History of Our World

Aperiatur terra | Anselm Kiefer

Posted in Art, Object, Print by B on February 21, 2010

Palmsonntag, 2006. Mixed Media, 215 x 141 x 11 cm.

Palmsonntag, 2006. Mixed Media, 215 x 141 x 11 cm

Palmsonntag, 2006. Mixed Media, 215 x 141 x 11 cm.

Palmsonntag, 2006. Mixed Media, 215 x 141 x 11 cm.

Palmsonntag, 2006. Mixed Media, 215 x 141 x 11 cm.

Palmsonntag, 2006. Mixed Media, 215 x 141 x 11 cm.

A key figure in European post-war culture, Anselm Kiefer’s art derives from his great awareness of history, theology, mythology, literature and philosophy, and his exploration of a range of materials such as lead, concrete, straw, clay, flowers and seeds.

Kiefer grew up in Germany close to the French border on the Rhine and looked to France as his spiritual home. His early work was influenced by Joseph Beuys and in the context of the immediate post-war period, Kiefer set out to understand Germany’s recent history, then still a taboo subject.In later work, the artist drew on German military history, Wagnerian mythology and Nazi architecture to grapple with the possibility of pursuing creativity in the light of catastrophic human suffering. Kiefer’s technique of layering paint and debris gives visceral life to his preoccupations with decay and re-creation.

After the reunification of Germany Kiefer moved to Barjac, a small town in the South of France, developing and widening his preoccupations. His study of ancient belief-systems such as the Kabbala and travel to South America, India, China and Australia expanded his interests to a cosmic view of the world. In Barjac he was able to work on an even larger scale and confronted with the natural world, became interested in theories about the lives of plants, the microcosm and macrocosm, and the concept that for every plant there exists a correlated star. The huge installation works of Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday), refer to the Christian holy day and suggests the balance between death and resurrection, decay and recreation so characteristic of Kiefer’s work.


Aperiatur terra | Anselm Kiefer

Graham Howes: Anthony Bond: Norman Rosenthal

White Cube



Anselm Kiefer

Aperiatur terra

White Cube



Bunker Archeology | Paul Virilio

Posted in Architecture, Photography, Print by R on February 15, 2010

Observation post on a channel island (detail)

‘Barbara’ firing control tower on the Landes

Observation post on a channel island

Observation post on a channel island

Observation post on the English Channel

The Watten bunker – V2 launching site: the first of huge works designed to harbor stratospheric arms

The ‘Todt front’: The overhung solid mass complements the vertical gradings of the embrasure

Observation post with flattened angles

Observation tower camouflaged as church belfry



Close to death, one no longer sees it,
and you gaze steadily ahead,
perhaps with an animal’s gaze.

– R. Rilke

The discovery of the of the sea is a precious experience that bears thought. Seeing the oceanic horizon is indeed anything but a secondary experience; it is in fact an event in consciousness of underestimated consequences.

I have forgotten none of the sequences of this finding in the course of a summer when recovering peace and access to the beach were one and the same event. With the barriers removed, you were henceforth free to explore the liquid continent; the occupants had returned to their native hinterland, leaving behind, along with the work site, their tools and arms. The waterfront villas were empty, everything within the casemates’ firing range had been blown up, the beaches were mined, and the artificers were busy here and there rendering access to the sea.

The clearest feeling was still one of absence; the immense beach of La Baule was deserted, there were less than a dozen of us on the loop of blond sand, not a vehicle was to be seen on the streets; this had been a frontier that an army had just abandoned, and the meaning of this oceanic immensity was intertwined with this aspect of the deserted battlefield.

But let us get back to the sequences of my vision. The rail car I was on, and in which I had been imagining the sea, was moving slowly through the Brière plains. The weather was superb and the sky over the low ground was starting, minute by minute, to shine. This well-known brilliance of the atmosphere approaching the great reflector was totally new; the transparency I was so sensitive to was greater as the ocean got closer, up to that precise moment when a line as even as a brushstroke crossed the horizon : an almost glaucous gray-green line, but one that was extending out to the limits of the horizon. It’s color was disappointing, compared to the sky’s luminescence, but the expanse of the oceanic horizon was truly surprising: could such a vast space be void of the slightest clutter? Here was the real surprise: in length, breadth, and depth the oceanic landscape had been wiped clean. Even the sky was as divided up by clouds, but the sea seemed empty in contrast. From such a distance there was no way of determining anything like foam movement. My loss of bearings was proof that I had entered a new element; the sea had become a desert, and the August heat made that all the more evident – this was a white-hot space in which sun and ocean had become a magnifying glass scorching away every relief and contrast. Trees, pines, etched-out dark spots; the square in front of the station was at once white and void – that particular emptiness you feel in recently abandoned places. It was high noon, and the luminous verticality and liquid horizontality composed a surprising climate. Advancing in the midst of houses with gaping windows, I was anxious to set foot on my first beach. As I approached Ocean Boulevard, the water level began to rise between the pines and the villas; the ocean was getting larger, taking up more and more space in my angle of vision. Finally, while crossing the avenue parallel to the shore, the earth line seemed to have plunged into the undertow, leaving everything smooth, no waves and little noise. Yet another element was here before me: the hydrosphere.

When calling to mind the reasons that made the bunkers so appealing to me almost twenty years ago, I see it clearly now as a case of intuition and also as a convergence between the reality of the structure  and the fact of its implantation alongside the ocean: a convergence between my awareness of spatial phenomena – the strong pull of the shores – and their being the locus of the works of the “Atlantic Wall” (Atlantikwall) facing the open sea, facing out into the void.

Organized by the Center for Industrial Creation and presented at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris from December 1975 through February 1976.
The pictures were taken by Paul Virilio from 1958 to 1965.


Bunker Archeology

Paul Virilio

Princeton Architectural Press



Paul Virilio

Princeton Architectural Press

Les Arts Décoratifs


Thoughts of a Night Sea | Garry Fabian Miller

Posted in Art, Photography, Print by A on February 2, 2010

Lux 2, 2001.

Lux 11, 2001.

Lucent 12, 2000.

July 6, 2000.

Lux 10, 2001.

July 18, 2000.

Born in 1957, Garry Fabian Miller has made exclusively ‘camera-less’ photographs since the mid 1980s. He works in the darkroom, shining light through coloured glass vessels and over cut-paper shapes to create forms that record directly onto photographic paper. These rudimentary methods recall the earliest days of photography, when the effects of light on sensitised paper seemed magical.

‘Thoughts on a Night Sea’ is perhaps Miller’s most personal and reflective works to date, in that it echoes one of his first breakthrough pieces: ‘The Sea Horizon’ (1976 – 1977). Deeply formal, yet profoundly spiritual, Fabian Miller’s imagery straddles the Modernism of international figures such as Donald Judd, Elsworth Kelly and James Turrell with a sense of essential Englishness, and an appreciation of the sublime.


Thoughts of a Night Sea, Photographs by Garry Fabian Miller

Garry Fabian Miller : Lavinia Greenlaw

Merrell Publishers



James Hyman Gallery

Merrell Publishers


The Image as Rememberance | Giovanni Chiaramonte & Andrei Tarkovsky

Posted in Art, Film, Photography, Print by R on January 31, 2010

Civitavecchia, March 19, 1982

Civitavecchia, March 19, 1982

Bagno Vignoni, 1979-1982

Bagno Vignoni, 1979-1982

Bagno Vignoni, 1979-1982

Just outside Citta Ducale, ‘Church in the Water’, November 1982

An instantaneous mirror of memory, every photograph leaves a motionless trace of what has been, a fixed imprint of something that is no longer what it was before,a silent simulacrum of someone who has disappeared forever from our field of vision. And, as a simple act of remembering, the photograph seems to testify only to the disappearance and death of people and of the feelings that bind us to them, of things and of places where they belong.

Seen in this way, the act of remembrance is the recording of information imposed on the mind by exterior reality, according to the linear logic of necessity, the inexorable law of nature, the Euclidean mechanism of cause and effect that structures and governs human history in the shape of tragedy. The artist Tarkovsky says, must be ‘capable of going beyond the limitations of coherent logic, and conveying the deep complexity and truth of the impalpable connections and hidden phenomena of life’,* the deep complex truth of a life in which he was raised as the heir of one of the greatest poets of the generation of Pasternak, Mandekshtam, Akhmatova and Tsvetaeva.

For the poet Arseny Tarkovsky, Andrei’s father, ‘death does not exist/ we are all immortal/ and everything is immortal. At Seventeen/ one should not fear death, nor at seventy./ Being and light alone have reality, darkness and death have no existence,/ We are all already on the shore of the sea/ and are among those who drag the nets/ while immortality gleams beside them./ Live in the house and it will not fall down./ I shall call forth any century at all,/ to enter into it and build my house./ This is how your children and wives/ will sit with me at the table,/ One sole table for ancestor and descendant./ The future is happening now.’*

Within this genealogy, Andrei Tarkovsky… believes that ‘an artistic image is one that ensures its own development. This image is a grain, a self-evolving retroactive organism. It is a symbol of actual life, as opposed to life itself. Life contains death. An image of life, by contrast, excludes it, or else sees in it a unique potential of the affirmation of life. Whatever it expresses – even destruction and ruin – the artistic image is by definition an embodiment of hope, it is inspired by faith. Artistic creation is by definition a denial of death. Therefore it is optimistic, even if in an ultimate sense the artist is tragic.’*

* Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair, London, 1986

* Arseny Tarkovsky, ‘Life Life’, in La steppa [The Steppe], Pistoia, 1998

* Andrei Tarkovsky, Time Within Time: The Diaries 1970-1986, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair, London, 1994



Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids

Edited by Giovanni Chiaramonte & Andrei Tarkovsky

Introduction by Tonino Guerra

Thames & Hudson



Giovanni Chiaramonte

Andrei Tarkovsky


October 18, 1977 | Gerhard Richter

Posted in Art, Print by B on January 28, 2010

Arrest 1 (Festnahme 1). 1988. Oil on canvas, 92 x 126.5 cm

Confrontation 2 (Gegenüberstellung 2). 1988. Oil on canvas, 112 x 102 cm

Confrontation 3 (Gegenüberstellung 3). 1988. Oil on canvas, 112 x 102 cm

Hanged (Erhangte). 1988. Oil on canvas, 201 x 140 cm

Record Player (Plattenspieler). 1988. Oil on canvas, 62 x 83 cm

Cell (Zelle). 1988. Oil on canvas, 201 x 140 cm

Man Shot Down 2 (Erschossener 2). 1988. Oil on Canvas 100.5 x 140.5 cm

Dead (Tote). 1988, Oil on canvas, 62 x 73 cm

Funeral (Beerdigung). 1988. Oil on canvas 200 x 320 cm

In mid-winter 1989 a quiet tremor shook Germany. Judged from the outside, the extent of its impact might initially have seemed out of proportion to the actual cause. But as a long delayed aftershock and a wholly unexpected aftershock to the much greater upheavals of a decade earlier, the jolt caught people off guard, and reawakened deep-seated, intensely conflicted emotions.

The epicenter of this event was in Krefeld, a small Rhineland city near Cologne where, between February 12 and April 4, 1989, a group of fifteen austere grey paintings were exhibited at Haus Esters, a local museum designed in 1927-30 as a private residence by the modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The author of these works was the then fifty seven year old painter Gerhard Richter, well known for the heterogeneous and enigmatic nature of his art, which ranged from postcard-pretty landscapes to minimal grids, alternatively taut or churning monochromes to crisp colour charts, and heavily textured, even garish, abstractions to cool black-and-white photo based images. The ensemble on view at Haus Esters belonged to the latter genre, which had preoccupied Richter from the outset of his career in 1962 until 1972 but which he had seemed to abandon since then. However the subject of the new paintings was unlike anything he had addressed before. Both the subject and the fact that an artist of Richter’s indisputable stature had chosen to paint it stirred Germany and, in short order, sent reverberations around the world.

Richter’s theme was the controversial lives and deaths of four German social activists turned terrorists: Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Holger Meins and Ulrike Meinhof. The collective title, October 18, 1977, commemorates the day the bodies of Baader and Ensslin – along with their comrades, the dying Jan-Carl Raspe and the wounded Irmgard Möller – were discovered in their cells at the high-security prison in Stammheim, near Stuttgart, where they had been incarcerated during and after their trials for murder and other politically motivated crimes. Almost exactly three years earlier (October 2, 1972) Holger Meins had died from starvation during a hunger strike called by the jailed radicals to protest prison conditions. Ulrike Meinhof had been found hanging in her Stammheim cell (May 9, 1976) shortly before she and the others were sentenced to life terms. Her death was ruled as suicide as were those of Baader, Ensslin, and Raspe the following year (October 18, 1977), although there was widespread suspicion that the four had been murdered.


October 18, 1977 | Gerhard Richter

Robert Storr

The Museum of Modern Art, New York



Red Army Faction

October 18, 1977, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Gerhard Richter


6+ | Antwerp Fashion

Posted in Fashion, Print by B on January 27, 2010

Haider Ackermann, Autumn-Winter 2006-2007

Veroniuque Branquinho, Spring-Summer 1998

Dries Van Noten, Autumn-Winter 1997-1998

Haider Ackermann, Spring-Summer 2006. Tilda Swinton in Purple Fashion Magazine, Vol.3, nr.5, Summer 2006

Raf Simons, Spring-Summer 1998

A.F Vandevorst, Spring-Summer 1999

The ‘Six’ in the title refers to ‘The Six of Antwerp’ — Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Marina Yee — who have been renowned in the world of fashion since the beginning of the 1980s. The ‘plus’ refers to Martin Margiela on the one hand, because he is often bracketed together with ‘The Six’ and on the other hand, to the next generation of designers who have always added new aspects to the Antwerp identity. Finally, the ‘plus’ also refers to photographers, stylists, graphic designers and make-up artists, who have only strengthened the impact of the Antwerp fashion image. The Antwerp style is often described as a type of fashion with a strong feel for identity and tradition, as a conceptual type of fashion that can be interpreted as a reflection on the system of fashion that never gets lost in an abstract artistry or thought. Antwerp fashion is praised by many journalists and buyers because of its unique balance between realism and creativity, which also explains the huge commercial success. With works by Bernhard Willhelm, Raf Simons, Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe, Kris Van Assche, Haider Ackermann, Les Hommes, Lieve Van Gorp, Bruno Pieters, Peter Pilotto, Veronique Branquinho, Jurgi Persoons and A.F. Vandevorst.


6+ | Antwerp Fashion

Kaat Debo : Geert Bruloot

Ludion Ghent



The Six of Antwerp

Fashion Department | Royal Academy of Fine Arts

Ludion Publishers


Eleonora | 2001

Posted in Fashion, Photography, Print by R on January 19, 2010

Hair by Guido
Photography by Uli Holz

Make-up by Diane Kendall
Photographic assistance by Lissa Hahn
Printing by Pierre Dal Corso
Model: Eleonora at IMG


‘Heroes’ : The Inspiration Issue

Guest edited by Raf Simons

i-D #206

February, 2001


Guido Palau

Uli Holz

Raf Simons



Forever I Am A Part Of You And Me | 2001

Posted in Fashion, Photography, Print by R on January 18, 2010

Robbie wears jacket, waistcoat, shirt, tie and denim trousers all by Raf Simons Archive; vintage combat boots from Naughty I, Antwerp.

Chloe wears vintage waistcoat by Martin Margiela; jacket and trousers by Balenciaga; T-shirt by Raf Simons Archive.

Robbie wears jacket by Comme des Garçons Homme Plus; waistcoat by Martin Margiela; shirt and tie by Raf Simons Archive; trousers by Louis Vuitton.

Chloe wears sleeveless jacket by Raf Simons Archive; vintage dress by Helmut Lang; vintage leggings by Stephen Sprouse.

Robbie wears jacket, waistcoat, shirt, tie and trousers all by Raf Simons Archive; vintage combat boots, stylist’s own.

Chloe wears jacket, dress and leggings by Veronique Branquinho; T-shirt by Raf Simons Archive; vintage combat boots, stylist’s own.

Chloe wears suit by Comme des Garçons; vintage combat jacket from Waterlooplienmarket, Amsterdam; boot’s stylists own. Robbie wears jacket, shirt and tie all by Raf Simons Archive; vintage combat waistcoat from Waterlooplienmarket, Amsterdam; trousers from Naughty I, Antwerp; boots stylist’s own.

Robbie wears waistcoat by Martin Margiela; jacket by Louis Vuitton, shirt, tie and trousers all by Raf Simons Archive.

Chloe wears vintage waistcoat by Martin Margiela; T-shirt by Raf Simons Archive; skirt by Veronique Branquinho.

Chloe wears jacket by Raf Simons Archive; vintage dress by Stephen Sprouse.

Photography by Willy Vanderperre
Styling by Olivier Rizzo
Hair & Make-up by Peter Philips
Hair Colouring by Tom Malongre
Assisted by Annemie Meyers
Models: Chloe at Vision & Robbie
Special thanks to Stephen Sprouse, Pia Versele, Gerrit Bruloot, Marian Eggers and Raf Simons.


‘Heroes’ : The Inspiration Issue

Guest edited by Raf Simons

i-D #206

February, 2001


Willy Vanderperre

Olivier Rizzo

Raf Simons



A Line in the Water | Norman Ackroyd & Douglas Dunn

Posted in Art, Literature, Print by R on January 16, 2010

Atlantic Sunlight, Kerry
2008 · 20.5 x 33 cm · [579]

Sailing very close to Little Skellig, the rock is relegated to a backdrop by the size, noise and smell of the birds.

Tay bridge
1988 · 14.5 x 18.5 cm · [1988/3]

The Tay Rail Bridge, a replacement for the infamous bridge that collapsed in 1879, killing 75 train passengers, links the ancient kingdom of Fife with the northern regions of Angus and beyond.

St. John’s Head
1996 · 15 x 19.5 cm · [1996/9]

At 1,134 ft. the spectacular cliffs of St. John’s Head in the Island of Hoy in Orkney are the highest in Britain. The Old Man of Hoy, close to Rackwick Bay, is the highest sea stack in Britain.

Oranmore, Evening
1998 · 18.5 x 26 cm · [1998/5]

Oranmore Castle, which dominates the inner reaches of Galway Bay, was commandeered as barracks by Oliver Cromwell in the mid-seventeenth century.

1996 · 15 x 20.5 cm · [1996/3]

The remaining standing stones at Stenness on the Orkney mainland are at the heart of an enormous consecration of early remains dating back 5,000 years.

Atlantic Rain
2000 · 19 x 27 cm · [2000/4]
The islands of Inishkea stand in an exposed position in the Atlantic off the Belmullet Peninsula in West Mayo.

Rora Head, Hoy
1997 · 15 x 21 cm · [434]

Rora Head forms the northern bluff of Rackwick Bay on the Island of Hoy in Orkney.

Stiffkey Freshes
2004 · 19 x 32 cm · [2004/5]

Stiffkey, pronounced ‘stookey’, is an old established settlement on the North Norfolk coast.

Blakeney Church
2004 · 19 x 32 cm · [2004/8]

Blakeney Church sits on one of the highest points of the moraine ridge that defines the northern edge of Norfolk.

Study of Sun and Rain I, Skellig Rocks
1999 · 45 x 61 cm · [460]

In extreme weather conditions, when landing is impossible, the two Skellig Rocks, which are a mile apart, appear and disappear behind waves and sheets of rain in a disconcerting manner. The scream of seabirds mixed with the thunder of the Atlantic, the taste of of salt and the stench of rotten fish from the gannets of Little Skellig is all-pervading.

Dun Caan, Raasay’s Cap
2005 · 19.5 x 32 cm · [2005/3]

James Boswell climbed Dun Caan and danced a jig on its flat, 1,400 ft. summit when he visited the Isle of Raasay with Dr. Johnson in 1773.

In the culture of candlelight,
An inward scholarship –
Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and fingertip
Poised close to the point of the flame.
And this is how I feel tonight
In a monastic solitude,
One who has known his life subdued
By the sensory, his name
Dipped in envanishments
And their collected moments
All left unedited,
Unsifted, in candlelight
Where the many dead
Prowl, and stars ignite,
Frost silvers shrubs and grass.
All will pass. All will pass.

I do not guarantee
My resignation to all of this.
There are the memories of kiss,
Remembrances of harmony.
These pass only from me.
There will be echoes.
I sense them from centuries ago.
There’s no such thing as
I don’t know much, but that I know.
Look at the towering night-sky.
Look at the waters, this firth
Powering birth and rebirth.
And seen from this small cell
Built for discomfort,
Penitence and prayer,
Islanded, seagirt,
infinite and celestial



A Line in the Water

Norman Ackroyd [CBE, R.A] : Douglas Dunn [OBE]

Royal Academy of Arts



Norman Ackroyd

Douglas Dunn

Royal Academy of Arts


Art Museum Bregenz | Peter Zumthor, 1990-1997

Posted in Architecture, Print by R on January 12, 2010

Sketch, plan

West façade with works by James Turrell on exhibit

Exterior wall

Entrance hall

Gallery space and staircase on south side

Downward view of the staircase

Gallery on upper floor

To me, there is something revealing about the work of Joseph Beuys and some of the artists of the Arte Povera group. What impresses me is the precise and sensuous ways they use materials. It seems anchored in an ancient, elemental knowledge about man’s use of materials, and at the same time to expose the very essence of these materials which is beyond all culturally conveyed meaning.

I try to use materials like this in my work. I believe that they can assume a poetic quality in the context of an architectural object, although only if the architect is able to generate a meaningful situation for them, since materials in themselves are not poetic. The sense that I try to instill into materials is beyond all rules of composition, and their tangibility, smell and acoustic qualities are merely elements of the language that we are obliged to use. Sense emerges when I succeed in bringing out the specific meanings of certain materials in my buildings, meanings which can only be perceived in just this way in just this building.

If we work towards this goal, we must constantly ask ourselves what the use of a particular material could mean in a specific architectural context. Good answers to these questions can throw new light onto both the way in which the material is generally used and its own inherent sensuous qualties.

If we succeed in this, materials in architecture can be made to shine and vibrate.


a+u Extra Edition| Peter Zumthor

Nobuyuki Yoshida : Peter Zumthor

a+u Publishing co.





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