japonisme: 6/10/12 - 6/17/12

15 June 2012

woman as decoration (so what else is new?)

i have been trying to find the portfolio from which these images are taken for years, and, you guessed it: they're at the Wolf- sonian! all of the images are by our old friend, julius klinger, and one we've featured before. that's now two, with the hoytema calendars, searches laid to rest. but now that i see them all i'm somewhat troubled; do we duplicate too easily? do we grimace and prance as our natural practices?

i'm starting to wonder if my values aren't keeping up with the times. i'm also wondering if i'm a hypocrite. i have a google alert set up for the word japonisme, so whenever it's used online i get pointed in its direction.

for some time now, images from this blog have shown up on tumbler, but that site seems assiduously, somehow, to make sure every images is linked, one way or another, back to its source. enter pinterest, and the whole system falls apart. users link to tumbler rather than here, for one thing, or they just download images from here and assign themselves as the source.

i seem to have gotten myself really all tangled up with myself over this. then the pinterest users repin each other's pins, and soon any hint of source is non-existent. and i ask myself, given that there's nothing that can be done about it, 'should i care?'.

i know that it bothers me in part because i see things that i know required hours of work to make them appear effortlessly beautiful. but i also begin to wonder if that kind of 'ownership' in this kind of context has any meaning anymore.

add to that, i haven't always been perfect at attributing sources, so does that make me no different? i get email occasionally asking why don't i just use tumbler, as if it's getting to be that context, even any text, grows more meaningless every day as the image increas- ingly becomes all that matters.

once, back in the day, in the hippie commune where i was living in the haight-ashbury, some guy off the street (friend of a friend?) walked into my room, went through my drawers, found my little water-painting set, and began to paint. when i found him and objected, he told me i was too attached to ownership of physical things. was i a bad hippie? this is like that.

though am i any different? i spend all this time writing this stuff, and rarely read the text on other blogs. sure, i want my blog to be read, as does every blogger who puts in time, sometimes quite a bit, to write copy and context. and yet, how often do i just look at the pictures? heck, i have a whole wall of books on this subject, and how many of those have i read? i've looked at the pictures.

and isn't it a good thing, that so many people know about japonisme now (bunches of boards on pinterest! -- lots with my images)? i remember not so long ago when nobody had ever heard of gustave baumann or arthur wesley dow, let alone mabel royds ... or julius klinger. and yet i simmer and stew, as though the pixels were still part of my fingertips, and now dispersing into the ether.


11 June 2012

Jellicle Cats come out tonight


Jellicle Cats come out tonight
Jellicle Cats come one come all:
The Jellicle Moon is shining bright—
Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.

Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats are rather small;
Jellicle Cats are merry and bright,
And pleasant to hear when they caterwaul.
Jellicle Cats have cheerful faces,
Jellicle Cats have bright black eyes;
They like to practise their airs and graces
And wait for the Jellicle Moon to rise.

Jellicle Cats develop slowly,
Jellicle Cats are not too big;
Jellicle Cats are roly-poly,
They know how to dance a gavotte
and a jig.
Until the Jellicle Moon appears
They make their toilette and take their repose:
Jellicles wash behind their ears,
Jellicles dry between their toes.

Jellicle Cats are white and black,
Jellicle Cats are of
moderate size;
Jellicles jump like a jumping-jack,
Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes.
They're quiet enough in the morning hours,
They're quiet enough
in the afternoon,
Reserving their
terpsichorean powers
To dance by the light of
the Jellicle Moon.

Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats (as I said) are small;
If it happens to be a stormy night
They will practise a caper or two in the hall.
If it happens the sun is shining bright
You would say they had nothing to do at all:
They are resting and saving themselves to be right
For the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball.

T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot

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