Saturday, November 29, 2008

Singapore Biennale 2008

A few weekends ago my friend Soon Fen and I went to see the artwork at the Biennale. It's an exhibit of contemporary art held every 2 years. Most of the work is site specific and displayed in unused public buildings. I really enjoyed this show. Soon Fen and I went on both Saturday and Sunday because it was so large (3 venues) and we enjoyed the first day so much. The site-specific element was one reason I liked it. I felt like an eyewitness to the art because it was displayed in the context the artist intended. When I visit an art museum I feel more detached. I also liked being able to walk completely around the art or even through it. Several artists used this to play with perspective. You can see it in the pictures of Blackfield below. From one side all of the flowers are black. It looks very post-catastrophe. As I walked toward the other side the flowers began to change to cartoon color. All of the flowers are angled so that the color seems to flow over the field as I walked closer to the opposite end. Unfortunately, you can't get a sense of the scale of the work in the pictures. It had 10,000 flowers in a field of 100 square meters. All in all, it took up 1/2 of a very large room.



Teratoma II: War of the Worlds

Slipper Forest

Felice Varini Project: Drill Hall

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time to VOTE

I have my absentee ballot in my bag all ready to be mailed when I go to work tomorrow. At first this election promised to a significant one because it started so early and had an African American and a woman battle for the nomination of a major party. Unforeseen events like the meltdown in the financial markets and almost all other parts of the global economy have only increased its magnitude. One thing that hasn't changed much are the slippery facts that politicians disseminate in order to win. Make sure you haven't fallen victim to the spin. Check non-partisan, non-profit before you vote.

Playing catch-up

I noticed that I put up one post in October. It was an incredibly busy month because it contained most of the the second half of the semester when all of my students started submitting their work. I have been marking a few essays every night to try to keep up. Fortunately, there is only one more week of class left. That's one of the great things about teaching. I'm incredibly busy during term time, but there only two terms and each is only 13 weeks long. I have to remind myself that the level of busyness in my job really isn't all that bad.

Leo and I have also been able to have some fun too. A few weeks ago we went to a dance performance by Nederlands Dans Theater. They are one of the preeminent dance companies in the world, especially in modern dance. Their performance was powerful -- both physically, creatively and emotionally. I especially liked how they combined light displays and multimedia into the performance. I often think avant garde lighting and multimedia detract from the overall dance performance because the audience often ends up paying too much attention to them. In the show we saw though, they were very organic and emphasized the dancers' movements rather than the other way around. This link will take you to the Nederlands Dans Theater website where you can see videos of their performances.

This weekend we saw Burn after Reading, the new Coen Brothers movie. The performances by Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Frances McDermond were hilarious. It was especially fun to see Brad Pitt and George Clooney NOT playing their usual type of characters.