Kazuo Ohno The Written Face
Ignore some of the narration like ‘fetal purity” then this is informative
But this is Genius
If you haven't already subscribed to this Abroad Blog of the Week, you'll want to. I came across Lottie Nevin when I first started blogging about six months ago. I was hooked by Lottie's blunt honesty but humorous take on the difficulties of being a Brit new to Jakarta. She is also a fabulous story-teller and frequently weaves previous life experiences into her present day predicaments.
“Is Ai Wei Wei a political artist or an artful politician?” wondered Peter Schjeldahl in the pages of The New Yorker – he released an extremely silly video of himself mugging and dancing to the Korean pop juggernaut “Gangnam Style.” It’s not exactly the comportment one expects of the world’s foremost political artist and dissident.
I was reminded today of a time past, a Facebook post of a photograph taken in 1969 of The Beatles, it started me thinking about that era of English culture. I had always wanted to be an artist, well not sure I knew exactly what an artist was at 4 or 5 but certainly had decided that apart from being centre foward for England as a day job, my full time job would be to make pictures all my life.
We lived on the side of a mountain, my parents were early hippies, although the term had not yet been defined. My father worked in the forest and we kept a menagerie of animals and grew our own food (which included said animals). I used to sit at the edge of the forest and day dream for hours, captivated by the red and white mushrooms that grew around (then I had little idea of their true potential). Fast forward a few years and I am living in the market town of Stafford, boring and mundane a place as one could ever live. I was always thirsty for learning but never quite found what to do with it.
It was Sgt Peppers that changed all that, suddenly I realised there was a word, a pursuit that transcended everything, changed everything, made everything make sense. The word was “creativity’, to be creative, to create, a symbiosis of rational thought and the imagination, making ideas real. Creativity was transforming everyone, it was shared. Creativity became something that everyone was part of, and that was ‘Sgt Peppers’. Here was a vehicle of cultural change that everyone was talking about, so different but people got it, not the reactionary denial so often following change but an embracing, at least with my peers. So for the benefit of Mr Kite I want to share some Peppers.
Lottie wheres Wally?
I remember being on a coach to Plymouth for some school outing, a charabanc to exotic places! It was must have been an upmarket coach because it had a radio and during the journey ‘Penny Lane’ and then Strawberry Fields’ were played. You have no idea (as Lottie would say) how profound and world changing that moment was. If one can say a moment changed your life I can truly say this did. I could imagine these places as if they were mine and yet all the kids on the bus were also part of this imagined world. The discussion last the whole journey, never had I seen this company so energised by something creative, they usually wanted to pull legs off things.
There was a guy across the street from me used to carry a copy of ‘Peppers’ wherever he went, this became something of a fad at our school and showed you were where it was at man. My neighbour Steve Clewlow became a close friend over the following year and we used to sit and discuss this album for hours. It opened up doors of perception that never closed, art, music, philosophy you name it it was all encapsulated in that glossy cover by Peter Blake (I went on to be taught by him at the Royal College of Art), the hidden messages in the vinyl, the Eastern thoughts of George, the political and society challenging John, we thought Paul a hanger on and Ringo there for god knows what reason. Paul of course was a driving force but hey we were radicals, fanatics for this cultural shift. If you want to hear the creative process in action watch these video clips from the 1992 South Bank show on You Tube.
Pete Nevin 1969
Chris Marker: Geezer
29/7/12: Chris Marker, an influential French film-maker, writer and intellectual, has died at the age of 91.
I can’t say enough about how this guy influenced my thinking. ‘La Jettee’ (take yer 12 Monkeys and well you know) was a turning point for me when I started to think about moving image and how still image a moving collage could be as expressive as a piece of normal footage. Then that bit where there is a wink, wow what genius.
I started using After Effects for a big project and the whole time I kept referring Marker to the team, don’t think about the surface get into the deeper content by whatever means don’t follow the rule book, invent.
AK was another great piece of work about one of the greats of cinema as was his loving piece on Tarkovsky. When I went to Tallinn for the first time to work I couldn’t ignore the presence of ‘Stalker’ and a Marker film again influenced the Museum Project I did at the Saltstorage not more than a spit away from Tarkovsky’s location.
Thanks Chris you inspired me, hope the interview with Peter at the gates goes well!
The late paintings of De Kooning have always fascinated me. Here a man with alzheimer’s who has painted all his life continues to paint when he is detached and unaware of the outside world around him and yet still paints with consistently and with coherence! I went to a big exhibition of his at Pompidou Paris what a rush, I was just out of college and all my conceits about modernism and the abstract painters were called to question briefly. I saw the late paintings much later but respect to the geezer, after Alzheimer’s was diagnosed in his late eighties in the following years he painted more than 300 abstract paintings!
De Kooning was declared unfit to handle his affairs 22 years ago, shortly after the death of his wife, Elaine. From that time, information ceased to be available about artworks in his possession, including those still being worked on. His oeuvre was controlled primarily by Lisa de Kooning, his only child and heir; attorney John Eastman, the son of de Kooning’s longtime attorney Lee Eastman; and John Silberman, an attorney who represented Lisa and Eastman in their court application to be appointed as de Kooning’s conservators and later represented his estate. Lisa, Eastman, and Silberman largely determined how the artist’s works were cared for, exhibited, and sold during the last eight years of his life and after his death at the age of 92.
When the estate was closed, in 2003, the foundation received 1,344 works, valued at $53.7 million. Lisa received works of an unspecified quantity and value and began collaborating with Gagosian to exhibit and sell them. “A lot of the good things are picked over,” says a source familiar with Lisa’s collection, which primarily contains paintings from the ’60s through the late ’80s. “The de Kooning estate is really just a name. There is volume but not necessarily quality.”
The foundation’s collection—which contains works of all periods, predominantly works on paper and a collection of paintings from the 1960s onward, including a significant number of 1980s paintings—is thought to be considerably more valuable than its initial valuation. This collection has never been represented by a dealer.
According to its IRS filings, three years ago the foundation sold a 1987 painting for $3.4 million (reported inventory value: $199,750); around the same time, it sold a 1984 painting for $3.9 million (reported inventory value: $246,750). Silberman won’t disclose who bought the works but says that the foundation does not sell to dealers or at auction.
Since its establishment in 2001, the foundation has sold 18 works for a total of $13 million. Silberman says that works are sold to pay for the administration of the foundation—whose stated purpose is to catalogue and maintain its own collection and archive and facilitate museum exhibitions and scholarly research about de Kooning. (Or, as Eastman describes its mission: “De Kooning is the greatest American artist ever. Prove it.”)
You can draw your own conclusions about their actions in the matter, but whatever the truth of his last years watching a video of this frail and vulnerable old man going instinctively about his painting struck a cord.
Willem de Kooning
Size: unframed 80 x 70 x inches
Institution: Walker Art Center
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” –Carl Gustav Jung
Interactive Bar Tables The Interactive Bar Tables (2004: Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman with the production of Ars Electronica Futurelab) are an interactive installation for cafe-like social venues, and an early example of a multi-touch surface in interactive art. The project forms the natural habitat of a species of creatures that exhibits a unique pattern of social behavior. When someone touches the surface of their virtual terrarium, these digital organisms react with playful curiosity. They flock to drinking glasses placed in their vicinity like hungry sharks, and teem around everything that enters their world. But have no fear: they don’t bite. If you catch one with your fingers, it will follow your movements, and you can send it on in any direction and from table to table. Left alone, the creatures descend back into the depths of their digital environment. In this way, the colorful organisms become part of a communicative game involving the users of the Interactive Bar Tables, whereby the flow of communication extends throughout the individual terrariums and creates an interconnection among the participants. The following 1’49″ video documents the Interactive Bar Tables installation at its premiere in the new SAP regional headquarters, Berlin, February 2004; and in the American Museum of the Moving Image (AMMI), May 2004, as part of the Interactions/Art and Technology exhibition. This video is also available at Vimeo and YouTube.