Archive for the ‘image’ Category


April 10, 2013


picture by GGG. thank you. yeah, oldshool…

re: one

April 29, 2009

re: like re-visiting, re-tracing ones steps

it is funny how it sometimes comes together. my ongoing discussions with n about south africa back in the days, and him telling me about the former hotspot / place to be in johannesburg: hillbrow. then shortly after i stumble on tv over a bbc-documentary about: hillbrow. with a very nervous, stressed out reporter. well, for good reasons. one of the mindblowing scenes was when he asked a guy as to why they killed these police men “well, we wanted to sell their weapons”, which gets delivered so deadpan that i nearly had to laugh at the monstrosity of it all.

and then, forwarded through different email-accounts i have received the below email. i do not even know from whom it comes originally. it is a rather bitter retracing. a thank you to the unknown author.

and yes, i have been to johannesburg, and beside the incredible luxury, the gated communities and an amazing amount of really big fuck off cars you also find what you see below. the sick thing is that there is even worse: one has only to drive into cape town along shanti towns that seem to go on forever. and i guess the above cited little scene / sentence hit me so much because there it expresses a carelessness towards the human life which runs through society that is very scary. there were moments where it got surreal – i remember driving with n at night through downtown jo’burg and feeling transportet into a dystopian science fiction universe. i wasn’t afraid, beacuse somehow this could not be real… and this memory and looking at the below pictures reminded me strongly of the writing of j.g. ballard, who just passed away…

so let’s have a ride…

Bree Street , Johannesburg , Where Gold (Used) to Lie in the Street, Now, it’s Just Rubbish
Bree Street is one of the main thoroughfares running through the city centre of Johannesburg , from east to west. It runs right through the CBD, and used to be one of the major economic centers, as well as being a residential area.
Today, as you can see, it is a slum, another shattered, filthy, ruined monument to the “New South Africa .”


A Visit to Yeoville


Yeoville was one of the ‘trendiest’ places in Johannesburg . Its main thoroughfare, Rockey Street, was the place for a very late night out, and here one could find an eclectic mix of exotic shops, dining establishments, clubs and who knows what all else, if you really looked.
And today? Well, let’s let the pictures do the talking. My visit to Yeoville:

Corner of Raymond and Rocky Streets, Yeoville. This used to be quite a famous restaurant, I can’t recall its name offhand, but I am sure it was Mama’s.

Above: All that remains of the South Street cafe, Bellevue East, Yeoville. It’s still open, but I didn’t venture too close because of what appeared to be sewerage in the gutter, which really put me off a bit.

Above: The corner of Rockey and Bezuidenhout Streets, Yeoville. There used to be a late night takeway on this corner. It was a Kentucky Fried Chicken once upon a time as well.


Above: Looking down Bezuidenhout Street towards Rockey Street .


Above: A little further up Bezuidenhout Street …


Above: The BP Garage on the north corner of the major Rockey and Bezuidenhout Street intersection. One of two petrol stations in Rockey Road , both closed down due to being continuously robbed out of business. It was confirmed that the last owner of this petrol station was shot dead with an AK-47 during a robbery. The station was just abandoned, hence the pump’s pipes hang loosely there, normally BP would take their stuff away.

Above: A typical gutted house, corner of Muller and Bezuidenhout Streets. Even the roof has been stolen.


Above: Smashed apartments, Saunders Road Yeoville. Currently inhabited by squatters. The stench is unbelievable.


Above: Inhabited house, lower Rockey Street , towards Observatory. ALL of the houses here look like this. I recall that the chief photographer for Associated Press in 1990 telling me how happy he was to be buying a house here, and he looked at me all funny when I told him I didn’t think it was a good idea. Like all “good” liberals, he has probably since voted with his feet.


Above: Typical filthy apartment block, Pope Street .


Above: Street scene, Dunbar Street . Taken from my car while moving, as by now I had attracted attention and was being followed by an aggressive group of locals. It was time to leave Yeoville.
A Tour Through Hillbrow,


Above: Joel Street , Berea


Above: Apartments, Olivia Street , Berea


Above: Apartments, cnr Lily Ave and Olivia Street , Berea


Above: The ruins of the Sands Hotel, O’Reilly Street , Hillbrow


Above: The main entrance to the Sands Hotel, O’Reilly Street , Hillbrow — or rather should I say the ruins of the Sands Hotel main entrance.

Above: The ruins of the Mark Hotel , O’Reilly Road , Hillbrow. Incredible to think I actually stayed there while on holiday in 1984.


Above: A close-up of the ruins of the Mark Hotel , O’Reilly Road , Hillbrow.


Above: The main entrance to the old Hillbrow Squash Centre, Pretoria Street . The escalators have long since been smashed, and the one on the right is in such poor condition that it is dangerous, hence it has been blocked with an old car bonnet.


Above: Smashed block, claiming to be home to a High School, corner Pretoria and Quartz Streets.


Above: Parkview Apartment block, Lily Ave , Berea . Fairly typical state of the buildings in the suburb today. Inhabited.


Above: Burnt out and gutted apartments, Catherine Street , Hillbrow.


Above: Corner Soper and Catherine Roads, Hillbrow. Fairly typical street scene.


Above: A gutted and bricked up building, corner Claim and Kotze Streets, Hillbrow.


Above: A close-up of the bricked up Big Deals….


Above: The Nedbank Plaza and the ruins of the Cafe Zurich , formerly a great late night hangout which used to serve the most wonderful Black Forest cake… Pretoria Street , Hillbrow.


Above: The entrance to the Highpoint “shopping centre” on Pretoria Street , as it looks today. Note the very gutted building on the right. This seems to be a common pattern throughout the area.


Above: The Highpoint apartment block: back in the 1980s, it was the place to stay — if you had an apartment there, you really had arrived. Very popular with the rich students at Wits University , it was…


Above: Anyone remember buying records at the Hillbrow Record Centre, Pretoria Street , Hillbrow? Well you can’t anymore. It’s boarded and barred up, like many shops in the area.


Above: Street scene, Pretoria Road . Formerly one of the main shopping roads in Hillbrow. The mattresses and blankets are from locals who sleep in the streets.


Apartment dwellers, Claim Street , Joubert Park , central Johannesburg


Apartments, Berea , north eastern Johannesburg


The Rosa Hotel , Berea : boarded up and abandoned, but broken into by squatters and now occupied.
The Ruins of Johannesburg . . .


Above: Jeppe, east Johannesburg , inhabited houses

The View From the Gauteng Legislature Building
It’s a funny thing, the New South Africa . After taking over the old Johannesburg City Hall complex and turning it into the legislative assembly for the new ‘Gauteng’ province (essentially the old Witwatersrand region), presumably to make it pride of place for the province, they seemed to have forgotten what is all around them.. When one stands directly in front of the Legislature building, this is the view one has to the north (note the flagpoles!)

And below, a close-up of the view:


And below this is view one has to the east, or directly in front of you (the old Rissik Street Post Office. In 2003, the building, which has been empty since 1996, had its clock hands, bell and the entire copper dome stolen).


The Vanishing Impala
Oppenheimer Park , situated between President and Pritchard Streets, was a pleasant green spot in between the high rise commercial blocks of the old Johannesburg . Its central feature was a fountain, over which leapt a stunning piece of sculpture: a series of Impala, all linked. The statue was so marvelous that it was a tourist attraction in the official guides to Johannesburg . Here is what it looked like then:


By the late 1990s, Oppenheimer Park had been trashed by the New South Africa . Bits of the statue were stolen by being hack sawed off, probably to be sold as scrap metal. Finally, the inevitable happened, and the entire statue was stolen, hacked off its pedestal. On the pictures below, the original mountings can still be seen. The council has placed a table where the statues and fountain used to be.


yes, quite a trip. and yes, while i found it just spooky to see big parts of a town basically in ruins i guess it must be again different for someone who knew this toen before….

and no, i do not think it should be read as an excuse for “the old south africa”. and there is where my bitterness comes in: as many, i took to the streets and have been vocal against the apartheid regime. of course it wasn’t all that simple as i thought back then, but then it seemed like we were successfull (sweet, isn’t it): south africa was suddenly a place of hope: transition withouth war, maybe the most liberal and open constitution in the world – and a way to deal with its past in such an amazing way that still leaves me humble. much to learn from. and then of course the great man nelson mandela. south africa suddenly stood for a new world. a tolerant world where we all will live together.

yes, give me hope, joanna..

but then it now seems to go the way to many nations go: bored, sleeping politicans in the parliament more interested in picking their noses then in trying to solve any of the problems. wasn’t there a promise that we all become sisters and brothers – or more pragmatic: to provide housing and education to all?

but then it seems we all are satisfied – you know, it is now a democracy, and not apartheid anymore… well, that is when i get bitter. also toward myself. i am not taking to the streets anymore. even when i still believe that a society that allows that people live like shown above is a brutally careless society. but then we do not have a clear enemy anymore, and we woul maybe have to accuse the same ones that only 20 years ago we cheered…

no more international coalition of artists to demand that the promises given shall be fullfilled… but then it might became now apparent that the mayn facets of this country can hardly been fit in a catchy refrain. and yes, we have enough problems ourselves – crisis and all. but then did we not have already also our problems back then?

but then it is still a beautiful country with beautiful people – and weren’t there rumours that the inner city of jo’burg shall be re-developed again?

so, please, give me hope joanna…

not an…

February 10, 2009

…erotic drawing by monsieur cocteau (yes, i would like an original one – if anybody has one lying around…), but also some, hm, erotic art, well, this is real authentic street art…

…and when i took the pic there was a little boy (with his daddy) who loved this drawing – his daddy did not look very happy – and me taking a picture seemed to value it even more (“this man takes a picture of it!”)…


no holidays in gaza

January 11, 2009


there is apparently not much to do
except doing
I do not know …..


here you go
you may spread it


image and text by R in C


December 1, 2008


winter-time 4

November 3, 2008

italian war memorial / mediterranean coast, egypt

images by r at the mc in e

winter-time 3

November 3, 2008

image by dkb

winter-time 1

November 2, 2008

image by dkb

the (in)flexibility of steel

September 30, 2008

it feels like taking it a notch further: what applies to zarah leander also applies to leni riefenstahl. aaah, leni: actress, filmmaker, personal friend of a certain adolf. high priestess of heroic beauty. and unable to tell us something about history.

different then zarah leander she did not even keep the most minimal distance to the regime of the nazis. unlike zarah leander she used the totalitarian system of the time directly for her purposes. and it is somewhat strange to see her paint herself as a victim… as seduced by adolf and his writings. well…

but then again i can just be very cautious. and i actually want to use the example of leni riefenstahl for two other purposes then slaging her of as an opportunist – for this we will have herr karl in the next post.

first her work and the reactions to it and the influence it has, the traces it leaves, is an interesting example to muse about art and society – or maybe formulated differently: aesthetics and the political system. the aesthetic of her films are called fascistic – but what does that mean? by showing the parteitag? does the topic make the aesthetic? by showing only beautiful, young, athletic people? hm, ever read vogue lately? the thing is that leni riefenstahl maybe would have made very similar movies in a different political environment. that thought makes her work actually more cynic… but it also shows how we try to distance ourselves, or rather try to draw lines where there aren’t always some: a great aesthetic can show up on the wrong places.

the connection between art and society seems to be more complicated then “fascistic system=fascistic art”. leni riefenstahl’s movies were undoubtly one thing at her time: groundbreaking. and many art that was new and groundbreaking, from music to painting to literature to theater was made by artists with not necessarly good and right political attitudes. and anyway we will have a problem agreeing on what is good and right. maybe it boils down again to the questions if also artists which we hate can make art that is relevant, and how much an artist has a responsability as a citizen in his / her art. I just find it too easy to dismiss it as fascistic and also to insinuate the fascits had bad taste anyway – oilpaintings of the german forest and all that… the example that always springs to mind is the one of the futurists… have a look for yourself here – and be sure to read the introduction – down to the last sentence.

second there is something which fascinates me in the reception of leni riefenstahl. something that was for me maybe the first aspect of her work, but just rarely gets mentioned. it has something to do with the first picture not by her, but of her that i remember having seen:

yep, everybody might talks about the extreme aestheticism of her work – but what about…the sexyness of it all? allright, i was young, and i was terribly impressed to be able to stare at a naked man.

and this picture also denies this nakedness by her appearance and making clear that this colonial style dressed lady is hanging out with the primitives in africa – and has therefore a similar effect like the extreme aestheticism of most of her movies: it is so much about a certain beauty that it seems we do not even see that it is also about sexual attraction. which might be why it fitted so well with adolf: dreaming of this extreme militarise, homosocial society, singing the song of the beauty of the man – but of course deny that there could be something like a physical attraction where it should not belong. So i do find it overdue to point out also the sexyness of her olympia movie. and while totalitarian organisations will fight hard to draw a very clear line between homoscial and homoerotic (don’t ask, don’t tell), it is also interesting that critics of leni riefenstahls work do not like to admit this aspect of some of her films. it is kind of cute how to me it seems that everybody, for different reasons, wishes for a sanitized represantation of the physical: either to glorify it, or to condemn it. hardly anybody ever admits that it would be nice to explore these bodies of these burschen and mädels (of all races, mind you) with more then our eyes… again it seems rather irritating to admit that desire might transgress ideological lines. yes, we are back with – jean genet. is it allright to desire the political enemy? well, jean genet knew all along that politics are also always politics of desire…

and it is especially this aspect which shows up even more visible in one of the clearest examples of the appropriation of her work in pop culture. it is basically a cut up of snippets out of her movies. officially sanctioned by herself.

yeah, rammstein covering depeche mode to the images of riefenstahl. for me still a glorious moment of postmodernist pop culture. and rammstein are the perfect modern day example how desire just will not be acknowledged if it does not fit: using extensive homoerotic visuals in different ways, it is, when acknowledged, seen either as highly ironic, or as actually ridiculing fags. and the style always gets conflated with the question of the band being gay – which can not be, since they’re not doing gay music, right? but while i do find the question if the members of the band are gay or not not so interesting (not true: i do quite like the singer and his, hm, jaded physique. definitly interesting), i do find the occurence of a certain homoerotic, even -sexual aesthetic quite interesting. there is the crass explicitly sexual example (which by its lyrics always seems to me a reply / modern version to soft cell’s numbers), the somewhat odd example, by presenting a not so obvious choice of dominator. and then there is the downright irritating example which is somewhat lesser known – interesting enough this video is said to be one of their most controversial. hmmm…

i think what i want to get at is the idea that, although part of the fun of looking at the work of rammstein is their ambiguity, many videos allow for a reading that they try to install another gay aesthetic: a hard and sometimes cynic aesthetic, one that uses the vocabulary developed within totalitarian contexts. and here closes the circle again: while the homoerotic in leni riefenstahls work could be called “a necessary side effect”, to me it seems that it is an integral part, and it is an integral part, but rather as a starting point for the aesthetic of rammstein. and it is intersting that many reactions to both aesthetics are very similar in denying this element. where we are back at the seemingly annoying quality of desire, and especially this queer one to not respect drawn lines…


August 2, 2008

the mosque of saida zeinab, shia place of worshipping, women’s section, shokran gazilan, damascus, july 2008 – image by R in D

bite hard

July 8, 2008

scott treleaven, the salivation army black book (p. 196)

actualité: summer

June 21, 2008

monoto postcards

rat race

June 9, 2008

for mb


May 5, 2008

since on KKK (see last post) there is actually a song called wild fucker (and he is truly singing “i’m a wild fucker”: the man has guts, well, i guess balls would be more appropriate) and before you all forget that you’re on a queer blog i thought it time for some art.


an alli figger vo dere welt…….

…….lönd oi figge!

FUCKERS of the world……………………………………get FUCKED!

from “gfiggt” GRR10

pointers: d.k.b – and then some more great music

March 31, 2008

well – great music will also come up here – i am just listening thru some stuff to do some posts about. something…different. but then that’s to be expected, right? and then i got some more stuff from the duchess and then i guess i have to post some dirty guitars for all the visitors from the twilightzone!

in the meantime:

d.k.b. finally did it! time to pat me on the shoulder…eeerr, to pat him on the shoulder: he started his own blog, throwing up his art (music and images). very slick. so head over and have a look! very slick and of course in a good way…hmmm…strange.


(tearoom 4 B by dkb)

and then i would like to send you over to urbanology for some music: if you liked lord antics, then you most probably also like the kingstonians. and he posted booker t. & the m. g.’s – aaah, yes. and he promised to post some otis, too. but the best is still to come: fat freddy’s drop – live in amsterdam. mmmhhh – this is so smooth and gentle and nice – who needs springtime with music like this? i have to admit that they shone up on my radar, but i never took the time to listen to them. shame on me. one of the great discoveries of the last months for me.

so – that’s all for now. keep these comments flowing and – enjoy!