31 July 2014

The Gold Field

"L.A. 1990. Ross and I spent every Saturday afternoon visiting galleries, museums, thrift shops, and going on long, very long drives all around L.A., enjoying the "magic hour" when the light makes everything gold and magical in that city. It was the best and worst of times. Ross was dying right in front of my eyes. Leaving me. It was the first time in my life when I knew for sure where the money for rent was coming from. It was a time of desperation, yet of growth too.
1990, L.A. The Gold Field. How can I deal with the Gold Field? I don't quite know. But the Gold Field was there. Ross and I entered the Museum of Contemporary Art, and without knowing the work of Roni Horn we were blown away by the heroic, gentle and horizontal presence of this gift. There it was, in a white room, all by itself, it didn't need company, it didn't need anything. Sitting on the floor, ever so lightly. A new landscape, a possible horizon, a place of rest and absolute beauty. Waiting for the right viewer willing and needing to be moved to a place of the imagination. This piece is nothing more than a thin layer of gold. It is everything a good poem by Wallace Stevens is: precise, with no baggage, nothing extra. A poem that feels secure and dares to unravel itself, to become naked, to be enjoyed in a tactile manner, but beyond that, in an intellectual way too. Ross and I were lifted. That gesture was all we needed to rest, to think about the possibility of change. This showed the innate ability of an artist proposing to make this place a better place. How truly revolutionary.

This work was needed. This was an undiscovered ocean for us. It was impossible, yet it was real, we saw this landscape. Like no other landscape. We felt it. We traveled together to countless sunsets. But where did this object come from? Who produced this piece that risked itself by being so fragile, just laying on the floor, no base, no plexiglass box on top of it…. A place to dream, to regain energy, to dare. Ross and I always talked about this work, how much it affected us. After that any sunset became "The Gold Field." Roni had named something that had always been there. Now we saw it through her eyes, her imagination."

--  excerpt from "1990: L.A., "The Gold Field", by Felix Gonzalez-Torres from Earths Grow Thick, Wexner Center for the Arts Roni Horn exhibition catalogue, 1996

So moving! This is why art is so valuable and so neede. It can touch places and emotions we can't reach with words and can unite others in that understanding.  I think the same of movement (I'm a yoga teacher, I don't think i've ever mentioned that here!) and music.

1. Roni Horn, Gold Field, 1982
2. Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Roni Horn, April 2005

The Serpentine Dance

One of my favorite things...

30 July 2014

Making Colour

Painting: Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato 'Virgen rezando' (The Virgin in Prayer) 1640-50

I went to see the 'Making Colour' exhibition at The National Gallery last week. I was completely transfixed by the colour of Sassoferrato's Virgin Marys cloak. Go and see this painting if you can,  the reproductions don't do it the slightest bit of justice. 

Yves Peintures

"In 1954, Yves Klein made a looseleaf booklet with ten color plates of monochrome paintings that didn’t exist. The Yves Klein Archives describes them as commercial samples of colored paper, tipped in and given arbitrary dimensions and locales: Tokyo, Madrid, Nice, Paris and London. Fictional monochrome artist book making tells me two things: make things up, and make things."

 -- Claire Cotrell from Colors Come and Go

1) Chantal Michel
2) Paolo Sorrentino, dir., The Great Beauty, 2013.
“To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary, which is its strength.”

--Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night 

28 July 2014

Claudia Wieser

Claudia Wieser, a new favourite!
"Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. I’m going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. It’s this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point, imagined."

--Neil Gaiman

26 July 2014

Saturday Poem

 within me
you are tangled,
as the sun’s light
to the moon.

--Pavana पवन (images by Claudia Wieser)

22 July 2014

Knowledge is power

I highly recommend listening to this. Hugely inspiring!
Full interview over at London Real.

21 July 2014

Diana Scherer

Diana Scherer is an artist / photographer / collector and her work and process is one that I appreciate and admire greatly. The above photos are of wildflowers and weeds grown from seed and taken from her garden in the Netherlands and patiently manipulated, sometimes for up to six months, in vases so that the soil and roots are coerced to take the shape of the vessel. When the moment is right, she breaks the vases and 'captures' her pieces. Thus, collecting the fleeting moment of a bloom in it's prime before it fades and dies. After shooting it she puts it back in her garden.

“The ambiguous nature of collecting intrigues me,” she says. “It involves loving attention as well as a fanatical desire to control. The collector documents and stores the object of his desire in a systematic and detached way. I also treat and present my work in an objective manner, even though working with nature has an emotional charge for me.”  - D. Scherer

read more about her process and work here
see more of her work here

(image found here)
"One’s real duty to the future is to do as you should do now. Make the best choices, do the best work, fulfill your obligations in the best way you can, and work on a scale that’s appropriately small. make plans that are appropriately small. if you do those things, then the future will take care of itself."

-- Wendell Berry

19 July 2014

Saturday Poem

" For women who are difficult to love"

16 July 2014

Tacita Dean

A clip from Tacita Dean's film "Craneway Event" gives us a look at the creative process of choreographer Merce Cunningham, shortly before he died. It's what Vermeer might have done with a movie camera...
"Why would you live in your body like you will be given another? As if it were temporary. You starve it. You let anyone touch it. You berate it. Tell it that it should be completely different. You tug at your soft flesh, wish it were thinner, wish it were gone. You fall in love with those who praise the way it sighs under their hands,  but who praises the way it holds up your weight, even when you are falling apart?"

-- Warsan Shire.

14 July 2014

Andréa de Keijzer

"This choreographic experiment examines the moments before and after a photograph, a performance and an event. In this skillfully wrought "dance cover" of Esthel Vogrig’s Mi Ultima Foto, de Keijzer challenges conventional notions of originality and authorship in the creation process by building onto an existing conversation about the photograph as certificate of presence that conceals a map of past and shared existence."

-- Andréa de Keijzer

"What really interests me about capturing and suspending movement is that I get to experience something invisible and inaudible, as elusive and fleeting as thought itself, and give it form... Maybe my paintings are all just little fragments of the Cosmic Dance suspended in time."

-- James Nares

11 July 2014

Estonian women sewing a wall tapestry, 1939.
"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
--Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

9 July 2014

Jessica Bell

A series of 12 sewn mixed media collages on 22" x 30" pieces of Stonehenge called Traffic.
(2013) by Jessica Bell


an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.

7 July 2014

Tara Donovan

Lots of acrylic rods, and stacks of buttons. Insane. The breathtaking work of Brooklyn based installation artist Tara Donovan.

(Source: vivr-e)
I rise from my worst disasters, I turn, I change. 

--Virginia Woolf, from The Waves 

5 July 2014

Saturday Poem

I'll walk, but not in old heroic traces,
And not in paths of high morality,
And not among the half-distinguished faces,
The clouded Forms of long-past History.

I'll walk where my own nature would be leading;
It vexes me to choose another guide:
Where the grey flocks in ferny glens are feeding;
Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.

-- Emily Bronte

(Art: Rebecca Bird.)