russell higgs

03 Nov 2007 1,329 views
 
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photoblog image saturday 03112007

saturday 03112007



on the HeadPhones: Red Shadow (The Economics Rock & Roll Band) ... "Understanding Marx"

http://www.ubu.com/outsiders/365/2003/006.shtml

Both albums by Red Shadow, "Live At The Panacea Hilton" (1975) and "Better Red" (1978) are available on one CD.



Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

When I was in high school I sat in the back row and I thought to myself,
"This is really for shit",
I just couldn't wait to get out and do something on my own,
So I quit school and went out to look for a job,
First I waited on tables, then I worked at Woolworths, and then I emptied bedpans in a hospital,
But no matter where I worked it was all the same,
And I got so I just couldn't take it any more,
Well one day I went home and I found my ma sitting there,
She'd been fired by the phone company cos they said she was too old,
And I saw a book on her lap and I asked her what it was,
She said, "baby, that's Capital, Volume One. You know, by Karl Marx."
And I said, "huh", and she said "that's right, here take a look."
And I read that book,
and now I've come to realise that as long as I have to sell my labour power to the boss, I work for his profit and not for myself or my fellow humankind.

Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

You know, I had me a nice looking job, and it paid pretty good you know?
And I got myself a swimming pool, a wide track Pontiac, even a snow-mobile – one of the Jap makes.
But the more I spent the more I’d end up owing, and I had to work overtime at the God-damn job,
Well I’m in the locker room one night, after the shift,
and the janitor comes in and he says,
“fellow worker, you look mighty unhappy”,
And I said, “huh?”
and he said, “read this”
and he gives me a book,
So I said, “what’s this?”
and he says, “it’s State and Revolution. It’s by Lenin.”
Well I’m not a man who reads many books, but I read that book
and now I know that as long as you sell yourself you cannot be yourself.
And you cannot snowmobile your way down the forest trail to inner peace.

Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

I graduated at (???),
and I thought I had a responsibility to help out people who didn’t know how to help themselves,
So I went into the Peace Corps and I taught Nigerians how to fix cars and run hotels.
Then I came back home and went to DC.
I doled out money for minority businesses; you know, black capitalism.
Well, one day some congressman came to see one of my best projects,
and I couldn’t believe my eyes – the workers were on strike.
So I said, “what’s going on here?”,
and they said, “prices are high, wages are low and working conditions are terrible.”
And I said, “but you’re working for one of your kind.”
And they answered, “he’s not one of us. Here, read this”.
It was a little book called "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People", by Mao Tse Tung.
I’ve read a lot of books, but when I read that book,
well now I understand that the only way to bring about social change is to organise a united mass movement based upon the class interests of the proletariat.

Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

saturday 03112007



on the HeadPhones: Red Shadow (The Economics Rock & Roll Band) ... "Understanding Marx"

http://www.ubu.com/outsiders/365/2003/006.shtml

Both albums by Red Shadow, "Live At The Panacea Hilton" (1975) and "Better Red" (1978) are available on one CD.



Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

When I was in high school I sat in the back row and I thought to myself,
"This is really for shit",
I just couldn't wait to get out and do something on my own,
So I quit school and went out to look for a job,
First I waited on tables, then I worked at Woolworths, and then I emptied bedpans in a hospital,
But no matter where I worked it was all the same,
And I got so I just couldn't take it any more,
Well one day I went home and I found my ma sitting there,
She'd been fired by the phone company cos they said she was too old,
And I saw a book on her lap and I asked her what it was,
She said, "baby, that's Capital, Volume One. You know, by Karl Marx."
And I said, "huh", and she said "that's right, here take a look."
And I read that book,
and now I've come to realise that as long as I have to sell my labour power to the boss, I work for his profit and not for myself or my fellow humankind.

Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

You know, I had me a nice looking job, and it paid pretty good you know?
And I got myself a swimming pool, a wide track Pontiac, even a snow-mobile – one of the Jap makes.
But the more I spent the more I’d end up owing, and I had to work overtime at the God-damn job,
Well I’m in the locker room one night, after the shift,
and the janitor comes in and he says,
“fellow worker, you look mighty unhappy”,
And I said, “huh?”
and he said, “read this”
and he gives me a book,
So I said, “what’s this?”
and he says, “it’s State and Revolution. It’s by Lenin.”
Well I’m not a man who reads many books, but I read that book
and now I know that as long as you sell yourself you cannot be yourself.
And you cannot snowmobile your way down the forest trail to inner peace.

Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

I graduated at (???),
and I thought I had a responsibility to help out people who didn’t know how to help themselves,
So I went into the Peace Corps and I taught Nigerians how to fix cars and run hotels.
Then I came back home and went to DC.
I doled out money for minority businesses; you know, black capitalism.
Well, one day some congressman came to see one of my best projects,
and I couldn’t believe my eyes – the workers were on strike.
So I said, “what’s going on here?”,
and they said, “prices are high, wages are low and working conditions are terrible.”
And I said, “but you’re working for one of your kind.”
And they answered, “he’s not one of us. Here, read this”.
It was a little book called "On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People", by Mao Tse Tung.
I’ve read a lot of books, but when I read that book,
well now I understand that the only way to bring about social change is to organise a united mass movement based upon the class interests of the proletariat.

Understanding Marx will straighten out your head,
oh yes it will,
More than anything that you have read,
Freud's a fraud
and Skinner's of no use,
Read Marx and Lenin, it will really turn you loose,

comments (3)

  • blackdog
  • burning leaves in the garden ;o)
  • 3 Nov 2007, 18:57
Just wanted to register my support for your ongoing project. Harsh (but important) regime where you cannot put a couple of shots in the can and have a break.

Some great ones in the archive - very inventive and I hope you keep on going ;o) Will stop by from time to time.
russell higgs: Thanks for dropping by and registering your support.

That primary rule, that each day's portrait has to be made fresh each and every day, is certainly a key ingredient in giving this project its flavour. And I'm glad that I've never been tempted to break or stretch that rule.
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 4 Nov 2007, 00:42
Hi Russell.
I read through the lyrics of "Understanding Marx", and got a great laugh from it.

It struck me as being a kind of straight version of the script of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" movie, which they made around 1975.

Regarding your reply to blackdog....I wonder what differences one would notice in your self-portraits if you did not have this rule; I can see it would significantly change the game for the artist, but would the audience be able to see a difference? What do you think?
russell higgs: I don't know what it would mean for viewers, but it would make it a less interesting experience for me and I'd probably give up doing it very quickly.

If I allowed myself to whip up a whole week's worth of portraits in one day..... then I'd be in a lot more control, which might only produce "nice" shots, it might make it all a bit too smooth, too contrived, too controlled, too dishonest.

And there'd be fewer surprises for myself. It's really important that I am able to surprise and please myself on a regular basis.

An important element in this project is "what am i going to do right NOW".

"NOW" being the moment in each day when I decide "ok lets make today's portrait."

The Prime Directive, which says it has to be made Fresh Every Single Day, means that I have to push one out whether I feel like it or not.

That gives the work greater depth by adding elements into the mix that are more outside of my conscious control, due to there being days when I'm strapped for time, or I feel unimaginative or I don't feel like displaying myself publicly or I don't feel confident about it or I want it over with or it feels like a burden etc etc etc

And the resulting shots from those days get mixed in with days when I am really keen to do it, am bursting with ideas, feeling great and looking good and the sun is shining etc.

This way the project becomes Textured, the rough with the smooth, the surprising with the comfortable etc.

Imperfection is an important element. It's there in that patch of my home behind me. That wall which I know brings out a desire in some people for it to be erased, tidied, disappeared, to fill those holes, sandpaper the bumps, add extra lighting, and apply a few extra coats of photoshop etc.

plus there's the importance of the whole Linear Time context.

Meanwhile.... re the "Understanding Marx" mp3

I especially love the genuinely useful condensed wisdom at the climax of each verse:

"and now I've come to realise that as long as I have to sell my labour power to the boss, I work for his profit and not for myself or my fellow humankind."

"and now I know that as long as you sell yourself you cannot be yourself." etc
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 4 Nov 2007, 23:08
That is interesting, Russell.

Do you take just 1 picture each day, and that is what we see?

Or...do you take several, and then post the one you like best?
russell higgs: I take lots, including alternate poses.

The criteria for this project's pose is primarily that of an IDENTITY CARD.... forward facing, plain expression etc. But it's often not the best shot from each day, it's just the best that fits that criteria.

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