patternsthatconnect

abstract art, a systems view

Against Nature

with 3 comments

When I was an art student, many years ago, our Aesthetics tutorial group were encouraged to read Against Nature by JK Huysmans, one of those books that I find stays with you for a long time, in that it keeps coming back to memory. I do not know how much that is to do with the brilliance of the book and how much the brilliance of the tutor.

When I was visiting Nottingham Contemporary recently I saw a copy in the book store and wondered why they had it there. Then, when I saw the Klaus Weber exhibition, it became clear.

Sun Press (Against Nature) contains layers of allusion to the natural, and our idea of it. A heliostat on the roof concentrates the sun’s rays to print A Rebours (Against Nature) by JK Huysmans in the gallery below. The ultimate natural force is harnessed to slowly reveal a book that was explicitly a break with the 19th century Naturalist style of literature.

An alternative translation of the book title is “Against the Grain” you can read the whole book here.

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Written by Andy Parkinson

December 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

3 Responses

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  1. When I was an art student our theory lecturer encouraged us to drop out and kill ourselves. We stopped going naturally and later learned his contract had not been renewed. Mostly we read rude comics and listened to harsh music. We went to loads of exhibitions and hardly understood anything. We thought all the lecturers were deluded fools and wished we went to a really top art school where the lecturers were really famous artists who would tell us their life stories over a few drinks. Mostly we ended up teachers until we were fired for not knowing anything beyond a working knowledge of Led Zepplin’s discography.

    CAP

    December 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    • Sad story. I have had a lot more bad teachers than good ones. But the good ones have been brilliant!

      Andy Parkinson

      December 27, 2011 at 10:17 am

  2. Dan Zukovic’s “DARK ARC”, a bizarre ‘Huysman’s’ noir dark comedy called “Absolutely brilliant…
    truly and completely different…” in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD through
    Vanguard Cinema (http://www.vanguardcinema.com/darkarc/darkarc.htm), and is currently
    debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it’s World Premiere at the Montreal
    Festival, and it’s US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange
    (“White Noise”), Kurt Max Runte (“X-Men”, “Battlestar Gallactica”,) and Dan Zukovic
    (director and star of the cult comedy “The Last Big Thing”). Featuring the glam/punk
    tunes “Dark Fruition”, “Ire and Angst” and “F.ByronFitzBaudelaire”, and a dark
    orchestral score by Neil Burnett.

    TRAILER : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPeG4EFZ4ZM

    ***** (Five stars) “Absolutely brilliant…truly and completely different…something you’ve never tasted
    before…” Film Threat
    “A black comedy about a very strange love triangle” Seattle Times
    “Consistently stunning images…a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, “Dark Arc” plays like a candy-coloured
    version of David Lynch. ” IFC News
    “Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is…Don’t see this movie sober!” Metroactive Movies
    “Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. ” American Cinematheque

    vancinema

    April 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm


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