Category Archives: New York

The Nomi Song

Klaus Nomi exemplified the anomie, alienation and detachment of New Wave, its angular aesthetic as well as its heavy-handed irony (looking utterly bizarre while singing about being “a simple man” for instance).

The Nomi Song

Klaus Nomi exemplified the anomie, alienation and detachment of New Wave, its angular aesthetic as well as its heavy-handed irony (looking utterly bizarre while singing about being “a simple man” for instance).

In the Mirror of Maya Deren

Using film extracts, original interviews and audio recordings of her subject, Kudláček demonstrates the extent to which poetry, dance, ritual and filmmaking were indivisible elements of Deren’s art.

In the Mirror of Maya Deren

Using film extracts, original interviews and audio recordings of her subject, Kudláček demonstrates the extent to which poetry, dance, ritual and filmmaking were indivisible elements of Deren’s art.

The Chelsea

On the one hand it’s depressing that major cities are so bent on removing any trace of character from their centres. On the other hand a counterculture whose continued existence depends on a preservation order surely isn’t really a counterculture anymore.

The Chelsea

On the one hand it’s depressing that major cities are so bent on removing any trace of character from their centres. On the other hand a counterculture whose continued existence depends on a preservation order surely isn’t really a counterculture anymore.

Look back with Anger

We saw Kenneth Anger yesterday, kicking around the semi-ruin of Aleister Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema. He’s also been on my screen in Martina Kudláček’s brilliant 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which I’ve watched twice over the last few days.

Look back with Anger

We saw Kenneth Anger yesterday, kicking around the semi-ruin of Aleister Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema. He’s also been on my screen in Martina Kudláček’s brilliant 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which I’ve watched twice over the last few days.

Dress-down Friday: Sebastian Droste

Sebastian Droste dropped anchor in New York like a swishy Nosferatu and tried to seduce the city with his own remix of druggy Weimar dread and an assumed barony, an exotic manifestation of Mitteleuropa in the New World.

Dress-down Friday: Sebastian Droste

Sebastian Droste dropped anchor in New York like a swishy Nosferatu and tried to seduce the city with his own remix of druggy Weimar dread and an assumed barony, an exotic manifestation of Mitteleuropa in the New World.

The Baron

When Carl Theodor Dreyer’s film Vampyr premiered in Berlin 80 years ago, audiences jeered and a contemporary review noted, among other unfavourable comments, that the vampire theme was already passé.

The Baron

When Carl Theodor Dreyer’s film Vampyr premiered in Berlin 80 years ago, audiences jeered and a contemporary review noted, among other unfavourable comments, that the vampire theme was already passé.

Witch’s Cradle

A bafflingly unexplored moment in Maya Deren’s early career, one which unites her with the most revolutionary artist of the 20th century as well as its most important patron.

Witch’s Cradle

A bafflingly unexplored moment in Maya Deren’s early career, one which unites her with the most revolutionary artist of the 20th century as well as its most important patron.

At home with Harry Smith

Harry Everett Smith checked out of New York’s Chelsea Hotel in 1991, forwarding address unknown, and like William S. Burroughs and Herbert Huncke, his face and voice advertised a life which by rights should have ended some time before.

At home with Harry Smith

Harry Everett Smith checked out of New York’s Chelsea Hotel in 1991, forwarding address unknown, and like William S. Burroughs and Herbert Huncke, his face and voice advertised a life which by rights should have ended some time before.

The rhythm divine

Deren became fascinated by voodoo, which embodied multiple overlapping interests which she had already explored in film, including dance, ritual and altered states of consciousness. Choreographer Katherine Dunham described her as “possessed by rhythm”.

The rhythm divine

Deren became fascinated by voodoo, which embodied multiple overlapping interests which she had already explored in film, including dance, ritual and altered states of consciousness. Choreographer Katherine Dunham described her as “possessed by rhythm”.

Scarlet sheila

In 1908 Leila Waddell left Australia and toured Europe and the United States with a vaudeville act made up of female violinists, along the way encountering Aleister Crowley who was captivated by the part-Maori beauty.

Scarlet sheila

In 1908 Leila Waddell left Australia and toured Europe and the United States with a vaudeville act made up of female violinists, along the way encountering Aleister Crowley who was captivated by the part-Maori beauty.

Huncke burning love

While he associated with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke’s natural milieu was drug dealers and prostitutes with names like Japanese Rose, Louie the Lip and Crazy Ozzie.

Huncke burning love

While he associated with William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke’s natural milieu was drug dealers and prostitutes with names like Japanese Rose, Louie the Lip and Crazy Ozzie.

Dada Baroness

There is ample evidence to suggest that the “Dada Baroness”, with her compulsion to invest mass-produced objects with totemic significance, exerted a strong influence on Duchamp’s readymades and thus on the entire history of 20th century art.

Dada Baroness

There is ample evidence to suggest that the “Dada Baroness”, with her compulsion to invest mass-produced objects with totemic significance, exerted a strong influence on Duchamp’s readymades and thus on the entire history of 20th century art.

Vampyr’s curse

Aristocracy and avant-garde ballet, high fashion and horror films, Jazz Age Paris and disco-era New York all improbably met in the impeccably chic person of Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg.

Vampyr’s curse

Aristocracy and avant-garde ballet, high fashion and horror films, Jazz Age Paris and disco-era New York all improbably met in the impeccably chic person of Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg.

Strange dreams

Harry Everett Smith was a tireless archivist of American folk and blues music, a music producer, a gifted abstract painter, a prodigious collector and an explorer of the less trafficked byways of mysticism, to name just a few of his occupations.

Strange dreams

Harry Everett Smith was a tireless archivist of American folk and blues music, a music producer, a gifted abstract painter, a prodigious collector and an explorer of the less trafficked byways of mysticism, to name just a few of his occupations.

Gladys & Groucho

Gladys Bentley was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance and a fixture of New York nightclubs in the 1920s, where she would step out in drag-king finery and flirt outrageously with women in the audience.

Gladys & Groucho

Gladys Bentley was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance and a fixture of New York nightclubs in the 1920s, where she would step out in drag-king finery and flirt outrageously with women in the audience.

Dress-down Friday: Moondog

What appeared at first to be the flamboyant gesture of a harmless eccentric served a very definite purpose. His arresting outfits were a way of distinguishing himself from others who also lived off the largesse of passers-by.

Dress-down Friday: Moondog

What appeared at first to be the flamboyant gesture of a harmless eccentric served a very definite purpose. His arresting outfits were a way of distinguishing himself from others who also lived off the largesse of passers-by.