like robert christagu music reviews. concise musings, (may even haiku) on the things i have seen/heard in time. out time.
4th November 2017
loving vincent (2017) – dorota kobeila, hugh welchman
the first entirely oil painted animated feature film in history journeys through the mystery of vincent van goghs death & life, life & death.
thoughts (in verse)
eyes pleased with light sight many hands did stillness move word soon forgotten ?
thoughts (in prose, thought this may be untrue)
visuals reached and remain etched on the inner walls of my memory. story began to leave an imprint, but the hand holding the pen (or perhaps the pen itself) grew weary and soon fell from sight. voice acting is notable as it injects life to a story that loses itself too soon.
it’s a film that (in fact all of the work here) brings to mind the taoist writings of kwang ze. He mentions the skilful people who know how to live in harmony with all, ‘like shepherds, who whip up the sheep that they see lagging behind.’ in applying this life lesson to art, o̶n̶e̶ i w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ will seek to live a life (make work) that nourishes the inner as well as the outer. so as not to end up like pao or kang i.. ‘pao nourished his inner man, and a tiger ate his outer; while i nourished his outer man, and disease attached his inner. both of them neglected whipping up their lagging sheep’
2nd November 2017
incense, sweaters & ice (2017) – martine syms
‘incense, sweaters, and ice is a new feature film inspired by the idea that anything one does while being watched is a performance. The film follows three protagonists—mrs. queen esther bernetta white, girl, and wb (“whiteboy”)—as they navigate the dramas of surveillance, moving between looking, being looked at, and remaining unseen. how does the ever present potential image affect the way we act and the way we see ourselves? by examining how cinema now happens in real time, syms works between the documented and the live to find the lie.’
thoughts (in whatever)
queen in regal cloth spoke (in all meanings) of ins and outs to write. and right.
so these were my favourite parts of the film, queen white in purple, speaking aphorisms and affirmations (gleaming!). queen whites scenes, used words.inspiration from motown etiquette and style coach maxine powell (some assimilation rhetoric insert here. negro crossover. house… or not ?).
i felt the film could have focused solely on queen white and it would have been a more concise exploration of life. which is what i thought the film was about, i’m not certain what the director wanted us to get from the film. the non linear nature of the film left me desiring a focal point, beyond the characters. something to hold on to. I suppose i found that person in queen white with her reoccurring, always signified by flashes of purple. seemingly playing intentional or unintentionally on the directors part the role of elegba, the messenger, divine communicator, opener or closer of the way in the Yoruba pantheon. samuel l. jackson played a similar role in spike lee’s chi-raq (2016). I wonder if this is a harkening back to the story telling techniques of various traditional societies the jali (griot) of west africa, the bard of british & gaelic culture or maybe I’m reaching to tie loose ends… It is a storytelling device I want to use in my work to extrapolate and simplify plot (yes even in paintings..) and obliterate the fourth wall.
queen white scenes played.improvised by the wonderful fay victor. i would like to request more fay victor and because i can fulfil this request. here we are.
9th November 2017
supernova – omar ba
‘…in supernova, however, the artist’s focus has shifted. a supernova is the name given to the birth of an extremely bright, brilliant star, caused by the spectacular explosion of a massive star at the end of its life. inspired by the supernova, its grandeur and its ancient inheritance, in this exhibition ba proposes a celebration of the beauty and magnificence of the people of africa, as descendants of the black pharaohs of egypt and nubia – considered by many to be the cradle of civilisation.’
the work is great, the paintings fulfil my own personal desire to re-present the black image, showing the unseen or unexplored narratives in the african story. the puzzle mural(s) in their set up conveys ideas on how ‘life is a puzzle we must work out’ (this paraphrasing the artist). the figures painted larger than the monuments beside them, (eiffel tower, empire state building) convey ideas of humanity being more significant than our superstructures. pushing us to reflect upon what or we should be looking up to. again the work is great.
though my issue with shows, exhibitions that contain great paintings, is never with the work but how the work is placed and situated. it is a desire of mine to move painting beyond its place on a wall, too often beauty can serve as a backdrop to conversation. my desire is for my work (and others!) to dance with the persons in the environment, a communication is required. a cultural communication. i haven’t put this down as a curatorial concern, because it has less to do with curating and more to do with culture. if culture is philosophy lived, what philosophy dictates to us that we must place art on a wall to be looked at, then walked away from. to be discussed but never inculcated… the sum will stop here. in the next post i will endeavour to provide alternative examples of art as living culture beyond walls and screens. in an attempt to find and become a ‘shepherd(s), who whip up the sheep that they see lagging behind.’