As of Today 13440 Blog Posts


          I was made spellbound by Tania Mouraud’s work La Fabrique, which was part of the Power Plant’s ‘Universal Code’ exhibition this summer.  It’s a good sign when a work of art transfixes you; re-engaging you with the face behind the shiftiness of the veil of images we are constantly bombarded with. Her video and audio installation depicts multiple workers at the carpet-weaving facility in Kerala, India, as they are absorbed in the repetitive activity of weaving. Accompanying them is the clattering; cacophonous and rhythmic sounds of their industry, a visceral and musical dynamic based on the sounds from each loom layered upon each other. What I found disturbing-and illuminating-was the eye contact the workers made with the camera (therefore the viewer) whilst they worked. I was transfixed by this because the detachment I may have felt on viewing the work is ruptured by the immediate sense of connectedness the eye contact causes; I am drawn to and confronted by the individuality and otherness of the Indian workers.


An excerpt from her installation work La Fabrique, can be found here.


 


There are many artists that I find both disturbing and illuminating; Matthew Barney’s multi-media work is well known and controversial enough to generate reviews both laudatory and disparaging.  I will admit that at times I feel completely bewildered by the images he presents: and yet, I have never felt completely lost.  It’s like walking on a path that is not clearly marked, in an unknown forest, and yet being aware that one is in no danger at all. Barney’s work is complex, psychological, abstract and rooted in a desire to confound easy explanations.  It is also extremely enjoyable.


The Cremaster Cycle by Matthew Barney is the first truly great piece of cinema to be made in a fine art context since Dali and Bunuel filmed Un Chien Andalou in 1929. It is one of the most imaginative and brilliant achievements in the history of avant-garde cinema. It really is avant-garde, with scarcely any dialogue and a tottering megastructure of myth and symbol, from Mormonism to masonic ritual to Celtic legend.” Jonathan Jones from The Guardian, 16th October, 2002[1]


An excerpt from Cremaster 3 (The Order) can be found here.


 


            At first glance it would appear that John Adams (born 1947) and Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) have very little in common: Adams is a Pulitzer-Prize winning American composer best known for his minimalist style; the Russian composer, conductor and pianist known as Stravinsky is considered the most influential composer of 20th century music. What I enjoy about both composers is their unerring sense of rhythmic dynamism.  Although minimalism is the compositional style that largely describes Adams’ oeuvre, there was never a sense of sterility or rigidity about the sound; it was clear that he wants to create  full, rich musical works that radiate rhythmic drive and excitement. I worshipped Stravinsky when I was a young composition student; I still do now. After almost a century since the premiere of Le sacre de printemps (The Rite of Spring), I can still listen to this piece and hear something new, exciting and profoundly formidable.



The YouTube excerpt of the final section of Stravinsky’s Le sacre de printemps is performed by Pina Bausch’s Wuppertal Tanztheater, featuring  Malou Airado.



 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


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