Thursday, September 29, 2011

And I Lost My Heart Over....

This song:

She's a little bit of Björk, a little bit of Florence Welch, a little bit of something else. So wonderful. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Poetry Wednesday


I changed my name and told
no one.  I
talked to this man, and the milk pond yawned
(like red fruit with white insides
           it opened) and gave no fish.

Annnnnnnnnnnd something not-mine that I love:

by Joshua Beckman

Again the flat world of borrowed things
and the banging of everything that is heavy
into everything else and the cosmos
of the unfeeling is, sadly, just as full
and seeing that is no better
than seeing anything else

                               or the dove crept into its damp
                               little hole or

I know how they treated you
and can do nothing about it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Cosmic Landscapes of Cildo Meireles

The way Cido Meireles talks about his art makes my head spin, but his work is extremely beautiful, enforcing a thick silence on the space it inhabits. The Tate Modern had an exhibition of his installation a couple of years ago, and I really regret missing it. 

Meireles comes from the mid-century Brazilian Neo-concretism movement, which "rejected the extreme rationalism of geometric abstraction in favor of more sensorial, participatory works, which engage the body as well as the mind." He does seem to have a particular talent for creating environments; his "rooms"  are either so  spiritually empty as to produce a constant cold echo, or impress a certain pregnancy of space which thickens the air and lights a fire.

With Mission/Missions: How To Build Cathedrals (pictured above), a dark field is created where the coins underfoot (600,000 of them) bow and submit to the cloud-cover above: 2,000 human bones, an army of sentinels, connected to the metal ground by a column of communion wafers. According to Meireles, the work "comments on the human cost of missionary work and its connection with the exploitation of wealth in the [South American colonies]." Just like the bones, the viewer finds himself/herself suspended in the space, sustained by the eerie votives above. 

In contrast, Through offers a space in which to move, and then denies us. It is a labyrinth of sparkling barriers and glass-littered floors that allows the eye to pass where the body cannot. At the center, a "great cellophane ball" rests, a "cosmic metaphor, signifying the infinite, which lies at the heart of devices of limitation." The entire space has the feeling of an empty temple with the cellophane core as its empty-shell oracle. Here, too, there is a silence, but it is one created in the void.

Glovetrotter: Brave New World offers us something similar. Here is a truly lunar landscape, formed from an overlay of lightweight mesh over a football, a single pearl, and other spherical odds and ends. We experience astral projection as we're shrunken down to size and transplanted into the landscape, which suddenly inspires all the awe of the astronaut's first glimpse of the wider world.  Returning to the darkened gallery space is like coming back to Earth.
My favorite Meireles environment is known as Volatile, and it is the sole installation for which his online exhibition catalog offers no explanation, except for a quote: "For me the art object must be , despite everything else, instantly seductive." All of Meireles's works seem either to imply or negate movement in a meaningful way, but I feel it here the strongest. The lonely light of the single candle, monumentalizing each gentle pit in the sandy ground, provokes an explosion of centripetal force, and we're left, disoriented from the blast, not knowing whether we've been sucked in closer or blown backward.
The effect of Meireles's gallery spaces is indeed something spiritual, like movement between shrines on a nighttime road. Though his artist statements are, for me, strangely literal, the work itself is aesthetically and experientially transcendent.

*Source: Tate Modern Online

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Water Clock

Too cool not to share:

A Rochester Update: Harry/Harriet Edition

 Posts have been few and far between for the past few days, and here is the reason! Moody and I have been busy saving the world. Actually, just one abandoned kitten. But stuff like this means the world to me, so there ya go.

Days ago we started hearing these pitiful meows coming from the parking lot and garage area out behind our building. Since I never ever miss an opportunity to run outside and cuddle other people's cats, I, of course, ran outside to go discover the cat and cuddle it. But there was no cat, so back inside I went.

This went on for days, and the weather was getting chillier. But no sign of a cat, until finally I spotted her, a teeeeeeny black kitten with green eyes, all holed up in our garage and clearly lacking a mama. The trouble was that since the munchkin had been born in the wild and, I assume, was abandoned, she was not at all used to people and was absolutely terrified of us. I started leaving food and water out for her, but we just couldn't get near enough to catch her, so off to Lowe's we went.

Sixty dollars poorer and the proud new owners of a "Havahart" trap, we headed home determined to capture the munchkin before dark. If you don't already know, Havahart traps are the best. Yes, they're expensive, but they help you catch strays without hurting them so you can find them good homes and eliminate world-suck. You can't put a price on that.

Moody and I aren't particularly adept at following instructions or putting contraption-y things together, but we managed to get the thing up and operational without taking any fingers off, and baited it with a stinky can of tuna. Less than an hour later, we heard it snap shut, and went outside to retrieve our bounty. I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't easy. We had one very rough night where she wouldn't come out of the trap, and basically made us feel terrible by looking up at us with the saddest pleading eyes I've ever seen. There also may have been some poorly-aimed kitten accidents. But she was safe from the cold and from Jeb (if you don't recall, the feisty raccoon who sometimes visits the yard and who could have easily finished this little dolly off), and we were very, very relieved about that.

Within a day, the kitten, who we were calling Harriet, was cuddling in my lap and eating like a champ. We were getting very, very attached, but knew we wouldn't be allowed to keep her, so we started looking for a nice family to give Harriet a home. Luckily, I have an amazing network of extremely kind graduate students at my disposal, and we managed to find her a wonderful elementary school principal, and his wife, who have since taken Harriet. And, surprise! She's a he. After a trip to the vet, Harriet must now be Harry in our memories. More seriously though, the vet told Harry's new owners that Harry had some nasty (but treatable!) parasites in his tummy, and that if we hadn't taken him in, he wouldn't have made it more than a few weeks. His new owners are naming him Butter Roll, which I really don't understand, but as long as they're loving him, that's good enough for me. I'm going to keep thinking of him as Harry.

So here's a lesson for you, thoroughly ingrained in me by my very good mum, and one you should have too. Never, ever look away from a stray animal. A lot of people suck, and if you don't do something to help, it's likely that nobody will. Even if you don't like cats, or dogs, or whatever beastie it happens to be, do the right thing. Moody, for example, isn't the biggest cat fan, but he does happen to be a really good person, and was completely on board with helping this little dude out. If nothing else, do it for the good karma.

In summary:  Havahart traps are wonderful, and worth the money. People name their animals very strange things, but it's alright. I love cats, but am really terrible at reading their gender.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Special Poetry Wednesday: Shel Silverstein's Posthumous Collection

Remember Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light In the Attic? I thoroughly adored them when I was little, and they sit, to this day, on the "easy to reach" side of one of the book-mountains in my apartment. I don't own The Giving Tree, though, mostly because I can't read it without turning into a big crying mess. Kinda like I did when Shel Silverstein died. He was just a really, really good dude, and, along with Bob Ross, he would be highly present at my fantasy tea party.

Anyway. A posthumous collection of his unpublished poems came out yesterday, and Flavorwire posted this animated version of Shel's saddest story in its honor. The video is narrated by the poet himself, and features his sweet harmonica stylings. Good stuff in my book. Watch with tissues.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poetry Wednesday


there’s a boat
on the door of the house with little sails, it          Sails
awayfrom me as i get near
and my belt
it is a lasso


i am poor
and the kindness of the doorknob


i adore the way
the boat slows             so softly
and goes

                                     the tooth fairy is an angel.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, something not-mine that I love:

somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond
by e.e. cummings

somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Papers, Pumpkins, Peanuts

I have been, for the past week, an unimaginably busy/stressed-out Kelly. This is good, because I go cuckoo-banana-froufrou if I don't have things to do. But this is also bad, because it tends to make me over-caffeinate. Kind of like this:

Luckily, things are calming down a little as I get my first batch of papers out of the way, and nail down which courses I'm taking. One is a film history class, which means more delicious movie recommendations for you. I picked the class based on the fact that one of my all-time favorite films,  In the Mood For Love (Kar Wai Wong), was on the menu, so hopefully it doesn't bite me in the butt. So far we've seen Breathless (Godard, 1960), and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Reisz, 1960), the former of which I've seen at least ten times, and the latter which is new to me. I recommend neither, but you can do whatever floats your boat. Jean Seberg's voice makes me twitch (New York Herald Tribune. New York Herald Tribuuuuuuuuuune!)
Here's the good news: Starbucks is now serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and my Deluxe Peanuts Holiday Collection just came in the mail (thank you Moody). Huzzah. I adore fall.
Oh yes. Ohhhhhh yes.