Exposure № 034: Skydivers

.

.
ou wake. You wonder at the gimps in the sky, strung out, beads on wire. You wonder at the pounding in your head. You wonder, as you come to, sit up, look around, at the dead urban space around you and the lightness of your wallet. It’s morning, sunrise, you’ve spent the night in the company of concrete, beneath an overpass, near trains. You didn’t reach the station.

You are in the city of peace. It is spring. Your head holds the rhythm of a good night out. Your wallet agrees. Oslo sentralstasjon is a few hundred metres away. Your concrete bower was a place to stop for no more than a moment as your thoughts swam in tiredness and alcohol. One moment led to another led to slumping led to slumber. Calls were missed, the vibration of your phone soothing you in your sleep.

You stand. It’s time to go. Somewhere there is breakfast, with aspirin and friends. You thank the divers for watching over you, with a promise to return in more sober moments. The station is that way.

Under a Bridge in Gloucestershire

          for Andrew Inglis

I brushed a mushroom against my cheeks, holding a drear hint of sunshine
with the other hand.  Oh to be in Gloucestershire, now that spring is here.
Time to feck a rod, snare a stoat for the sack, and, with every good manner,
share a stout with the gamekeeper’s wife.  Time passed under a convenient
bridge.  As Beth rearranged herself, my thought turned to tickling a trout –
my trousers have deep pockets, and my fly fits more than nicely.  Beth, next
Tuesday will come.  A fallow field and something to drink: what else should
a man do with his breeches?  At once, a rustle behind us.  Kind sir, what
with you with your gun?  And so, to quote a poetaster known to
Wordsworth,

*

“The ardent creature did no longer feature,
One look, perchance I mistook
My dearest wife for a trull from East Fife,
And discerning not so, to hell they both go.”
Wordsworth was right, a poetaster.  Good rhythm and metre were beyond
him.  I can’t claim omniscience, but if I did, I’d know the devil’s plans for a
summer holiday in Gloucester were predicated on wenches with broad
accents not knowing the word “no”.  Let us leave this poem, with the kine
lowing, the harvester mowing, and all go to the pub for a pint.  Incidentally,
the best pub in East Fife is now under a demolition order.  A housing
development to come, apparently.  A scourge on developers – herd them all
into dark rooms, slam the doors shut, and petition the patron saint of all
things green, Saint Patrick, to wee on their cheque books.

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 24

This week, we featured a glorious, all-technicolor, visually themed bevy of posts, including editors EEJ and DLR taking a closer look at the city of Berlin, some beautiful etching, and some awesome photography. Check out the links below, and keep submitting your beautiful art to the good Doctor!

Keep your ears and eyes peeled next week, as we return to some great poetry, prose, and art!

Exposure № 033: Walls

I lived in Berlin for a year. Walking the streets of that huge city, you come to realise that you can’t piece it together, you can’t build from individual images a cohesive panorama, and that any definitive statement about the place amounts to little more than a truism.

It is a place of division, of course, and of dichotomies. Saying that Berlin is not a coherent, complete city is, however, as much as truism as anything else. Metres from the shining glass and metal beams of the Sony Center are 19th Century buildings housing offices and cheaply rented apartments full of expatriates. Between the new and the old at Potsdamer Platz, wide streets and plazas of space signify what is now missing: for nearly 30 years, the Wall ploughed through the city.

Bornholmer Str. station, from Norweger Str.

The East is gentrified and gentrifying. EEJ wrote about one part of East Berlin on Monday. At the end of that year, I lived in Prenzlauer Berg, another part of the former East which exists so that the artistic waifs and former punks can marry (or not), have children, and move to a nicer area of the city with cheap living costs.

Leaving my apartment in Prenzlauer Berg, I turned left and then right onto Norweger Straße to walk to the train. To my right, short, blocky houses, refurbished but old. On the left, a three-foot wall obscured the train tracks and Bornholmer Straße station. The street that I walked on had also been the path of the former Berlin Wall. But in 2008, you could peer through a hole in the wall, see the platform staring back, and snap a photo of the West.

Slow exposure of Rosenthaler Platz

Rosenthaler Platz, though not on the path of the infamous Wall, was once home to the walls that surrounded Berlin. A series of gates, including one at Rosenthaler Platz, admitted traders and visitors into the city, and over the course of centuries, this square became heavily built up, housing large department stores and small businesses alike. On a slow exposure, the camera traces car headlights, the laylines of post-Unification Berlin, and the 20th Century facades that survive. Ubiquitous language schools, shops and cafes, and residential buildings still surround the square.

Camera: Canon EOS 300. Film: Ilford HP5

Exposure № 032: Snow

It’s the Dog Days and we here at Dr. Hurley HQ thought that a little taste of a Winter Wonderland would be refreshing. Obviously, come February we’ll be singing a different tune.

These photos, by Caroline Hancox capture the beautiful quiet of a snowy landscape.  She tells us:

“I am interested in the relationships between humans and their environment and how they interact with and impact it. This is a huge influence to me and is a theme that runs through all of my photography. In this series of work I explore how ski resorts physically shape the mountains and affect the landscape in the French Alps. A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend 6 months in a little village in the mountains and ever since then I have returned regularly to continue with this project. I shoot with a Holga and medium format film or a Polaroid camera for this project, as I feel the effect gives it an almost painterly, dreamy effect that renders the people like little toys, which helps to evoke memories and dreams and makes the whole place seem more magical, which is how I feel about it.”

Exposure № 031: Fading light

When was the last time you looked overhead
and when was the last time you looked up the sky
and it took your breath away to see
black and blue ink pouring into the huge garden?
When was the last time you floated softly there?

Images and text by Akira Asakura.

Impression № 025: The Inside of the Earth

Todd Michael Freeman tells us about his medium:

“I’ve made intaglio prints for about a decade, starting when I was introduced to printmaking at Grand Valley State University. I initially trained as an illustrator, but the capabilities of etching fit the way I approached making work more than any media I’d tried before. It’s a methodical, process-oriented craft, but once those basic steps are understood, also a medium capable of delivering incredibly precise details. The general character and richness of etching immediately matched mark-making tendencies I’ve always had, and just called out as something I needed to be doing.”

Exposure № 030: Tracks

Another beautiful photo by Edi Weitz. The end of a railroad track near the fish market in Hamburg, Germany – a place which is very dear to Ed. EEJ’s heart.

Exposure № 029: Tacheles

Tacheles, Berlin. This is the scene behind the former department store-turned squat cum artist’s co-op. This is far from a new story, but it bears telling anyway. After the Wall came down, artists and punks and all kinds of loveable vagrants fled – not away from the former East, but toward it, sniffing out deserted real estate and setting up utopian enclaves organized around loosely defined principles of freedom and independence and anti-establishment glee.  Tacheles isn’t unique in that respect. It is unique for the concentration of artists who set up workshops and actually produced art (as well as living in an almost performance-art style, not wholly private, not wholly public), but also for the nearly legitimate businesses that inhabited the space alongside the decidedly illegal residents – a cinema and a couple of cafes conducted business in the building that previously housed the department store.

Sadly Tacheles has lost its uniqueness as a squat that had survived gentrification. It was one of the last really well known squats standing until a few months ago when the owner of the real estate began making moves to uproot the inhabitants. This has been happening all over Berlin for years, but Tacheles seemed, to some, untouchable. Finally, the cafes and cinema up and left and eventually the city stepped in to help the owner of the property root out the artists and – with a touch of tragic irony – build a wall to keep them out.

This photo dates from January 2011, when Tacheles was still inhabited, though very quiet. Shot on 35mm Fuji Velvia 100 and cross-processed, which accounts for the rosy hue. Fitting, I thought.

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Week 23

Though our lovely Irish Balderdash has come to a close, this week featured some awesome fiction and non-fiction courtesy of Patty Wetli and Graham Tugwell, visuals from Laura Manfre and Richard Vergez, and a sliver of Smithsonian snark from Ray Charbonneau.

Non-fictional

Fictional

Visual

Smithsonian

Stay tuned to SnakeOilCure.com for more this week, plus the ever-exciting results of our Irish competition!  Also get excited for this week, our first-ever all-art week!  Etchings and photographs and art, oh my!