Wichita, Kansas' 2nd Park Plan Cover, 1970s, Wichita.gov Like most things I write about here, urban beatification is not a new concept. The industrial revolution beckoned in an era of urban growth, and with it came the human desire to beautify the landscape around them. Charles Henry Caffin wrote an article entitled “Municipal Art” for Early Urban Beautification Plan for Chicago
The tiny village of Ilakaka, Madagascar had barely 40 residents before 1998. Then, a large deposit of sapphires was discovered along a nearby riverbed, and caught the eye of some Thai businessmen in the gem trade. Word got out, and Ilakaka swelled to tens of thousands of residents - the center of a sapphire boom, today the source of nearly 50% of all the sapphires in the world. Illegal miners mixed with large-scale operations, all operating under little or no regulation, in a wild-west atmosphere of potential fortunes, lawlesness, violence and hardship. In the years since, the easily-mined sapphire fields have been picked clean, and the remaining miners often work in deep holes, climbing far underground.
Yesterday I bumped into the stunning denim exhibition of Indigo Roosters in the great design shop HARVEST & Co in Amsterdam. You'll find a very special collection of lovely printed shawls and scarves, ancient kimono's, wonderful rare textiles and much more! The exhibition is an initiative of two of the most creative guys in the denim world: Miles Johnson and Victor Sandberg. Miles: “The exhibit consists of indigo textiles and clothing from all over the world, which we’ve both collected on our travels from the past 8 years." You can check out the exhibition in the HARVEST & Co store in Amsterdam.
Maldoror Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror continues to provoke attempts at visual illustration. B. Oliver-White’s brief Super-8 film borrows some text from the Fourth Canto which is complemented by vague and grainy shots resembling outtakes from Eraserhead . Given the difficulties of fixing Maldoror ‘s shifting terrain this seems a better approach than more literal depictions. Watch it here .
Je redoutais le moment d’aller voir cette expo de peur qu’elle soit comme Monet, à savoir, un regroupement impressionnant de personnes au m2 et donc un lieu ou va pour y aller parce que au fond on y voit strictement rien ! Oui mais voilà, Corto Maltese était mon plus grand fantasme masculin adolescente. L’homme viril dans toute sa splendeur, le marin ténébreux, l’homme à femme, à la fois courageux, franc, droit et juste. Je n’ai donc pu échappé à mon envie, et me voici, par un beau dimanche (en plus !) aller à la pinacothèque…et la, stupeur ! Il n’y a personne.