The mysterious part of the other | Rene Char

Vajda Lajos, Barátok, 1937                                    Francis Picabia, Transparence, 1930

Either of us can receive 
The mysterious part of the other 
While keeping its secret unshed

Rene Char / to... 

The Hand Dance | Tilly Losch (1930-1933)

Tilly Losch (1903-1975) was an Austrian-born dancer, choreographer, actress and painter.
Born in Vienna as Ottilie Ethel Leopoldine Losch, Tilly Losch studied ballet from childhood 
at the Vienna Opera, making her student debut in 1913 in Louis Frappart's 1885 Wiener Walze.

“ My role of ballerina comes first. Second is my work as a choreographer. My acting comes third, my painting fourth, I rate 
my role as Lady Carnarvon fifth in importance simply because I can’t think of anything interesting to put after painting.”

Tilly Losch

Her best known conception was "The Hand Dance
(a collaboration with her Viennese colleague, Hedy Pfundmayr
which featured in a short dance film by Norman Bel Geddes

Daydreaming | Photos by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, 1928-39

 Manuel Alvarez Bravo, The Daydreaming, 1931                          The Daughter of the Dancers, 1933 

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Figures in the Castle, 1920s
 Two Pairs of Legs, 1928-1929                                                                    Sergei Eisenstein, 1930's
                                 The Sympathetic Nervous System, 1929                                                           Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Optical Parable, 1931
Manuel Alvarez Bravo, The Crouched Ones, 1932-34 

Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Laughing Mannequins, 1930

Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002) was Mexico’s first principal artistic photographer and is the most important figure in 20th-century Latin American photography.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Good Reputation Sleeping, 1938-39 

In 1938, he met French Surrealist artist André Breton, who promoted Alvaréz Bravo’s work in France, exhibiting it there. Later, Breton asked for a photograph for the cover of catalog for an exhibition in Mexico. Alvarez Bravo created “La buena fama durmiendo” (The good reputation sleeping), which Mexican censors rejected due to nudity.

Breton said about Bravo: "He has shown us everything that is poetic in Mexico. Where Manuel Álvarez Bravo has stopped to photograph a light, a sign, a silence, it is not only where Mexico's heart beats, but also where the artist has been able to feel, with a unique vision, the totally objective value of his emotion."

Diego Rivera, Leon Trotsky, André Breton, 1930's 

Alphabetarion # Curiosity | Vladimir Nabokov

Ernie Sisto, Madison Square Garden 1946

“Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form.” 

Vladimir Nabokov

                        The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, 2008 dir. Mark Herman
Brassaï, The Event, Paris, 1930’s
Stanislao Farri, 1954
San Francisco Museum of Art

Κωστής Παπαγιώργης / Χρήστος Βακαλόπουλος

Χρῆστος Βακαλόπουλος ( 1956-1993) / Κωστῆς Παπαγιώργης ( 1947-2014)

Ὅταν πεθαίνει ἕνας φίλος, ἔστω καὶ γιὰ λίγες μέρες γινόμαστε ὅλοι αἰσθητὰ καλύτεροι. Σάμπως νὰ προστέθηκαν μερικὲς νέες μέρες στὸ ἡμερολόγιο, οἱ συμπεριφορὲς ἔχουν μία φρέσκια βαθύτητα. Οἱ γνωστοὶ γίνονται ἐπιστήθιοι φίλοι καὶ οἱ φίλοι συγγενεῖς, καθὼς ἀπὸ κοινοῦ ἀπολαμβάνουμε μὲ σκοτοδίνη τὴν κακὴ ἀνάσα τοῦ θανατικοῦ, ποὺ εἰσάγει ἀκαριαία στὰ πράγματα ἕνα ἄλλο ρίγος. Μολονότι ἀπειράριθμοι ἀπὸ καταβολῆς ἀνθρωπίνου γένους, μιλιούνια σκιῶν ποὺ μνησικακοῦν ἀπέναντι στὸν χρόνο, οἱ νεκροὶ βαραίνουν στὶς ψυχές τῶν ζωντανῶν καὶ τὶς πιλατεύουν εὐεργετικὰ μόνον ὅταν εἶναι κοντινοὶ - ἀπὸ σάρκα ἢ ἀπὸ καρδιά. Ὁ ξένος νεκρὸς δὲν ὑπολογίζεται. Ἀνήκει στὰ κατάστιχα τῆς στατιστικῆς καὶ στὰ τερατώδη καμώματα τοῦ πληθυσμοῦ. Ἀντίθετα, ὁ δικός μας νεκρός, ὁ χτεσινὸς φίλος ποὺ χάριζε νόημα μὲ κάθε του κίνηση στὴν ἀνομολόγητη συνενοχή, ἀποκτᾶ ἀνυπολόγιστα δικαιώματα. Αἰφνίδια μεταμορφώνεται σὲ ἄφαντο θεὸ ποὺ σὲ περιεργάζεται σὲ κάθε τόπο καὶ σὲ κάθε στιγμή, ἀδειάζει τὸν χῶρο καὶ τὸν χρόνο ἀπὸ τὴν αἰσθητὴ του παρουσία, γιὰ νὰ μετουσιωθεῖ σὲ πανίσχυρη δεισιδαιμονία. Ὅτι εἴχαμε τοῦ ἀνήκει, ὅτι κάνουμε τὸ διεκδικεῖ. Στὰ πάντα σπεύδει πρὶν ἀπό μᾶς, στὰ πάντα μᾶς ἀφήνει προσωρινὰ ἐλεύθερους. Νεκρὸς γιὰ τὰ καλά, σφιχταγκαλιασμένος μὲ τὸ ἀναπότρεπτο, δὲν ἐπιτρέπει κανένα περιθώριο ἐλπίδας.

   Ἂν στὴν καθημερινὴ συνάφεια κάθε στιγμὴ παριστάνει τὴν σταγόνα ποὺ καθρεφτίζει ἀπατηλὰ τὸ ψέμμα καὶ τὴν ἀλήθεια, στὴν αἰωνιότητα τοῦ νεκροῦ - αὐτὴ τὴν ἀδιατάρακτη σιωπὴ ποὺ ἀψηφᾶ τὴν ἡλικία- δὲν ἔχει πέραση κανένα τέχνασμα. Ἀκόμα καὶ ὁ θρῆνος εἶναι ἕνας τρόπος τοῦ ζωντανοῦ νὰ ξεφύγει ἀπὸ τὸν πόνο του. Ὁ νεκρὸς εἶναι πλέον ἀπόλυτα σοβαρός, ἀνέκφραστος ἀπὸ τὴν πολὺ εὐθύνη. Σὰν τὰ παιδιά, λοιπόν, πού παίζουν μπροστὰ στὸν ἀνδριάντα τοῦ ἀγέλαστου προγόνου, ἀλλάζουμε ψιθύρους καὶ βλέμματα, γιὰ νὰ ξαναβροῦμε τὴν ἀνασφαλῆ ἄνεση τῶν ζωντανῶν. Δὲν ὑπάρχει πιὰ ἀναχώρηση καὶ ἄφιξη. Καταργήθηκαν διὰ παντὸς τὰ βήματα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ποὺ πλησιάζει μὲ τὴν ψυχὴ στὸ πρόσωπο. Τὸ μόνο σπίτι ποὺ τὸν στεγάζει δὲν εἶναι ἡ πόλη, ὁ κόσμος, ἡ οἰκουμένη καὶ κατοικημένη. Ὁ νεκρὸς ὑπάρχει πλέον μονάχα στὴν καρδιά μας. Καὶ ἀκόμα βαθύτερα.

   Εἶναι πιὰ ὁ σιωπηλὸς τῶν σιωπηλῶν.

Κωστής Παπαγιώργης, Γεια σου, Ασημάκη, 1993 

Stereosc2pe + | Hands Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe, 1917-19 / / Ερώτημα | Τάκης Σινόπουλος, 1972

Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe (Hands), 1917                        Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe (Hands), 1919

Πές μου λοιπόν, τί φῶς ἔχουν τα χέρια σου και σκοτεινιάζουν
ἔτσι ἐκεῖνο που προστάτευα ἀπο σένα και κρατοῦσα και ἤμουν;

Τάκης Σινόπουλος, Ερώτημα / συλ. Πέτρες, 1972

Playing chess | George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw and his wife playing chess, 1907 by Alfred Stieglitz

“Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time. ”

George Bernard Shaw, The Irrational Knot, 1880

Songs Without Words | Felix & Fanny Mendelssohn, 1805-47

Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-47) A number of her songs were originally published under her brother, Felix Mendelssohn's, name in his opus 8 and 9 collections. Her piano works are often in the manner of songs, and many carry the name Lied ohne Worte (Song without Words). However, Fanny was limited by prevailing attitudes of the time toward women, attitudes apparently shared by her father, who was tolerant, rather than supportive, of her activities as a composer. Her father wrote to her in 1820   

Dearest Fanny

Perhaps music will be Felix’s profession, whereas for you it can and must be an ornament, and never the fundamental bass line of your existence and activity. That is why ambition, and the desire to make the most of himself in circumstances he deems important, are forgivable, for he experiences it as a vocation. It is, however, no less to your credit that you have always shown your good heart and good sense at such moments, and the joy you manifest when Felix wins applause proves that you would have deserved it equally, had you been in his place. Persevere in these feelings and this attitude, for they are feminine and femininity alone is becoming in a woman.

Although Felix was privately broadly supportive of her as a composer and a performer, he was cautious (professedly for family reasons) of her publishing her works under her own name. 

Aubrey Beardsley - Caricature of  Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Fanny Mendelssohn, sketch by Wilhelm Hensel

A Female Explorer In the Warm Shadow of Islam | Isabelle Eberhardt, 1877-1904

Isabelle Eberhardt

"A nomad I was even when i was very small and would stare at the road...a nomad i will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places"

“The farther behind I leave my past, the closer I am to forging my own character.”

"Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."

“For those who know the value of and exquisite taste of solitary freedom (for one is only free when alone), the act of leaving is the bravest and most beautiful of all.”

The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904)

Isabelle Eberhardt

Isabelle Eberhardt (1877 – 1904) was an explorer and writer who lived and travelled extensively in North Africa. For her time she was a liberated individual who rejected conventional European morality in favour of her own path and that of Islam.

Eberhardt was born in Geneva, Switzerland, to an aristocratic Lutheran Baltic German Russian mother, Nathalie Moerder (née Eberhardt), and an Armenian-born father, Alexandre Trophimowsky, anarchist, ex-priest, and convert to Islam. Isabelle’s mother had been married to elderly widower General Pavel de Moerder, who held important Imperial positions. After bearing him two sons and a daughter she traveled to Switzerland to convalesce, taking along her stepson and her own children, with their tutor Trophimowsky. Soon after arriving in Geneva she gave birth again, to Isabelle’s brother Augustin and four months later came the news that her husband had died of a heart attack. She elected to remain in Switzerland and four years later, Isabelle was born and registered as her “illegitimate” daughter to avoid acknowledging the tutor’s paternity.

She was fluent in French and spoke Russian, German and Italian. She was taught Latin and Greek, and studied classical Arabic and read the Koran with her father; she later became fluent in Arabic.

From an early age Isabelle Eberhardt dressed as a man in order to enjoy the greater freedom this allowed her.

Her first trip to North Africa was with her mother in May, 1897. On this journey they were attempting to set up a new life there, and while doing so they both converted to Islam, fulfilling a long-standing interest. However, her mother died suddenly in Annaba and was buried there under the name of Fatma Mannoubia. Shortly after her mother’s death, Isabelle took the side of local Muslims in violent fighting against colonial rule by the French.

Two years later Trophimowsky died of throat cancer in 1899 in Geneva, nursed by Isabelle. Following the suicide of her half-brother, Vladimir, and the marriage of Augustin to a French woman she had nothing in common with (she wrote: “Augustin is once and for all headed for life’s beaten tracks”), Isabelle’s ties to her former life were all but severed. From then on, as recorded in her journals, Isabelle Eberhardt spent most of the rest of her life in Africa, making northern Algeria her home and exploring the desert. She also spent some time in Tunisia.

Dressed as a man, calling herself Si Mahmoud Essadi, Eberhardt travelled in Arab society, with a freedom she could not otherwise have experienced. She had converted to Islam and regarded it as her true calling in life.

On her travels she made contact with a secret Sufi brotherhood, the Qadiriyya. They were heavily involved in helping the poor and needy while fighting against the injustices of colonial rule. At the beginning of 1901, in Behima, she was attacked by a man with a sabre, in an apparent attempt to assassinate her. Her arm was nearly severed, but she later forgave the man and (successfully) pleaded for his life to be spared. She married Slimane Ehnni, an Algerian soldier, on October 17, 1901, in Marseille.

On October 21, 1904, Eberhardt died in a flash flood in Aïn Séfra, Algeria. After a long separation, her husband had just joined her. She had rented a house for the occasion. This house, constructed of clay, collapsed on the couple during the flood; Eberhardt managed to save her husband but perished herself. Slimane Ehnni died in 1907, at the age of 27.

The tomb of Isabelle Eberhardt

Isabelle wrote on her travels in many books and French newspapers, including Nouvelles Algériennes ("Algerian Short Stories") (1905), Dans l'Ombre Chaude de l'Islam ("In the Warm Shadow of Islam") (1906), and Les journaliers ("The Day Laborers") (1922). She started working as a war reporter in the South of Oran in 1903.

Isabelle Eberhardt is mentioned in Jolie Holland's song "Old Fashioned Morphine"

Kiki de Montparnasse / Portraits | Kees Van Dongen / Per Krogh / Moïse Kisling / Ernest Correlleau / Miçao Kono, 1901- 53

Tsuguharu Foujita, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1925                                                                           Iwata Nakayama, Foujita and Kiki de Montparnasse, Paris, 1926

Kees Van Dongen, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1909                               Kees Van Dongen, Kiki de Montparnasse        
                                           Per Krogh, 1928                                       Luigi Corbellini, Kiki de Montparnasse,1925  
Gustaw Gwozdecki, 1920                                                                    Ernest Correlleau
Foujita, Kiki de Montparnasse                                  Man Ray, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1923
                                              Moïse Kisling, Kiki de Montparnasse                            Moïse Kisling, Kiki de Montparnasse
Moïse Kisling, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1924                                           Moïse Kisling, Kiki de Montparnasse                
Gustaw Gwozdecki, 1920                                            Moïse Kisling, Kiki de Montparnasse

Miçao Kono, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1927                                                        Miçao Kono, Kiki de Montparnasse, 1925

Alice Ernestine Prin (1901 – 1953), nicknamed Queen of Montparnasse, and often known as Kiki de Montparnasse, was a French artist's 
model, nightclub singer, actress, memoirist, and painter. She flourished in, and helped define, the liberated culture of Paris in the early 1920s.

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