In a recent conversation about kids’ books it suddenly struck me that I hadn’t read Wilde’s The Selfish Giant for years. As a child I was obsessed with it. Retrospectively I think its appeal was that, like so many of the great fairy tales, it simplifies some fairly hefty issues without being too preachy. More importantly for a nervous five-year-old, it’s not remotely frightening, unlike some of the more bloody Brothers Grimm tales (if you read Hansel and Gretel it’s pretty harrowing stuff, cannibalism, witchcraft and all). Moreover, there was a beautifully psychedelic animation made of it in the 70s, posted above.
PS – if you’re interested in fairy tales, 500 new ones were discovered in Germany by a historian named here. earlier this month. I’m trying to get hold of them at the moment, but in the meantime you can read about them
>Been flicking through ‘The Artist’s Body’ by Tracey Warr, which collects several images and short essays on how Artists have used their bodies. Lots of intriguing subjects tackled and far too many disturbing images to show here, including the infamous self portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe and Marina Abramovic’s ‘Rhythm 0′ where she stood by a table and offered herself passively to spectators with the simple instruction: ‘There are seventy-two objects on the table that can be used on me as desired. I am the object.’ The objects included a bullet and a gun. Anyhow lots of cool stuff which will make you question your perception of the body and art but also far too much mutilation!
Below is ‘Plank Piece I & II’ by Charles Ray. Making sculpture an activity rather than an object. I sometimes feel a bit like this piece!