30 setembro 2007

Turn and twist

Shaun Gladwell, "Storm Sequence", 2000, video still

Shaun Gladwell, "Storm Sequence", 2000 (excerto)

Shaun Gladwell, "Double Linework" , 2000, video still

Pavilhão de Itália, 52ª Bienal de Veneza

27 setembro 2007

Ocean without a shore

Entrevista feita pela Tate a Bill Viola na Igreja de San Gallo.

Ocean Without a Shore is about the presence of the dead in our lives. The three stone altars in the church of San Gallo become portals for the passage of the dead to and from our world. Presented as a series of encounters at the intersection between life and death, the video sequence documents a succession of individuals slowly approaching out of darkness and moving into the light. Each person must then break through an invisible threshold of water and light in order to pass into the physical world. Once incarnate however, all beings realise that their presence is finite and so they must eventually turn away from material existence to return from where they came. The cycle repeats without end.

Bill Viola
25 May 2007
Text © Bill Viola 2007

The work was inspired by a poem by the twentieth century Senegalese poet and storyteller Birago Diop:

Hearing things more than beings,
listening to the voice of fire,
the voice of water.
Hearing in wind the weeping bushes,
sighs of our forefathers.

The dead are never gone:
they are in the shadows.
The dead are not in earth:
they’re in the rustling tree,
the groaning wood,
water that runs,
water that sleeps;
they’re in the hut, in the crowd,
the dead are not dead.

The dead are never gone,
they’re in the breast of a woman,
they’re in the crying of a child,
in the flaming torch.
The dead are not in the earth:
they’re in the dying fire,
the weeping grasses,
whimpering rocks,
they’re in the forest, they’re in the house,
the dead are not dead.

22 setembro 2007

Madonna de G. Bellini, obras de Tintoretto, polípticos de Vivarini e G. D'Alemagna e frescos de A. Castagno. E depois a Cripta. Onde o tempo parou.

"When one enters the little church of San Zaccaria in Venice and stands before the picture which the great Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini (1431?-1516) painted over the altar there in 1505 - in his old age - one immediately notices that his approach to color was very different. Not that the picture is particularly bright or shining. It is rather the mellowness and richness of the colors that impress one before one even begins to look at what the picture represents. I think that even the photograph conveys something of the warm and gilded atmosphere which fills the niche in which the Virgin sits enthroned, with the infant Jesus lifting His little hands to bless the worshippers before the altar. An angel at the foot of the altar softly plays the violin, while the saints stand quietly at either side of the throne: St Peter with his key and book, St Catherine with the palm of martyrdom and the broken wheel, St Lucy and St Jerome, the scholar who translated the Bible into Latin, and whom Bellini therefore represented as reading a book. Many Madonnas with saints have been painted before and after, in Italy and elsewhere, but few were ever conceived with such dignity and repose. In the Byzantine tradition, the picture of the Virgin used to be rigidly flanked by images of the saints, Bellini knew how to bring life into this simple symmetrical arrangement without upsetting its order. He also knew how to turn the traditional figures of the Virgin and saints into real and living beings without divesting them of their holy character and dignity. He did not even sacrifice the variety and individuality of real life - as Perugino had done to some extent. St Catherine with her dreamy smile, and St Jerome, the old scholar engrossed in his book, are real enough in their own ways, although they, too, no less than Perugino's figures, seem to belong to another more serene and beautiful world, a world transfused with that warm and supernatural light that fills the picture."
E. H. Gombrich, "The Story of Art"

...E depois a Cripta...sob a Capela Dourada, entre os Séculos IX e le XII foram enterrados 8 dos primeiros Doges de Veneza que estão agora de baixo de água.

18 setembro 2007

"O leão grego perde a sua pele de serpente setentrional entre as brumas de Veneza"

"Aqui estão o Arsenal e os Leões Gregos a que se referiam Hipazia e Bepi Faliero...e talvez o Barão Corvo"
"Fábula de Veneza", Hugo Pratt

15 setembro 2007

"The Language of Equilibrium"

‘This project, in yellow neon, has as its basis language itself. It is a work which is both a reflection on its own construction as well as on the history and culture of its location. This work is comprised of words from the Armenian, Italian and English language. Language here is used as a signifier of the history of the project of the Mekhitarian Order. Yellow neon is chosen for this work because of the symbolic understanding of yellow at the time of the founding of the monastery as meaning ‘virtue, intellect, esteem and majesty’ (Böckler, 1688). The two supportive components of the work, based on the word ‘water’, are comprised of words arrived at through a view of their history and use.
One aspect of this installation shows this relationship. The other part reflects the role of these words in the Haygazian Pararan, or Armenian Dictionary (1749) compiled by Abbot Mekhitar, founder of the Order. The structure of this installation has two elements, which are integrated on four diverse architectural locations: the bell tower, the northwest wall, the promontory, the observatory. These four locations reflect both the diversity of the island’s architecture as well as articulating its history and culture. The work engages the cultural and social history of the evolution of language itself, how the history of a word shows its ties to cultures and social realities quite distinct and disconnected. It is only in the present when a word is used, as it is with a work of art being experienced, that all that which comprises the present finds its location in the process of making meaning. Here, in this work, language becomes both an allegory and an actual result of all of which it should want to speak.’ Joseph Kosuth

11 setembro 2007

07 setembro 2007