The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Watch out below, it’s a Halloween show.


Laurence Demaison
Fábio Magalhães
Mariel Clayton
Shi Jinsong
Dawn Kasper
Marlene Haring
Stephen j Shanabrook
Louie Cordero
Gottfried Helnwein
Abigail Goldman
Grant Waud
Blake Neubert
Mat Collishaw
Naoki Sasayama
Carsten Güth
Jessica Harrison
Adeela Suleman
Korehiko Hino
Arsen Savadov


Laurence Demaison Psychés (2009)
‘The photographic work of Laurence Demaison is exclusively constituted by self-portraits from 1993 to 2009. Since 2010 she occasionally uses mannequins or dolls. The used techniques – shot, development, print – are analogicals and realized by the author. No particular manipulation intervenes beyond the shot (except chemical inversion of films for some series).’


Fábio Magalhães Various works (2010-2016)


Mariel Clayton Various works (2011)


Shi Jinsong Na Zha Baby Boutique (2013)
‘Bound to solicit horrified looks from fellow parents, Shi Jinsong’s Gun-shaped Baby Carriage is part of his series ‘Na Zha’. It is a ‘brand name’ for a line of outrageously unsafe baby products.’


Dawn Kasper Untitled (2013)
‘Kasper is noted for immersing herself in live dioramas simulating her death “in disturbingly and sometimes absurdly gory ways” (to borrow one writer’s words)–as in this enactment of a fatal motorcycle accident.’


Marlene Haring Letting My Hair Grow (2014)


Stephen j Shanabrook Evisceration of Waited Moments (2008)
‘Remnants of an 18 year old suicide bomber cast in chocolate.’


Sleeping with Chocolate (1996)
‘autopsy table, a self-contained unit, where chocolate is pumped to the surface and returns through a middle drain.’


Louie Cordero My We (2011)
‘The Louie Cordero exhibit showing at the 2011 Singapore Art Biennale features some over-the-top gruesome sculptures. The exhibit, titled My We, has multiple figures impaled with numerous objects that range from knives and saws to broomsticks and shovels. The work of Louie Cordero brings you to a level of morbid brutality that has never been seen before. Bones protrude out of the bodies as they are stabbed. The different Louie Cordero figures are seen in individual poses. One lies on the floor in agony, another seems to be pinned to the wall, while a third is on his knees with a hand raised as if reaching for help.’


Gottfried Helnwein Los Capriccios (2006)


Abigail Goldman Various works (2013-2017)
‘Goldman takes the fake grass, dirt and tiny plastic people used in model railroad layouts, and turns them into imaginary crime scenes. She’s been making the macabre and gory art for four years, and it’s become so popular there’s a waiting list for her work.’


Grant Waud Death By Hollywood (2011)
‘Photographer Grant Waud chose celebrities and their deaths as the topic for his most recent series entitled “Death By Hollywood”. Waud settled on Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and John Dillinger as his subjects. The reenactments appear to be painstakingly accurate. Which may disturb fans of the five celebs portrayed.’

Elvis Presley

John Lennon

Marilyn Monroe

James Dean

John Dillinger


Blake Neubert Various works (2015-2016)


Mat Collishaw All Things Fall (2015)
‘British artist Mat Collishaw creates compelling, often morbid multi-layered pieces in a variety of media. In recent years, he has perhaps garnered the most attention from his monumental zoetropes that bring dark fantasies to life. His most recent, “All Things Fall”, is based on on the 17th century painting “Massacre of the Innocents” by Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Reubens. It is an impeccable, 3D-printed piece of work that took six months to complete in collaboration with fellow animator Sebastian Burdon. Collishaw captures the horror of the massacre in great detail. It is dotted with beautiful white Roman figures that shock the viewer as soon as the lights dim and zoetrope begins to spin.’


Naoki Sasayama The Scene of the Accident (2010)
‘These paintings by Naoki Sasayama recount, in stark realism (almost surrealism), gruesome destruction and deaths. Despite the subject matter, Sasayama’s work is dealing with the facets of life and includes allusions to social and cultural ideas. His technical ability and craving for the complex are also in the upper echelons making for a secure position of someone doing something no one else is doing.’


Carsten Güth Private Bunker Series (2013)
‘In her “Private Bunker Series,” photographer Carsten Güth depicts suburban abodes that look completely shut off from the outside world. Though not specifically built to seal interior spaces from impending doom, the houses in Güth’s photos appear to have no windows or doors.’


Jessica Harrison Various works (2014-2017)


Adeela Suleman Various works (2014)


Korehiko Hino Various works (2014-2016)


Arsen Savadov from Book of the Dead (2001)
‘Book of the Dead is a series of ten photographs of a group of mostly naked autopsied human bodies arranged around a central plinth. Some leaning against walls or each other, some slumped in chairs. There a number of sundry items of domestic furniture such as step ladders, heating radiators, lamps, a hat stand, mugs and children’s toys. A single bare and partially obstructed spotlight cast a harsh light on the scene. The composition of mainly black accented with vivid visceral red plays on the western funereal tradition, denotating mourning and grisly sanguinary nature of carnality. And of course the pallid whites and greys of the deads etiolated flesh.There are small sporadic green items hinting at growth and organic decay. But we don’t need symbolism with such explicit illustration of the several very dead elephants in the room. The expressions on the corpses faces are predominantly acerebral and zombie like. Somnambulist sleep walkers who have settled a moment in their dead domesticity, freezing, playing possum for the perception of the living. Some appear crazily blissful.There is a harmony to this family of carrion, a sense of mutual comfort in their post-mortem bond.’




p.s. Hey. I have be quick today because I woke up late, and I’m due elsewhere any minute, apologies. ** Armando, Hi. Well, I don’t think Tarr’s films are fatalistic. If he said that, he’s a dark dude. No, I said/meant fatalist. Nihilist could work too in a different way. No, I really don’t like ‘Melancholia’. I only can bear the early Von Trier, up through ‘The Idiots’ basically. After that, ugh. I like Tarantino’s films, so him doing Manson intrigues me. No, my guess is it’s relatively easy to get films made in France compared to a lot of other places. Zac almost never looks at Facebook, but I’ll alert him. Take care. ** Steve Erickson, Yes, McKaney is a particularly daring Halloween haunt manifestation. Like I said, its popularity is very interesting. I say go for the new script idea. Sci-fi’s wrong guesses become part of the mistaken films’ dreaminess, basically. I’m glad a couple of gig entries caught your fancy. Skype takes about ten minutes to figure out and start using like a pro, so that shouldn’t be much of an interference. Sounds promising. Everyone, Steve has written an overview of the 2017 New York Film Festival. Read what awaits via his inimitable thoughts right here. ** David Ehrenstein, My pleasure, naturally. ** Sypha, Hi. Yeah, I like Tarantino too. Haters will hate, etc. Thanks for checking out the gig. And good luck with the new Miley Cyrus. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Thanks, cool. Oh, darn, I’m sorry the bookshop job didn’t pan out. But I’m confident you’ll find something more ‘suited’ and interesting. That sucks, though. The first day of dreaded work was painful. We’re now on our third attempt to make a 59 minute version that doesn’t make us want to commit suicide, and we’ll see if it works this morning. The necessary short cut completely empties our film of all its poetry and its kind of whole reason for being. It’s gross. Maybe we’ll find something we can barely stand enough to say okay today. Have a lovely day whatever you do. What did you do? ** Jamie, Hi, hi. Well, that’s better-ish on the blog action front. I’m okay. The neck/shoulder thing is still taking a very annoyingly lazy time to get better, but I guess it is. Well, oh well, about the competition. Your tome clearly needs whatever time it needs to be aced. Your day sounds like a mixed bag that errs on the side of better than not. Not bad. I just labored over the film edit all day in a state of concentration and the expected misery, and more today. Ha. May your day turn every appliance in your vicinity into adoring robots. Love like Stonehenge, Dennis. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Ha ha, yes. Sparkling cool news about the big meet up. ** EWA, Hi! Welcome! Oh, gosh, nothing springs immediately to mind, and today I’m unfortunately in a big scramble as I have to get to work, but I will think about it today and try to figure it over the weekend, if that’s okay. Thanks a lot for entering and asking. ** Misanthrope, Football is so au courant in the US right now. Oh, that was a nice California plan, not to be, but very nice. It would be cool to align there someday. Where there’s a will, … ** H, Hi, h. Thank you very much! The sound work is finished as of last week. Now we’re making an obligated ‘short version’ for a grant committee. After that and adding titles/credits, the film will 100% finished. Yours does sound like an important step. ** Okay. I’m sorry again for having to speed along. I’ll try not bypass my alarm again. In the meantime, here’s a scary Halloween art show for you to ideally ooh and ahh over, or something else. See you tomorrow.


  1. Steve Erickson

    I will look more closely at these artists when I have more time.

    I’ve come up with some ideas for the future world of my film, like people taking drugs that don’t yet exist instead of smoking pot and watching VR instead of watching TV. Speaking of the latter, the New York Film Festival has a very small virtual reality sidebar, which I am going to try and check out tomorrow. If I am going to write about it, I should have firsthand experience of virtual reality, and right now I barely know what it is.

    As for Tarantino, I run hot and cold on him, but I think JACKIE BROWN and DJANGO UNCHAINED are brilliant. However, THE HATEFUL EIGHT might be his worst film, and it seems to suggest he’s reached the end of the road re: violence and nihilism. At this point, I’d seriously like to see him get out of his comfort zone by making a PG-13 film the way David Lynch did with THE STRAIGHT STORY or Paul Thomas Anderson did with PUNCH DRUNK LOVE. He has sometimes put violence and hate speech to great use, and I’m not saying a film which hasn’t even been made yet will be crap, but I fear the subject of Manson will bring out his worst “grimdark=cool and awesome” tendencies.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Roland Barthes would call Charles Manson “an exhausted signifier”

    Quentin has considerable technical skill but he seems to be interested only in obscure genre film detritus. His attempt at making “The Hateful 8” a “roadshow” release came a cropper. “Jackie Brown” is quite good but that’s it, IMO.

    The black and white stills of corpses remind me of Weegee. There was a rather good doc about him on cable the other night. He’s comparable in many ways to Vivian Maier. But he wanted fame and she didn’t.

  3. Bill

    OMG Dennis, this is a spectacular show. Love the Fabio Magalhaes, the chocolate pieces, the zoetrope, so much more. I’ve seen older Jessica Harrison ceramics at a show; they’re really super-impressive in the “flesh”.

    My week has been packed with meetings, eek. Then I have to get ready for this little event. More over the weekend.


  4. Sypha

    Probably wasn’t a smart idea on my part to check out today’s blog right before I went to have lunch, ha ha. When I saw Marlene Haring’s Letting My Hair Grow (2014) the first thought that sprung to mind was Cousin Itt from the Addams Family.

    While I wouldn’t put Hateful Eight on the same level as Jackie Brown, Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs (and so on), I think it was still an enjoyable film. In some ways it reminded me of a sort of spiritual companion to Reservoir Dogs in that it was mainly set in one claustrophobic location, dealt with a story in which one character was a traitor, and so and so forth (and it was nice to see him reuniting with some of the old Dogs cast again, including Tim Roth and Michael Madsen). One of my friends who liked the film said that one of his favorite aspects was that pretty much EVERY character in the film was essentially unlikable (in contrast to some of Tarantino’s last few films, which have often had some kind of moral center). I do think that he’s mined the Western genre for all its worth though, so I’m glad he’s moving on to something new.

  5. Dóra Grőber


    Oh wow! Thank you for this amazing post, I really loved it! Especially the extremely detailed scenes of Mariel Clayton and the works of Gottfried Helnwein and Arsen Savadov.

    Thank you! I do hope I’ll find something more suited soon now!!
    Oh God, this sounds awful. Like some freaky kind of torture where you have to maim your own creation ’til it cannot even be recognized… I hope you manage to come up with an “okay” version today and won’t have to deal with this for much longer. I’m so sorry you have to do this, Dennis.
    I had to run some long-overdue and very tedious errands today which wasn’t too much fun but at least I’m done with them now. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a lot more enjoyable!
    And I guess it goes for your tomorrow as well! How was today?

  6. B


    Long overdue for a check in, though I have been occasionally creeping in on the posts. I was a big fan of the conceptual mountain post a few weeks ago…very cool stuff!

    Currently writing you from a cafe in Santa Fe, NM where I spent the last few days exploring. Have you been here before? Wednesday night I caught a screening of “Aliens” at a little theatre which is apparently owned by George Martin, and last night me and the friend I’m here with went to a music show at Meow Wolf. I also popped into the Georgia O’Keeffe museum for a bit in the afternoon which was super interesting and informative.

    What’s new in your world? Thinking about you often and sending love!

  7. _Black_Acrylic

    It’s good to see Mat Collishaw still around and making interesting work. He’s been in the game forever ie he was in the 1st ever YBA show Freeze way back in 1988. Alone among that generation, the man’s stayed consistently worthwhile.

  8. Steve Erickson

    Tarantino has said “if you think JACKIE BROWN is my best film, you don’t really like my work.” It does really stand out among his oeuvre, and I wish he’d made more films like it. I like PULP FICTION, but I saw Wong Kar-wai’s CHUNG KING EXPRESS two weeks later back in 1994 and thought *this* is the French New Wave/film noir hybrid everyone is really talking about when they raved about Tarantino. Both films wound up making my 1994 top 10 list, the first I ever made, but Wong was at #1 and Tarantino was around #9.

    To make my life even more complicated. I also met someone tonight I’m attracted to and flirted with mildly. He actually lives only 30 blocks for me, so I should see what happens with Eyal on Monday, keep this on the back burner and see if I can make a connection beyond flirting if things turn out not to work with Eyal.

    Hey, Run the Jewels released a new single today and someone has already made a fan video setting it to footage from BLADE RUNNER 2049 clips that are available on-line. (Apparently, El-P was once under consideration to compose BR2049’s score! Talk about futuristic dystopian music.)

    I’m having issues with the interview I’m supposed to do Sunday. The publicist is totally not on the ball, I actually met the director this evening, talked to him about it and he had no idea what I was talking about. He does now and seems willing to do it. (I didn’t get the impression he’s doing tons of press this weekend.) I have his E-mail address now and when I got home tonight, I sent him an E-mail detailing where I’d like to meet and giving him my phone #.

    At long last, my Argento essay may be published tomorrow. I looked it over again tonight, and I really think this is one of the best pieces I’ve ever written.

  9. joseph

    Hey Dennis,

    You deserve to bypass the alarm. We all deserve to bypass the alarm. Fuck the alarm. I lost my silly job a little over a week ago and although the immediate unfortunate concerns such as $ and food and $ for food, etc, will set into being very real very soon… for now I’m really enjoying not bothering with an alarm. … not sure if I could functionally return to the world of the alarm.

    Took a break from reading Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (which I find very enjoyable, “haters will hate”) to check this out and they really pair well together, both are great blend of comedy and disturbances.

    Back to the book and not setting an alarm, thanks as always for letting me know about some people making things I didn’t know were out there.

  10. Steve Erickson

    Sorry for the name-dropping, but I was friends with some of the Unsane’s original line-up, including their bassist. He quit to become a special effects artist in Hollywood, and you will not be surprised to learn that he put together the gruesome artwork of some of their early singles and albums, which today reminds me of. Other Music once featured the model for the sleeve of their Sub Pop single (am I remembering this correctly? maybe another label released that one? ), on which he appears to blow his brains out with a rifle, as their “customer of the month.” Alas, they didn’t post any before/after photos, so I have no idea what he now looks like when he’s not totally covered in blood and “brain matter,” but his comments about shopping at the store, a few years before it went out of business, were amusingly cheerful juxtaposed with that image (which the store put up next to his printed answers to their questions.)

    • Steve Erickson

      Not that it matters or anyone cares, but I think I’m referring to the Unsane’s “Concrete Bed” single, on which someone poses holding a rifle and covered in blood, but not splattering his brains against the wall, unlike the Sub Pop single. The early 90s were fun times in rock music!

  11. Armando


    “Well, I don’t think Tarr’s films are fatalistic.” Yeah, me neither. At all.

    “If he said that, he’s a dark dude.” Lol, he’s a gleeful optimist compared to me.

    Oh, I see. So, what you think of von Trier’s ‘Medea’? Do you recommend it???

    “I like Tarantino’s films” Well, I’m extremely shocked. Seriously.

    By the way, what made you like ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ so much? I mean, I love it madly, but to be completely honest, it surprised me a bit to see you liked it so much.

    That ‘American Made’ movie sounds like a lot of fun.

    “No, my guess is it’s relatively easy to get films made in France compared to a lot of other places.” Oh, well, sorry, I wasn’t as clear as I should’ve been. I meant the whole thing as a non-French citizen trying to make a movie there.

    “Zac almost never looks at Facebook, but I’ll alert him.” I knew very, very well you were going to say exactly that. Well, thank you.

    Take good care,

    Good day; good luck,


  12. Armando

    Oh, by the way, generally great post today, thank you so very much. Liked a lot of what I saw.

  13. Wolf

    Dennis the wonderdude!!!
    Ah, sorry I’ve been such a stranger, it’s been busy on my side of the channel; just came back from 1 week in NY and Washington for work. I managed to cram in mucho sightseeing and cool shit betwixt the many working bits, though.
    NY was as great as it always is but I really only spent 2 days there.
    Washington though blew my fukken mind – I expected an oppressive artificial bullshit-town and instead was shocked (shocked!) to find a hazy, tropical-weathered humid jungle mixing quaint Victorian-style residential madness, lush gymnosperm greenery, bombastic and yet still somewhat moving architecture that no matter what you think of The American Dream was somewhat earnest when it was built, and shockingly friendly humans coming at you from every corner. And many, many very well-cared for American elms which is a thing I care about, because there really are not many elms left in Europe and it makes me very sad. So that was pretty great. I definitely have to go back.

    I haven’t had a chance to check much of the last few week’s offerings, but I did spot a Liars goody from yesterday; man, they just never fail. Well, I guess it’s just Andrew now, but regardless. Never puts a foot wrong. What is your fave Liars album? I think They Were Wrong… is mine, with Liars close second.

    What is happening on your side of things? I can see you’re trying to squeeze the rolls into 59 minutes – that just seems unfair, man. Are you going for the ‘chop a little here, chop a little there’ approach or, like, slicing a whole chapter off? I think if I had to shorten work I’d actually go for the latter – ‘if you wanna know how it ends check out the director’s cut!’. Yeah, tough.

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