C.C. Poell – a dream of flesh and drowning

Caroll Christian Poell’s website simply shows a floating boot, its distressed leather and stitching dim in the murky water. An obsession with drowning, flesh and its deterioration comes through everything this Austrian-born designer creates. I actually hesitate to call CCP a designer, because so much of what he makes looks like it belongs in an art gallery. Accurately described as “elegant armor” on jcreport.com, some of his clothes are so stiff they stand up on their own, or so awkward and restricting that wearing them is often impractical.

The notoriously secretive Poell does not talk to media and is only sold in a handful of shops throughout the world. None of his lines are mass-produced, which makes them even more desirable to his growing [and wealthy] cult following.

Noise pollution girl style now

I never thought I’d ever see my two favorite music scenes, riot grrrl and industrial, intersect more than than when I saw Bonfire Madigan open for Laibach in 2004. There she was, pink hair in pigtails and stripey socks and her screeching cello, with ominous black banners of gear-contained NSK crosses hanging on either side. But that very special industrial-meets-riot-grrrl moment was matched (if not surpassed) when I received a link from a group called Experiment Haywire this morning:

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Does that sound like Kathleen Hanna’s long-lost EBM project or what? It’s not polished, but neither was riot grrrl, and that’s exactly what made it charming. The musician behind Experiment Haywire, Rachel, has also started a record label called machineKUNT. While I’m not crazy about the name (I just hate that spelling! I hate it!), the idea is great. Their first release, a compilation called “Extreme Women from the Dark Future,” features various female EBM musicians. It’s a nice contrast the dumb, misogynistic “Shut Up and Swallow” bullshit of bands like Combichrist.

The idea of women in industrial music isn’t new; they were there from the very beginning. Most female EBM musicians who came before, such as Shikhee from Android Lust, deliberately made their gender a non-issue in interviews. That was a powerful and positive statement of a different sort, but it’s interesting to see someone, perhaps for the first time, make gender the primary focus of their industrial/EBM project.

And just because I love it, since we’re on the topic of riot grrrl, here are Jem and the Holograms performing Le Tigre’s Deceptacon:

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Jessica Joslin’s Delightful Wunderkammer Creatures

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Enzo & Donato (detail), 6″ x 6x 6″ each (12″ x 18″ x 10″-Mounted), 2004
Brass, bone, fur, cast/painted plastic, glass eyes

You may have already heard tell of Jessica Joslin‘s enchanted bestiary via the esteemed Wurzeltod, Brass Goggles or Boing Boing. If not, it’s a joy and an honor to introduce you to her work. In Jessica’s loving hands, delicate one-of-a-kind creatures are born of brass and bone, buttons and leather, glass eyes, mother of pearl, filigree, taxidermy, antique mechanical flotsam, scientific process, nostalgia and GENIUS!

From the Lisa Sette Gallery Newsletter:

Jessica Joslins’s odd menagerie begins with her penchant for collecting: “I find things anywhere that I find myself…in obscure junk shops, flea markets, attics, taxidermy supply houses, specialty hardware distributors… or walking through the woods.” Joslin seeks out and puts to use those bright odds and ends that might catch one’s eye in a box full of orphaned fixtures, or glinting up from the sidewalk. While each piece she employs in her eerie animal reliquary is delicately beautiful, it is also the detritus of human engineering and design: old brass buttons and gold braid, glass beads, clockwork cogs and velvet ribbon. Such items are reminiscent of the whimsical technology of a century past, one’s grandparents’ house, the dark interiors of old fashioned movie theatres – and as such they have an intriguing, wistful quality. In other words, Joslin collects the things that all of us secretly want to, the shiny pieces that we might comb through, handle and admire, but ultimately force ourselves to put down; what would we do with such things?


Flora, 4″ x 2″ x 3″, 2006
Brass, bone, sterling, painted wood, grommets, cast pewter, glass eyes

Jessica, who lives in Chicago with her commensurately brilliant husband, painter Jared Joslin, recently took time out of her busy schedule to answer several questions for the upcoming Coilhouse print magazine. You can read excerpts from this interview and meet a few more of her creatures under the cut. Also, anyone who happens to be in LA through the 23rd can take a closer look some of her work at the Los Angeles Art Show in Santa Monica.

5 Self-Portrait Artists You Should Know

It takes a lot of guts to do a powerful self-portrait. After the jump, my 5 favorites du jour, starting with:

Ali Mahdavi

Driver Pushes Goth Kids Off the Bus

WEST YORKSHIRE, England – Tasha wears a collar with a leash that her fiance Dani holds when they are out walking together. For this reason, a bus driver has denied them service, saying “no dogs allowed” – and allegedly pushed them off the bus.

It’s ironic that same land that gave us Siouxsie and Fat Bob is now one of the most dangerous, discriminatory European places for goths to inhabit. Last year, 20-year-old goth girl Sophie Lancaster was beaten to death for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothes. A goth guy collecting charity while dressed as Nosferatu was violently beaten by a group of up to seven, his prosthetic ears ripped off. These attacks, perpetuated by yobs and/or chavs, are one thing, but this kind of treatment by a public servant is something else entirely.

The story was covered by The Daily Mail, England’s more conservative, right-wing newspaper. Some of the reader comments are rather hilarious. Here are my top 3 favorites, for various reasons:

He looks like a work-shy scrounger to me, get a job and pay your way.
– Harry Basset, Whitby

Never mind walking the dog – with a figure like Tasha’s she’ll soon be on the catwalk.
– Sarah, Belgium

If he was a gentleman goth, he would loan her his coat.
– John, United Kingdom

Though I’m 100% with them, the couple gets points taken off for giving stupid quotes to the media. Don’t say “I am a pet” to a reporter for a mainstream news outlet. Just don’t. (Thanks, Catwalk Ghost!)

To the Wolves: Withnail Preaches Hamlet

And speaking of infinite blackness, what could be more darque than Shakespeare recited in the rain? Abandoned and wasted, Withnail, antihero of the comedy masterpiece Withnail and I, laments his ultimate failure to the wolves. This monologue shows him truly aware, for the first time, of the vast emptiness that is his life. Happy Monday!

“I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth,
forgone allcustom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame,
the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory,
this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason!
how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how
express and admirable! In action how like an angel!
In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the
world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not
me: no, nor woman neither…”

– Hamlet, to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Recquired viewing, this.

Irina Ionesco’s Photography, Eva Ionesco’s Childhood

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Irina Ionesco is French photographer known for her sensual and sometimes controversial work. She reminds me a little bit of Ellen von Unwerth and a little bit of Sarah Moon. Her crisp black-and-white images focus on artificial beauty and harbor a fetishistic fascination with lace, beads, fake flowers and other textures. Born in 1935 in Romania, Ionesco traveled the world and painted before discovering photography. She is a cult favorite among alt photographers, and her influence can be seen in the work of John Santerineross and Tina Cassati.

What made Ionesco’s work controversial? Her most prolific model was her daughter, Eva. At a young age, Eva posed semi-nude for her mother to create artsy, erotic images similar to Irina’s work with older models. Some images of Eva by Irina (NSWF links ahoy!), though nude, look more like a child playing dress-up to me, but others have a distinct fetish element. To me, these are some of Ionesco’s most powerful images.

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Eva Ionesco

Irina’s daughter Eva went on to model and act in many productions that no normal parent would ever let their child near today. It makes me wonder how her career would’ve gone if she hadn’t started posing for the images above. At age 11, she became the youngest model ever to appear in a Playboy pictorial by Jacques Bourboulon in 1976 (check out his doleful Wikipedia entry). Two years later, her images appeared in a Spanish edition of Penthouse in a selection of her mother’s photographs. Eva’s acting debut, also at age 11, was in The Tenant by Roman Polanski (yikes!). That same year she appeared as a Lolita-type character in a soft-core sci-fi film called Spermula. Her career wasn’t all erotic, and she soon graduated to playing varied roles in French cinema and on stage that didn’t revolve around sexuality.

Superblack! Scientists discover world’s darkest.. thing

Researchers in a US laboratory created the darkest ever substance, said to absorb light ‘perfectly’ from every angle and reflect nothing. In fact, scientists claim that it’s so fucking black that it’s 30 times blacker than the current benchmark of blackness. That’s right, there’s a benchmark for blackness. You heard it here first.

According to the Houston Chronicle, it “reflects 0.045 percent light, making it 100 times darker than a black-painted Corvette.”

Here is an exclusive preview of the darkest matter in the universe:

Amazing.

Scientist expect that this discovery will be applied in the fields of electricity, solar energy and next season’s Lip Service collection.

What’s Zo Wearing? January 20, 2008

You must have the right boots for a proper lunar adventure, this much I know. These asteroid-stompers don’t hover or have any sort of built-in propulsive devices [yet], but they do actually make me walk even faster. Something about the physics of their height and weight! It’s a start.

Strange Angels: Seth et Holth

Have you ever been filled with the burning desire to see your favourite ’80s rocker step out of a massive, glowing vag and use his tongue to make sweet love to another man’s eyeball?

I knew it. You people disgust me.

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I give to you the 1993 tour-de-force of homo-erotic gluttony that is Seth et Holth. Set to the backdrop of some actually rather wicked industrial rock, the 43 minutes of beautiful confusion that follows is staged by one Hide (X-Japan) and Tusk (Zi:Kill) as Angels who communicate with their blood, struggling after being cast out of heaven and eventually executed by earthlings. It’s kinda like a less pretentious Cremaster Cycle done in the style of a New Wave music video but with cooler-looking dudes.

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Don’t make too much of an effort to ‘get’ this movie — seriously, it would make David Lynch cry — as it presents itself to be more of a visual and musical experiment. It’s worth a look as an unusual piece of rock nostalgia alone.