diane arbus and susan sontag: America seen through photographs, darkly

Susan Sontag wrote on Diane Arbus in her seminal essay America, seen through photographs, darkly, in which Arbus' vision is forcefully and evocatively examined. Below are excerpts from Sontag's masterful and unparalleled analysis, exhibiting Arbus as a complicatedly humanist, voyeuristic, privileged, artist, admirer and documenter of "freaks", children, couples, performers, disability and nonconformity.   Instead of people whose appearance pleases,…

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american dream and nightmare: suburbia in film

  'Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky-tacky, Little boxes on the hillside,   Little boxes all the same. There’s a green one and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one, And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky, And they all look just the same.'      …

breaking the fourth wall: a brief and visual history through cinema

the great train robbery (1903) metropolis (1927) napoleon (1927) steamboat bill jr. (1928) rebecca (1940) lady in the lake (1946) black narcissus (1947) the red shoes (1948) roshomon (1950) rear window (1954) vertigo (1958) the 400 blows (1959) eyes without a face (1960) psycho (1960) the graduate (1967) le samouraï (1967) once upon a time…

synecdoche, new love: modern couples exhibition review

'Modern Couples presents a different way of looking at Modernism in art, as seen through the artist 'couple', an elastic term encompassing all manner of intimate relationships that the artists themselves grappled with, expanded, embraced or refuted.' - Exhibition Guide Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde is the newest exhibition at the Barbican Centre. Organised…

art and the everyday

If money were not object, my nursery would have been fitted with William Morris wallpaper. Strawberry Thief may have been chosen, or perhaps Seaweed or Honeysuckle. I'm sure their scrolling foliage and patterns of blossoming flowers, fruits and wildlife would have fascinated any young child. However, despite these designs not adorning my childhood walls, I…

‘a nightmare fairytale etched in neon colour’: suspiria (1977) and its alternative film posters

  An innocent American ballet dancer's excitement at being accepted to a prestigious Berlin dance school turns to terror when she discovers that the institution is a cover for a murderous coven of witches. A nightmare fairytale etched in neon colour, Dario Argento’s witchy shocker Suspiria remains the most famous of all Italian horror movies.…

identifying dialogues between japanese architecture and the rest of the world

Innovative quarterly architectural magazine JA (now rebranded with a focus on urbanism to ja+u (Japan Architecture + Urbanism) explores movements and conversation in Japanese architecture. JA's website describes the periodical: "JA – the Japan Architect – was first published in June 1956 and was the only English language periodical that introduced Japanese architecture to an overseas audience. Since…