One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hipp Chronoscope

Hipp Chronoscope by ninniane
Hipp Chronoscope, a photo by ninniane on Flickr.
Sounds pretty hip.

Hipp chronoscope, a device used to measure short intervals of time with an accuracy of 1/1,000th of a second. Hipp chronoscopes were used to measure reaction time in experimental psychology labs in the late 19th Century.

[From the Huff Post]

Vichy France

Alluded to multiple times in Transit. Of course it's a large part of the machine the protagonist is caught up in. Thought I'd better review a little French history.

Vichy France, officially The French State (l'État français), was France during the regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain, during World War II, from the German victory in the Battle of France (July 1940) to the Allied liberation in August 1944.[2] Following the defeat in June 1940, President Albert Lebrun appointed Marshal Pétain as Premier of France. After making peace with Germany, Pétain and his government voted to reorganize the discredited Third Republic into an authoritarian regime.

The newly-formed French State maintained nominal sovereignty over the whole of French territory as defined by the Second Armistice at Compiègne. However, Vichy maintained full sovereignty only in the unoccupied southern Zone libre ("free zone"), while retaining limited authority in the Wehrmacht-occupied northern zone, the Zone occupée ("occupied zone"). The occupation was to be a provisional state of affairs pending the conclusion of the war in the west, which at the time appeared imminent. In November 1942, however, the Zone libre was also occupied, with Germany closely supervising all French officials.

Marshal Pétain collaborated with the German occupying forces in exchange for an agreement not to divide France between the Axis powers. Germany kept two million French soldiers in Germany as forced labourers to enforce its term. Vichy authorities aided in the rounding-up of Jews and other "undesirables". At times in the colonies Vichy French military forces actively opposed the Allies. Despite its pro-Nazi policies, much of the French public initially supported the new government, seeing it as necessary to maintain a degree of French autonomy and territorial integrity.

The legitimacy of Vichy France and Pétain's leadership was constantly challenged by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle, based in London, who claimed to represent the legitimacy and continuity of the French nation. The overseas French colonies were originally under Vichy control, but it lost one after another to DeGaulle's Free French movement. Public opinion turned against the Vichy regime and the occupying German forces over time and resistance to them increased. Following the Allied invasion of France in June 1944, de Gaulle proclaimed the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF).

Following France's liberation in summer 1944, most of the Vichy regime's leaders fled or were put on trial by the GPRF and a number were executed for treason. Thousands of collaborators were killed without trial by local Resistance forces. Pétain was sentenced to death for treason, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Only four senior Vichy officials were tried for crimes against humanity, although more were alleged to have participated in the deportation of Jews for extermination in concentration camps, abuses of prisoners and severe acts against members of the Resistance.

[From Wikipedia:]

The Shore (Morning Light)

Happy Memorial Day!

Saw too many cats and none of them wanted their portraits snapped (don't know why, they've got lives to spare); a man shoring up the sandy garden around his beach house; a family climbing a hill of sand; Davy Jones' Locker;...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The LA Art District

Ducked down an alley yesterday morning to see what I could see. Someone was looking at me.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Waldo Stops for Pizza (Again)

Isn't raining this time. The palm wants to be as tall as a building. Waldo says the pizza here is the best in town.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Urban Spider

It's been slowly going up (as though crawling) in a somewhat empty lot I pass on the way home, in the LA Art District. It's either a large installation (work in progress) or I-don't-know-what.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Salvidor Dali's Click-Stand

My Vladimir Saldi is a cross between Dali and Nabokov (quit using that "character" some while ago). Wrote and published a poem a few years ago (it's in "the book")--I'd have to run down the title--that was "riffing off" of a Dali calendar.

Figueres, Dali Museum by m. muraskin-spain

Saw it from a distance (we were headed to the Costa Brava) but that was as close as I got. Love the eggs.

Friday, May 17, 2013

From the 1st Street Bridge

I take the 1st Street Bridge in and the 4th Street out. This view isn't much (the road to beautiful is built by humans) but I see it almost every morning.

Downtown L. A. from the 1st Street Bridge

Modern Perspective.

First Street Bridge Over Los Angeles River EB

Historical perspective.

4th Street Bridge, Los Angeles

Modern perspective.

4th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River 1930

Historical perspective.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pound's "In a Station of the Metro"

In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals  on a wet, black bough. 

Metro Sign Paris

Hope to catch a few attractive Metro signs off guard in Paris.

Los Angeles Metro: Pico/Aliso Station

Been getting off at 1st Street for the better part of the school year. Didn't notice Rob Neilson's "About Face" until recently: hadn't been looking up (see more of Rob's work here). My photos aren't the best because of the poor lighting (6:30-ish) and the fact that I couldn't get too close (cars and train make approach difficult).


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Robert Graham (1938 - 2008)

Robert Graham (August 19, 1938 – December 27, 2008) was a sculptor based in the state of California in the United States. His monumental bronzes commemorate the human figure and are featured in public places across America.

Graham was born in Mexico City, Mexico on Aug. 19, 1938, to Roberto Pena and Adeline Graham. Roberto Pena died when his son was six years old, and the boy, his mother Adeline, his grandmother Ana, and his aunt Mercedes left Mexico and moved to San Jose, California. Robert Graham began his formal art training at San Jose State University.[1] He continued his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute in California, finishing in 1964. Within five years he had one-man exhibitions of his sculpture at important contemporary art galleries in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Cologne, and Essen, Germany. He lived in London for a period before settling in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. His first solo exhibition in a museum was at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1972. Since then he has had dozens of one-man shows, including several at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Graham's first major monumental commission was the ceremonial gateway for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, for the occasion of the 1984 Olympics. He also designed the commemorative silver dollar for the event. The gateway featured two bronze torsos, male and female, modeled on contestants in the games. The gateway was a major design element of an Olympiad noted for its lack of new construction. To the surprise of many, the nudity of the torsos became an issue in the media[citation needed].

Graham used a range of materials and scales in his work. In the 1970s Graham created very small wax sculptures (circa 4" - 10 cm), depicting sexual congress. His 1986 monument to the boxer Joe Louis is a 24' bronze fist and forearm. He has created hundreds of nude figures and groupings in intermediate scales.

He married actress Anjelica Huston in 1992[2] and they resided in an unusual dwelling in Venice, California. Huston refused to move to the Bohemian area unless Graham built them a fortress to live in. The result was a giant, windowless structure behind an opaque 40-foot fence.

Graham made a cameo appearance in Huston's movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, as the Venezuelan general near the beginning of the film standing on the deck of the ship. Wes Anderson mentions in the movie's commentary that Graham has some aspects in common with Steve Zissou.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced on May 28, 2008 that Graham would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. The induction ceremony took place on December 15, 2008 and he was inducted alongside 11 other legendary Californians.

Graham died 12 days after the ceremony on December 27, 2008.[1] His funeral was held at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which has bronze doors that Graham created for the cathedral.[3] His remains are interred in the Crypt Mausoleum of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

[From Wikipedia:]

Jacques Lipchitz (1891 - 1973)

Jacques Lipchitz (August 22 [O.S. August 10] 1891[1] – May 16, 1973) was a Cubist sculptor. Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipchitz, in a Litvak family, son of a building contractor in Druskininkai, Lithuania, then within the Russian Empire. At first, under the influence of his father, he studied engineering, but soon after, supported by his mother he moved to Paris (1909) to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian.

It was there, in the artistic communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse, that he joined a group of artists that included Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso as well as where his friend, Amedeo Modigliani, painted Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz.

Living in this environment, Lipchitz soon began to create Cubist sculpture. In 1912 he exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d'Automne with his first solo show held at Léonce Rosenberg's Galerie L’Effort Moderne in Paris in 1920. In 1922 he was commissioned by the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania to execute five bas-reliefs.

With artistic innovation at its height, in the 1920s he experimented with abstract forms he called transparent sculptures. Later he developed a more dynamic style, which he applied with telling effect to bronze compositions of figures and animals.

With the German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews to the Nazi death camps, Jacques Lipchitz had to flee France. With the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry in Marseille, he escaped the Nazi regime and went to the United States. There, he eventually settled in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

He was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the Third Sculpture International Exhibition held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949. He has been identified among seventy of those sculptors in a photograph Life magazine published that was taken at the exhibition. In 1954 a Lipchitz retrospective traveled from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1959, his series of small bronzes To the Limit of the Possible was shown at Fine Arts Associates in New York.

Beginning in 1963 he returned to Europe for several months of each year and worked in Pietrasanta, Italy. In 1972 his autobiography was published on the occasion of an exhibition of his sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Jacques Lipchitz died in Capri, Italy. His body was flown to Jerusalem for burial.

[From Wikipedia:]

Los Angeles Music Center

Again got to the heart of the matter quite early, so I turned right on Hope and parked across from the Music Center and in front of the DWP. These pics are the result of the early morning photo shoot.


Monday, May 13, 2013

New Poem up at "Poetry Repairs"

A little poem of mine ("Open Book") has gone up recently (not sure exactly when it came out) at Poetry Repairs.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

From Anna Seghers' "Transit"

The next day was windless and overcast. The air felt as gray as the gunboat still lying at anchor in the Old Harbor. People never tired of staring at it as if it could tell them what Admiral Darlan was planning to do with it. The British were approaching the Tripoli border. Would the French voluntarily surrender the harbor at Bizerte, or would they refuse? Would the Germans then occupy the south of France too? -- These were the questions of the day. If the latter were to happen, the British might bomb Marseille to smithereens. That, for the time being, would solve all transit visa worries. I went to the Cafe Mont Vertoux. The table where I'd sat the day before was free. I sat down, lit a cigarette, and waited. Waiting at the same place made no sense. But where else should I have waited?

Rodin Museum, Paris

Rodin Museum, Paris by khera875
Rodin Museum, Paris, a photo by khera875 on Flickr.
Thinking about Paris today, amongst other things.

Old Mill/Vieux Moulin

Old Mill/Vieux Moulin by Clio7
Old Mill/Vieux Moulin, a photo by Clio7 on Flickr.
Thinking about Vernon today, amongst other things.

I think, though I could be wrong, we'll pass real close to this as we bike from Vernon to Giverny.

Lily Pads at Giverny, France

Thinking of Giverny today, amongst other things.

Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf by Quang Huy PFIEV
Pont Neuf, a photo by Quang Huy PFIEV on Flickr.
Thinking of Paris today, amongst other things.

At least two bridges I want to cross: Neuf and MIrabeau.

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa by JKleeman
Mona Lisa, a photo by JKleeman on Flickr.
Thinking of Paris today, amongst other things.

We will perhaps try to get closer than we did last time. Last time too many people were crowding her, snapping photos (which is supposed to be a no-no, I believe).