Latest somethingdark news

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Barbara Nitke carries the torch for controversial photography yet againLatest News ->

Thurs 16 Feb, 2012.

Barbara Nitke carries the torch for controversial photography yet again

There’s more to Barbara Nitke than a fine art photographer – she’s the woman who, with the support of the US National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), in 2001 filed a lawsuit against the US attorney general, John Ashcroft, to overturn the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The CDA allowed the most conservative communities in the United States to precipitate legal proceedings against any internet content they deemed “obscene”, regardless of where in the country it was hosted.

Nitke v. Gonzales, as the case became known when President George Bush appointed Alberto Gonzales as Ashcroft’s replacement, went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2006. Nitke and the NCSF lost, and Nitke was “appalled” by the decision: “It’s vitally important to keep the internet free for education, the arts and open discussion on sexual topics. This law is a form of unfair censorship that must be stopped” (Barbara Nitke, cited by Susan Wright, “I know it when I see it”, Skin Two no. 58, Autumn 2007, p. 55).

Fortunately for those who appreciate Nitke’s photography, losing an important legal battle on behalf of Americans who produce creative material at the edgier end of the spectrum did not deter her from her own work. If it had, she would not now be seeking to publish American Ecstasy, her “memoir” from years working as a photographer on the sets of some 300 professional hardcore porn films in New York City in the 1980s and early ’90s....Read more

Eroticon 2012: the UK’s first conference for writer’s of eroticaLatest News ->

Sat 04 Feb, 2012.

A conference for sex bloggers and erotica writers, billed as the first of its type in the United Kingdom, will be held in Bristol on Saturday 3 March.

More than one hundred bloggers and writers have signed up to attend thus far and conference organiser, the erotic author Ruby Kiddell, is expecting many more to participate....Read more

First Art Erotica exhibition ends with promise of more to comeLatest News ->

Sat 28 Jan, 2012.

First <i>Art Erotica</i> exhibition ends with promise of more to come
Carry With Both Hands, by Adam Stockman

Art Erotica, the exhibition that caused the odd stir in Mayfair’s gallery precinct, closed yesterday, Friday 27 January, after a memorable ten days that included more than just the exhibition itself....Read more

Art Erotica raises brows in MayfairLatest News ->

Fri 20 Jan, 2012.

<i>Art Erotica</i> raises brows in Mayfair

Passers-by often stopped to look; sometimes amused, they smiled, usually sheepishly. Sometimes a jaw visibly dropped, even if just a little. Sometimes a phone or camera emerged from a pocket and snaps were taken through the front windows. Occasionally, an offended pedestrian on this most prestigious of streets in Mayfair’s gallery district would march through the doors of The Gallery in Cork Street and complain about the outrageous and offensive objects that, apparently, had ravaged the innocence of an unsuspecting outside world.

Complaints focused on the sculpture by Jas Davidson, Orc 3, and the occasion was the setting up of the first Art Erotica exhibition. This was during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, 17 and 18 January, and the exhibition wasn’t even open; the private view was scheduled for 19:00 on the evening of 18 January....Read more

Eroticism in art and life knows no bordersLatest News ->

Tues 08 Nov, 2011.

Eroticism in art and life knows no borders

Ruth Bircham is an exuberant woman full of a passion for life and art. Her own art, of course, is a specific focus of this passion. But, like the human body and the sex she so joyously celebrates, she believes art – and especially erotic art – should be shared, and that means exhibiting.

Besides pinning her heart on her blouse as much as she hangs her bold paintings on gallery walls, London-based Bircham is a determined woman who has shown some initiative in organising an exhibition of mostly black artists who work in the erotic genre, and Forbidden Fruit is the result....Read more

Latex fashion continues its march into the mainstream with a new book by GoliathLatest News ->

Thurs 27 Oct, 2011.

Latex fashion continues its march into the mainstream with a new book by Goliath

There was a time, not so long ago, that latex clothing only came out at night, or perhaps was worn very discreetly beneath more conventional attire. Possibly more than any other material, latex flashed “fetish” in big, bold letters across the forehead of whoever was wearing it. It certainly was not acceptable in polite society.

This, however, is changing, as was seen rather conclusively last October when Atsuko Kudo hit the catwalk in New York with a collection of latex fashion that dropped jaws. See towards the end of a video clip of AK’s triumph – Atsuko Kudo/Lingerie New York Runway Show (at 6:15) – for two outfits, first in dusty pink and then in black, to see what we mean.

Atsuko Kudo is not by any means the only accomplished latex fashion designer, and the German publisher Goliath Books pays tribute to an international host of them in a new book, Latex Fashion Photography. Of course, as the title indicates, the book is principally featuring the photographers (and the models) who have done so much to portray latex design as a work of fashion art....Read more

Marilyn Jaye Lewis lecture at The Last Tuesday SocietyLatest News ->

Thurs 20 Oct, 2011.

SomethingDark 02’s literature writer, Marilyn Jaye Lewis, will be giving a lecture in London on Friday 21 October at The Last Tuesday Society. Marilyn will be reading from and speaking on issues related to her latest book, Twilight of the Immortal, which, as a historical novel, was new territory for her.

Twilight of the Immortal is an extensively researched novel about Hollywood in the Silent Era, with a predominant focus on the gays, lesbians and bisexuals who not only worked in Hollywood movies at that time, but who also thrived in them. The main characters in the novel actually lived – for instance, Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino, to name two legendary icons – but their stories are told through their interactions with fictional characters. The story spans the years 1916 to 1927.

Marilyn will do selected readings from the book, interspersed with discussions about the artistic genius and creative ingenuity of the artists of those times and of how their talents came to be trivialised – if not outright forgotten – over time. She will also discuss the scandals, trends and overall culture of that era in Hollywood, as well as the resurgence of interest in Silent Films that is reemerging in the culture today...Read more

ANALYSIS and COMMENT (in two parts): Dark politics, economics, and the business of intervention in LibyaLatest News ->

14 & 20 Mar, 2011

The Libyan crisis is showing all the signs of embroiling the usual western powers in another warmongering scandal, so SomethingDark editor Daryl Champion refocusses on his specialty, Middle East politics, and looks at what might really be happening behind the scenes. In doing so, he hints at the economic motivations for intervention in Libya as a precursor to a number of articles in the forthcoming issue 2 of SDk magazine.

This two-part analysis-and-commentary is presented in a more classic blog style. Part 1 was written shortly before the UN Security Council passed resolution 1973 (2011) on 17 March, and takes somewhat of a satirical approach; part 2 was written shortly after UNSC 1973 (2011). Scroll down to the end of part 1 to read part 2, “Examining the US ‘about-face’ on war in Libya: geostrategics and regime change”...Read more

Pens and Needles: an unusual exhibition in an unconventional galleryLatest News ->

Wed 02 Mar, 2011.

<i>Pens and Needles</i>: an unusual exhibition in an unconventional gallery

Strange sounds emitted from the building, as if a sequence depicting an alien planet from the soundtrack of a science-fiction film were being piped into the London night. The venue was London Miles Gallery in Notting Hill, and the alien noises, although very atmospheric and suited to an avant-garde gallery in a general sense, were not entirely in keeping with the theme of the exhibition that was in the full swing of its opening event.

Then the source of those sibilant sounds – the ethereal sighing, soft hissing and whooshing punctuated with metallic highlights – became clear: it wasn’t the office building that housed London Miles, but the traffic speeding along the elevated A4 under which the building was constructed, its concrete roof almost a part of the busy arterial road’s supporting structure. So no, it was not quite the soundtrack for an extraterrestrial world, but more of a soundscape for J.G. Ballard’s Crash, which not only complemented the gallery’s persona, but somehow did suit the mood of the event therein....Read more

London gallery to examine and celebrate the culture of tattoo artLatest News ->

Wed 16 Feb, 2011.

London Miles Gallery will on 25 February open an exhibition not normally associated with the white-wall-and-plinth set, but then London Miles is not your garden-variety gallery that likes to take a “holier-than-thou” approach to art.

The exhibition in question is Pens and Needles, which will be a group exhibition celebrating and taking an in-depth look at all forms of tattoo art, lifestyle and culture. And it will be done with panache, which, apparently, is something for which the gallery is becoming known as it presents exhibitions of surrealist, pop, lowbrow, comic book and illustration art to a growing British following of discerning enthusiasts of these genres. London Miles Gallery’s mission, however, extends to “exhibiting, nurturing, and unearthing artists”.

Pens and Needles is, according to the gallery’s publicity, “the first UK art exhibition of its kind”, and aims to highlight the intersection of fine art and modern tattooing. In their words:...Read more