1933, Raoul Ubac
Proto-Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth perhaps? I do not want to alarm all those who ‘want to believe’ but Ubac may indeed have spent time in a flying saucer probing chamber to achieve/stimulate his surrealist vision.
Portrait of the Marquise de Casati (Rayograph) (1922) - Man Ray.
"Jarry had meantime discovered the pleasures of alcohol, which he called "my sacred herb" or, when referring to absinthe, the “green goddess”. A story is told that he once painted his face green and rode through town on his bicycle in its honour (and possibly under its influence).”
A strange coincidence in that on Friday after drinking to excess for the first time in over a year I rode a friends bike down a pleasant slope screaming into the wind before becoming reacquainted with asphalt and tangled bicycle chains. Eternal thanks to the devil for that moment of exaltation and concurrent abjection.
program insert from the 1896 production of ubu roi.
"After Stephane Mallarme, after Paul Verlaine, After Gustave Moreau, after Puvis de Chavannes, after our own verse, after all our subtle colour and nervous rhythm, after the faint mixed tints of Conder, what more is possible? After us the Savage God.” - William Butler Yeats’ response to the infamous first performance of Ubu Roi, in which a riot broke out in the audience. The artistic scandal (think the inaugural performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring) is central to the artistic imagination of modernity, a moment in which the sublimated violence of capitalist society momentarily breaks out after/during a performance. Performance here takes on a dimension which is ultimately critical, distinct from the blank irony or empty self-reflexivity characterising the products of the spectacle.
Poem, (1924), Man Ray.
POETRY IS IN THE STREET AND NOT IN THE JOURNALS OF SELF-IMPORTANT STUDENTS.