Street Art in Lucerne varies from the most basic kind of vandalism…
Posts tagged ‘ideas’
Last week, PJD shared an in-depth glimpse into one of the art exhibitions that we have been most impressed with, ever. This was the incredible Slow Art exhibition at the Nationalmuseum, which we were lucky to find by chance when we were in Stockholm recently.
Slow Art has really lingered in our minds; we have discussed many of the pieces we saw in the exhibition a number of times since we returned home to Leiden, reflecting on the fact that an overarching characteristic of the works was their exquisite beauty and uniqueness. So, today I thought I would share a few more of our favourite pieces. Sure, we loved them all, and the ones that PJD has already documented in his post were certainly amongst the most impressive. Yet, the depth of the quality in this small collection was quite astonishing, and these pieces really are quite something… Read more
At first, this week’s photo challenge seemed rather tricky. But with deeper reflection, and a number of conversations travelling to and from Utrecht, CIA and I settled on some photos from the Louvre. It’s been a week heavy with posts about Museums, so hopefully this will not push all you readers over the edge, but here are three efforts at finding a merge in the photographic world – without utilising photoshop™.
Architecture into Art; Art into Architecture
I.M Pei has already been congratulated once in this blog, for his Magnificent MUDAM. And we have MUDAM to thank for introducing us to the glorious work of Wim Delvoye. In this case, we get the interaction of Pei’s architecture-as-art Pyramid in the Louvre, and Delvoye’s art-as-achitecture beautiful, refined twisted gothic tower pointing straight at the pinnacle of the pyramid. The ominous Parisian sky above adds a sense of foreboding to the image.
Art, History, Literature – accident or intention?
When I saw this piece, I immediately thought of Animal Farm, I don’t know at all if Delvoye meant to evoke the novel, but that novel’s excoriating exposition of the perils of totalitarianism certainly would seem to align with the artist’s dislike of establishment. Additionally, this was the Napoleon Apartments, and so:
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
The Louvre, literary references, the weight of history. What more could anyone want?
Architecture and the epitome of modern consumer design
So, an inverted pyramid (thank you again Mr Pei), and in the background, an Apple™ store. What else? There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
Photos by CIA and PJD, le Louvre, Paris, June 2012 (Merged).
A trip to Nationalmuseum in Stockholm turned into an unexpected highlight of our time in that wonderful city. Over breakfast, we planned out our day. This is not something we do very often, but there were so many things we wanted to see and experience, it seemed necessary. Our planned day required us to walk right past the building, inspired by North Italian architecture, which houses Sweden’s national collection. It seemed foolish not to have a look.
As is so often the case with these things, our intended stay of 30 minutes turned into 45, trickled into an hour, and time melted away as we were engaged, first with the general collection, then with an exhibition (briefly discussed already), and then we came upon something completely unexpected, Slow Art.
During the course of one of our many long and winding walks around the city of love (Paris, of course!) in June, we crossed le Pont des Arts, one of the many bridges criss-crossing the Seine (it’s truly impressive the number of bridges crossing the Seine, and these are the ones in Paris alone!). However, this was a bridge with a difference: little did we know when we stepped onto this footbridge that we were about to cross one of Paris’ love-lock bridges.
I heard someone describe the Olympics as a “regular but misdirected orgy of nationalism and navel gazing”*. This seems, in equal measure, absolutely true and untrue. I agree that some of the flag waving, some of the bias, some of the support is unsavoury. On the other hand, I loved to hear how a friend of mine was made to feel physically ill at the defeat of his beloved Icelandic Handball team – whom he hoped could get gold this time – to Hungary. Not that I wanted Iceland to lose, mind, or that I enjoyed his pain, but rather that he was so invested! It was exciting!
Another aspect I love is that once every four years obscure sports (Women’s 10 metre air rifle, for example) get a chance for some major attention.
For these Olympics, it is the Velodrome that has really caught my attention. Cycling as a sport really eludes me. I’ve watched the Keirin, Sprints, Pursuits, Time trials; and the Omnium, which seems to gather these things together. It doesn’t make any sense at all as a spectator sport, and yet, enthralled I was. First, just have a look at the Velodrome itself:
It’s like some kind of alien spacecraft. It’s beautiful. They keep the inside something like 28°C, which is just the optimum Velodrome temperature I guess**. Now, the only problem I have experienced with my Velodrome-based viewing was that Australia wasn’t winning very much. I’m not super-patriotic, really, but somehow when I am in Europe I feel more inclined to support my compatriots than I ever would at home.
So imagine how happy I was to find this gem:
It combines everything there is to like about the Olympics into three-and-a-bit minutes of awesome. The Chemical Brothers are always interesting, and frequently excellent. I didn’t know this was the Velodrome’s theme song, and I love that the Velodrome has*** a theme song. It completely makes me forget Australia’s lack of cycling success (don’t even mention the swimming).
The video was played before every Velodrome session, and was created by Crystal CG. In their own words:
“We’ve created sweeping contours and sleek surfaces as the backdrop for an intense, futuristic cycling ‘duel’ as two animated riders power round the track,” said Darren Groucutt, creative director at Crystal. “It truly brings the Velodrome to life.”
I completely agree. The pseudo-futuristic animation matches the slightly-weird Olympic font. It builds with the music, and generates a sense of excitement. The only downside is that I completely wish I had been in the Velodrome itself.
What I like best of all, however, is the combination of design, creativity, music, craft and other intellectual activity and its prominence on the set otherwise dominated by sporting excellence. This kind of multi-dimensional media experience can so often go horribly wrong, but this judicious application of cultural capital amongst the quadriceps and flying wheels really helps to make the London Games stand out for me from what might otherwise be a bland international event.
Picture borrowed from London 2012 website; sorry London 2012 website, I hope you don’t mind!
*This was on Q&A, which I watch most weeks through iTunes. The ABC might just be the best public broadcaster ever; if there was a gold medal of public broadcasting, I think it would get it.
**I have no source for this factoid, but I probably heard it from the BBC commentary.
***Fun PJD fact: my English teacher from high school would be ill if he knew I used italics to stress my point, but as this is a blog and not a piece of formal writing, I break the rules.