Wow – an awesome list painstakingly compiled by Kajzh Hamm (fb.me/brambleroots) of many examples of the cultural phenomenon of locked hair across all six inhabited continents of the world:
> Indians (called jata, seen on sadhu and sadhvi; also seen on fakirs)
> Rastas (called dreadlocks)
> Polish (called kołtun)
> English (Shakespeare called the early stages of freeform knotting fairylocks)
> Gaels (called glibbes)
> Cree (Chief Pitikwahanapiwiyin/Poundmaker, Chief Little Bear, Baby Jack, and He Who Shows His Blood had them; exact name for it unknown)
> Mojave (Chief Inétabe had them; they were called hair rolls)
> Himba (called ozondjise)
> Nazarite (as per the Nazarite Vow in the Bible)
> Egyptian (Tutankamun was discovered to have had them upon his exhuming; many wigs show locked hair)
> Tlingit (a shaman named Tek’ic was photographed with them)
> Mbalantu (called eembuvi)
> Hamar (called goscha)
> Contemporary diasporic Africans (called locs after the 1990s)
> Aztec (described in the Durán Codex, the Codex Tudela and the Codex Mendoza)
> Chilean Pre-Inca Waris (had no writing system, so we don’t know what they were historically called — though mummies survive)
> Nyamal (name unknown)
> Tibetans (called “ralpa changlocan,” part of tantric Vajrayana practice, seen on ngakpas)
> Pima-Maricopa (Chief Tashquinth “Sun Count”)
> Sicilian (Gna Vanna’s locks were indisposable to her witchcraft)
> Bishari (name unknown)
> Aboriginal Australians
> Mongolians (shamanic practice)
> Maori (loose freeform locks called “rino makawe”)
> Ethiopian Tsemays
> Papua natives
> Fiji natives
> Angolan Mwilas
> Rarotongas of the Cook Islands
> Ni-Vanuatu of Tanna Island
> Kwaaymii (Wa Amaay Kwakas aka Paints the Sky Yellow, aka Yellow Sky had them)
> Drokpa Nomads (located in Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya)
Not that anyone asked, but Leonard Cohen was a kindred spirit to me for the following reason. I felt that he was someone who had a predator spirit, but was clearly self-conscious about it, just like me. I felt that his songs spoke to those like me who are susceptible to making other humans their muses, to deriving ‘inspiration’ from humans they find beautiful, to roving and waiting like hungry wolves. Sometimes I see what I am and I say that I and my kind are a pestilence upon the innocent earth (Radiohead’s ‘creeps’ and ‘weirdos’ lol). But Leonard Cohen taught me to meditate on my objectifying instincts to make them into self-aware acts dignified enough to be shared with the muse, in principle or in practice. ‘We are ugly, but we have the music,’ he said. I guess he took this sublimation to its logical extreme in ‘If It Be Your Will’, making an act of admiration into a form of totally submissive worship. At the other end of the spectrum, he taught me not to overstate inspiration (‘that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often’). To me, the same thread ran through all of his lyrics about desire – a painfully strong intention to say, and to only say, something true. His comments on the mundane and the sublime are cut from the same cloth.
I’m not entirely sure what made me start writing this but (and now I apologize for possibly turning this into another boring-ass 2016 socio-political facebook fart) it might be because I believe it’s easier for me as a woman to be confessional about my predatory spirit (I’ve never been chastised about ‘the female gaze’), and I do like to speak up (if and) only if I can say something I think other people aren’t saying. Of course, I can only speak for myself. But I think what I mean to say is that Cohen, among others, has helped me deal with my masculinity, and for that I’m supremely grateful.
My job means that I’ve regularly worked with (mostly male) photographers and artists for most of the last decade, so the male gaze has, for better or worse, ended up being one of my primary objects of casual study throughout my adult life, haha. ‘Let me see your beauty broken down,’ it says to me during my typical working day, ‘as you would do, for one you love’. I’ve learned to deal with this request with more compassion as I recognize with increasing sensitivity that the roving poets and I are the same creatures. It dawns on me anew every day that, despite what people like to say about male desire being ‘simple’, which perhaps it is, I’ve nevertheless been fortunate enough to discover the sheer variety in the relationships men have with their desire – one of the most complex and fascinating things I’ve come across in nature. I’m grateful that Leonard Cohen shared this aspect of his nature with with such clarity.
So thank you, Mr. Cohen for teaching me to handle inspiration with dignity, to take my subject matter seriously and not myself, and to strive for truthfulness at all costs in my ongoing attempts to convert my human desires and longings into something worth sharing.
At this point, even I thought I was pretty weird. One morgen I woke up and saw the need to make a Rorschach-style monster shadow-selfie around the vertex where the cups cupboard met the fridge – as one does. I saw it as as disembodied type of yogic sunrise meditation.
Today it reminds me of an earlier point in my life when I was only able to express myself through shadows…
This is the trailer for ‘Models. Der Film’, a documentary by Leif Allendorf about four different models living and working in Berlin – Jenny Jane, Melanie Unrau, Nadya Wendt and me. The movie involves interviews and some footage of each model at work. In this version my voice is dubbed into Deutsch. Continue reading
In case you’ve ever wondered where some of my stranger image titles/captions in various places around teh web come from, I’ve decided it’s time to let you all know – and I’ve mentioned it before but you may not have gotten that memo – that they don’t come from my deranged imagination fully formed, not at all – they’re only based on the contents of my brain. They are in fact Markov-chain generated, based on one- and two-word units from everything I’ve ever written on Facebook. It’s all thanks to a brilliant piece of software developed by some nerds at Princeton, who created http://www.what-would-i-say.com for the benefit of mankind. It’s great fun, fascinating if you’re into statistics, linguistics or algorithms, and of course a very useful resource for a lazy absurdist.
I have an interview in the webzine JUNNNKTANK with 3 n’s. Warning: involves words.
Article includes images by: Artco, Dan Fehr, Malcolm Mellon, Markus Henttonen, and Richard Maxim.
there was a sprawling, semi-underground, tarpaulin-covered, semi-man-made structure set upon a dramatically undulating terrian flowing with rapid bluish green river water that had many smooth boulders in its bed as was evident from the numerous humps that it swished over, spitting only slightly. Continue reading
i had a very clear idea of what i wanted the software to do – the architects’ software that would enable me to design the world’s greatest swimming pool. it was more than a swimming pool actually; it was to be a sprawling, endless network of curvilinear waterway tunnels, circular halls, enclaves, coves, caves, caverns, cascades, chutes, falls and flumes; a vast, intricate complex of diverse spaces and environments, mostly indoors and dark like a cinema or a nightclub, although there would be airier, daylight-filled spaces to be discovered unpredictably throughout the way. it would have environments to appeal to people of all ages and temperaments, different spaces and modes for every mood. Continue reading
…a few months ago, someone asked me on Tumblr if there were any recording of my voice, and I said there was going to be an recorded interview coming up. Well, here it is! I’m not going to listen to it, but you can.
“Rebecca discusses acknowledging and embracing the sexual aspects of her imagery, nude and fetish modeling, collaborating with model Gestalta, wanting to be a character actor, short films and music videos as a revealing medium of self-expression, the unique perspective she brings to her photography, body awareness and modeling outdoors.”
Now this is interesting…to me, and really only because someone quoted a line from one of my interviews on a random topic, which technically makes me a cited philosopher now, doesn’t it? So I can give myself a pat on the head for that. Belle and Sebastian released a song called ‘Suicide Girl’, and SuicideGirls made a music video for the song. One Jim Williams of Kentucky* shared the video and said the following: “This video is described as a “Suicide Girls love letter to Belle and Sebastian”, and yet, presumably, Stuart work mark it ‘Return to Sender’. Stuart’s lyric for ‘Suicide Girl’ is not condemnatory, but it certainly expresses regret regarding the girl who “gives it all away”. The idea that the Suicide Girls phenomenon appeals to a “radical side” is of course ridiculous. Pornography is what it is – it’s neither radical nor conservative. That said, I’m not convinced that a woman loses anything by being paid to be filmed naked. And nor is artist, model and photographer, Rebecca Tun, who sums up this patronising, reductionist view as follows: “an unconscious line of reasoning [that runs] a bit like this: women revealing their bodies is a sexual act; female sexual activity consists of giving something away as if it were a finite commodity (it can after all be bought). Therefore when a woman reveals her body she’s giving something away, somehow decreasing the value of her assets.” For my part, the last woman I met who was ‘wrapped up in books’ (which included Nadine Strossen’s ‘In Defence of Pornography’ and Avedon Carol’s ‘Nudes, Prudes and Attitudes: Pornography and Censorship’) was also frequently ‘unwrapped’, in both pornographic magazines and lovers’ rooms. No fantasy affairs – she dared to get wet, so to speak.” I don’t have anything to add to the discussion at the moment. I think Jim hit the nail on the head in describing the attitude in question as both ‘patronizing’ and ‘reductionist’. *correction: Jim of Stafford, Staffordshire, and not Staffordsville, Kentucky 🙂