Tag Archives: arts

“The places in which any significant event occurred become embedded with some of that emotion, and so to recover the memory of the place is to recover the emotion, and sometimes to revisit the place uncovers the emotion. Every love has its landscape.”

Rebecca Solnit in ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’

Rebecca Solnit Quote

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‘Pictory’ photo showcase site: The One Who Got Away

"This isn’t a photograph of her — it’s too soon. This is someone else. I keep the real photos hidden, so I won’t stumble upon them accidentally. But I keep them, because they are my story. I know that one day I’ll start a new story with someone else, a better story, and I’ll be able to revisit these images. When I do, it will heal more than hurt. May that time be soon."

'The Stand In', photograph by Joshua Longbrake, via The One Who Got Away showcase on pictorymag.com

“This isn’t a photograph of her — it’s too soon. This is someone else. I keep the real photos hidden, so I won’t stumble upon them accidentally. But I keep them, because they are my story. I know that one day I’ll start a new story with someone else, a better story, and I’ll be able to revisit these images. When I do, it will heal more than hurt. May that time be soon.”

Joshua Longbrake’s caption on his image “The Stand In” on The One Who Got Away in Pictory

Pictory is a site for showcasing captioned photographs from people around the world. From what I have understood, founder and editor Laura Brunow Miner suggests a theme and members can submit one captioned image to illustrate it from their personal, cultural point of view.

Some theme galleries are really interesting. All past theme galleries exist in their archive. I first noticed this site when its ‘current’ gallery was presenting the theme: “The One Who Got Away”. I thought and still think it was a very touching one…

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Artworks on the move // sites on the making

Great images on the life of exhibitions found on WRAPIT-TAPEIT-WALKIT-PLACEIT . Works being moved, installed. Nice idea for a photo – site!

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TED 2008 Talk by Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion

TED is one of my favourite platforms / sites out there. I always try to be updated with its events and event uploads and most of the times I am amazed by the people, ideas and material there is! Creative minds from all sorts of walks of life and fields communicate their creative thinking, they get attention and hopefully further their funding options, while we get to have “shining eyes” out of excitement and wonder. TED has become super trendy and popular these days, but there are older talks that might get ‘lost’ on TED’s always expanding video bank. So I thought of sharing today a talk I love from Benjamin Zander, an orchestra conductor, that gave a presentatiom at TED 2008, on music and passion.

Zander uses this talk to communicate his sense of fulfillment when he shares his love of classical music and of empowering people.

At some point during his talk he says:

‘The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound, he depends of his power on his ability to make other people powerful…. I realised that my job is to awaken possibility to other people”

You know if you are doing it “if other people’s eyes are shining.”

Because the question is, “Who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining?”

A fun and beautiful talk. Enjoy it!

TED 2008 talk: Benjamin Zander on music and passion

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People are always talking of originality but what does that mean? As soon as we are born the world begins to act on us and this goes on to the end. And, after all, what we call our own, except energy, strength and will?

Goethe

Goethe Quote

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Talking about art and devotion

Last year I travelled to India. I hadn’t planned or dreamed about this trip much, so just as I was on my way there I took some books with me that would hopefully help me make sense of the place. One of those books, apart from being informative, I thought it was also a very delicate and appreciative survey of the fabric(s) that make up this deeply devotional society. The book is titled “Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India” by William Dalrymple. Dalrymple is a British (Scotish) travel writer, historian who lives in and obviously loves India. This book is a collection of stories that portray the different religious and spiritual traditions that are active in today’s India. Each story concentrates on specific people and their traditions. His observations and remarks assist you in connecting the dots between what you may see in your travel with the traditions or rituals these manifestations refer to. Of course India is a different experience to different people, but I loved his storytelling style and I felt that it really helped me understand the various heritage inputs that inform the people’s modern life. In India you cannot help it but feel that you are in a place where nothing ceases to exist, while at the same time new approaches are always welcome. Age long regional traditions and norms function hand in hand with modern style interconnectedness, old kingdoms are proud members of the relatively new Republic of India, meditation practices support civil servants’ performance, excellent train services transport people of all ages and castes to far away religious festivals, traffic chaos is met with a grin on drivers’ faces. In that sense spirituality there is almost tangible.

Anyway,when I returned from India, completely blown away from the experience of this country, I selected parts from a story in this book, titled ‘The Maker of Idols’, to share with my Digital Photography class at the Aegean Center. Here are these excerpts in the order I read them out:

In the sculpture of Cholas, and those like Srikanda [sculptor] who have kept its flame alive in the Kaveri Delta ever since …[m]ore than in any other Indian artistic tradition, the gods here are both intensely physical and physically gorgeous. The sensuality of a god was understood as an aspect of his formless perfection and divine inner beauty.

Here the final climax of worship is still to have darshan*: to actually see the beauty of the divine image, and to meet the eyes of the god.

‘We believe that unless these proportions are exactly perfect, the god cannot live in the idol. As sculptors, we struggle to become master craftsmen just so that we can begin to convey the beauty of the deity’… [says Srikanda]

‘Our workshop should be like a temple’, Srikanda said. ‘Every second is holy. Some people think that what we do is an art, but we think of it mainly as an act of devotion. For us art and religion are one: only when there is prayer can the artist make a perfect sculpture.’

‘The idols are reflections of our minds and spirits, so while we are at work on a sculpture we must behave as if we were in a holy temple: we must speak only the truth, and be kind and polite to everyone.’ [says Srikanda]

If the idol was not properly tended to, the jivan* could ebb much earlier, and if stolen or abused, the deity would leave immediately. ‘Such was the case with all the idols in the museums, none of which was now alive.’ [says Srikanda]

‘The god or godess only fully enters a new idol when we open his eyes and carve in the pupils – the final piece of carving – and when the appropriate puja* is performed. This is the most important and most intense moment. I am human: hard as I try, many times when I am carving I think of sales tax, family problems, getting the car repaired. But when the eyes are opened, and the appropriate mantras are chanted, I forget everything. I am lost to the world.’ [says Srikanda]

Glossary:
Darshan: a sighting, a glimpse, or view, especially of an idol of a deity in a temple, or of a holy or eminent personage.
Jivan: life, spirit.
Puja: a religious devotion (‘lit. adoration’).

Author’s italics, my emphasis (bold)

Excerpts and glossary from the book: Nine Lives, In Search of the Sacred in Modern India, by William Dalrymple, Bloomsbury, 2010, ISBN: 9781408801246

After I finished reading these excerpts in class my teacher, John Pack, told me that this is what he wants to see in my images and work. I have really only felt like that for one image so far, the rock, where I felt that everything is in its place in completeness, allowing me to frame it and process it as an image; for a fine rendering is an act of devotion. I am still not happy with my test print. I will keep on working on the image till it matches what I felt I saw. In other words, this image as a photograph is still in the temple.

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Paco de Lucia’s amazing interpretation of the Concierto de Aranjuez

Paco de Lucia, this amazing Spanish flamenco guitarist plays the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, another spaniard. De Lucia cannot read music, so he interpets this piece following his unique sense of rhythm. Apparently Rodrigo thought that this was the best interpretation of his work.

This video (via youtube) includes all three movements, but my favorite ones are the second and third and they begin at 6:40mins into the video.

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