Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"If someone is merely ahead of his time, it will catch up to him one day." - Wittgenstein
"In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis. "
- Quentin Crisp
Monday, June 28, 2010
Fashion is not the point, it's advertising masquerading as art. It's besides the point, celebrating the worst vices of our society; snobbery and class fetishism simultaneously, racism and exoticism at once, wealth, brutality, greed and jealousy, aesthetics with no real intelligence, sound bites, bullet points. It is a dehumanizing merry-go-round, populated by exhausted whores, neurotics, terrified and ravaged seventeen-year olds, the desperate and deluded of the demi-monde.
Clothes do not have souls, the quantum leap from bolt of cloth to Bond Street blouse does not imbibe the garment with value through magic, but rather skullduggerous charlatanery. Fashion is the clothes that drape the zeitgeist, but it is phony, literally a dressing up in clothes from a designated, censored dressing-up box, in the spirit of the times, to try and mimic it, to capture the intangible, physically.
Words are not physical, they are literal, and there is room in the lexicon for the reader to complete what she is reading and conjure up the image (of which the words are merely the starting place) and project it on the backs of their eyelids. Fashion however, is only ever what it is. You can recontextualize it, historicize it, cross-dress it, deconstruct it, but it remains the sum of its parts, a collection of lifeless objects, no matter how exquisite. Bodies give fashion life, and in that respect it is parasitic. But, it is never satisfied to clean that teeth of the shark it swims with, instead it must break out and consume the host organ it feeds on. The body then becomes subsumed to fashion, exists only to flesh out the lines regardless of the discomfort. Fashion is an autocrat on the arched backs of his serfs. It bestows no dignity, preaches no humanism, desires only itself, loves only the cold, hard, empty sound of coins in the register.
Clothes of course are different things. When divorced from, ignored by or outside of fashion they are potential, identity, possibility, expression, bliss.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
This remains my favorite movie of all time.
The sheer absurdity of it is mind blowing, not to mention the sheer filth and the transcendent over dubbing. The first time I saw it I was dressed as a flower, obviously, with fake blood coming out of my mouth, at a screening in the infamous Berkeley anarcho-hangout. It was the first time I met Rumi, the first time I experienced Karl with Records, and the first time I was psychedelicized. I saw a shirtless, bare foot very tall man, the first thing he said to me was; "My name's Flower. Would you like some acid?"
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today I shot the publicity image for my new hit show "Underclass Hero" with Adrian Lourie.
Here's some of Adrian's previous work.
And here's a couple from behind the scenes today.
And here's Adrian with Tilda Swinton.
Oddly enough I answered the door to the postman whilst we were shooting and was handed Derek Jarman's "Edward II", which stars Ms Swinton as Queen Isabella. I think we all know what that means, don't we, lover?
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Here's a ten minute mini-documentary on the formidable tranny granny DJ Jeannie Dee. Taking us 'round the shopping centre in Gillingham, Jeannie explains her high profile modeling career, her interest in the paranormal, and how she came to be where she is today - thanks to an "Italian type tranny" she met in the woods. Highlights include Jeannie eating chips in the high street, approximating her fan base at around 20,000, and her charming chit-chat with three teenage girls over who has the best legs.
Friday, June 18, 2010
If I'm honest I didn't care for his style, but I admired that he had some. Sebastian Horsley was one of those figures you only find in London, a wealthy, nihilistic, decadent street walker, who seemed to have fallen face first from Baudelaire. You saw him around. He had himself crucified in the Phillipines and was refused entry to the US on grounds of moral turpitude, he lived in Soho, with a sign on his door announcing that there were "no prostitutes at this address," which given his reputation was sort of funny.
He was an overdressed eccentric, In a way he was an Isabella Blow, only not so aristocratic, but equally tragic, though there was something far more squalid about his miseries. Dandy in the Underworld, the stage show based on his "unauthorized autobiography" opened at the Soho Theatre this week, so it seems a strange but strangely fitting time for him to die. Apparently Spielberg wanted to make a movie of it, I can't imagine his death will dent that possibility.
I met my friend Socrates entirely by coincidence this week, in a book store I had especially gone to to pick up a specific book. Only, when I got there I had no recollection of what the book was, but irrefutably, there was my friend. He's a photographer and not more than a minute earlier I had been talking about him, I think I conjured him. The late Mr Horsley recently asked Socrates to photograph him, which he did, in his apartment against a background of skulls. Socrates was in fact the one who broke the news to me today, and we spoke about how sad it is when former addicts overdose, the same thing having happened to my friend Gabby earlier this year. The last time I saw her, she was shaky, and sweaty and madly energetic, beyond garrulous, she was taking methadone and trying hard everyday to stay clean. The last time I saw Mr Horsley was last weekend, he was about three minutes ahead of me, turning down a side street off Brick Lane. I saw him from behind, his tophatted silhouette burgundy against the late afternoon sun, and I literally watched him walk into the light.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
X-ray of an arrow through the skull of a boy
I'm feeling very inspired by Henry V these days. As a 16 year old whilst battling on the battlefield, he was shot through the face with an arrow and survived. THAT's gangsta. It pierced his skull and only narrowly missed severing his spinal cord and jugular, and when physicians tried to remove it, it snapped. The arrow head was thus left inside his skull and had to be extracted back up through the wound, by John Bradmore a blacksmith who was released from prison (on charges of counterfeiting coins) to perform the operation. He invented a brand new piece of medical equipment to perform this daunting task, and somehow managed to save the life of Prince Hal, who lived to ascend to the throne and win the battle of Agincourt, which as you'll all know was a very big deal. It was the Wigstock of the 1400s so to speak.
Though he survived, King Henry's face scarred badly, which is why the only contemporary portrait shows only the left side of his face - like Mariah Carey before she learned to love herself etc etc.
That's actually the left side she's hiding isn't it?
Obviously this is a fascinating, if gory, moment of historical well-i-never in its own right, but more over it reminds me of my dear friend Max Steele, who has been having the worst dental trouble of all time ever since his tooth was snapped by an inept dentist last Summer. Pain in your head is maddening right? And sickening, and really psychologically unsettling, and so reading about Prince Hal gives me great hope for Lady Steele's inevitable rise to greatness. Nothing, not tedious day jobs, nor unfit dental workers can hold her back.
Max Steele's mouth, 2010
Also, I'm remembering the lyric in "Heroes" when Bowie sings; "I can remember standing by the wall. And the guns shot over our heads, and we kissed like nothing could fall." I saw Michael Clark's "Come, Been, Gone" last night and the great tranny fucker himself was indeed a central inspiration for the work, popping up and doing "Heroes" onscreen at one point. Art, ladies and gentlemen.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I had a breakthrough,
Not about any one situation,
Not any one person, rather an accumulative realization.
It was really very liberating!
I can't believe it took me 'til now.
I don't have to put up with you!
There isn't anything I need from you, and anyway you wouldn't give it if you had it to give, but you don't.
I can only fold myself up into so many shapes,
Reduce my physical existence and my psychic presence so far,
Can only be so,
So accommodating, ready, flexible, encouraging.
After that point,
(Which I remember passing some considerable time ago),
It's just damaging.
For you too, but mainly for me.
And frankly I'm cracked enough,
I don't need you to chip in - excuse the pun -
No, embrace the pun.
Excuse yourself lover,
And walk on by.
Over that bridge,
And far away.