Tag Archives: violence

Men, Privilege and Violence

Today, one year ago, a young man set off a bomb in the middle of a city, then drove to a near-by island, calmly crossed the water, and started shooting dozens of teenagers.

Today, a couple of days ago, a young man went to a movie premiere, equipped with ammunition he had acquired for months, and started shooting dozens of viewers of all ages.

Today, almost a year and a half ago, a young man went to a local constituents meeting and started shooting the Representative as well as dozens of bystanders.

This list could go on for pages. The Washington Post has a timeline with some of the deadliest mass shootings around the world. What they all have in common is the mostly public setting, the victims who were often unrelated and didn’t even know the perpetrators, and of course the perpetrators themselves who are almost always young-ish males. Continue reading

Portrait: Sibylle Ruppert (1942-2011)

How strange that I had to read an American book about the incest theme, published in 1987, to discover the German artist Sibylle Ruppert, even though she passed away just this year. Perhaps her death did not generate much attention because she lived very much in seclusion during the last years of her life. Perhaps her art, which I would describe as mix of Hieronymus Bosch and HR Giger (the creator of the original Alien) doesn’t feel very contemporary anymore in an age where art has become either a lot more abstract or a lot more literal.

"la décadence"

I could only find very little information about her online. She doesn’t even have her own Wikipedia page (a future project perhaps?). She was born in Frankfurt in 1942 during the height of the 2nd World War and grew up to become an extremely talented artist with a dark soul (the first image she ever drew, at age six, was a fist striking the middle of a face).

She learned ballet in Paris, became a revue dancer barnstorming all over France, but she never turned her back on art. She found inspiration in the great French writers of the morbid and the obscene, creating visual interpretations of the works of de Sade, Bataille, and Artaud, and she dedicated her paintings “Black Light on White Shadow” (see below) to Austrian enfant terrible Thomas Bernhard.


Her style and themes can be described as traditionally “masculine” as her influences, in that they are grandiose, violent and nauseating. But she also reminds me of the taboo-breaking postmodern literature of Kathy Acker, dealing with sado-masochism and female desire.

"hit something" 1977

You can find the most comprehensive information about her here.