Category Archives: Urban

Momentum

Single work of art – be it a visual piece like painting or sculpture, or rather physical like dance or theatre – is not alive till the viewer sees it and, by analysing (often unconsciously) starts interpreting it. The painter might have a certain meaning for his entire work, however, as an audience, we usually only take small, separate details out of it. The more we analyze the painting, the less it stays the whole for us — the more it breaks into pieces, each having its own meaning and interpretation. One could say that a viewer develops the work of art further, into its “life.”

These details and tiny moments worth of second that we notice, sometimes can be discovered in newer works and can show the whole piece in completely new light..

The following represents one such intimate experience of mine with works of art, particularly Henry Moore sculptures and dancer Benjamin Kamino performance of Nudity. Desire – long drawn.

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Floating in the Air.

Floating in the Air..  The enormous while balloon slowly raised into the night sky above the grasping crowd, dragging behind a tiny delicate figurine.

Floating in the air.. I thought it would be interesting to visualize the acrobat not hanging under the balloon’s bottom, but rather playfully kicking the ball in front of her, both floating in darkness nowhere and in no time.

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They were clowns in blistering, silky unappealing costumes– rather resembling medusas than snowflakes (which, I’m quite sure, was the intention at the Winter Festival)..

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These snowflakes, or whoever they were, had apparently very difficult relationship– sort of expressing the same old swings “push-pull”. Well, what you can say, flaky creatures, flaky feelings.. ))

A Mirage

When looking at this landscape with naked eye, it seemed merely beautiful– but I would not imagine the ways one photograph could transform it, sewing mirage out of the city landscape and the river bridges out of the bay line.. Or maybe the ship symbolizes that mirage, desirable optical phenomenon, while the city is forcing onto us its own reality.

..It does happen so often, when we tend to confuse and blend what is the real and what is something we desire to see, doesn’t it.

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Chicago Style: Through Prism of Phonetics, Colours, Rail Tracks.. and Sparrows

When I visited Chicago just couple weeks ago, for the very first time, I went through two (non) cultural shocks.  that and annoying hungry sparrows. 

1. It is pronounced [Shi-ka-go], as if the old lady who can not make any harder sounds tries to pronounce it. Not sexy, bold, appealing [i-ka-go] like in chess..

just realized how exhausting it will be to express phonetical frustration on paper. 

anyway, it is quite interesting how sounds and phonetical elements of the word are glued so intense into our minds that it is almost impossible to accept new ways of pronunciation. so I guess i will continue Italian gang style, chicago:)

2. Who said Chicago is like New York  (or rather, visa verse but doesn’t really matter)? “Ah, you love NYC? You will love Chicago even more!! ” Nope. The first 5 hours I was there I was jumping, happy-go-lucky, with wide eyes and not less wide open mouth– architecture heaven, same narrow streets with reach-the-sky churches and yay, I found another NYC for myself!! Taking into account I lived in NYC for almost 6 months few years ago, you have all the rights to lift the brow (no, do both of them) onto such statement. Yes, the second half of the very same day I devoted to a very slow realization that Chicago is not the same. It is gangster, mob city. And it is the city of neighbourhoods (maybe 2-3 in total you would want to visit) which are limited to just dozen blocks. 

But I still would love Chicago as any city which forces me to look up and up..

 

Chicago has an open train system- mostly above the ground. This offers fantastic views– not only on the city itself, but also on the whole composition of the city along with rail tracks. Somehow this old, ugly, rusty reddened massive ironmongery blends into the city landscape very harmonically. The lines of skyscrapers, the whole beautiful geometry of colours and styles would just collapse without those rail tracks…

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How about some crazy colours splashing over Chicago? With nice weird effect of prism filter. Although, using colours, I honestly transferred my cheerful coming to terms with the city, yet I could not stop gut feeling it was deserted. Maybe it was part of the long weekend, maybe hot summer days..  I would never imagine Chicago as ghost town– although quite often it felt like one. Some say, it’d file for bankruptcy like Detroit. So not sure if this was just very obvious result of yet another crisis in the row. 

 

Now: Why Lincoln statue has a chair?.. Anyway he stands, so why it was so absolutely necessary to put up the chair there? I understand when the ‘greatest ones’ are featured in work of art with some element they always carried along– hat, glasses, book, naked angry cat — but chair…???

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Well, and least but not last… Meet Chicago real local mob:))

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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..
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Singapore Tales

I want to share with you my Singapore. Very interesting place.

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Among intriguing features of the city-state what struck me most were wild macaque monkeys wandering on parking lots, ridiculously clean streets, people talking in mysterious Singlish, rich cultural trio “hindu-arabic-chinese” representing the city, business heaven aside to enormous Buddhist Temples spread all over area, nature reserves’ rain forests with myriad species, that special soft type of singaporean rain during rain season, botanical gardens full of silent practitioners of Qigong at 4am, and of course, infamous “benevolent” dictatorship (lovely word combination, isn’t it?).

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Macaques. Although mainly they stay in or nearby nature reserves (images on left and below), one gets feeling that they are wandering around everywhere, even in urban area. You keep hearing their birdish-like crying even when returning to the city, I guess it is their singaporean charisma.

Most of them are occupied with the same kind of species, but some develop quite annoying and terrifying attitude towards people in desperate search for food. And no, they do not appear particularly cute and sweet once you saw their mouth full of sharp, angry, almost vampire teeth.

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No, I’m not exaggerating: you know, bit off finger is not the worst they did to passers by. But, for the sake of a beautiful day and sunshine in my mind, I’m presenting only sweet photographs of them in Fauna gallery.

I think I will devote the whole separate post to photos of those macaques, too much to tell and show to fit here.

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Singlish. Incredible language, basically it is English-based Creole spoken in Singapore. Every single tourist guide assured me that everybody speaks English there. No, it is not English: maybe it is based on it, but except of some basic vocabulary words, everything else is far from being related. No good lah’– sorry, no idea what you just said to me.

Obviously, nobody could understand me out there.

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Botanical Gardens at 4ish am is something unforgettable. You feel morning with your lungs, the air is so fresh and silent. The same silence is kept among people who woke up that early for jog, qigong practice, or just simple meditation.

We pass by each other, we smile, say “good morning”– but almost whispering. On isolated hill stands monk and meditates flowing above the ground. Several groups of (mostly) old ladies practice qigong, hidden behind enormous bushes.

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It might sound strange but these gardens were only ones to leave me actual feeing of being in Orient, of touching complete opposite side of the world.

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I came just in time for startup of rain season: November-December. The rain in Singapore is very punctual, by the way. You can check your watch with the rain: every day it started at the same exact time, and stopped hour or so later. The intervals were very convenient for planning the day. My huge surprise came when on the first day I noticed that the more rain is falling, the drier I become. Because of the climate, you don’t feel that it is actual rain. It is very soft (almost silky), and has the tendency to miss you with the raindrops falling too far from each other. I do not know how else to describe this phenomenon.

Buddhist Temples. The least I saw in there was trace of religion. I saw touch of death with crematorium and several rows of tablets with photos on them, I saw devoted following of traditions, I saw simplicity and space, I saw the thin trace of history. I did not see any belief, though.

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Little praying man

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Singapore remained in my imagery as Orient collage, as a westernized society and mosaic of colours, thick humidity and forgotten history.

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