Category Archives: People

Imagine: The Boy, the Cat.. and the Ship

The black boy’s shadow reaches out for the black cat clinging to the top of the black mast. The cat does not seem willing to rush into hands of saviour –  but at some point you become unsure, is it height or crazy wind that provokes cat’s doubts, or the boy himself.

I spotted the sculpture in one of numerous tiny paved streets in Bremen, and as usual I saw more to the installation when I began editing the photograph. As if unfinished at the bottom, the whole sculpture gives impression to be sunken into Nothingness.

In Celtic mythology there was a fairy creature, Cat Sith. Many believed it would steal a person’s soul before it was claimed by the gods, by passing over a corpse before burial. The legend says Cat Sìth was a witch that could transform by wish into cat and back eight times. If one of these witches chose to go back into their cat form for the ninth time, they would remain a cat for the rest of their lives.

Thus,

Reaching out for the Ninth Life.

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Street Lights of Memory Path

There is something nostalgic about that captured moment of reflections’ maze– as if the street lights of memory start to turn on, one by one..
Street Lights of Memory

Ballet: flamboyant imagery, once ago..

Ballet..

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Listen to the sound, Bal-let: the word itself is feather-like. Light and elegant, delicate and swift, like ballerinas. Fragile, like their long fingers.

Flamboyant. That is the feeling Ballet was bringing to my imagery. But not anymore.

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I so much wanted to write about Ballet and when I finally found few minutes of free time I thought it would be the best time to write about this. Time when I am tired, cold, nervous again for not sleeping enough. Time when my head is a warehouse, full of business & economics related thoughts. Time when I feel bit down because my artistic freestyle side is pressured down by newly acquired career. That is a gruesome irony, the more serious and challenging work is, the more interested you are, the more it will swallow you completely, leaving no single inch for your other passions.

The New Yorker’s article from February’ 13 about Bolshoi scandal brought me to almost mindful break up with my world perceptions. It is interesting, when you’ve developed certain perceptions about the matter, in my case Ballet, starting from when you were child–  it explodes almost within 10 minutes (as it took me exactly 10 min to swallow the endless and full of unnecessary details article). I heard the rumours of acid attack on Bolshoi Theatre director months ago, when I was asked “what the hell is going on in your Russian not-so-cultural circles”, well, in a bit more polite way.

The article itself was heavily opinionated, as from the very first words journalist already gives clear impression who is «villain» and who is «martyr» in the story. When business and high politics blend into the arts’ world, there is no such thing as the right or wrong sides. Everybody gets their hands dirty.

Not that I ever idealized Ballet (not only Russian, but around the world in general): as Moscovite you somehow get immersed into that culture, especially if it is an integral element of your childhood.  And the harsh graphic image of ballerinas’s world in ‘Black Swan’, I guess, made it clear for everybody that leaving your daughter in wild forest might be even safer then bringing her into the Ballet school.

It is the circle of relationships always clinging to the status “complicated”, pushing jealousy, offence, fighting (often literally) over the performance parts.

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Shoes of rivals are being filled with broken glass, while the director’s office is full of threats and bribes for securing the lead roles. Just remember to add mentally to each of the above mentioned ‘based on true events’: word of mouth favours exaggeration. Yes, yes, heard all of this.

The partners refuse to catch jumping divas, and the battlefield gets divided into three, sometimes four camp sides. Yes.

This is particularly true in artistic world: Politicians get involved, favouring certain dancers. From the article I learned that you cannot really kick out of the Company the fading dancer who is backed up by “ important dudes”, but you can still can say no to all of his requests for the leading part.

What the hell happened to that  flamboyant, magical idea of Ballet? The idea that takes you away from reality, from outside world, and currents you into completely different imagery.

The idea of flying and dancing at the same time.

The Continue reading

For everybody, it’s hard but vital to accept his/her solitude. Aloneness is fundamental, and instead of running away from being alone one could live with it, maybe try to enjoy and appreciate. Then it will disappear  or rather won’t swallow one’s consciousness.

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Really, the ability to be alone makes you able to fall in love and could make you to allow others to love you.

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Imagery of Perfection, Speed, and Freedom

Timeless

In each of us there is a nucleus, seagull named Jonathan Livingston.. But only few of us are willing to free that bird out.

 

Impressionistic Flight

Your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself, in a form you can see. Break the chains of your thought, and you break the chains of your body, too.

― Richard BachJonathan Livingston Seagull

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Illuminated Imagery: Memory, Happiness and Butterflies

IlluminatedI am reading the book, Everything is Illuminated. Most likely the name sounds familiar to you, from the movie of few years ago, with Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello frontman. About the writer from New York who goes to Ukraine, with the help of two locals, to find woman who saved his grandfather from Nazis during Second World War. Yes, the movie is based on the book, but for me they are very much separated apart, not at all relating to each other except of the plot. I’m not saying movie was bad, it was interpretation of the director. However, here I’m going to talk about the book in particular. Well, rather about few ideas that the book inspired me to come to, as it is the book about life and to talk about it as a whole would require several volumes.

One character, Alex, after their journey together, is pleading the New York writer to change the course of his grandparents’ story in the book: Why you are not making them happy? Why you would not do good for them in your story? That is what we, writers, are for..  Immediately after reading that, another book came to my mind, Atonement. There, the main character, also writer, explains that she wrote different, happy ending for those people whose life she wrecked (also happening during Second World War). She wanted them to have happy ending at least in her story.

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But would it be the happiness as we call it? Creating a different reality, or mutating current one, could it still be called as happiness? Could one pretend to be happy and lie about it to himself, and start to believe this lie,–  would it be happiness?

One story (scene from movie/ book, can’t remember) got stuck in my head. The woman dies without learning the truth that the whole her “happiness” was a lie: really there was no loving husband, there was no happy family, there was no real friend. But she was happy while she lived, she knew here own, different truth, sort of living in a parallel reality people created for her. Is it still happiness? And why we need so much to be sure that others also know about our happiness, maybe to confirm that it is not a dream and we are actually happy?

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Another example. I create a different reality for my mind, how about this? As everybody else in college years, I kept diaries (both online and old style written), starting and dropping six or seven of them during 5-years period. When I read any of my writings few years later, I was very confused. I was reading the stranger’s diary, not mine. At least that was what I felt. Did I write this, really? Mostly these were abstract thoughts, but I could hardly recall even most of the events. Just a slight flash, “oh yeah, something familiar..” and after heavy thinking, a memory comes. 

So, it seems like the memory failed there (or succeeded; not everything I would be glad to remember). Therefore, I’m thinking: why not, instead of writing down bad event or analyzing bad feeling, I will make up different, opposite, a good story. Changing my own reality for future myself, so to say. Why not? For my memory, slight change of the course does not matter, the mind will still believe it.

True, it does not work with major events, but something bit unfortunate and upsetting could be edited. Then, if I create a different reality for my memory, I will start living in it: of course not immediately, but memory can be trained and controlled in certain ways, believe me. As a result, this new reality becomes my own, eventually. Does it really matter if I change something, if it makes me happy now and makes me feeling as if I was always happy? Is it really the make-up and lying we are so worried about? Would this mean a true happiness?

So, why I am including in this post my images of butterflies. Partly I relate and reflect human memory onto the butterfly effect theory. However, to put aside mathematics, first and foremost, butterflies are symbols of lightness, time, and transformation. And the hope, at least for me. Let the memories to butterfly, so they become Butterflying Memories.

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Post Scriptum: I love the concept of “Butterflies of Memory” behind the installation project by artist Kathleen Griffin: “Collapsed and ruined building, literally shaken down by memories, releases them as seventeen giant golden butterflies carry it off into the sky.”

 

The Maze of Emotions

Originally, it is a huge retro TV screen frame with control buttons on the sides, on plain greyish wall. There is nothing nearby, it is empty wall of the rough several stories building bordering wasteland.

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Once I saw it, I immediately had few ideas about how I would play with the image, but the result actually came very spontaneously out of my hand. I came up with different versions of image, but this one is so far my favourite.

This is my Imagery of my self discovery. This is an Imagery of tense and confusing relationship of two “persons” inside me, call it Me and my Intuition, or Me and Inner Voice, or Me Rational and Me Emotional, or Me and Self. We dig ourselves quite deeply, but not always we discover desired results at the bottom. It could be emptiness, it could be mirror with mutilated reflection. It could be Dead End.

This is my Imagery of the labyrinth of the consciousness. The maze with Dead End, or sometimes the infinite maze. Sometimes, in order to move on, to go further, we have only one obstacle. And that obstacle is us, ourselves.

This was my Vision of dragging and exhausting relationship between two people. Each person could not put aside his own ego to preserve the relations. Each was not willing to compromise and was not willing to create exit for the maze of emotions. Sometimes it is easier to wander around and around, dragging confusion and irritation along, rather then break the wall and exit the labyrinth. For every labyrinth conceals hopefulness, because every time you are on the edge of breaking out, you feel the slight bittersweet taste of hope that the next turn will open the door for you.

This was my Vision of the person who was at the same time the closest-to and furthest-from me then everybody else in the world. This person had locked himself inside under hundreds of locks, carefully building up false masks. You open door after door, and with every open new door you see different false mask of him. I guess this is sort of self defence that many of us build. 

But be careful, with all pyramid of masks and layers you can loose and forget true yourself.

Ironically, this is the one and only photograph of that person. Maybe that is for better I do not have picture of his face and it gradually faded away in my mind. Maybe after a while I will remember that story as the Tale of my Imagery.