The Monday Poem – Making Feet And Hands

This week’s poem is Benjamin Peret’s Making Feet And Hands. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Making Feet And Hands

Eye standing up eye lying down eye sitting

Why wander about between two hedges made of stair-rails while the ladders become soft
as new-born babes
as zouaves who lose their homeland with their shoes
Why raise one’s arms towards the sky since the sky
has drowned itself without rhyme or reason
to pass the time and make its moustaches grow
Why does my eye sit down before going to bed
because saddles are making donkeys sore
and pencils break in the most unpredictable fashion
the whole time
except on stormy days
when they break into zigzags
and snowy days
when they tear their sweaters to pieces
But the spectacles the old tarnished spectacles
sing songs while gathering grass for cats
The cats follow the procession
carrying flags
flags and ensigns
The fish’s tail crossing a beating heart
the throat regularly rising and falling to imitate the sea surrounding it
and the fish revolving about a ventilator
There are also hands
long white hands with nails of fresh greenery
and finger-joints of dew
swaying eyelashes looking at butterflies
saddened because the day made a mistake on the stairs
There are also sexes fresh as running water
which leap up and down in the valley
because they are touched by the sun
They have no beards but they have clear eyes
and they chase dragonflies
without caring what people will say

Benjamin PĂ©ret (4 July 1899 – 18 September 1959) was a French poet, Parisian Dadaist and a founder and central member of the French Surrealist movement with his avid use of Surrealist automatism. – Wikipedia

5 Hours of Photography. 5: Dora Maar

Our final hour is dedicated to Dora Maar, painter and photographer, and lover and muse to Picasso. She was part of the Paris Surrealist group, which is how she met Picasso.

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But after Picasso ended their relationship, replacing her with Francoise Gilot as a lover and muse, she suffered frequent bouts of depression and opted increasingly for a life of reclusion, living in the shadow of the image Picasso had created for her. ”I could never see her, never imagine her, except crying,” he is said to have remarked… Miss Maar, whose real name was Theodora Markovic, was born in Tours, France, on Nov. 22, 1907, and spent her childhood in Argentina, where her father, a foreign-born architect, was working. Arriving in Paris around 1925, the beautiful dark-haired young woman was drawn into the world of photography, first as a model for Man Ray and others and then as a photographer… In the 1930’s, with Andre Breton and Georges Bataille urging her into the Surrealist movement and encouraging her to paint, she joined the Union of Intellectuals Against Fascism and was active in other anti-Fascist groups. After meeting Picasso, she helped him set up his studio at 7 Rue des Grands-Augustins, where in 1937 he painted ”Guernica,” a process she recorded in photographs… Throughout their nine-year affair, Picasso continued his relationship with his longtime mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, with the two women at times living together and on at least one occasion posing together for him. As Miss Maar’s stormy relationship with Picasso deteriorated, she was increasingly portrayed in a cruel and tragic light. As a model for major works, though, she was matched in importance only by the artist’s last wife, Jacqueline Roque… Among well-known portraits of Miss Maar are ”Weeping Woman,” ”Woman Reclining With a Book,” ”Woman Combing her Hair,” ”Bust of a Seated Woman” and many others that carry her name. Masters of Photography

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 Hours of Photography! Please share if you did.

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5 Hours of Photography. 1: Hans Bellmer

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Found here.

Let’s have five consecutive hours of photographers! For the first hour we’ll be looking at Hans Bellmer.

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Above: Hans Bellmer, Composition

Hans Bellmer was born in what was then the German Empire in 1902 and died in France in 1975. He’s best known for the dolls he created and photographed in the 1930s. He was also known for his painting and poetry and was part of the Surrealist and Berlin Dada movements.

I remember studying his work at college when I was sixteen and finding it instantly fascinating. The images manage to be beautiful and grotesque all at once, the negative feeling drawing the viewer in rather than pushing them away.

Bellmer is said to have been influenced heavily by the letters of Oskar Kokoschka, published in Der Fetisch in 1925. He also helped the French Resistance, using his skills to create fake passports and spent nine months imprisoned in a work-camp for German nationals.

Bellmer’s partner of sixteen years, Unica ZĂĽrn (painting below), killed herself in 1970. I only discovered her today, researching for this post – I think she’s going to become a favourite!

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The Doll c.1936 by Hans Bellmer 1902-1975

Bellmer was born in the city of Kattowitz, then part of the German Empire (now Katowice, Poland). Up until 1926, he’d been working as a draftsman for his own advertising company. He initiated his doll project to oppose the fascism of the Nazi Party by declaring that he would make no work that would support the new Germanstate. – Good old Wikipedia

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Above: Plate 9 Of Les Jeux De La Poupée (The Games Of The Doll)

Bellmer’s 1934 anonymous book, The Doll (Die Puppe), produced and published privately in Germany, contains 10 black-and-white photographs of Bellmer’s first doll arranged in a series of “tableaux vivants” (living pictures). The book was not credited to him, as he worked in isolation, and his photographs remained almost unknown in Germany. Yet Bellmer’s work was eventually declared “degenerate” by the Nazi Party, and he was forced to flee Germany to France in 1938. Bellmer’s work was welcomed in the Parisian art culture of the time, especially the Surrealists around AndrĂ© Breton, because of the references to female beauty and the sexualization of the youthful form. His photographs were published in the Surrealist journal Minotaure, 5 December 1934 under the title “PoupĂ©e, variations sur le montage d’une mineure articulĂ©e” (The Doll, Variations on the Assemblage of an Articulated Minor). Old Paint

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Make sure you come back in an hour to see who the next photographer will be! I’m not sure I’ve even decided myself yet. Dali? Ray?

The Wednesday Painting – Triptych Bleu I, II, III by Joan MirĂł

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Blue I, II, III is a triptych created in 1961.

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Artist: Joan MirĂł

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Joan MirĂł was born in Barcelona in 1893, but the emotional landscapes that shaped him as a person and an artist were principally those of Mont-roig, Paris, and Majorca, and later those of New York and Japan. The small town of Mont-roig in the Baix Camp region of Catalonia was a counterpoint to the intellectual ferment of his life with the surrealist poets in 1920s Paris, and to the stimulus of discovering Abstract Expressionism in New York in the forties… His connection to the land and his interest in everyday objects and in the natural environment formed the backdrop to some of his technical and formal research. MirĂł avoided academicism in his constant quest for a pure, global art that could not be classified under any specific movement. read more here.

The Beautiful Leonora Carrington (1917-2011)

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As regular visitors to Examining the Odd will know by now, British-born Mexican surrealist Leonora Carrington is one of my favourite artists. Her paintings are somehow oppressive yet elegant, tense yet loving. Her writing is inspiring and thought-provoking. We have two prints of hers at the bottom of our stairs to add a little more amazement to everyday life!

One of her sculptures has very recently been unveiled in Mexico City, donated by her son Pablo Weisz to the Acquis Heritage Collection SHCP. It’s a dream of mine to visit Mexico one day. I just need to find out which time of year is coldest and trip over a pile of money first!

 

I can spend so much time looking at these… There’s just so much to see. Each little character looks as though they could have a whole novel attached to them. Even the trees are fascinating, appearing to be thinking, watching…

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Even as a young girl, Carrington was a non-conformist. She was repeatedly thrown out of her schools for “anti -social tendencies and certain supernatural proclivities”. In Florence and Paris she revelled in the arts, but dodged her workload and school regiment through running away, and was consequently expelled… It was at Chelsea, in the classes of cubist AmĂ©dĂ©e Ozenfant, that art, commitment and precision all came together for Leonora. Ozenfant insisted on understanding “the chemistry of everything you used”. In 1936, she visited the London International Surrealist Exhibition, and became obsessed with the movement.  Hunger

The short video above talks about Leonora’s horrible marriage to Renato Leduc, and her beautiful one to Emericko Weisz. Leonora also talks of her disgust and bemusement towards bull-fighting – well done Leonora.

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MÉXICO, D.F., 06ABRIL2015.- Hoy se cumple el 98 aniversario del natalicio de Leonora Carrington, “La novia del viento”, quien en 1963 tuvo el encargo de llevar a cabo un mural para el Museo Nacional de Antropología: “El mundo mágico de los mayas”.  FOTO: ARCHIVO /CONACULTA /CUARTOSCURO.COM

I was lucky enough to see a tiny production of The Hearing Trumpet by Dark Matter Theatre in Brighton recently. We were two of the four members of the audience, but it was a wonderful little piece of surrealist theatre.

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Leonora Carrington was 94 when she died – I hope I manage to look that cheeky when I’m that age. She truly was “the last great living surrealist” – Homero Aridjis

Leonora Carrington – Top 10 Facts

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Above: Picture of the sculpture “Stallion” on display at the Estacion Indianilla museum in Mexico City, on April 14, 2011 as part of the exhibition of Mexican sculptor Leonora Carrington. (Getty)

Leonora Carrington was a fantastic surrealist artist and weird fiction author. Here are ten facts you need to know.

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  1. She Was a Founding Member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico
  2. Carrington was raised in a wealthy Roman Catholic family on a large estate called Crookhey Hall.
  3. She died May 25 2011 at the age of 94, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s.
  4. She remained active as a painter and sculptor throughout her life, and continued to inspire younger generations.
  5. Two weeks after her death an international group of Surrealists met in Athens to explore her proposal for “Surrealist survival kits”.
  6. She had fallen in love with the 46-year-old, married, surrealist painter Max Ernst. She intended to move to Paris with him and pursue a career as an artist.The Guardian
  7. Leonora Carrington was a revolutionary before she ever encountered the Surrealists. Born into an upper class family in Lancashire, England, Leonora learned at a very early age the injustice of society.Illinois.edu
  8. Finally after many rebellious acts and expulsions from school, she succeeded in convincing her parents to let her study art at the Amédée Ozenfant Academy in London.
  9. He (Ernst) left his wife for Carrington, his “Bride of the Wind”. The couple lived together until the outbreak of W.W.II when Ernst was taken prisoner as an enemy alien. Carrington’s work during this period moves from themes of childhood filled with magical birds and animals, to a mature art based on Celtic mythology and alchemical transformation. It is an art of sensibility rather than hallucination, one in which animal guides lead the way out of a world of men who don’t know magic, fear the night, and have no mental powers except intellect. Illinois.edu
  10. “The source of Carringtion’s magical white horse lies not in Freud’s use of the horse as a symbol of male power but in the Celtic legends that nourished her childhood…the horse is sacred to the ancient tribe of the Tuatha de Danaan…the hyena belongs to the fertile world of night; the horse becomes an image of rebirth into the light of day and the world beyond the looking glass. As symbolic intermediaries between the unconscious and the natural world, they replace male Surrealists’ reliance on the image of woman as the mediating link between man and the “marvelous” and suggest the powerful role played by Nature as a source of creative power for the woman artist (Chadwick, p. 79).”

Anthology of Black Humour

Salvador Dali Crazy Kiss Eau de Toilette for Women – It Exists

I spend a lot of time looking at and for strange things, but sometimes I am surprised. You can buy Salvador Dali perfume. Sadly, there is no description of its smell, but I’m hoping for a swan-elephant juxtaposition. Elegant and strong. I’d love to know if anyone has actually tried the stuff.

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Super-famous creator of dreamlike and unique images Salvador DalĂ­ would have celebrated his 112th birthday today, in his own fantasy world. Let’s celebrate by having a brief look at the man and his work.

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I must admit that my interest in Dali has waned as I’ve got older and I tend to roll my eyes when, 99% of the time, he’s the first Surrealist anyone can think of. But his work is wonderful and is always worth looking at.

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The Spanish artist was known to blur the lines between illusion and reality both on the canvas and in his public life, establishing him as an unforgettable figure of the Modern art movement. Biography.com

Here are some facts about the moustachioed man…

According to his autobiography, his childhood was characterized by fits of anger against his parents and schoolmates and resultant acts of cruelty. He was a precocious child, producing highly sophisticated drawings at an early age. He studied painting in Madrid, responding to various influences, especially the metaphysical school of painting founded by Giorgio de Chirico, and at the same time dabbling in cubism.Your Dictionary

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By now considered in artistic circles to be more of a commercial painter, in 1955 Dalí was commissioned to paint a portrait of Laurence Olivier for a film poster for Richard III, in which Olivier played the title role, by the film’s director, Sir Alexander Korda. However, the desired poster never emerged. Despite sketching Olivier in the Shepperton Studios, Dalí refused to paint it in England, which he called “the most unpleasant place”, and returned to Spain to complete the portrait. It got held up in Barcelona Airport after being deemed too valuable to transport. Although Korda was naturally angered by this, Olivier got lucky and received it as a gift.The Telegraph

The surrealists saw in Dali the promise of a breakthrough of the surrealist dilemma in 1930. Many of the surrealists had broken away from the movement, feeling that direct political action had to come before any mental revolutions. Dali put forth his “Paranoic-Critical method” as an alternative to having to politically conquer the world. He felt that his own vision could be imposed on and color the world to his liking so that it became unnecessary to change it objectively. Specifically, the Paranoic-Critical method meant that Dali had trained himself to possess the hallucinatory power to look at one object and “see” another. On the nonvisual level, it meant that Dali could take a myth which had a generally accepted interpretation and impose upon it his own personal and bizarre interpretation. Encyclopedia.com

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I also found this excellent Dali-inspired ring on Etsy. The artist will customise it to your own eye, or that of a loved one.

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