the individual, and that of ‘the committee’ over personal commitment. The modern individual is ‘lost’ in the crowd and ‘at a loss’ without the crowd. The anonymity of man, and his impersonal education in industrial society, the ‘abstract power’ of the state, change him into a ‘phantom’ in ‘the public…which is a monstrous nothing’. It destroys his individuality, externalizes his ‘inwardness’ and makes him forget what it means to be a genuine self. This shallow and confused age relies on statistics, making public opinion the criterion of truth. It demands that the levelling process also expresses itself sociologically in the form of ‘mathematical equality’.”

excerpts from In Search of Authenticity: from Kierkegaard to Camus, by Jacob Golob.

┐ Robert Seydel – Book of Ruth └

© Robert Seydel, all Untitled, from Book of Ruth, collages, c. 2000-09

Robert Seydel’s “Book of Ruth is an alchemical assemblage that composes the life of his alter ego, Ruth Greisman—spinster, Sunday painter, and friend to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Through collages, drawings, and journal entries from Ruth’s imagined life, Seydel invokes her interior world in novelistic rhythms. These seductive, unearthed artifacts, conceived as a gathering of materials from the Smithsonian and a suburban family garage, construct a mosaic portrait of a reclusive, unknown artist for whom the distance between the ordinary and the extraordinary is infra-thin. The fragments and detritus from which Seydel fashions Ruth’s art and narrates her inner life shine like the pages of an illuminated manuscript, revealing as much about the imagination of an artist as well as about the tenuous creation of self. from Siglio press

“Speaking through another’s voice is hardly an original tactic, though I suppose to some degree it is in the visual arts. “I is another,” Rimbaud said, lodging uncanniness at the heart of what we are. From Browning to Pound to Pessoa, speaking in voices was a way to carry history and multiplicity into the poem. Armand Schwerner asked, as a poet, “Why leave fictive experiments to the prose writers?” I guess I’ve asked that myself, but as an artist. To attempt to make the hand obey another’s psychology, at least so far as you imagine it, doesn’t seem that different to me than fashioning the voice of a literary character.

And art has always seemed to me a kind of exit out of the self, a way to get beyond the self. I don’t think I’ve ever really understood why “self-expression” is an attractive motivation for making art, which is how students so often speak about what they’re doing. Who cares really? But to fashion a self, that seems to me another thing. Walt Whitman isn’t only that boy “starting out from Paumonak,” but “Walt Whitman, a kosmos”—that is, an invention. The artist’s job, according to both Robert Henri and Jasper Johns, is to invent himself.” excerpt of an interview conducted by Savina Velkova. continue reading here

┐ Peter Lamborn Wilson aka Hakim Bey └

© Peter Lamborn Wilson, Pang Yang & the Universal Friend #2
(framed map and box)

© Peter Lamborn Wilson, Esopus Island #3

“His collages and assemblages are psycho-geographies, cryptic records of transient rituals the poet performed at sites with historical/mystical significance around the Hudson River Valley from 2009-2011. He sees these visual maps as a way of “extruding his words into the material realm.”

Wilson merges a lineage of subversive play from Alfred Jarry and the Situationists with his vast knowledge of American hermeticism — a potent mixture of African American ritual, Native American medicine, and European occult sources. It is clear to see the political connections between these recent psycho-topographies and Wilson’s seminal text T.A.Z: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (1991): “The “map” is a political abstract grid, a gigantic con enforced by the carrot/stick conditioning of the “Expert” State, until for most of us the map becomes the territory- -no longer “Turtle Island” but “the USA.” And yet because the map is an abstraction it cannot cover Earth with 1:1 accuracy. Within the fractal complexities of actual geography the map can see only dimensional grids. Hidden enfolded immensities escape the measuring rod. The map is not accurate; the map cannot be accurate.”


excerpt of text taken from 1:1 TAZ projects

More of Peter’s Vanishing Art here

An online version of TAZ here