“All art is political”

The first encounter with his work was back in 2008 at the Mission of Chile to the United Nations at meetings I attended there. “A Logo for America”, a flag of the United States made up of lightbulbs turning on and off and flashing the words “this is not America” within the american flag, displayed like a mantra in Times Square in New York. A few years after I saw “A Logo for America”, it flashed up again at midnight one night in August 2014. I started following Jaar ever since, impressed by his ethic and his aphorisms: “All art is political”, ”All art has a critical dimension; when it doesn’t, it’s decoration”.

Jaar, more than just an artist is a dedicated activist for human rights. One of his more political and conceptual installations is the “Rwanda Project”, first exhibited in New York City in 1998. The project took place during the period of 1994-2000. This work of art evokes the place and the specificity of the deaths in the Rwanda Genocide, like the establishing shots of contemporary landscapes in Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah. It shows how the genocide occurred and how bodies flowed down rivers. It’s a representation of an ethical and aesthetic project with a very strong emotional charge. The text tells that over a five month period in 1994, more than one million Rwandans, mostly members of the Tutsi minority, were systematically slaughtered as the world closed its eyes to genocide”. This is how the exhibition begins. The text concludes by emphasizing the strong impression made upon the artist by the eyes of this witness, “the eyes of Guetete Emerita”. “Rwanda Project” wanted to create a volume that represented approximately one million slides, in reference to the one million dead in Rwanda. If Jaar’s 35 mm slides were made into a film it would be over 11 hours long.

But the most provocative and memorable work Alfredo Jaar has produced, is the first part of “The Sound of Silence” in 1995. An installation focusing on the life of the South African photojournalist Kevin Carter, a story about an individual photograph and its impact, and also a story about representation and its unequal effects. An astonishingly moving work on all sorts of levels. The New York Times art’s critic said: “using human tragedy as an artistic readymade has definite pros and cons. Relevance is usually guaranteed; the heartstrings are likely to be pulled” , Jaar’s work raises questions about the relationship between photography and representation; between the medium and its political implications. In a context where reality television shows and web-casting purport to democratize the means of representation. Jaar’s practice is a reminder of the growing gulf between actual representation and its fake imitations.

But the artist’s work involves much more than installations. Rather than showing in museums, his public interventions happen in more political and socially engaged contexts. They involve communities, work with other artists in collaborations, such as in Catia, Venezuela. In Catia, the poorest area of the city of Caracas, an area of the city where there are no cultural institutions his camera became a tool to show a reality. He created a protect called “Camera Lucida” in this impoverished neighborhood where he distributed 1,000 disposable cameras and went to thirty-seven different local institutions, like hospitals and schools to distribute the cameras and explain the project that would later become an exhibition of the photos.

Another social and educational project of Jaar’s took place in Finland where he worked with philosophers and intellectuals and put on show their letters all over Helsinki, with ideas about the brilliant educational system employed there.

After studying few of Jaar’s work, I wondered, what are the boundaries between social interventions and art? And as Jaar himself said one time when he quoted Jean Luc Godard: “It might be true that you have to choose between ethics and aesthetics. But it is also true that whichever one you choose, you will always find the other one at the end of the road. Because the definition of the human condition is in the mise en scène itself ” and then added “I don’t see any difference between ethics and aesthetics, I believe everything we do is political”.

Image by photojournalist Kevin Carter
*This is an essay I wrote for the European Graduate School admission.

who knows if the moon’s a balloon

who knows if the moon’s
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky–filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited,where

always
it’s
Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

E.E.Cummings

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tags: devotion, intensity, love.

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“I steal into their dreams,” he said. “I steal into their most shameful thoughts, I’m in every shiver, every spasm of their souls, I steal into their hearts, I scrutinize their most fundamental beliefs, I scan their irrational impulses, their unspeakable emotions, I sleep in their lungs during the summer and their muscles during the winter, and all of this I do without the least effort, without intending to, without asking or seeking it out, without constraints, driven only by love and devotion.”
Bolaño. 2666

The analogy with Pina Bausch performances and this quote from Bolaño comes perhaps from the darkness that usually accompanied Bolaño and the intensity and deepness of Pina’s work -which really impacted me when I saw it on stage, even for a few days after. The works produced by these artists are inexhaustible, both poetic, coming from a dream-like state, definitely like love letters to our generation.

C.

To wait

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“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: 

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

Here is T. S. Eliot, warning us that in the darkness we must wait, that we must surrender, not to inaction, but to NOT KNOWING. Here is the secret. That is the universal solvent to our spiritual journey. To wait. 

(Poem is an extract from the Four Quartets)

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Foucault – !

La conveniencia de las actitudes esquiva los cuerpos,

la decencia de las palabras blanquea los discursos”.

de su libro: “La Historia de la Sexualidad”.

 

“The rest had only to remain vague; proper demeanor avoided contact with other bodies,

and verbal decency sanitized one’s speech”.

from: “The History of Sexuality”.

PAUL KLEE “SEPARATION IN THE EVENING”
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My romance right now

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things”

Not many times you read a book and you just don’t want to finish it. The book shows Miller’s soul, the funny and eloquent ways he expressed his views, the special people he met throughout his life in Big Sur and the genius he developed here as a writer, as a father and as a Human.

Recommended.

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Brassaï and the underground

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“The real night people, however, live at night not out of necessity, but because they want to. They belong to the world of pleasure, of love, vice, crime, drugs. A secret, suspicious world, closed to the uninitiated….I felt at the time that this underground world represented Paris at its least cosmopolitan, at its most alive, its most authentic, that in these colorful faces of its underworld there had been preserved, from age to age, almost without alteration, the folklore of its most remote past.” brassai 2 brassai brassai36

for us there is only the trying.

So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

T.S. Eliot

Art: Galatea of the Spheres. Salvador Dalí
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Play the game *****

PLAY THE GAME.
Endanger your work even more.
Don’t be the top dog.
Seek out the face-off.
But be unmindful.
Have no thoughts in back of your head.
Keen nothing secret.
Be soft and strong.
Be sly, enter the fray but hate to win.
Don’t observe, don’t test, but be ready for signs.
Tremble, quake, shatter, heal.
Show your eyes, wave the others on into the depths,
care for spaces and behold each one in their own picture.
Act only with enthusiasm.
Fail with ease.
First of all, take time and the long way round.
Be addle-brained.
Go on a holiday as it were.
Overhear no tree and no water.
Enter where it pleases your heart and treat yourself to the sun.
Forget your kinfolk, strengthen the strangers, spaces,
a hoot for the tragedy,
spit on misfortune,
laugh conflicts to smithereens.
MOVE IN YOUR OWN COLORS.
until you are in the right
and the leaves’ rustling turns sweet.
Walk about the villages.
I will follow you. –

from: “Passe par les villages”

Peter Hanke

 

Image by Efy Tal
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My Gift To You—–Te regalaré un abismo

My gift to you will be an abyss, she said,
but it will be so subtle you’ll perceive it
only after many years have passed
and you are far from Mexico and me.
You’ll find it when you need it most,
and that won’t be
the happy ending,
but it will be an instant of emptiness and joy.
And maybe then you’ll remember me,
if only just a little.

My Gift To You, Roberto Bolaño

Photo: Henry Cartier Bresson- Hyeres France, 1932

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Te regalaré un abismo, dijo ella,
pero de tan sutil manera que sólo lo percibirás
cuando hayan pasado muchos años
y estés lejos de México y de mí.
Cuando más lo necesites lo descubrirás,
y ese no será
el final feliz,
pero sí un instante de vacío y de felicidad
Y tal vez entonces te acuerdes de mí,
aunque no mucho.

 Te regalaré un abismo – Roberto Bolaño

Possesion in the dream – Eunice Odio

 

Come

Beloved

I will savor you with joy.

You will dream of me tonight.

…….

Come

We shall dine at the site of my soul.

An extract of the poem by Eunice Odio, “Possesion in the dream”

——————————————

Ven

Amado

Te probaré con alegría.

Tu soñarás conmigo esta noche.

……….

Ven
Comeremos en el sitio de mi alma.

Extracto de un poema de Eunice Odio  “Posesión en el sueño” de los Elementos Terrestres”

 

foto de / photo by: Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Christopher Wool at Guggenheim

Worth sharing just a few images of a great show at the Guggenheim. Using mostly Painting as a medium, here he represents the human environment and cultural references.
This paintings, photographs and works in paper are mainly monochrome and large.
His work is passionate and very inspiring; he is definitely one of the great painters of this era.

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Modern Miller

“Everybody says sex is obscene. The only true obscenity is war.”

The Tropic of Cancer, tropic referred to as the Northern tropic with the sun at its zenith, its an event that occurs once per year at the time of the June solstice. Regarding the second word, Cancer, the author explains the title of his novel: “It was because to me cancer symbolizes the disease of civilization, the endpoint of the wrong path, the necessity to change course radically, to start completely over from scratch.”

Published in Paris in 1934, this title can be read as a metaphor of the City. Indeed, the City is the main character of this extraordinary book I’m currently reading. The ironic relationship of Miller with Paris, a love/hate relationship, with a city that shines like the sun at its zenith, that promises the splendor to the young artist who enters it, but that reveals itself as a disease while the same artist actually begins to live in it.

This aforementioned quote I find brilliant, refers at some point to the huge scandal that this novel had because of its language and its approach to some taboos for that time, the 30′s, especially related to sex. Prohibited in USA and UK for three decades because of the confusion between ethics and aesthetics that seems to lead to its interpretation, the novel was considered immoral and obscene.

I feel now very fortunate to read one of the greatest modernist writings in the universal literature and as Annais Nin said in the Preface “a book that might restore our appetite for the fundamental realities”.

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Toyo Ito

Just got to know about Toyo Ito, architect awarded with the 2013 Pritzker Prize and creator of the original “Home for All Project”, designed to help communities after the tsunami in Japan in 2011, a project created to give relief to the housing problem in the area and which considers integrating the natural environment, taking into account the history and weather conditions of the zone with a kind of anti modernist approach and design.

For example The Sendai Mediatheque, one of his important projects, survived the effects of the earthquake as here he and his team invented a system of bundled steel tubes instead of the traditional columns.

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He took into account elements as water, in a virtual and physical way. As he points out, water is like the internet: that fluid water that links us to the world.

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His goal is to create communal spaces and contribute to create a “new kind of new society”. At the Mediatheque he used an AC system that may be compared to the biological activities of a tree and he used natural light as one of the main characteristics for this design.

Toyo Ito and Associates offices

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The Sendai Mediatheque its a project that he worked on for 6 years that embodies the proposal for a completely new concept of architecture. The complex includes mediatheque, an art gallery, a library, an information service center for people with visual and hearing impairments and a visual image media center. during the open competition and subsequent phase of basic designing, the primary effort was on demolishing the archetypal ideas of an art museum or library to reconstruct a new idea of architecture called ‘mediatheque’ utilizing the state-of-the-art media.
This process of reconstructing the architectural concepts as he points out “not only extended to hardware but to software as well”.

Facing side of the Sendai Mediatheque

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3rd floor of the Mediatheque

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Twilight – Crepúsculo

These nights I have slept without smoke and without fear.
No thunders, no lightning, just a twilight that persists, with extreme colors.
A sunset shot ended the light blue and artificial smoke in the sky, no one could stop it.
Today, I will write poems for myself, I said, like birds establishing their own flight.
But that sunset persists, neutral, without descriptions, full of heat and kisses.

Estas noches he dormido sin humo y sin miedo. Ningún estruendo, ningún rayo, solo un crepúsculo que persiste con colores extremos.
Un atardecer disparado que acabó con el azul y con el humo en el cielo, nadie lo pudo detener.
Hoy escribiré poemas para mi misma, digo, como los pájaros que establecen su propio vuelo.
Pero ese atardecer persiste, neutro, sin descripciones, lleno de calores y de besos.

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One Night Gallery- Poetic Color

I opened the doors of my Studio last night at PointB, the place where I live in Brooklyn, New York. I got the opportunity to show my paintings and prose with other 4 artists, each one showing their work at their studios.
My favorite moment: when I got to read the prose to my friends.

Thanks, thanks and thanks to all the friends who came. It’s going to be up for a while.

Bellow, some my work exhibited.

POETIC COLOR.

Color is an element that empowers the Soul. Poetry, the articulation of that “Soul”.

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Drums of Joy, 2013. Acrylics. 36″ x 18″ 20130726-112624.jpg

Grounded Crown, 2013. Acrylics, Gouache and Oil on Canvas.20130726-112749.jpg

We are specialists. 2013. Acrylics, Gouache and Oil on Canvas.20130726-112759.jpg

Ojos. (Eyes) 2013. Acrylics20130726-112809.jpg

Glow, 2013. Acrylics20130726-112819.jpg

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Poetas Ocultos. (Hidden Poets) 2013, Acrylics. 36″ x 18″20130726-123517.jpg

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“We are Specialists” —> one day after —- in English

A pilot /poet was writing verses in the sky; a blue background with clear and unmistakable verses that said, “The war is over, destiny has absorbed the distance, let’s escape from it, let’s take the same path.” In my mind, a black and white film ran with images of shadows and silhouettes, both characters looking into each others’ eyes and the protagonist said: “We are specialists, we are surrealists, we manage our attraction with abstraction.” It was as if my left hand directed me to take a road and my right to take a mountain range.

Image by Edward Steichen. “The Quiet Front”Image

Somos especialistas

Un piloto poeta escribió versos en el cielo; una pureza azul de fondo y unos versos que sin fisura y sin torpeza decían: “Se acabó la guerra, la distancia la absorbió el destino, escapemos de ella, tomemos el mismo camino”.
Por mi mente pasaba una película en blanco y negro, con imágenes de sombras y siluetas, ambos personajes mirándose a los ojos y el protagonista decía: ” Somos especialistas, somos surrealistas, manejamos nuestra atracción con abstracción”.
Era cómo si mi mano izquierda me señalase una carretera y mi mano derecha una cordillera.

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I SEEM TO BE A VERB

“Here is God’s purpose –
for God to me, it seems,
is a verb
not a noun,
proper or improper;
is the articulation
not the art, objective or subjective;
is loving,
not the abstraction “love” commanded or entreated;
is knowledge dynamic,
not legislative code,
not proclamation law,
not academic dogma, nor ecclesiastic canon.”

I’m currently reading “Starting with the Universe” a book dedicated to the life and work of “Bucky Fuller”- as he was known and called by his friends- who was an extraordinary architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist.

Fuller, the creator of the Geodesic- Dome and many other structures, frequently used geometry and geological concepts. His aim was to create living environments that minimized consumption of the earth’s resources while maximizing interconnections with global systems of information and transportation.

His quotes are all remarkable but his ones are my favorites:

“Dare to be naïve”

“Don’t fight forces, use them”.

“Love is a metaphysical gravity”

(These are photos I took of the book I have).

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JonOne // abstract -street art -style // cool // inspiration //

“John “JonOne” Perello grew up in Harlem where graffiti and tags were seen in everyday life. Nowadays, JonOne has structured his work from the streets of New York to the “limitations” of canvas (some extremely large) and he now fancy more brushstrokes than air sprays.

However, even though we can see some inspirations coming from Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet or even Henri Matisse, the street is still very much there.

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His extremely colorful paintings remind us of the frenzy of large cities, of their bright lights and social codes. JonOne’s work is an allegory of the Urban Jungle in which most of us live, but always seen from the optimist and colorful side of life.”

check him out!!!!

http://www.jonone.moonfruit.com

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—- E. M. Cioran —- complexity and lightness

“I am lured by faraway distances, the immense void I project upon the world. A feeling of emptiness grows in me; it infiltrates my body like a light and impalpable fluid. In its progress, like a dilation into infinity, I perceive the mysterious presence of the most contradictory feelings ever to inhabit a human soul. I am simultaneously happy and unhappy, exalted and depressed, overcome by both pleasure and despair in the most contradictory harmonies. I am so cheerful and yet so sad that my tears reflect at once both heaven and earth. If only for the joy of my sadness, I wish there were no death on this earth.” E M Cioran 
— art by Olafur Eliasson

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Pasión : Geometría /// Passion : Geometry

“La pasión es geometría. Rombos, cilindros, ángulos latidores. La pasión es geometría que cae al abismo, observada desde el fondo del abismo”

Roberto Bolaño, Prosa del otoño en Gerona

——–

“Passion is geometry. Rhombuses, cylinders, lateral angles. Passion is geometry that falls into the abyss, observed from the depths of the abyss.”

Roberto Bolaño. Tales of the Autum in Gerona

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Party vs ART : PS-1 on a Sunday afternoon –

Yes, the MOMA PS- 1 located Long Island City, Queens it’s a fantastic place to appreciate art when there’s not a party. M Wells food + not so many people + good company and – any noise these installations made even better my last Sunday. First and best stop: Olafur Eliasson “Your waste of time” 2013. Ice, cooling system, Styrofoam, wood. The artist have been working with many elements throughout his career. This work is with massive centuries-old ice pieces of ice from Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, can be dated around AD 1200. They are presented as sculptures that are refrigerated with a temperature below freezing.

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LAST STOP: James Turrell, Meeting 1986. Long term installation. Meeting is an installation that focuses on light and perception. Its part of Turrell’s series of “skyspaces,” which involves enclosed spaces with rectangular or rounded holes cut into the ceiling exposing the open sky. You can see the intensity of a blue or a pink sky during sunset.

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OTHER: Charles Ray. Man Holding Egg, 2007. 20130513-142057.jpg

Blancos y negros

Despierto en una habitación extraña, una cama blanca de hotel que contrasta con el cielo gris.  El día oscuro despierta alguna angustia o más bien una nostalgia. Nostalgia de aquellos días luminosos. Nostalgia de esos días cuando estaba viva y soñaba. No sé sí era diciembre o enero pero sé que sentía el viento helado en la cara.  Hoy siento tus risas tan lejanas, hoy los sueños son opacos. Por la tarde busco tu sombra, hoy estoy perdida en esta ciudad oscura.  
*foto por Ansel AdamsRails and Jet Trails, Roseville, California, 1953

José Parlá and JR – Wrinkles of the City

The exhibit started in the streets of Habana, Cuba. The Bienal had the most amazing street art ever done in the streets of Havana. Now, they brought us some of the images to the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New Yor City, for us to have a hint of this astonishing work. Please look at the wall outside the gallery. Bravo !!!!!

check their website http://www.joseparla.com —– http://www.jr-art.net/

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Sheila Hicks – Poetic Installations

With her work my eyes see a beauty metaphor, a collage of textiles with bonds that exemplify the cultures and unions of humans and practices transcending time, space and the mind. Its hard to describe what field Hicks works on; what this artist has been working for half a century represents an intersection between arts, crafts, architecture and design. Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile are among the countries where she has absorbed her knowledge and have influenced her weaving.

Hicks is a global artist who adopted the language of textiles as her primary medium and expanded it exponentially.

Monumental public commissions have occupied her since the mid-’60s have required complex studio setups and help of assistants: from her bas-relief medallion tapestries for the Ford Foundation headquarters in Manhattan (1966-67); to her wall hangings for a fleet of Air France 747s, stitched by hand in white silk (1969-77); to commissions for King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, (1982-85) and a cultural center in Fuji City, Japan (1992-93); to an immense linen-and-cork knot, some 20 feet high by 60 feet wide, for the corporate offices of Target in Minneapolis.

Hicks’s brilliantly colored loops, tangles, weaves, and tassels produce an instantaneous, visceral reaction.

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