freeky, moral and stuffed rats

i went downstairs in the kitchen of my flatmates and the radio was on. A song was playing something like: I think you’re freaky and I like you a lot.

Die Antwoord observed that journalists and critics, particularly in the United States, frequently ask if their creative output is a joke or a hoax. When asked if he was playing a character, Ninja said, “Ninja is, how can I say, like Superman is to Clark Kent. The only difference is, I don’t take off this fokken Superman suit.”They have described their work as “documentary fiction” and “exaggerated experience” designed for shock value. Ninja told Spin:

People are unconscious and you have to use your art as a shock machine to wake them up. Some people are too far gone. They’ll just keep asking, “Is it real? Is it real?” That’s dwanky. That’s a word we have in South Africa, “dwanky.” It’s like lame. “Is it real?” Dwanky. You have to be futuristic and carry on. You gotta be a good guide to help people get away from dull experience.

Die Antwoord’s musical and visual style incorporates elements of Zef culture, described as modern and trashy, appropriating out-of-date, discarded cultural elements. Yo-Landi said, “It’s associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you’re poor but you’re fancy. You’re poor but you’re sexy, you’ve got style.”Their lyrics are performed in Afrikaans, Xhosa, and English.

Zef is a South African counter-culture…

A counterculture (also written counter-culture) is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior deviate from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores.

Mores (generally pronounced /ˈmɔreɪz/, and often /ˈmɔriːz/. From Latin mōrēs, [‘moː.reːs], grammatically plural: “behavior”). William Graham Sumner (1840 – 1910), an early U.S. sociologist, recognized that some norms are more important to our lives than others. Sumner coined the term mores to refer to norms that are widely observed and have great moral significance. Mores include an aversion for societal taboos, such as incest or pederasty. Consequently, the values and mores of a society predicates legislation prohibiting their taboos.

Una delle domande più frequenti quando si parla di etica, è quale sia la differenza tra etica e morale. Innanzitutto bisogna dire che i due termini possono essere usati come sinonimi, cosa che fa la maggior parte della gente, comprese le persone più istruite. Tuttavia, specialmente negli ambienti intellettuali e scientifici, i due termini sono normalmente usati con accezioni diverse, intendendo per “morale” l’insieme delle consuetudini sociali legate ad una certa tradizione culturale o gruppo sociale o individuo particolare, e per “etica” lo studio filosofico universale del bene e del male e quindi della morale. In tal modo, “etica” ha un livello di astrazione più alto rispetto a “morale”.

…movement.

The word zef stems from an Afrikaans word, which roughly translates to the English word common. Jack Parow, in an interview, describes the movement as “kind of like posh, but the opposite of posh.”

Some of their music videos have incorporated artwork by the noted photographer Roger Ballen.

Roger Ballen was born in New York City in 1950. He has lived in Johannesburg South Africa since the 1970s. Beginning by documenting the small dorps or villages of rural South Africa, Ballen’s photography moved on in the late 1980s and early 1990s to their inhabitants; through the late 1990s Ballen’s work progressed. By the mid 1990s his subjects began to act where previously his pictures, however troubling, fell firmly into the category of documentary photography, his work then moved into the realms of fiction.

alter-ego-2010

ballen-roger_42

big_Onearmgoose2004RogerBallen

big_Headinsideshirt2001RogerBallen

Room-of-the-Ninja-Turtles

Wall-shadows-2003-P737-RT

Washing-line-2005-P1091-RT

Chas Bowie: Your photographs tend to always have an element of spontaneity to them, as still as they might appear.

Roger Ballen: There has to be. That’s such an interesting thing that I’ve discovered in photography. A lot of artists today use photography, and they create these sort of installations or conceptual photographs. But you remember almost none of those photographs. They just sort of sit there and you have to figure out the guy’s theory to get into the work. The reason the images don’t get inside you is because the artists don’t understand anything about photography. You can’t just set things up and photograph them and expect the picture to “zap.” It is very important that the mind feels that there is a moment of truth or a moment of authenticity. It’s really crucial, because if the artist’s hand is seen as too strong, the pictures seem either dead or contrived. The mind doesn’t believe it. The mind has to see that photograph as commenting on some aspect of truth, whatever truth means.

The most common question people ask me, especially in Shadow Chamber, is “Is this place real, did you make it, did you do this, did you do that?” The answer is, there are so many answers to that question. Everything you see in Shadow Chamber is me, because nobody else could take those pictures, even if they went to the same place as me. So it’s way of viewing the world photographically, it’s a very complex way of seeing it. Then, each one of those pictures involves thousands and thousands of subconscious and conscious steps to get to that point. Because photography is such an easy medium to master technically, especially with today’s cameras, people don’t realize that it’s not just being able to pick up a camera. When I lift that camera up to take a picture, I’ve gone through thousands of steps to get to that point. That’s what you’re really seeing; it’s a complex view of the world, through my imagination, through my experiences. It’s a science and art at the same time.

from wikipedia and others

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the Great British Public in: Creature Comforts (claymation)

1989, created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations.

A humourous and thought provoking view of what animals in zoos might be thinking about their captivity and surroundings.

In 1990 Nick Park worked with Phil Rylance and Paul Cardwell to develop a series of British television advertisements for the Electricity Board’s “Heat Electric” campaign.

The Creature Comforts advertisements have now attained a place in popular culture, and are probably better remembered than the original film that spawned them.However, it is claimed that many members of the public mistakenly remember the commercials as advertising gas heating, the main competitor to electricity.

The Creature Comforts advertisements were produced in the period 1990 to 1992 and in some ways they were indicative of the shape of things to come in British television advertising. Many commentators believe that there was a fundamental shift in television advertising from the unbridled consumerism and egoism of the 1980s to what is sometimes termed a more “caring” approach in the 1990s. The Creature Comforts advertisements are cited as an early example of this phenomenon.

The format of the Creature Comforts advertisements was so successful that it was replicated in other campaigns in the following decades. In later years, however, members of the public became increasingly conscious of the potential uses of their vox pop interviews. This made it difficult to recapture the spontaneity and innocence of the early Creature Comforts advertisements.

In 2003 a series of Creature Comforts films directed by Richard Goleszowski was made for British television network ITV by Aardman Animations.

The series gently mocks the constructed performance sometimes given by members of the general public when being interviewed for television vox-pops and documentaries. This includes the attempts to present a cogent but simple conclusive answer to a general question – a sound bite – and the attempts to present a cheery spin on a complex issue while the subject attempts to hide their personal issues and problems with the issue.

Starting June 2007, CBS planned to broadcast seven episodes of an Americanized version of the show, featuring ordinary American people providing the voices, in the same vein as the British original.

Seven episodes of this series were produced. However, the series ran for only three episodes before being cancelled by CBS due to low ratings.

“It works, largely because most of the interviews seem selected to be not wacky but low-key and conversational. Am I proud of laughing? No, but I don’t care.”
James Posiewozik, Time.com

“Each juxtaposition of voice and creature, even or especially the most unexpected, creates something wonderful. The domestic version, which like it s predecessor is made by Aardman Animations, is every bit as good as the original. While the animation is masterful – beautifully timed and fully attendant to character, even when a character is merely listening – what makes “Creature Comforts” valuable is the unscripted, and unscriptable voice of the people.”
Robert Lloyd, LA Times

“Hilarious feat of animated clay. Four Stars. So if it took until the second season for an American version of “The Office” to approximate the quality and charm of the British original, how long will it take for an Americanized “Creature Comforts” to prove itself? About five seconds. The series, ‘featuring the voices of your fellow Americans’ finds just as many eccentric regional dialects here as in England, and uses them hilariously from the start. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so quickly and loudly at a new TV series. And it just keeps delivering gold – even from a goldfish who is heard complaining of her latest medical malady. “Dry skin,” she says while floating in her goldfish bowl. “Can you believe it?”
New York Daily News

from wikipedia, imdb and creaturecomforts.tv