killing denouement

fashionable torture: clayton james cubitt and eating ortolans

via the artist and his model

“Eating Ortolans” by photographer Clayton James Cubitt
These images are kind of incredible in the way they literalise fashion- as- faceless- contorture, not to mention the wonderful exaggerated avian silhouettes in themselves. The last is a photo from someone I used to know in Dubai, Kris; I believe he’s now in Germany. The shoes especially recall the recentish collaboration between filmmaker David Lynch and shoe designer Christian Louboutin, of red soled fame. There’s more over at Wallpaper.
edit: these also recall

EDIT: I later came across these pictures of Japanese fetish heels, new and (very disturbingly), the geisha equivalents of old.

Most interesting perhaps is the title of the series, ‘Eating Ortolans’, which appears to reference the (highly illegal) French gourmet tradition of eating these small birds. The process involves capturing it alive, and blinding it (either physically or by placing it in a dark box) so it gorges itself. I didn’t notice this at first but if you look at Cubitt’s photos, the model is generally similarly blinded, with the quasi-gormless gawping open mouth of baby bird being fed. Once it’s a couple sizes larger, it’s drowned in Aramnac, plucked and roasted whole (more here)

Bizzarely enough, it’s then eaten with the a napkin draped over the diner’s head – ostensibly both to preserve the bird’s aroma, and to hide the gluttony and cruelty of the act from god. It was famously served at one of former French President’s François Mitterrand’s last meals, a week before he died of cancer.

Also: a really interesting post on the relationship of food to aesthetic, empathy and proximity.

die fetten jahre sind vorbei – the fat years aren’t over yet

Since writing about The Edukators a while back, I’ve come back to it a fair number of times. Not to give away any of the plot (see it, it’s brilliant), but the end sentiment shuffles somewhat over to “some people never change” as quoted on the note at the end. A literalised writing on the wall if you will, with the person in question being a german ex-SDSer – turned corporate millionaire- ostensibly still with the radicredientials of his student days.

But just how sustainable is student activism anymore? Since then, at least from what I can gather in the US, the nature of the university system itself seems to have changed. In ’68,
you could graduate $2000 or $3000 in debt and go on to be a committed activist for the rest of your life; many of the 68 vets have done just this. Today you’re going to be graduating from the same schools with something like $100k in debt. and activism is almost something you have to give up as you hit your senior year, if this makes sense. Similarly, whereas most stuff went down at big elite institutions like Columbia or UC – Berkley, today it’s happening at state, community and even high school campuses, which is especially incredible. What then will the future look like – are many of SDS, for example, destined to become the same kind of benevolent i-bankers, corrupting the system from within (if at all)?

I don’t know when said fat years will be over. But in the year of the pig, corporate branding reaches new levels, with pigs getting Louis Vuitton tattoes. There’s an interview over at if it’s hip it’s here with Belgian artist Wim Deloye, a vegetarian who tattoos live pigs (albeit sedated) for art’s sake. To quote from the interview:

Wim: I started tattooing pig hides, which I’d get from the slaughterhouses, in 1994. It was only in 1997 that I started to work on live sedated pigs. I tattoo pigs because they grow fast and they are so much better to tattoo than fish. I tattoo them when they are young and I like the way the artwork stretches and distorts over time. Essentially, we invest in small tattoos and we harvest large paintings.

I don’t know how I feel about the cruelty aspect of this, but some of the stretched pigskins look too much like human skin for comfort. There’s some more examples at the same site.


Glamourising the Green Scare
May 30, 2008, 8:19 am
Filed under: eco, fashion, media | Tags: , , , ,

THIS made me incredibly angry at first. And super surprised that something like ELLE would dip into this to begin with, never mind issue a retraction. To be fair to the writer though, she appears to have made a decent stab at the issue. What the article fails to note though, is that “Anna” was paid -by most accounts- over $75 000 for the entrapment. There’s another look here.Eric McDavid has been meanwhile sentenced to 19 years and 7 months, More info on how to support Eric.

edit: it seems the retraction stickers were a hoax, despite being pretty widespread. I’m no Crimethinc (or even ELF for that matter) fan, but this is excellent. To quote from Ecorazzi,
“Following consultation with federal agencies, we at Elle wish to retract this article. Not because of the stream of factual inaccuracies beginning in the second sentence (there has never been a CrimethInc. convergence in Athens, Georgia), but because in the current political climate it is irresponsible to even pretend to give a fair hearing to radical anti-capitalists. Even if Anna’s story is a cut-and-dried case of entrapment, we have to understand this as a necessary defense of our free market freedoms. Not to say that we are not concerned about the environment at Elle. On the contrary, the global environmental crisis offers unprecedented opportunities to promote sustainable fashions (p. 98), give the meat industry a makeover (p. 245), and renew faith in this country’s discredited electoral process (p. 104); even the color green itself is making a comeback (p. 72). Consumer capitalism may be threatening life on earth, but there’s simply no other option—that is, not unless you’re willing to join the ranks of the eco-terrorists.”

Otherwise, Im back in NYC though have spent the last two days migraining in a darkened room (as promised, the doors are shockingly pepto-bismol pink. I kind of love it.

the cardboard revolution
May 26, 2008, 12:32 pm
Filed under: consumerism, dubai, fashion | Tags: , , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of cardboard in my life lately, with the near trauma of packing my life up into 5 large cardboard boxes and two suitcases, with a fridge, lamp and two guitars left over. Last minute panic ensued in trying to find a place for these. They’re now split between someone’s bedroom and the office of a radio station. I suspect the fridge might have grown a good layer of mould in the meanwhile; this can only contribute to the smell in there.
[above – my friend Melinda in my old dormroom, circa finals. I think that cardboard box in question held props for a film my roommate was doing]At that I’d like to dislodge the drop-being -a-film-major-never-touch-a-camera-again syndrome this summer, please. Some more cardboard from Karama wanderings:

And speaking of cardboard I came across this today – when homeless takeover the world: the cardboard revolution. Personally I would kind of hope that said revolution would be a little messier and far less consumerist but there’s some interesting stuff. Seems like all this would need is a scalpel and some spare cardbaord? Next diy ahoy perhaps.
I kind of like their manifesto: “This site is a sarcastic glimpse into the future of product design, taken from the perspective of when homeless take over the world. Soon, in a time not far from now, things will change and the people of the streets will take back the world from their evil wealthy oppressors. It’s only a matter of time until biological warfare or misguided science students release an unstoppable plague on the world. There will be blood shed and the spread of death and destruction will be unstoppable. The only survivors of this horrible plague will be… the cardboard people. After years of suffering they will have earned their immunity. They will be the new rulers and cardboard will be our gold.
Prepare yourselves!!!!!!!
Live derelict, buy cardboard……….”

And oh yeah, the products

embellishments and fish
May 25, 2008, 9:10 pm
Filed under: diy, dubai, fish | Tags: , , , , ,

In Dubai now/ a quick DIY.Buttons sewn onto black laceish topshop shoes. Buttons are kind of exciting; there’s so much that can be done with them. And a gorgeous lace + mother of pearl buttoned/ pearled shawl that someone gave my mother but she’ll never wear so I shall yay. Here, I’ve been mostly watching IPL cricket for good part of every evening, something somewhat novel. I get back to NYC in 2 days and I am told my (free!) summer housing room is has a cotton pink door and a cream circa puke linoleum floor. This could also be exciting. Also some gratitutous fish pictures from an anternoon traipsing around Karama.
(pictures mine, click for larger/flickr)

floral rotisserie
May 22, 2008, 10:29 pm
Filed under: florals | Tags:

So as it turns out, I really like florals. The implanted flowers are already crowding at roundabouts in dubai, and real ones might be out in nyc by now. Hopefully it’s summer already? Sans ridiculous cold spells in May, please. This said I’ll probably be wishing for winter pretty soon.

white sneaks
May 18, 2008, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

just like this.


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