Archive: skulls, godzilla, etc

So I’ve been trawling through a bunch of old chemical photographs; you know the type… from the days before everything was Jeepigs squeezed through a USBtube onto a Macflap. Scanning, tagging, bundling online, that’s me — here are a few favourites for your eyes.

(Click on each image to see full size and not bunched up like a concertina or something.)


This is from Matara in southern Sri Lanka, close to midday with the sun at its hottest. Who wouldn’t be drawn to a three-wheeler named “Godzilla”?

Sedlec skulls

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. In 1278 or thereabouts earth from Golgotha was spread about the site of Kutna Hora’s monastery, and as a result every nob and bigwig from Bohemia to the Black Sea wanted their remains interred there. The subsequent construction of a Roman Catholic chapel involved many of the human remains being exhumed and that, of course, resulted in a massive surfeit of mouldy old bones. For a while the chapel authorities had no idea what to do with the stuff. But then in the 19th century they sensibly opted to transform the pile of skulls, femurs, ribs and whatnot into a great big fuck-off sculpture. You can read about it, see more gruesome pics and generally link till you burst here.

The photo above was taken through an iron grille, with the camera pointing into an extremely dark corner of the chapel vault, the exposure ramped up so high I had to make like a statue for about two solid minutes whilst holding down the shutter release. I had no idea what I was photographing, so the result was quite a surprise. To my mind it almost has the qualities of infra-red stock.

AT singapore green

Two thirds of Angel Tech rehearsing in Spell 7 studios, Little India, Singapore. Remaining third of angel tech behind the camera, completely messing up what might have been the best photo of the band. Orrrrrr… improving it immeasurably by staying out of shot. You decide.

I think Doug’s trying to work out how to use his phone. Whether at home or abroad, it’s probably his most common pose: “Englishman confused by phone.”

Continuing on a musical tip:

Rasha Lagerhouse

Rasha Shaheen at the Lagerhouse, Freiburg, Germany. KINDA BLUE.

Two from Prague:

Spheres Prague tech museum

At the Museum of Technology. Spot the photocopier in the background.

For anyone remotely interested, this same museum houses the clock room that I sampled wholesale for the clunks, clicks and clockwork gear changes in Victorian by North Sea Navigator. Listen very carefully at the end of the track and you can hear the museum attendants chatting as they swap shifts.

Prague Eiffel

After the Eiffel was bolted together in Paris, every go-getting modern city simply had to have one of its own. This is the version that they slapped on a hill overlooking Prague. I felt that somehow it really suited a grey, nondescript day and a grey, nondescript sky in the background.

More modernism:

Calder Mercure

Detail from an Alexander Calder mobile that lives at The Miro Foundation, Barcelona.

German motorway

Leaving Freiburg, October 2006: German countryside looking all pretty an’ shit.

And finally there’s this –

999 Vaults post-its

– a whopping great big picture, hiding behind a link for convenience. It’s a comp of images from the BBC’s Bristol vaults.

For those not in the know, 999 was what The Day Today would call a “Genutainment” programme, happily recreating terrible life-threatening accidents for the education and edification of the viewing public. The production crew labelled their rushes shelves with deadpan post-it notes, and these were recently cleared, redistributed, recycled, or binned. Each note bullet-points an unfortunate situation like some sort of warped sitcom synopsis (“Pub Surgery”; “Mine Shaft”; “Wasp Man Testimony”) and I felt, before it vanished for good, it was an installation that needed documenting.

999, RIP.