All photos & text by Luana Magalhães
Arguably the most intense, harrowing performance of the whole festival, Amenra were pure catharsis – the outpouring of pain and anguish was evident in each blood-curding Colin Eeckhout scream and every resounding note of their instruments. Most massive sound of the weekend too – the soundcheck before the show alone was enough to nearly rearrange internal organs.
How many of you have a photo of you as a small child screaming on the lap of some tarted-up potential child molester, aka “Santa Claus” or the “Easter Bunny”? Parents can’t seem to resist these photo opportunities, and for some reason our society has decided that these pseudo-christian holidays should be marked by photos of our children on the laps of grown men in weird furry suits…makes sense in a twisted way I guess. From the photos below, obviously most children are not down with this; their inner weirdo radar goes off like crazy and the result is a photo of sheer terror. Some misguided children look happy to be nestled into their tormentor’s lap, but I’m sure the nightmarish faces of some of these homemade bunny suits still haunted them years later. Speaking of which, many of these suits are not of the modern day made in China clone variety – they are fashioned by hand from the mind of a madman. Their faces are a mirror into the soul of humankind and our absolute lack of respect for the spectacular beauty of nature. They are fucking creepy and nothing like real bunnies. Even Jesus would be terrified, and he was a zombie. Enjoy!
I have always been into art that gives a voice to those that don’t have one. I remember being young in the 70′s and having my mind stimulated with all of the revolutionary creativity that was happening around me. A big part of what got me hyped about the punk movement was it’s use of art as a weapon for change. When I first saw a Crass cover, I knew it spoke to me but I did not know that the artist was influenced by German artist John Heartfield. He was a true warrior for change and used his creative spirit as his gun to fire at the Racist & Fascist Nazi regime in Germany. John Heartfield showed the Nazis that he was not afraid of them by manifesting powerful photomontages that spoke out against their fakery! His influence on the Anarcho Punk movement is evident even today. Discharge used one of his pieces for the Never Again cover and this image has become a part of punk history. Today CVLT Nation salutes John Heartfield with a huge photo essay of his work, plus we are showing the documentary Zygosis: John Heartfield and the Political Image!
I have never understood the appeal of ventriloquism. There is something infinitely creepy about ventriloquist dolls; maybe if the acts were more along the lines of weird and horrifying I would enjoy them more. I really wonder about people who do ventriloquism. The dummies always have the weirdest, most exaggerated faces, with huge staring eyes, bulbous noses and cheeks stretched into a grimacing smile. No wonder so many horror films have featured talking dolls. Also, their voices are terrifying – all high and squeaky and manic. I just don’t like them. But if I feel like freaking myself out, I can stare at photos of vintage ventriloquist dummies for hours, feeling the thrill of a chill down my spine. So if you feel like that today, check out a wonderful and weird gallery below…
Call them Guttter Punks, Crusty Punks or modern day hobos – I call them human beings that live outside of “normal” society. Hordes of traveling punks are all over the world, and like most homeless, the larger society treats them as invisible beings. This is not the case with the New York Photographer Steve Hirsch, who has documented the Crusty Punk dwellers of Tompkins Square Park with dignity. What is awesome about his site is that with each photo he takes, he gives the person space to tell a story which draws you into the photo even more…Now check out a gallery of Steve Hirsch’s flicks, plus some words from the voices that society tries to sweep away!
My father was an attempted cop killer, he was doing twenty years to life for shooting a police officer three times. He was serving five years in CCI corrections and my mother met him visiting my uncle who was an incarcerated Hell’s Angels. As my mom would tell you, she fucking fell in love with a felon. Got a petition with three thousand signatures on it and got my dad released in five years served, five years probation. He got out impregnated my mom. I was born two months premature and I was dying.
I got into punk rock music and squatting when I was thirteen years old. By fifteen I had been in jail, was kicked out of high school and I had a son on the way. In two thousand one, January third, my son Seth Alan Parker was born. At that moment I knew that I would never stick a needle in my arm or ride a train or ever do anything that would ever threaten me being there for him. I’ve traveled all over America, just not on trains. I’ve stayed in the dirtiest squat houses. I’ve cried over dead friends. I’ve cried over live friends. When I was eighteen years old we started a crew, it’s called the Dirty South Crew. We’re all family. We’re all poor, white trash squatters, scum fucks, losers, throwaway kids. Some of my friends died from overdoses. Some of them killed themselves. Some of my friends are still alive and wish they were dead. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one left that’s still normal. I look around me and just see all this disease and drugs and just hopelessness.
When I was seventeen years old I was at a punk show in my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. A straight edge hardcore guy named…approached me from behind and tapped me on my shoulder and said my name. When I turned around he grabbed my by my shirt, stepped on my feet and he smashed my face in. I had three thousand dollars of reconstructive surgery putting my nose back together. Putting my eye socket back together. Half of my face is metal. I have screws and brackets in my face. When I woke up I didn’t have a nose. I didn’t have an eye. My eyeball was loosely hanging out of my socket. Everyone kinda likes to joke that I’m the man with the metal face. Six years later after I got my face busted in that same guy he got stabbed nine times by a Nazi and his car was set on fire…via Crustypunks
Deep inside the ugly abstract caves in our minds lives a form of beauty that is hard to describe with words! When I look at Susu Laroche‘s photographs, all sorts of thoughts come into my brain. She knows how to isolate something morbid and bring out the fragile tragedy in it. While looking at her work, for some reason I begin to question my own place on this planet. She uses the human body in a way that shows our fleeting existence in the world. Susu’s photos remind me that there is a constant battle between chaos and serenity, and she conveys this idea in a dreamy lanscape. I feel like I am looking through a fog into someone else’s dream that feels like a nightmare. It’s awesome when opposites co-exist in art to create something that is otherworldly. Susu Laroche’s photos almost seem to have a ghost living inside of them. Instead of me going on about how her work has impacted me, check it out for yourself!
There was a time when photo manipulation was a new and undiscovered art, when the possibilities for altering the reality of a photograph were endless, albeit a skill that had to be carefully learned. In the Victorian era, photography was a booming industry, so what did these skilled photo manipulators choose to do? Behead their subjects! Obviously decapitation has held the fascination of human beings for many a century, and once we figured out how to make ourselves look decapitated without actually having to chop anybody’s head off, it became wildly popular. This was the zombie app of the 1890s. As someone who has spent a little time in a darkroom, I can imagine this effect was the result of a long, tedious and careful process, and evidently from the photos below, some photographers were more skilled at beheadings than others. What a lovely souvenir of your dear old mom – a photo of you holding the axe that chopped off her head, while your brother holds her gory skull by the hair! Although Victorian era people seem so stuffy and repressed, in some ways they had a pretty awesome sense of humor. Check out more Victorian headless portraits below…
Late last month, the TODAY IS THE THE DAY tour rolled into Vancouver with their tour mates BLACK TUSK and KEN MODE. Our comrade in photography Ted Reckoning was on hand and captured the whole ballistic event. We are hyped that he shared his raging photos with us because you can almost hear the bands’ riffs blazing out of the flicks! Enough of me talking, check out this insane photo essay after the jump!