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Which clippings match 'Nun' keyword pg.1 of 1
11 AUGUST 2012

Medieval manuscript illustrations were planned not doodled

"it's the word 'doodle' that really riles my pedantic dander. ... because, as I try to make clear, the images I post ... weren't scribbled into the margins by surreptitious snarkers whilst no one was looking. They were explicitly commissioned by the manuscript's patrons as part of the project from the very beginning. For the well–heeled noble, ordering a book was not just a matter of selecting the text; deciding on size, presentation, illustration, and ratio of naked dudes to non–naked dudes in the margins was all part of the process of getting a book made.

This is not to say that medieval readers and scribes didn't ever doodle. It's just easy to tell the difference between images planned as part of the manuscript's commission and those scribbled in by a creative, bored scribe or one of the later owners of the manuscript. Just as you might imagine, a reader might decide a chunk of text was particularly important and make a note in the margin ... Or, someone might just decide a page looked too blank and thus attempt to fill up some of that space [1]... See, the thing about medieval doodles is they look just like modern doodles ...

For this page [2], somebody sat down and sketched out a rough draft, showed it to somebody else, possibly even multiple somebodies. There were meetings. Consultants were brought in. The client was consulted. And at some point somebody said, 'Yes, that's very nice, the nuns smuggling that dude into their nunnery. Very topical. But I don't like that blanket. Too drab. Can we get someone to put some flowers on it? The difference is, I hope, clear. You don't doodle in gold leaf."

(Carl Pyrdum, 13 February 2012, Got Medieval)




annotationannotationsbookclientcomment systemcommentscommission • commissioned • doodledoodlingembellishmentexpository addendum • fill the space • footnotegloss (marginal notation) • gold leaf • illuminated manuscriptillustrationsinformation in contextmanuscript • manuscript illustrations • manuscriptsmargin notes • marginal illustrations • marginal notationmarginaliamarginsmedieval • medieval doodles • medieval readers • modern doodles • nakednotationnote in the marginnotesnunpage • planned images • planned not doodled • rough draft • scholia • scribbled • scribbled into the marginsvisual depiction


Simon Perkins
02 OCTOBER 2011

Un Chien Andalou: a masterpiece of surrealist cinema

"Acclaimed as a surrealist masterpiece, Un Chien andalou aggressively disconnects itself from narrative flow. The creators of this short film. Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, fully intended there to be no links between successive scenes. Fortunately this didn't inhibit their dreaming up of some of the most striking moments ever to be projected upon the silver screen. The opening focuses on a man (Luis Buñuel) stropping his cut–throat razor, honing it to a perfect edge. Stepping onto the balcony, he gazes at the moon. This celestial orb is instantly replaced with a woman and, enlarging rapidly, her left eye. The bare blade then descends on her unprotected pupil, a graphic incident.

Designed to shock, which it still does almost 70 years later, quick editing removes the image before it has time to fully sink in. Suddenly the viewer is faced with a nun–like figure weaving uncertainly down the road on a bicycle. There is no bridge to the previous horror, although this mysterious person does provide a number of objects which resurface at odd intervals. Later there is the unusual sight of a man (Robert Hommet) hauling two grand pianos, each stuffed with the putrefying remains of a donkey, as he trudges towards a cowering woman (Simone Mareuil). He is also unfortunate enough to have a hole in his hand, where the ants live. None of this is significant.

A marvellous aspect of something as wilfully bizarre as Un Chien andalou is that almost any interpretation can be drawn from the images shown. Perhaps every single scene is random and unconcerned with any other, although Buñuel certainly seems to have included items which are present throughout the film. In some ways the repeated glimpses of these things in situations where they shouldn't be adds to the confused feel, enhanced by the off–putting and nonsensical time–markers deployed.

The eternal themes of life, death, lust and love are thrown up at various points, although there is no framework on which to attach these emotions. This is of no consequence though as Buñuel has already hurried onto the next sequence, violently cutting so that the desired woman becomes naked in a flash – a picture of what are ardent suitor really sees. Un Chien andalou does not require such deep analysis though, being much more a film which should be purely experienced. It achieves that which Buñuel and Dalí aimed for and, with a live music accompaniment, is unstoppable."

(Damian Cannon, 1997)

Fig.1 Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí (1929). 'Un Chien andalou'


1929aggressionAn Andalusian Dog (1929)art film • cut-throat razor • deathdogdreamfilmFreudiangraphic representationinfluential works • interrupted narrative flow • lifeloveLuis BunuellustmasterpiecenakednunRobert HommetSalvador Dalishockingsilent filmSimone Mareuil • slice • slicedSpanish filmspectaclesurrealismsurrealist cinemasurrealist filmssymbolismUn Chien Andalou (1929)violencevisual metaphor


Simon Perkins

Luminous: by experimental choreographer Saburo Teshigawara

Sadler's Wells, 11 – 12 October 2003

"Luminous is a choreographic masterpiece danced with virtuosity and refinement, litheness and lyricism. Saburo Teshigawara, who created it for his company Karas in 2001, is also lead dancer and, with his long–time collaborator Kei Miyaka, responsible for music, costume and scene design. His choreography is thrillingly liquid and – through both movement and stillness – boldly explores the sculptural qualities of the human body. Trained in classical ballet as well as the plastic arts, Teshigawaraís [sic] dancing seamlessly integrates the formal and amorphous, controlled and wild, slow and frenzied dimensions of his choreography.

In part 1, the dancers streak in and out of patches of light which at first seem to entrap them, but from which they eventually escape with spellbindingly mercurial gestures. Light is explored with glass mirrors, luminous constumes, light–box silhouettes and masterful use of spotlighting. And darkness – which in Teshigawaraís fertile choreographic imagination seems so much more than merely the absence of light – is embodied in the remarkable Stuart Jackson, a dancer blind from birth whose contact with the space around him feels almost physical. When he spreads his hands, or tries to touch the air with outstretched arms, or twists and turns in a space that he seems to have perfectly measured out, he brings alive a world – almost a world–view – experienced through touch and movement alone.

After the interval, the atmosphere changes completely. Strange figures, phosphorescently lit, some minus heads or hands or entire upper torsos, caper around elusively. At one point a cloak flies over the stage. A nun–like figure is suspended mid–air. Two walls enclose a glowing green figure, and open and shut like a huge book. And then all this eerie activity gives way to a meditative solo by Teshigawara, in white on a bare stage, who alternates floating movement with sudden sharp slicing curves and fast spilling turns. He is eventually joined by a black–clad Jackson. They circle around each other, in a dialogue that seems incomprehensible to the on–looker and yet vital in every sense of the word.

The only irritation in Luminous is the portentous and sometimes vapid poetry read by Evroy Deer, which gets in the way of the dancing and dilutes rather than adds to its ëmeaningí [sic]. Apart from that, however, nothing is sensationalist or kitschy. Above all nothing is arbitrary: everything feels essential in the indefinable way of great art."

(Simon May, 2003, Online Review London)

Fig.1 Dominik Mentzos, 'Saburo Teshigawara'.




20012003 • absence of light • aestheticsballetblind • blind performer • choreographic imaginationchoreographyclassical balletcostumedancedarknessdesign formalismDominik Mentzoseerie • everything feels essential • evocative performance • Evroy Deer • figures in spacefloating • floating movement • gestureglassglowinggraphic representation • green light • interdisciplinary • interdisciplinary project • Karas (dance company) • Kei Miyaka • lightlight-box • litheness • Londonluminousluminous costume • lyricism • masterpiecemirrormovement • nothing is arbitrary • nun • phosphorescence • plastic arts • portentous • poses plastiquesSaburo Teshigawara • Sadlers Wells • scene design • sculptural qualities of the human body • sharp slicing curves • silhouettespace • spilling turns • spotlight • stage • Stuart Jackson • suspended mid-air • theatretorso • vapid poetry • virtuosity • visual dramavisual literacy


Simon Perkins

Agora Phobia (digitalis): Ambiguous Private/public Space

"Agora Phobia (digitalis) is a mobile monument for 'public isolation'. Travelling since 2000 in city public spaces such as Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Berlin it questions and archives mental images and strategies for being (un)safe and isolated. The project connects social experiences in both the physical and the virtual space creating a hybrid agora.

Project Description: Agora Phobia (digitalis) invites you in a semi-transparent, inflatable Isolation Pillar, in crowded city public spaces. Inside the Isolation Pillar one feels safe within an intimate space; and at the same time, lacking control over the outside, one feels vulnerable. The Isolation Pillar provides for an isolated communication space in which notions of being inside and being outside are reversible.

In the Isolation Pillar is an online computer. You are invited for an online dialogue with someone who lives isolated somewhere else, such as someone who has been living in prison, someone who lives in a cloister, someone living illegally in the city, a digi-persona, someone suffering from agoraphobia - who are invited as 'experience-specialists'."

(Karen Lancel and Hermen Maat)



agora • Agora Phobia • agoraphobic • digitalis • Hermen Maat • hermit • isolation • Karen Lancel • Netherlandsnunprivate/publicrefugesafetyvulnerability

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