Saturday, 7 September 2013

Stanley Donwood- Wood as a Temple, through Baudelaire

La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers

Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles ;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
— Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
BaudelaireLes Fleurs du Mal, IV


Nature's a temple where each living column,
At times, gives forth vague words. There Man advances
Through forest-groves of symbols, strange and solemn,
Who follow him with their familiar glances.
As long-drawn echoes mingle and transfuse
Till in a deep, dark unison they swoon,
Vast as the night or as the vault of noon —
So are commingled perfumes, sounds, and hues.
There can be perfumes cool as children's flesh,
Like fiddIes, sweet, like meadows greenly fresh.
Rich, complex, and triumphant, others roll
With the vast range of all non-finite things —
Amber, musk, incense, benjamin, each sings
The transports of the senses and the soul.
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)


Da I fiori del male, Les Fleurs Du Mal, 1857

La Natura è un tempio dove incerte parole 
mormorano pilastri che sono vivi,una foresta di simboli 
che l'uomo attraversa nei raggi dei loro sguardi familiari.
Come echi che a lungo e da lontano tendono a un'unità

 profonda e buia grande come le tenebre o la luce 
i suoni rispondono ai colori, i colori ai profumi.
Profumi freschi come la pelle d'un bambino 
vellutati come l'oboe e verdi come i prati,
altri d'una corrotta, trionfante ricchezza
che tende a propagarsi senza fine- 

cosìl'ambra e il muschio, l'incenso 
e il benzoino a commentare le dolcezze
 estreme dello spirito e dei sensi.

“In the lead up to making these pieces I became fascinated with the idea of a cathedral of sound,” says the

artist, “I was working with Radiohead on the record that was to become The King of Limbs, and my early

hearings of the music seemed to suggest an overarching canopy of detail.”

The band’s ambitious compositions triggered a synaesthetic vision in Stanley. “I had a kind of memory that the
fluted columns and ceiling tracery of medieval churches owed its inspiration to the northern forests of Europe;
the tall tree trunks, the interlaced branches above, the majesty of the woods. I wanted to take this caged spirit of
the trees back into the forests, where sounds were free and un-tethered by religion, where the spreading
branches supported the sky, not the roof of a church. I began to paint trees, bright, coloured trees, through
which dark mists could percolate.”

(Stanley Donwood; Press Release- Far Away is Close at Hand in Images of Elsewhere;

thanks prof. Billo Livio, University of Padua.

Monday, 26 August 2013

''nothing shall have taken place but the place''

                                       19th SEPTEMBER- 19th OCTOBER
                                       THE OUTSIDERS, 8 GREEK STREET
                                                       SOHO, LONDON

for more info please visit (if you haven't yet):

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Snow Accident Killing through other un-Familiar places

It was a very long time I wanted to treat about this piece..and here I am..this could be the right moment..
anyway this is one of those pieces I am particularly addicted to..I took some time to understand exactly what was it I was seing, but maybe it is still a bit mistery to me and, probably it is exactly the reason why I just could stand in front of it staring for hours every day the phantasmic vision.
I think I helped my self to phantasise as I could, reading some interesting essays and books by Vaneigem, even though it wasn't enough to complete the comprehensation of this artwork, for the reason that its imagery of concepts goes a bit further from what it could seem at first distracted sight perhaps.
So, as you also may know, this piece has came out to our eyes, thanks to a particular event linked to some circumstances of the same place and space but in different periods of time that conveyed its essence by appearing and disappearing on walls, as well as editing itself and returning back after years, on the same yet different place. Stanley Donwood revealed in 24th January (the day of the announcement of the piece) it was a graffiti tag on the wall of a train (Waterloo) station that inspired him for this and other  works. The main tag says: FAR AWAY IS CLOSE AT HAND IN IMAGES OF ELSWHERE, which founds its roots in a poem which title's A Song Of Contrariety written by Robert Graves. If you rember well this is not the first time we see this sentence: In October 2011, within the arrival of Taglibro #28 there was contemporally to the announcement of Mithras Tauroctonos Subtarranea event, the launching of relatively three new prints as There has been no Quiet; There will be no Peace, We who are still Alive are Unreal in the Eyes of the Dead, and among them was a print called in fact: Far Away is Close at hand in Images of Elsewhere.

And still there is the voyage, the wandering theme in the print's birth as the artist writes his taglibro while sitting on a train. An act of <<voyage>> gives some new perspectives, new views, as well as there can't absolutely miss out labyrinths in our imageries of it.
  Snow Accident Killing presents itself through a curious title, and those three words that compose it give us a lot of information about its origin and arouse in our thoughts, may be, some things that are familiar but yet difficult to find out back. The word Snow in fact directs our memories to some other artworks charactarized by snowy landscapes such as Evidences, Home, Bootprints and Target Land, works we could find in Kid A's artworks, and eventually have become an autonomous prints by themselves. Wide vacant sparkling-white spaces holding evident traces of passages. As recognised the first of the keys, and we move on with the other words of the title: Accident and Killing, it becomes more inviting to dive in deeper into other aspects,                            

and we have on our side some great signals to follow that could avoid our getting too deeply lost in something unconsequent.
Interesting to find what is an 'Accident' as reported in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which accordes that, as a definition it could be placed in the: Aristotelian logic
TITLE: Epicureanism
SECTION: Criticism and evaluation
<<...implied that an event can occur without a cause. It has seldom been noted, however, that the swerve is merely a special case—a transposition into atomistic terms—of Aristotle’s theory of accidents (i.e., of properties that are not essential to the substances in which they occur), inasmuch as an accident, too, as Aristotle himself had stated (Metaphysics I 3), is without intention.>>
And..[Middle English, chance event, from Old French, from Latin accidens, accident-, present participle of accidere, to happen : ad-, ad- + cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.
an accident could in fact be linked to many internal and external events around us, as the simpliest thing to think of in our specific case, is that snow itself it is an accidental event only because it falls down and the root concept is <<to fall down>> . We are already used to the third word's concept wich could easily be linked to the 1999 artworks, as told, and those inspired by the war news around Kosovo in that same year. Eventually the rising of the disastrous and apocalyptic theme in the artist's works til today-now with the falling down of the flamed meteorites, accidently, over some status-symbols of world's known metropolises. An accident is a phenomenon upon which usually depends the course of our lives.  Circumstances and environment are driven on by accidents, and it is the quantity of our experience over them upon which depends the position of our point of view generally.
Another key-term-theme, inspired by a graffiti tag which has now become a leitmotif in Donwood's main imaginary, is MYTH (settled for a reason on a first plan in the piece). We've always seen it, not explicitely shown in the artist's works til now,  in the allegoric shapes of the most known character of the myth-legend that involves- the minotaur. The minotaur is the figure that can't come out of the labyrinth, of the confused, of the uncertainity, but it lives in it, and this is anyway the most familiar of the places to him. A labyrinth is all that a minotaur has seen during his whole life, and all that he better knows (or not). Knowledge, memories, uncertainity form all the best of legends.
 The myth  is in fact technically a type of a legend most of the times connected to stories of tragedies, in which the recognition and the realisation of an act is the one which helps a tragic event to come out on surface. In this order an Accident is very important to a legend, to a myth; Sometimes accidents could lead to salvific moments in tragedies, deus ex machina to happen. Tragedies, as the ancient greek culture had used us, are all settled still and stable in our minds and til the time we don't reach the recognition of the circumstances and the events with our thoughts we can't recognize the tragedy that is taking place around us, otherwise we could continue living in the exact moment before the happening of a tragic event, somehow to live into a medias res. And this is exactly where  we are in front of the Snow Accident Killing piece, in medias res. We find oureselves in a non specific place, there's no exact WHERE (even though the <<where>> has the ability to settle everywhere) to look at, there's no exact moment, but something has happened anyway. We already know those familiar landscapes, those mountains covered with white dripples, the buildings and the prisons in front of everything, that we probably have seen in one of our voyages to somewhere. There are, may be our labyrinths, and may be now we are the minotaurs imprisoned into this space. We have a complete vision, an almost a birdlike point of view, of the landscape that is in front of us and we can event determine where it does end, and still we can't move away. As in a labyrinth there's no an err or a correct way to what to take over, but there's a bit of an uncertainty in the atmosphere around. Knowledge is necessary, and when there could be no hope of it, it begins the tragedy, the terror of the uknown and the lost.
Vaneigem is one of the theorist that better  describes, on the other hand, what myth represents for the humanity nowdays. A myth itself is a tool that's function is to organize appearence- mainly. Vaneigem states that in a myth there's always an act of a sacrifice. Tragedies bring sacrifices in fact. The organization of appearances, he says, is a system for protecting the facts. A racket. lt represents the facts in a mediated reality to prevent them emerging in unmediated form. <<Unitary power organized appearances as myth. Fragmentary power organizes appearances as spectacle. Challenged, the coherence of myth became the myth of coherence. Magnified by history, the incoherence of the spectacle turns into the spectacle of incoherence. (...)Theatre battens on to everyday life and attempts to dramatize everyday behaviour. Lived experience is poured into the moulds of roles. The job of perfecting roles has been turned over to experts.>>
-And here at this point are we, our lives, our behaviour, expectations and reality: fragmented, divided, constructed and re-constructed by someone, somewhere. The construction and the mise en scène of the glaciated and somehow romantic landscape errects not only through the obscure buildings in the distance, under the sparkling masses of mountains, but is nearer than what one could think. The palette with variations of see-through tonalities of white-to-blue contrasts let us have a possibility of a choice on varying what we see. In this way we have the chance at least to adapt a part of our environment's appearence and change it a bit; as for usually it is the << wretched environment that makes one wretched>>, in our case it happens the opposite. To make it be as what could be more suitable for our mind to view and put a filter on our visionaries according to how we feel like into the desertic panorama.

No claustrophobical spaces are shown explicitly apart from the one that hides itself behind the see-through-tools of modifying reality with (palettes). There are sketches, of rungs and ladders, prisioning and confusing, with not any apparent terminal to end on or point to reach, they're just rising into nothing concrete in it-self point. It rises up just as a surface to the nothingness of a destination to reach. Before them a reminder appears, under another sentence-formlike, a memoir of something not to forget about over the course of climbing those spaces: the killing of time- it could result a bit futile even a try of an escape, it would be only a waste of time, because in the whole of the representation of the desolated landscape there is no center, but there's neither chaos, neither a concrete point to reach out on.

 Just as with the imaginary prisons and ruins of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, it's about a building up of a life soaked with reality, phantasies and fears which shape become more and more indistinct from each other with time.

Everything in front of our eyes transforms itself into a kind of an emotional landscape, into a psychogeographical palimpsest map, an entangled space with no exact point to reach or flee of, and there we conquere an alterated state of mind of a mute emergency alarm; here's an open space to explore..
The landscape is calm, clear and SNOW has fallen down, killing all traces of evidence and proof of the past, making everything around- omogenous and equal, confounding our coordinates and background of the present WHERE, but still in the distance, there's something that hasn't been covered up with snow...

<<The obligation to produce alienates the passion for creation. Productive labour is part and parcel of the technology of law and order. The Working day grows shorter as the empire of conditioning expands.
In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy of the desire to create. What spark of humanity, of possible creativity, can remain alive in a being dragged out of sleep at six every morning, jolted about in suburban trains, deafened by the racket of machinery, bleached and steamed by meaningless sounds and gestures, spun dry by statistical controls, and tossed out at the end of the day into the entrance halls of railway stations, those cathedrals of departure for the hell of weekdays and the purgatory paradise of weekends, where the crowd communes in a brutish weariness? From adolescence to retirement each twenty-four-hour cycle repeats the same shattering bombardment, like bullets hitting a window: mechanical repetition, time-which-is-money, submission to bosses, boredom, exhaustion. From the crushing of youth's energy to the gaping wound of old age, life cracks in every direction under the blows of forced labour. Never before has a civilisation reached such a degree of contempt for life; never before has a generation, drowned in mortification, felt such a rage to live. >> ( Raoul Vaneigem: on Basic Banalities)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Transmediality in (man's) inches // Transmedialità in pollici (umani)

  We live in a time when we are used to have and to experience  a liquid life. Any type of a relationship, interaction and communication course, takes the shapes of water.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Understanding water areas in art images. It is not possible to control the uncontrollable!

Water is an important factor and the main character and cause of destruction in London Views, Cnut, Fleet Street and the  Lost Angeles series. Is water a symbol or a metaphor? What does it represent when linked to a city?
 Let's leave for a moment the concept of water linked to old myths about ancient tales and prehistoric inundations and the Flood myths that treat about Universal Catastrophes, and let's try to think of what water and inundations could mean nowadays linked to infrastructures and cities, as we find it in the artist's representations. 
In the London Views series, the Thames Barrier, for example, is irreversibly destructed by the flood, and with it, also many other status-symbols of the city.
 The bridge is another important element of a city and presents itself as a useful tool to overcome a problem of reaching a point beyond water division of a land. The bridge  was in fact constructed originally (in the large- all bridges are)  to link two important points of the city. By a practical meaning: obviously to make it easier to reach one point after, if you find yourself before the water that gaps an itinerary that you have to span. By a practical use, also linked to the market trade, to make the flowing of stocks and goods capable to reach every point of the city. 
Then the bridge itself represents (symbolically) therefore the great governmental power and a great financial wealthiness of a city. (An architect or an engineer who is capable to project and build a bridge is considered ''a man of a great intellect'' and therefore constructing bridges was not a splendour for every common city)
  The urban space could be in fact translated into words and concepts, as one of the most important sectors of values and investments by the State. The water area is usually a well-observed zone, and always subordinated to a strict control. It is a subject of a permanent cares by the public authorities and especially by holders of a good technical knowledge.
This water area has no limits or boundaries in the representation of all the apocalyptic panoramas in London Views, Fleet Street, Lost Angeles, as it get beyond the destructed barrier and now even the authorities (King Cnut)are not able to control or stop the water that advances to swallow the remaining city as a form of pride for the government.


L'acqua il fattore- fenomeno-causa della distruzione della serie di London Views, Cnut, Fleet Street Apocalypse e la serie di Lost Angeles. L'acqua viene usato nelle rappresentazioni dell'artista come simbolo o  come una metafora? Che cosa rappresenta di per sé l'acqua collegata ad una città?
  Lasciamo per un attimo il concetto di acqua legata ai miti antichi e ai racconti delle inondazioni preistoriche come anche in questo caso inondazione come un qualche collegamento al Diluvio Universale, e proviamo a pensare a quello che l'acqua potrebbe significare oggi, legata appunto da una rappresentazione con infrastrutture e città: esattamente come la troviamo nelle rappresentazioni di Stanley Donwood, nelle quali acqua e città stanno sempre insieme.
Nella serie di London Views, il Ponte di Londra (London Bridge), per esempio, è irreversibilmente distrutto dal diluvio, e con esso,tutti gli altri status-simbol della città come strutture e costruzioni.
  Il ponte è stato infatti costruito originariamente (tutti i ponti in generale) per collegare due punti importanti della città. Nel senso pratico: ovviamente per rendere accessibile e ingrandire la città da più punti.  Si pensi in questo caso all'acqua come ad una barriera o come ad un impedimento per andare dove si vuole, nel senso che è un fattore importante di divisione della città. Sempre in pratica, il ponte viene costruito per facilitare il commercio di mercato, per fare in modo che le merci siano in grado di raggiungere ogni punto della città e di essere ovunque.
Nel suo valore simbolico perciò un ponte rappresenta di per se' il potere governativo ed economico di una città. (Un architetto o un ingegnere che è in grado di progettare e costruire ponti è '' un uomo di intelletto superiore ad un artista o addirittura ad un architetto'', e quindi la costruzione di ponti non è assolutamente un lusso che ogni città o governo si può permettere.)
   Lo spazio urbano può essere perciò tradotto in concetti come un settore di valori e di investimenti da parte dello Stato.
Lo spazio acqueo è sempre osservato e sottoposto a severi controlli, quale oggetto di cura da parte degli organi pubblici e soprattutto gestiti da detentori di precisi saperi tecnici.
Questo stesso spazio non ha più limiti o frontiere nella rappresentazione dei panorami apocalittici in London Views, Fleet Street, Lost Angeles, e nemmeno più neanche le autorità ( re Cnut) è capace di controllare l'acqua che ha distrutto ponti e barriere e avanza per inghiottire il resto di una città-orgoglio, da parte delle autorità.

A little bit of history..

The figure of the Gherkin is one of the most powerful and often met symbol that takes part of the London Views series.
Everyone who has visited London has seen it, even though many are giving it the name of something that suits it the better according to one's associations. Some call it even ''the egg'', so there are as many names as imagination could give it. It is certainly a building, many visitors admire, for its dimensions (6th of the highest buildings in London), but not many of the non-english people, I guess, know what exactly this building tells. The Gherkin (as first the Guardian called it) aka 30 St. Mary Axe is a work by Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth that they completed in 2003, opened in 2004, settled in the financial centre of the city. It elevates from the place where The Baltic Exchange (marketplace for ship sales and naval information) used to be once, before a bomb explosion damaged it in the '92. The area was eventually sold to the Trafalgar House, that began working on a new project that gave infact the Gherkin its denomination, but the project was then left (the name remained). The new project for a facade then was brought on after 2001 and in 2006 was proclamed as ''the most admired building in the world'' by the World Architecture 200. Now  the building is also associated to the name of Swiss Re Tower, for the majority of space occupied by the insurers  (Swiss Re insurance) as its effective owners. Another fact is the birth together with the so called Canary Wharf,  (represented on the apocalyptic panorama of London Views) one of the main financial centres , which gave opportunities for new buildings of banks and info corp. (as newspapers) to take place on a wider areas. Returning on our Gherkin, the building was constructed according to a guidance in order not to obscure the visual of St. Paul's dome ( in Views ),  when viewed from certain location places in London.


La storia della figura più famosa della serie di London Views:

La figura del Gherkin è uno dei simboli più potenti e più incontrati del visionario della serie London Views.
Chiunque abbia visitato Londra, ha notato l'edificio per la sua forma bizzarra, e molti gli danno nomignoli strani secondo le proprie associazioni che evoca la visione del palazzo. Alcuni lo chiamano anche ''l'uovo'' per la rassomiglianza con l'uovo russo, quindi ci sono tanti nomi quanto il potere dell'immaginazione di uno riesce a dare. E 'certamente un edificio, ammirato da una miriade di visitatori della città prima, di tutto per le sue dimensioni (6 ° degli edifici più alti di Londra) e come detto, di conseguenza anche, dalla sua forma non comune per un grattacielo. Molti stranieri che visitano la città, probabilmente, non sanno esattamente quello che l'edificio ha da dire. The Gherkin, ovvero il Cetriolo (come prima il Guardian lo ha chiamato) alias 30 St. Mary Axe è un lavoro di Norman Foster e Ken Shuttleworth completato nel 2003, inaugurato nel 2004,stabilito nel centro finanziario della città. Si eleva dal luogo in cui si instaurava il Baltic Exchange (il più grande mercato mondiale di vendite di navi e informazioni navali), prima che l'esplosione di una bomba nel '92 lo danneggiasse, insieme agli edifici attorno. L'area è stata poi venduta alla Casa Trafalgar, che ha iniziato a lavorare su un nuovo progetto che ha dato infatti al ​​Gherkin la sua denominazione, ma il progetto è stato poi abbandonato, anche se il nome rimase. Il nuovo progetto per una facciata allora è stato proposto dopo il 2001 e nel 2006 è stato proclamato come'' l'edificio più ammirato al mondo'' dalla rivista di World Architecture 200. Ora l'edificio è anche associato al nome di Swiss Re Tower, per la maggior parte dello spazio occupato dagli assicuratori, come proprietari efficaci. Un altro fatto interessante riguarda la nascita della zona della est-end: Canary Wharf, uno dei principali centri finanziari e sempre presente nei visionari apocalittici di London Views, che ha dato opportunità a nuovi edifici di banche e di corporazioni informative ( i giornali inglesi più famosi) di situarsi e allargarsi in zone più ampie e comode. Tornando sul nostro Gherkin, l'edificio è stato costruito secondo una legge che impone il non oscuramento della visuale della cupola di St. Paul, solo però se vista da alcuni luoghi specifici di Londra. Nella serie del panorama apocalittico di Londra di Stanley Donwood, l'edificio di St. Paul è ben visibile, probabilmente uno dei punti cardine per una spettacolarità che lega antico e nuovo.