All this Mayhem : A Film Review

imageBrothers Beyond
This is the story of skateboarding brothers Tas and Ben Pappas who reached the pinnacle of their sport in the nineties.
There never hold back testing themselves and their own endurance.
From an early age the sons of a Greek father – Australian mother, parents who frequently rowed and hit each other, frying pans et al passed on the franchise of violent behaviour. Dad Pappas also taught martial art classes and took them, learning Aikido amongst others where the pressure points can be used to snuff out a life. They became experts in the more block violence aspects strands of Martial Arts by putting opponents six levels above them on the floor so often they were banned.
Getting Wood
So they turned to an oblong of wood with twin castors either end and found it also was so much fun they scorched every opponent and skateboarder they encountered in the suburbs of their home city Melbourne through sheer natural ability and darker who gives a ….. attitude.
Off their Heads
The place was full of energy and escapism through unconventional sports and border like punk meets rock star hedonism. Not much is detailed about the treatment of the women around their early days and from what we see it was almost a practically male bondage motive that led to the dangerous behavior especially around readily available drugs, first cannabis then Cocaine in what seemed like very pure form unadulterated by headache tablets or other digestion powders etc.
Teenage Nirvana
Two years separate Tas and Ben. Ben is two years younger born 02/09/75.
The rise and record of their supremacy was all put down on the camcorder VHS tapes, mini tapes of the day. The footage was the prime source of their sporting bravado and the ultimate proof of the moves practiced day after day and the collective self worship of this fringe freelancer sport.
Seeing themselves in these visual acrobatics off of the half pipe came up extraordinarily Frank and honest when seen on tape.
That was the pure side of the tape. On the other side of the tape was the hard knocks and intensity of competition but with it at least in the domestic Australian scene everyone looked out for each other’s backs and the more ounces of illegitimate and let’s face it body destroying herbs and narcotics inflicted and deepened addictions and connections between the highs of the skateboarding and the after glow effects of partying with stacks of drugs blurred their ability to distinguish which was responsible for which high.
I will repeat that one another way – doing drugs and sports adrenaline where each delivering especially inconceivable unrealities.
Half Stoked
It was a low and a basement they would find it very hard to climb out of.
From the bottom of the half pipe if off your board and off your mind you have to climb those steps again to reach the adrenaline peaks craved.
The push was the adulation and validation they got.
Videos wold show their intense liberating skill set and it was and seemed real and a pure buzz. Wicked, Stoked, all mannerisms and actions had what we now call tags. One which cropped up a lot was ‘Barnes it’ a totem for not giving a …. when push came to shove when confronted with a challenge and going for it regardless.
America Calls
Lots of money could be made from the marketing and sales of merchandise so it was one brother followed by the other who decided to rock up in America with little other than a dream.
The Pappas brothers went on acid trips and lived in a skateboard park in a room that would trip out a celibate monk or temperance loving priest.
Either way they became junkies of the highest order. High being the witless word they described as. The aim was to topple the top skateboarder in the world, Tony Hawk represented in the cauldron of the US and skate city San Diego. Hawk was the apogee of the sport and dominated to such an extent he wisely bought into ESPNs franchise of the rights and it all became a very serious set of propositions and the circuit of skateboard lifted off with its high octane freedom of expression and obvious skill set easily followed and stupendously in keeping with the superficiality of the era.
A nightmare of addictions, business fault lines and personal challenged all kicked off.
As Tas says near mid point in the documentary ‘That’s the day it all kicked off’. The pipe was bored out to churn them up and deliver things neither could imagine. Also very early on Tas says regarding looking back, ‘Theres my side, there’s your side and there’s the truth.’ Simple as.
For a man looking back on things his brain is capable of remarkable things given what he’s been through.
You watch this documentary and you will see what he and Ben went through
There are times when it just seems so stupid and ultimately screaming don’t do it momements. Their gauges are way off the meter with the cocktail of indulgences they gather in however and this cocktail overflows with disastrous results.

Australia and St Albans
When they cover each other’s backs each has a personal life rarely spoken of until it enters into and screws up alongside the choices made in business as well as drugs which is always, always their biggest liability.
The return to Australia happens frequently with the return becoming more bringing back their home St Albans up front again. The memories are their but this too has change since they’ve been away and they return individually with one making a bad call which ensnares him.

Eighties still the Seventies
The early days were a kind of backdraft of the seventies kitsch and pomp with a poorly expressed hard rock/punk invention that was feed on a diet of Australian self preposterous framed identities. It was the embodiment of Who we are – This is the ……. who we are! The country basing itself on its sports as an identity to wear. Into the bargain a Marsupial gets to be used as a play thing. It looks like a Wombat which is bigger than a badger does not eat meat apparently but don’t tell the boys that. It is by a small margin and the vegan tendencies of the Wombat that their knackers don’t get caught between its front teeth. It still need s to chew and it chews on something less fragile.

Conclusion ###3
Who knows what cans of videotape, reels of mini video camcorder recent history of people’s lives are stashed away. Rock music? WaterSports? Climbing? Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll lives? Or endless footage of building Garden sheds or landscaping the field out the back? Some have emerged to small acclaim but this will interest youth and those of the era alike.
It is a harrowing story which needed to be told and was there for the telling.
Ably edited and drawing on practically all resources available to illustrate it we see a never before shown unadulterated record of the lives of these two brothers spanning from their elastic youth up to their mid twenties and just beyond.

Footnote

Australian Crawl

James Reyne
I remember an Australian band; I for one who found INXS too Australian and derivative. I heard them once while at a party a mile away while they performed at Wembley and it sounded like a concert definitely only for folk who liked their pop rock simple. The Australian band I remember, and who were better in my mind, was fronted by a singer called James Reyne, an Irish surname, who you would cheerfully throttle as he had the looks you knew would draw a crowd of very attractive and no doubt smart Sheila’s. It only became tolerable as he had a tendency to wear a mullet at one point.
The songs good songs I remember were songs that could be written for skateboarders at a stretch.
There is an anthem about 5 minutes long called Reckless which I won’t forget easily and another celebratory song called The Boys light Up. Very typically Australian and of the time, the eighties and the band summed up their Homeland better than INXS with James Reyne more typically, if that is not to pejorative a word, a truer son of Australian than most. Some of the output was pretty ordinary though. It may have been James Reyne got caught up in the hedonism of his fame, I don’t know the story.

Advertisements

Two Days, One Night : A Film Review

imageDeux Jours, Une Nuit. Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne -Belgium/Italy/France, 2014. 1hr 35mins. Drama. Cert. 15.
Cast. Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne. Simon Caudry, Catherine Salée, Baptiste Sornin, Olivier Gourmet.

French Blue Collar Cotillard
Here is the European Community giving everyone a nervous breakdown to meet the targets set by the technocrats and consumer narratives made plain by the ethics and (im)morality of the likes of Germany and GDP GB.

In order to bail out bond holders each of the contributing countries listed above, workers have faced austerity and a collapse in living standards which is so diverse and indiscriminate it makes vultures, hedgehogs, moles, wolves and peacocks plus out of the populus churning out the next thing needed.
Societies Malaise
This is apparently shot mostly in Belguim. Marion Cotillard as Sandra is in practically every scene. She is the everywoman whose shoes you have to walk a mile in and take the walk she does, catches buses, and goes all round this everytown – it is a mix of urban suburban environments with life and the everyday happening all around her. This invisible secret we encounter everyday. How is that person or this person coping and caring in their lives that you pass and know only by sight? What sorrows and what happiness is carried unbeknown to you? That is a powerful strategy of the film. For no outside contact to take place and the the story to walk through the seemingly ordinary but extraordinary counterpoints is surely part of the orbit of the vision.
She may stop a stranger to ask directions but then is is done in such a mannerly way as to fit those anonymous people right beside Sandra in terms of their own narratives and ongoing concerns and focus. A shared existence.

She has to reverse the ballot which went against her return over one weekend so setting in train a gamut of different levels of dignity.
She as we learn has been thwarted from going back to her old job in a vote that precedes were we arrive.
She must also retain her own recovery from depression which saw her absence over a stretched period from work.
Engrossing
This is a strong social narrative entirely believable and very well constructed and delivered through realistic dialogue (subtitled) and a superbly executed performance of vulnerability and stream of emotions by Marion Cotillard.
It is wrong to rave above acting when the point of the film is to expose the social matrix which is at play in contemporary France/Belguim.
Nevertheless she gives a bravado engrossing performance making a viewer immerse in her complex dilemma. If she returns how would she be treated having made those she works alongside forego their ‘bonus’ sweetener? One of many thoughts to arise.
Vision and Bite
The Dardenne brothers open the film as Sandra rests. She has taken an afternoon nap and it appears she relies on anti-depressants which slow her down and cut out the rawness of the life in front of her.
The hand held camera in the house she lives in with her husband Manu, Fabrizio Rongione, and preteen daughter and son reveals a nice home with an economic dilemma and desire not to succumb to the prospect of not returning to her job.
Manu also reveals in his support and driving her to some of the addresses the support Sandra has needed and he has given unquestioningly.
In the workplace labour relations and unionised personnel were jobs are clearly defined sits the small business at the heart of the story – Solwal – solar panel production, which like manufacturing throughout Europe is dependant on the structures in place throughout the union now weakened and which also protect the CAP of the farming communities which amounts to the bulk of EU expenditure to put cheap food on each’s plate.
Conditions of Labour
Sandra has overcome her latent depression and ventured to return to work only to find the work environment changed. That change is the factory can now operate as 15 not 16 meaning she is no longer able to be accommodated unless the additional ‘bonus’ to those covering for her absence and making those remaining, work with ‘recalibrated’ attitude and with fear of falling into a place like Sandra agree to forfeit the bonus.

Workplace representation in these countries still hold sway but is extremely localised, there is an arrogant foreman who tends to take the figures of production as a small token of the workers capability so pushes their work into strictly controlled roles with little latitude.
This is workplace stress of a kind the brothers Dardenne wish to point the arrow at and unleash the drama of the effect on people’s lives the routine work coupled to austerity in the scheme of things affects almost everything they do. So perverse, it is treating the product ‘Solar Panels’ as a life force which must not fail at the cost of diminishing lives meaning.
Faith in People
Sandra has a hunch circumstances conspired against her and she is encouraged by a colleague who agrees a fresh ballot is possible, so they seek out the factory manager Mr Dumont, Baptiste Sornin, to ask for a new vote. He takes the concerns of earlier possible influence outside accepted practices used by the foreman as plausible and he agrees.

The priori am of the film is the real form of humankind when placed in a position to, and it occasionally is made reference to, to love thy neighbour so in their hour of need can you deny any help you can give the,?
The boundaries are different for each individual on which we given clear evidence as this is the engagement of the film.
Obduracy and Insight
We also are given an insight to our obduracy and fickleness in degrees. What happens though is that through it all Sandra finds for us deeper meaning. She carries on whatever the outcome forgiving and loving without question every single one of her fellow workers. The intensity of the overwhelming love she, everywoman, has for ordinary people and their lives is striking and godlike. She hears them and takes away their sin. It is the cost her own resurrection and vital for her well being that she is willing to pay the price for giving that love.

Sandra chooses with total loving support of Manu, to put the supposition to her former workmates of either relinquishing their bonus to let her be able to return to her job or for them to hold onto it thereby voting against her return. Manu has held things together for her and the children and Sandra has that to adjust too as well as the reversal confronted.

How would you feel if something which has arrived in your hand, through it would appear, your good work, not through the disposal of a former employee and it is a mere reward not incentive? It incentivised each to feel valued and to not be liable for redundancy presumably so being much more productive.

This is a strong depiction of human dignity under pressure. It is replete with tales of conflict at each employee reached and constantly challenges your line of thinking will creating a precipice looming and the prospect of failure always coloring the encounters. Drama comes in spades with the purpose of living questioned in a modern fable. We are beyond conditioning ourselves or is that a lie we construct to protect ourselves from the ever near strike of fate.

The film comes with advanced modern invective of our present 21st century sense of European purpose. It reinvents the social model and is a mirror back on society and the limits of ethics, morality and origins of expectations.

Conclusion ####4+
A living harrowing question about our modern lives is luminous in the screen we look up to and we engage through the ever present spiraling roller coaster of emotions brilliantly expressed and it is the single most important element in delivering its complex twists, by the imaginative way Marion Cotillard takes on board this role.
The complete cast are in tow with this in a story of a team collective.
There are lessons to be learnt through this purposeful film and it will offer different outcomes in keeping with the expressed individuality which shines vividly. The Dardeene brothers have actually made our understanding by the gifted handling of a subject which in other hands could have bombed without producing context and meaning.
Do not let the brightness lure you into thinking a shining brilliant tale is to be laid before you. For all the light darkness provides a contrast.

Art : Object with Image

Here are a selection of photographs from a Gallery trawl described in the previous blog Art :Object.

beginning with Graham Gingles work

The construction attains an experimental form of evolution during and after the work is realised.

image

 

 

Between the rooms

image

 

On Terra Firma once more

image

The piece as ‘ground.’

image

Parameters

image

More baggage

image

The impossibility of  recovery from loss

image

Inside the spirit lives

image

 

False  society

image

 

Oil narrative

image

Sean Guinan    Image from Platform Arts website.

 

John Graham

15 August. 2014

 

 

 

 

Art : Object

We are the object. Nandos or Art.

image
Lots of Art to see One Night Only
except for some of the lesser works.
UPPER LEVELS IN THE FRAME
KEYNOTE
The currency of the Platform Arts exhibition Keyframe suggests we take a journey or pathway separately and Sontag like we also cross into other realities.
Susan Sontag ‘when crossing spatial borders, the photographer becomes “a tourist in other people’s reality” and eventually in his own.’
quoted in Colin Martin’s leaflet where the writer attempts to introduce us to this and asks further how reliant a capture of the time and place it actually is? How repeatable it is? Both these questions entirely subjective but for the individual normally answered negatively – another unexplored film meaning. Then axiomatic.
These key topics in the installation are enticed out on 5 floor mounted screens with sequenced cycle of the same film are according to the above reading of the leaflet, its own little film synopsis page, complete with actors, the room, subject , the Irish Film archive, the jeopardy, the unknown behaviour of you the viewer, the money shot, the key frame. As a film show the leaflet is meandering on the content and does little other than outline objectives. Not the artists fault but the editorial of the film is very narrow and unchallenging.
Why chose 5? 100 +- is theoretical as are worn images the archive presumably obtain.
It might even have worked in a supermarket. Or even Rita Duffys pop up shop an archive of experience packaged and all for sale POA.
Do you think any other significant variables are missing from your consumption equation according to standard consumption theory?
Estimate using what you consider to be a more corehensive formulation of the consumption function.
Give reasons for the inclusion of additional variables and discuss the economic and econometric results.

Piled dated goods. Content labeled, commodity presumed, entirely disposable and incomplete and removed from the marketing effect the label induces. Recycling. Packaging. Semantics?
Supermarket as archive, not so strange. Our consumption is cultural, produce is repeated and reinvented, contains such laden baggage dating back to its invention. Labels are King. Experience.
The installation is extremely dull and un reaching towards the supposed goal.
It was minimalist art at a minimum.
Posed as being derivative of the Michael Snow Wavelength, given the gravestone token of seminality, from the vesicle sak, as if any one has a clue what that actually is – highly original? Influential certainly hence the laboured reproductions and mis treatments, very much this a case in point.. So it shall rest. It is untechtonic, unexpressive, unmachineness, pure rolling – and most likely as Wavelength, planned to be shot un chronologically. When did anyone perceive the eye cannot be duplicated even in watching film?
You might draw a distinction through this being ‘film’ of ‘film’ but that is a lame derivative adventure.
The film is itself an archival work without a reach into the organic processes of the room. Taking and making a film into another technology unseen, unsaid, its at the rooms most inert functionless time, when it is without the archivists, time locked, it merely depicts the room, dimensions though partially, the wall and door furniture, it’s shelving, nostalgic nods to library of reels, names of series adored in CinemaScope once again.
Of course reactions and memorial will be different and Keyframe lacks that acceptance everyone of us has when they lift a camera point and shot. Unlike Sontag who never made films but participated in others as an act of disturbing her own biography by performing within, you have got to believe it entirely within her own set limits for the filmmaker who however appears in these works on Sontag to have enabled freedoms. Like hell she has, it is impeccably orchestrated by the photographer who knows what the lens pointed towards her produces. Sontag gorgeously commits this part of herself, her own skill, knowledge and mercurial image onto the film big time.

Sontag was aware and Colin Martin presumably endorses the leaflet writers take on it – uses the word ‘parlance’ implying reading the huge difference instructing the course of ‘transition.’ Film is of course transitory. The frames shown could also been retaken on different days, where are the rough cuts, the trial runs, the debris of EDITORIAL on the floor?, instead we get the lifeless materials of the front and back – meaningless, perhaps that is an out, – keyframes. The film or leaflet is titled Thousandfold it seems.

PEPPERED DOTS
by Sean Guinan also at Platform Arts is a small display of paintings gathered under this title.
They are intensely worked oil both texturally and conceptually. Sean Guinan begins his painting without a motive but placing a mark as artists will assert begins the unfolding of motive, direction, intent, time, statis, act, turmoil and then that word again employed here as a jolt, transition.
Everything changes as the cliche tells. The Mac exhibitions also going off at the same annoying time are time referenced with transition dealt with hugely. More on the Mac later.
Sean Guinan has produced art intentionally bordering the figurative.
Nature, that then – it has since altered – complete evolution , is stuck to the canvas (some appear canvas I assume all are) in developing spiraling only occasionally dots and in the process what emerges is a graceful very calming set of works.
The sleeping giant without being aware of the title did evoke in me a conscious of religious repose. It is an ‘element’ at rest, animal or spiritual with a skin of many colours.
Spiritual Presence
I had a sideline conversation on the place of spirituality which in the frame of God, does not go down in artistic circles, except for the binding relation with patronage through the progress of art. It didn’t strike accord.
Ruskin put it better than I ‘dramatic circumstances‘ that covers many art ventures, ‘…place of art in the discovery of God.’ Meaning of course the art is the route but is it not also the search of a discovery. Not plain representation mistaken hugely as art. It is a vector to separate and make seem un reachable and beyond mankind. Therefore I maintain, it is the discovery of the artist being conscious of the limitations, only reaching a certain and often ultimately that ceiling, cathedral like?, which signals the end of that artworks mark physically. Transition as Sean Guinan ‘Signals’ to me a viewer that stretched moment. A fixity in time.
This work is certainly worth seeing in its confined space.
Had a bit more imagination been shown the risk could have been taken in giving the larger space to Sean Guinan. He may have formulated a connection with the room. Keynote discards this and uses only a quarter of the space which in my mind is not an artistic or curation choice but bad choice or a lack of communication. Sean Guinan has the challenges of his occupation and is very, very, commissionable. Many Platform works are responsive to the space, the main gallery, Top level I call it. The art therefore grows and the space adds its proportional strengths and proprietorial genus loci – its exhibitions always seem to have something to say of the ethos of the gallery.
The work produced by Sean Guinan is heavy on the medium used and unless the work of artists – the ability to write off large chunks of materials in their tax breaks – given that proprietorial extension for the work is advanced it will be increasingly difficult here in Ireland to develop the talent that is seen expressed in spiritually maquette form.
This is essential for the advancement of the society we live in.
Understanding art leads to so many levels of understanding which are not simple accumulation of theory, electronic or otherwise but world affirming.

image

SETTLEMENT OR SUNKEN
AT TIMES LIKE THESE MEN WHERE WISHING THEY WERE ALL KINDS OF INSECTS
The Mac has an ill considered space, the sunken gallery which attendance is for fit persons or those prepared to once again deign to the discrimination of a elevator especially tee for them.
If you go there thence forth you will see the very surreal piece of commemoration in the work by Graham Dingles. His work also features in the constrained Art of the Troubles (as if we hadn’t the capacity as natives to digest our own lives) and in the sunken space a building of memory is elegantly provocative of the sense of touch, materiality, amber cast
He generously filled in gaps in my reading of the work which were considerably given Graham’s ability to explain the intellectual theory and to offer its expression of limits of the subject and it’s here obituary.

Where I got to was the vase or chamber in which the lilies were decaying and emblematic. The amber context I got from the whites, pale yellows and browns. The amber is the amber of corn fields in which the wind blows and symbolised the dying raked from straw. The smell is intoxicating as the lilies give up their life as cut flowers do. The amber again is the aspic sign of plant forms in behind a glass framed cabinet elongated or in other places more formal with again memorial content. The lily is a relative to the aspidistra of many wartime communal front sitting room gathering to remember a family member whose life was taken and no body sent for burial. The aspidistra almost taking the place as it seems to suggest in Graham Dingles piece the already cut and now decaying person of whom this whole is for.
A tribute it suggests can be made after the style of the deceased or as an excursion of emotions surrounded by artifacts. On further thinking and continued consideration and I wish to go and revisit it, I find it extremely evocative of the crime of war, the irregularity, the disconnection, the disfiguring of the soul, the body rent of life. It is composed to build this formulation as an antidote to war.
When the flowers are – Eurydice – Edith Sitwell (I referred to it before in my last film review) says
‘Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.’
They will be replaced. Everyday a child, woman and man is killed by war.
There are three. No exception likely ever until we return ourselves to God replacing hate with love.
The exhibit should be toured and placed in the joins between all wars and it has a derivation arising locally and in particular reference but that is the strength of the personal that it carries remarkably poignantly.
It seldom seems fitting to be holden to a memorial as in most cases they are less fragile and more direct in their delivery. When it becomes a cause for our concern through its immediacy or it’s greater and greater obscenity of human depravity it is necessary to, in lieu of reflecting through the God given emotions and life’s instinctive ness from the one source, these pieces are an act of courage and exclamation against lies and myths creating such wars.

The main gallery at the Mac , again an Upper level gallery, is below the children’s section. The children’s area and sometimes corporate recruitment hot housing days in the space is in a badly designed location.
It has no apparent staircase and no apparent means of escape in case of fire. It instead looks out from the ivory tower into the courtyard below with its gaudy po-regency fronts. Its rear backs onto the dual carriageway of Victoria Street, all car park and no design giving away its preposterous facsimile architectural conceit.
If ever two new buildings were juxtaposed opposites this would feature highly.
The upper gallery is an immense space with generous ceiling heights and well lit. It is evening when the opening of the exhibition of and sunlight has passed light is softly caught in the roof glazing openings set in the west side of the room.

image

Colin Darke : GROTESQUE MEDIOCRITY
That theory is contained in text is a theory; that it can be made pretty by transposing it on a medium that intensifies or subverts its meaning is superficial. The he superficiality of this work is that relation.
Possibly that is an avenue to be explored in this very large and handwritten version of Marx’s treatise, a small book on Bonepartes Revolutionary ideals.

So Colin Darke takes the bourgeois artifacts of the everyday. Fine China, White Fashion boots, highlighter pens, cutlery of the finest quality and de seminaries the books across the variety of objects into or is it out of, well in reads inward but you can never be certain. Rather tedious to read the book in this manner even if it is pretty and the handwriting is carefully and meticulously imprinted.
It struck me as having the ‘hallmarks’ of a Turner Prize wannabe exhibit.
Marx’s own middle class background affected his own outlook and the academic in him thought through theorizing on historical materialism.
The book in its beginning chapters and even from the outset call the 1848 revolution a recasting and playing out of Bonapartes revolution.
We are without any other context.
The subsequent revolutions which saw the end of monarchy and the Church’s hold over France is another story. In
Centripetal and Centrifugal
So why this one and told in such a way? I have no idea. It is another exercise in mortality. The centre is a disintegrating set of we are told 666 apples. He forgets the tragedy of the the first and that Engels said of the second revolution it was a farce the line appears on the first tiles but the meaning is unresolved through this piece. The mould of a spiral is always the centre.
What Colin Darke is creating is in fact the idiom of centrifugal politics. The Marxist theory, never expressed by him or subsequently through the so called Marxists is that it seeks a model of centripetal politic reform.
The prognosis of the book is that it again highlights the people are vexed with the economics and factors of that time the revolutionary instinct for radical change sets in is in fact Parker’s practical needs.

The liberal set we know today are in charge or so they believe though essentially they are in concert with the capitalist few in order to maintain a live above the proletariate.
Revolution Stall Holders
Under the socialist fusion of democracy and Marxist theory came a Jewish Socialist Leader, Leon Blum, who refused to join the Left Governments in 1924 and 1932, on the intellectual basis of denouncing any Communist led revolution for its failure to recognise the necessity to educate the people politically without which a dictatorship would arise.
An all important clear message that under the Claude Peguy expression, ‘socialism will be moral or it will not be at all‘.

He also perhaps recognised that the ‘imagination‘ of the people was a fantasy climaxing in the theatre of what in many countries are myth shaped marches and commemorations, the habit forming of attacking the Chamber.
The Veterans (nationalists and ‘Great War’ veterans) March of 6 February against the Third Republic was highly significant and marked the beginning of 10 years of instability. On Bastille day 1935 ‘Revolutionaries’ linked arms and marched in an orderly way down the Champs Élysées then were joined by a vast crowd from all parts of Paris. When it came to Government though the Communists they declined being a part of it preferring to (and destabilising progress) criticise and avoid any responsibility. Their position was strong enough to have the ‘ruling class’ – the Freemasons, propertied people, Factory owners become concerned and strikes ensued.
The reforms these obtained did nothing for the economy of France however and the German rearmament was to prove even more concerning.
Demands
The causes of Marxism and a new phase were subsequently hoisted by election into the programme. The ‘Popular Front’ with the communists having taken over the unions were seeking : Defence of Liberty, Defence of Peace, Economic Demands, these incorporating a forty hour working week, an employment fund with extensive investment in public works. International relations were a divisive element with the German rearmament under Hitler threatening all of the above.
Emblematic
Colin Darke is expressing in a grotesque form that theory which Marx’s cuts down his own revolutionary concept that need not ideas drive mankind.
Or something to that order. In Marx’s search for a system for all he takes the element of exchangeas the key ingredient.
What followed was a massive uplift in the capacity of mankind to produce through incredible advances in design and engineering; the location where ideas where the currency every capability was pushed culminating in a political act of landing on the moon.

What happens on this floor is pure grotesque bourgeois art canonised.
For it to be of an inconsequential book, even in Marxism is a poor outcome.
Marx and Newman
Francois Mauriac and others politicised France and led it collectively into the twentieth century which was also actually the cut off point for the pre-held grand order of art.
He said of Marxists that they forego the rendering of consciousness as dealt with, for example, by Newman in Apologia pro vita sua?
He even relates the most important thing of all which Newman famously raises, and raising it is, …’confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and of making me rest in the thought of the two, and two only, absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator.’ Francois Mauriac uses this to show a large part of society has this philosophy or faith ‘fetichism’ which largely Markism extirpates is ever here. He realises the complexity that is ‘The Kingdom of God is within us’ and indestructible. Francois Mauriac despairs of the – (he says nothing of the other religions Sufism, Muslim, Judaism, others which constricts his thesis) – Protestant and Catholic ‘impossibility of communication between the two spiritual families.’ but he is fundamentally ‘prophetic’ as his time defined it.
Then he follows this immediately with the sentence which has for me summed up Marx and Newman.
‘I imagine Marx reading the Apologia, Newman reading Das Capital, and each heaving a sigh, amazed that any man should be so blind and so absurd.’

The projection being Marxists have refused to confront the that which every man born with and which Newman summed up in four words – ‘myself and my Creator.’
At that time the art world and creative talent of France became inward and self analytical to the extent new wave cinema and some elements of jazz – Einstein’s theory – became the principle higher means of expression. ‘I often think in terms of music’ and
‘As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.’
Prettiness and Picasso
Prettiness with persistence only goes so far and in France it is signified along with the Marxist failures in perhaps one element. Picasso escaping fascist Spain brought his sense of art to Paris at a time when it had foregone the stimulus and direction as a centre of significance.
The Guernica piece being that recognition of all war. No artifice there.

This Upper Gallery is to have this work until October and it is not by any stretch anywhere near the attached hype surrounding it mainly postulated by the Gallery and not the Artist. It is a case of SO WHAT Miles once sowed.
Bicarbonate of Soda should remove the text and the letters can be reassembled to form a mist to then become part of another element.

image

TERRA FIRMA
The Ps2 space is a counterbalance to art that is a triviality and of inconsequential ideas presented with hubristic intent.
This time Rachel Campbell-Palmer has location and the perception reached through process that is repetitive, creating that place for each of us to inscribe in our minds, the effectiveness of the formulation conceived.
It is extremely and significantly embedded in the ‘construction’ task and the architectural outcome is the choice allowed by the constraints of site.
It is the same process undertaken to achieve all ‘good’ architecture.
As landscape architecture is dependent and this is both realised independently – inside/Ps2 – outside/people.
The fact is it is protected by the gallery walls and its containment which will bring little elemental damage.
Only the people will alter it.
It turns out – the methaphor of a cast mould – as a beautiful work. Never are each piece alike with the – in architecture and construction they are known as tolerances – specification of material and its method of casting being intuitive in the first instance, based on research and then in the act of using a cement mixer and creating each via, a mould. Terra Firma is a horizontal concept withstanding mountains which are adverse to buildings. It does not readily support human life forms.
The scale of the each element is perfect for the human to handle and the place. It is perfect in its engineering limits being neither over massed or slim to be in-durable. The diamond is capable of expressing width or length.
It is straight out of the move away from the orchard of design that dwelt in nature and of the machine contemporaneous structural forms which knocks influences, F.L.Wright Japanese, C.R.Mackintosh, Art Noveau, V.Horta, Naturalism, and previous decorative motifs into a consigned historical narrative with no value in repeating.
Those were of their time yet we continually see mediocrity emerge with all the collected misunderstood elements of the decorative age. I once worked on a project which was a lasting reminder of the Post-modern period which I dislike and like in equal measure. It was conceived in a global context with work concerns remodeling cities. Not a bit like The Titanic Building which I destest and detest in equal measure. Likewise there is an awful foot bridge in Omagh which defies beauty and design. It is a metalworkers dream.
I saw about twelve hard hats watch the ugly bow bridge being set in lace.
Beauty Fusion
F.Leger ‘Purist’ once said ‘ when Renaissance artists began to paint their mistresses because they are beautiful, art was betrayed.
An argument of sorts but without free expression of those artists, patronized or not, we would without the beauty of those paintings.
It does not explain either how it relates to the prolific works of homosexual artists whose work more or less would not have been as involved in that arena and it is trivial to make that as a point for art to suffer.
Where Dadaists could not build they captured shapes and technology combining the place and people within their art.
Forms and Formula
The works of architects such Walter Gropius made connections of forms which were poetic and beautiful. Le Corbusier as well saw nothing new in art merely that machines could extend the composition of beauty poetical and rhythmically, a thing also recognised by Leger.
Vers une architecture by Le Corbusier collects a fusion of influential buildings and objects to produce his narrative of thought for the evolution of the forthcoming Modern Movement. More readily he would have used the analogy of DNA had that organisation of organisms been as prominent.
In my mind it, design and architecture, need be associated in this mathmatical way (health is a great element in his thinking) with the combination of geometric shapes always conscious of their visual appearance and foremost their functionality – the justified means.
Justified and Ancient!

That it seems, is the realm of Rachel Campbell-Palmers piece operates, in that it again uncovers that collective of beauty – the scale as I mentioned above being human, liftable, – plain and regular is beautiful and the act of that theory is measurable in people reacting to it warmly and delightedly.

The texture is variable! the constraints not pushed into it or by the factory process of production is also illuminating.
The bubbles of trapped air on some fully filled blockswhen cured appear as the Italian specialist plaster Marmorina.
The Venetian plaster Marmorina (the word derived I think from of or like marble: skin of marmoreal smoothness.) is a beautiful grained finish which again is seen by the artist as an expression of the process. I love the finish and its variations are very something sought over in many an interior.

This work is very well accomplished and is combining the relations sought imaginatively and almost as importantly, as well as any sculptor may have worked on a similar piece in a Smithsonian way.
I loved the work and it will prove up to the exposure to people as it welcomes and invites you to walk on it.

image

EX TALK
Catalyst Arts. Jonah King, Frank Wasserstein, Ian studio director.
The words spoken are below noted. They have others in between but for reasons of uncertainty, intended, I write those which appeal most.
One word was added. Rehearse. It replaces the actions of the third component The Gallery.
In order to use space created by the list I have written alongside some.

I have also not stayed on the discussion, taking each word as it comes outside of discussion to form my own narrative.  This will also allow the artists an artist to use the   Words as I give them for their own point of departure.  It seems a natural way to act

MAY
REALM       There I was in the room with an expectation of hearing of the work
REACT            of Frank Wasser and Jonah King. The talk was begun by Frank.
REJECT
REHEARSE
EMBRACE
WATER    Font is needed by the writer of tales in text. A5 notebooks
IN
QUEUW   were never mentioned. Especially Fjall.
COMPLIANCE     I wonder if I have complied. I have I believe.
VERVE
VERB    I have remained silent listened to every word. Johan has a
SEARCH ME    subtext in mind.
OUTFIT    Later a security detail will be deployed in the Gallery.
PALPABLY           actors act the part. No one is suspected or targeted.
SEMBIOTIC    I don’t remember the context. Maybe semiotic, signs.
UNIFORM                Sembiotic is unreal but it comes from the
INVISIBLE    vesicouterine pouch which is where semen is lubed
MANIFESTATION
LONDON    This is late rain is falling
MARINA                        Oh what happened
ABROMOVITCH                        lights the night sky which illuminates the
RAIN                            carpet of cut grass making up the soft spaces between
SERPENTINE    lake the buildings cafe restaurant and paths
WAVESECURITY       Bob. B.   water spills and breaches are security on hand
SENSITIVE
OH
FIRE
KATY
STATUS
VOCABULARY
FONTS
FRANKLIN
INACCURATE           Words cannot describe what just went on.
CURATE         I take home a leaflet EX. It is white A5. 4no. A4 120gsm.
CRITICAL                          It appraises the work without becoming the main
EXHIBITION.                words to be spoken of the collection.
PROJECTS.       I hate the fact I miss the Nothing Happens. The
OPPOSITE                         Is true for some. Google your life to see if you have a
SLIM           chance of survival without scrutiny by someone.
TEXT                              Definitely. I caress text. I adore words. They must have
REASONS    to exist. Communication without the body is word based.
RATIONAL                  Sublimity overcomes subtlety sublimely.
UNDERLINED     It simply does no need to underline.
FULL             Happens.
STOP             You notice a change from a dot telling you to finish
KURT                              Reading his dairies.
SANDYCOVE                     The walk is over past Nora and green snot. O’Casey.
COBAIN                                         Is lost on an island
SLICE                    of torture fills inside veins
CUT                                knowledge comes with deaths release is only a song turn
OFF                                           start
WRITING
NOT.         writing but singing inside your head Einstein thinks in music.
COLLUSION              Of the garden of Gods angels overcoming Marx.
ATTEMPT             Thought, allow it in as truth
STATIC                             Lives do not exist. A Security detail has seen you standing.
INTERDEPENDENT                 Is the rule which must be satisfied so sex is
UTOPIAN          Narcissism encroaching outside the body onto another.
EXCLUDES.                    hate and crushes complacency. All else is
ANTAGONIST                       born. Settlement will take an age.
EDGINESS          Is a fear of the negative Jonah library of angst.
TENSION        Is essential our bodies are elastic our buildings plastic.
RECONVIGURATION              Happens to each individual and is sucked in to
REEVALUAAE        ‘ted so much by others they say, lie its every generation.
LLFET
PROBLEMS
BUROCRACY
GEOGRAPHICALLY
POLITICS
DISSATUSFACTION
TOTAL
CAPITALISM                Is harmful. do no harm.
IDEAOLOGIES      are a cornucopia of Utopias underestimated.
1977
PUNK     Is remastered rebellion in sonicses with copious drugs
SUBLIMATION
JUBILEE.                              2012 Is gone.
JESSIE J
POP                        art never became mainstream so how is it popular art.
CHARTS      of colour are handed out like chits giving access to emotion.
HOW.                            To acquaint your neighbours with Farrow and Ball
DIY                is bricolage and cant.
MANTLE.                                                              Is a lintel in a wall over a fire
VOCABULARIES                 can explain things more clearly but use poetry.
FISHER
MARK
JOY.       begins with the wonder of children knowing nothing of our ways
DIVISION.                                     Is a lane between the fields.
BEATLES                            negate the need for hardback books that
FUCKED
OVER.              writers in exaggerated respect for the subject they wrote on.
TIME         Is uncoupled from the past and future.
WORK                                         happening without planning becomes waste.
BIG.         Is not good an invention for self manipulation of Edmund Burke
SOCIETY                                which he thought empty.
FEED                the hungry of all races and denounce war done in your name
SWEEP
STATE.              meant truth but gave us lies
IDOLISES
STRANDS
FASHION.         A room into a domicile to escape the rain of frogs and
ULTRA.                           swings in climate and live close to soil that richness of earth.
ANARCIST                     Is really Anarchist but it is so like Antichrist I must
ARGUE.             Christ is that anarchist we need believe.
WITHIN            The word is the word. The word is like jazz the music of life.
RELIGIOUS.    Apathy brings sectarianism and looses out on loving God.
MYTH                           replaces truth see F.Ni.Mh piece hanging at St Mary’s right now.
CHICAGO            Is full of northern bigots despising southern bigots              TOTALITARIANIBM     Alister Cooke said much the same of  this

ESCAPE      From hype and rely on your own

POSITIVITY           and when you learn to distrust
SCHOOL
NEGATIVITY                  turns to a positive and a critical mass
TOOTHPASTE         Only enhances the smile of realisation.
CHANGE
POPULIST
FEAR
CHRONOLOGY               is realising words have as numbers set relation only visible
WEALTH     through reading will enumerate the
BUSINESS                   of communication while prose contains poetry in
ODD.      inexhaustable fresh recognition making it a place of
FACT      belonging outside reality with a mind to envision
PARADISE
RECREATE     first in your mind
INTERUPTING    societies reliance on regularity replacing
NOSTALGIC                     notions of culture. Culture is
BLACK                                              without art.  The
FLAG        of the White Star hangs over our arrogance.
DEFENSIVE
SHRIVES
CONTEMPORARY     art is full of resolutions on this
ART     as distinct from that
MARKET                           which is our
WORLD
NOTHING exists without God.

EX on Thursday 7 August opened with the escalating security piece Nothing Happens by Jonah King and I missed the experience entirely. It was to be the orderly of controlled space with the response of the viewer bearing the surveillance and tension of the presence of ‘protection’ of the almost empty space. It was intended to stir emotions of self infringement and the growing authoritarian elevation of security as an everyday fact. I am very disappointed not to have experienced this valued piece.

The above is opinion only it has limitations of access and monitors a reaction that is a personal reflection.
If it happens to fit aspects of your own views, literal and experienced it is very welcome. I hope you are inspired in some way.
The writing follows a night of consumption which was as a day full of unsettled weather. Elmore Leonard has a rule. Never start a book with the weather. It is impossible to avoid it as words are as amorphous as clouds.

The sun provides the light be it from the elements captured in the earth.
For ever and ever we gather light.

As the work of Graham Gingles reflects on the War Diaries of Robert McGookin from Larne his chosen title speaks of and is the strongest perceptive art seen to breach the minds boundaries. It is indescribable ultimately.

At times like these men where wishing they were all kinds of insects.

image

John Graham

11 August 2014

Belfast

Lilting : A Film Review

image

Director: Hong Khaou, cast: Ben Whishaw, Cheng Pei Pei, Naomi Christie, Andrew Leung, Peter Bowles, : 1hr 31mins
Six Characters Bound Together.

Around Grief
This film is a chamber piece in the sense it contains its story in a tightly bound cast.
Pivotal is Kai (Andrew Leung) who is killed by a car as he is walking to meet his mother, the Chinese-Cambodian mother Junn (Cheng Pei Pei)
Richard (Ben Whishaw) is introduced as the partner of Kai.
This unsettling event turns everything upside down.
Grief is overwhelming to Richard as he dresses in some of Kai’s clothes and draws himself closer to his unknown almost, nemesis Junn whose own world is now without family or domestic reference with her still being in the sheltered manor house chosen as a temporary refugee.
The three had shared a house, Richard as a housemate. Kai has placed his own imprint on.

It is a split level cut back to the brick Camden Lock type location. Kai is confident hence the imprint which is only partially Chinese in character with line drawing prints.
His identity is sharply European Chinese while Richard relies on his sense of self and internalises his British character. His way with things is however intense and some have called this magnetic.
It so happens the confines of this MICROWAVE budgeted film, apparently made for £120,000, are life as bonsai.The BBC Films might account for some lead funding. Few locations are used and the pace is very sedate.
The cast is strong and Kai’s mother Junn has an awful time with this strange country the family arrived in many years back.
Language is a silent barrier
Unbeknownst – language is the most infuriating part of their lives, all of their lives, it is intensely suffocating in a lot of the film – Junn has no inkling of her sons predisposition which itself is not normal but possibly cultural.
To Junn, Richard and Kai’s relationship is not the “best friends” tag used often.
England as Pastoral.
The home she stays in is semi rural with a sweeping drive and lawns.
It actually could be off Hanger Lane or up to esturial Essex is so Manor House pastiche.
Hong Khaou insists on showing several quite still frames of frosted fields and trees linear and controlled edging a sweet comforting vision of this England. Junn mentions how Kai’s father thought the NHS and clean water were heaven sent. There is this adoration but this is a frozen picture of life here and it is for Junn almost a vacuum.
The saxifrage family of plants are touched upon again symbolic.
Like the aspidistra is symbolic of Lancashire house plants in seedy lodgings run by lacey landladies.
Mixed Flashbacks
With Kai having died the story has to make him the central character in absentia and the relationships with his mother and Richard are frequently revisited. The effect to begin with disturbs the progress of elements often making it ‘stilted’ and a broken cadence which only improves as pieces of the small number of characters bring tone and their own presence after the first cluster of pieces. Kai has temporarily moved his mother into a sheltered time shifted, 50’s, shared manor house savouring the period of the occupants youth with G plan furniture and few modern signals.
Junn is like a Koi fish swimming in circles around surreal features and odd people doing crosswords and reading pat fiction.
Lothario in Flannels (those trousers with a permanent crease)
Time hangs heavy and when Kai visits Junn’s dislike of the best friend is strongly divisive in their already troubled relationship it exposed the isolation felt by Junn.
Kai has no real answer except the promise of this arrangement being temporary. She mentions the fellow house mate, an Englishman, Alan, (Peter Bowles) one oddly sympathises with this fulsome actors appearance as a nearly empty vessel plodding through an ill-fitting part, others may disagree depending on their familiarity with his other more suave manifestations. The Lothario sends her flowers and she is genuinely grateful of the attention.
Cheng Pei Pei
She in a former film life known as the Queen of Chinese Martial Arts in Hong Kong at least, which the intensely demure inactive or her playing is remarkably at odds with here given the Crouching Tiger identity.
Junn is an elegant fresh faced creature of a settled disposition, a kind of Judy Dench, distinctly not Helen Mirren coquettish phenomenon or a Joanna Lumley (whose age remains the same?) Junn is a soft kitten who dislikes the more physical side of Alan’s attention. She puts up with it and Richard has found a young Chinese Interpreter. Vann (Naomi Christie), who acts instantly as the joining go-between. Her work in this side story is entwined with Richards own need to communicate and show his willingness to help.
Vann (Naomi Christie), has no emotional baggage but becomes involved in the hallucinosis grief brings into the life’s of those touched by the loss of Kai.

For young people grief can be very, very, challenging to put into place.

 

image

Has it happened for a reason is the main question asked by them and all ages. Is it my turn next? Invincibility exists in films only or the books and stories they trace and depict.
For youth it seems so meaningless and arbitrary. IT has no value but every value ever present. All life is defined by it and to say it is ever present is to state its obvious cocooning of us in a human relation with others whose fragility we recognise and see reflections in.
Currently what do we see? We see murderers walk the streets, we see death visit the house nearby or in someone we are close to pressing on the mirror.
Noticing their breath appear. Then moving off to a funeral to pay tribute to the person past. We see the taking of the lives of children, of young soldiers rounded up and summarily executing while pleading for their lives. We see musicians, entertainers, actresses and scientists et al leave the stage of dreams and leaving us a legacy.
All in the end is Harvest
Nations do not distinguish death but poets and writers can and do celebrate the inhibition filling the mind before it laments into memory.
Eurydice by Edith Sitwell has the above line.
Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.

Junn experiences loss and cannot express it.
In Eurydice Edith Sitwell places a conjecture on the continuity of love. Her sense of the immensity of love in the person tends to put affection, touch, compassion, companionship locus in quo. It was, now the love carries on without the physical body and the mind must expand into the newness and reshape that love to actually produce feelings of consequence.
It is how Edith Sitwell grasps the concept so simply.

The prolonged life beyond times measure.
One of the finer writers on this for me happens to be the philosopher Bertrand Russell. His logic consists I think of the immeasurable infinite reach of death. He Does not draw the afterlife as the bible prophesies of an oracular kind. Being a non-sententious person he knows no less than anyone so celebrates the portion that brings last breath. Where the life was and where it began is all that matters truly. The infinity of truth is the widest dream.
The Word is wise beyond our realm. It is summoned from the old world.
The ancient forms of life that drew life short replaceable but not renewable.
Edith Sitwell envisages us as cells that disintegrate, become parts of other things, remain elemental. The name Edith has as its derivation Old English of a conflicted triangle – meaning Happy, Rich and War.
Back on the subject of language William Morris described being bereft of your ‘speech-friend‘ harrowing to the extent holding a conversation with someone was like asking a favour.
Shakespeare’s words from Macbeth proclaim
Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’erfraught heart, and bids it break.

And finally Bertrand Russell from The Conquest of Happiness…’ Surmount all misfortunes by the emergence after each blow of an interest in life and the world which cannot be narrowed down so much as to make one loss fatal. ….all our affections are at the mercy of death, ….our lives should not have that narrow intensity which puts the whole meaning and purpose of life at the mercy of accident.

Conclusion ### 3
For the film to take on the subject is very commendable. The problem arises in not being connected with the drama emotionally. Playing with distractions of editing and vocal speakover fragments and disorientates without sufficient forward story telling it became irratatingly. Frame on frame an stop frame content was a bit mind numbingly tedious.
A death of film took place at times. I am reminded of the question asked by Levi-Strauss (Claude) ‘Is mine the only voice to bear witness to the impossibility of escapism.’ Hence Liltings trap. His world of remnants as Edith Sitwell similarly adjudged. He also wrote ‘all cultural forms are ‘necessary illusions’, systems of signification substituted for experiences that cannot be communicated, cannot be known directly, however they are lived. Lilting leaves us bereft of the filling of the void and only through the personal experience shall reality seem present and that through indirectness being conceived. The dilemmas are convincing and generously portrayed with a slight shortfall in atmosphere; the cinematography is a mix of designed approaches maybe imposed through direction but it lacked a cohesive feel. I would recommend this film purely on the basis of the very present subject infiltrating everyone’s lives and this assured story, the film less obviously delivering it, takes us along the path of awareness and sympathy for the grief accompanying the people of all nations.
It is partially subtitled and principally played in English.
It should be received well in China if the generalisations are not to great to be acceptable.

 

John Graham

8 August 2014

Belfast

QFT from Friday 15 August (@6.40pm) also on earlier on the Saturday/Sunday @5.40pm then back to 6.40pm on the Monday then to the following Thursday 21 August 2014 all remaining @ 9.00/9.10pm.
Can’t believe I flagged up the times! See QFT for further details!

Also expect a screening by the BBC but everyone KNOWS how superior the Cinema experience is and it is even more comfortable in the newly refurbished Screen 2.

Be sure to mix your screen experience between the above more somber and more esoteric – The Deamers, Two days One night, Bad timing, The Shout, Naked Lunch and Kon-Tiki to name a few coming soon to QFT.

image