Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Visual Culture Wednesday: Where is Kim Kardashian's Asp?...Epic Polaroid Paper Trail...and more

 Fashion: Kim Kardashian 

When you sit down and imagine what might have happened when Kim Kardashian posed as Cleopatra for outlandish fashion photographer Terry Richardson, her layout in the March issue of Harper's Bazaar seems pretty tame. In fact, it's a little lifeless, and I would have liked some more bad taste—Roman soldiers with breastplates, figs, eunuchs, and for goodness sake a big ol' asp. The real problem with the pictures is that Kardashian doesn't project much personal energy into the lens. Reality TV stars do better when they play the same people they play on TV, which is themselves. It's the most interesting role they seem to be able to imagine. 

And who knows, maybe it is better to be Kim Kardashian than the Queen of the Nile. Her life is already a lot more fun than Cleopatra's ever was. Who needs a barge when there's a limo waiting? Or an empire when you've got the E network? Or Caesar, when there is Caesar's Palace? So forgive her for looking slightly bored.

Nature: Volcanic Masterpiece

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is at it again. (I've never had the chance to go there, so it may be just my imagination, but does it ever stop erupting?) Apparently, last Saturday, while I was cleaning the house up, the volcano's Pu'u 'O'o crater collapsed, and a fissure about a third of a mile long opened up across the volcano, from which lava has been venting, sometimes up to 80 feet in the air. National Geographic has a Kilauea story up with a number of Kilauea photos. One of them (above) caught my eye, because it's astonishingly beautiful and eerie—a real landscape-from-hell. Turns out it's not a shot from the current eruption, however, but a Nat Geo file picture, which tells you what their files must be like. It was only after I looked at the photo for a few awe-filled moments that I realized it was by the great Frans Lanting. The way this picture makes me feel is the way I should have felt looking at Kim Kardashian as Cleopatra.

Art: Mikhael Kennedy's Polaroid Epic

 He isn't the first fine-art photographer to use the Polaroid SX70 camera, but who knows, he could be the last. (Those cartridges of Polaroid 779 film are, of course, not as plentiful as they once were.) Mikhael Kennedy has probably taken Polaroid art farther, if not further, than anyone else, however.

 Kennedy, like an instant-film version of Jack Kerouac, has wandered all over North American with his SX70 and has produced an epic seven-volume series (called Passport to Tresspass)  of self-published books detailing, in Polaroid's dreamy, creamy aesthetic, the people and places he has encountered. The latest installment, called Hunt Them Out, winds back through his previous journeys, catching up with previously-seen characters. Peter Hay Halpert Fine Art has a portfolio of all twenty of the new images. You can also read an interview with Kennedy here.


  1. “Kim” Kardashian was born in October 21, 1980 in an American family. She is a television personality, actress, model, and recording artist.

    I love Kim Kardashian.

  2. The link for Peter Hay Halpert is incorrect, the correct link is: