I blogged earlier about Marina Bychkova‘s doll creations. She sometimes tattoos her porcelain dolls with the most intricate and interesting designs. I’m just posting this, a doll leg painted as a vintage prosthetic, because it’s so cool.
This doll is based on the tragic literary figure Anna Karenina (if she had survived her ultimate suicide attempt with major damages to her body, consequently having to wear an orthopedic corset, arm brace, and prosthetic left leg). Images of the rest of the doll after the cut.
Martyrs is one of those movies that are considered so controversial and I don’t quite understand why. Maybe that’s because I’m not fazed by anything. After watching 2008′s Deadgirl, I think I’ve plumbed the depths of exploitation that a film can indulge in (and I liked the movie). Lots of people emphasize the “gore” aspect of Martyrs for some reason, but I really don’t think the movie is that bloody, the gore isn’t even as extreme as in many mainstream movies.
This movie is a little tricky. It takes huge, drastic, nearly schizophrenic turns in plot; what’s kind of odd is that it’s sort of about three entirely different things, and sectioned into different parts. It tells the story of Lucie, the main character (during the first part of the film), who as a young girl was kidnapped and horribly abused and tortured by this married couple and escaped, permanently traumatized. She carries a sort of “ghost” around, a vicious feral woman that Lucie perceives as physically attacking her in rage, and for a while it’s hard to tell what this ghost really is, to figure out the reality. (Initially I thought that she might be the grown-up “ghost” of the little girl who was locked up and abused in that basement, that it was who Lucie would have been if she hadn’t in reality escaped; I don’t know if that makes any sense, though).
Fox spirit stories are really common in East Asian mythology, and I’m sure this story exists elsewhere in another form, but this particular version of the story I took from the novel Fox Girl by Nora Okja Keller.
“…a big fox visits a country school. It is late at night and the students have decided to sleep in the schoolroom because it is too dark to walk home. All but one of the hundred students have fallen asleep when the one awake hears a soft guttural voice counting pairs of shoes outside…all the way to one hundred.
Through the window, the boy sees the snout of a fox, but as it crawls through the window, it takes the shape of a beautiful young woman. The boy thinks he must be dreaming and rubs his eyes. He strains to see in the darkness and notices: the dirt from a newly dug grave lodged under her nails; the blood like lipstick staining her mouth; the glittering of a hunter’s eyes in the night.
The boy crawls away, hiding in a far corner of the room. He watches the fox girl count the students with a kiss that steals their breaths. With each kiss, a boy stops breathing and dies in middream.
When she approaches the corner where the youngest boy is hiding, he creeps back to his sleeping place. Sick with fear, he lies down among the dead bodies of his friends. When the girls reaches the end of the row of students, she growls. ‘Only ninety-nine! There is one missing. How can that be?’
She rushes outside to recount the pairs of shoes. One hundred. She counts again, to be absolutely certain, and all the while the boy inside tries not to move, tries not to breathe. After again finding exactly one hundred pairs of shoes, the fox girl turns toward the door to recount the boys. Just then, a cock crows. The demon drops to all fours and scampers into the nearby woods. The clever boy is saved, the only one out of a hundred to live.”
With influences from manga and Art Nouveau, Audrey Kawasaki paints delicate portraits of seductive females and languid lovers against the background of the always highly-visible grain of the wooden panels she uses. Nature and animals surround these surreal figures with splayed hair, expressive hands, often truncated/cut-off bodies, and yearning expressions. The contrast is between innocence and eroticism, the beauty and morbidity that these figures represent.
>> Zoe Lacchei’s Website <<
David Ho is a digital artist and illustrator with a horror-oriented style. His work has a wide range and some of his images are quite different from these selections, but I’ve chosen these “child portraits” of his to portray a unified theme of innocence/corruption or darkness. The macabre, fantasy, myth, and sexuality mix in his works, usually in a very darkly lit, gloomy space with a “cold, metallic” palette.
I love this passage.
“My heart is weak and unreliable. When I go it will be my heart. I try to burden it as little as possible. If something is going to have an impact I direct it elsewhere. My gut for example, or my lungs, which might seize up for a moment but have never yet failed to take another breath.
The pancreas I reserve for being struck by all that’s been lost. It’s true that there’s so much, and the organ is so small. But. You would be surprised by how much it can take, all I feel is a quick sharp pain and then it’s over. Sometimes I imagine my own autopsy. Disappointment in myself: right kidney. Disappointment of others in me: left kidney.
I don’t mean to make it sound like I’ve made a science of it. It’s not that well thought out. I take it where it comes. It’s just that I notice certain patterns. When the clocks are turned back and the dark falls before I’m ready, this, for reasons I can’t explain, I feel in my wrists. And when I wake up and my fingers are stiff, almost certainly I was dreaming of my childhood. The field where we used to play, the field in which everything was discovered and everything was possible. (We ran so hard we thought we would spit blood: to me that is the sound of childhood, heavy breathing and shoes scraping the hard earth.) Stiffness of the fingers is the dream of childhood as it’s been returned to me at the end of my life. I have to run them under the hot water, steam clouding the mirror, outside the rustle of pigeons. Yesterday I saw a man kicking a dog and I felt it behind my eyes. I don’t know what to call this, a place before tears. The pain of forgetting: spine. The pain of remembering: spine.
Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.”
– from The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Some pieces I like from Naoto Hattori‘s body of work. Flesh, hair, neurons, and molecules: oddly textured beauty.
I really like this medical/”handicap”-themed dance routine from Compagnie Marie Chouinard:
reposted from Haute Macabre