Weekly Reader 29

A dark grey cat sat on a dark grey floor.
Photo by Huw Lemmey

I’m starting off the year well by publishing the first weekly post on the 12th of January. I chose the above photo for its textural qualities, the shine of the rough painted floor and the contrast with the silky plump cat, and the way that the two seem to merge into one another. I hope no one trod on it. Almost entirely by accident I’ve gone for a textural bodily theme with this post.

  • No bit of the carcass requires longer cooking to come to tenderness, though most of that is entirely untroublesome to the cook, Nigel Slater’s oxtail recipes in The Guardian. To warm up the dreary Winter days (though they feel more like Autumn or a wet Spring), I’m thinking of making Nigel Slater’s ox tail recipes. Ox tail is a cut that I’ve never used myself but that I’d like to try, given the vastly superior qualities of bone-in cuts.
  • The no man’s land images are native to her iPhone screen, made with a screenshot of the camera application while it transitions in and out of being used, (open up your camera, click on All Photos in the lower left corner, and Done in the upper right to return) blurring the last “seen” image in a split second. The resulting images are vague, fleshy abstractions that give the slightest hint of human form, Madeline Zappala in Ain’t Bad. There seem to be two styles of photography at the moment, serious topographic work, and lo-fi snapshots. I love each in their own way, but it can be tiring glossing over what appear to be the same shoots day after day. Madeline’s series genuinely amused me in concept and execution, it’s well worth scrolling slo wly down the page.
  • The meticulously crafted images are mesmerising and Juno challenges modern rituals of seduction and the laboured construction of femininity through portraits that see Joyce alone in a hotel suite in various guises, Juno Calypso in It’s Nice That. Juno Calypso’s photographs were one of last year’s true highlights, and it’s encouraging to see her work included in their Ones to Watch 2016 series on top of having deservedly won the British Journal of Photography International Photography Award 2016.
  • I was mirroring exactly what I was feeling, what I was going through in my life: dealing with different partners, different people, trust tissues, the different dynamics of being single and feeling very alone and isolated and messy regardless of whether I was getting some or not, Heather Benjamin interviewed in Adult Mag by Sean T. Collins. I’ve followed Heather on tumblr for a while, finding her work through Simon Hanselmann and HTMLflowers, and I’ve just bought a copy of her Romantic Story and Demons Are Forever.
  • Don’t just reach into the chest cavity and grab it as you would an apple: It will slip between your fingers, bruise, even tear. Slide your hand behind the heart until you can feel your knuckles graze the smooth pericardial sac encasing it, How to Hold a Heart in the New York Times Magazine.
  • I am convinced that of all the manifestations of the ephemeral, the human body is the most vulnerable— the only source of all joy, all suffering and all truth, the work of Alina Szapocznikow is covered by Isabella Smith in AnOther. Szapocznikow’s work is fascinating and I’m frankly embarrassed that I hadn’t known of it earlier, if anyone has any articles on her I’d be very glad to read them.
  • One, two, or even a half-dozen bright yellow eggs might evoke the quaint comforts of a greasy spoon diner, but by the thousands they can be quite ominous, Benjamin Sutton takes a look at Christopher Chiappa’s current exhibition in Hyperallergic.