The first time I heard that
the moon smells like gunpowder,
I thought “At’ta girl”
before wondering what big hurt
could leave such a stench
for such a time
And if the way I’m looking at you now,
like you’re the man in the moon,
is anything of a precursor
to that kind of desolation
I think maybe it came
from colliding with something
which made you feel so much smaller
than you were
And finding you’ve mostly changed
after it’s over
TALK TO ME
I am on the edge of
my seat like a cliff,
tired of tedious tongues.
My creaky heartbeat
is heard through the ribs
and people glare,
but I do not think that
the human things
are vulgar things.
And I've been
meaning to ask
if you have a pulse
under all those limping words.
If you ever say things
like battery cables
clamped to arteries.
I bet you'd be
ripeness turning to rot
under the heat of my hands.
I bet you sound like me
in a darkened room.
The dope man
lives in my house. He drinks my orange juice
and steals Mom’s money for Swedish Fish.
My dog licks his toes like beef-flavored biscuits
but the rest of us don’t know who he is.
I buy him Subway on my walk
to the Saturday market, ask what he’s doing today.
“Probably sleeping,” says the sad, melted enchilada
on a dirty yellow couch.
The television glares like a cop at the airport,
burning eyes into our soft brown skin. It’s hollow,
and it’s sad, too. I watch our dog curl up in a burrow,
finding winter in spring, spring in his feet,
like the seasons don’t matter ‘cause matter is arbitrary.
He spikes his back in the wind,
spurring at the slightest fleeting movement,
yet tickles his silly whiskers
when my brother’s fast-asleep.
"I'm primarily a writer. With my writing, I am sometimes inspired and write what comes, but more often than not, I craft something -- I work it. I want to make it so and I work until I get it so.
Not so with my art. My art is about play. I don't know very much about what I'm doing, and I am all right with that. I'm also all right if viewers don't know either. Not knowing is all right.
My art starts out as a photograph. Most of what I photograph is found (I see a possibility within an object) or created (I mix some shit up and see what happens). I then play with the photographs -- manipulate them is probably the more technical term -- but I prefer play. I try, I play. Sometimes I like the result, but I always like the play.
Color is important to me, and so are shapes, particularly round ones. Round, colorful shapes really do it for me."
Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. In 2013, she published the chapbook, Tell This To Girls: The Panic Annie Poems, which the IndieReader described as a "well-crafted, heartbreakingly vivid set of poems, well worth a read by anyone whose heart can bear it." To balance that, she also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world's wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin.
I LOVE THE BEACH
stealing words, blood life
what use is importance
to the heart and the
digitized dissent failure
like the ocean
sand drying in the sun
heated time dust
once alive, like us
were once alive
like sand, silica and shells
we stole them like words
from the beach, our trophy love
reminders, we visit now
no shells but sand
we steal it too, the beach
of our hearts we murder love
the beach lingers, eaten
by time, our salt water blood
digitizes the beach, our memory
I LOVE THE SEA
the salt water’s cold but the sea is so warm with the sun overhead burning a hole in the clouds you can feel the wind in your hands the taste of sand in your eyes it’s okay if it stings you can handle it now walk into the salt don’t bother with breath the jellyfish may sting but only because he loves you he says he’s the only one here he’s the only one that cares about you he says the others all left driven away the jellyfish says it’s your fault he says but he forgives you the jellyfish says he loves you still and he’s sorry if it hurts the sting on your chest the lash on your arm that’s the way we are here in the salt and after all he says he’s all you’ve got
Mai Visti e Altre Storie continues!
On October 27th, the exhibition Archiving Strategies will open at the Arteco Temporary Space. The exhibit is included in the wider context of Nesxt, an observatory in progress about the no-profit sphere intended as a fundamental and necessary area of the Art system - an independent research and experimentation zone in an incessant metamorphosis.
Archiving, recording, cataloging and preserving are common words in the context of contemporary artistic practice, conveying not only the necessity of transmission of memory, but also touching on varieties of reception.
In the rooms of an empty house hosting the Arteco Temporary Space, original artworks from artists belonging to the Mai Visti e Altre Storie archive show a plurality of archiving practices that start with the necessity of preserving memories of daily-use objects through musealization, presented here in the photographic and cataloging objects of the Museum of Anthropology and Etnography of the University of Turin. Liliana Macario who "knits the weave" of her own memories into a unique, long scarf, takes an intimate approach to memory. Also on display is the extremely declared strategy pursued by Gaetano Carusotto through unfinished writing. You'll also find patiently created artworks by Ernesto Levesque, in which text and watercolour have a dialogue.
Mai Visti e Altre Storie (Never Seen and Other Stories) is an archive preserving and enhancing Outsider Art in the Piedmont area. It provides opportunities to reflect on the permeability of the boundaries between concepts as mainstream and outsider, commonness and abnormality, considering art and culture as shared heritage and instruments for active citizenship. Click HERE for a full list of partners and to learn more.
Juddering between remembering and
getting on I stall in the
periphery of her.
Have you looked?
I found her by the station but
the train was delayed/ the train was an unreality
you made up to please me.
I want to help but I keep focus on my hands.
These useless objects we hoard.
I search for the hurt but instead I find
your Facebook feed and it’s the anniversary
of my ascension.
Are you still waiting?
I tried to knock but I didn't know how to form,
these things I say to please you. I keep thinking
about that slow worm do you think it made it?
I can't protect everything/ I don't protect anything.
What am I supposed to do with my hands, are they for -
but you're out of focus, you're out of focus.
We are the coming together of a City after a National tragedy.
We are a healthy diagnosis after months of uneasy test results.
We are headlines of invisible ink on the last rites of a suicide contract pact.
We are cultured and only appear against pure light.
We are unconverted, yet a scientific type.
We collect dead skin on our faces and hoard it like lush confectionery.
We nudge the loudest products into every hollow box until blood shows.
We are always there/or bored/then always there/or bored
We require very little effort to maintain.
We are given cues. Happy/and or/cry, segregating based on faith and musical overture.
We are optional in 987 ways.
We are ten minutes of almost attraction, nose close to orgasm before we have to pray.
We are a ten second delay in case of a passionate live outburst.
We are a sponsored political party campaign, clicking past forming tumors.
We are falling asleep to us.
We are rinsed in electric dye and bad for our eyes.
We are a mass platform that says nothing anymore.
We are Television.
A BODY (A)MAZE
The walls are tense periwinkle tendon like someone's been smoking on the job and all the floorplans got lost in the confusion. Like we decided arteries make for great architecture so they made these four dovetails rest on a sigh; I think there’s a fault line beneath my bed. I think memory is like packing a list and watching as unfurling it shows how blank it can become. I think i can't remember my dreams. I think im still having them. I’ve been spilling seeds before sleep and all these knotted cherry stems are growing around like they own the place. this is another space ive regretfully made for fallopian metaphors. One day i woke up and ive felt tired ever since; one night i went to sleep with all my teeth a-sweating and awoke to all this hair. When i part it to the left i can breathe without calves tingling of suspicion; When I part it to the right i can laugh in that pitch that makes you think of hairless youth. Most of the time I’ll just lie there between tickling&itching about dreams i cant remember. What lives in between locks of hair? Cause there's a whole lot of space between mine and its keeping me awake at night wondering if i should be saying hello. What's it like to be a home? Im living a new life with every closed door, im birthing selves that tumble out of four walls, a rushed job that sits helter-skelter on the sidewalk right along the way to work and i don't know any routes to avoid seeing it. I think this, like all of this, might be one big question about the different ways things might taste in the outside of the inside. What does it mean that i've never received a text in my dreams? I think it might say alot about what it means to have expectations. Sometimes i forget where i am but that's okay since you gave me these months to remember i'm doing a really good job knowing what time we’re both living in. I want to show you all the things i’ve collected, i want to lay them out in front of rocks by the sea, i want to find the right placement of them next to each other as if to say ‘here’s everything i know about being alive its not alot but i think you’ll appreciate the attention to detail.’ Maybe we could spend nights next to the sea and harvest all the tree bones that wash ashore. Maybe we could build a house ourselves. I could shave off all this hair and everyone could find a space between the locks to live in. I could say hello how are you doing out there. And they would say oh we’re well, things are feeling good again.
I HAVE THIS PICTURE OF ME
the drains are thick with the gulmohar, this
unnamed season. a helpless archivist of
winters that have bled. october is elsewhere
(in your carry-on) i am still the beast
with redglass claws, learning the itch of
deceit (soundscape: ribs crunching, storm after
storm) i find myself always on the edge of
some chasm and here in the city, backboned
by fog and attar. i live in the space between
places that used to be mine. you, an islet
girl-turned-monster, i wonder if all that i
ever love will always be archipelagic.
1. Pick a photo you've taken that represents you best. Why did you choose it?
That's a very tough question. I'd like to think there is one photograph that instantly gives you an idea of what all my pictures will be like, but I take such a variety of photographs, so it's difficult to pick one that truly represents me. If I had to pick one, it would be the green camper van with the red scooter in the foreground (top row, far right). The reason being that it's instantly familiar, because everyone knows a vw camper van when they see it, but it's very unfamiliar at the same time; the road, pavement and trees that frame it all look very tropical. I suppose it's a bit of a metaphor for how it feels to arrive in a new country.
2. What are the two most influential experiences you've had while taking photos?
3. What's your favourite camera? Why?
My Canon AE-1. Firstly, it looks beautiful; it has a very classy design that I love and it’s weight gives it an extremely good quality feel. It has survived quite a few drops, bumps and bashes over the last couple of years and still works perfectly. There are a number of good quality lenses available for it, which makes it really versatile, so it's always my go-to camera. On top of all that, it can make some wonderful photographs. Even the bad ones sometimes have a bit of hidden magic in them that you don't get from other cameras. Oh, and the “CHICKA” it makes when you take a photograph is very satisfying.
4. Do you find that it's easier to find different perspectives while specializing in travel photography because you're constantly immersed in unfamiliar environments?
Most definitely. It's easy to get comfortable in a familiar environment and take the features around you for granted, no matter how astonishing they may be. I live in Edinburgh, one of the most picturesque cities in the world, but I often have to remind myself to actually take photographs when I'm here. Although when I visit a generic small town, I suddenly have the urge to capture everything in my sights. The moment your brain registers something for the first time is the best time to get creative with it.
5. Some of your photography is fairly abstract. Do you have an idea of what these images are going to look like while you're shooting them or is developing the roll just sort of a pleasant surprise?
I suppose the beauty of film photography is that you never really know exactly what you're going to get, whether you're searching for the abstract or not. I will plan some of the shots to a degree and the more I experiment, the more I learn what to expect.
Some of my favourite abstract pieces were entirely accidental and I have no recollection of taking them at all.
6. Lastly, why is photography important (both to you and as a general art form)?
Photography is important to me because it gives me an opportunity to capture my own perspective and share it with others, I also appreciate other people's photography as it gives me the chance to see their unique perspective. It is endlessly interesting to me that different people can capture the exact same thing in so many different ways. That's what it all boils down to for me.
Manuel is a photographer hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland. Favouring 35mm film, he takes his camera anywhere he thinks may be interesting and is recognized for his travel photography, particularly around South East Asia and Australia. His photographs are not always clear, crisp and easy to decipher; he chases the abstract by using bizarre development and exposure techniques, and has a love for expired film.
Manuel's photographs have been featured in two recent exhibitions:
Analogue Photography Exhibition (Scottish Fashion Creative Network) July 2015 @ The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh
Life: only happening once, February 2016 @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
Find Manuel on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
Check out his photozine here!