Posts Tagged ‘london’

Anarchism vs.Vandalism

March 29, 2011

I was in the West End Saturday night. I was scared, I felt insecure, lovely London’s centre was totally chaotic. Police, ambulances, demonstrators, music, noise, smashed windows, empty shops, sad banks…and the helicopter in the sky reminded of an ongoing action….the danger was still somewhere…

I read the news, I read the comments and reports and what attracted my attention was the interchangeable use of the terms ‘Anarchism’ and ‘Vandalism’. I agree, of course, that the quest of Alternatives is not reflected upon all the hostile actions that took place on Saturday but I am wondering: Since when has ‘Anarchism’ become a synonym for ‘Vandalism’?

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.

Krapp’s Last Tape @ Duchess Theatre

November 20, 2010

Such a joy to see Michael Gambon on stage! Krapp’s Last Tape, one of the longest short plays by Samuel Beckett tells the story of Krapp, who listens to the tapes he has recorded over the years, thinks and laughs at himself, with himself….The play is a dialogue between Krapp and his younger self in a way, full of irony and pathos, a kind of lyrical sarcasm, all the ingredients of a retrospective account of your life when you go back and realise how pompous you can be once young….

A part from the play:

Krapp:        Just been listening to that stupid bastard I took myself for thirty years ago, hard to believe I was ever as bad as that. Thank God that’s all done with anyway…………….[long after]……..Perhaps my best years have gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn’t want them back.

Treasures from Budapest @ RAA

October 26, 2010
I have such a beautiful taste after visiting the Treasures from Budapest exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Over 200 works from two Hungarian museums are included. Paintings, drawings and sculptures by great masters welcome the visitors; Da Vinci, El Greco, Duerer, Schiele, Rubens, Poussin, Goya, Monet, Manet etc. I discovered Pal Szinyei Merse and the great painting Skylark. Here it is:

Onassis @ Novello Theatre

October 22, 2010

Yes, I wanted to see how Onassis, the Greek shipping magnate, is portrayed in the theatre. So, I went to Novello Theatre some days ago. Robert Lindsay convinced me as a Greek human -eager to challenge the Gods- taking risks and paying the costs through a personal drama that reminded me of the old Greek Tragedy story: Hybris is followed by Nemesis and every time the Gods find you being arrogant towards your fate, they punish you….Onassis wanted to become an Uebermensch….he just became a multimillionaire…Although Lindsay brings a lot of energy on the stage, the messy involvement of two famous women in his life -Maria Callas and Jackie Kennedy- are given as ‘moments’ and not in a continuity, not even in a witty way. Onassis is portrayed as a charismatic man, with no limits, ruthless, also likely to have been actively involved in the assassination of Robert Kennedy.

I felt that the ‘scenario’ of this involvement is given in the play in a quite direct and unquestioned way. I found today in the Evening Standard an announcement made by Onassis foundation according to which the play is based on ‘rumours’ and not on ‘serious research’. I am not examining the accuracy of the claims or whatever but I like seeing prompt responses like that….

When self-confidence turns into Hybris? Who is in control of Nemesis?

Camille Silvy @ National Portrait Gallery

September 13, 2010

An exhibition I had the pleasure to enjoy last week: Camille Silvy: Photographer of Modern Life. Camille Silvy (1834-1910) worked both in France and Britain and is regarded as one of the pioneer photographers as he -through his work- celebrated the portrait photography in a period in which this ‘style’ was not common. (more…)

BP Portrait Award 2010 @ National Portrait Gallery

September 13, 2010

Daphne Todd is the winner of this year’s BP Portrait Award. I saw the portrait last week during my visit to the gallery and I found it magnificent. Although it portrays the dead mother of the artist, paradoxically, is so full of life: (more…)

Summer Exhibition @ RA

June 23, 2010

The title of this year’s summer exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts is ‘Raw‘. The rawness in the majority of the works -I am not an expert in Art anyway- probably is based on the expressed desire of the artists to expose themselves deeply and unconditionally. Certainly I need to pay a second visit at the RA. But just after my first visit on Saturday a ‘raw’ event attracted my attention: (more…)