The illustrated lecture and reading is given by our favorite tattoo scholars Anna Felicity Friedman and Matt Lodder, who will offer up tattoo history tied to romance and the macabre. Here's more on the talk from Morbid Anatomy:
Through illustrated slide lectures, Drs.
Friedman and Lodder will present comparative historical material to
provide context and deeper understanding and to separate fact from
fiction. Learn about wide ranging tattoo topics in both Western and
non-Western cultures and have questions answered that the stories raise.
Did people really preserve tattooed skin? What were people reading
about tattoos in the early twentieth century? Were Maori really tattooed
head to foot? What were the connections between Ukiyo-e and Japanese
tattooing in the Edo period?
And the stories... Come hear the
account of a young Maori woman and an English sailor who had himself
completely tattooed to gain her favor, only to be forcibly returned to
his ship (in John Rickman's 1781 travel narrative from Captain James
Cook's third voyage). Cringe at the tale of a businessman tattooed in
Italy with an elaborate scene, but who was prohibited from ever showing
it to anyone, swimming, or leaving the country (in Saki's 1911 "The
Background"). Shudder at the story of a Japanese woman lured into a
tattooer's studio, drugged, and forcibly tattooed (in Junichiro
Tanazaki's 1910 "Shisei (The Tattooer)"). Enjoy the fantasy of a young
and not-yet famous Chaim Soutine who, during a bacchanalian evening,
rendered a dorsal portrait of a tattoo artist's wife that later
mysteriously turns up as a "canvas" in an art gallery (in Roald Dahl's
1952 "Skin"). Additional images related to the stories will be screened
during the readings.
Anna also told the Brooklyn Daily: "There's some short stories about tattooing and romance, which are kind
of creepy and weird. They always end with death, or
some macabre consequence like being splashed with acid, or having the
tattoo flayed off the skin."
Sounds like an average Thursday night for Brian & I, so we'll be there. I hope to see y'all as well. It's only $5 for admission, so you can bring a few dates to Tragic Tattoo Tales.
Also, check out Anna's irreverent Valentine's Day mini-series on Tattoo History Daily (which includes the images in this post). It's not related to the lecture content, necessarily, but similarly cynical and awesome.
A pair of lovers, part of a trio posted on Tattoo History Daily. From Riecke, 1925.