September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
Just out of the cinema, where I watched Nadine Labaki’s “Et maintenant on va où?” (Where do we go now? – ). The Lebanese director shows with humour and delicacy how stupid and contradictory religious beliefs divide a village that had lives in peace for generations before the beginning of the war. The village wives will imagine everything to save the husbands, the sons, the brothers who are still alive. The ones who survived the war fought in the name of God in their country.
This is not the place to discuss religious considerations. But this movie is so beautiful, so touching, so funny despite its true sadness and cruel reality that I felt a couple of words about it wouldn’t be wasted. What does it mean, being a Christian or being a Muslim when your loved ones fight and kill one another everyday? If this must be the price for peace… this is stupid. Yes, the movie asks “where shall we go? left or right? which part of the cemetery should we bury our children?” but do we need to make that choice… It will sound simple-minded, but the best movies and the best books are about the oldest thing in the world: how to live together and love each other despite all the bullshit we are able to invent to make war on our neighbours.
In the end, these women who are always dressed in black, and perpetually mourn for a world dancing on frail ideologies, just need to change their clothes and pray to a different God to make up a truce. Covered hair, uncovered, dressed in black or with coloured clothes, you need to keep up with appearances. Is God just a matter of appearances? This mother who loses her younger son tells her daughter “I don’t want to see you cry anymore. Wear colourful clothes.” Basically, just deceive the men so that they stop fighting. And it’s all about this. Men in this movie are blind. They are blinded by the black veil or the golden cross worn by their wives. Faith is long gone, and dignity at the same time. These women show that humanity should be above a prayer in the morning or a midnight mass. The God of the Christians said “Don’t adore idols” — I don’t know if the God of the Muslims (who’s probably the same if he’s up there) said the same through the mouth of the Prophet; well, he probably did. So, no, don’t adore idols. And better, don’t kill in their names.
I strongly recommend this movie, along with its beautiful soundtrack. Laugh and cry. And love, godammit.
September 30, 2011 § 1 Comment
When I was a child, I was given a calendar, maybe my first calendar with pictures. And it wasn’t something specifically for children, it had pictures that fascinated me. Flowers, trees. Leaves drifting on rivers, chestnut tree branches intertwined with lianas, berries tinted with pink. Nature rearranged by the artist’s hand and taken in photograph. Ephemeral poetic works — no, games, with water, air and earth. I didn’t know, back then, this was called “Land Art” and that specific calendar was made from a collection of pictures by German photographer Nils-Udo.
These days are the last ones to see an exhibition on his work in Paris (L’Adresse, Musée de la Poste). Nils Udo started with painting, but turned to photography when he realised painting didn’t fulfill his expectations. He felt he couldn’t express properly what nature meant to him, and what the environment had to say. In 1972, he started to take pictures of “natural” installations, which tends now to relate him to the Land Art movement, born in the US around 1967 — although the artist somehow contests this relation. Essentially ephemeral, his creations are often made of the most fragile elements, mainly to symbolize how frail and precious life can be. There’s a will in Nils Udo to express how powerfully creative nature can be. So he builds strange scaffolding looking like Indonesian altars struggling against the wind. Or else, huge nests that shelter – or not – a grey human being returned to a foetal state.
He is a great traveller. Venezuela, Chile, Germany, France, Namibia, all these countries inspired him. He picked material from each place’s own landscapes and built from what they had to give and show humanity. What’s more and touching me personally is that he took several pictures in my home island, Reunion.
My eye is a mirror. Your hands can be sculptors. Our hearts could be plants.
ALL pictures, property of NILS-UDO.
I also wish to redirect you to this page, if you want to know more about Nils-Udo’s work.
September 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s never too late to pay an homage, so this is an homage post to Richard Hamilton, pioneer of the pop art movement, who died on Tuesday 13th Sept, 10 days ago. It’s strange as I was standing in front of some of his works lately in the MACBA, Barcelona.
Andy Warhol. Roy Lichtenstein. Duane Hanson. David LaChapelle. Jeff Koons. Followed, followers. Sons.
“Pop Art should be popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass-produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, and Big Business.”
1957, Richard Hamilton.
September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Summer 2012’s gonna be floralescent. And east-oriental. Not only have the eastern designers been standing out of the crowd for the past few years, but this season clearly shows that orientalism is on the rise. Kimono shaped dresses, obi knots tightly made and Mao collars, all offset by satin flower-patterns fabrics, everything is done to arouse in us, viewers, the deep desire to travel east. Trend is ethnic, but among this trend, stands out the fascination for minimalist Japanese and Chinese traditional costumes. Models look like modern Japanese etchings come to life. As clear-cut geishas, they disobey the rules of No theatre and fastly walk along the runway though. In the meantime, re-drawn Chinese hostesses from In the Mood for Love carelessly turn into tomboys… Everything in fluidity, soft satin and silk moves. Gestures disappear in-between the rustles of smooth shiny petals.
Besides, many models are Asian. I’d even say Chinese, but I wouldn’t dare too much.
*Vivienne Tam “trying to transform a Zen Garden into clothes.”
And peonias go on blooming, while the dead leaves start to fall down again…
ALL pictures taken from STYLE.COM
September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Adam Young is that man who sings like crazy and likes stating the obvious. According to himself, there’s nothing easier than stating the obvious, but according to me, there’s nothing more revealing than this either. Maybe we just don’t state the obvious enough everyday. He has this twitter thread saying “Reality is a lovely place but I wouldn’t like to live there.” Yeah. Here we are, this guy doesn’t exactly live in the same world as us. His new album clearly says it, being entitled “All things bright and beautiful”. Dammit, you’ll say, this guy’s a dreamer. Well, for sure.
On stage, wearing a shirt and a grey sort of satin waistcoat, he’s dancing madly with his guitar. What’s amazing is that he can play all the instruments, from the drums to the piano. He’s accompanied by a charming young woman, singing and playing the synthesizer next to him, Breane. She must be the one singing with him on “The Saltwater Room” I think when I hear her low-pitch mellow voice. What was I expecting exactly when I bought that ticket for Owl City’s concert in the Bataclan last Saturday? Well, I guess something softer, less pop-rock, more electro-soft maybe. Well SURPRISE it had the taste of indie rock. That synthetic smooth studio sound got completely absorbed into the energetic eclectic rock sound. So Owl City’s really a rock composer in the end! So, good surprise. the melody of Fireflies, and Hello Seattle got sublimed in a powerful show. Well, he said it himself, Bright and Beautiful.
I left surrounded with a very positive energy.
Circle me and the needle moves gracefully
Back and forth
If my heart was a compass, you’d be North
Risk it all cause I’ll catch you if you fall
Wherever you go
If my heart was a house, you’d be home
“If my heart was a house” from Album OCEAN EYES
I must admit all the songs sound alike just because the chords are majors and basically the same, sometimes I can’t recognise one song from the other. I must admit Owl City’s not the Kooks or the Smiths. But I praise him and his shows because he’s bright, bright, bright and hopeful. He displays this kind of feeling that encourages you to the skies and supports your strength. This music can sound teenage-directed (and there were quite a lot of teenagers in the venue — but also parents with children!) but, well, we need light. Yes. Sometimes, we do.
Chase your dreams, and remember me, speak bravery,
Because after all those wings will take you, up so high,
So bid the forest a fond goodbye, as you brace the wind and,
Take to the sky
“To the Sky” (Sountrack for animation movie Owls of Ga’Hoole)
September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
Fashion Week time has begun. New York opening of course, for S/S 12. For some strange reason, I’m usually not really into NYFW. I always catch the trend-train somewhat late and end up starting following catwalks right in the middle of London FW, skipping most of Milan and arriving at the end of Paris’s. But this year, things are different, or I’m hoping they are. I managed to follow some of the early shows in New York, hurray! So, quickly, a selection of my favourite collections in these last days: Derek Lam, Thakoon, Carlos Miele, Rachel Roy and my utmost favourite so far: Jen Kao.
— Remarks: several designers chose to play the trump card of the multiculti multicouloured trend this year. Fragrances and hues of Asia and Africa humming in the air… Derek Lam opted for some work wear X moroccan mucharrabieh style, Thakoon repeated Indian patterns and Sari cuts X modern cuts, Rachel Roy decided that Mao collars and traditional Chinese peonies X minimalist outfits would perfectly suit our moods for individuality and globe-trotting, but also our everlasting desires for western simplicity. Not too sophisticated, not too unsophisticated. Fashion must take us beyond this: express our personality without hustling up too much our need for normality. Hasn’t this always been the challenge for ready-to-wear, ever since fashion became available to the masses? Yes, Sir.
Why Jen Kao has enchanted me — Well, no need to tell you that I’m in love with birds and smooth fluid movements recalling their flights. No need either to say that I praise the woman who embraces the nature and its breath. So to me, that’s exactly what Jen Kao’s outfits do: they sublimate the woman-bird, she’s free in her outfits, taking this from the lightness and brightness of African dresses. I truly love the way fabrics and patterns are arranged together, so that the woman looks like a growing blooming plant, on which a white bird-hat would come to nestle.
ALL catwalk PICTURES taken from STYLE.COM
September 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
Round round round I get around! A very nice entertaining video showing 100 years of fashion in East London, in 100 seconds. So Fashion evolves yes, like a rollercoaster. I’m loving 0’28 to 0’46!
Thanks to Yann for sending me this. Enjoy.