The mysterious part of the other | Rene Char, 1950

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... , 1950

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 
Manuel Álvarez Bravo, The Dreamer, 1931

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 και για λίγες μέρες γινόμαστε ὅλοι αἰσθητά καλύτεροι. Σάμπως να προστέθηκαν 
μερικές νέες μέρες στο ἡμερολόγιο, οι συμπεριφορές ἔχουν μία φρέσκια βαθύτητα. Οι γνωστοί γίνονται ἐπιστήθιοι 
φίλοι και οι φίλοι συγγενείς, καθώς απο κοινού ἀπολαμβάνουμε με σκοτοδίνη την κακή ἀνάσα του θανατικού, που 
εἰσάγει ἀκαριαία στα πράγματα ἕνα άλλο ρίγος. Μολονότι ἀπειράριθμοι απο καταβολής ἀνθρωπίνου γένους, 
μιλιούνια σκιών που μνησικακούν ἀπέναντι στον χρόνο, οι νεκροί βαραίνουν στις ψυχές των ζωντανών και τις 
πιλατεύουν εὐεργετικά μόνον όταν εἶναι κοντινοί - απο σάρκα ή απο καρδιά. Ο ξένος νεκρός δεν ὑπολογίζεται. 
Ἀνήκει στα κατάστιχα της στατιστικής και στα τερατώδη καμώματα του πληθυσμού. Ἀντίθετα, ο δικός μας 
νεκρός, ο χτεσινός φίλος που χάριζε νόημα με κάθε του κίνηση στην ἀνομολόγητη συνενοχή, αποκτά ἀνυπολόγιστα 
δικαιώματα. Αἰφνίδια μεταμορφώνεται σε άφαντο θεό που σε περιεργάζεται σε κάθε τόπο και σε κάθε στιγμή,
 ἀδειάζει τον χώρο και τον χρόνο απο την αἰσθητή του παρουσία, για να μετουσιωθεί σε πανίσχυρη δεισιδαιμονία. 
Ὅτι εἴχαμε του ἀνήκει, ὅτι κάνουμε το διεκδικεῖ. Στα πάντα σπεύδει πριν απο μας, στα πάντα μας ἀφήνει 
προσωρινὰ ἐλεύθερους. Νεκρός για τα καλά, σφιχταγκαλιασμένος με το ἀναπότρεπτο, δεν ἐπιτρέπει κανένα 
περιθώριο ἐλπίδας.

   Ἂν στην καθημερινή συνάφεια κάθε στιγμή παριστάνει την σταγόνα που καθρεφτίζει ἀπατηλά το ψέμμα 
και την ἀλήθεια, στην αἰωνιότητα του νεκρού - αὐτή την ἀδιατάρακτη σιωπή που ἀψηφά την ἡλικία- δεν ἔχει 
πέραση κανένα τέχνασμα. Ἀκόμα και ο θρήνος εἶναι ένας τρόπος του ζωντανού να ξεφύγει ἀπο τον πόνο του. 
Ὁ νεκρός εἶναι πλέον ἀπόλυτα σοβαρός, ἀνέκφραστος ἀπο την πολύ εὐθύνη. Σαν τα παιδιά, λοιπόν, πού παίζουν 
μπροστά στον ἀνδριάντα του ἀγέλαστου προγόνου, ἀλλάζουμε ψιθύρους και βλέμματα, για να ξαναβρούμε την 
ἀνασφαλῆ ἄνεση τῶν ζωντανῶν. Δεν ὑπάρχει πια ἀναχώρηση και άφιξη. Καταργήθηκαν δια παντός τα βήματα του 
ἀνθρώπου που πλησιάζει με την ψυχή στο πρόσωπο. Το μόνο σπίτι που τον στεγάζει δεν εἶναι η πόλη, ο κόσμος, 
η οἰκουμένη και κατοικημένη. Ὁ νεκρός ὑπάρχει πλέον μονάχα στην καρδιά μας. Και ἀκόμα βαθύτερα.

   Εἶναι πια ὁ σιωπηλός 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, 1880

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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