Monthly Archives: October 2010

Dreaming of beds

How do you spell t-i-r-e-d in 5 images?

Credit where available.

Why is completing a task much more tiresome than it is relieving?

I would like to know, but I’d rather go to bed.

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Lucky us

This is one of those weeks when I feel I need an extra push to get through to the weekend (yet another busy one, I can foresee).

So expectations play an important part in my selection of musical solace for today. What I mean is, my real favorite artists – the ones who speak right to my heart – are supposed to release new records in the near future. The list:

1. PJ Harvey. Her new album will be released sometime in 2011 along with fresh new concerts in European capitals.

2. Fiona Apple. Some of the new material has leaked onto Youtube and the like, along with rumors that a new record will see the light of day in the next Spring.

3. Ladyhawke. The Kiwi singer with the smartest keyboards on the planet is working on new material to be released very very soon.

4. Björk. The long hiatus will see an end as her much worked on new music is put out hopefully sometime next year. It hurts me to say it, but I do hope it will leave up to my expectations after the mostly disappointing Volta.

5. Lykke Li. Her sweet voice and heartfelt songs will fill our dreams as she releases her new album in the near future. Meanwhile, she has come out with a single that is both mischievous and down-to-the-bones honest, Get Some:

How redundant is it to say that I cannot wait to get all of these?

PS: Yes, I love female singers.

Money is time

For those who know at least a little about Brazilian history, the fact that this country faced long periods of economic instability is no novelty.

One of its many aspects was the constant change of currencies throughout the years. Hyperinflation and/or ineffective government plans for the economy gave rise to a parade of different colors, kinds and forms and shapes of bills that marked the childhood of many Brazilians.

Years later, Brazilian photographer Fernando Schmitt chose the faces on our currencies as the subject of his most unusual portraits:

The series, entitled Dinheiros (as incorrect as its direct translation: Moneys) is a surprising reminder of the contrast of grandiosity of a historical figure as opposed to the unimportance and disposability of old money.

Just as quick as one might lose his throne, so can a currency and a whole money system collapse.

Redrawing Brazil

Some say that the true great artist is the one who can capture the essence of his/her time. I tend to agree with that idea.

Translating the Zeitgeist is not an easy task nor is it obvious for the most part, so what guided me in choosing my list of most representative contemporary artists from Brazil was my sheer feeling. Without further ado, here’s my Top 5:

1. Cildo Meireles. His choice and use of materials, creating layers, barriers and magically simple visual goals make him not only a very talented but also an expert in translating our current needs for empty novelty.

Fontes (1992)

2. Ernesto Neto. His glue-y, at first somewhat disgusting shapes and art pieces challenge our notions of aesthetics. Art can be bent and it can feel nice and comfortable after you get past the first shock. Ernesto is as clever as his is subtle.

Navedenga (1998)

3. Adriana Varejão. This outstanding painter and sculptor does something quite revolutionary for Brazilian standards: look into our own art history. Culturally dominant and salient Portuguese tiles are turned into enormous open wounds that help communicate how violent and forced the colonization was. Yet if one knows how to use it, the past can be used to enrich perspectives for the future.

Ruína de charque (2000)

4. Tunga. A virtuoso in the choice and treatment of hard materials, Tunga has always been able to create extreme and delicate beauty out of seemingly sterile matter. His work can be seen as an exploration of the interconnections between elements, shapes and ideas, always gracefully exposed in their contrast.

Laminated Souls (2004-2007)

5. Rivane Neuenschwander. trespassing the boundaries of the individual arts, Rivane uses simple and mostly tiny materials to construct a wider view of the abstract world we live in. Wishes, dreams, home, journeys, discoveries and interaction are always part of the artist’s work.

Continent/Cloud (2007)

Luckily for all of us, there is a place where you can see pieces from all of these artists, the one and only (and the very best of its kind in my opinion) Inhotim Museum of Contemporary Art.

Enjoy

A weekend of intense, focused work awaits me.

The good thing about doing what you like is that that doesn’t feel as bad as it sounds. It takes just a bit of drive to get through these two days into another busy week.

Since I am human, I know for sure my breaks will be filled with music, so I thought I could share my latest discovery with you – a tip by a friend:

Sweden’s Familjen

Along with fellow Nordic acts Sigur Rós and Casiokids, these guys sing in their native language.

I love the idea that music is somehow above and beyond nations and tongues, so that there would be no need to make it necessarily understandable via English.

Ha en trevlig helg!

Wear purple

Yesterday was a day chosen by the gay community (through GLAAD) to raise awareness about gay bashing and bullying. Spirit Day, as it is called, is also meant especially for everyone to show their support for gay teens who took their lives because of anti-LGBT harassment.

As I stated here earlier this month, growing up as a gay teen can be devastating if one does not have the support from either parents, school or friends.

Originally, I was going to post images of paintings by a Brooklyn-based artist whose images often raise questions about racism and tolerance but I decided to do something aiming more at inspiring those troubled teenagers to envisage a brighter, love-filled future ahead of them:

I love these images because they not only reflect the possibility of finding love in homosexuality but also how  open-minded gay love can be.

No matter how badly homosexuality may be portrayed, affection and tenderness are still there – perhaps just around the corner, to be felt.

These pictures by Robbie Fimmano were used in an extended watch feature called Kissing Time on last April issue of Interview magazine.

(Via Homotography)

Look out

With a greater concern over the latest trend rather than what History bequeathed, Brazilian cities are spaces where all kinds of architectural influences can be found.

Nowhere can this be seen more readily than in Rio. The former capital and once most important city in South America, the city is home to a myriad of styles, influences, tastes and ideas, all cramped together – sometimes side by side.

From organic shapes and historical Brazilian Baroque to monstrous concrete blocks and wholly inappropriate glass buildings, Rio is a surprising treat on the eye of the curious.

Some of my favorite :

It is so relieving when one learns to appreciate what’s not obvious – life does become more beautiful when one finds beauty where one least expects it.

Rio de Janeiro is a great school for that.