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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

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Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Shiny Shapes - the Graz Zeughaus         Reply with quote

I received my copy of Shiny Shapes today and it is a terrific book. I highly recommend it. This is a photo-essay about the Graz Zeughaus that features a lot of big and detailed photos of beautiful wheellock pistols, 17th century and late 16th century munitions armour and a few Maximilian suits, and halberds and other pole-arms. There is also a lot of interesting abstract philosophical discussion of the nature of war and the aesthetics of weapons and armour. There is also a short poem at the beginning of each chapter. A particularly interesting section shows a series of close-up shots of Thirty Years War era close helmets and discusses how these helmets are similar to robots in science fiction and villains like Darth Vader, dehumanizing the wearer and functioning as masks which provide an intimidating and unchanging visage that conceals the emotions of the wearer from his opponents.

Also the pages of the book smell EXACTLY like I remember new packs of Magic Cards as smelling like when I was a kid.

I recommend this book highly - I think at 50 dollars it is a bargain, given the depth of the content.

Pastime With Good Company
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Feb, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why not create a reading list in our Books Section and submit a book review of the title?
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Werner Stiegler





Joined: 27 Feb 2007

Posts: 122

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 1:05 am    Post subject: Re: Shiny Shapes - the Graz Zeughaus         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:
A particularly interesting section shows a series of close-up shots of Thirty Years War era close helmets and discusses how these helmets are similar to robots in science fiction and villains like Darth Vader, dehumanizing the wearer and functioning as masks which provide an intimidating and unchanging visage that conceals the emotions of the wearer from his opponents.
Funny, but I think that essay can be found in Dario Lanzardos "The Iron Guest" too.
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




Location: Indiana
Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Reading list: 2 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 1:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wouldn't doubt it. Actually, the very first time I saw one of those Savoyard munitions helmets, I went through that line of reasoning in my head and drew the same conclusions - in fact, I wanted to write an essay about it or something but obviously now I've found that someone else has already done so! From an aesthetic standpoint it's pretty hard NOT to consider those questions when looking at such helmets.

Shiny Shapes, though, seems to dwell on the menacing visors while ignoring the friendly ones! For instance...this one looks downright obliging and helpful. "Hello! Welcome to the Elector of Saxony's Court! How may I be of service?"


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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
Joined: 02 Apr 2004
Likes: 9 pages

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 2:21 am    Post subject: Shiny shapes         Reply with quote

Often said ,"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder'.....

Really don't care for the book at all. Bought a copy in Graz a few years ago, went through it during a long coffee break and other than in a weak moment, have not looked at it since. It seems to me , the author and/or photographer used the publication as a self expression vehicle for a message that I was not seeking. While some of the photos (black and white) are a great example of studies in contrasts, the book definitely does not compare with some of the recent........
and more expensive(!) .... publications out of Italy.

Cheers,
Dan
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M. Adair Orr





Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 70

PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shiny Shapes remains one of my favourite books. Apart from some wonderful photography and detailed photos that really couldn't be matched at the time in any other publication, the essays remain a delightful read. The book is a great reminder that arms and armour appeal to many people for varied reasons. As a serious student of any subject it is good to be able to step back and see the object of your study in a different light.

I think for the number of talented artists re-creating historical examples of armour today, and especially those who have branched out into more speculative forms based on period artistic evidence, it is crucial to step back and study the expression/ impression of armour in addition to the form, function and detail. Shiny shapes is a great vehicle for this.

-Adair
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