from my Paris studio.
title: SMART SLATE
materials: slate from a Brittany quarry, figtree branches , sugru , industrial felt, vetiver perfume. May 2013
Barbara Kruger, “I Shop Therefore I Am (II)” (1987)
There are more than three dozen species in the family Paradisaeidae, more commonly known as the birds of paradise. Most are distinguished by striking colors and bright plumage of yellow, blue, scarlet, and green. These colors distinguish them as some of the world’s most dramatic and attractive birds. Males often sport vibrant feathered ruffs or amazingly elongated feathers, which are known as wires or streamers. Some species have enormous head plumes or other distinctive ornaments, such as breast shields or head fans.
Males put their bright colors and unusual ornaments to good use when they display for females. Their elaborate dances, poses, and other rituals accentuate their appearance and put on a phenomenal show for both female birds and any humans lucky enough to be in the vicinity. Such displays can last for hours, and in many species they consume a significant part of the male’s time.
“…So they told him to plead guilty.”
The photo above shows a surreal-looking ice cave on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. It was formed by a stream flowing from the hot springs associated with the Mutnovsky volcano. This stream flows beneath glacial ice on the flanks of Mutnovsky. Because glaciers on Kamchatka volcanoes have been melting in recent years, the roof of this cave is now so thin that sunlight penetrates through it, eerily illuminating the icy structures within.
The clown Harry Payne, in a photograph from the late 19th century, in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”
—from Either/ Or, Part One by Søren Kierkegaard (born 5 May, 1813; died 11 November, 1855),