insights on art, culture, lifestyle, spirituality, travel, music, society and much much more from a jet-setter currently on "furlough"…

Archive for the month “February, 2007”

not only for the YOUNG at HEART

I love forward-thinking exhibitions that stand out among the ordinary and mundane of the international museum world. Sure, everyone is excited to see yet another Impressionists’ Masterpiece show with Monet’s Waterlilies and/or a Picasso Retrospective, but there is so much more in the art world besides those Blockbusters. More often than not, it is the contemporary art museums and galleries that take this risk to plunge forward and truly create art that one can experience with more than one of their five senses.

So far, the best example of this risk can be found from now until 15 April 2007 at the Tate Modern (London). German artist Carsten Höller has installed 6 metal slides of various sizes and speeds in the main galleries of the Tate Modern. This form of experimental art is available for people of all ages and backgrounds, and is described by the French writer Roger Caillois as a ”voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind”. This is artwork one can experience, and it is the experience that truly matters. This might cause one to ask, “What interests Höller to create such an experience, both public visually and the inner spectacle experienced by those on the side?” Anxiety and desire are common feelings, but what else?

The question to ask here is simply this (in the opinion of Holler): Would a daily dose of sliding really stimulate our attitude and/or outlook on life? Could sliding be some sort of therapy to bring confidence to those who are fearful of taking risks? Can a daily dose of sliding do a lot of good for our ordinary/mundane lives?

I would like to encourage discussion on this matter. Public art one can experience has been around since at least the 1970s… but could they, like fountains and public squares in Italy, be a method of bringing people together and adding a little piazzaz to their everyday lives?



[m]adam: be careful what you pen in that journal of yours!

First and foremost, my apologies for the long delay in-between posts. I have recently relocated to London and look forward to sharing insights about the art world on this side of the pond in future months.

I must, however, elude to this brilliant film, which I had the grand opportunity to view this past weekend. It is, after all, ART that does more than sit on its ass in conventional space. Notes on a Scandal (2006) tells the story of loneliness, envy, lust, (dis)loyalty and love. It also recounts the choices people make in their lives, and the inevitable consequences that follow no matter how hard they try to resist them. When people lose control of their emotions, chaos and havoc are wrecked. The film was chilly for the majority of the scenes, but both Judi Dench (Barbara Covett) and Cate Blanchett (Sheba Hart) did an excellent job in this film. I won’t spoil the story for those who have yet to view this film, but wanted to bring attention that the main focus of this film should be Dench’s [romantic] obsession with Blanchett’s character, rather than Blanchett’s affair with her 15 year old male student. It was strange to see that there was no forgiveness whatsoever in the storyline, and that the drama kept on perpetuating. Ahh, the decisions people make in their lives… it could end up killing you!

My favourite quote was when Blanchett’s character explained the meaning behind the phrase, “Mind the Gap”. We hear it everyday while commuting on the London Underground. The “gap” signifies the dreams you wish to be reality, and the reality you are doomed to live in until you reach the other end of the gap. Insightful, isn’t it? That is a phrase who’s meaning will remain etched in my heart forever.

Go see this film if you haven’t done so already!

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