Monday, September 11, 2006

Excess and beauty as resistance

Lee Miller's War - former fashion model inspired by Surrealism takes crushingly beautiful photos of WWII - "Lee Miller was never afraid of the evil that men can do."

It's not that she raises suffering to high art, but that she seems to understand the absurdity of it all... I particularly like her photos of the everyday lives of women. Most are painful, but I had no idea that cloth wasn't rationed in France, which seems quite beautifully excessive:

British service women at a fashion salon, Paris, France, 1944.

"The British found the richness of the designs and materials unbelievable after the austerity of wartime rationing in England, and it was difficult for them to understand that the French regarded profligate use of materials as a gesture of resistance to the German occupation as it asserted their identity and denied the enemy material."



Blogger e-tat said...

Indeed. Bueaty and excess often go together, and a live not lived to excess is hardly a life at all.

Lefebvre was clear on a similar point, which is that life is about profligate expenditure of energy in all directions. Some of it will come back transformed, and transforming.

Compare that with the post-9/11 stoicism of 'carrying on as normal'. Somehow, enduring is not living. Where's the beauty in that? Where are the festivals of resistance to seige mentalities?

Blogger Thivai Abhor said...

I would like to extend an invitation to you to join in on a collective blogging section of our upcoming winter issue of Reconstruction

Here is the original call:

Theories/Practices of Blogging

Our intent in this section of the issue will be to collect a wide range of bloggers and link up to their statements in regards to why they blog (something many of us are asked) and any statement they have on the theories/practices of blogging.

If you already have a post on this you can feel free to use it, or, if you are interested, you can submit a new one.

We will link to each statement from the issue at our site, with the intent of creating a hyperlinked list of statements on blogging that can serve as an introduction to blogging (or an expansion of knowledge for those already blogging).

If you are interested please contact me at mdbento @


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