Thursday, November 30, 2006


Denton Welch - he lived a very short life but produced a small but brilliant body of work. Hailed as the favourite writer of both William Burroughs and John Waters. Quite a reputation.


Blogger St Anthony said...

A miniaturist Proust?

4:51 PM  
Blogger Molly Bloom said...

Ooh, I really like these pictures. They remind me of something Blake-like. I just think that you can see all of life in miniature if you want to.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

Miniaturism per se is interesting, I think. Anyone like/familiar with Joseph Cornell? Then there's Duchamp's Valaise; and all those similarish things by various Fluxus artists. I was involved in the Mail Art Network 1994-2002 - studied it for my Doctorate. The confines of the postal system necessarily made for ingenius uses of materials; with small packages opening out into largescale pieces. I curated/organised a number of exhibitions, and the whole lot could most often be put in a couple of 1'x1'x1' cardboard boxes. Anyone familiar with Komar & Melamid - Russian artist duo? They have a lovely piece, called something like 'Diary of Our Contemporary': numerous 1 inch or so square paintings, arranged in a kind of timeline, on a wall. Wonderful stuff. Then there are Chilean artist Eugenio Dittborn's 'Airmail Paintings' - folded for sending, opened out for exhibition. I'm reminded also of Schwitters' Merz. I get quite soppy thinking of these kinds of works. Anthony - we previously discussed Derrida's The Post Card, and its 'Envois'. Same thing. Nice one.

10:34 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

Yes, the macrocosm reflected in the microcosm get all Hermetic. Miniaturism and things out of scale are fascinating - small versions of big things, marvellous. Hugely admire Cornell's work, a real genius of the home-made like Schwitters (I always think 'home-made' is high praise indeed). I really like Cornell's film works, I always think of Jarman's great phrase 'a cinema of small gestures. I've always coveted Duchamp's little boxed edition of his works, too.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

forgive my ignorance of much of what you guys are talking of but, cutting to the chase here, do you not think much of what i term as 'blog art' is of a similar concept to this miniaturism that you speak of?
for example, most of sticklebacks art sits on the site (and your screen) in realitively small size, just like a postcard, and then, with a click of the mouse it opens up to whatever size you want it to be.
probably way off line here but?

10:24 AM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

No, C.J., I think you have a point ... again, the blog is an example of the home-made. Perhaps one of the reasons certain people in the media are sniffy about about blogs is that they don't like people making their own .

11:46 AM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

I agree with Anthony, CJ. I think you are barking up the right tree. There is the physical unfurling - postcard-size expanded; and there is the socio-political (sorry!) unfurling. also, as blogging is a form of direct democracy. Of course, the media will be sniffy. They like to think the only valid oratory is theirs. They'll say blogging is an idle activity, full of undereducated mouthy nonsense. They'll use that idea to damn the culture per se. Of course blogging is varied in nature, quality, and relevance. Personally, I like and celebrate that. It doesn't bother me that one has to wade through shite to find what one wants. Blogging is no different in that respect to anything else. The media et al would have us think the media itself is valid naturally and a priori; ratified as it is by public schools, government, the establishment itself. Their estimations are, though, merely the product of self-interest. Take mainstream music outlets in comparison with myspace as an outlet. No contest - myspace is just more interesting, more diverse, more easily accessible, more communal, and with excellent feedback facilities, being truly reciprocal and interactive; unlike the pale versions of same offered by the mainstream. Television: we have 100s of cable channels in our house. Might as well be three or four, though; as they are all saying the same things and targetted at the same demographic. Again, they would have us believe tv offers choice and diversity. In fact, it offers no such thing. Maybe it did once, but those days are over. Before I had the internet, I was lucky if I ever saw anything - on that other screen, tv - which spoke to me. If I did, it was almost always a load of crap, cobbled together by someone who knew less than I did. I got to thinking eventually that all those heady science documentories I used to watch, and which were above my head because I'm not a scientist, were probably just as bad, flawed, laughable to those in the know. The real problem in all these things is that only a select few have access to broadcasting. They atre socially-inbred, coming from the same schools, same backgrounds. That form of incest is just as corrupting and grubby as the familial kind, to my mind. And though they look like they disagree - thus offering a kind of demonstrable dialectical construct, upon which we as asociety can feel free, dynamic etc. - they are utterly unified in all important aspects. Left / Right - it's all capitalist materialism. Thus one gets Diane Abbott hobknobbing with Michael Portillo. I think it's time to bring back the stocks for that kind of thing, and stack up on rotten fruit.

12:40 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

I'm all for bringing back the stocks ... public humilation and oprobium, that's what's called for.
Yes, the same old bores run the media ... all go to the same schools and then to Oxbridge. Look at the appalling Michael Grade, flitting between the BBC and ITV as the mood takes him ... pulling down £1000s, and for what? What identifiable talent has he got? Uncultured, anti-intellectual philistine prat.
I'll never forgive or forget the senile old shits at Channel 4 back in the 80s for assuring the Tories that, although they'd bought a couple of Derek Jarman films, they had no intention of showing them. The cowards!

12:53 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

I've got a special dislike for Channel 4 - they pose as alternative while being totally conservative. They also stole one of my films last year, and completely duplicated it, exact same imagery and soundtrack, a billion to one that someone else could come up with the same conjunction of sound/image.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

CH4 are a pet-hate of mine, too, funnily enough. They began as alt. But now they still run with that whilst showing 2,000,000 hours a week of Friends.

I very seldom ever watch tv. But the bits I see are so far removed from my interests, they form background to conversations with Annie and the kids. We do watch heaps of films, though.

I can fully believe they stole from you, and I sympathise. Was it - submit a script as part of a job application or competition, I wonder? A person I knew years ago applied for a job at Granada. As part of that she had to offerideas about developing a neglected character from Coronation Street. She chose Betty (is it?) from the pub; saying she should have a fling with a previous lover. She had to produce 2000 words or some such like. I know because I typed it out for her! Weirdly, said Betty did have said fling very shortly after. She - Tricia, her name was - never got the job, though.

Same thing: pillory, rotten fruit.

1:58 PM  
Blogger St Anthony said...

I sent a showreel to Channel 4 - and lo and behold, they duplicated bits of it exactly.
It was for one of their channel 'idents' I think they call them ... if they'd offered me the dosh I'd turned out a much more interesting little piece.

5:14 AM  
Blogger Dr Anthony Donovan said...

It doesn't shock me, Anthony. I view the so-called establishment in exactly that way. As I said elsewhere, the mainstream is as dead, corrupt, and incestuous as ever. I never concern myself with it - artistically, at least. I spent years chasing grants and artist-residencies; because that's what I thought I should do, as an artist. I'd rather work in a fucking warehouse and keep my art away from all that funding crap. It'snot a perfect strategy, I see that! But I have ingrained classissues with the usual types who hold the purse-strings.

Eventually, I predict - but years after the point, as usual - someone will win the Turner Prize with work substantially including blogging and myspace stuff. Serotta (sp?) will tout such as the cutting edge; just like he thinksall that pale and partial neoDuchamp stuff is so contemporary. It looks like shopfitting to me, or one-line jokes, or advertising. Of course, that's exactly what it is.

1:52 PM  

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