Friday, 3 December 2010

Glebe road open studios 2010

This is my third year at Glebe road Studios and the third time I showcase my work at its Open Studio days.
Looking at my work I may say I keep in the same paths ( both sculpture and functional work) but the results are much better. It may sound pretentious, but looking at my work inspires and urges me to create more.
I have to praise the work and talent of my fellows at Glebe road too. All together we offer a good insight on what can be done in Ceramics nowadays.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Exhibiting at The Dig

This Thursday 4th of November I will exhibit one of my sculptures, at The Dig.
The Dig takes places at The Nest which is the new name of one of my favorite venues, Barden's Boudoir. 36-44 Stoke Newington road N16


As part of East London’s famous First Thursdays, The Dig will be running debauched late-night lock-ins on the first Thursday of every month, bringing mind- blowing bundle of creativity from artists, writers, musicians, film-makers, designers, thinkers and dreamers.
The night will also be the official launch party of The Dig’s Creative Journal.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

opening the cocoons

Today is the big day.
The ceramic sculptures have been fired and their shell will be open at early evening. The hollowed tree like structures were covered with wire mesh and 9 layers of paper coated with clay slip. This was done to help them to keep the heat and to protect them from brusque temperature changes. The wood to fire them was stoked inside the sculpture which was its own kiln. The wood consisted mainly of ash tree and some oak.
Just one of them collapsed. This could have been due to cracks in the tree like sculpture which made it to break apart when it was still firing. The fragil cocoon shell was not able to contain the collapsing body and broke open to our dismay. The crack may have been caused because the clay was not properly prepared. The clay in Church Farm has plenty of big chunks of flint and chalk in it, they were not removed.
In any case the last 5 sculptures seem to be alright and have finished their firing being now in the cooling down process.
They are waiting for the people to come to witness their birth.
Food, music and fire will be part of the spectacle/ celebration.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


So, here I am, in this idilic setting called Church Farm, Arderley, not far from Stevenege, wich is not far from big black hole London.
What am I doing here?
I am helping Valentin Manz to build and fire his tree like clay sculptures. We are working in the farm grounds, where at some point in the past there was a clay pit. Which is the reason Valentin choose this setting.
The weather has been kind of awful since I have arrived, but with that I get to appreciate the brief moments of warmth that the sun gives. Someone here said we should cherished those moments like a love affair.
The farm workers are mainly a group of student interns coming from all over the world but mainly Europe. They get payed £50 a week and they are fed and sheltered for free. It is not a bad deal. The farm has paid workers too
The Farm consists basically on cows, pigs, chiken,geese,and sheep who are roaming almost free on their respective fields.
The space dedicated to agriculture does not look that much compared with the quantity of animals.
There is the cafe restaurant, a shop for selling the farm own produce, which includes meat, eggs, vegetable boxes, and other organic products produced elsewhere. There is also cabins to be rented for short stays and conference rooms.
I would have preferred myself a less meat based farm. With more vegetable production.
I would not mind to have a cow and sheep from whom to steal some milk from time to time, to make cheese and butter, but without killing their babies, neither depriving them from mum's milk. Some hens to have eggs. No pigs.
I would like a huge garden with many vegetables and crops, lentils, peas, rice, corn, millet. Lots of fruit trees, avocado, kiwi, apple, orange,lemon, mango, figs, vine, nut trees and etc, etc...
I guess this would involve much more work.
Or maybe I am just naive.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Pot Fest Scotland 2010

This is a ceramic fair, a festival for the potters. The event has been running since 1997, and for what I was told it has a sentimental charge for many of the participants who bring their wares every year to this event.

This year the fair was relocated to Stirling as the original site in Perth was not available. I can not compare between the sites as this was my first time at it. Nonetheless I enjoyed the location for the fair
The new site was in a huge Mart outside Stirling, of easy to access by road and with plenty of space to park unload and display, camping area and services, delicious food and coffee
I was traveling by train, bus and foot, with all my work inside a suitcase, a tent and a sleeping bag. My arrival was a comic sight as I was told by some of the potters.
The Mart, was surrendered by fields and a twisting river, on the far backgrounds the mountains, the castle and the tower. The high sky like a busy highway for winds and clouds, charming...

Color in Scotland is very saturated

My display was neat and simple. We were provided with as many tables as we manage to carry to our spaces. I could not bring with me any props or plinths to create different levels so I was forced to displayed my work all at the same level on the table. I had white and black fabric to cover the tables and some of the cubicle fence. Some flowers collected from the nearby fields gave the last touch, It looked alright, fresh and rich in color.
There was a constant affluence of visitors during the three days of the fair.
I had positive feedback for my work and good sales.

To Pot Fest I brought my functional work. This work is intended to be used and liked. In it I explore and combine highly functional table ware forms with a colorful surface of layered glazes forming abstract landscapes. The glazes I use have depth and saturated colors. Color is provided by oxides. My functional wares are meant to be aesthetically attractive and functional.
I see my making of functional ware as making flowers.

The good thing about Pot Fest was the socializing with the other potters. There was some communal activities organized for us, we have food and drinks together and many chats. There was even a bonfire waiting for the dawn to come.
The mood was very amiable. Most of the people new each other for many years, meeting in previous Pot Fest or at other fairs.
Pot Fest was for some the beginning for a season of traveling with their wares. During conversation potters discuss the different fairs, work, methods, lots of jokes and some gossip.
I see myself coming back next year, I am looking forward to it, to catch up with all the lovely people I have met in this fair.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Caprichos at BCAF

This weekend I will be exhibiting my new work At the Battersea Contemporary Art Fair.
The title of the series is Caprichos.

Caprichos is an allegorical set of archetypes materialized as three dimensional figures. They are the product of the creative union of my conscious and unconscious mind.

As a group they have a few things in common, the processes and material used; clay.
Drawing is my first step to consciously visualize and capture images from my unconscious. But it is not enough, I need to materialize them in 3D in order to finish their individuation and define them.
I follow a kind of ritual during their production.
They all originated from a pinched pot, two pinched bowls which are joined together to form a ball. This ball is like a planet to become or to be inhabited by the figure. The figures grow from this primal ball of mass and define their forms during the process. In some of them the ball gets transformed into something else, a skull, a turtle... In others, it disappears to become the core or heart of the piece.
I do not always strictly follow my drawings though they are the starting point.

The logic behind my choice to name these figures Caprichos is that I felt like indulging myself in their production. The term Caprichos also refers to Goya's series. They have in common with Goya's a the humor, but even if I consider them as food for thought it is not my intention to enlighten or to lecture the viewer. The viewer will make up her/his own stories. Caprichos are triggers, devices to stimulate cognitive (thought) processes.

construction line

I participated in this event last week. I was very excited and looking forward to it. It was a great experience, I did not have enough.

A review and photographs of the event can be seen at:


Monday, 26 April 2010

having flowers goes to luxury goods

This week I am participating with one work in Luxury goods.
The work is called Having Flowers.
The starting point for Having Flowers was to make a piece which would specifically refer to females. My work is quite sexless in general, as it is made to represent all earthlings, any organism, and the dynamics of forces. Being a woman I felt the need to make something to illustrate and celebrate the feminine in particular.
What first came to my mind was the power to generate life. With it came too the taboos and prejudices exerted throughout history towards women and their sexuality.
Menstruation is seen in some religions as a punishment from God. A punishment given to Eve and her successors after she mislead Adam into disobeying God. Leaving religion aside, not so long ago it was considered bad taste to talk about menstruation. Instead people made use of expressions like 'having flowers' among others, to refer to women menstruating.

The saying (Having flowers) gave me the idea and title for this piece. The piece represents a pubescent female, menstruating, bleeding. Flowers bloom from her blood. Her features are not just human and her expression shows bewilderment.
Which is what many females felt and feel when having their first menstruation. Even if women know it will happen, and it is part of a gradual process, it is none the less a big deal. It is like gaining super powers. Those super powers have a lot of implications, it is best to master them.

While in the process of making the sculpture it occurred to me that Having Flowers did not just represent women discovering their first menstruation.
As humans (any gender) we do a lot of creation; more humans, cities, empires, laws, paintings, art, genocides, myths, poems, languages, computers, cars, guns, bombs, etc,etc. Animals do their creation bit too, and plants, and volcanoes, and insects and planets and stars and cells... To create something has consequences, speaking from a human point of view not all of them wanted or foreseen.

So, the creative power is challenging, can be puzzling and all organisms have that power.

Friday, 16 April 2010

A shipwreack story

My father started to work when he was 16 years old or even younger. He was in a kind of apprenticeship in Astano, combining working hours and study. Astano is a shipyard located in Fene, Galicia by the river Juvia estuary. By those times late 50's In order to get a job it was necessary to have the approval from the village priest. I am not sure if this was the case of my father as he had the approval and recommendation from his own uncle. His uncle was the owner of the main wood supplier carpentry company for Astano. His uncle was a very respectable citizen by those Franco times. But he was a good person and I adored him myself.
My father had another uncle who was working for a newspaper, El Ideal Gallego. He had a brief work experience there too. He told me once that this was the job he would have liked. His mother did not think the same. Astano was closer to my grandparents house and my grandmother did not want my father to move out. My father would have had to move to A Corunha to his uncle's in case he wanted to work for the newspaper.
In those times and due to his age and character my father felt obliged to follow my granny's orders.
Astano was booming by the time my father started to work in there, late 50's early 60's. The First State development plan made huge investments in Ferrolterra .
Astano benefited from it, improving its installations. From that period is the huge blue crane placed in the shipyard . An impressive and suggestive sight of my childhood. It looked to me like a bridge to nowhere.
Astano was building many different kinds of ships but specialized in civilian or cargo ships, also on fishing ships. The fishing industry is very big in Galicia. For military ships there was Bazan which was almost opposite in the ria to Astano but in the Ferrol side. In short time Astano was going to specialize in the construction of large oil tankers2.

Ironic as it is, those large oil containers were going to crash and spill their cargo, thus contaminating the Galician coast periodically, killing the flora and fauna, almost every five/ten years.
Polycomander 1970, oil.
Urquiola 1976, oil.
Cason 1987, chemical products including 1430 drums of 126 tons of sodium.
Mar Egeo 1992
Prestige 2002

Dad got used to his new life pretty soon, he was studying and working,:making money and new friends, becoming a man. He was never good at manual work but he was an excellent administrative and in those early days very good at networking. I think life was looking good and promising for him. Even if he did not get the job he wanted.
He met my mum and married, soon afterward I was born .
At the same time constant pollution and degradation of the environment were taking over their area. Pontes CCGT plant and Meirama combined their efforts, mining and burning coal, to better contaminate the air and rivers. Worth to mention is the destruction of river beds like Eume by sucking their sand which was to be used in the construction sector. I witnessed all with disgust but without fully understanding the consequences. I do now. This was called progress.

I have a brother, he is ten years younger than me. By the time my mum was pregnant with my brother the prosperity and progress dream bubble exploded. Astano was in crisis, it could not compete with other similar shipyards located in countries were human labor was much cheaper.
There were many meetings, mobilizations, strikes, committees, occupations, unions selling out and etc, etc, all of it was for nothing. The whole process killed my father's spirit, dreams and way of life. It was the 80's and the word was reconversion. Reconversion meant lots of people loosing their jobs and the decay of the whole area. Astano was not an isolated case. People did not have money to spend nor to pay their debts. Debt collectors started to knock at the doors, and many business closed due to lack of customers. Recession and depression took over, I grow up in this atmosphere of no hope.
Sadly, there were more bad news, after a visit to the doctor my father knew he would soon completely loose his sight. He retired prematurely from his endangered work. He never recovered his high spirits and died of cancer during his fifties.

Love you dad, fuck you economy and progress .

More info at:

Saturday, 20 March 2010

New work environment

There was a time in time, when the majority of humans had to leave their homes and go to work, sometimes miles away. Those humans were called among other names, commuters, workers, staff. They worked for institutions who were represented by other humans, who were called bosses,masters.... Bosses and workers formed part of an economic system1.

So they did go to their jobs, and followed externally imposed routines. They went to factories/ offices/shopping malls,or those locations where they could sell themselves for money. At the work locations there were tools set in place for them to use. Their work was divided in tasks in which they specialized.
They worked their scheduled time shifts, and when finished returned in mass to their homes. This was called exodus or commuting. The displacement of high numbers of humans generated many problems, jams and delays. So roads, tube systems, buses, rail tracks, and maintenance of everything was implemented.
The workers may have had the transport to the work placement payed by the company for which they were working. Maybe even have had their food payed

Back at home was the other reality, family, friends, neighbors and house to keep , or their absence. That meant a segmentation of their lives. The family, clan, tribe, or herd disintegrating . Lots of people thinking they were not happy.

The bosses problem was their need to keep investing on the maintenance of the system infrastructures, including those huge buildings needed for everything. They had to build them, and pay for the energy resources consumed during all the processes.

As anything in the known world the system was reaching its peak and was exhausted.


The advancements in communications, internet and the personal computer enabled many workers to work from home. Lots of people found unnecessary to leave their home, neighborhood, in order to work, to earn money.
So for some it was not necessary to commute anymore.

The system was cracking.


At some point workers started to rent their own offices, work placements, studios ,shops/stalls, corners in warehouses , or whatever the premises.
They payed for the furniture, tools of their trade, installed all of it, payed for the energy resources and for any transport needed , etc, etc. They payed for their food.


Some say they wanted to be their own boss.

Some say they did not have space at home. Or they were not able to proceed with work without having interruptions or distractions. In an office/factory/mall environment workers were directed. They were given appropriate breaks for tea,gossip and loo. Nothing could break the pace of their routines.
At home, by themselves they did not keep straight to their work roles. Some returned to short time attention spam behavior and spread themselves out of the assigned work pattern. Some just collapsed in non-action.

Many needed somewhere to escape to from their household lives. They needed to have separated life realities to switch to and from. So there appears a need to reproduce the lost work environment.

So some people started to rent work premises away from their homes, where to work. This time though workers work ed for themselves.
They worked to pay the rents, insurances, bills, maintenance, marketing, transports, holidays and loans/or mortgages.

Some time during time most of us were enslaved by human masters. Most of us were serving human lords or following human leaders.

Now , soon, there will be no need for human masters,lords or leaders.
Many workers think they have become their own masters. They sustain themselves incessantly working and competing against each other.

The system is their master.
The system has survived.

It was humans who created the system. Is what some humans want. Is what some humans need.
Many humans do not know what to do, and some humans are not up for doing it.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

clumsy week

Last week was one of those clumsy ones.
I did many things wrong, had bad news or been neglected and broke some of my work. The casualties were mainly from the functional, 5 items in total. But I also managed to break my last favorite figure. This figure was based on a painting from William Bouguereau which depicts two souls fighting, an illustration from Dante's inferno. I love the painting I made a 3D of version of it.
It took me more than a month, which I enjoyed of course. I set the two figures on top of an inverted skull. I am using the inverted skull quite often lately as a metaphor for humanity; 'the skull is a vessel for the human soul' many people said that.
I was very content with the modeling, form, size , proportions and everything about the figure. But then boum! shit happens....I broke one of its hands when I was packing it for the biscuit firing. I was trying to fit as much work as possible inside the kiln so I was arranging and rearranging the pieces, wrong...Before biscuit firing clay figures are in the most fragile state. After biscuit they are quite hard and is save to manipulate them.
It did not feel good, even though I can repair the figure. I am considering to make it again, after I leave a bit of time to pass by. Somehow Ceramics is a battle with destiny, so many things can go wrong without reparation and sometimes due to bad luck. As ceramist I can not help but to aim for the perfect piece, technically speaking, no cracks, no glaze drops, even and uniform. But that is irrelevant for a sculptor like me who wants to communicate with the work.
I did not want to communicate perfection but the human struggle for survival. How we fight against each other even if we are lookalikes or love each other... We fight.

Great! I tickle with my catastrophes. Somehow I was in good mood, upset, grumpy but happy in the back of my head. So I went out for a few drinks during the weekend, wrong again...

My clumsy week is finished but I managed to caught a virus during the weekend. So now I am at home feeling awful with a red nose and time to spare on having this little crisis with Ceramics
Shall I stop doing ceramics?, as it distracts me from my real goal. At the same time I love the medium, I even love to do functional table ware, and to eat from them...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Design-makers Market

I will be selling some of my domestic ceramic wares at this event.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Art fairs: Ceramic Art London

Last weekend I went to Ceramic Art London.
The event was housed at the RCA . It was my first time at this fair and venue. There were 77 different stands, divided in 3 rooms , talks and lots of people buzzing around. I ended up spending more than 5 hours in there, but managed to miss the work of some exhibitors. I realized of this fact when going over the exhibition catalog, back at home, my fault.

I went by the second day which was a Saturday. My first impression was, oh my! too much, too many people, lets get out of here. Nonetheless after paying my £12 entrance ticket I dipped myself in, not chatting at first, just looking. By my second round I started to engage in conversion with those who I knew or liked the work. My acquaintances seemed to be doing well as they were quite relaxed in their attitude. Even if there was a lot of variety in color and shapes, by the end of my first round I had the impression it was all focused around the vessel, functional or not. Just at the end I found some figurative work and there were maybe 2 or 3 more makers of volumes which were not based on containers.

CLR is a major Ceramic event in London. It is a showcase for Ceramics but for the artists is very important to make good sales. I could guess from the artists attitude and stress (not just the red dots) who was selling and who was not. The price of the stalls is very high , from around £600 the smallest to almost £2000, but I was told you just have to pay a percentage in advance and the rest at the end of the fair. The fair lasts for three days and it is organized by the Craft Potters Association

In future years it is a kind of a must for me to apply to this fair and to get in, which is not so easy. There are many fairs like this one, in the ceramic world and in the art world. It is fun to attend but as an artist is another investment to make in order to get my work out and have some remuneration from it. Sadly I can not live from air, even if I could I have to pay my rent and materials and studio rent and transport, and etc, etc. included in this etc is the price for stands at this kinds of fairs. It is all linked.

This year I will do Battersea Contemporary Art Fair. I am looking forward to it. Both as a way of exhibiting my work and as a way of making cash out of it. It sounds bad but it is what it is. In order to produce more work and sustain my practice I need to be purchased . If I do not go to this sort of fairs I have very few chances for my work to be noticed. My work is very time consuming to produce and fragile in nature. It is not possible for me to be moving it from small exhibition to small exhibition risking to damage it, which already happen and none compensated me.

Friday, 26 February 2010

The role of Art

This days I am writing an application for a future exhibition. With it, I was asked to send a paragraph of exactly 50 words describing the role of art. I could have just make up some kind of irreverent piece. But somehow I took a serious and sincere approach when writing it:

Art has a different role/edge for each individual. Those roles are not fixed they evolve.
For me it is a way to explore, apprehend and communicate my human experience. Art is embedded in my social relations.
But also I use art to experiment and transform myself and the surrounding world.

I left many things out. Maybe I should have written a whimsical piece, which could have satisfied more my artistic self. Instead I took it as a summarizing exercise. Which is something I have to practice nonetheless.
I did not mention the fun . Neither did I speak of my position as a consumer or user of art. But there is no need to say everything about everything, actually is impossible.

Friday, 12 February 2010


On winter times, you should keep warm, eat nuts and sleep. I was advised by a friend. Wise words, difficult to follow in London. I do end up having that guilty feeling of being lazy and laid back, the world is still spinning around and London with it, there are plenty of shows, talks, work to do, parties, functions, demos... whatever... In any case case I try to put my catholic guilt aside and, stop the headless chicken in me.
Most of my time during January was spent at the studio, I am working on figures now, I get quite absorbed on them, and it is the only thing I think about. I have been drawing too, and doing some house keeping within the folders of my computer.
No many exhibitions to report, also I have not seen anything remarkably special. I keep going to Matt Roberts help sessions for struggling artists. They are very helpful, and I have met some very nice people there. But I will talk about this other time when my opinion is more formed.
I wanted to comment on one talk I managed to assist last Monday. The talk was deferred from a previous date due to the cold weather, so I am not the only one. The talk was from one of my ex tutors, Ruth Dupre. I quite like her, lifestyle and art practice, I even like the results of her work. She was also an encouraging and positive tutor. So I want to keep in ouch with her, she is interesting...
She has been jumping from painting to ceramics to glass and now she is making movies. It seems from what she said that she is now interested in sound. We have something in common there, also the ceramics.
She started her talk stating that she does not feel obliged to talk about her work as her work is a way of expressing what she thinks, so if on top of that she uses language to define those expressions she will create two or more parallel discourses. I agree with this. After the clarifying introduction she guided us with words and images through her artistic trajectory.
The talk was for me a learning experience, capturing words and ways of describing my own artistic practice. Her attitude is so confident that made me feel reassured on my own ways.
At some point she talked about control. She wants to touch, edit, film, and be the one creator of her art works, no surrogates or slaves to make her will. She explain this as a need for total control. I can relate to that, but there is something else though. I have experience briefly myself the (suppose to be) pleasures of ordering others around, to do my will. I did not like it, it is a boring burden, I would not care, I prefer to do it myself, on my pace, and experience it, because that it is what interest me, to experience the creative process, not the end result. If someone is doing it for me, where is the fun and the discovery journey. I should say I am a very selfish person so you can not ask me for long to give duties to others, is like I have to construct their lives for them...I am more interested in my life...

Nonetheless I am not a power monger. Maybe I will, when old become bored with my life and everything. Maybe I should pity myself, as there are so many power mongers willing to manipulate and give orders around me. Some of their skills and attitudes are necessary to survive in the world. Living is not just creating nice objects or situations. Living is the fight for survival. And I want to live

Monday, 8 February 2010

On pots

Life at the studio has been the most important part of my day to day lately. There is a string of new works coming up and awaiting their turn to be realized. It makes a difference, a great difference for me, to be now mainly working on my magical realism pieces, rather than the functional table ware. I have to admit that time goes by at a very fast pace and I feel more committed to sculpture.
It is not the case that I force myself to make objects for daily use. I need this side of my artistic output to flourish too. It balances me. Besides I like to use them myself. They are special not like the lifeless slip casted clones. They have weight, they are warm, their colors are vibrant, they do not resemble plastic to me but a rock, somehow they make eating or drinking from them more exciting.
Pot making is a good training towards mastering the architecture of forms, in my case it is also where I allow myself to go wild with color and glazes. I let the abstract expressionist in my to come out of the closet. I paint on my pots, I paint with glazes. It is not the same as painting with oils, what you see is not what you get after firing. The firing conditions have also a huge impact on the colors and surface obtained. But all this is part of the special magic of ceramics. It is alchemy, it is making rocks.
My next outpost for selling/exhibiting my functional ware will be the first Saturday of March at the Abney Hall in Stoke Newington Church Street.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

runaway dream

I was in a war area last night, was it Cambodia?, was it China? And I had to run away...

I was staying in a house living my life, it seems... As I apply to so many residencies it may be that my dream was fulfilling somehow this aspiration of traveling and working overseas. Also I am very attracted towards South East Asia.

At some point we received the order/ advice to move out of the territory as we are in danger. There is none to protect us and we would be certainly executed if caught. In any case it was quite certain that I will die.
There was an ex boyfriend of mine hanging around, but at that point I realized I have to get rid off him in order to move and save myself. Now that I am going to die I can bare his presence any more... There was also some people from Camberwell who studied with me when I was doing my ceramics degree... I have not seen them since then, long time ago...What are they doing in my dream?

So there is a lot of havoc and people is packing their things and leaving in some direction, towards somewhere.
Someone gives me a bunch of pills in case I want to commit suicide...

I can easily connect that to the Horizon documentary 'Pill poppers' on medicines/drugs that I watched yesterday. How the diabolical pharmaceutical industries transformed medicines into a commodities, getting people hooked to pain killers, anti depressants, cholesterol eating pills, viagra..etc, the funny bit is when a bunch of eighty something is shown researching by themselves for a pill that will kill them peacefully. They are the only ones trying to take control of their own lives.

Back to my dream, I did not take all the pills as I did not wanted to die, I just took one expecting it to give me a high so I could get through the crisis in good spirits, wihout panicking and just having a laugh.
There was almost none left and I was proceeding in a slow pace, but I knew I could not stay in the house. It was quite possible I would have to travel/escape alone and by foot. At some point I focused my attention on this guy from Camberwelll. He was not in my class but we knew each other. Somehow he was delaying himself on leaving the house, I asked him for any suggestions or advice on where to go and how.
At this point in the dream, I am not sure if due to the effect of the pills, I was not scared any more, well, just slightly.
Camberwell boy was vague in his answers. I was a bit afraid of annoying him with my questions , but hey! this was a life/ death situation.
I decided I did not want to be alone running through the jungle, even if I was going to... so I asked him if I could join his group. He says yes, without much excitation, and we left the house. It turns out he had a car... so the trip was not going to be as I was imaging it.
We got in the car, had a look at the maps, discussed about the possible dangers and decided for a route.
As we were driving away my dream or memories of it blurred and I woke up.

Monday, 18 January 2010

things you can see from a bus

Two days ago in a bus, looking through the window, saw this message on a bus stop roof:
'Some things you just can see when sitting on the left side of a double decker bus'

It is no with regularity that I get into buses, I cycle or walk, but when I do I always benefit form the advantage point of view that double decker buses give you if you go to the second floor. I am fascinated by demolition/building sites. If going on a bus I have a better chance of having a good look at them. I am fond of photographing the huge holes for the foundations, the skeleton of the buildings the machines involved, some of them look like dinosaurs devouring the building. it is too suggestive to me. I am still not sure of what to make with all those images of construction and deconstruction. But it is not just the building sites, I like in general to take photographs from the bus. Most times I messed the image because the bus moves or there is a bump, this just adds up to the fun of it.

I have not yet took any photo from the art messages displayed on the rooftops of bus stops. But I am not a collector. So I just look for them and feel grateful to whoever is doing it. Some of them are like wake up calls to us, the people of zombie land. I wonder how many of us see them. Although they may just be some kind of attention seeking device...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Kienholz and Gill, Gaudier Brezska, Epstein shows

Last week I went to the National Gallery. I was in the area and had some time to spare. I like it there so much! all those paintings, I can spend hours walking and staring, dreaming, elaborating. What is it that some paintings have? they can transport me in a journey over memories, ideas, recollections.
But the main reason for my getting into the National Gallery that day was to see an installation from Kienholz: The Hoerengracht
To be honest I did not like it. This was my first contact with his work, I was very curious and excited to have the chance to experience it, so I was a bit disappointed...
The present work at the National Gallery was a reproduction or recreation of a segment of the red district in Amsterdam. The red district used to be inhabited by prostitutes who were offering themselves in the window displays of their workshops. I have not been in Amsterdam yet.
My problem with the work is that it looked in most aspects as pretending to be very accurate, but then there were those loose details, like the hands of the prop/prostitutes, so badly done, like if they were wearing gloves, it did not match the rest of the work. It catched my eye from the beginning but I did not see any point or remark from/to it. Another annoying thing to me was that after going through all the pain/pleasure of making molds from real people, the final figures representing prostitutes looked like mannequins, he could have used mannequins, why not?... There was nothing to it, no art, no interpretation of the chosen subject, or I did not feel it. To me it looked like a cheap reproduction of the red district that could belong more to a low budget theme park...
But I was impressed by the old paintings with the incredible almost science fiction landscapes and backgrounds of impossible cities, and the over the top religious art which is in focus this days at the National Gallery.
My other mission that day was to get to the Royal Academy to see Wild Thing, an exhibition featuring the work of three amazing and very particular sculptors, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Erik Gill. I was jumping with the excitement as I really like their work, I was going to see Rock Drill... I love their work, but the display of it was so cold...

It is frustrating the way sculpture is exhibited, you are not allowed to touch it. What is the point? Most sculpture depends on the tactile experience, and we are deprived of it

Thursday, 7 January 2010

reflections during hibernation

Right, first of all, I wrote not long ago that I felt like writing the chronicles of the end of the world... but, I read this today: ' ...we are not working for the spectacle of the end of the world, but for the end of the world of spectacle' IS n. 3, 1959
I am kind of hibernating this days, after new years bash and with this freezing weather it feels like a sensible thing to do. I am kind of hiding in my room, the house has not central heating so we just warm up our individual rooms... 'We' is not accurate, I have been alone for almost two days, what a record!

To the point, I have been reading, listening to music and just a bit of writing as I was quite lazy ... these activities make me feel quite good and alive... but due to my general lazyness my main occupation has been to watch movies and soaps, non stop... Yep not just good movies, some crap and soaps...They normally sent me to the reign of darkness and depression, almost depression...
Even though, some of the movies kept me thinking afterwards and I got something out of them, I feel really thankful to anything which opens the doors for my brain to start elaborating with ideas. It is not the super well done movies the ones which make me think more, a lot of times is the nonsensical ones, the ones full of ideas, the ones which are imperfect so I keep going on and on around them, obviously I have to be interested in the story line. One good example is the movies from Julio Medem, not all of them are nonsensical juxtapositions of poetry and metaphors, but they all go around themes with which I can relate... I wish to meet him at some point and have a long conversation. One of the last Caotica Ana has have very bad critics and he has been justified due to his recent loos of a beloved relative, his sister... Well... it may be true, but the movie is not more crazy and illogic than previous ones, and who cares about logic, he does not. The movie has his usual themes, life, love, dead, war/violence the will to live against the will for power, and that there is something else not just plain biology ... and he has so much faith in women! in some women and in love, and the creation of our own individual values. I love Medem, even if his characters are just excuses to tell a story, an illogical story...

Another imperfect movie director is Win Wenders. I will summarize, I watched 'Untill the end of the world' from 1991, very long movie... I watched it long time ago and it left a good impression on me. Now years later I wanted to see how the movie would affect me. It was entertaining and I realized why I do like Win Wenders, there is a lot of traveling in his movies, normally. This one is a science fiction movie, it is not such an impressive round cinematic work as Blade runner. It is imperfect, it does not keep a tight rhythm, but that makes me to sympathize and to think about it more, how I would do it or why he did what he did, is open...I keep thinking on bits from the movie... There is in my opinion a critique to our addiction to be spectators of movies TV etc, I may be wrong... At the end of the movie Claire Sam and his father get addicted to watch their dreams on the screen, they isolate themselves from each other and they just watch their individual screens projecting their dreams which they try to perfect in order to watch them again. Claire gets saved by her ex lover, a writter who takes the batteries out from the screen and leaves her with a book of her own story written by himself, very poetic...
So this is why I started to write this blog... I was reading something from Raoul Vaneigem when I started to elaborate about all this, and then I felt like writing. There are movies and movies though... Chaotic, imperfect and poetic Medem makes me think and specially makes me to want to be alive, whatever happens... makes me fall in love with life, again and again