Modern Nature, Derek Jarman

… the descriptions of promiscuous gay culture continue to put me off… rather than a culture of same sex love and commitment it is a culture of profligate sex in dingy underground clubs, dark alleys, any available bathroom… i check myself on whether this is a prejudice, it might be, the same images of heterosexual abandon don’t put me off as much, though i am less attracted to them than one on one love and sex together… i have tried sex for sex for its own sake and it is not fulfilling, doesn’t reach the profound experience that sex in the context of love can be…

… DJ talking about his art show opening… there has been a fair amount of journal space devoted to the making of the artwork he put in the show… it explores gay sexuality… American women seem to be most accepting… i guess we send our progressives overseas… or perhaps only the progressives would go to see such a show… maybe the times were somehow more accepting… less intense culture wars?… then, suddenly, this paragraph…

Intense work has obliterated the garden at Dungeness from my mind. I can live in a hotel room with a change of blue overalls, toothpaste, a razor, and this diary.1

… as i record this quote, i think about the “what a little moonlight can do” photographs i am making… that they have me a little excited and seem a good new direction for the dark matter work…

… the garden at Prospect Cottage strikes me as a creative attempt of great hope but continuous struggle… DJ talks about the plants getting burned by the salt spray… more and more i think the plight of the beach roses on the island might be due to the tropical storm that passed directly over the island a couple of months ago… H was out here with M, i was back in Beacon caring for dogs and doing work on the house… strange, the two major storms that came through the Northeast, H was in them, i was not…

… i learn about Anatomy of Melancholy, by Burton… still considered a classic… available on Amazon… i wish to purchase, need to make a note that i am interested…

… dog restlessness upstairs… hoping it settles down, too early to take them out in my opinion…

… the restlessness continues… i go to release them, only Fiona comes out… i leash her up, take her out… we go round and round the yard, she does nothing, the crescent moon and lights from the house make navigation by sight possible… the clouds lit up with a bright white glow, i think about getting my camera, but don’t, we come back in and Chas starts whining… “fuck you Chas” i say… now he wants to come down… i leash him up and take both dogs out again… Chas pees, Fiona still nothing… both expect a treat when we return… i don’t give it to them… it is too early… i don’t like this as a habit which it will become if i reward them with a treat…

Joris Ivens is mentioned, a Dutch documentary filmmaker i have never heard of… i struggle with making a note that i will remember to go back to as i want to know more about Joris Ivens… the easy way is to key word label it with “to watch, read, get”… on the iPhone, with keyboard enabled, this requires dumping out of the keyboard connection to bring up the tagging screen… it would be easier at home on the desktop…

… about the sixties…

Time has softened the decade — made it seem less complicated. The sixties opened the floodgates of consumption; and as more — much more, became available we lost a sense of the New. By the eighties the excitement of the New had disappeared.2

… i read about Pilip Core who wrote on photography, and the arts… i look him up… an American who lived most of his life in England… i add him to the list to get, read, watch…

… Tom of Finland is mentioned… i know about this because of my photography readings…


  1. Jarman, Derek, Modern Nature, p 168 [return]
  2. Jarman, Derek, Modern Nature, p 176. [return]

03 Women Artists from Salvador

Lilliana Castro producing “Temaquixtilitzli” (2019) (photo by Jesica Vasquez)

…this lead in photograph does pull me in, and apart from the fact that she is a young attractive woman, it is, for once, not my male gaze that pulls me in, but her earnestness… she is concentrating and creating and i fall in love with just that, a young, earnest woman creating a graphic, sending a message to the world…

… as i read the article, i realize it is by a woman, about a woman, creating artwork that is about the condition of women…

… all of the women in the article are LGBTQI… i don’t know what the I stands for…

… i wonder, to what degree is woman choosing woman to love physically about their rejection of the patriarchy?…

05 Zanele Muholi

… an article by Art Blart about the Tate Modern exhibition of her work… i don’t know if the exhibit is still up, but if it were and if i were in London, i would go see it…

There are so many words that you can say about an artist and their work. So many unnecessary words. All you have to do is look at the work. Does it speak to you? does it make you feel, does it empower you?

For me, artists either have it or they don’t… and in this case, visual activist Zanele Muholi possesses it by the bucketful. Panache, flair, downright unclassified fabulousness, call it what you want. They just have it.1

Zanele Muholi (South African, b. 1972). Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, Ext. 2, Lakeside, Johannesburg 2007. From the series Being (2006 – ongoing).

05 Marvel Harris wins MACK First Book Award 2021

Inner Journey is a raw and introspective portrayal of Harris’ experience as an autistic, non-binary, transgender artist, tracing their struggles with mental illness, self-love and gender identity1

… on the one hand, i am sympathetic, empathetic, struggle at the fringes of acceptable societal behavior sucks… on the other hand, i grow weary of self-centered trauma art projects bringing home the bacon… it is important attention, but is it the attention of a society that loves train wrecks, or a society ready to change?… contrast with the trauma Laia Abril chronicles in her ongoing project A History of Misogyny… is the photography good?… its hard to tell, the story dominates… i hope Marvel Harris finds peace in their life and that LGBTQ+ people find ever increasing acceptance in the world…

On the LGBTQ+ Experience

… so, AnOther magazine has been particularly interesting this morning… this interview with trans woman Shon Faye caught my attention… i am interested in the feminine, femininity, and gender fluidity and have been doing a lot of reading about it… the podcast, Call Me Mother sounds interesting… she is interviewed by James Greig… in discussing the modern trend of bringing all the various gender alternative ways of being under the common banner of “LGBTQ+” she has this to say:

 I think the value of it is more as a political coalition than a ‘community’. Even among my own group, white trans women, I still probably have more in common with other trans women who grew up in gay male scenes, than I do with the kind of trans woman who works in tech and identifies as a lesbian. It’s more than just our identity: it’s about our life experiences, who our friends are and where we go out.

We ourselves might really care about these differences, and I think the internet and social media really encourages the idea of atomising your identity. And yes, that’s fine. But often the people who are discriminating against us or oppressing us don’t actually give a fuck about the differences between us, and that’s a key thing to keep in mind. But that said, I wanted a spectrum of identities on the podcast because I realised that these histories really are unique.1