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28 NOVEMBER 2012

The Dark Ages were a time of great artistic achievement

"The Dark Ages have been misunderstood. History has identified the period following the fall of the Roman Empire with a descent into barbarism – a terrible time when civilisation stopped.

Waldemar Januszczak disagrees. In this four–part series he argues that the Dark Ages were a time of great artistic achievement, with new ideas and religions provoking new artistic adventures. He embarks on a fascinating trip across Europe, Africa and Asia, visits the world's most famous collections and discovers hidden artistic gems, all to prove that the Dark Ages were actually an 'Age of Light'.

In the first episode he looks at how Christianity emerged into the Roman Empire as an artistic force in the third and fourth centuries. But with no description of Jesus in the Bible, how were Christians to represent their God? Waldemar explores how Christian artists drew on images of ancient gods for inspiration and developed new forms of architecture to contain their art."

(BBC Four)

"The Dark Ages: An Age of Light" first broadcast BBC Four, 9:00PM Tue, 27 Nov 2012, duration 60 minutes.

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3rd century • 4th century • age of light • alpha • ancient Gods • androgynous • androgynyart history • artistic achievement • artistic adventures • artistic force • barbarian • barbarism • BBC FourBible • catacombs • Christian art • Christian artists • Christianity • Christians • church architecturecivilisation • cross-shape • cryptic marker • cryptic symbols • dark ages • dogmatic • Early Christian • godshistoryJesus Christmosaic • new forms of architecture • new ideas • omega • pagan • pagan religion • pagan tradition • paganism • palindrome • paternosterreligion • representations of God • representations of Jesus • Roman Empire • SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS • television series • Waldemar Januszczak • Xmas

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
05 FEBRUARY 2012

Pink Flamingos: a provocative celebration of otherness

"'Pink Flamingos was an antihippie movie made for hippies who would be punks in two years. It's a pothead movie. I wrote it on pot.' – John Waters"

(Jeff Jackson, DreamlandNews)

Fig.1 John Waters (1972). trailer for "Pink Flamingos".

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1970s1972androgynyart filmBaltimore Marylandblack humour • camping it up • celluloid moment • comedy • Cookie Mueller • cult filmcult movie • Danny Mills • David Lochary • defecate • deviancedisgust • disgusting • Divine (actor) • dog • Edith Massey • egg • excrement • faeces • female impersonator • film • flamboyance • flamingo • gaygrotesque • hippie • hippie exploitation • independent cinemaindie cinemainfamous • John Waters • lip synclowbrow • Mary Vivian Pearce • midnight movie • Mink Stole (actor) • mobile home • notorietyotherness • over-acting • over-the-toppink • Pink Flamingos (film) • poodleprovocativepseudonympunkpunk rock ethosqueer cinemashockshocking • Steve Yeager • subculture • swallow • tabootransgressiontrashunderground • underground star • USAviolence

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 MAY 2009

The Photomontages of Hannah Höch

"The 'bob–haired muse', the 'holy shears' and 'Dada's good girl' are a few of the epitaphs that prevail in the comfortable little niche art history has carved out for Hannah Höch. These sound bites are seriously challenged by this travelling retrospective organised by the Walker Art Center. 'The Photomontages of Hannah Höch' momentously reconstructs her marginalised role in early 20th–century art and perhaps even ordains her as the single most influential female artist of the century. The exhibition surveying Höch's 55 years of photomontage not only rescues her from the anti–art antics of the legendary Berlin Dada circle but inclusively chronicles her private and aesthetic journey through the social and cultural constructs that have emerged in the 20th century. While she may have been remembered by her bombastic Dada colleagues for her 'sandwiches, beer and coffee', her lifetime of artistic practice reveals a vital and critical woman who could magically collide disparate reproductions of needlepoint patterns, political figures, film stars, animal life and non–Western artefacts into explorations of androgyny, Aryan activity, gender roles, imperialism, race and lesbianism."

(Michelle Grabner, Issue 33 March–April 1997, Frieze Magazine)

Fig.1 Hannah Höch "Entwurf für das Denkmal eines bedeutenden Spitzenhemdes", 1922, Entwurf, Tafelmalerei, Collage, 27,4 x 17 cm, Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Ikonographie (Iconclass)

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1920s • abstract collage • aesthetic journey • androgyny • anti-art posture • anti-composition • artartistartistic practiceBauhaus School • Berlin Dada • collagecoloured papercultural constructs • cut-and-sew lines • cut-outDadadecorationdecorative arts • decorative beauty • decorative sewingdesign formalismearly 20th centuryembroideryembroidery design • erotic photomontage • female activity • female artist • female features • female leisure • feminist artist • film starformal elementsFrieze (magazine)gender rolesgenetic engineering • good girl • handicraftHannah Hoch • hausfrau • homosexualityillustrative styleimperialism • kitchen knife • manipulative propaganda • marginalisation • mens work • modern womanmodernist tradition • needlepoint patterns • New Weimer Woman • non-Western artefacts • photomontage • pictorially ordered • political satirequeernessretrospective exhibitionRussian constructivismsewing and craftsocial construction • social constructs • traditional crafts • tulle netting • tulle patterns • typography • vital and critical • Walker Art CenterWeimar Republicwomanwomen artistswomen in art and design • womens activities

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 NOVEMBER 2008

Liquid Sky: pleasure-seeking alien lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse

"A time–capsule cult movie from 1982: A pleasure–seeking alien lands in downtown New York and gets caught up in a world of casual sex and heroin abuse (the title itself is slang for 'heroin') by insinuating itself into the lives androgynous hipsters Margaret and Larry (both played by Anne Carlisle). Curiously cool, with plenty of early '80s fashion, a vivid colour scheme and a weird, pulsing electronic score.
Dir Slava Tsukerman US 1982, 112 mins, cert 18"

(Institute of Contemporary Arts, UK)

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1980s1982alienandrogyny • Anne Carlisle • art filmcasual sexcinemaclubbingconsumptioncoolcounterculture • crystal sceptre • cultdesigndesigner drugsdeviancedrug addiction • electro • electronic musicexcessfashionfashion modelfilmfuturistic • heroin abuse • Liquid Sky (1982) • make-upNew Yorkorgasmpsychedelicpunkrapesci-fiscience fictionspace shipspectaclesubculturesubversion • synth punk • synthesized musictransgression • Tsukerman • undergroundUSA

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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