chronicle #19 late night wish

July 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

It is 2:30 in the morning and I am still up while my whole body is on the verge of breaking down out of fatigue. I’ve had an exhausted emotional week, smoked a lot, and felt like a lost dog left on the road. I haven’t properly felt depressed, but there’s been a lot to cope with.

However, the temperatures are high, the sun has come back for a period of time we’re hoping will last. I’m currently listening to an awesome live tune featured by The Bare Necessities Quintet, a jazz formation I just discovered who revisited the Disney classical soundtracks with a groovy rhythm! I’ve spend the evening chatting about relationships and un-relationships with a good friend, we’ve been just chilling.

Yes, each day passes with my rejoicing of being a lucky girl in day-to-day challenges.

But oh boy, I’m still waiting for something extraordinary to happen.

Go and like The Bare Necessities Quintet Facebook Page!

smilla smiles: news of the feet project

July 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

I told you about the Feet Project a couple of weeks ago, started by my friend and mentor Lilzeon and his team at the London-based agency RE-UP. Yeah, come on, I did! There was even a photograph of my feet in their favourite environment (shoes).

It is a collaborative project in which people tell stories about their relationship to their feet. Some people love them, some don’t really realise how important they can be until they’re asked about them, some hate them. Some feet are beautiful, some are not. Well, they come in all sorts of shapes! This projects shade some new light on a part of our body that is often neglected in our western society (while fashion is damn obsessed with shoes, paradoxically enough – but aren’t feet the main reason why we should wear shoes? – anyway.) while in eastern civilisation, and I will mention China here, the importance of feet through reflexology  is common and admitted. It reminds me of that story my Mum always tell me : when her parents first welcomed Chinese guests at their table, and my mum was old enough to realise, they took of their shoes at the end of the meal and started massaging their feet. Yes, just like that, without warning. Although she found it a bit surprising, even shocking in the first place, having grown up in a relatively westernized environment herself, she soon realised they were practising reflexology : massaging the sensitive points on their feet. It was just another way to end the meal in a nice way. It’s always about cultural perceptions in the end.

Long story short, I let myself drift away. What I wanted to share, guys, is that the teaser for the Feet Project is out! And I strongly recommend to watch it before the whole thing is up! Here it is:

The Feet Project teaser from RE-UP on Vimeo.

 

smilla smiles: because kindness keeps the world afloat

June 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

I found this video a couple of weeks ago and was immediately attracted by the positive tweet accompanying it: “The kindness boomerang passes positivity from person to person on a single block.” Now I must admit each time I watch it, I almost start to cry, because I find it so emotional. I am a very sensitive person when it comes to acts of kindness, courage or bravery. I never loose hope that we humans have the power to change the world, our world, only if we want to. I am sure if people with evil intentions can work their way out, people with good ones can even more do so.

It is a very inspiring and touching video showing how kindness spreads from one person to another through one single deed. You don’t need to accomplish great actions in order to be filled with gratefulness from other or even satisfaction with yourself. It starts right at the corner, as soo as you step out of your home, or take up the phone. In every action you take or decision you make, there can be something good sprouting out of it, we must keep this in mind… and always try our best.

I know it’s not always easy and that most of the time, it’s easier not to think than to make an effort. It’s not that we’re evil people, it’s just that our mind is not set up on a default positive mode (cf. This is water). Let’s try and switch on, simple things don’t cost us anything, or so little. Happy day!

(wwl) these animal sculptures that are narratives

June 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have fallen in love with Ellen Jewett’s sculptures. They seem to come from another world, I love the aesthetics and their dream-like appearance. As her bio says, “she grew up among snails […] To Ellen, sculpting has always been about life; biological narratives, emotions, movement, balance and observations about life’s subtleties and overtures. Her aesthetic ranges from the hyper-real, to the surreal,fantastic, and the grotesque.”. I find her work thrilling and fascinating. As if a whole ecosystem was coming to life from the insides of the sculpted animals.

Swift cat

Bison with crows

Willow wolf

Ethereal bird

Caribou of burden

Tall tiger with lanterns

River otter

I don’t know why, these sculptures speak to me in the bowels (crude formulation but I’m feeling exactly this), as if they were telling me a deep, smooth and intense fairytale. I love the movement the animals make, their postures are both natural and surreal at the same time. They seem to come from a world of ambiguity, half-way from reality and dreams. They are proper fairytales! (can you feel my enthusiasm?)

>> To see more dream-like animals, please visit Ellen Jewett’s Portfolio.

I discovered this via designtaxi.com

smilla smiles: this is water

June 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

Good morning all! Every Monday, I’m now going to try and share a positive idea. One positive idea per week, to have it start well. We all need good energy, especially if we’re working in a tiring environment. People tend to view things extremely negatively and I truly believe that if we changed our point of view on things in general (interactions, petty details, surroundings), life would be better. I think we need to be a bit more emphatic and to sympathize with people. Compassion & tolerance would help. Everybody has his problems. Well… this is what David Foster Wallace tried to make us realize in This is water.

The following video has been made out of his reflections on the question. Happy Monday!

(wwl) this is wonderland

May 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Pre-post: As I am writing this, I am listening to Loreena McKennitt’s The Lady of Shalott, and I suggest you should do the same while reading me, if you feel a bit melancholy tonight.

I must share this series of photos by English photographer Kirsty Mitchell, who shot the pictures in memory of her mother who was a teacher and a storyteller. She chose to tell her story through fairytales. The colours are vivid and the feelings compelling. It is a magnificent interpretation of Wonderland, vibrating with intensity.Kirsty-mistchell-the-storytellerKirsty-mitchell-the-patience-of-treesKirsty-mitchell-the-lady-of-the-lakeKirsty-Mitchell-Gammelyns-gaughterKirsty-Mitchell-the-queens-armada

A whole literature survives through these pictures.

> To view the entire gallery, please visit Kirsty Mitchell’s very nice website.

> And there are also many “behind the scenes” selections, one in particular dedicated to the costumes behind “Wonderland”, that are completely stunning.

All her art transports me into her magical universe, half-dream half-nightmare, for there is always a darker twist in her photographs, I feel. The stories that accompany them confirm this impression… As if magic was not free, as if there was always a price to pay.

(wwl) family oddities

May 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Not long ago, I was in Marseille enjoying the various installations and exhibitions organized there for Marseille-Provence 2013 (Marseille being the European capital of Culture this year). There I discovered a short photographic exhibition of Delphine Balley‘s work, a French photographer from Romans (south of France).

L’Album de Famille (“The Family Album”) was quite an experience. Although only some of the pictures were exhibited, the series was quite captivating. In this collection of photographs, Delphine Balley stages her family after a fictional event: her own death (by assassination). This is the starting-point for a narrative that will allow interpretations and distortions of family stories.

L'assassinat (The assassination)

L’assassinat (The assassination)

Set in a traditional French house, the photographs convey a feeling of oppression and strangeness more than anything else. But at the same time, the images are meticulously arranged, so that every little detail seem to tell their own version of the story. The family history here seems to become legendary and symbolic through a narrative close to the detective story (someone is trying to find out who killed Delphine and why – and the answer must lie in the darkest corners of the house).

Les tâches quotidiennes (Daily occupations)

Les tâches quotidiennes (Daily occupations)

The series possesses a sense of the macabre, of course, since it is all based on the artist’s death. But most of all, through its blind characters, it evokes the sensation one can feel when prisoner of one’s family. It is interesting to note that the series is marked out with either translucency or obstruction (e.g. The transparent child or the husband-hider), so that (clear)vision is never easy. Masks are everywhere, elements indistinct, thus suggesting that secrecy lies in the corners of the family house. Of course, every family has its secrets, as is well known.

Delphine Bailley’s photographs embody the uncanny in its most literal sense, since the familiar becomes completely strange through the prism of her lens. It is all the more captivating than the family is twice, if not thrice, exposed (as in a mise-en-abîme) to observers: to Delphine Bailley herself, to her interpretation through the camera and eventually to the eye of the stranger who enters the cracks of a hidden story.

La réunion de famille (Family reunion)

La réunion de famille (Family reunion)

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To read a short presentation of the series: http://www.delphineballey.com/l-album-de-famille/

And to view the full gallery and the fictional short story of Delphine’s death (in French): http://www.delphineballey.com/l-album-de-famille/galerie/