sábado, 21 de janeiro de 2012

More artful sins

Just wanted to share a couple more images i found in my therapeutic session....

Blind to art, open to meditation? What's wrong with this picture (or with me?!?)

Meditate or masturbate? That is the question...

In a way, this post is a bit related to our discussion with Katya on the Guardian post about if art should be for its own sake alone - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/20/art-museums-churches

When i left this morning to go & meditate with Monet, i knew i owed her an answer & somehow parts of what i saw are related to our conversation, so here we go (i'm sure i'll get lost along the way, but still...). I'm not going to connect all of the dots between De Botton, Katya & myself, but it's all related.I think at times museums are trying too hard to please, to be 'easy', 'fun' (a typical American category!!!) - it turns out that the Art Institute of Chicago has a whole 'experience team' on board that comes up with Meditate with Monet & alike. I also believe that the arts, especially the visual arts, are perfect as they are (even when they're not perfect & not visually pleasing, there's something appealing for everyone out there) & they actually could appear very 'easy' for the immediate consumption of people who don't have a classical, serious arts training. I think art education departments in their quest to make things 'fun' should also give more credit to human intelligence (please note that it's ME saying this & you know what i think about the average person...but i firmly believe that to FEEL art, to feel something that moves you, you just have to feel, not to KNOW, not to know precisely....and you have to be there, with your eyes open & just listen to yourself & your mind & your heart will open & questions will start pouring in....and i should stop because i'm getting carried away (of course!)

Back to Katya's critique: i agree that it's naive to argue that 'art should help us to get through life' & make us better human beings, although, deep down, i believe in it. But i believe in it happening spontaneously, rather than in a forced, fake way (like today).

Actually, today was even worse.

Ok, so the only reason i decided to join the mat-toting enthusiastic American ladies at 9am at the museum was because i thought it was oooooh sooooo Aaaaamerican & i knew my mom would like it.

What i didn't know was that I was going to dislike it much more than i could ever imagine & come up with some weird comparisons (that i like - & please let me know yours).

The crime scene: Gallery 243, mostly Monet's haystacks & water lilies (the best thing for me was his Norwegian snowscape, i kept thinking what was it like for him to spend some months over there....)

We are given a 25 min. talk on the paintings. Nothing interesting. I keep turning over my shoulder trying to catch a glimpse of Toulouse-Lautrec's next door, which i love (especially his very commercial ad for the sardines in a can!!!)

Then we all sit down on our mats & .....then the most absurd & evident thing happens - we have to close our eyes!!!!

How come i didn't realize it beforehand?

Surrounded by all this beauty (although these particular paintings have never been my favorites), why close your eyes to meditate???? Can't you go deep inside yourself while keeping your eyes wide open, wouldn't it actually be better?

And the comparison hits me right away: closing your eyes in front of all the beautiful & real things that could move you truly & resorting to 'blind' meditation instead is like....(here we go) - having a woman that you love waiting for you to come over & deciding to stay home alone & masturbate instead (still don't know why i thought of this, but i still stand by this comparison).

So i think that the problem here is that 1. museums don't trust us feeling things 'unaided' & 2. they desperately want to be seen as cool & hip, which to me is a big sin (while masturbation isn't).

Thinking about it more, I wanted to pull some images together....it's my own auto-erotic, solitary pleasure.

segunda-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2012

Best of...is moving forward....towards the unknown

Enough of 'best of 2011' (i didn't talk about one very sad thing on purpose, because, well, i'm not that kind of person, really).

The right attitude is to think & believe that the best is yet to come.

India calling?

P.S. Disclaimer with regard to the photo - i was just too lazy right now to look for something better! No offense meant!

Man of the year (2011) & I have an idea for a candidate for 2012, too

GHM (not giving real names here, plus the French love abbreviations!)

Newfound love(s)

1. Balconies (especially in Madrid) - new discovery

2. Historic bars & cafes (and the winner is - Marsella in Barcelona) - ongoing passion

3. Gothic Art in MNAC (Museum of Catalan Art that calls this art "Renaissance" - i would argue with that, but who am i to say, right?)

4. Cultural predisposition: what impressed me the most in Alhambra wasn't what you think....(but it's what i'm more used to, in the purest form)

5. 2 Eiffel's bridges in unexpected places & many many other things - could write in detail, but will never even try...oh well! it's all lost to the posterity!

Goya game

In a country full of Goya's work, it's fun to play the what i call 'Goya less-Goya" game: something that you (not me, of course!) could glance over & walk past without realizing it's the Master.

Of course I didn't stand a chance missing Goya in one of the most impressive buildings I've seen in all of Spain - Sevilla's Cathedral (size matters, once again!) - because I was looking for yet.

Yet once again, the little detail, quite similar to the one in Las Meninas in its touching naivete, attracted my attention - look at the lion!

(big) question num.1: why cut the most important details?

Violent emotions always take you by surprise (they aren't called "violent" for nothing, right?)

Never & then never did i think i'd be even mildly touched by Las Meninas in Prado. Well, little did i know....

Besides the fact that i had the rare luxury to find myself in front of it, alone, at around 10:15am (without planning to do so, it just happened), I never expected to like it because somehow the reproductions i saw of it never impressed me too much...

And now I know why that was & why in real life i was touched.

Somehow, most reproductions leave out the detail that was the first one i saw in real life & that changed my idea of Las Meninas forever....

I found proof of this unreasonable 'censorship' once again in my room in Sevilla.

Highlight num.1: 9 years went by, we changed, and yet....

Highlight of 2011: Anna, Irina, Barcelona!

Begin ...to continue

As always when you let so much time pass without writing, you feel awkward & don't know what to choose in order to highlight (especially considering that almost 3 week vacation was among this gap time & a lot happened there for sure!)

But i think you start with the most immediate concerns & moods & mine is very much up-the-air.

January 2, 2012: once again, we don't quite know what awaits us.

But it's not the first time. We are used to it. So let's just enjoy!