Archive for January 30th, 2007

Flaneur: mystery and the man in the crowd

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Flaneur: mystery and the man in the crowd

Flaneur means walking without direction. It is also a key word that is often used in writing about 19th century art. Watching the movie Les Enfants du Paradis (1945), it was as if we were taken back to the middle of 19th century, to the ‘boulevard’ in Paris. As 21st-century spectators, we could see how the French filmmaker crossed time and space, in order to represent an allegory of post-war Paris. Furthermore, We may consider whom the majority of the spectators were and how the movie was filmed at the time, by which I mean, to demonstrate an old narrative as if it displayed a contemporary reality.

Another significant idea in the film is about the position of women during the time the film was portraying. The main actress was a ‘courtesan’ who is very independent as she interacted with men. Another example of her independence is her gaze, as an attractive woman who made strong eye contact with men and felt confidence, instead of flirting. The film also gives us an idea of what women would like to gaze at and how women presented themselves through history.

Review on Turner prize 2006

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

As a spectator, it is always easy to judge a piece of artwork, but not to compose one. About this year’s Turner Prize, I guess many people have already made their own mind about who is going to win, and the most important thing is who is going to take the 25,000 home. The Turner Prize, is it held simply as a competition, or does it pretty much contain a commercial value? Were the artists asked to make art-works for the prize or did they actually art for the art itself? From an artistic point of view, instead of predicting who will be the winner, I would rather prefer to discuss what kind of interpretations I had through their artworks, and try to figure out why their works are so significant among contemporary art practice today.

When I arrived at Tate Britain, the first thing that I addressed myself to was the balance of the competition this year. Among the four short listed, there are two women artists who were selected in this year. It seems that Women artists are very much valued at this time. It also indicates that the character of today’s women artist has become more perceptible and vivid. Tomma Abts, came out with her pure and rational paintings, whose size are exquisite and make viewers feel not overwhelming indeed. However, her paintings are also sensitive which implicates the significance of variety, spirituality, mercuriality and also contains mellowness. Immediately, I did an on-the-scene interview at the gallery. People had extreme estimations of her work. Some were highly appreciative; of course, there ware some who could not believe that she could be selected for this competition because a BA artist did the paintings likely. It is good to be controversial which can be seen as another character of contemporary art.

Rebecca Warren is also a women artist, who brings a new historical view towards sculptures and installations. From the image of the perfect Greek statue to the beautifully structured features of Renaissance sculpture, the standard value of western sculpture has already inherited old generations, and is rooted in people’s mind. Currently, when people realize that it seems every object must be polished in today’s urban space, our lives are very much occupied by materialism, Warren’s sculptures denied all these. She refuses to shape the sculptures in a formal way. She left them in a free atmosphere. It seems that she wanted to let the sculptures grow in a natural environment. Her sculptures were primitive-looking and undorned. When you actually walk into her exhibiting space, you may not be highly satisfied or even confuse about whether those pieces are unfinished or less enjoyable, nevertheless you may miss the moment when you were in the room because the reality is that we often miss the infinite feeling, the simplicity and hopefulness.

‘Can you draw a picture of God?’ according to Mark Titchner, his work was very much influenced by his childhood. From his ‘ how to change behaviour’, I was aware of the combination of western and eastern philosophy. From an eastern point of view, I recognized a sense of rebirth and transmigration. The relationship between nature and industrialization, the individual and the community are also signified through his work. Furthermore, his work is also very interactive. As a spectator, when one look at an artwork, the physical reflection comes first, and then through the interpretation we analyze and theorize the meaning of it. A powerful piece may change the way of your brain works and end up affecting your philosophy of life. Titchner helps us to experience and analyze our view of life through his view and art.

Phil Collins invites you to his ‘talk show’. The documentary was filmed in Turkey which were spoke about the ‘before and after’ of plastic surgery. By experiencing the shows, people share life experiences through each other’s stories. However, the argument here is that unless you have been filmed, would you act the same? And what kind of role do media play today? What is going on behind the screen? Let us discover it! He even moves a talk show studio to the exhibition, which factually presented the mysterious space (the studio behind the screen) to the audience. The experience now is not only on the surface but also reach to the beneath, to its essence. It is more like a three-dimensional documentary that one can observe on the screen, can discover the processing of it, and you are also a guest who had already been invited to the show.

It seems that the unlimited possibility of contemporary art has been fully experienced in this year’s Turner prize. They all embodied with personalities and characters. They are all professional but also personal. If there must be a winner, he or she will win because of the historical time but not the accomplishment.


Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

没想到在2007年1月的最后几天里,我还是没有逃出流行感冒的侵袭。我发高烧了,昨天早上烧到38度7。若没有Ed无微不至的关怀,我真不知道要悲惨到什么地步。可能你会说,come on,只是个小小的感冒发烧而已,看你把事情描述的这个邪乎!可是,这是我这两年来第一次发烧,头痛得只想割下来给别人,浑身酸痛像是被卖了去苦力。我又是身在他乡,周边无故人。恐怕就算眼泪哭干也无人知晓。单这一切都只是想像而已了,因为我有Ed了。这个土生土长的Londoner,用他点点滴滴的呵护,浇灌着我们的爱情。正像他所说的,‘even bad things can bring us closer!’.

总之,谢谢Ed的爱和关怀,谢谢Chao的’大正制药’ 和(小船)收留我的朋友,谢谢jeni一直在追问我的病情,谢谢大家的关心。我已经接近痊愈了。(好像格来美颁奖礼,哈哈,如果我得了,‘军功章里有你的一半也有我的一半。