Tuesday 20th of March 2018

of faith, baroque and chaos...


Martin Luther in Dresden (picture from a mate)

Luther suddenly woke up and preached religious austerity like a poor Christ in sandals — and decried the enriching methods and opulence of the Catholic church. The increased advertising of the church richness during the Renaissance was already a stylistic overkill coming from moneys mostly obtained by selling “indulgences” to the rich. “Indulgences” were redeem tickets for one’s sins. The bigger the sin, the more money “indulgence”-redemption would cost — though for the the shop-keepers riffraff, the price was based on what one could afford… Even the poor had to fork out. The Church was thus “stealing” from the thieves and the betrodden, by selling them illusions. Nothing new — it’s the only way to get rich.

Against Luther’s austerity grumblings, The church did not flinch — and, with the help of emperors and kings, waged wars on the revolting peasants who thought Luther was their new leader to deliver them from the tyranny of Christianity that was in bed with the oppressive state. Thus came the 100 year religious war and the 30 year religious war, with defenestration, knifing and quartering of “heretics”…. After a victory/settlement of sorts that did nothing to prevent further schisms, like the rise of the evangelicals in the USA later on, the Church doubled and tripled its investments in the flamboyant excess of gold — and soon was resplendent beyond belief during the Baroque period.

In the picture above, the statue of Martin Luther (1483-1546) has been controversially plonked in front of the Frauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady) in Dresden — a Catholic Baroque church built between 1725 and 1743. 

Apart from a couple of walls, this church was destroyed by bombing during WWII, in 1945 by (Gus thinks the Baroque-hating) allies (mostly US). It was rebuilt 1992-2006 on the original plans, using cash from Western Germany and private donors, including Jews. This church was one of the many Baroque buildings that were such destroyed in Europe during WWII. Though destroyed Baroque churches in Italy were not mourned by many, and the Baroque styled was massively reviled in England — and possibly the USA, there was a rekindling of interest in the Baroque style during the 1950s till today. 

Here in Dresden, the imposing Baroque Church, the glorified opulence of which would have irked Luther even more had he lived a couple of hundred years later, is thus a mighty contradiction to his beliefs. This state of affair does not seem to bother the many tourists who have no real connections with the former religious opposing dynamics, as they lick their ice-creams at sunset. 

The popes trying to outdo each other with extravagance, of course like the kings of the late 1600, promoted the best artists to do the best job possible and develop a new style — beyond that of the now-passé Renaissance — that would capture the minds into an even more powerful illusion of the golden gilded kingdom of god. 

Apart from opulent religious buildings, the Baroque period made some music composers famous and rich: Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Vivaldi, George Philipp Telemann, Henry Purcell, Domenico Scarlatti and Jean-Philippe Rameau to name just a few.

But not all artists were favoured nor dipped into gold. 

When the Archduke Ferdinand contemplated taking the young Salzburg musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as his court musician, he wrote to his mother to get her advice.
The Empress replied:

I do not know where you can place him, since I feel that you do not require a composer, or other useless people. But if it would give you pleasure, I have no wish to prevent you. What I say here is only meant to persuade you not to load yourself down with people who are useless, and to urge you not to give such people to represent themselves as being at your service. It gives one’s service a bad name when such types run about like beggars;

Independent artistic "temperament" did not exist then. One could not survive being a navel-gazer. Artists could not exist without the support from the establishment or that of the church. Though finding employment, Mozart died young and in debt, and his old bones are in a pauper’s mass grave.

So the Baroque and its excesses came and went further decadent into the Roccoco — an even more bizarre excessive indulgence, then transmigrated into Romanticism. For the Baroque, We cannot go pass Gian Lorenzo Bernini who was one — and the most extraordinary — of the first masters of this style of expression.

While Bernini had genius on his side — developing an esquisite refined restraint in his Baroque excess — most other artists created really gross ornamentation that became stomach-churning like too big a slice of a sirupy oozing-cream rich rum cake.

In Gus’s twisted mind, there is a parallel between Baroque and Chaos alla Mandelbrot. The curves and the volutes are twisting like the hand movements of a performing magician. It is designed to mesmorise and transfix with the importance of the illusions, that soon reflect chaos — or a mind-controlling organised mayhem.

The trick of the 1930 Germanic style was opposite. It used dead pan solidity and gravity — mixing the utilitarian medieval castle heavy-fortressed buildings with the Greek/Roman antiquity temple to give the illusion of a combination between massive strength and the continuum of history.

What Shakespeare was to drama, Bernini was to sculpture and architecture. He was and is instantaneously identifiable with his particular twists and vision, and his influence was inordinately powerful. He was also a painter and a man of theatre. He wrote, directed and acted in plays — mostly satires, while designing complex stage sets and theatrical machinery. He designed many decorative art objects including lamps, tables, mirrors, and even coaches. As architect and city planner, he created secular buildings, churches and chapels, combining both architecture and sculpture to Baroque perfection.

Bernini depicted dramatic narratives with characters showing intense psychological states… His most famous example is The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, which to say the least is a magnificent representation of a woman having an orgasm. Bernini’s ability to harmonise sculpture, painting, and architecture into coherent constructs asemblages of large-scale sculptural works, conveyed magnificent grandeur. His skill made him a worthy successor of Michelangelo, far outshining other sculptors of his generation. A religious man, later in life — one can suppose he even got taken in by the grand deception contained in his own brilliant works, unless the cash from the church helped him increase his bigotry — Bernini was thus working for the "Counter Reformation” of Rome (against the Lutherian austerity). He often used hidden light sources to intensify the focus of religious faith.

Mandelbrot developed the fractal phenomenom in the 20th century  and from the 1980s, this was used by mathematicians and physicists, as well as by Hollywood to create whimsical landscapes, appearing to be real in special effects for movies. One mathematician once awoke from a nightmare in which he was dead, but suddenly he heard the voice of god… He remarked to friends later on that “there really was something to that Mandelbrot” as the accented voice of god in the nightmare was that of… Mandelbrot.

the Mandelbrot set of curve is a mathematical equation in which complexities are voluting and turning into each others for detailed infinity, not unlike the way Baroque expression, in a more controlled and finite way, was spuning pillars, was twisting images and was nearly incessant in adding convoluted details.

We had invented the wheel. This had been the most important human invention ever. 

From here onwards, we only could invent the hubcaps. Decoration. Baroque. These are beautifying devices of faith that demonise the people we have killed in the name of “beliefs”… And don’t start me on the Arabic Muslim decorative style, which for all intent and purposes is similar to the Baroque, less figurative sculptures plus too many curves in straight lines. There again, this is designed to promote senerity while glorifying giving death to the infidels, including those who are in a schism of the same faith...

Gus Leonisky
Your local nihilistic artist.

killing people in style...

It’s a spot of greenery where a river sings,
Madly between the water-reeds, catch its silver
Threads: where the sun over the proud mountain
Glows: it’s a small valley — brimming with light.

A young soldier, mouth opened, naked head
And his neck bathing in the blue creek
Sleeps. He’s spread on the grass, under the sky,
Pale, on his green bed under the falling light.

His feet in the gladys wild, he sleeps. Smiling like
A sick child smiles, he sleeps:
Nature, warmly rocks him: he is icy cold.

Perfumes don’t make his nose twitch;
He sleeps under the sun, his hand to his chest,
Quiet. He has two bullet holes on the right.

Le dormer du val
Translation by Jules Letambour
A gunman and three female hostages have been found dead after a stand-off at a veterans home in California. 

The gunman was a former United States serviceman who had undergone treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at the facility, and was asked to leave the Pathway Home program two weeks ago.

On Friday morning (local time) Albert Wong, 36, calmly walked into the facility carrying a rifle during a going away party for one of the employees, according to Larry Kamer, the husband of one of the program's administrators.

Department of Defence officials said Mr Wong was a decorated US soldier who served on active duty from May 2010 to August 2013. He spent a year in Afghanistan.

He was a former patient at Pathway Home — a PTSD treatment program housed at the veterans centre which cares for about 1,000 elderly and disabled veterans.







More. This will be about drums, trumpets, songs of wars, uniforms, awards, medals and armament — the accoutrements of war.

the truth, nothing but, except a few lies...


Gus is still working on the article re the drums, the trumpets, the songs of wars, the uniforms, the awards, the medals and the armament — the accoutrements of war — but also on the psychological manipulations of soldiers that turn them into official killers, accidental murderers in the case of "collateral damage" and sneaky assassins on behalf of our societies. 

An article in The Telegraph Co caught my attention... It's written by Juliet Samuel.


There could hardly be a better illustration of the Kremlin mentality. On Saturday, it shut down the British Council in Moscow. The council’s sole mandate is to promote cultural exchange and education and it holds events like translation workshops. So, of course, it had to go.

Britain must respond and, yesterday our Government indicated the next step. The UK can make life very hard for Russians who maintain close links to the Kremlin while using London to store their wealth. Thanks to recent legislation, the authorities possess a huge range of tools in this area.

So we will follow the money. But that, on its own, is not enough. The Skripal incident should be a wake-up call. The world’s democracies...




What is most amusing is that she states ... "how pathetically easy it is to manipulate humans" a task which herself is doing with mentioning Mikhall Khordorkovsky in her tirade, as if the guy who founded the "philanthropic outfit "open Russia" had not been a euphemism for him to take a lot out of the public kitty into his own pockets... Wikipedia tells us:

Khodorkovsky was believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia (with a fortune estimated to be worth $15 billion) and was ranked 16th on Forbes list of billionaires. He had worked his way up the Komsomol apparatus during the Soviet years, and started several businesses during the period of glasnost and perestroika in the late 1980s. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in the mid-1990s, he accumulated considerable wealth through obtaining control of a series of Siberian oil fields unified under the name Yukos, one of the major companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s (a scheme known as "Loans for Shares").

This fortune making follows on the footstep of all religious organisations such as mentioned at top of the article in which the rich ALWAYS screw the poor and the "religious outfits" sleeps with the kings whose rights to govern become "god-given".


What I suppose is that, according to Samuel, the Russian people who have just reelected Putin with nearly 77 per cent of the vote, while the next polling candidate is a communist with 12.9 per cent, have been "manipulated" by the Putin machine which of course is not philanthropically charitable like Khodorkovsky... 


Juliet Samuels is writing shit-crap...