Monthly Archives: January 2011
I have to work on a big paper. However, I will supply you all with clips I found while I am gone.
“I originally wanted to display the trees upright, but when I saw their exposed roots at Tilbury Docks [in London]—having been cleaned by the Takoradi Fire Brigade back at the port in Ghana—I thought they looked like the nerve endings of the planet and really wished others to see them. I don’t imagine anyone in the West has ever seen rainforest roots. Also the trees were found lying on their sides in the forest so in effect they were simply transplanted, almost untouched, from wild African virgin forest to the intense metropolis of the West.”
“WANG QINGSONG’S photographs are darkly humorous. Staged and absurd, they tend to consider the hollow promises of consumer culture in China. In “Bathhouse” (2000), for example, the artist sits in a pool surrounded by plastic fruit, Coca-Cola bottles and painted ladies, all of whom look terribly bored (pictured below). Later works are both grander and more subtle, such as “Yaochi Fiesta” (2005), a mythical scene of paradise in which scores of nude Chinese look uneasy, even ashamed. With legs crossed and mouths pursed, they appear chagrined by what was meant to be a delicious fantasy. Mr Wang, a Beijing-based artist, arranges these scenes in a warehouse-like film studio. Though often amusing, they are more than mere gags. Rather, they often feel like odd group portraits, with plenty of powerful reasons to keep looking beyond the first snigger.”
While the Economist claims that Qingsong makes statements about rampant consumerism in China with his photography, I see something else. His work reminds me of paintings from the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite eras. Why? The lush color schemes give me those connotations.
I went to a lecture put together by the Hickory Landmarks Society. The Hickory Museum of Art provided the space. They also provided walls to display maps and old photography of architecture. Surrounded by Carl Moser photographs, lecturer Leslie Keller showed photos of buildings long gone. She started with churches, then schools, universities, houses of known families, hotels, and ended with shops. Each photo had a tale of funny misunderstandings, tragedy, and lots of fires. The older crowd murmured after each yarn revealed and spoke up with anecdotes of their own. One story I liked came from Keller who talked about the Huffry Hotel. She recounted a story of a bicyclist who used to deliver beer there.
I did have one complaint. As she showed photos of past Hickory buildings, I felt she could have added photos of what the property looked like now.
“Some of Mr Dittborn’s imagery is commissioned rather than found. He asked the director of a Chilean psychiatric hospital to invite patients to draw faces and received about 500 in return—all done by a schizophrenic who signed his pictures “Allan 26A”. On another occasion, the artist commissioned heroin addicts at a rehab centre in Rotterdam to draw their childhood home as well as a home they would like to have. Mr Dittborn even got his daughter, Margarita, working for him when she was seven years old, making drawings in exchange for pesos. (She is now 28 and an artist in her own right.) By these means, the artist has integrated “outsider art” into his oeuvre. Guessing the sources of the images, particularly in works that catalogue social types such as “The History of the Face” series, can be part of the fun in viewing a Dittborn.”
Watching this films, you ever have this feeling that Warhol liked to mess with people? You ever imagine him laughing like a mad scientist as he reads people writing “deep” interpretations of his work?
However, I am making this interpretation thanks to a synopsis of a movie simply titled Gala Dali found at the Internet Movie Database. I found this while searching for Gala Dali to see if I needed to add anything to my Little Ashes review. Regarding this film, the IMDB classifies this as a short film and in the horror genre to boot. As of now, I have not seen this film. I have found little next to nothing in my various searches throughout Google, Yahoo, and other various video sharing websites. The links I did find that mentioned the film left me suspicious. However, I did find the website of one of the screenwriters, so I may contact him about it.
I must say, this film intrigues me. The IMDB synopsis writes that this film revolves around a man who sees a Dali painting and feels enamored with Gala. Anyone who reads Maniac Eyeball can see how Salvador Dali had this crazy, enduring love for this woman.
“DONALD ELLIS, a leading dealer in Native American objects, is so excited about what he is exhibiting at New York’s Winter Antiques Show he looks as if he might break into a ceremonial dance himself. He gestures to what he describes as “among the most extraordinary objects I’ve owned in my 34-year career.” You needn’t be an expert to understand the power of these pieces, which include two 19th-century ritual masks made by Yup’ik-speaking Eskimos. One features a shaman astride a big wide-eyed seal; the other a large smiling face with a protruding open mouth. Both have arms stretched wide to welcome the spirits, and both are decorated with feathers. (Yes, American law forbids the sale of feathers from eagles and migratory birds; these masks recreate the effect with the plumage of domestic fowl, like swans and geese.) The third of Mr Ellis’s treasured objects is a carved caribou antler club from Northern British Columbia. The sculptor would seem to be influenced by the soaring abstract works of Brancusi, except that this piece was made in the 18th century.”