Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

Manet @RAA

April 7, 2013

Last chance to visit Manet: Portraying Life at Royal Academy of Arts!

The truth is that our only obligation should be to distil what we can from our epoch, through without belittling what earlier periods have achieved. (Eduard Manet, 1878-79)

BAL8147

more theatre to come

April 7, 2013

Ready to welcome the spring after a long winter…..with some thespian experience:

long time no see…

September 22, 2011

Enjoying London during the last months through:

theatre

  • Flare Path directed by Trevor Nunn @Royal Haymarket
  • Ecstasy by Mike Leigh @Hampstead theatre
  • Betrayal by Harold Pinter @Comedy theatre
music and dance
  • Strictly Gershwin @Royal Albert Hall
  • Hofesh Shecther-Political Mother @Sadler’s Wells
talks
  • Jean-Claue Trichet on ‘Euro, its central bank and economic governance’ @LSE
  • Sherry Turkle on ‘Why we expect more from technology and less from each other’ @LSE
  • Francis Fukuyama on his book ‘The Origins of Political Order’ @Southbank Centre
exhibitions
  • Watteau: The Drawings @Royal Academy of arts
  • Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th century @Royal Academy of arts
  • Glamour of Gods: Hollywood Portraits @National Portrait gallery

Galliano-lessons

March 6, 2011

Lessons to be learnt after Galliano’s recent story/sack:

  1. Fashion Industry has become highly political. Behaviour within fashion industry should start be considered as an additional element when teaching/studying International Relations.
  2. Never talk to strangers in a Parisian cafe
  3. Being the chief (designer) does not mean that the Big Brother (who has a camera) is not watching you
  4. Christian Dior does not only save your night (out) and your reputation (re outfit), it also acts in a speedy way to save its own reputation (by firing the Big Name)
  5. When Fashion Weeks and important Catwalks attract less attention due to misbehaviours, racist statements and politically incorrect attitudes …then something is going really wrong…at the end….better to be a passion than a fashion (victim).

Black Swan

January 30, 2011

I watched the Black Swan yesterday and I really enjoyed Aronofsky’s direction as well as Portman’s great performance. I understand  though some ballet critics and dancers who claim that we need to see Natali Portman as an actress and not as a ballet dancer. What attracted my interest was the interplay between the  eternal duality: the good and the bad, the white and black, the total absence of any in-between state. The roles of Odette and Odile (the white and black swans in the Swan Lake) reflect the great differences between Me and me, where me becomes the antithesis of Me. The eternal struggle between the good self and the bad self that leads inevitably to an endless imperfect effort for perfection.

(Re)order Marxism

January 30, 2011

In these days that we certainly have moved ‘from the triumph of global capitalism to its crisis in barely a decade’, I am so looking forward to reading the book I just ordered: How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism by Eric Hobsbawn. Does he make a case for the need to read or re-read Karl Marx now? Let’s see……

Thinking or Doing?

January 29, 2011

Gideon Rachman asks in the FT of 25th January: ‘Where have all the thinkers gone?’

He is making an interesting discovery on the basis of this year’s list of the Foreign Policy magazine re the ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers‘  (of 2010).

He notices that the top ten in the list are quite more famous as doers (rather than thinkers).

‘…The 1861 rankings could have startd with Charles Darwin and John Stuart Mill….then you could include Karl Marx and Charles Dickens. And that was just the people living in and around London. In Russia, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were both at work, although neither had yet published their greatest novels….’

After naming a few reasons that may account for the above difference between the thinkers of the past century and the doers of our days he concludes:

‘ ….there is a final possibility. That, for all its wealth and its gadgets, our generation is not quite as smart as it thinks it is’.

 

Probably Gideon Rachman is right. Probably we are less smart despite the tools we use to ‘make’ us smarter (i.e. smartphones?). Or, it is probably our epoch that requires us doing rather than thinking. If thinking is not reflected upon doing then what difference can it make? And, I believe, ‘doing’ has a taste, while ‘thinking’ may be just a nostalgia of a possible ‘doing’…..

 

Gauguin @ Tate Modern

November 29, 2010

I recommend Gauguin: Maker of Myth at Tate Modern Gallery to those ones who can enjoy and exhibition without questioning its feminist boundaries. For me Gauguin represents not only the movement to Primitivism but a deeper political break-up with the modern life, the Western culture and the conventional post-colonian pragmatism. Gauguin knows how to transform the ‘different’ into ‘exotic’, the ‘other’ into part of ‘us’, the ‘local’ into ‘global’.

One of my favourite paintings by him:

Two Tahitian Women

 

 

Book of Dead @ The British Museum

November 22, 2010

What happens to us after we pass away? How order in the cosmos of the afterlife is maintained?

For the ancient Egyptians the constant quest for immortality raises the need for creating written documents, paintings and sculptures to assist the Dead throughout his passage from death to afterlife. (While for the ancient Greeks the quest for mortality, the Now and Present places the Man towards the God, face to face with the human fate – the mystery of Life is what is expressed in the Greek Art rather than the mystery of Death).

Travelling the paths to the hereafter, the rite of passage from Life to Death is exhibited at the British Museum. What I found extremely interesting was the variety of the funerary papyri –the Book of the Dead- on display, papyri rolls that contain astonishing illustrations and sacred texts accompanying and guiding the dead in the afterlife. The longest one ever found and for the first time on public display is 37 meters long, the Greenfield Papyrus!

An Englishman in New York @ National Portrait Gallery

November 21, 2010

I didn’t know that over 120.000 British men and women lived in New York City. Neither did Jason Bell who was inspired by this and produced a series of photos currently exhibited at National Portrait Gallery.