Saturday, March 21, 2020

SchiZ (Lee-Ann Azzopardi) writes

A Cautious Letter to Ms. Arbus
Nero continued to play his vicious violin
When Rome was burning
At age forty-nine,
You should've continued to photograph
The crazies in NYC
And just because you were barren
Doesn't mean you have to
Commit to death--

Image result for diane arbus images
Three female impersonators

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Lady Bartender with a Souvenir Dog
Jack Dracula at a bar

1 comment:

  1. From 1960 Jane Arbus and her husband worked as commercial photographers from 1946 to 1956, before he moved to California to pursue an acting career. That year she studied with street photographer Lisette Model, who encouraged her to quit the commercial photography business and made it clear to her that "the more specific you are, the more general it'll be." In 1959 she began contributing work to leading magazines but there was no market for collecting photographs as works of art, and her prints usually sold for $100 or less. Late in her career the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York indicated a desire to buy 3 of her photographs for $75 each but, citing a lack of funds, purchased only 2. In 1971 Philip Leider accepted 6 of her photos, an event that was instrumental in introducing photography as serious art. Although she did portraits of celebrities, much of her work was devoted to portraying members of the gay community, strippers, carnival performers, nudists, dwarves, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families in their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park. In 1971, at 48, living at Westbeth Artists Community in in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan, she wrote "Last Supper" in her diary, placed her appointment book on the stairs leading up to the bathroom, took barbiturates, and cut her wrists with a razor. Her body was found in the bathtub 2 days later.

    Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was the Roman emperor from 54-68, the adopted son of his uncle Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. His reign is usually associated with tyranny and extravagance. In "De Vita Caesarum" Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, who was born at about the time of the emperor's death, reported that many Romans believed he instigated the Great Fire of Rome in July 64 to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea (the Golden House), which would have covered 1/3 of the city when finished and included groves of trees, pastures with flocks, vineyards, an artificial lake, and the Colossus Neronis, a huge bronze statue of himself. The fire began in the merchant shops around the city's s chariot stadium, Circus Maximus, and burned for 6 days before it was brought under temporary control and then reignited and burned for another 3 days, destroying 2/3 of the city. Of Rome's 14 districts, 3 were completely devastated, 7 more were reduced to a few scorched and mangled ruins, and only 4 completely escaped damage. The Temple of Jupiter Stator, the House of the Vestals, the part of the Forum where the Roman senators lived and worked, and Nero's palace, the Domus Transitoria, were destroyed. Suetonius, who was about 8 at the time, claimed that Nero, dressed in stage costume, watched from the Tower of Maecenas on the Esquiline Hill while singing the "Iliupersis" (the Sack of Troy). The other major historian of the period, Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus, who was born about a decade earlier than Suetonius, was unsure if Nero had been responsible for starting the fire but wrote that he accused Christians of arson to remove suspicion from himself and had them arrested and brutally executed by "being thrown to the beasts, crucified, and being burned alive." To pay for the rebuilding of the city Nero devalued the Roman currency for the 1st time in the empire's history. To avoid being killed by the Senate in 68, Nero prepared to kill himself; muttering "What an artist dies in me," he unsuccessfully urged one of his companions to kill himself as an example, and then made his private secretary kill him.


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