Friday, 24 June 2016

Cameron Cornered


Helle Scheffmann animates her protagonists with a sharpness of timing into each movement, teasing us with the juxtaposition of constancy and change.

On the subject no further words are needed today, only that this post is a test if the video format is working:


video



ETA since the video link seems to work: Two stills highlighting how subtly Helle uses hands to express in this case self-congratulation and utter satisfaction with a job done by repeating two hand positions as if clapping and rubbing them in one go.

This goes for the background as well. Helle Scheffmann works in layers upon layers, creating a sense of the story leading up to the one scene before us; a subtle take on the EU-flag here with brush strokes of white paint as of a tapestry worn off.





The video is courtesy of Helle Scheffmann and must not be reproduced without her permission.




Sunday, 12 June 2016

The Ping Awards 2016



Photo by LCL

Last night Pingprisen / The Ping Awards celebrated its fifth anniversary (this time around, it is an old award resumed today - and hooray to that!) and host of the evening and co-organizer Felix Rothstein marked the golden evening in style.

Thomas Thorhauge, The Martian, 2015.
"Ridley Scott; genius? craftsman? Martian?"
The award of special interest to this blog is the one dedicated to the cartoonist of the year, or as it is specified: The drawing journalist of the year, awarded to Thomas Thorhauge.

Thomas has an eye for transforming anything into imagery. His graphical outlines are clear-cut and strong, speaking in mega-formats into which he may incorporate the tiniest details, and usually loads of them, while still making both sing. We as beholders never lose the grand perspective of his picture planes, while digging into the corners of all he is unfolding to us.

The portrait of Ridley Scott is a case in point, a cover for the weekly film section of Politiken. Which title incidentally Thomas lets fade out beyond the milky way and the red dot of Mars, which in turn balances the full frontal portrait at the bottom of the picture plane. We are brought out of this world and into the magical sphere that movies are and sci fi's play with knowledge and the what if. There is no such thing as a solid color before us. The two colors at play are intersected by spots and lines, densely working in that face as the gate to the grand adventure.


Thomas Thorhauge, "Extra material: Freud", February 7, 2013.


Thomas was a student of film at university and has renewed the often tired genre of info graphics into his energy in sharing his treasured finds, laid out as a shouting of oh this is SO GOOD LOOK, LOOK AT THIS!

His spread on the Freudian influence on a century of movie making gets a shout out for a title how the old psychologist is to blame for clichés of a "un-be-lie-va-bly GORGEOUS!" nature. Onto his cloak are the shaping of aliens and the obsessions of Hitchcock ("EVERYTHING is his fault") literally unfolded. The cloak amasses the masses of information, unifying the detailing of texts on text with arrows and exclamation marks in between since it all boils down to ideas coming from one man. The cloak is well worn by now and with the final word on the bottom line that we as beholders might as well brace ourselves since Freud shall with a 100 % certainty still be haunting the film industry for many decades to come.




Thomas Thorhauge, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, December 10, 2015.


The film industry itself is very much in the eye of Thomas Thorhauge. It is a money making monster deciding how a scene is cut or insisting on removal of another, which is an integrated part of his science of film he is creating before us. The full page above is a masterpiece of his film-cartooning; this too at once solid and grand in scale, while the very universe pervades the whole picture plane.

Thomas is a unique capacity within Danish cartooning and comics alike. An open and constantly inquisitive mind forging new ways of doing cartoons with not a straight line in sight while proving the magnitude of possibilities of a page within a news paper, until we unwillingly reach the "you are now leaving Sin City" at the bottom right corner.

Thomas Thorhauge, July 27, 2015.

Thomas Thorhauge, 2016:
Quentin Tarantino; Blood, hatred and chamber pieces
Add to all of this how Thomas draws a mean portrait; a random snowflake turning into the pupil of Tarantino's eye.

Every Thursday the filmography comes alive, in particular drawing in the young on a journey of discovery. That is no mean feat and that is but one aside of what Thomas can and does. Congratulations on a much-deserved award, Thomas!










The cartoons shown are courtesy of Thomas Thorhauge and must not be reproduced without his permission.



Saturday, 11 June 2016

Syrian Club Champions


Some go clubbing in the weekends; others are clubbing all week.

Riber Hansson creates scenes on Syria with its hooligans glossed in highlights as if coated in a thick varnish. The smoothness gives an air of imagery from the fairy tales of our childhood.

Riber is taking the tales back to the dark rotten depths from where they rightly stem for us all to be told anew.



Riber Hansson, Syrian Club Champions, February 22, 2016.


The cartoon shown is courtesy of Riber Hansson and must not be reproduced without his permission.



Monday, 6 June 2016

The Fine Art of Dermacartooning



On Facebook Riber Hansson has questioned Putin's preference for stripping off to strut his nudity for the world to see. What is left to the cartoonists, when their position as the child in The Emperor's New Clothes is lost to them?  Is it even legal to put cartoonists in such a situation, Riber asked teasingly?

Before us, we have a fight on FORM.

Putin is attempting to appear nude, re-formed as it is, in a "balanced, prosperous and confident body: The body re-formed" to quote Kenneth Clark and his 1956-study "of ideal art": The Nude. To paraphrase Dr. Clark, we are not meant to judge a half-naked Putin as a living organism; he intends us to see him as a piece of design. His body as an art form.

For that very reason, he is keeping the cartoonists busy.

Putin's being naked is exposed as just another means of dressing up to show off. To stay with Clark, the cartoonists keep pointing to the fact that he is naked, not nude. While Putin is attempting at heroism in the ideal of the sportsmen of Antiquity or the massive thighs in Michelangelo's works, the cartoonists are drawing the attention away from his actual body shape to the fact of his need to show skin.


To take three takes on dermacartooning, presently the Putinian skin:


1. The Repetition, taking him up on his own imagery and letting him stay naked. Continuously so and this time not when and where for him to decide. Michel Kichka pastes in the very same figure into any scenery. Below Putin is exhibiting that vanity and those pretentions such as his desire to sign on to #PanamaPapers, since he finds he fits right in being a sporty billionaire statesman.

Exposing his vanity and pretentions is not a case of belittling, but of undressing his agenda. Putin may be as vain as he wishes to, just as The Emperor in his dishabille is never a question of his personal vanity, but the caliber of his rule. The undress is a gift from Putin to the political cartoonists to bare his agenda on aspirations for all to be seen:



Michel Kichka, Panama Papers, April 4, 2016.



2. The above applies for Re-dressing him as well. As in attempting to get a bit of a bear going on in a cartoon by Riber Hansson himself, with the aid of artificials. In this case glue to take on the greater history. His aspirations are all the more haunting seeing the lengths he needs to go to achieve his masculinity.

The scene is an intimate one on what we are not meant to see, since the very situation of dressing unveils his agenda. Unwelcome to him he is thus kept undressed to our eyes.

To add to his dethroning; that is a standard pair of scissors from IKEA on the floor.



Riber Hansson, Putin Frightening the World with the Russian Bear, April 17, 2014.



3. And then there is the matter of un-dressing him further, pealing him, revealing what is Underneath his skin.

The furless rat is as naked as a mammal can get and to a degree that we cannot think of anything but at the sight of such a specimen of which this one by Oleksiy Kustovsky is certainly showing off his dearest geographical feed leaking and reeking before us:



Oleksiy Kustovsky, Red Rat Putin, November 25, 2014.



The fact is, "We wants it, we needs it":



Oleksiy Kustovsky, Gollum Putin, May 30, 2016.



The cartoons shown are courtesy of their cartoonists and must not be reproduced without their permission.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

"The drawing must be Imagined"



Meïr Goldschmidt, the editor of Corsaren was a constant source of irritation to the Danish autocratic king and in 1844 Goldschmidt was sentenced to 24 days of imprisonment, which brought him recognition as a forerunner in the pursuit of democracy.

His speech defense in court was printed in Corsaren (No, 193, May 24, 1844) of which the central part is to be read below, as per usual my English translation is in italics. Goldschmidt undressed the law on freedom of printed matter by stating how satire cannot be judged by what is implied, only what is actually there - which would of course be impossible since satire never actually states, it implies.

Goldschmidt was furthermore censored for life, a sentence, which was annulled five years later and thereby highlighting the ridiculous tap-dancing of the autocratic rule to retain power, when the Constitution was in place and democracy an actual thing, to paraphrase his juxtaposition. The Danish Constitution celebrates its 167th anniversary today, but the juxtaposition still proves relevant each and every time a satirist, cartoonists not least are standing accused.



"The drawing must be imagined"
Peter Klæstrup, Corsaren, No. 198, June 28, 1844.



"At en forfatter kun bør straffes for de Ord, han har sagt, og ikke for den Tanke, han i dem har udtrykt, og ikke for den Tanke, der mulig kan findes at ligge i dem, er en Sætning, som ikke alene bestyrkes ved Lovens udtrykkelige Bud (at han skal dømmes efter den Mening, Ordene "nærmest og naturligt frembyde"), men følger ogsaa ligefrem af Fornuft og Billighed. Staten kan nemlig som objectiv Existens ikke ville indlade sig paa at dømme den subjective Tanke, men kun Tanken, forsaavidt den fremtræder i objectiv Form, kan altsaa kun ville indlade sig paa at straffe for den Skade, Forfatteren enten har opnaaet eller kunnet opnaae. Hvad kommer det overhovedet Staten ved, hvad en Forfatter eller enhver anden Borger har villet, men ikke kunnet? Villien maa altsaa være aldeledes ligegyldig. Og hvorledes vil man gaae ind i en Forfatters Hjerte og see, hvad han virkelig har villet?

Forsaavidt Retten søger at raade Bod paa denne sidste Mislighed ved at lade Forfatteren personlig afhøre om Meningen af hans Ord, geraader den ind paa en Mislighed af ganske anden Natur. Ikke nok, at den anerkjender Forfatterens Strafløshed ved det samme Middel, hvorved den vil hidføre hans Straf: Den anerkjender, at den lovstridige Tanke ikke ligefrem ligger i Ordene, men først maa bringes derind - ikke nok hermed, siger jeg, men Retten bringer ogsaa Sagen bort fra Trykkefrihedens til Tænkefrihedens Gebeet. Det er nemlig ikke længere det trykte Ord selv, man behandler det er Forfatterens hele Tankevirksomhed. Men, idet man saaledes sætter Tankens foreliggende udvortes Form som det underordnede og søger den fjernere formede Tanke, blive Ordene det reent Tilfældige, og næste Gang kan der ligesaa godt spørges; Hvad har De menet med det Smiil, den Gebærde o.s.v.? Men selv Smilet og Gebærden er underordnet, det er jo Tanken, der søges; man kan altsaa gaae endnu videre og simpelt spørge: Hvad har De meent eller tænkt i det eller hiint Øieblik, eller i det eller hiint Aar, eller i hele Deres Liv?"



The logo of Corsaren by Peter Klæstrup
- a pirate's ship with the words of the song "ça ira, ça ira!" of the French revolution.
Note how the pirates are greeted from ashore.


"That a writer should only be punished for the words he has said and not for the thought, he expressed therein and not for the thought that could possibly be found to lie therein, is a phrase, which is not only corroborated by the express command of the Law (that he shall be judged by the opinion "posed naturally by and following from" the words), but it adheres to reason and fairness. As an objective existence the State cannot engage in judging the subjective thought, but only the idea, inasmuch as it appears in an objective form and can thus only engage in punishing for the damage that the author has either brought about or been able to bring about. What is it even to the State what an author or any other citizen wanted, but have not been able to? The will must therefore be utterly without signification. And how is it even possible to enter a writer's heart and see what he really wanted?

Insofar as the Court seeks to remedy this last irregularity by letting the author be interrogated in person on the meaning of his words, it is bound to encounter an irregularity of quite a different nature. It recognizes the impunity from prosecution of the author by the same means whereby it will punish him: It recognizes that the illegal thought is not exactly located within the words, but must be placed there first - and not just that, I say, but the Court moreover brings the matter away of from the matter of the freedom of the press to the freedom of thought. It is thus no longer the printed word itself, which is its concern; it is the entire thinking sphere of the author. But when the present external form of the thought is classed beneath the distantly shaped thought, the words become purely accidental, and the next time it may just as well be asked; what have you meant by that smile, that gesture and so forth? But even the smile and the gesture are secondary, it is after all the idea, which is sought; one can therefore go even further and simply ask: What have you meant or thought in it or that moment, or in this or that year, or in all of your life?"



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