Shōjo manga roundup: Crayon Days, Pocha Pocha, Kase-sanPosted: February 20, 2014 Filed under: review | Tags: comics, Crayon Days, Ema Tōyama, Hiromi Takashima, Kase-san, Kozue Chiba, LGBT, manga, painting, Pocha Pocha, shōjo, sports, yonkoma, yuri 4 Comments
Title: Kreidetage (くれよん でいず ~ 大キライなアイツ / Crayon Days – Daikirai na Aitsu)
Language: German (translated from Japanese)
Author: Kozue Chiba
Year: 2013-2014 (originally 2012)
Publisher: Tokyopop (originally Shōgakukan)
Price: €6.50 (D)
Website (German): http://www.tokyopop.de/manga-shop/index.php?cPath=872_901
Volumes reviewed: 1-3 (of 3 volumes in German so far; vol. 4 is scheduled for April)
Title: Pocha Pocha Swimming Club (ぽちゃぽちゃ水泳部 / Pocha Pocha Suieibu)
Language: German (translated from Japanese)
Author: Ema Tōyama
Year: 2014 (originally 2011)
Publisher: Egmont Manga (originally Hōbunsha)
Price: €7 (D)
Website (German): http://www.manganet.de/buch-buchreihe/pocha-pocha-swimming-club/
Volumes reviewed: 1 (1 volume in German so far; vol. 2 is scheduled for March)
Title: Ipomoea (あさがおと加瀬さん / Asagao to Kase-san)
Language: German (translated from Japanese)
Author: Hiromi Takashima
Year: 2013 (originally 2012)
Publisher: Egmont Manga (originally Shinshokan)
Price: €7 (D)
Website (German): http://www.manganet.de/buch/ipomoea/
Volumes reviewed: 1 (only 1 volume in German so far)
Stencil graffiti website goes semanticPosted: April 21, 2013 Filed under: street art | Tags: age, art history, chronology, contemporary art, Freiburg, geography, German, graffiti, Linked Data, Linked Open Data, painting, RDFa, semantic web, spray painting, stencil graffiti, street art, website Leave a comment
As a first step towards releasing the information on my stencil graffiti website as Linked Open Data, I have now created XHTML+RDFa files for all graffiti. They can be found in the directory http://graffiti.freiburg.bplaced.net/lod/, or by clicking on the RDFa icon in each entry. These files contain only two pieces of information so far (not counting ID and licence): place and date. Now that they have been normalised (to the W3C Basic Geo and Dublin Core vocabulary, respectively) and cast in standard RDFa syntax, it should be easy to query and analyse this data, and to re-use it in mashups.
I did a short presentation on this conversion recently, the slides of which can be found on SlideShare (in German). The next steps are obvious: there is still a lot of information on the website that could be normalised, expressed in RDFa, and added to the XHTML files. Once I’ve got round to that I’ll post about it. As a good resource for getting started with Linked Open Data, I recommend Ed Summers’s recent paper “Linking Things on the Web: A Pragmatic Examination of Linked Data for Libraries, Archives and Museums”.
Stencil graffiti website: the biggest and best update yetPosted: February 24, 2013 Filed under: street art | Tags: art history, Freiburg, German, graffiti, organ donation, painting, spray painting, stencil graffiti, street art, website Leave a comment
Once again it’s been a while since I last updated my website, Schablonengraffiti in Freiburg-Mittelwiehre. There are some noteable things about yesterday’s update:
- There are now over 200 stencil graffiti (i.e. pictures + metadata) documented on the website – 203 to be precise. For the record, no. 200 is a heart near the Max Planck Institute.
- This piece is also part of a larger, multi-medial series advocating organ donation. It consists of several stencil graffiti showing hearts and lungs (nos. 182 – 185, 199 – 200, plus more instances of these motifs on Sedanstraße which I haven’t photographed yet), a spray-painted slogan (which you can see on the picture of no. 185), and stencilled paste-ups (pictured here but not included on the website).
- There is another three-coloured piece now, “Lausbuben” (nos. 188 – 190, though no. 190 is only two-coloured). I guess it refers to a sprayer crew of the same name. (The first three-coloured piece in Mittelwiehre, at least since I started the website, would be no. 174 with three different shades of grey.)
- I’ve discovered two more instances (nos. 192 – 193) of the “Mikey Wilson” piece (no. 168), and on these newly found graffiti the words “I HATE NAZIS” are legible. I hadn’t been able to discern the writing on no. 168 before, so the anti-fascist connotation had escaped me completely.
I hope to get round to updating the website more frequently in the future, and I also have some exciting changes to the data structure in mind – more about that in a later post.
Using a daily art calendar for age determination exercisesPosted: December 22, 2012 Filed under: shop talk | Tags: age, art history, calendars, chronology, exercises, Harenberg, painting, periodization, Renate Prochno Leave a comment
As the year draws to a close, you might think of getting a calendar for 2013. While there are other ways of keeping track of what day it is nowadays (computers, watches, mobile phones), a calendar with a sheet for each day is useful for age determination (dating) exercises.
In her book Das Studium der Kunstgeschichte, Renate Prochno says an art historian should be able to determine the age of any work of art with an accuracy of +- 20 years. To practice this, she recommends using books like Propyläen Kunstgeschichte, or a postcard collection. However, even more useful for this purpose is an art calendar, because each day it shows a work that is likely to be new to you.
There are drawbacks, of course: all images are printed in the same size, they are cropped in different ways, there’s usually only one view of three-dimensional works, and the selection of motifs is always biased and must not be mistaken for a scholarly sample that is representative of anything.
That being said, I’ve been using Harenberg Kunst calendars (other brands are probably just as good) for years, and I use them like this: when I turn the sheet, I cover the lower part of the new sheet where the artist and title are given (sometimes they’re on the left hand side instead), plus maybe the lower part of the image where the picture is sometimes signed and dated. Then I try to guess the exact year in which the reproduced work was made, and write my guess down on the sheet. On the next day, when I tear the old sheet off, I turn it and compare my guess to the actual date given on the back of the sheet.
This is my success rate for the first ~100 days of 2012 (if a date range was given, I simply took the year that was closest to my guess):
- exact matches: 4 (I guessed the precise year of production of four paintings, all from the classical modern period which I feel most comfortable with.)
- within +- 20 years: 66
- missed by more than 20 years: 31
- missed by more than 100 years: 3 (All of them are Dutch landscapes from around 1665, and each time I mistook them for early 19th century paintings. This is clearly an area I still need to become more familiar with.)
Sequential art at documenta (13)Posted: June 18, 2012 Filed under: review | Tags: Amar Kanwar, art history, Caricatura, comics, contemporary art, documenta, drawing, German, Gustav Metzger, Kassel, Khadim Ali, museums, Nedko Solakov, Neue Galerie, painting, photography 2 Comments
Comics will be part of documenta when hell freezes over. However, there are some works at this year’s documenta (Kassel, June 9 – September 16) that come quite close to the McCloudian definition of comics. The following list is just a personal selection and by no means meant to be exhaustive.
The very first work I’ve seen at documenta could actually be called a comic, sort of. In the Ottoneum, Amar Kanwar has several books (and other things) on display. One of them, Photo Album 1: The Lying Down Protest, documents a protest action in India through a series of photographs, sometimes with captions added. There is one photo on each page, on both sides of the leaf, resulting in a layout similar to that of Martin tom Dieck’s hundert Ansichten der Speicherstadt (cf. my essay).
For an exhibition of contemporary art, there is a lot of old art to be seen, e.g. a sizeable collection of abstract drawings from the 1940s and 50s by Gustav Metzger in the Documenta-Halle. Some of these drawings are arranged like comic panels, i.e. in different sizes, with clear borders, on the same sheet of paper. Are these drawings meant as independent sketches which Metzger placed closely together on the sheet only to save paper? Or is there a relation between adjacent drawings, maybe even an intended sequence?
Another example of a not-quite-contemporary exhibit is Charlotte Salomon’s widely publicized Leben? Oder Theater?
Khadim Ali‘s four-part painting The Haunted Lotus in the Neue Galerie is reminiscent in style of traditional East Asian religious paintings, but at the same time the framing makes it look like a panel sequence in a comic: the continuous background evokes a “tracking shot” from left to right or vice versa, so that each of the four parts can be seen as one point in a chronological sequence. The figures in the foreground remain largely the same in all four parts of the painting, thus giving the impression that some figures move between the “panels” while others stand still. Another comic-like feature is the writing next to the figures’ heads.
Then there’s Nedko Solakov at the Brothers Grimm Museum. Among many other works, some drawings are shown in several display cases. Their arrangement in two horizontal lines suggests a sequential relation between them, but although each drawing has a handwritten caption text on it, it’s hard to make out any order in which they could form a narrative. Still, the surrounding works by Solakov strongly suggest a narrative reading, since they are all about his dreams and fantasies of medieval knights in shiny armours.
All in all, while not completely absent, sequential art is sadly underrepresented at documenta (13). Unfortunately, the exhibition of comical art, Caricatura VI, which is on in Kassel at the same time, doesn’t show many comics either, although it contains cartoons by comic artists such as Guido Sieber, Harm Bengen or Nicolas Mahler.
Stencil graffiti website updatedPosted: May 5, 2012 Filed under: street art | Tags: art history, Freiburg, German, graffiti, painting, pochoirs, stencil graffiti, street art, website 1 Comment
I have just updated my website, Schablonengraffiti in Freiburg-Mittelwiehre [stencil graffiti in Freiburg-Mittelwiehre], adding 11 new pieces, including the iconic lion’s head pictured here. While doing so, I realised it has been almost a year since the previous update (July 2011), due to my less and less frequent visits to Freiburg. Although graffiti in this part of Freiburg have quite long runs on average, many pieces must have been sprayed and buffed between this website update and the last. Does that mean the website has missed its aim to record all stencil graffiti activity in Mittelwiehre? Not quite. It still works well as an extensive and thus representative sample of the totality of stencil graffiti pieces in the city district. This is a major difference to most other street art websites that arbitrarily select only the “best” pieces. The former, broader approach is valuable – and even necessary – for a street art history that doesn’t focus on the big names. Maybe one day, the data gathered on Schablonengraffiti in Freiburg-Mittelwiehre will prove useful for graffiti studies. In the meantime, enjoy the lions, the Stewie Griffins (from Family Guy), Mikey Wilson (a.k.a. the middle finger kid), the hip hop monkey…
Exhibition review: Neue Galerie, KasselPosted: January 25, 2012 Filed under: review | Tags: art history, Curt Herrmann, German, Hans Makart, Impressionism, Informel, Kassel, Modernism, museums, Neue Galerie, painting, Paul Baum, Wilhelm Trübner 1 Comment
Between documentas, Kassel hadn’t really been on the map for art lovers lately. With the reopening of the Neue Galerie in November last year (which was closed for five years for refurbishment), this is likely to change.
This collection of 19th-21st century art is truly impressive in terms of both quantity and quality: there are masterpieces by Hans Makart and Wilhelm Trübner, two rooms of Paul Baum paintings including his lesser known pre- and post-pointilist phases, two rooms of works by the underrated Curt Herrmann, lots of stunning impressionists and modernists I’ve never heard of… It’s almost easier to name artists you won’t find there. For instance, I think I didn’t see a Hans Hartung there, although it would fit nicely into the otherwise well-equipped Informel section.
However, the gaps become larger the closer we get to the present, and that’s where the problem with this collection becomes evident: its scope isn’t clear. For the 19th century, the museum does a great job at representing German painting (with some local or regional emphasis). In the contemporary section, though, the scope widens to encompass international art, at which point the collection isn’t complete or even representative anymore, showing classics next to artists that have yet to make a name for themselves. Likewise a problem of scope is the ratio of painting (predominant) to sculpture (very little) to other arts (almost none). Maybe the museum should be named “Gemäldegalerie” instead of claiming to house a “collection of modernism – art of the 19th-21st century”.
That being said, the Neue Galerie is still definitely worth a visit. Besides, the admission is only €4 (conc. €2). Another cool thing about this museum is its website, which is made entirely in posterous (albeit in German only).
Rating: ● ● ● ● ○