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Manic Monday: Hysteric for Charcot’s Mysterious Medical Muses

Charcot - Frighteningly Real

Charcot {29 November 1825 – 16 August 1893}

Remembered today as a leading mind in the fields of neurology and psychology, Jean-Martin Charcot‘s legacy is as much in his strange medical photography, as his famous pupils (Sigmund Freud and Georges Gilles de la Tourette), and important breakthroughs in the field.

Taken for research purposes, these bizarre medical photographs were used to document the various affects and disorders of the 19th century’s most scandalous disorder – Female Hysteria.

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Charcot- Say Hello To My God- Science and Faith - Art and Reality- Vintage Style

For thousands of years, hysteria has plagued the medical community as a bit of a mystery. Known as “the wandering womb” by Hippocrates since the Ancient Greeks, the known method for treatment was almost always pregnancy until the 19th Century when a vaginal massage and/or stimulation using a vibrator or water hose administered by your family doctor was the modern approach.

Charcot, however, was interested in the minds of these plagued women, and hoped to use one of technology’s latest advancements, photography, to aid his research.

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What resulted is a macabre collection of photographs that capture terrifying and strange lost moments between doctor and patient. He took these photographs over the course of many years with hundreds of different women, as well as men (murderers and convicts) to decipher the physical codes of the world’s most confusing ancient tradition – madness.

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Although some of his attendants and colleagues who describe these photography sessions as highly staged, with Charcot demanding perfection of the moment that usually occurred back at the hospital, beyond the truthful eyes of the 19th Century camera. He painstakingly ensured the detail captured in each photograph was true to, what he thought, was the true depiction of the disease and its many characteristics.

Charcot- Master Mystery Tour- Vintage Medical Photography- Hysteric

 

The photographs are very specific and plain. No out of element lighting techniques or off angles – just the subject, and their explicit diagnoses. What came through is a very disturbing display.

The photographs were used to illustrate the true nature of this neurological disorder to a society fascinated by the elaborate and unusual. While many of the women were unable to be treated for their “problems”, they remain unforgettable figures of our modern life.

L0034940 Series of three photos showing a hysterical screaming woman

Today, they are as awesome and curious as ever, with hardly anything in our contemporary culture to compare these majestic and mysterious medical muses.

We really wanted to share. Don’t get hysteric!

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Style Divinity – {Nature Girl} Francoise Hardy

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What is it about Francoise Hardy that captivates the world so? It is a question as mysterious and enigmatic as the living icon, herself.

More than just a 1960s French Pop sensation, she is also an immortal idol of beauty, individual style, and tameless adventure. Apart from her legendary music career, the timeless beauty is iconized to this day in film, music, and of course, fashion.

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Whether playing the girl next door, boho hippie chick, tomboy, or the sexy biker, Francoise was able to captivate all of those who laid eyes on her with her striking beauty and fearlessness. Like a siren, her spell is not easily shaken from the captivator.

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A shy girl, Francoise grew up in Paris with her mother and younger sister, while her father lived apart from them with little time spent with his two young girls. However, her father would play a huge part in her life by buying her her first guitar for a birthday, which would nurture her love and talent for music and song.

As fate would have it, after a year studying at the Sorbonne, Francoise spotted an ad in the paper looking for young singers, and in 1961, at the age of 17, she signed her first record contract with VOGUE, and by the next year her first record, “Oh Cheri Cheri” was released, co-writted by Johnny Hallyday – the French Elvis, as he was known.

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It would be her classic song, “Tous les garçons et les filles” (“All the Boys and Girls”) that would become a huge hit, and put the enchanting songstress on the map. With a growing wave of popularity towards French Pop Music, or yé-yé, it wasn’t long before her song was a hit in Quebec, the UK, and soon the world!!!

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Most recently her charming croon has been hitting the screens around the world in Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”(click her to see the iconic dance and kiss from the movie), introducing her to a whole new generation of listeners looking for a break from the monotony of today’s music scene.

Indeed, she provides something classic in her music, which has a modern yet timeless quality to it. And whether you speak French, or not, it seems her music touches a supernatural sensibility in all of us, allowing us to enjoy the pure essence of what she sings without even knowing a word of it.

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Perhaps this can be attributed to her background as an astrologer (told you she wasn’t just your average singing belle!), and her interest in the mystical and esoteric. In fact, she has published an entire series of books under her name that deal with the subject matter, making her an expert in the field. And having trained with legend in the field, Jean-Pierre Nicola, you can trust her ability to finely tune into life’s sensitivities.

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Francoise is a Capricorn, which explains her cool demeanour, unending ambition, and scholarly approach to life, but what still remains a mystery is that certain je na sais quois, and what it is exactly that has beguiled the world so.

After all, she was the quoted muse of Nicholas Ghesquiere, designer of Balenciaga, and you can almost always count on any credible fashion blogger to have a piece on the belle.

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But, as any wise man or woman knows, that is an element that is best left alone, for it is that untouchable, unknowable, strange, and desirable quality that does hold us so, and in so, one has the chance to truly be immortal.

Sometimes, I think her life can be best described using the lyrics to Nat King Cole’s all-time classic – “Nature Boy”. But of course, for the sake of gender, it should be aptly called “Nature Girl” when dealing with the one and only Francoise Hardy.

Perhaps, you can see it too:

There was a girl
A very strange enchanted girl
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eye
But very wise
Was she

And then one day
A magic day she came my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This she said to me
“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”

In 1981, Francoise Hardy married her long time companion, Jacques Dutronc, who she remains married to this day.

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Perhaps that’s her secret; just to love. Start with yourself, of course. But if we could all do the same, perhaps we can all be remembered someday as seductive, enchanting, and down-right stylish as she.

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The one and only Francoise Hardy.

Yours truly,

{theEye}

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” . . . Mommy, I Think Daddy is Possessed ! ! ! “

I’ve been saving this photo for some time now…waiting for the perfect moment to share. Now that it’s so close to Halloween, what better time to display this very curious creature…

As you might know, we have a huge collection of vintage photographs that we have archived here at The Eye of Faith – each one possessing a mysteriously lingering quality that we just can’t put our finger on.

This one here is no exception. Everything about it is pure Eye of Faith! Look at this classic family portrait set up in their very own living room. A puzzle has been laid out on the coffee table and the entire family has gathered. The photographer is unknown, but lucky for them they have laid witness to the father’s strange transformation….

And while everybody in the photograph is ready with their best All-American smile, the eldest son can’t hide his fear knowing –

“I THINK MY DAD IS POSSESSED!!!”

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We don’t know what kind of gore or paranormal experiences may have ensued after the camera clicked, but like many of these old photographs they leave silent clues and messages from beyond as to the lives of the people in them…

This one, only had their names:

Whether or not these individuals are out there still is beyond me…but we can at least appreciate this photograph for what it may or may not be, and with Halloween on our hands we can’t help but haunt our own imagination!

{My Father, My Devil, My Demon, My Life, My Dreams, My Steadfast Nightmares…}

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That wasn’t the only snapshot we had in our possession portraying haunted men possessed by demonic forces.

The father is the leader of the home, but in these cases, the Devil surely seems to have crept his way through the cracks and into the man you thought you trusted most.

So if you see a shadow come across his face, look into his eyes and hope to God you can save his fragile mortal life. Make sure you announce it to the house, so everyone can take cover. Don’t be afraid to scream it:

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“I THINK DAD IS POSSESSED!”

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Don’t be too afraid if this happens….after all, they’re just earth bound spirits trying to attach themselves to something tangible, and in this case it’s unfortunately your Dad. According to therapist, Dr. Edith Fiore, author of The Unquiet Dead, the simplest thing to do is tell the unfriendly spirit to leave immediately!

“Tell him he is harming himself and the person he is possessing.

To encourage the spirit to leave Earth you must tell him his loved ones are waiting for him. Reassure him that when he’s in the hereafter he will be in a perfect body, not a crippled or aged one.

Tell him there’s no such thing as hell – that he will have a wonderful, peaceful existence in the afterlife with everything he wants. Then tell him to go in peace with your blessing.”

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She also states 9 ways to tell if you, yourself, are possessed. They are:

1. Low energy levels

2. Character shifts or mood swings

3. Inner voice or voices speaking to you

4. Impulsive behavior

5. Memory problems

6. Poor concentration

7. Sudden onset of physical problems

8. A sudden onset of anxiety or bouts of depression (especially after hospitalization or any other trauma)

9. Weight gain with no obvious cause

So be on the look out fine fellows and felines of The Faith! There are other world beings out there just waiting for a nice body to become one with….and don’t think Daddy will come running to help you, especially if he’s the one possessed!

Exsúrgat Deus et dissipéntur inimíci ejus: et fúgiant qui odérunt eum a fácie ejus.

Sicut déficit fumus defíciant; sicut fluit cera a fácie ígnis, sic péreant peccatóres a fácie Dei.

{Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face!
As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

PSALM 67 – Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

So muster up some courage and take on those Demons yourself! Kick some ass, even if it is your own father! Your Momma will be quick to Thank You!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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{All Photos Taken From The Eye of Faith {Archives}

and are property of The Eye of Faith}

EST. 11. 11. 11.

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{Style Wise} – Feathered Frenzy: Where Were You “Last Year at Marienbad” ?

Fresh off our post featuring an interview with Colleen Atwood and her immaculate creations for the new film “Snow White and the Huntsman“, {the Eye} began thinking of Charlize Theron’s haunting black raven feather “Transforming Cape” and how much it reminded me of Delphine Seyrig’s amazing feathered dress from the ambiguous and elusive 1961 French art house classic, “Last Year At Marienbad“.

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Since it’s release in 1961, the film has captivated it’s viewers with it’s sleek black and white photography, decadent Hotel backdrop (Marienbad), and it’s mysterious plot, which involves a Man named “X” and a woman named “A” who may or may not have met the last year a Marienbad. It’s a wild ride through flashbacks, memories, dreams, faded thoughts, and blurred desires that remains the pinnacle of the New Novel movement.

 X

Empty salons. Corridors. Salons. Doors. Doors. Salons. Empty chairs, deep armchairs, thick carpets. Heavy hangings. Stairs, steps. Steps, one after the other. Glass objects, objects still intact, empty glasses. A glass that falls, three, two, one, zero. Glass partition, letters.

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Written by the renowned French author Alain Robbe-Grillet, and directed by Alain Resnais, the film hoped to break the bounds of narrative and conventional film style all together, and in exchange offer us, the audience, the chance to shape our own perception of the story being unfolded before us.

We may never get an answer from Resnais or Robbe-Grillet on what the film truly is or isn’t about, but it truly is a remarkable and powerful thing to have complete control over our own perception – don’t you think?

From a style perspective, it only takes one look at Delphine Seyrig‘s iconic black feathered cape to understand its staying power in our style consciousness.  Chic and elegant, it would take some serious rock ‘n’ roll attitude to pull this kind of look off today. This didn’t stop Karl Lagerfeld from using the film as the jump point for his collection last Spring/Summer 2011 for Chanel.

While the collection captured some of the signatures of Bernard Evein‘s enigmatic costume designs – feathers, sequins, sheer, black – there’s something masterful in the simplicity and cleanliness of the film’s sumptuous designs.

Here at {the Eye}, we’re going to sit back and let this mystery of a film continue to confuse and delight, as the demons of fashion plant the seeds of inspiration from sea to sea. What Resnais and Robbe-Grillet attempted was to reject accepted notions of time in telling a story- they step forward, backward, under, and sideways creating a timeless lingering legacy.

Inspiration is a strange thing going on and on, snowballing on through time non-stop. Between Charlize, Delphine, and Chanel it might be safe to say, if you’re feeling a little frenzied by feathers – you may just be on the right track!

We love a good mystery, and know you do too, so check out “Last Year At Marienbad” at Criterion today!

++UPDATE++ “Last Year at Marienabd” is part of the TIFF Cinematheque Summer in France programme at the TIFF Lightbox. So if you are in Toronto, and want to enjoy this grand mystery on the big screen, get your ticket today. We will see you there.

Sincerely,

{the Eye}

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