September 25, 2017

The Inheritance

Filed under: philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 9:05 am

“What is inherited from others can be nothing but egg shells. We should treat the fact of their presence with indulgence, but they will not give us spiritual nourishment”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

La séquence des barres parallèles (dir. Aryan Kaganof, 1992)

Filed under: kaganof short films,kerkhof short films — ABRAXAS @ 8:59 am

September 20, 2017

Greyton, wednesday 20 September 2017, 10:14am

Filed under: Greyton 7233 — ABRAXAS @ 2:23 pm


Giuliano Vivaldi reviews Jack Sargeant’s Flesh and Excess

Screen shot 2017-09-20 at 1.31.03 PM

first published here: http://sensesofcinema.com/2017/book-reviews/flesh-and-excess/

Filed under: kaganof — ABRAXAS @ 12:19 pm


Filed under: art — ABRAXAS @ 12:17 pm


Jethro Louw – troebadour

Filed under: jethro louw,kagaportraits — ABRAXAS @ 12:00 pm


Filed under: art,dick tuinder — ABRAXAS @ 11:27 am


Kamvelihle Goba on Metalepsis in Black

Filed under: 2016 - Metalepsis in Black,Tshepo Goba — ABRAXAS @ 11:24 am


September 19, 2017

Paul Beatty on closure

Filed under: literature,race — ABRAXAS @ 11:48 am

“I’d love to say that I awoke from my own fugue state and remembered only the stinging fizz of my wounds as Hominy gently dabbed at my police-inflicted abrasions with cotton balls soaked in hydrogen peroxide. But as long as I live, I’ll never forget the sound of my leather belt against the Levi Strauss denim as I unsheathed it from my pants. The whistle of that brown-and-black reversible whip cutting through the air and raining down hard in loud skin-popping thunderclaps on Hominy’s back. The teary-eyed joy and the thankfulness he showed me as he crawled, not away from the beating, but into it; seeking closure for centuries of repressed anger and decades of unrequited subservience by hugging me at the knees and begging me to hit him harder, his black body welcoming the weight and sizzle of my whip with groveling groans of ecstasy. I’ll never forget Hominy bleeding in the street and, like every slave throughout history, refusing to press charges. I’ll never forget him walking me gently inside and asking those who’d gathered around not to judge me because, after all, who whispers in the Nigger Whisperer’s ear?
“Yes, massa.”
“What would you whisper in my ear?”
“I’d whisper that you’re thinking too small. That saving Dickens nigger by nigger with a bullhorn ain’t never going to work. That you have to think bigger than your father did. You know the phrase “You can’t see the forest for the trees?”
“Of course.”
“Well, you have to stop seeing us as individuals, ’cause right now, massa, you ain’t seeing the plantation for the niggers.”

The Sellout
page 79-80

Paul Beatty on The Slave

Filed under: literature,race — ABRAXAS @ 11:36 am

“Hominy, you’re not a slave and I’m definitely not your master.”
“Massa,” he said, the smile evaporating from his face, and shaking his head in that pitiable way people who you think you’re better than do when you they catch you thinking that you’re better than them, “sometimes we just have to accept who we are and act accordingly. I’m a slave. That’s who I am. It’s the role I was born to play. A slave who just also happens to be an actor. But being black ain’t method acting. Lee Strasberg could teach you how to be a tree, but he couldn’t teach you how to be a nigger. This is the ultimate nexus between craft and purpose, and we won’t be discussing this again. I’m your nigger for life, and that’s it.”

The Sellout
page 77

September 15, 2017

Kyle Shepherd

first published here: https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/business-day/20170915/281822873966436

September 14, 2017

Hout Bay, Tuesday 12 september 2017

Filed under: 2010 - The Uprising of Hangberg — ABRAXAS @ 5:33 pm

photo Justin Sullivan

September 12, 2017

Medea, falling…

Filed under: films edited by kaganof,nicola deane — ABRAXAS @ 11:18 am

a poor image reconstruction by Nicola Deane
South Africa, September 2017

Synopsis: “The poor image tends towards abstraction: it is a visual idea in its very becoming.” Hito Steyerl

Edited by Kaganof & Deane

Appropriated texts:

1. Something Wild (Garfein: 1961)

2. Remix collection of Aryan Kaganof: Venus Emerging (2004); courtesy of DOMUS (Documentation Centre for Music, University of Stellenbosch)


1. Derived from The Dreams (1964) – an Invention for Radio by Delia Derbyshire (of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) in collaboration with poet and dramatist Barry Bermange.

2. Signal To Noise (1997); courtesy of DOMUS )Documentation Centre for Music, University of Stellenbosch)

Nicola Deane is an artist currently researching her PhD at Stellenbosch University – Decentering the Archive: Visual Fabrications of Sonic Memories – an interdisciplinary practice-based project that involves translating music related documents from an archive in the music department (DOMUS) into visual media for a conceptual art installation.

2017 Medea, falling… a poor image reconstruction (7:33)
2017 “Through the ear, we shall enter the invisibility of things.”
2017 The Post-Medium Condition (3:11)
2011 In Media Res (8:03)
2011 Portrait of the Artist, Thanking Her Detractors (00:54)
2010 Code Desire (5:37)

Alain on what has been revealed

Filed under: philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 11:06 am

“The modern error, which occupies something like four thousand volumes, is the attempt to find out if religion actually was revealed, and where and when, and by what evidence we know it. It seems, according to an inverted piety, which is in fact impiety, that the revealed idea will be true only insofar as it can be established that the precise circumstances under which it was revealed were real, and exactly as they have been reported. This proof cannot be produced, because every proof of existence is a proof of experience, and there can be no experience of the past. But there is more to be said. No one asks if the trees really went in search of a king; no one asks if the fox really spoke to the crow. It is a question of a fresh understanding of the idea that lives in the story. If we learn from the story, then it is true in the way that stories can be true. Whether or not I know that Homer existed, it does not alter the beauties of the Iliad, or what knowledge of the gods and of himself a man can draw from the poem. Jesus denounced the pharisee; I recognize myself in that image; I judge myself; this manner of speaking is driven into me, it pierces me like an arrow. I hope to escape by first examining the problem of whether or not Jesus really said that, telling myself that if Jesus never lived, what he said might well be false. This is a delaying tactic. It is a diversion whose purpose may be to make religion inoffensive, I mean for those who practice it. Our beliefs are rarely based on evidence; the mind is simply bemused by this kind of criticism. But the whited spulcher is something real, and so is Pharasaism; what matters is not whether these things are true but hows they are true. And if Jesus taught that one cannot have royal power, through armies and money, and at the same time save one’s soul, what needs to be examined is not whether Jesus said this on such and such a day, but whether what he said is true. It is very true that we must believe, that we must start from belief, and hold to it, and always return to it; it is very true also that we must think about what we believe; that is what thought it. Comte often meditated on a particular sentence from the Imitation: “Intelligence must follow faith, never precede it, and never break with it.” This maxim, which the readers is already prepared to accept, instead of being scared off by it, will become clearer if we examine the well-known parable of the fig tree.

Jesus hungered, and he came upon a fig tree in the way; but there were no figs on it; it was not the season for figs. Thereupon he cursed the tree, and it withered and died. This is unacceptable; and our exegete immediately tries to find out what witless copyist or misinformed letters might be responsible for the remark that it was not the season for figs. But repeated experience has taught me never to change a text before I have tried seriously to understand it. For this difficulty disturbs me, and from what disturbs me I have often drawn great and important ideas, which my slack and abstract thought might otherwise have overlooked. And this, I claim, is a pious attitude, pious in the true sense; not because I promise to accept the absurd, but because I attempt to overcome the appearance of absurdity, which I obviously cannot do if I correct it first. My method proved sound in this case. For I told myself that, if it was not the season of figs, then it is also not a question of the fig tree, but of myself and my human brothers. I immediately started looking for human fig trees, and I did not have to look far. Not long ago a man said, speaking of the war, that that was not the season for figs, that is, for justice and truth, but that the season had now come. And others say, more simply, that the office is closed, that the unfortunate person will have to come back tomorrow; or, better still, that there are no funds available. To all of this there is no reply, for it is external necessity that commands, or, if we look closely, the order of power, the order of Caesar, which always invokes and always will invoke necessity against justice. Not right now, I haven’t got time, circumstances are stronger than you and I. Let us wait for the season of the figs, that is, for sunlight and water. These people excuse themselves as the innocent fig tree might have done. And in a flash the curse comes over me. Is it not always because of circumstances that we put off repaying a debt? And is it by circumstances that the unfortunate Jean Valjean tries to prove to himself that he need not go to Arras to give himself up and save Champmathieu. But, says the Lord, are you fig trees, who receive everything from outside, and produce only under the right conditions? Or are you men, who know yourselves and even will yourselves to be free to distribute the reserves of your being as your own spirit dictates? Who renounces this privilege? Pilate, the great prefect, renounces it; his spirit washes its hands like the fig tree. Would he renounce it absolutely, expressly? I don’t know. But I call him Lord who violently reminds us that the principal crime, perhaps the only crime, is to renounce in oneself the condition of being human. This Lord is demanding; Jean Valjean listens to him, and follows him, without asking if this Lord who is right was born before or after some other man, or if he was born at all. For it is easy to say that we could all live like administrative fig trees, always acting by the calendar and according to the edict of things, or of Caesar, and that this kind of life might even be pleasant, were it not for Jesus. What Jesus has said cannot be taken back; what has once been revealed cannot be withdrawn.”

The Gods
(les dieux)
translated by Richard Pevear
Quartet Encounters

September 10, 2017

Filed under: harry, jumping — ABRAXAS @ 9:52 pm


Filed under: philosophy — ABRAXAS @ 2:52 pm


September 7, 2017

Medea, falling…

Filed under: films edited by kaganof,nicola deane — ABRAXAS @ 3:18 pm


September 5, 2017

Dolly Rathebe

Filed under: music — ABRAXAS @ 3:20 pm

I remember walking with Dolly in central Joburg. We were walking down a street behind the High Court when we saw a jewellery shop. We entered the shop. A white lady came. I told her that we wanted to have a look at their rings. She picked up a key as she went to a locked glass display cabinet. She took out a velvet board full of gold and diamond rings and put it in front of us. I waited for her to make a mistake, and she did. With the swiftness of a panther, I had already taken one of the rings and with my nimble fingers put it in my pocket when she temporarily looked the other way. We later told her she could take the tray back because we were done and that we did not see anything we liked. She looked puzzled as she looked at the tray again and told us that there was a ring missing. There was a parley for a few minutes; we wanted to know if the insinuation was that we had stolen the ring. Nervous, she explained that she was only saying there was a missing ring.

“Are you accusing us of stealing the ring? Are you accusing my fiancé of stealing from this shop? Why are you doing this?” Dolly screamed at her.

“Did you see us taking any ring?”

“No, I did not. That is why I’m not sure really. I ‘ll have to call the boss,” said the lady.

The bespectacled boss came. He was calm, listening patiently to her as she related the story. He then listened to what Dolly and I had to say. During the conversation, I took out my wallet, which had four, big ten-pound notes in it.

“Here is my money, sir. Perhaps this lady thinks I’m just a loafer. I had come to buy a ring here; I am not a useless lay-about!” I screamed with Dolly joining me in the protest song.

Soon the boss apologised and bade us goodbyes. Down the street, Dolly was stunned to see me take out the ring and putting it around her finger, smiling.

Dolly became a great housewife who loved children. During the years we were in PE. I worked at the Bay Bus Company and I did not want her to work because although we were not rich, we were managing financially. She was loyal to her family and even pushing the showbiz life aside, sacrificing fame for her role as a housewife. She wanted to settle down, stop singing and raise her children. PE offered the kind of refuge she wanted at the time. Many of her friends visited her while she stayed with me at 46 Mendi Road and they’d share reminiscing conversations about the good old days in Sophiatown.

Our first child was a boy, Smilo, soon followed by a girl, Nontsikelelo.

I tried by all means to make Dolly happy. She never showed any signs of being unhappy in PE, although she always suggested to me that we should find a place of our own rather than stay at my parents’ place. We had our problems at times though. In fact, I later realised that Dolly was not entirely happy in New Brighton.

One evening I could not find her at home. I decided to go and look for her at 1 Ntshinga Street where her friend Ms Msengana lived. She was not there and I thought that maybe there was a problem with one of the children so I went to the family doctor’s surgery but Dolly was not there. No one had seen her. I then decided to go look at her relative May Cetu’s place in White Location. There was a party at the house and I could not see Dolly amongst those many ladies. May herself told me that Dolly never came to her place that day. I was about to leave when I decided to go into the room and boom right there behind the door was Dolly hiding. She had apparently been drinking. I was incensed and ended up beating everyone in the house, creating mayhem.

Then there was the day Dolly left PE, and her marriage. It was a long weekend and the Basin Blues had a show in East London. I gave Dolly the 84 pounds that was my share from a recent show around PE and told her I’d be back the following Monday.

But when I got off the lorry on the Monday back home, Dolly was not there. On the bed, the bare pillows lay on the floor and the bed had neither blankets nor sheets. My brother Touchy told me that Dolly had left. She had taken the 84 pounds, dishes, blankets, cutlery and other small things. I immediately thought of my revolver, hidden under one of the broken planks on the floor. It was gone. I sat down wondering, confused. I was not going to go fetch Dolly, I decided.

Then a few months later, she started writing me letters telling me that she was remorseful and was planning to come back to her marriage. Almost every month she would send her few items of clothing stating that she was preparing for her return. I wanted my Dolly back home.

Then I heard that she was in an Alfred Herbert show. The show was visiting PE but I got a call from the director, Alfred himself, informing me that no Dolly was not with the cast.

She had apparently met and fallen in love with an American called Smith, who wanted to marry her. It was during this time that Dolly filed for divorce. In court papers, Dolly gave three reasons for the divorce: that I did not have my own house; that I had twin children in Grahamstown; and that I had a child with one of the Pemba daughters. So our four-year-old marriage came to an end.

However, later that evening, I hooked up with Dolly and we spent the night together at the Alabama Hotel where she was renting a room.

Not long after we had parted, I heard that Dolly had gotten married to John Smith.

Then years later, she would call me every time she visited PE. She would invite me, give me a complimentary ticket and ask people to send me backstage. She was uncomfortable though when I visited her in Cape Town where she ran a shebeen in Elsies River. She became restless even though we have always had a place for each other in our hearts.

Dolly Rathebe will remain special because she bore the Durus those two children. When her chapter ended in Pretoria and her heart stopped beating, I knew she would sing somewhere in the skies above.

– The Black Train Rising: The Life and Times of Welcome Duru, by (Professor) Vuyisile Msila.

September 2, 2017


Filed under: literature,race — ABRAXAS @ 1:07 pm

“Daddy never believed in closure. He said it was a false psychological concept. Something invented by therapists to assuage white Western guilt. In all his years of study and practice, he’d never heard a patient of colour talk of needing “closure”. They needed revenge. They needed distance. Forgiveness and a good lawyer maybe, but never closure. He said people mistake suicide, murder, lap band surgery, interracial marriage, and overtipping for closure, when in reality what they’ve achieved is erasure.”
Paul Beatty
The Sellout

blackness and the human condition

Filed under: race — ABRAXAS @ 1:00 pm

“I seen it a million times,” my father used to say. “Professional niggers that just snap because the charade is over.” The blackness that had consumed them suddenly evaporates like window grit washed away in the rain. All that’s left is the transparency of the human condition, and everybody sees right through you.
Paul Beatty
The Sell Out
pg. 259

September 1, 2017

Naar de klote!

Filed under: 1996 - wasted! (naar de klote!) — ABRAXAS @ 8:33 am

0-59Screen shot 2017-09-01 at 8.32.45 AM0
first published here: https://www.vpro.nl/cinema/films/film~1642515~naar-de-klote~.html

Afke Reijenga on Naar De Klote!

Filed under: 1996 - wasted! (naar de klote!) — ABRAXAS @ 8:16 am

0Screen shot 2017-09-01 at 8.14.53 AM

August 31, 2017


Filed under: kaganof short films — ABRAXAS @ 2:45 pm

Suiwer begin met die figuur van ‘n filmbeeldreeks (Die Bou Van ‘n Nasie), wat oopgesny word en versprei word om ‘n plat, bandagtige oppervlak te vorm. Hierdie streek is wesenlik soos die liggaam, maar dit is nog nie georganiseer nie, dus die figuur van die ledemaatsverwydering. Terselfdertyd word ‘n filmklankreeks (Die Kandidaat) in die in stukke gesnede liggaam oorgeplant, wat die stabiele struktuur van die oorspronklike klank-beeldverhouding vervang met ‘n kruisondervraging wat dien om die affects wat verborge en ontken word, deur die oënskynlik stabiele en permanente strukture van die stelsel (Afrikaner-Nasionalisme), bloot te stel.

Die plat band wat die liggaam geword het, word ‘n draai gegee en bymekaar gebring. Dit vorm ‘n Moebius-strook (‘n sirkelvormige figuur wat net een oppervlak het as gevolg van die draai daarin; ‘n lyn wat langs een kant van die strook geteken word sal aan die ander kant verskyn sonder om met die oppervlak kontak te verloor). Hierdie strook is in beweging, herhaaldelik sirkuleer.

Die teks van hierdie moebius-strook is afgelei van Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd se Sosio-Psigologi van Misdaad, ‘n kursus wat hy aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch gegee het, terwyl professor in Sosiologie en Maatskaplike Werk.

Uiteindelik stop die herhalende beweging en vorm ‘n stabiele disjunksie. Suiwer draai dan op sigself rond en skep ‘n onveilige ruimte, (unsafe space) ‘n trauma kamer. Hierdie stadium in Suiwer verteenwoordig die vorming van Afrikaner-nasionalistiese denke, oorheers deur binêre logika en rassisme.

Suiwer is ‘n konseptuele animasie film wat ons toelaat om die elemente van die post-Apartheid maatskappy as veins te sien. Dit is, hulle het meer as een moontlikheid. Dit is altyd moontlik vir intensiteite om in ‘n stabiele stelsel te kanaliseer, of om ‘n stelsel te ontwrig deur dit deur intensiewe ontwrigting (disruption) te destabiliseer.

Stones Again reviewed by Vuyokazi Ngemntu Dejavu Tafari Yajitorro

Filed under: 2003 - stones again — ABRAXAS @ 7:34 am


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