All posts filed under: SPOTLIGHT

Once Upon a Time…

“It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the home way down the canyon”. That’s the opening line of the book ‘Helter Skelter: The true story of the Manson Murders’ by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Charles Manson died in 2017. “Five days after the killings he engineered, the Woodstock Music Festival began in upstate New York. Thousands arrived at the festival site. They may not have known it, but the ’60s, with its message of peace and love, was over. All courtesy of one man.”, an article concluded after the death of this ‘madman’. It was the same year when news surfaced about Tarantino writing a script about the Manson murder.Rick Dalton, a former famous actor for 50’s western tv shows, is struggling to stay in the limelight. His stunt double cum closest friend Cliff Booth with a ‘give-no-fuck’ attitude spends most of his time as a second personality of his boss Rick (Thanks to Dicaprio and Pitt’s …

A Forsaken Coast

I had just finished packing for a trip I was planning. T’s, shorts, towel, brush, chargers, medicines and sunglasses. It was all done and felt good. I glanced over at the clock and it was little past midnight. I had to head out in just four hours. Sleeping was never an option when it had come to this place. The first ever article I posted on this blog was based upon some of the very firsts experiences I had had by traveling to this beach, Bakkhali. At that moment, I knew whatever I had gotten in my head for the place was going to be looking good on paper. So much so that when I re-read it now, the primordial emotions toward the place feel reincarnated once again. Ebb tides, diseased sea, heavy breeze, grey beach, red meadows, promiscuous shrubs, miles of salt ceders scattered about some mediocre woods, high tides, and home to hundreds of wildlife including us, the humans, guarded by the lady as well as the guardian spirit of the forests, Dhamra …

Maborosi and memory

Maborosi, the first feature film by contemporary Japanese maestro Kore-eda Hirokazu. Yumiko, the protagonist, is a girl when we first meet her. She lives with her parents and grandmother in Osaka. Her grandmother leaves the home to go back to the village she is from before dying. Yumiko tries to stop her but fails. Her grandmother never comes back. She met a boy with a bicycle named Iuko and the story cuts forward to several years when they are married and have a new-born child. Their life is happy and charming until Yumiko becomes a widow. After five years or so a well-wisher of Yumiko finds a match for her named Tamio who lives with his daughter and his father in a village by the sea far away from Osaka. Yumiko moves there with her son to start a new life. I sat still in my chair even after the end credits were gone and the faint hint of light was clearing out the darkness of the screen. I was in my room and it …

The Readymade that Influenced the Nihilistic Dada, the Pop and Conceptual Art

The theory behind the “Readymade” was explained in an anonymous editorial published in the May 1917 issue of avant-garde magazine The Blind Man. An art and Dada journal organized briefly by Henri-Pierre Roché, Marcel Duchamp and Beatrice Wood in New York City. It read: “Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, and placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.” In April, 1917, Marcel Duchamp made his most notorious Readymade, Fountain, a porcelain urinal signed “R.Mutt”. The work is regarded by art historians and theorists of the avant-garde as a major landmark in 20th-century art. Accompanied by artist Joseph Stella and art collector Walter Arensberg, Duchamp purchased a standard Bedfordshire model urinal from the J. L. Mott Iron Works, 118 Fifth Avenue. The artist brought the urinal to his studio at 33 West 67th Street, reoriented it 90 degrees from its …

An Insistence of Change: The Energy And Intent Behind the Outset of Italian Futurism

When Étienne-Jules Marey developed a way of recording several phases of movement in one photograph in 1882, it became one of the key ideas behind the onset of Futurism in the early 20th century. Focusing on progress and modernity, the Futurists sought to sweep away traditional artistic notions and replace them with an energetic celebration of the machine age. They emphasized on creating a unique and dynamic vision of the future with speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. The birth of Futurism was declared with an incendiary manifesto appeared in La gazzetta dell’Emilia on 5th February, 1909 by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The article was then republished in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Saturday 20 February 1909. According to the manifesto, Italy was to be delivered from its smelly gangrene of professors, archeologists, ciceroni and antiquarians and the Futurists would “sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness”. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing for everything old, especially political …

The Legacy of Cubism

The most radical movement in avant-garde art in Europe, the beginning of Cubism dated back to 1907 when Picasso completed his groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, originally titled The Brothel of Avignon), a crowded canvas that portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d’Avinyó (Avignon Street) in Barcelona. Cubist painters portrayed the world as it was known, rather than as it was seen, challenging the idea of revolutionaries like Giotto and Brunelleschi who used one-point perspective to idealistically project and imitate the seen world onto canvas. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked together in the beginning of 20th century to challenge this idea which had dominated the Western art since the Renaissance. The early phase of Cubism, which is often refereed to as Analytic Cubism, lasted until 1912. It entailed detailed analysis and dissection of objects and the space they occupied. As the poet and critic Guillaume Appollinaire observed, “Picasso studies an object the way a surgeon dissects a corpse”. Between 1913 and 1920 the development of Analytic …

Galveston

What would happen if a superhero movie had to deal with the uncompromising ethos of life? You would probably watch your favorite superhero being shot and killed from behind while dauntlessly fighting the other antagonists in the movie. It’s an indomitable bravery that would not necessarily have to be paid off. And there would be one simple answer to that: the evil has its fair share. That reminds me of movies where your favorite characters encounter the ferine denouement, where the evil isn’t necessarily punished in the end and most importantly, where audiences’ feels remain unjust… Are there many? I guess not. If movies were to deal with such harsh and keen reality then all hope towards equity and good would vanquish. But for those, who seek pessimism and realism to be the key element of art; Galveston is definitely the movie. Just a little slow, like a Monday noon in the sickbed that can’t be outrun.

A Brief History of Christmas Markets

It’s the time of the year in all across the Northern Europe, especially in Germany. The loveliness of choir singers engulfing the night with Christmas carols, the sound of children laughter and the good old aroma of thuringian sausages, gingerbread, gebrannte mandeln and many more. It’s the Christmas Market, also known as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Christkindlimarkt, and Weihnachtsmarkt, indicating the beginning of Advent. For centuries, Christmas Markets have been a part of many people’s lives from all across the Northern Europe and brought a touch of happiness, joy, light and color to the winter nights. But where did it all start? The forerunner of Christmas Market went back to Vienna’s December Market in the middle ages in 1298 where the citizens were granted permission by Duke Albrecht I to hold a market for 14 days. Even though it was not associated with Christmas, it is believed to be the first market during Advent to impel the idea of Christmas Market in later years. However, Germany holds the first evidence of markets that were associated more …

Saudade: The Love That Remains

When it comes to the word Saudade, there are plenty of things that come in mind. The 1974’s Moacir Santos album, the 2011’s Japanese movie, the 1994’s song by Chris Rea, or the 2014’s Thievery Corporation album and many more. But what about this word or expression that led these artists, musicians, and director to make so many projects named after it? Being nostalgic for a time that you didn’t experience can be defined by cascading reminiscence bump, a phenomena when people not only resonate to the events from their own youth but the events from their grandparents and parents youth as well but as a form of musical memory. But Saudade is somewhat quite opposite of cascading reminiscence bump or reminiscence bump in general. It is the longing for a time that someone once experienced and loved fondly but know that they might never experience it again. It’s a repressed belief that the object of longing might never come back. Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that is almost untranslatable in English. …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale was an English artist in the reign of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and George V who was identified as the last survivor of the late Pre-Raphaelite painters. Born in the reign of Queen Victoria, her popularity mostly prospered in Edwardian era and she became one of the most popular Edwardian artist. Eleanor was born in Upper Norwood, Surrey as Mary Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale. She was the youngest daughter of a Lincoln’s Inn barrister, Matthew Inglett Fortescue-Brickdale and Sarah Anna. At the age of 17 she was enrolled at the Crystal Palace School of Art under Herbert Bone after initially started studying under the art critic John Ruskin. While at the Royal Academy, she came under the influence of John Byam Liston Shaw, who in turn was influenced by John Everett Millais and John William Waterhouse. By the time she was accepted to Royal Academy Pre-Raphaelite painting was led by a second generation of artists including Edward Coley Burne-Jones. The Pale Complexion of True Love (1899) by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale Using the different media such …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Helen Allingham

Helen Allingham (Helen Mary Elizabeth Paterson) was an English illustrator and watercolourist in the reign of Queen Victoria who was profoundly inspired by her maternal grandmother Sarah Smith Herford or Mrs. John Herford and aunt Laura Herford. Helen Allingham  was born on 26th September in 1848 in the small village of Swadlincote, Derbyshire. She was the eldest daughter of Alexander Henry Paterson, a physician, and Mary Herford Paterson. The family moved to Altrincham in Cheshire within the first year of Helen’s life where her father and her three-year-old sister Isabel died of a severe diphtheria epidemic in 1862 when she was only thirteen. The family thereafter moved to Birmingham where Helen initially studied art at the Birmingham School of Design at the age of seventeen. A year later in 1867 she was accepted to the prestigious Royal Academy where young Helen was deeply influenced by Foster and Fred Walker, and the Pre- Raphaelite painters Sir John Everett Millais and Sir Frederick Leighton. Her initial career was as a black and white illustrator. In 1869 she was commissioned by the …

The August Male and The August Female (Izanagi and Izanami)

Before the universe came into existence, everything was a chaos. It was sunk into a shapeless and unimaginably infinite and vast matter filled with darkness and emptiness. Later there were sounds that indicated the movement of particles. And with this, the lightest and the transparent rose up and formed the Takamagahara (the Plain of High Heaven) and the heavy and opaque gradually subsided and became the earth. In Takamagahara the first Kami ( the spirits that are worshiped in the religion of Shinto ) Amenominakanushi ( Ame-no-minakanushi-no-mikoto (the Deity-of-the-August-Center-of-Heaven)) came into existence. And next the Heaven gave birth to Takami-Musubi-no-Mikoto (the High-August-Producing-Wondrous-Deity) and Kammi-Musubi-no-Mikoto (the Divine-Producing-Wondrous-Deity). These were the three primal Kami and Creating Deities of Japanese mythology. After the formation of Heaven and Earth and Kotoamatsukami (the first gods) seven generations of kami (Kamiyonanayo) came into existence. They were: Kuni-no-tokotachi-no-kami Toyo-kumo-no-no-kami U-hiji-ni and Su-hiji-ni Tsunu-guhi and Iku-guhi Ō-to-no-ji and Ō-to-no-be Omo-daru and Aya-kashiko-ne and Izanagi and Izanami Izanami’s Death and The Creation of the Islands and Deities: Izanagi (He who invites) and Izanami (She who …

Painted Memories

The other day I was having a conversation about dreams and nightmares with some of my friends. I got to hear a lot of crazy stories and some of them were eerie experiences of sleeping paralysis. As some of you might know and agree it could be a worse experience of them all. Thankfully I didn’t ever have a perception that could be called sleeping paralysis in direct terms. However, I noticed that some of them believes that sleeping paralysis is a spiritual phenomenon and that, spirits truly come and take over the control of their body. I could not agree less. However, as the time went on those stories of dreams and nightmares changed into the experiences of familiarity. Meaning, events that seem like they have already happened in the past; also known as déjà vu. A common intuitive experience that happens or has happened to many of us. A couple of months ago I was on a trip to a beach. It’s a place I visit twice or thrice a year. And every time …