AFTER LIFE issue # 3
A smirk refers to a smile evoking insolence, scorn, or offensive smugness.
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The after LIFE issue related to death, darkness, dreams, ghosts, paranormal phenomenons, heaven, funerals, tears, hell, squeletons, reincarnation, limbo and any connections between life and death...
AFTER LIFE ARTICLE by Patricia Pasquin
“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character...Would you slow down? Or speed up?” ---- Chuck Palahniuk
There are thousands of different theories that try to explain what happens after we die. Whether we go to heaven or hell, if we reincarnate into a new life, become ghosts, if we have 1000 virgins waiting in paradise or even just nothing at all, the only certain thing is that we have no way of proving any of them.
There are six basic theories as to what can happen, and we all believe or at least hope for one of those. MATERIALISM explains that nothing survives death, it ends everything it is atheism in it’s purest state. PAGANISM says that we die and we go to the Underworld as GHOSTS, which some believers think we can and have ways of contacting them. We all know what REINCARNATION is; our soul survives our body and is reborn into a new one. It is very connected to PANTHEISM as they both relate to KARMA, for in pantheism death doesn’t change anything. There isn’t a real death as it is all a cycle. The IMMORTALITY of the soul is the fifth theory being the one that believes that after we die carnally, our souls go either to HEAVEN or HELL. And, finally, RESURRECTION; this is only believed possible by Christians and explains that even though our mortal bodies die, the soul then reunites to its immortal resurrected body by a divine miracle. Ring any bells?
“I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums. All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me. Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born.” ----Jack London, The Star Rover
Although there are a lot of very faithful believers in all of these afterlife possibilities, most of us are completely clueless as to what to think. The uncertainty regarding a subject so linked to the whole reason of our entire existence and the meaning of it creates in us feelings such as fear, hope, curiosity, anger, wonder, powerlessness and sadness. For some people it makes life such a precious thing that the very thought of losing it stops them from living it to the maximum. And for others it is just the opposite, the fact that this may be the only life they have gives the need of living it to the extreme, experiencing and feeling as much as possible.
All these feelings and philosophies, without a doubt, help us to create some of the most amazing art and literature.
“Now about those ghosts. I’m sure they’re here and I’m not half so alarmed at meeting up with any of them as I am at having to meet the live nuts I have to see every day.” ---Bess Truman
SMIRK MAG SECTIONS
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l rie i F sk w ris a h r C Ta ert b a l o r R d Ca ral ois e c g an itz Fr F rry z nt Ba ope me L y h u W Pa w e r d y An Fr lla s i e u t n Lo Ma a i o r Ma ant C ri ni mo a a D S la o c Ni
DRAWER Betty Crocker Diamond coffin Rotten Jacks All wound up! Guitar coffin case
Chris Friel Whitstable, UK
1 too old How old are you?
2 The desire to create something I like What is your work related to? 3 Got bored being a painter Why did you start doing this? 4 Canon 5d mk2 and some old manual focus tilt shift lenses Which tools do you use? 5 www.chrisfriel.co.uk/ inspiration#h106b6813 Who are your influences? 6 No Have you had any encounters with ghosts? 7 Hopefully something What do you think happens after we die?
8 No Are you scared of death? 9 Off to bangladesh and then papua new guinea next month Do you have any new projects for this year? 10 To return to Chernobyl in the ukraine If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be?
CARLA TARNAWSKI From Barcelona, Spain and half Poland. Iâ€™m 19,8123947 years old. My work is about painting, drawing, making home-made videos and invent some stories with my sisters. I also study Anthropology. Why did you start doing this? During the long car trips to Poland, every summer, since I was a child, I used to seat between my two little sisters. I had a sketchbook where we created cartoons and soap operas. Later we put voices on them.
WHICH TOOLS DO YOU USE? Acrylics, oils, pencil, ink, charcoal, pen and above all canvas and paper.
Who are your influences? Mama,
Antonia, Julia, Lita, Lina, Mikel&Hatmans, V, Ari, Vir...
What do you think happens after we die? If thereâ€™s nothing?
Are you scared of death? No, I am not afraid of anything. I am afraid of nothing.
Do you have any new projects for this year? I am working on the cover of a book. I would like to write a script.
If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be? CALARTS
How old are you?
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Swiss born, 99.9 % visual. What
Fine art Why
To promote Non Violence Which
MĂŠdium format digital camera Who
Movies, theater, opera, books and my wife.
Have you had any encounters with ghosts? No What do you think that happens after we die? We seat around Jimmi Hendrix and John Lennon and listen their music. Are
Yes because I have a wonderful life now What life
is your favourite story (book or
Do not have one.
Do you have any new projects for this year? Yes,
If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be and what World you make? Go around the World and document “Domestic Violence” and “Visual polution”
Barry Fitzgerald Laurence, Kansas. USA Tell us a little bit about yourself I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and have worked in Washington, D.C., and Detroit, Michigan. My undergraduate degree is in graphic design, and I worked as a designer for 3 years before going back to school for illustration. My mentor was hall of fame illustrator Alan E. Cober. After graduate school, I worked as a staff artist at the Detroit News. For the last 17 years, Iâ€™ve been a professor at the University of Kansas teaching illustration and related courses. Iâ€™ve been a freelance illustrator since 1988. I live in a hip Midwest college town with my wife and son. We live in an old farmhouse with 2 cats and 5 fish. My hobbies include playing softball, home brewing, and goofing around on my guitar. Which tools do you use? Brushes, mostly. And an odd collection ephemera to scratch at the acrylic paint that I put on paper or wood.
www.barryfitzgeraldillustration.com www.barryfitzgeraldillustration.blogspot.com www.thecollinsongallery.com
What is your work related to? Hmm. Iâ€™m not sure how to answer that. Life? Thatâ€™s ironic, given the theme of your magazine.
Why did you start doing this?
Are you scared of death?
Like most people, I liked art when I was young. People told me I was good at it, so I pursued it as a career. I went into graphic design at first because I saw it as a way to have a steady job. I made the switch from graphic design to illustration when I realized I was more interested in making the pictures than designing with them. But I still like type and graphic design.
Yes. Most days, life is pretty good. So I would like to stay around for a while.
Which tools do you use?
I have been getting ready for my first solo gallery show since I was in graduate school. The show will be at the Collinson Gallery in Weston, Missouri (just north of Kansas City). It will be from May 14 through June 26. There will be new paintings, drawings, and some mixed media work. Everyone is invited!
Brushes, mostly. And an odd collection ephemera to scratch at the acrylic paint that I put on paper or wood. Who are your influences? Too many to count. I try to look at as much imagery as I can. It is good to keep the inspiration tank full. I try to pay attention everything around me too. Ultimately, I think that is the stuff that makes it all happen. Have you had any encounters with ghosts? I’m afraid not, wouldn’t mind
but I one.
What do you think that happens after we die? I believe in an afterlife. I’m hoping to make it to heaven. I hear it’s a nice place.
What is your favourite after life story (book or film)? I would have to go with ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. I have read it many times and seen many movie adaptations. Do you have any new projects for this year?
If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be and what World you make? Does it have to be limited to only one place? I love to travel. I would make the project a travel book. I would travel the world and fill the book with drawings and paintings of all the places I went to.
PAU LÓPEZ PEÑALVER
24 years old. From Barcelona, Spain
What is your work related to? Google, love, pleasure, tragedy, dancing, snowstorms, loud music, drugs, surrender and abandon. Why did you start doing this? It’s kind of funny, when I was 12 my mom sent me to classes of oil painting with Bob Ross technique. My teacher was an old Jew lady who won’t stop smoking and lived in a really cozy house. I didn’t really learnt a lot but it was fun and at least I have plenty of clouds and mountains canvas. Which tools do you use? Bad technique Watercolor and wash Who are your influences? Daniel Johnston, Harmony Korine, Larry Clark, James Fray, Xiu Xiu and mostly Google.com
Have you had any encounters with ghosts? Sure. I had lots of them: Mexican toddler car ghost, friendly guest ghost, old Mexican hacienda revolutionary Pancho Villa ghostâ€Ś. You name it. The story about the friendly guest ghost is quite odd. I had a friend whose grandfather shared a house with a ghost, so when the old man got sick he moved out to his grandchild (my friend) house and he past away a few months later.
The ghost decided he also wanted to live in a more crowded home so he moved there too. The ghost decided to live under my friendâ€™s couch. The funny thing was that at the time we were watching tv or playing nintendo64 the ghost thought that it would be funny to grab our ankles. At first it scared out of my pants but after a few time chillaxing there I told him to go fuck himself. For more stories feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
in dif-ferent realities. I may have If you had the opportunity of died on the day I was born, or a going anywhere to look for month ago in a hijacking etc… new inspira-tions and make a new project without any 2. The energy stays no matter what. costs, where would it be? Are you scared of death? On a mission to the space, not “I’m not scared of death, I have that tacky virgin zero gravity trips. fear of the four who will carrie me.” When I was 15 I bought a knife in a Mexican market in which this sen-tence written on the blade. What is your favorite afWhat do you think happens ter life story (book or film)? after we die? The short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. I have 2 theories.
Do you projects
have any new for this year?
1. Parallel universe, and I mean www.theheartattackofmichaeljackson.com there can be hundreds of paus I have lots of stuff in my head. www.thepukeadventure.tumblr.com
ANDREW WHYMENT Tell us a little bit about yourself.
What is Bluebird about?
I graduated last year from the University of Reading where I studied Film & Theatre. Since then, I’ve been wor-king as a theatre director and actor. I am also the Artistic Director of theatre company, SQUINT.
Bluebird follows Jimmy, a London mini cab driver, over the course of one night as he picks up a variety of ‘fares’. As each passenger’s secrets are revealed, Jimmy must confront his own demons and return to the site of a tragic event from his past. That’s the story but, as a play, it’s about so much more. It’s about the intricacies and complexitites of the inidividuals who inhabit London at night. It’s about forgiveness and redemption. It’s about the disconnected nature of urban communities. It’s a celebration of the diversity that exists within the greatest city in the world; London.
What is SQUINT and who is it for? Squint/skwint/verb: to incline or have a tendency toward a given direction. SQUINT creates bold, ensemble-driven theatre with a contemporaneous flavour. Since 2009, SQUINT has continued to unite the most auspi-cious theatrical talent with a rich and relevant artistic programme. SQUINT was formed in 2009 when the com-pany toured Bryony Lavery’s Frozen to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2010, SQUINT staged Simon Stephens’ Bluebird; the first London revival of the show since it’s Royal Court premiere in 1998.
What about it made you choose this play? The idea that we are all connected in the world by no more than six degrees of separation interests me hugely. City life puts this theory under a microscope. Sometimes poeple that we meet are
connected to others in our lives without us ever realising (though Facebook helps us out). Bluebird engages with this idea in a really compelling way. I love theatre that creates genuine debate. Art splits opinion like nothing else. I work with scripts where the characters are rich and
complex enough for audiences to feel something towards them. Bluebird captures such a vast array of flawed Londoners. I feel like I know each of them so well. Thatâ€™s what theatre should be.
Have you had any encounters with ghosts? When I first got into theatre, I started doing plays at a Little amateur venue called the Barn Theatre. Itâ€™s a con-verted cattle barn. I have some many fond memories of that place and I met some of my dearest friends there but the place itself always gave me chills at night. It featured on an episode of Most Haunted because of itâ€™s ghost stories. One night I was working late down there and all of the lights flicked off suddenly, it went really cold and I swear I heard some footsteps on stage. The lights came back on and we left pretty fast. It turns out that there was a ladder in the auditorium lent up against the rafter that an old farmer supposedly hanged himself from. Perhaps we pissed him off?
What do you think that happens after we die? When I think about that question, my head hits a dead end, like a little car speeding off of a cliff. So much in life we think ‘there’s always tomorrow’ but there comes a moment when there really isn’t a tomorrow. I find that chilling but it spurs me on! Live every moment and don’t ask to many questions like THAT I say! Are you scared of death?
What is your favourite after life story (book or film)? Shaun Of The Dead is my favourite zombie romp and Chuck Palahnuik’s short story The Nightmare Box in his book Haunted is simultaneously beautifully dark. Do you have any new projects for this year? I am currently developing a new devised production called A Festival Guide with SQUINT. We’re hoping to tour to music festivals with that one. We’re also touring Bluebird across the UK this summer. Check out our website for details and come along. If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be and what would you make? One of my favourite books is A Little History Of The World by Ernst Gombrich. If somebody asked, I’d make it my life’s Olympic-sized Project to theatricalise that book for a martian audience. We could perform on the moon with a cast of thousands and an intergalactic audience of millions. Our world’s history in one epic theatrical jour-ney. Too ambitious? We could leave out the war, poverty and hunger stuff if it makes it more fundable?
I am 20 years old and I am from London, England
Why did you start doing this? I like taking photo’s of my friends so I took some more.
What is your work related? I’m not the slightest bit sentimental but I think there is something beautiful in how when a moments past, it so can get so rose tinted and reconstructed in someone’s memory. I prefer the past and the possible future than the present, we tend to filter out all the little nagging details. So my work must be me being grossly self indulgent in fictional sentiments that partly never happened but to be honest I’m just having fun taking photographs.
Which tools do you use? I like using using film, instant films any shape or size. Digital is just as good but not for what I want to do with it. whatever I can get hold of at the time. I don’t think it matters too much what camera you use more where you are and who your taking photographs of. Who are your influences? Well recently I’ve been looking at a lot of Christopher Le Brun water colours and a bit of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
Have you had any encounters with ghosts? I experienced something that could come under that bracket. it’s sounds untrue and as time goes on it’s harder to believe. It was in a hotel room in Belgium on a school trip to the World War One Battle fields, I think I must of been sixteen. I was talking to a friend in the bathroom till around two ‘o’clock in the morn. Until we both saw black flashing shapes moving in the mirror. A little freaked we ran out. I went to the other side of the room while my friend reopened the bathroom door to investigate. As he did a clichéd rush of cold hit me and later three shadowy figures were impossibly on the wall. Yep, Sounds like a shit horror movie. anyway...
What do you think happens after we die? We die and then who knows, I’m not loosing sleep over it. Are you scared of death? I don’t see much point in worrying about an inevitability. I Just don’t want a head stone that look’s like a kitchen counter. An ostentatious sarcophagus would be nice.
a Collaborative project with a friend where we made cameras out of bird box to take objective pictures of the world, A “bird’s eye view” so too speak. I keep my project work separate from flickr only putting bits up.
If you had the opportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without What is your favourite after life story (book or film)? any costs, where would it be? I’d go to the International Jean Cocteau’s Orphée Space Station and float around until the novelty wears out. I bet Do you have any new projects for this year? I just finished the moon must look amazing from that perspective.
w w w . f l i c k r . c o m / p h o t o s / l o u i s f r y
Maria Mantella GIRONA, SPAIN
How old are you? 32
What is your work related to? Artistic work is basically related to drawing. If you mean “a job” I don’t have any right now.
Why did you start doing this? Just for fun at the very first moment, then it has become a way of expressing my self.
Which tools do you use? A lot of graphite and rubber, ink, wax, watercolour and all kind of papers.
Who are your influences? So many ...everything around is constantly influencing me.
Have you had any encounters with ghosts? Yes, there are lots of them out there, take care.
What do you think happens after we die? Nothing at all. It’s all over. The best that can happens is that we may stay in the mind or soul of people who loved us.
Are you scared of death? Yes! I’ dont want to die.
What is your favourite after life story (book or film) I confess I don’t have one. I think is the kind of story I’ ve always avoided. I’m fascinated with people in this life, this hell we are in attracts me more.
Do you have any new projects for this year? I’ve been collecting some stuff to make some “object” work, I would like to dedicate some time to this.
If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be? Somewhere in South America, may be Brazil.
Dani Cant贸 Liverpool, United Kindom
www.danicanto.com What is your work related to? Our image of death is constructed by the living, as we are the ones that set the graveyards, buy the flowers, write the sentences. Is life that rules even on death (with dead people having small or none decisions on this). So visiting a cemetery in a different country gives you a different approach on their vision of life through their representa-tion of death. So this project was to highlight those details that make this cemeteries in England so special, for a tourist. A tourist of death, in this situation.
I couldn’t resist to consider that that was going to be my starting point on this project.
Why did you start doing this? There’s something about this city that stills amazes me. Ever since I arrived from Barcelona, there’s things that surprise me every day about the english culture. I’ve tried to portrait different aspects, and when I was thinking on After Life, of course I thought first about a cemetery I saw one day on my way to charity shops (best way to buy vinyl). There was a house at the entrance of the cementery with a sign of ‘Rooms for Rent’ (available to students) and
Who are your influences? As having a background on cinema studies my first influence on death are the B-Movies. From George A. Romero to Mario Bava, from the first Peter Jackson to our Jess Franco. They’ve created the imaginarium of our generation. There’s no way to get on a cemetery without expecting to find a hand getting out of its grave or a slow walker among the darkness. But again it’s their low budget, their sense of humor that makes this places so amusing.
Which tools do you use? Ever since I arrived Liverpool I don’t think I’ve shot a single digital shot outdoors. This city has a special colour that only analog cameras can fully portrait. So I’ve been experimenting with expired rolls using a Canon AE-1 (with a 28mm and a 50mm), a Vivitar 357PZ and my favourite: the handy Minox 35GT. Photos were digitally scanned and left as original, not a single retouch.
Have you had any encounters with ghosts? Not with a ghost, but for years I had insomnia and on hard periods of non sleep I even thought of having some kind of psychic powers, like predicting stuff and all that. It was nothing obviously, but I was young and bored so it was funny to think it was all ghost messing with me. What do you think happens after we die? I’m a real positivist about life, but when it comes to death I have something clear: once we`re dead that’s it, as a movie screen everythings fades to black and nothing remains. It’s pine and earth. So that’s why is better to make the best out of your living while you’re alive Are you scared of death? I try not to think about it too often, because it’s scary. When I was developing the rolls for this pro-ject I got a call telling me that my grandad had died. So death has been very present while finishing this project, and almost impossible to forget. What is your favourite after life story (book or film) Well, probably is not after life, but I love the reflection on death that Edgar Allan Poe does on his short story ‘The Prematury Burial’, where the character has to face his own fear of being buried alive. Do you have any new projects for this year? I’m finishing editing a weekly video series called Mute Shows that plays with the idea of how we enjoy live acts and our relationship with the music. It should be published real soon. I started a Tumblr as well with my girlfriend called Temps Des Souvenirs, showcasing our analog works. If you had the oportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be? I think I will rather prefer to timetravel for that dreamed project. Let’s say fifty years back at the same place I’m living now: Liverpool. Portrait back the awakening of a whole generation and the change of the english society.
NICOLA SAMORI BAGNACAVALLO (RA), ITALY
W h a t is your work related to? I like exposing the nerves to images coming from historical ages characterized by great formal stability and language clarity. Why did you start doing this? I wouldn’t know, the urge to confront as well as to get rid of images has grown with me. It’s kind of an exorcism that doesn’t find an explanation, nor a chronology. Which tools do you use? Each work starts with paintbrushes first, then I use fingers and finally complete it with a scalpel. Who are your influences? Everything my eyes have met, especially the museum. I’d love to be all the hands of history, I’d love to be a compendium of incarnations. Have you had any encounters with ghosts? I don’t think so, but as I was told once by quoting Roger Caillois “Be careful! Playing ghost, you end up becoming one.” What do you think happens after we die? You become a statue. Are you scared of death? Sure I am, otherwise I wouldn’t spend my days fixing time passing by. What is your favourite after life story (book or film)? The male body getting through Jorg Buttgereit’s film Der Todesking. Do you have any new projects for this year? Among other things I will take part in this year’s Venice Biennale in June and I will organize a personal exhibition at Christian Ehrentraut’s in Berlin next October. If you had the opportunity of going anywhere to look for new inspirations and make a new project without any costs, where would it be? I would spend six months’ work among Goya’s Black Paintings.
THE SMIRK MAGAZINE LIKES
Gothenburg, Sweden Christopher Golebiowski
Diamond Bar, United States Ashlie Chavez
OC, California Liana Rakijian
Los Angeles Amber Chavez
Zaragoza, Spain Mercedes Valga帽贸n
Houston, Texas Tamara Lichtenstein
Sweden Anette Pehrsson
Brazil Louis Leppard
Looking for a delicious Halloween dessert? Then check out this creative ghost cupcake made using Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil’s food cake mix and semisweet chocolate chips
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w w w . t o m m e r u p k i s t e r . c o m
w w w . r o t t e n j a c k s . c o m Rotten Jacks is one of the fastest growing Horror speciality shops in all of the USA. Home decor, movies memorabilia, apparel, accesories... You name it, they have it! Check out their web page because you can buy online!
This is tackiest game from Twilight Creations yet! The players control pawns as usual. But, the pawns in this game are self-propelled, windup toys! Game play determines how many winds you get or if you can change direction. Special areas of the board grant you bonuses for landing on them, and some areas slow you down. The first one out of the graveyard wins!
Guitar Coffin Case
The ultimate way to let your guitar “rest in peace” after a jamming session or a show. it’s safe, it’s light and even better, it’s goth.
Published on May 5, 2011
The Smirk Mag is a bi-monthly independent digital magazine that focuses on the work of different types of artists. We love being able to use...