Shibam - ancient precursor to Manhattan

Surrounded by a fortified wall, the 16th-century city of Shibam in Yemen is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. Its impressive tower-like structures rise out of the cliff and have given the city the nickname of ‘the Manhattan of the desert’.
The houses of Shibam are all made out of mud brick, and about 500 of them are tower blocks, which rise 5 to 11 storeys high, with each floor having one or two rooms. This architectural style was used in order to protect residents from Bedouin attacks. While Shibam has been in existence for an estimated 1,700 years, most of the city's houses originate from the 16th century.

Old Walled City of Shibam - UNESCO World Heritage Centre

An incredible piece of engineering - a 16th-century city in Yemen ...

This Ancient Mud Skyscraper City is the 'Manhattan of the Desert'
The Oldest Skyscraper City | Shibam, Yemen - YouTube


The Parthenon of Books

Argentinian conceptual artist Marta Minujín has used thousands of prohibited books to construct a replica of the Parthenon in Athens on a Nazi book-burning site in Kassel, Germany.

Taking a stance against censorship, Minujín designed the Parthenon of Books to echo the classical Greek temple, which remains a major icon of the democratic Athenian polis.

Metal scaffolding mimics the form of the temple, which is then covered in books held by plastic wrapping. All the books were donated by the public from a shortlist of over 170 titles that are either currently or formerly prohibited.

The installation forms part of 2017's Documenta 14 art festival in Kassel, a city in the north of central German state Hesse. It responded to a brief that asked contributing artists to explore the relationship between Kassel and Athens – the festival's partnering city.

But this is not the first time that Minujín has created the Parthenon of Books. The artist also constructed a replica in Buenos Aires, choosing books banned during Argentinian military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983.





"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" Dumbledore, 2005


Steve Cutts' world-weary video for Moby

For 'Are You Lost in the World Like Me?'


Ernst Haas

"I never really wanted to be a photographer. It slowly grew out of the compromise of a boy who desired to combine two goals—explorer or painter. I wanted to travel, see and experience. What better profession could there be than the one of a photographer, almost a painter in a hurry, overwhelmed by too many constantly changing impressions? But all my inspirational influences came much more from all the arts than from photo magazines."

(Coleman, A. D. (2000). "Painter in a Hurry". Ernst Haas Website: The Photography of Ernst Haas.)



From 'La Collection Americaine' by French duo artists Kolkoz aka Samuel Boutruche and Benjamin Moreau. The duo create art in a diverse range of mediums from video to sculpture and installation. For La Collection Americaine they use luxurious baroque gold frames to create sculptural forms.


Eshu, also known as Elegba or Legba, is a trickster god of the Yoruba people of Nigeria in West Africa. He is unpredictable, sly, and fond of pranks that can be cruel and disruptive. Eshu, who knows all the languages spoken on earth, serves as a messenger between the gods and people.
According to one story, Eshu became the messenger after playing a trick on the High God. He stole yams from the god's garden, used the god's slippers to make footprints there, and then suggested that the god had stolen the yams himself. Annoyed, the High God ordered Eshu to visit the sky every night and tell him what happened on earth during the day.

Order and disorder are forever paired, and neither can exist without the other.

Explanation of theory: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/knowledge/Order_and_disorder__physics_.html

Alexander McQueen made a collection inspired by Eshu and the Yoruba people in 2000:


LFW throwback

Having website troubles, so for now, reverting to blog.
Came across this image in my folder from SS16... ©Alice Lubbock