Statue of Mercury in a Landscape painted by Charles Meynier 1763-1832
On this, the day of Obatalá, does anybody remember the film The Fall (2006)?
Fall today. Happy Equinox.
‘Kenneth Anger: Film as Magical Ritual’: Jaw-dropping German TV doc from 1970
If you’re a Kenneth Anger fan, be prepared to be seriously blown away by this astonishing German television documentary from 1970 that shows the master at work on Lucifer Rising. It’s fun to ponder, as you watch, what the average German must have thought about this film, which doesn’t flinch from presenting some of the most outrageous ideas and imagery ever to be broadcast to an entire (unsuspecting) nation. It’s magnificently freaky stuff.
Not only would this have been the first look the world would get of Anger’s magnum opus (which he is seen shooting Méliès-style in a tiny space) there are substantial excerpts from Fireworks, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Rabbit’s Moon, Puce Moment, and Invocation of My Demon Brother, which showed hash smoking (and cocks!) on TV. It’s impossible to imagine something like this ever getting on television in America 44 years ago, but I don’t think the BBC would have touched something this insane at the time, either.As filmmaker Reinhold E. Thiel admits in his voiceover, it was Anger directing himself that they got on film. As he states, Anger really wasn’t that into allowing them to film him in the first place, but when he did relent it was on his terms. Anger’s interview segments were shot as he sat behind a makeshift altar, lit in magenta and inside of the magical “war gods” circle seen at the end of the film.
Anger discusses his Aleister Crowley-inspired theories of art: How he views his camera like a wand and how he casts his films, preferring to consider his actors, not human beings but as elemental spirits. In fact, he reveals that he goes so far as to use astrology when making these choices.This is as direct an explanation of Anger’s cinemagical modus operandi as I have ever heard him articulate anywhere. It’s a must see for anyone interested in his work and showcases the Magus of cinema at the very height of his artistic powers. Fascinating.
"God of Door!"
"God of Door is a symbol of Chinese local belief. In the passing times, the local people preferred to put it on their doors to avoid evil spirits and disasters. Chinese people always believe that the God of Door has magical power to bring safety and fortunate to their family. I use this concept for my work to create a space of chaos style and make the picture come to live.I hope my work can bring fresh feelings to you!"
"So now I say it to you: Pass this with me. Here, in the warm parts. Now in your hands is a book that Drew and I made with our hands. We celebrate it. If the dead are watching, I want them to see us writing, dancing, singing, painting. I want them to see that we still reach out to each other."
Richard Siken, ‘Black Telephone’
Its begun! I’m coordinating a residency project in Valparaíso, Chile with the eminently capable and foxy Felipe Rivas San Martín (Chile), with support of friends at Áncora517 and Crac Valparaiso! It’s going to be 2 intense weeks in January 2015. If you want to slip out of midwinter to collaborate with an incredible group of international queer artists in one of the most breathtaking cities in the world in summertime, we’re accepting proposals until October 15.
Ya, se armó. Estamos coordinando este proyecto de Residencia Cuir en Valparaíso-Chile con Jamie Ross (Canadá), y con apoyo de lxs amigxs de Áncora y CRAC. Serán 2 semanas muy intensas (en enero - 2015). Se reciben postulaciones hasta el 15 de octubre. Información y formulario on line. Besos!
New Order - Dream Attack
Fall turns on the Toronto Islands
Rigoberto and Fredisvinda
There was once a great Santero named Rigoberto Rodriguez Duque Oshunyemí (iba’ye). He was great for many reasons. He initiated many, many priests in Madruga. According to Afolabí (iba’ye) he was the first white, Cuban born Olorisha to travel back to Africa, and he brought back with him many important “elements” of Orisha worship, such as the koide or loro feather (of the African Grey Parrot — this feather denotes priesthood in our religion and is indispensible). He also happened to win the Cuban national lottery six times, and in thanks for this amazing good luck, he bought the most beautiful objects for his Orisha. He had a solid gold, six inch pilón (mortar used as a throne seat) made for his Shango. So beautiful were his shrines for his Orisha that, rather than destroying them as is custom when a priest dies, they turned his house into a museum which still stands today.
My late Godfather had a deep love for Rigoberto and used to tell me many stories about him. One story he told was about how Rigoberto survived the revolution. During the Cuban Revolution and afterwards, “re-education camps” were opened for homosexuals and transvestites. Rigoberto, like many priests in La Regla de Ocha, was a known homosexual and so it was only a matter of time until this confirmed bachelor ended up in one of these camps. Thinking quickly, he decided the best course of action was to do as homosexuals had done for so long: marry someone.
In Lukumi, it is expressly forbidden for sexual relationships to happen between Godparents and Godchildren, as it is incest. However, Lukumi is an incredibly practical religion, and it’s practitioners follow suit. Rigoberto married one of his Godchildren, Fredisvinda Rossell, a young priestess of Oyá, who Afolabí says is a lesbian. By marrying her, they saved each other from the re-education camps.
They lived together until his death. The story I’ve been told is that one day Rigoberto decided that he had lived long enough. So, he brought his Orisha down to the mat and performed the itutu ceremony (funeral ceremony) for himself, sending away his Orisha. And when he had finished, he simply went to sleep and never woke up.
I guess he killed himself, though the implication in the telling of this story is always that he decided to leave his body — nothing so crass as how he killed himself is discussed, and the word suicide is never used.
Fredisvinda lived on after his passing and ran their house in Matanzas as a museum. Afolabí spoke to her once over the phone sometime in the early 2000s. I assume that by now she has passed on. He said of her that she dressed for Oya every day, always in floral prints. I’ve always had an admiration for those who dress for their Orisha every day, probably because of the way he described Fredisvinda doing so. I wish I knew more of her story, all I know is that she had fierce glasses.
My Godmother Odofemi for the history win!
Brazilian Muay Thai fighter, Felipe Nascimento.
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