Tomorrow belongs to me

Still relevant today! You just need to change the faces.

I remember seeing this when it was first broadcast. I was horrified, but probably not as distraught as my poor old Mum (RIP).

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I Am Kloot

Went to see them last night at the Electric Ballroom. It was OK. Slightly spoiled (OK, completely spoiled) by the news of the BBC exit poll at 10pm. Ugh.

(pic from Gigwise)

John Bramwell seems like a good guy, anyway. Witty and amiable. I just didn’t dig the material all that much. Capable support from Andy Burrows (not bad for a drummer).

Indigenous Australia: before the sheep arrived

Wanted to see this at the British Museum members’ evening but by the time I went to the desk they had run out of tickets! Didn’t matter – I spent the whole evening in ‘Bonaparte and the British’ anyway. But I think some people were quite unhappy about it.

British Museum blog

Gaye Sculthorpe, Curator, Oceania, British Museum

As curator of the BP exhibition Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation it is a great privilege to be presenting this major exhibition in London. Over the past two years, it has been a special and sometimes moving experience to view and discuss objects in the collection with artists and community visitors from Australia – and to see these special objects up close. It is a big responsibility to put together an exhibition that does justice to the cultural and historical complexity of the story of Indigenous Australia – a story that is still unfolding.

Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) by Kunmanara Hogan, Tjaruwa Woods, Yarangka Thomas, Estelle Hogan, Ngalpingka Simms and Myrtle Pennington. Acrylic on canvas, H 1790 mm, W 2330 mm, British Museum, London 2014,2009.1 © The artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project.Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters) by Kunmanara Hogan, Tjaruwa Woods, Yarangka Thomas, Estelle Hogan, Ngalpingka Simms and Myrtle Pennington. Acrylic on canvas, H 1790 mm, W 2330 mm. British Museum, London 2014,2009.1 © The artists, courtesy Spinifex Arts Project

Early British visitors to Australian shores were surprised to learn that there was more than one…

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Of sewing machines and umbrellas

According to Colin Burrow (LRB, 23 April), Denis Donoghue’s main claims are that metaphor ‘invokes things disgracefully far apart’ and that metaphors on the whole get better in proportion to the degree of disjunction between tenor and vehicle. This reminded me of Isidore Ducasse, better known as the Comte de Lautréamont, who famously described a young boy as ‘beau… comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d’une machine à coudre et d’un parapluie’ (beautiful as the accidental encounter, on a dissecting table, of a sewing machine and an umbrella) in Les Chants de Maldoror. OK, it’s a simile rather than a metaphor, but the same principle is at work.

The surrealists got terribly excited about this sort of thing. Man Ray, in a direct homage to Lautréamont, wrapped a sewing machine in a blanket, tied it up with strong and called the result ‘L’Enigme d’Isidore Ducasse’ (below). You can see a later version of this on display at Tate Liverpool, I gather.

German surrealist Max Ernst also referred to Lautréamont when describing surrealist painting as ‘a linking of two realities that by all appearances have nothing to link them, in a setting that by all appearances does not fit them.’ Dali painted a sewing machine with umbrellas in a surrealist landscape in 1941 (below). And Belgium’s René Magritte drew a series of full-page illustrations and vignettes in a caricatural style for a 1948 edition of Maldoror.