Monday 20 May 2013

Self portrait, Southsea, first half of 1980s....Palais Royal and Luxembourg Fountain

 Le Gibus, Paris...
 Bateman Street Oakland, ph Kristin Ross, 1985
Passage du Grand Cerf before rebuilding

Thursday 16 May 2013

Some queerish outcomes of archives....

Here I am just re-editing some photographs from an archive I used in Street Noises and commented at some length. In my view the archive - or at least these images - was first turned up to the light of day in the wonderful Cahiers gais, kitsch, camp, but appeared there without comment. 

I rediscovered them after what seemed like fruitless months in the Archives Nationales, remember, no digital catalogues, trying to make the words homosexual, invert, sailor, legionnaire rhyme and coincide. 

The outcome was this extraordinary record of the surveillance of homo sailors in Toulon and their friends, admirers and, sometimes, clients. Florence Tamagne rediscovered them again in her big book on Homosexuality, but without acknowledging either the Cahiers or me - (I often giggle at the provincialism of French scholarship....Anyway pics, then some pages from Street Noises.)

Entre temps, let me say, that these PERFORMANCES remind me why I never went with the Butlerian performative, that somehow, for me, traduced both J L Austin and gaiety..

The cover picture Hélène Hourmat gave me for Street Noises shares this poetic, uncannily, and that, if you like, is the pathos formel, an involuntary memory of an affect. It helped me to write, having this image in mind,

 So here are four pages from long-out-of-print SN on the sailors......... jpegs

Wednesday 15 May 2013

More Images of the Paris Commune, an old exhibition

Here are some boards from the fifty or so that I made for an exhibition I made, in the very early 80s I think, for the Portsmouth City Gallery. It was an attempt to make a narrative out of image collage and juxtaposition, using as few words as possible, but plenty of written archive material, police reports and so forth, that normally remain the historian's secret. I wanted to dramatise the gestures of class struggle and social conflict and also to figure PARIS AS THE CITY ELECT OF URBAN MASSACRE, as well as most aspects of the Commune that were then historiographically current. 

This has much in common with the history from below movement in France and the work of Alain Dalotel and Jean-Claude Freiermuth, as well as, more ambivalently, Les Revoltes Logiques. Necessarily it was a bit more workerist than that and maybe more inspired by Lucien Descaves novel Philémon, vieux de la vieille. I'll scan some of these materials too in the near future.

All of this was made from my own slides, negatives or positives, often taken in quite perilous postures in archives and libraries and I printed all of it, apart from the small colour images, on different weights of Kentmere paper in the Fine Art Department darkroom. I loved this endless artisanal work and the rough feel of the display gave some sense of the difficult conditions of the survival of these bits of paper.  

The last two show some of the work of Gaillard and his son, with some pages from Gaillard's pamphlet on foot-shaped shoes, police reports and then, below, from shoes to Barricades, that Gaillard authored just as he had authored the gutta percha boot!

the enemies of the Republic, documents listing silver carried by Napoleon 111's defeated army and items from the Exposition... with satire, Victor Hugo

The Club movement of the late Second Empire and Commune, the upper image of the board immediately above is from a series of 16  unedited journalistic drawings in the BHVP, above Gaillard fils journal, see older posts on my blog for better definition.
 The image of the workers at the Exposition Universelle and as Criminals after the Commune

the Siege, famine, the middle class woman as christian charity

satires of priesthood

politics and photo-reportage

Petroleuses, club women, less than human, ready to die..

Death to, death of...

The Vendôme column, Courbet, Napoléon, Armould's signing of the decree of demolition

Thiers in three cartoons by Gaillard fils (my hero, if ever I were to queer the Commune it would start with him,,,,), below two more by him, Thiers and the Plutocracy, Thiers and Prussia

Aide memoir and repetition of images against rulers.. below, images of the end, the rag-picker as collector of the waste of the slaughter..

Here is a short note made fore a Centre Cath conference at Leeds some years ago where I opened for myself the question of queering the Commune, the lecture, in French, at the Centre Pompidou, where I do set out from the drop of cum can be found at, but no Commune Ha!

it is the fourth, all worth watching: