I've been a big fan of H.N Werkman for some time but for some reason have as-of-yet not posted anything about him. Born in 1882, in Holland, he established a large scale printing house in Groningen in 1908. The enforced closure of the printing house lead to Werkman establishing more of an independant set up from an attic space. This in turn lead to almost DIY printing methods which resulted in some truly innovative works of print. This can be best seen in the work he created whilst a member of the Dutch movement 'De Ploeg,' ('The Plow') with the simplistic yet effective use of stenciling and manual ink rollering onto paper. This work was frequently distributed in his self-published, avant-garde magazine, 'The Next Call.' I suppose what i find so appealing about his work is the delicacy and experimentalism that is existent in it. The limitations of having to work on a smaller scale with less amenities can create truly striking images not in spite of their primitivism but arguably because of it. With this in mind, the proto DIY ethic must be considered in regards to what i feel is interesting in his work. Of course, those in the know surrounding Art and Design are well aware of independantly-run magazines and in turn the contemporary magazines that are now common-place are given suitable and understandable gravitas. So, i feel it must be acknowledged that Werkman was revolutionary in this aspect, creating be-spoke publications from the inside of a warehouse attic. These publications reached their pinacle during the Second World War when Werkman and friend, August Henkels produced a pro-Jewish magazine entitled 'De Blauwe Schuit,' ('The Blue Barge') whilst under the Nazi regime. Despite the subtlety in which Werkman's magazine rebelled against The Third Reich, he was executed with nine others, three days before the liberation of his native Groningen. So this is my salute to H.N Werkman, to my mind one of the most under-rated artistic minds of the 20th century. Enjoy.
Monday, 3 October 2011
I've just been listening, as i do every week to the podcast 'Football Ramble,' hosted regularly by Marcus Speller, Luke Moore, Jim Campbell and Pete Donaldson. Each week, there is an induction into their 'Dean Windass Hall of Fame.' This week was a break from the norm in that it was a team rather than player being inducted. I found 'The Ramble's' story about Chivas Guadalajara extremely interesting. Aside from their dominance on the Mexican domestic front being a key point of note, i find the concept of the team being built, to this day on players from purely Mexican heritage an interesting one. The reason given for this decision from 'Chivas,' derives from the growing feeling from the Mexican populace, at the time that native Mexicans were trodden under-foot by the influence of foreign powers. Two years after their formation in 1906, 'Chivas Guadalajara,' adopted this ethic of fielding 100% Mexican players. Two years later, The Mexican Revolution toppled Porfirio Diaz from the seat of Mexican power and thus toppled Hapsburg influence from the country. This is not to overstate the importance of the advent of 'Chivas,' but it is interesting to observe the discontent of the Mexican populace two years prior to the revolution itself, in the form of a football team. A positive reaction of discontent i would say. This can still be seen today, in fact. Whereas, the 'Chivas' of Mexico are now a dominant force in the league of a country that has long since thrown away the shackles of foreign intervention, Chivas USA has carried the ethic of the team across the border to Los Angeles where young Hispanic people of the U.S (a famously repressed minority group) are given opportunities in a starting XI of a top flight United States team. Anyway, their whole profile is reviewed on 'The Football Ramble,' on the episode entitled 'A Weekend of Slips,' which includes a full explanation of their name which roughly translates in English to 'The Goats of Guadalajara.' Interesting stuff. Anyway, here's a few interesting images of Chivas Guadalajara that i found online. Enjoy.