Even Hirst at his Excessive Worst is better than …

Reviews were all but universally terrible but, being in Venice while the exhibit was running, at two locales simultaneously, proved too much for Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, to resist in September 2017.

Have three posts that first appeared on pHantacea on pHacebook, plus a couple of bonus shots. Commentary mostly taken from Phantacea Publications Facebook Page.

Scroll down for reiteration of images and comments …

Banner outside the entrance to the gallery, shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Shot in Venice, September 2017, the plaza is called the same as the gallery, Palazzo Grassi

Colossus somewhat unimaginatively called 'Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement); shot in Venice Italy by Jim McPherson in September 2017

Damien Hirst’s colossal conceit is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement). Henceforth shall be referred to as Colossus

<== To the left is a shot of the banner for “Treasures from the WRECK of the Unbelievable. Damien Hirst” exhibit running in September 2017. Spotted and shot by Jim McPherson outside the Palazzo Grassi in Venice Italy.

It’s the second venue for the show but the first visited. Exhibit ran from 09/04/2017-03/12/2017

==> According to the brochure that came with admission, the image to the right (which needs a good clicking to fully appreciate its sheer, laugh-out-loud immensity) is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement).

Hirst Colossus, taken from second level of Palazzo Grassi gallery by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Colossus adjusted to bring out contours better, taken from the second level of the gallery inside the Palazzo Grassi

Sooth further said, enlargement is something of an understatement. For one thing, even in the narrative it’s just (?) an outlandish copy of a much more sensibly sized golem: “It seems … the figure served as a guardian to the home of an elite person.” In ancient Mesopotamia, also according to accompanying brochure.

<== To the left is a frontal view of the supposedly Mesopotamian Colossus as taken from the second level of the Palazzo Grassi. Some tinkering with the levels on Photoshop has brought out, for the better, the demon’s contours.

Hirst's demon taken from the gallery's third level

Back shot of Hirst’s Colossus taken from the third level of the gallery and looking downward

The squiggles and encrustations are artistic conceits perhaps left in to indicate the original lay “… submerged in the Indian Ocean for some two thousand years before the site was discovered in 2008.”

==> To the immediate right is a back shot of the colossus looking down, down, down from the 3rd level of the Palazzo Grassi. Once again the conceit of the artist, not to mention the demon’s forgers, is that the original was found underwater, hence the coral and other encrustations.

Hirst's sea monster seen through window and shot by Jim McPherson in Venice, September 2017

Sea Monster seen through the window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi. It appears to be rising out of the Grand Canal

<== Looking through window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi in September 2017 and what does one see but a sea monster rising out of Grand Canal. Note the Ca Rezzonico palazzo on the other side. It comes highly recommended for its massive gallery of Eighteenth Century Italian artwork.

Upshot of Colossus taken by Jim McPherson in September 2017 in Venice Italy

Shot looking up at Hurst’s Colossus from the ground level

==> To the right and again looking up, way up, from the ground level is a shot put on Facebook just to see if its censors were watching.

Supposedly the Colossus was and is anatomically correct. Or at least as proportionately correct as a 60-foot bronze behemoth could be.

(Again according to the brochure, it’s a facsimile of the original, which wasn’t at the Palazzo. Might have been at the other venue, Punta della Dogana, across the Grand Canal a few stops south of the San Samuele vaporetto dock.)

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Encrusted Mickey Mouse, photo of a wall slide taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Evidently Mickey, Goofy and, yes, even a scene from Jungle Book (?) were hauled out of the depths after spending two thousand or so years submerged

<== Have to ask, if it sank nearly two thousand years ago: What’s Mickey doing on the Unbelievable? Time warp, perhaps? Could be Disney partially funded Hirst’s extravaganza and wanted some of their characters to join in the very expensive fun.

Which sounds like something only a cynical dullard would say. Sorry about that, Damien.

Shot of underwater shot of a unicorn's skull and horn, taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Supposedly an underwater shot of a unicorn’s skull and horn

==> As for the shot to the immediate right of his paragraph, is that really what’s become of the skull and horn of a unicorn after two thousand years?

Might it be a Raven’s Head type from the Phantacea Mythos? For comparison have lynx to the covers for Forever & Forty Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA and Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade, both of which have Raven’s Head on the cover.

Underwater Colossus, shot of a shot, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Presumably the original Colossus taken while still submerged

<== Colossus doesn’t look quite so large in this slide. Could there be two of them? Contextually speaking it’s more likely this is the original.

Shot of a shot of an idol taken undersea with diver's bubbles, Jim McPherson, 2017

Goddess idol taken underwater complete with diver’s bubbles; suggestive of D-Brig’s Sea Goddess

In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, can’t be Catastrophe (Headless Ramazar, the Apocalyptic of Sudden Destruction, a head shot of whom shows up a cpuple of paragraphs down), from the comics and novels, notably “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Too underdressed.

==> Tempted to say the shot of a shot to the upper right represents Thalassa D’Angelo, unless it’s Thalassa Thanatos, D-Brig’s Sea Goddess, notably from the obverse cover of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson​ 1978.

Too bad there’s only a hint of a third eye on the sunken idol. Like the bubbles, though.

Andromeda screams as Jaws leaps out of rock to eat her, taken by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andromeda’s chained to a rock screams while Jaws leaps out of ground intent upon eating her

<== Jaws butts in on the Kraken. Andromeda doesn’t look too pleased either way.

Five covers from Phantacea comics or graphic novels, artwork by Ian Bateson except for pH-5 which Ian finished over Verne Andru's original black and white cover

Plenty more on the Phantacea Comic Book series and graphic novels can be found here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

Wasn’t the best shot taken so darkened the background and greyed up some of the sides in hopes of bringing out characters better.

==> Something of Sea Goddess’s skinniness in Hirst’s Andromeda, too. Except D-Brig’s Sea Goddess would just state-shift into her watery element and get away instead of wasting time screaming.
As for what she could then do to either Jaws or the Kraken should she decide to come back … well, best leave that to your imagination.
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Close up of Hirst's Andromeda Screaming, part of the blue diorama based on myth of Perseus, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Andomeda is (silently) screaming so hard she turned the whole oversized diorama blue.

Diorama entitled Andromeda and the Sea Monster, shot taken by Jim McPherson, September 2017

Background darkened to bring out the three main characters of Andromeda, Jaws and the Kraken; the whole diorama really is blue for whatever reason

<== The elaborate diorama is not only huge it really is blue. As per shots later, and one put up last week, Andromeda really isn’t headless. She is chained, however, and does seem to have an extra hand in this shot.

==> Needs to do a Nihila and break loose pretty damn soon. Jaws and the Kraken look ravenous and could care less about social media.

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros's New Democracy, prepared by Jim McPherson, mid-200s

Datong Harmonia, the Unity of Panharmonium, superimposed over Siqueiros’s New Democracy (Nueva Democracia) as photographed in Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Palazio in mid-200s

<== Reference above is to what’s become of Datong Harmony as of Tantalar 5980. Google up Nueva Democracia for the unadulterated Siqueiros or just hit here: https://www.google.ca/search?q=nueva%20democracia&dcr=0…:

Demonic Head by Damien Hirst, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Severed head of a demon supposedly dredged up then cleaned prior to going on display

==> Only one mobile head in the Phantacea Mythos and that’s Bodiless Byron. He isn’t called the Unmoving One because he can’t get around — he can, by sheer force of will.

He’s called Unmoving Byron because no part of his face moves when he speaks, via a form of thought transference, through his mouthpieces … Sedona Spellbinder in The War of the Apocalyptics and APM All-Eyes in Hidden Headgames

Head supposed excavated in 1932, shot by Jim McPherson at the 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice,

Different shot of Damien Hirst’s demonic head. Brochure says it was excavated in the Tigris Valley back in 1932

<== Although definitely demonic I’m not sure this huge head would even fit atop the headless Colossus let alone if it really belongs there.

The accompanying brochure says it was tentatively identified as Pazuzu, a googleable Mesopotamian demon, and that it was unearthed in 1932 in the Tigris Valley. (Pazuzu had something to do with the horror movie entitled “The Exorcist”, may have even been the possessive devil who drove the girl to such head-turning extremes.)

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

==> Also not sure if this really would pass for the skull and extended horn of a ravendeer in the Phantacea Mythos. Then again the exhibit’s claim that it belonged to an actual unicorn is arguably even more fanciful.

Skull and long horn by Damien Hirst and co, shot by Jim McPherson, 2017

Another view of a dried out and scrubbed clean skull and horn might have belonged to a unicorn according to exhibit brochure

<== Another view of the unicorn’s skull and broken horn unearthed (unwatered?) near the sunken wreckage of the Unbelievable. Skull looks like something you’d rub and expect three wishes from the genie wafting out of it.

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Full wraparound cover for pH-40, artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

NOTE:  The best in-colour, pictorial example of a ravendeer — Raven’s Head? — appears on the cover of 1990’s “Forever & 40 Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA. Raven’s Head the character has her biggest role to date in Decimation Damnation.

In pHanta-pHact she appears in all of the 19/5980 novels and mini-novels. She even does a cameo, in her multitude, near the end of Hidden Headgames. It’s in Dec-Dam, the opening entry in Phantacea Phase Two, that she shows the petulant side of her nature.

Still encrusted 'Diver', so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit in Venice, 2017

Still encrusted ‘Diver’, so-called, by Damien Hirst; scanned in from a postcard bought at ‘Unbelievable’ exhibit in Venice, 2017

<== Yehudi Cohen, D-Brig’s Untouchable Diver, is another long-serving character who reappears in Dec-Dam (after vanishing, then inexplicably, during Helios on the Moon“). He has a much more significant role than Raven in Games.

Hirst's Medusa scanned in from a postcard bought at 'Unbelievable' exhibit, September 2017

According to the brochure, among the fourteen venomous serpents represented are the African rock python, horned viper and coral snake

Have to say, though, that Hirst’s Diver, so-called, looks more female than male. Still, it’d be remiss not include it in post re treasures of the ‘Unbelievable’.

==> As for Hirst’s Medusa, the accompanying brochure claims that “fourteen of the world’s most venomous snakes … crown the Gorgon’s petrified features.”

Might have to add this one to the longtime pHanta-pHeature Medusa’s I have met.

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End post … for now!

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

A Photoshop collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2017, using graphics mostly taken from Web

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McPhersonal Mask Wall — Then and Now

Not sure I like the embed feature on FB for this sort of thing. Best scroll down and I’ll copy and paste the rest of the original posting(s) from pHantacea on pHacebook dated October 30 & 31, 2017.

Obviously both were posted to mark Halloween as well as the imminent anniversary of All Death Day on the Hidden Continent of Sedon’s Head (assuming it’s still around).

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2009 Mask Wall showing five occupants that are still there

pHant Central’s Wall mask is a lot more crowded these day but this lot (taken in 2009) are still on it, though the big fellow only half in this shot has moved to the other side of speaker on adjacent wall above book shelf

Mask bought in Mexico, mid 1990s, known as Double Mouth for reasons's obvious to look at

Mexican Double Mouth wearing Panamanian Bird Cap (for pinheads)

Date for shot to paragraph left is Sept 30, 2009. The Harpo type is an original. The Toothy fellow to his right is from Panama whereas the big blue nose is a Punchinello Comedia del Arte mask purchased in 2008 during first visit to  Venice, where he’s very popular. Has been for centuries.

Also from Sept 2009 series of snaps, Double-Mouth’s bird cap came from a heritage house on the outskirts of Panama City. Needless to say, him having two mouths there’s no point in talking out of both sides of either/or when he can do it with both mouths at the same time.

Not sure where the frond fan came from but a frond is Baaloch Hellblob, Sinistral Sloth’s power focus, even though he uses Viceroy Ibal’s Evil Eye in “Hidden Headgames

Ecuadorian Maximon Type bought in 1998 that broke in suitcase

The fellow in the rain hat came from Ecuador in 1998. Clearly didn’t fare very well in suitcase upon return

2012 mask wall in pHant Central

Mask Wall has filled out considerably since 2009. Shot taken in 2012 looks somewhat unfocused for some reason.

Main mask in 2009 shot was bought in Ecuador in the late 90s. Reckon he was originally a Maximon type, assuming Incas had a Maximon type. Clearly he didn’t fare well in suitcase on return flight. Always found it interesting that Inca is a word jumble for Cain, whom no one was allowed to kill if memory serves.

Above right: 2012 mask wall. The fellow at the very bottom is from Costa Rica. Violated $50.00 limit to buy him. Fortunately he was lacquered because Canada Customs took him out of bag to test for mites and insect larvae.

2005 Mask Wall in Jim McPherson's pHant Central

First shot found of pHant Central’s Mask Wall in Digital Library. It’s from 2005. Might be more in Photo Albums but didn’t feel like looking

They didn’t do that with coconut heads, two of which came from Puerto Vallarta whereas the little coco-head (coke-head) beside blue nose came from other side of Mexico in a different Puerto, Morales.

Date on photo to the left is Oct 5, 2005. The two masks wearing hats are originals bought in Zihuatanejo Mexico in mid 90s. The ape figure wears a hat these days whereas the goatish Furie figure with the long horns is from Guatemala.

Any wonder why Wilderwitch stays away from Jervis Murray when he’s in Dervish mode? He’s now hiding behind Double Mouth. A couple more like him are in the Fur Mask row here.

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Here’s the earlier post on pHant Central’s Mask Wall, also embedded using Facebook coding. It’s dated 30 October 2017. As per 2011’s “Janna Fangfingers“, All-Death Day occurred on Maruta 1, 5494, the equivalent of our November 1, 1494.

On that date, thanks to the Unities of Chaos and Order — who, as we only found out (for sure) in “Helios on the Moon“, were doing Sedon’s bidding, hence its subtitle ‘Sedon’s Purge’ — there were more Dead Things Walking on the Inner Earth of Sedon’s Head than there were Living Beings Talking.

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October 2017 Mask Wall in Jim McPherson's pHant Central, taken in October 2017

pHant Central’s Mask Wall in 2017, taken shortly after return from second time in Venice, hence the two new masks

Mask wearing a hat suggestive of Mars Bellona, pHant's Apocalyptic of War

One of the four original masks, bought in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, in early to mid 1990s

To immediate left, pHant Central’s Mask Wall encroaching on book shelf in October 2017.

Note the gargoyle photo on third shelf from bottom and the solitary eyeball above it. Many of masks wear sunglasses and hats to protect themselves from sheer brightness of computer they look at all day.

The box atop the speaker contains the manuscript for “The Moloch Manoeuvres“, which Phantacea Publications doesn’t feel like publishing for some reason. (Might it have something to do with Jim McPherson not wanting to edit something that long, let alone chop anything sizable out of it?)

Monster mask bought in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, suggestive of Count Molech

Mask bought in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in late 90s or early 20-Noughts that’s suggestive of Count Molech near the end of “The Moloch Manoeuvres”

Mask to the upper right bought in Zihuatanejo Mexico, in mid-90s. Couldn’t resist buying because it so clearly resembled Mars Bellona, the Apocalyptic of War, from pH-3, as he first appeared in Phantacea Publications at least 15 years earlier. Mask was one of four that started the whole collection.

Maximon mask bought in Guatemala in early 2000s

Mask of Maximon, who despite looking white is a modern day Mayan deity

Mask to the upper left looks like what becomes of Count Molech near the end of ‘The Moloch Manoeuvres’. And yes, there are two different spellings … Molech refers to a highly unconventional stage magician in Rome Italy in January 1938 whereas the Moloch refers to the Moloch Sedon, who doesn’t even appear in the book.

Mask wall in late October 2017

Another shot of pHant Central’s Mask Wall as it was in late October 2017

May do in a couple of the follow-up pH-Webworld serials, however; more here.

The mask to the upper right is Maximon, the modern day Mayan deity of Conspicuous Consumption as well as Decadent Delights. Probably got his broken nose (hence the bandage) in transit from Guatemala sometime in 90s.

Five covers from Phantacea comics or graphic novels, artwork by Ian Bateson except for pH-5 which Ian finished over Verne Andru's original black and white cover

Plenty more on the Phantacea Comic Book series and graphic novels can be found here: http://www.phantacea.com/one2six1.htm#logo

Note the middle section of pHant Central’s Mask Wall in late October 2017. The three-faced golden mask in lower centre and the bronze, jawless mask to its right and up a row were picked up in Venice back in Sept 2017.

Finally, just in case you doubted it, here’s a shot of the obverse side of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson, 1978. It was a flip-floppy — a comic that contained two storylines: Helios on the Moon and, on the flip-side half, that of the Damnation Brigade as they appeared during the War of the Apocalyptics.

All of the latter has been collected in 2013’s Phantacea Revisited trade paperback.

 

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