Sunday, 29 March 2009

Los Smiths

In 2001 the artist William E. Jones saw an advertisement for London Is Dead, a club exclusively playing music by The Smiths and Morrissey once a month in Los Angeles. He went to the club, and discovered a predominantly Latino fan culture devoted to the band, which he documented in a film and series of photographs: Is It Really So Strange? Here is a small selection, with many more available to view here.

A book documenting the project was published by the David Kordansky Gallery in 2006, and is available from Donlon Books. Like Jones says, it is interesting to look at the connections between The Smiths' working class, Manchester-raised ethnic Irish experience and that of the sons and daughters of Latino immigrants, but also to like, just compare the quiffs...

Who said The Smiths only appeal to potato-faced Tories, chanting "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" as they neck vintage Dom Pérignon at another Bullingdon Club dinner...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Not quite the last of the Teddy Girls

This photograph is of two Teddy Girls at Battersea Funfair in 1956, by Roger Mayne.
Also found a thorough article on the blog Behind the Curtain, with links to Ken Russell's essay.
And finally, the Sunday Times article.
On a side note, Ken Russell looks so much like my dad.

Last of the Teddy Girls

I've been researching Ken Russell's Teddy Girls Photo Essay, from Picture Post 1955. More pictures and links here.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Sweet Flypaper of Life

Mary Osborne, Vi Redd and Dottie Dodgion photographed by Tom Marcello.

Today at work (I can almost afford a bus pass again) I was cataloging a number of rare and interesting books, and spent some time with a 1955 edition of the Langston Hughes/Roy DeCarava collaborative book, The Sweet Flypaper of Life. It tells the story, written by Hughes, of one woman's life in Harlem in 1955. Here is an example:

You can buy it from Donlon Books, if you're like, loaded. But some more images, with the bold front cover, are here. I thought I'd also post the first photograph, by Tom Marcello, with links to the amazing Vi Redd and Mary Osborne, who I've been listening to recently. I like this photo a lot, it's almost a bit Olympia '91, sort of...

Monday, 16 March 2009

Gundula Schulze Eldowy

It's quite hard to find much on-line about the photographer Gundula Schulze Eldowy. She was featured in a documentary on "The Lost World of Communism", which is frustratingly not available on iplayer. Gundula Schulze Eldowy was born in 1954 in the East German city of Erfurt, and she was featured in the exhibition Do Not Refreeze - Photography in East Germany, in 2007. There are more images from the show, and a biography here.

Friday, 13 March 2009

100 examples of Stymie Bold Italic

Please check out the group I set up on flickr, devoted to that most moribund of fonts, Stymie Bold Italic, a Slab Serif font which became popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and most notably used in the Granada Television ident. I just noticed that there have been 100 contributions so far.

Here is a cool example taken by Mhari McMullan.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The enemy within

I don't know if it's available to watch again on iplayer... but BBC4 showed a very moving documentary about the Miners' Strike of 1984 last night...
I remember my grandma spitting at the t.v everytime Margaret Thatcher appeared, but I was a child, and just thought she was being funny. I never realised just how crazy the police offensive on the picketers, (or "the evil within" as Thatcher called the Miners) had been. She basically spearheaded one of the darkest attacks on "the British sense of fairness", whatever the "complexitites" of the situation...

Police cavalry attack women from the miners women's support group. Orgreave Coke Works Picket, Miner's Strike, Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Date: 18/06/84 . Photo by John Harris.

Miss world...

Today Radio 4 broadcast the first part of a series of discussions about Feminist ideas from the 1960's onwards, hosted by historian Bettany Hughes - available here.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Untitled Film Stills

Even though it might ruin my I-Know-It's-Obvious-But-I-Really-Like-Cindy-Sherman admiration of Cindy Sherman...
Even though Cindy Sherman wants nothing to do with it...
I can't wait to see Guest of Cindy Sherman.
It's got Danny DeVito in it, and David Furnish, and Molly Ringwald and John Waters!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

He went that way...

Radio 4 are having a Ripley love-in at the moment... first there was Looking for Ripley, and now a five-part season of the Ripley novels for The Saturday Play. Perfect listening in London as the rain hammers relentlessly against the window, and you feel yourself becoming introverted and amoral...