Archive for December, 2007

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Dix on Chicks, Down in the Trenches

One of Weimar Germany’s most important artists was the mysterious Otto Dix (1891-1969), who was famed for his striking portrayal of both bourgeois society and the seedy underclass, as they struggled in a rapidly degenerating Berlin society.

The motivation for the realism of his work, particularly arising from his war service as machine gunner in WW1 is highlighted in a 1963 interview:

‘I had to experience how someone beside me suddenly falls over and is dead and the bullet has hit him squarely. I had to experience that quite directly. I wanted it. I’m therefore not a pacifist at all – or am I? Perhaps I was an inquisitive person. I had to see all that myself. I’m such a realist, you know, that I have to see everything with my own eyes in order to confirm that it’s like that. I have to experience all the ghastly, bottomless depths of life for myself.’


Living in post-Kaiser Berlin, the absence of censorship resulted in Berlin becoming a New Babylon, providing ripe material for Dix as the city went to extremes to satisfy the every desire of anyone with hard foreign currency. One of his more famous subjects was the German dancer, actress, writer, and prostitute, Anita Berber – a daughter of Bohemian parents who was dancing in cabaret in Berlin by the time she was 16, and working nude by the time she was 19.


The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber: Weimar Berlin’s Priestess of Depravity

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Posted by Jonathan on Dec 30th 2007 | Filed in Art,Events,Literature,News,People | Comments (0)

The Salon – an illustrated tale of art, murder and absinthe

Imagine if you will the following scenario.Someone is killing the great modernist artists of early 20th century Europe – principally by separating their heads from their bodies.

But what of the addictive blue absinthe that painters around Paris have been using to enter famous paintings in a transcendental psychadelic trip? Who is the mysterious “Blue Lady”? Could this hold the key to the murders?

The Salon

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Posted by Jonathan on Dec 20th 2007 | Filed in Art,Literature,News,People | Comments (0)

Mata Hari 60% – Review

Although this absinthe is not in ready commercial distribution in Australia, there is mail order and notable tourist-based personal import, to the degree that the fine folk at the Fischer Schnappsmuseum in Vienna felt it necessary to produce a template customs declaration for Australia to verify that it contained less than the legal 10mg/kg of thujone.

I never got the chance to use this customs declaration when I picked up a bottle in Austria, because those *!@#@-wits at Heathrow Airport and British Airways decided to lose my bags for two weeks enroute back to Australia (despite multiple assurances that the luggage would be on board after missing a connection…look- don’t get me started or I’ll rave on about the pure incompetence of BA…needless to say I am among the thousands who will now refuse to go through that hell hole of a transport hub or travel on that airline).

Anyway, my bags were eventually returned with the absinthe, so fortunately I can bring you my particular thoughts on this somewhat unusual product…


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Posted by Jonathan on Dec 16th 2007 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Distilleries,Reviews | Comments (0)

We Are The Earth Intruders

Bjork... earth intruder.

The 2008 Sydney Festival is on again in January next year, and the season looks set to be a blistering one. The 2008 line-up features as it’s centrepiece the High Priestess of Art Rock, Björk, who will be vocalising as only she is able in the Opera House Forecourt, under the stars on January 23. She of the Swan will be performing songs from her new offering Volta, which is a return to a more pop-oriented sound, albeit one carried by thundering electronica and saturated in relentless, violent colour. This show is a sell-out and should set a new festival benchmark.

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Posted by Robert on Dec 14th 2007 | Filed in Art,Bars,Burlesque,Events,Music,News,People | Comments (0)

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