Tag: 1960s

ABSTRACT PROPAGANDA

ABSTRACT PROPAGANDA

CAREER SUICIDE

ArtPractice

I was recently reminded by this post at Open Culture that Abstract Expressionist painting and exponents of it such as Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock got a big (though covert) push from the CIA, who secretly organised a number of influential exhibitions including MoMA’s New American Painting. It was all an attempt to depict America internationally as a country with a sophisticated culture borne of a fully functioning democracy.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… oh… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Wait, wait… ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Sorry about that. Most Americans hated Abstract Expressionism, and they still do. Not to mention the fact that US foreign and domestic policies in the 1960s moved on to brainwashing, drugging, sabotaging and sometimes just straight up murdering (or having murdered) anyone who stood in the way of their global agenda. But it’s interesting to think…

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A MESSAGE TO ARTISTS IN 2016

A MESSAGE TO ARTISTS IN 2016

CAREER SUICIDE

Bastards1 By Martin J. Walker, 1968.

Just like half the salaried people who work in arts organisations, Career Suicide has been on leave since the start of December “because it’s nearly Christmas” and has not resumed normal service until well into January because “we’ve been snowed under with work since we came back into the office”. OR SOMETHING. More soon, though.

The print above was made by Martin J. Walker in 1968, when Hornsey College of Art (later part of Middlesex Polytechnic, then Middlesex University) was occupied by students after a dispute about Student Union funds lead to an opportunity for the students to express a more general dissatisfaction with their art education. Plus ça change, etc. For some reason a reproduction of it is currently available to buy from the Victoria & Albert museum in London.

PS: Really… don’t let them.

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ROMANTICISM, BEAUTY, MONEY

ROMANTICISM, BEAUTY, MONEY

CAREER SUICIDE

THREE QUOTES FROM BRUNO MUNARI, ‘DESIGN AS ART’, 1966 (ON SUBJECTS THAT STILL HAVEN’T BEEN SORTED OUT BY THE ART WORLD FIFTY YEARS LATER)

Chatterton 1856 by Henry Wallis 1830-1916

“It must be understood that as long as art stands aside from the problems of life it will only interest a very few people… The artist must cast off the last rags of romanticism and become active as a man among men*, well up in present day techniques, materials and working methods.”

* Obviously this applies to women as well, and I don’t endorse automatic 1960s sexism.

 Michael_Jackson_and_Bubbles_(porcelain_sculpture)
“When a lot of money comes along before culture arrives, we get the phenomenon of the gold telephone.”

Batman89Vandalism

“A thing is not beautiful because it is beautiful, as the frog said to the she-frog, it is beautiful because one likes it.”

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“Drugs and psychological brain-washing”

“Drugs and psychological brain-washing”

ADOXOBLOG

GuineaPig

Just two more images I scanned from the old British boys’ magazine/comic Eagle, posted here very belatedly purely because I just found them on an old HD and I don’t know why they never got published.

Coincidentally, the “colour-reflex conditioning” to which Mike is being subjected (above) looks very much like the Zoom ice lolly being advertised below. It’s like he’s being frontally aggravated by the business end of a massive Zoom lolly, which can happen when you’re tripping your tits off like young Michael here. Mike Lane = Migraine?

Perhaps some of those special sugar cubes on the coffee table made their way into the Lyons Maid factory. It might explain where they got the idea that being Commander in Chief of the Galaxy Patrol would be fab. Only Zoom fans are in it, baby. Fab was (and I think it still is, in Britain) another…

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What to do if it happens

ADOXOBLOG

CivDefence1 Advising the Householder on Protection against Nuclear Attack. Ninepence!

Scans from a nuclear war information booklet issued by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office in 1963. People of Britain, gather your Vaseline, paper handkerchiefs, teaspoons and aspirin so we can get on with a proper British apocalypse. I’m more into the mod design than the details of people being killed instantly. “HEAT”, “BLAST” and “FALL-OUT” each have exciting logos. Which is nice.

CivDefence2 “There still remains some risk of nuclear attack”

CivDefence3 “Seek safer and more comfortable surroundings before the fall-out comes down.”

I haven’t scanned them, but some of the other pages mention living in a hole in your back garden with a dustbin lid as a hatch, or building a “fall-out room” made of doors and sandbags inside your house. It’s grim. The booklet’s main achievement is making it seem lucky if you’re one of the people vapourised or incinerated during the…

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“MUST I write?”

“MUST I write?”

ADOXOBLOG

Some good advice for aspiring writers from successful writers, who are usually far better sources of such guidance than all the writing gurus who write nothing but books about how to write. These are all extracted from Shaun Usher’s splendid and beautiful Letters of Note book, based upon the always interesting and inspiring site of the same name in which the famous are humanised and the unknown are honoured.

Ernest Hemingway, 1939 Ernest Hemingway: “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit.”

Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934:

“You can study Clausewitz in the field and economics and psychology and nothing else will do you any bloody good once you are writing. We are like lousy damned acrobats but we make some mighty fine jumps, bo, and they have all these other acrobats that won’t jump.

For Christ sake write and don’t worry about what the boys will…

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Three strange pictures from the Moon

Three strange pictures from the Moon

ADOXOBLOG

Reproduced in Full Moon by Michael Light. It basically just collects a load of NASA photos from the Apollo missions with little or no commentary, but the cumulative visual effect (of desolate strangeness, for the most part, as one might expect) makes the book worth checking out.

DukePhoto1972b Apollo 16’s Charles Duke took this photo in April of 1972, in the Moon’s Descartes Highlands. It shows a snapshot of Duke and his family in their backyard in Houston, Texas. Is it still there?

AlanBean69b Apollo 12, November 1969. Alan Bean with a sample container full of lunar material collected at Sharp Crater in the Ocean of Storms. The photographer, Charles Conrad, is reflected in Bean’s visor. Here I think you can really see why some nutters refuse to believe the Moon landings were real. The astronauts look like dolls, the Moon looks tiny and there’s a strange shallow focus effect superficially similar…

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The worst of Adoxoblog

The worst of Adoxoblog

ADOXOBLOG

HalloThereCropped72HALLO, THERE! This is the 200th post on Adoxoblog. Choosing to celebrate that milestone with call backs to the ten least read articles on the site is not as perverse as it might seem. Many posts have tens of thousands of views– which I think is pretty good for a blog that isn’t really about anything in particular, never has cat GIFs on it and almost never mentions tits– but some pages have almost no views, and there are hundreds of other things to read here as well besides the greatest hits. So may I present to you the top ten least wanted on this blog in the hope that you’ll be encouraged to seek out some of Adoxoblog’s less frequented areas.

Mushuda I and Mushuda II. Almost no text here, which is probably why hardly anybody ever finds these pages. However, if you read this blog regularly then…

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Nazo, Emperor of the Universe

Nazo, Emperor of the Universe

ADOXOBLOG

See the first post about Japanese kamishibai (paper theatre) in the 1930s and the previous post about WWII kamishibai for more information and commentary about the origins and context of these images.

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Unscary Monsters

Unscary Monsters

ADOXOBLOG

I don’t know much about Ultraman or the context of the characters depicted here, except that it was a Japanese tokusatsu (特撮 “special effects”) TV series from the 1960s involving battles between the title character and various kaiju (怪獣 usually translated as “giant monster”, though it’s more like “strange monster”) of the kind best known to Western audiences in the form of Godzilla. It still looms fairly large in Japanese culture via various spinoffs, sequels, reboots and vinyl figures based on characters from the show. I got a catalogue of the figures in Tokyo a few years ago, mainly because I liked the pathos of these endearingly crappy monsters. On the other hand, I suppose even Pigmon would be legitimately terrifying if it was really the size of a building and it came crashing down onto your house.

In classic Japlish style the book’s katakana title reads as something like…

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IMAGINARY ARTISTS V: JOKER

IMAGINARY ARTISTS V: JOKER

CAREER SUICIDE

“Barbed wire is the medium of the future, Mrs. Russelmeier… but that is no way to make a banana.” The Joker, 1966.

Two 1966 episodes of the Batman TV series– itself a masterpiece of Pop Art and camp– overtly call out to Pop Art and the (then) contemporary abstract expressionists with Pop Goes The Joker/Flop Goes The Joker, in which the eponymous lunatic vandalises an art gallery. When one of the artists whose works have been permanently wrecked with splashes of paint actually likes it and appreciates that their value’s been increased (“All I could ever draw was stupid looking farm boys”– a sly but spot-on dig at Norman Rockwell), the Joker wastes no time in getting himself into Gotham City’s art world. He starts by winning an art competition against the likes of Jackson Potluck, Pablo Pinkus, and a paint flinging monkey. After an all-too-accurate satirical…

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IMAGINARY ARTISTS III: WARHOL

IMAGINARY ARTISTS III: WARHOL

CAREER SUICIDE

Even the “real” Andy Warhol was a fictional character, a fastidiously maintained Pop Art costume and distancing apparatus worn throughout his adult life by the lad from Pittsburgh formerly known to his Slovakian parents as Andrej Varhola Jr. After he was nearly shot to death by Valerie Solanas in 1968 it was almost as if the last vestiges of any real person really had died that day; all that remained was the character. On the rare occasions when he spoke of it at all, Warhol more or less admitted this was the case. He sometimes spoke of seeing himself as if he were a character on television.

Within a few years of his death in 1987 Andy Warhol started to appear as a character in numerous films and TV shows, including some (Austin Powers and Watchmen, for example) where he amounts to not much more than a kind of set…

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