Greta Alfaro – In Ictu Oculi

So what’s for dinner folks?

 

The last supper or a medieval banquet gone wrong, Greta Alfaro’s In Ictu Oculi, 2009 goes from regular dinner table to nightmare in seconds. But at the same time, the vultures are not so different from ourselves. They come, they eat, they leave albeit ruining some crockery and chairs in the bargain.

Well, at least they get points for not talking with their mouths full.

Ideas worth spreading

Here’s a brilliant one-take opening film made for TEDxSummit in April 2012.

And here’s how they made it.

The above film was coordinated by WE ARE Pi, an international creative agency who’ve done some interesting work for TED, and here are a couple of their other ‘ideas worth spreading’.

From the CreaTEDestroy campaign they did for TEDx Amsterdam 2012.

And the Ideas UniTED campaign they did for TEDx Amsterdam 2012

Nowness

Inspiration from Nowness.com

The Umbrella by Stephen Bayley and Tell No One

What would you ask Karl Lagerfeld if you had one minute with him? Director Malcolm Venville gets to ask his question after several flights, two long train journeys, exceedingly early wake-up calls and a soggy McDonald’s hamburger dinner.

And Taryn Simon talks about The Picture Collection, memory, technology and the 21st century Image with Pinterest innovator Evan Sharp.

Lon(e)don

 

We experienced the sheer force of 19 year old spoken word poet Megan Beech at a Booked Literary Event a few weeks ago. Standing in front of a room full of strangers, she magicked us into spellbound silence with her verse.
And you knew instantly that is a poet, a young girl, who will go far.

Megan’s been kind enough to share her poems with us. And here’s one that puts into words what makes life so much more alive in my city London,  against the backdrop of a time lapse video of the Millennium Bridge by Tim Lewis.

 

Lon(e)don

“Evening Standard” on standard London evenings,
this city is heaving.
Chests beating, palpitate with the weight of their innermost demons.
But every face remains unfeeling.
And population statistics appear to deceiving,
because in a city of eight million, I’m alone as a civilian
and my days well I am filling them with theatre seats for one and Waterloo sunsets vermilion.
And “I am in paradise”, lost in a smog of anonymity
and that’s part of the reason why I love this city so religiously.
My liturgies are these littered streets,
this constant hum the song on my hymnal sheet.
But today I am struggling to find belief.
All is pinstripes and traffic lights and Boris bikes and concrete.
I let it conquer me, ’cause anyone can see
this place doesn’t belong to me.

I still have to wait for the man to turn green before I cross the street
and the constant need to rush to get crushed in tube doors is lost on me.
All I hope for is kindness not diamond encrusted dreams,
because we tie ourselves in ties and then claim to be free.
But my soul too is shackled,
to the leaves and bark of Richmond Park’s tallest tree,
and the shadow of St Paul’s as the sun falls in evening breeze,
those like me prepared to shiver to watch Shakespeare outdoors for free,
the blue plaques that track the literary history of every street.

The Big Issue seller on Fleet Street that I pass every day,
who offers a pleasant smile despite me never having change
to the change and the range and the depth of human kind
who populate this city and flourish side by side.
The sense of feeling you’re alive, that vitality survives behind the garish glare of neon lights.
Because the vibrant and violent must give way to silence and the dazzling calm of night.
My London: brutal, beautiful and wild must have some others who see the world through my eyes.
But until those I find and I settle in this city as my home,
it’s a comfort to know that when alone in London you are never alone.”

Adrian Paci

 

A few days in Paris is enough inspiration to last many months. And we made one such trip last week to discover and experience gems like Adrian Paci at Jeu de Paume. Born in Albania, Paci escaped political unrest to live in Milan when he was in his mid twenties. This move had a profound impact on his art, and he started working more with video than the sculpture and painting he had been doing so far.

Titled Vies en Transit or Lives in Transit, this exhibition features 12 video works and a few canvas and photographic pieces by Paci, that give remarkable insight into the myriad forms and reactions to displacement. Tackling the state of being, and the in-betweeness we encounter when grappling with feelings of loss, Paci’s work floats easily between the intelligent, the poetic and the ironic.

One of the interesting works on view – Centro di Permanenza Temporanea (Centre of Temporary Residence), 2007

And a short interview with Paci

One of the best videos of this show is The Column, 2013 that follows a slab of marble on its journey from a quarry in China to its transformation into a smooth, well-shaped pillar by a team of craftsmen working on a humongous cargo ship at sea.

the column

The craftsmen go about their work methodically and very matter of fact. That they are on a moving ship makes little difference to them, and work progresses at lightening speed with little distractions.

The finished column is currently on display outside the gallery, and gives no hint of the long journey and the hours of work it took to get to that very spot. Very much like an artwork.

Other interesting works include The Encounter, 2011 where Paci stands in the square of San Bartolomeo de Scicli church in Noto (Sicily) and shakes hands one by one with a long queue of visitors.

the encounter

Creating an uncanny theatrical stage, it’s interesting to see how every person has a different encounter with Paci, though they all seem to be doing the same thing – standing in a queue to shake his hand and then follow the person in front of them out of the camera frame. Still, each individual does it differently – some walk slower than others, a few exchange friendly words with Paci, one gentleman even brings out a camera to take a photograph of him.

Definitely an interesting mix of works, and one exhibition I was really hoping to find clips of the works online. But no such luck, which makes it all the more reason to add this one to your must see list.

Adrian Paci – Vies en Transit
Till 12 May 2013
Jeu de Paume