Posts Tagged ‘bizarre’


November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Thank you kindly for your constant interest in Merzbau! Only today after a random visit here I realized that there have been  more than 13000 visitors to this blog! Merzbau is over [at least for now] but this does not mean that I will bring it down. It will remain online for archival purposes.

There has been a return to the merzposting though. There is a new incarnation of this ongoing ‘effort’ that is called Llamarinth. This is a new journal of the weird and wonderful maintained by me and a very dear person to me, houdinismother. I am sure that Merzbau readers will find many things of interest there and they will not be disappointed.

I would be glad to see you and maybe hear from some of you over at Llamarinth!




word from a friend / Satan bouche un coin

May 9, 2008 2 comments

Today I got an email from my friend Mr. Stereotype, who is now pursuing his musical interests a little more intensively [reach him also @ his Myspace page]. He included a link to what at first seemed an interesting and provocative [film] short. It did live up to my expectations but it also proved a rare surreal document.

It is falsely posted on Youtube simply as Satan while the whole title reads Satan bouche un coin. It was shot in 1968 in France. Directed by Jean-Pierre Bouyxou [Bouyxou was also the writer] and Raphaël Marongiu, my first thought while watching and knowing nothing about it [someone missed his Esotika Erotica Psychotica classes, I came by this entry only after having completed my post here] was, I can see Molinier and Aktionismus here. Well I couldn’t have been closer to the truth. Pierre Molinier is the mysterious androgynous figure of the picture. Surrealist photographer and pioneering body artist, whose ‘Bellmeric’ works are full of ambiguous eros and transgendered fetish visions. Scenes in the movie actually look like Bellmer lifeforms, while others like pieces from Muehl or Nitsch Aktion films. Kenneth Anger hints are eminent.

Images of death towards the end and the introducing along with the final scene of an ass give to the disturbed tale even more perverted twists [necrophilia and scatology (?)]. Necrophilic references [if any] may also be a wink to the alleged Molinier’s sexual intercourse with his dead sister [When Molinier’s sister died in 1918, he is alleged to have had sex with her corpse while left alone to photograph it. “‘Even dead, she was beautiful. I shot sperm on her stomach and legs, and onto the First Communion dress she was wearing. She took with her into death the best of me.”]. The accompanying lugubrious music is actually working in funny ways during the film, adding falsely joyous strokes making for an even more decadent feel. Transgressive and unsettling this piece of celluloid is an obscure shard of surrealism history and aesthetics.

Mr. Stereotype thank you very much for your great suggestions and recommendations and for your kind words about merzbau in your blog.

hint: check comments in Esotika Erotica Psychotica post

Días sin luz [Days without light]

April 1, 2008 Leave a comment

An old acquaintance of merzbau readers, Jaume Balagueró. Días sin luz [1995].

Electric Girls | The Body Electric

March 29, 2008 1 comment

The introduction of illuminated balletgirls has greatly added to the attractions of the spectacular stage. Girls with electric lights on their foreheads and batteries concealed in the recesses of their clothing first made their appearance a year ago… reads a New York Times article. It’s 26th of April 1884, Wednesday and on the fourth page of the newspaper is featured an article with the strange title [even for nowadays, exotic for these times] Electric Girls counting 719 words, describing some new elegant and apparently trendy, eccentric practice of hiring ‘illuminated girls’ dressed in filament lamps for everyday use from dusk till midnight – or as much later as may be desired, to luminate a dinner, to help the troubled by the flicker of his gas light student in his studies and so on. Marriage of techno-progress and male fantasy, a spectacular retro-futuristic vision, although probably strange to today’s social standards, bearing also the heavy symbolic meaning of female-as-divine-light.

Read the full original article here. Useful references/resources [a.k.a. further reading] here and here.

Check also citations [137] and [137-138] of the book
When Old Technologies Were New : Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century by Carolyn Marvin

[137] {tesla, electricity, tesla coil, performance} Tesla was well known for a visually spectacular trick of passing hundreds of thousands of volts through his body “while flames flashed from his limbs and fingertips” by means of a special induction coil named for him.

[137-138] {electric girl lighting company, female, gender, body, electricity, clothing, wearable, 1884, 1840s, tesla} In 1884 the Electric Girl Lighing Comapny offered to supply “illuminated girls” for indoor occasions. Young women hired to perform as hostesses and serving girls while decked with filament lamps were advertised to prospective customers as “girls of fifty-candle power each in quantities to suit householders.”

Now playing: Robert Ashley Automatic Writing (edit)
via FoxyTunes

Joel-Peter Witkin – L’image indélébile (1994)

March 23, 2008 1 comment

A portrait of American photographer Joel-Peter Witkin at last presented as a whole [all the 56 minutes]

Check also Witkin’s part in Vile Bodies series [1 /2]

and also former merz post on the subject

Gottfried Benn

January 5, 2008 1 comment

Although my visits to supervert are rather often, I somehow managed to overlook this particular entry under electronic library category, Gottfried Benn‘s poetry, morbid and disturbing.

his early Expressionist verse — particularly the Morgue cycle — is matchless for its economy, precision, and irony. Walter Kaufmann, the famous translator of Nietzsche, wrote that its “shocking power,” which was “far greater than that of most beatnik poetry,” was due to the “brutal honesty of an unprecedented perception.”

Read Morgue & Other Expressionist Verse

Thank you Dave for this suggestion.

Now playing: Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Han Bennink – Dogmeat
via FoxyTunes

Street of Crocodiles

January 4, 2008 3 comments

Street of Crocodiles by Stephen and Timothy Quay.

The Street of Crocodiles is a piece of unsurpassed filmmaking. Aside from the delicate and disturbing movements of this ghetto’s inhabitants, it demonstrates the Quays’ reflexive approach to the process of animation itself. Often referred to in articles and interviews as the liberation of the mistake (for example, in Suzanne H. Buchan’s “The Quay Brothers: Choreographed Chiaroscuro, Enigmatic and Sublime”), the brothers developed a range of visual strategies which not only seek to complicate the physical space in which the characters move but also to extend the mise en scène of the narrative. The Street of Crocodiles develops their use of the camera as “the third puppet” (9) by creating a parallel between the protagonist and the camera itself. Through a combination of macro lenses, shallow focal planes and fast pans, the majority of the images within the film appear as point of view shots. By allowing the camera to become the protagonist’s vision, the environment and its inhabitants slowly shift into uneasy forms, where the furtive glance of the camera echoes the protagonist’s sharp turns, catching glimpses of occurrences that hover on the edges of the frame: unsure of his – and, by implication, our – position within this darkened warren, the film has a palpable paranoia that recalls the subtle unease of This Unnameable Little Broom and acts as a precursor to Institute Benjamenta.

As if to make this connection of seeing, or the act of seeing, more apparent, the Quays place considerable emphasis on the characters’ eyes. As Jonathan Romney explains, the eye, the act of seeing and the cinematic device that is the camera is central to the Quays’ narratives:

A major discovery for the Brothers – in The Street of Crocodiles – was the glass doll’s-eye, which by its presence or absence implicates the viewer in the film’s scopic dramas. The petrified glare of that film’s desiccated doll-hero is parodically returned by the tailor dolls he encounters, whose china heads have empty sockets illuminated from within. The myth of the eye as window to the soul could hardly be more remorselessly defused.

the rest here
part 1 /2

Now playing: Otto Kentrol – At The Water
via FoxyTunes