killing denouement

beautiful losers and revolutionary aesthetics


- The Olympics start. I think the Olympic Ring Bike is kind of amazing. Usually I associate the Olympics with Bombay, mad humidity and my grandmother’s house with rattan paneling on the walls. Don’t know that I’ll see any of this episode though.

- This film premieres in NYC. It describes itself as being “rooted in the DIY subcultures of skateboarding, hiphop, punk and graffiti” and celebrates “the spirit behind today’s most influential cultural movement“. I’d daresay reality TV trumps these today, but either way,

- I will be on a transatlantic flight to a wedding in Surrey, then Dubai and maybe South India for a few weeks.

- After having presumably bombed the Arabic oral which is in 9 hours (but unwritten) and the final exam the next day. Oh dear?

Rooftops by Pete Yahnke

The artwork for the film got me thinking about revolutionary aesthetics though.
Seriously, think about it – it’s almost like magnetic poetry, with a few choice words and images. Roofs, hearts, fists, worlds, carnivorous flowers, bike wheels, bandannas, guns, twisty trees, raised fists, crumbling buildings and of course the token harried and lined-faced peasants and/or indigenous peoples. With bonus points for Situationist references and the scrapey woodcut look The artists over at Just Seeds do it particularly well. (And don’t get me wrong, I adore much of the stuff on there).

Maybe it’s just my personal aesthetic, but phrases/slogans I love follow the same track:

Every heart is a revolutionary cell

Or Buenaventura Durutti’s “We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth, there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here, in our hearts.

Or “Trenches full of poets”

And also..
“Sous les pavés, la mine terrestre”

We Want Peace by Meredith Stern

“Soyons irraisonnés”

Possibly my favourite, the Yippies’“Class struggle begins in class”, though their intent was pretty different to anything like Student Power for Accessible Education

Cochabamba by Swoon

Check your own favourite phrases/slogans/imagery. Chances are they fit too?

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

your radicredentials are radincredible, don’t worry.

i was eulogiziing Durruti, héroe del pueblo, just a bit ago. you should have been there.

a new book came out on totalitarian aesthetics (should still be up on nyt book review), except they put siidii Lenin in there.

the aesthetic is a main part of radiculture, like genderfun language, lefty music, folk heroes (emma goldman killed 10 robber barons and was elected president, but had to run to texas to save pecos bill before she could take office), etc., the markers in rev. art help make the radicanvases into a type of proto-writing.

like, your hoodie (i love your hoodie) is a cool logo, which calls out for internationalist uprising/resistance of a red persuasion. it’s obviously post-sixties, since the earth image became popular after the space program and that one photo. it might be appealing to urban populations (?) as the fists seem to sprout from buildings. it’s for young people, since it’s a blessed hoodie. so it could be read as saying “hey, disaffected urban poor kids, rise up here there and everywhere, we can make it.”

my one criticism might be its off-hand (get it?) dismissal of the global south.

Comment by bydirigible

who reddened my hoodie! and both images are mine sir though i’m sure similars exist elsewhere. but it is a ventricled fist-as-heart and the one here is on canvas and maybe still walls in dubailand. i hear it is unamerican to acknowledge the global south?

Comment by killingdenouement

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