Updates, Live

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sfantul Ierarh Varlaam al Moldovei


Azi este 30 august. Este ziua in care este praznuit Sfantul Ierarh Varlaam, Mitropolitul Moldovei. Am aflat prima oara de el copil fiind, primisem in dar o Istorie a Literaturii Romane scrisa de Profesorul Ion Bianu. Ni s-a vorbit apoi despre el la scoala, in prima clasa de liceu. Imi pare rau ca nu am cumparat Cartea sa Romaneasca de Invatatura, atunci cand s-a gasit prin librarii. Am in biblioteca mea alte doua monumente ale limbii romane: Psaltirea lui Dosofteiu si Didahiile lui Antim. Daca as fi avut si cartea lui Varlaam, cat de bogat sufleteste as fi fost! Pentru ca acesti trei ierarhi au fost nu numai sfinti ai bisericii noastre, dar si inainte incepatori ai limbii noastre culte.

Azi am gasit un text superb despre Varlaam. Este scris de catre Mitropolitul Bartolomeu Anania. Il redau aici integral. Il puteti citi si la:



Sunt emotionat amintindu-mi si de faptul ca, de multi ani, aproape in fiecare vara, ma opresc la manastirea Secu, in fata zidului de miazazi al bisericii; acolo se afla o firida sub care se odihnesc osemintele mitropolitului Varlaam: pun acolo o floare si un gand inflorit.

Varlaam nu este inmormantat nici in biserica, sa se impiedice de el cei vii, nici in afara bisericii, sa se impiedice de el cei ce o inconjoara la Inviere sau la Prohod; este ingropat in zid, in interior, asa ca nu stanjeneste pe nimeni. Ii stanjeneste doar, in schimb, pe oamenii de stiinta, pe lingvisti, pe filologi, pe istoricii literari... si se vede ca i deranjeaza teribil, de vreme ce se pune problema daca el este sau nu autorul unei opere care,
totusi, este.

In ce ma priveste, mi-as lua libertatea de a gandi nitelus mai altfel, intrucat eu nu sunt nici istoric si nici critic literar, nici om de stiinta, nici om de catedra (am trecut doar meteoric, candva, pe la o catedra de teologie), dar ma gandesc cu foarte mari emotii si cu mare evlavie la acest Varlaam, care, intr’adevar, s’ar putea sa nu fi fost un carturar in sensul clasic al cuvantului, sa nu fi avut studii sistematice de filologie, teologie, filosofie, asa cum cunoastem ca le-a avut, de pilda, Constantin Stolnicul Cantacuzino; s’ar putea ca Varlaam sa fi fost ceea ce se cheama un autodidact. Ei si? Ce-i cu asta, ca adica a fost un autodidact, ca nu a absolvit o academie in Bologna, la Padova, la Venetia... Sadoveanu nu avea decat liceul; Arghezi avea tot numai liceul; Eminescu si Creanga, nici atat; Vasile Voiculescu nu a facut studii de litere si filosofie, ci numai de medicina. Totusi, fiecare din ei a fost ceea ce stim ca este! Da, e posibil ca acest Varlaam - un calugar smerit si un vladica tot atat de smerit - sa fi fost un autodidact, si e posibil sa fi... compilat! Ei si? Nu trebuie neaparat sa presupunem ca el a primit o comanda de la Vasile Lupu sau de la Miron Barnovschi sau de la un altul:
Asculta, Varlaame, de maine te asezi la masa de scris si-mi vei scoate o Cazanie pe limba romana! si ca i s’au pus in fata niste carti, ca omul le-a citit - presupunem ca stia greceste si slavoneste -, si a facut fise, le-a asternut pe masa si a zis: Aici traduc exact, aici mi se pare ca trebuie sa schimb....

Inalt Prea Sfintitul Antonie nu are dreptate cand crede ca ipoteza sa este subreda; nu e subreda deloc!
A talmaci inseamna, intr’adevar, a traduce, dar e mai mult decat a traduce. A talmaci e un cuvant pe care l-a preferat Arghezi: o traducere trebuie sa fie mai mult decat o transpunere dintr’o limba in alta. Arghezi l-a tradus pe La Fontaine (stia bine frantuzeste), dar a tradus din Krilov fara sa stie o boaba ruseste si a tradus din Berthold Brecht fara sa stie deloc nemteste. Zaharia Stancu a tradus din Esenin fara sa stie limba rusa; Sadoveanu a tradus Psaltirea lui David fara sa stie o boaba de ebraica. Ei, Doamne! fiecare din ei, ce talmaciri splendide au facut! Un La Fontaine al lui Arghezi e mai mult decat La Fontaine, un Krilov e mai mult decat Krilov, iar Esenin tradus de Zaharia Stancu e incomparabil mai frumos decat cel tradus de George Lesnea, care stia bine limba rusa. Succesul nu tine atat de filolog, cat de scriitor. Or, se vede cat de colo ca Varlaam e un mare scriitor!

Talmacind, sigur ca a tradus, dar a facut mai mult decat atat. Eu as duce lucrurile mai departe decat Inalt Prea Sfintitul Antonie. Noi, cei din tagma preoteasca, stim ca activitatea predicatoriala e un proces indelungat, de o viata intreaga, si ca predica nu vine chiar de la sine: inca de tanar citesti niste carti de predici, vezi cum au propovaduit si altii, indiferent ca s’au chemat Bossuet, Bourdaloue sau Ilie Miniat. Iti construiesti predicile dupa niste modele initiale, apoi le folosesti de la an la an, o viata intreaga, incat ti se creeaza impresia ca le repeti si ca nu mai spui nimic nou, desi e cert ca ai adaugat de la tine din destul.

Actul cultural ce se numeste creatie - de facere a unei carti - este si simplu, si complex: nucleului original i se adauga toate lecturile care s’au contopit in tine si au format o magma din care iese ceva nou; e ca un vulcan foarte violent sau foarte domol, dar care vulcan se numeste, pana la urma, o carte. Pe vremea lui Varlaam nu exista sentimentul paternitatii literare, dar nici constiinta furtului (acestea sunt orgoliile noastre, ale modernilor; si facem un cap de tara din faptul ca cineva nu ne a citat; avea dreptate Inalt Prea Sfintitul Antonie:
scriem carti luand de la altii - cu corectivul: nu intotdeauna citam - fie ca uitam, fie ca ne facem ca uitam; cunoastem cazuri din propria noastra contemporaneitate - dar repet, anticii nu-l aveau -; ce-i drept, poate ca erau mai cinstiti sufleteste.

Discutiile sunt extrem de interesante, si asupra lui Varlaam ca persoana, si asupra lui Varlaam carturarul, autodidactul, traducatorul, talmacitorul - cum i se spune -, dar eu as impinge ipoteza de lucru ceva mai departe: procesul elaborarii trebuie sa fi fost mult mai indelungat si, practic, aceasta Carte romaneasca de invatatura a fost rezultatul unei indelungate activitati predicatoriale pe care el, cel ajuns mitropolit, va fi desfasurat-o. Cat despre pasajele
suspecte din carte, pare evident ca acolo unde a tradus sau, sa zicem, a prelucrat, autorul nu a facut altceva decat sa-si rememoreze niste pasaje: a scos cartea din firida si a zis: Aici oare-mi aduc eu bine aminte?... si din fuga condeiului a tradus sau mai degraba a parafrazat.

Mie mi se pare mult mai important faptul ca Varlaam a scris o Carte romaneasca de invatatura si ca aceasta carte exista, ca aceasta carte a cunoscut un destin glorios, ca aceasta carte a circulat si continua sa circule in toata suflarea romaneasca. Pentru aceasta, dumneavoastra, targumuresenii, sunteti vrednici de toata lauda, nu numai pentru ca judetul acesta poseda un important numar de exemplare din Cazania lui Varlaam, dar si pentru faptul ca acest moment emotionant al culturii romanesti se desfasoara, aici, in Targu-Mures.

As vrea sa reinnod gandul domnului Cornel Moraru, precum si pe al domnului Serafim Duicu, in sensul ca aceasta carte trebuie sa redevina foarte actuala. Mai mult: Varlaam trebuie sa devina - sau sa redevina - contemporanul nostru, dar, domnilor, nu pentru a demonstra ca noi, romanii, am fost unitari in credinta si limba si ca prin el noi avem inca un argument... Iertati-ma, onorata asistenta: m’am saturat de argumente prin care noi, romanii, trebuie ca’n veci sa demonstram ca suntem la noi acasa! Suntem la noi acasa, iar aceasta nu se demonstreaza: este un adevar axiomatic, evident prin sine insusi! Faptul ca eu, roman, sunt acasa si in Moldova, si in Transilvania, si in Banat - de la Nistru pana la Tisa - nu poate fi sustinut prin argumente
stiintifice: argumentul este fiinta mea, ca sunt aici, ca asa cum am trait intotdeauna si asa cum voi trai in vesnicie; eu am sentimentul eternitatii mele ca roman. De aceea, nici pe Varlaam nu-l pun pe masa negocierilor si argumentelor stiintifice; nu am nevoie de el in aceasta ipostaza; Varlaam imi este scump prin altceva: prin actualiatea lui.

Suntem la capatul catorva decenii in care stapanitorii comunisti au depus toate eforturile sa ne desparta in doua unitatea care ne-a caracterizat intotdeauna: credinta si cultura. Cu multi ani in urma am fost invitat in Maramures, intr’un Decembrie, la serbarile Maramuresului, si acolo se scria pe o pancarta mare:
Festivalul datinilor laice de iarna, asa, ca sa se stie ca celelalte sunt excluse, ca si cum cele laice si cele nelaice n’ar fi fost creatia unuia si aceluiasi popor! Tot acolo s’a admis, intr’un tarziu, sa se joace Vifleemul. Dar prin partile acelea, printre personajele cunoscute ale Vifleemului: Irod, magii, stratiotul, sunt si o seama de personaje secundare, figurative: ingerasii, de-o parte, si dracusorii, de alta parte. Ei bine, puterea de atunci, judeteana, i-a permis Vifleemului sa circule; dar, ca sa fie eliminata orice nota de misticism, au eliminat ingerasii, dar i-au pastrat pe dracusori!... Ei bine, eforturile acestea noi le am trait uneori la modul dramatic; este ca ei, comunistii, au cautat sa ne obisnuiasca cu gandul ca religia nu are ce cauta in cultura, si nici cultura nu are ce cauta in religie (pentru ca popa nu trebuie sa stie decat molitfele si sa dea cu cadelnita). In ciuda acestui fapt, noi, Biserica, a trebuit sa facem un efort sustinut si tacit pentru ca studentii nostri de la teologie sa invete nu numai teologie, ci si cultura generala, iar aceasta pentru ca preotul trebuie sa fie un carturar prin excelenta.

Acum reiau teza pe care am lansat o si asupra careia nu voi inceta sa insist: dupa aceste decenii de comunism, poporul roman are nevoie si de refacere morala; or, pentru aceasta refacere morala el are nevoie de refacerea unitatii dintre cultura si religie. Religia, pe de o parte, prin cultura, sa-si deschida ferestrele spre cerul larg al universalitatii umane, iar cultura la randul ei, prin religie, sa-si recapete profunzimea si dimensiunile firesti. Numai prin aceasta sinteza, prin aceasta unitate, vom izbuti sa ne debarasam de sechelele care ne-au mai ramas si de care trebuie sa ne scuturam noi si generatiile de dupa noi.

Din acest punct de vedere, Varlaam este carturarul si mitropolitul deopotriva, asemenea lui Dosoftei, lui Antim Ivireanul, lui Grigore Dascalul, lui Simion Stefan, asemenea lui Andrei Saguna, ca sa citez numai cativa dintre ierarhi. Omul de credinta si omul de cultura ne-a pus pe masa - si i-a pus o poporului roman - aceasta opera, carte deopotriva de credinta si de cultura. S’a vorbit frumos - si se va mai vorbi - despre splendida limba romaneasca a Cazaniei lui Varlaam; or, limba face parte din cultura, asa cum maduva ei face parte din credinta. Varlaam e un model pe potriva caruia se cere sa ne recapatam constiinta propriei noastre meniri in propria noastra tara si in propria noastra eternitate. Recapatandu-ne aceasta constiinta, vom simti intr’adevar ca Varlaam este contemporanul nostru si ca noi redevenim contemporanii lui Varlaam.


Carte româneasca de învatatura la dumenecele de preste an, si la praznicele împaratesti si la Svântii mari (Cazania). Iasi, 1641-1643
(http://www.parohiasfantulvarlaamalessandria.com/?p=5347)


(Icon and Orthodoxy)

(Intalniri neasteptate cu Romani)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Aaron Astor: Hotel Switzerland from Jim Thorpe, PA


The photo was taken by Aaron Astor who uploaded it on Facebook.

I enjoyed the photo enormously. It was capturing a universe that was very Americana. The narrow building with an unexpected name (Switzerland Hotel, no more, no less), the post placed on the street with another name that was unexpected (Carbon County), the special light, suggesting a rainy day, or more a windy day, the people who were absent, while their presence was somehow suggested by the whole setting of buildings, and cars, and posts: it was a world of busy people, so busy with their small businesses and small or bigger industries that they could not afford the luxury to be visible.

Well, if you look at the post in the photo, it says that the town is Jim Thorpe in Pennsylvania (it had been named Mauch Chunk and became Jim Thorpe in 1954, to honor the memory of a Native American athlete), also it explains the reason the region is named Carbon County (the rich deposits of anthracite).

I asked Aaron to allow me to publish this photo here on the blog. He kindly agreed and gave me some information about the place:

It was one of the most important towns in the American industrial revolution in the mid-19th century. It used to be called Mauch Chunk (Lenape for... sleeping bear because of the shape of the nearby mountain) and was a critical railroad town connecting the anthracite coal region to the west with the Lehigh Valley and the city of Philadelphia to the South. It also connected, by rail, to New Jersey and on to New York City. Anthracite is an unusually hard grain of coal and is only found in this section of Pennsylvania. It is also one of many places to call itself the Switzerland of America.

(By the way, from an article of Aaron Astor published in NY Times I learned about another Switzerland of America: East Tennessee)

(America viewed by Americans)

Labels:

A Gathering of The Tribes - Celebrating Yardbird's B-Day

Jay Mason, Portrait of Charlie Parker
oil on canvas

A Gathering of The Tribes today, August 29th: celebrating Charlie Parker's 93's birthday.

It's a celebration of past and present.

In the fifties existentialism, blues jazz, and abstract art was the talk of the town. Now a-days anarchy, Buddhism, free Jazz, installation and conceptual art prevails.

There will be there Eve Packer, Yuko Otomo and Steve Dalachinsky, among other poets and musicians.

at: Tribes Gallery, 285 e. 3rd st, 2nd floor (betw c& d)

(Eve Packer)

Labels:

After Irene

A man walks on top of a wall next to a flooded highway in New Brunswick, NJ
@ Mel Evans / AP
(http://www.msn.com/?ocid=hmlogout)



(Blogosphere)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Social Network (2010)



The Social Network is, I think, a very good movie. It greatly captures a spirit, a universe, that made possible the creation of Facebook: a totally asocial guy giving birth to the world of virtual socializing. Someone said to me once that you could be social or asocial only in the real world. Any virtual friendship is just virtual, it means fake. You could guess: I met that person exclusively on Facebook.

Of course the story in the movie is fictitious, it serves only to make a point. How is the creator of Facebook in real life? Only people who met him in reality know that. He's surely very smart, and very quick in his reasoning and in the flow of his speech (and the movie was great in rendering this). To say anything else would be preposterous: who are you to speak about a guy you never met?


The Social Network - Trailer
(video by Sony Pictures)


(Filmofilia)

Irene, So Far

One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A rescuer, left, waits for s second person to exit the boat.
(AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan)

At least 8 people killed, about 2 Million homes and businesses without power, public transportation stopped in NY and Boston: this is Irene's account so far on the Eastern Coast. So many colleagues, and friends, and relatives are there. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all of them and I'm trying to keep contact with as many as I can.

(Blogosphere)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chicago Viewed by Tom Barrat


Walkable cities in America: among them Chicago, NY, DC, Boston, Seattle, Frisco, Minneapolis, Oakland, Miami, and Philly. I love Philly, and I'd love to get to Chicago one day.

(America viewed by Americans)

NY Sidewalks


It's Mulberry Street in Manhattan.

You should have a look also at:



You'll find there some superb photos taken by Emin Kuliyev in the Botanical Gardens in Bronx (and not only).


(America viewed by Americans)

(New York, New York)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Manuel Puig


Manuel Puig, born in Argentina in 1932, died in Mexico in 1990, author of some great books. I am waiting for one of his books to come by mail. I ordered it a couple of days ago (along with some others: Ubu King, Céline's Mort à crédit, and a classic author: Gogol, with Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки).

Well, I didn't tell you the name of Puig's novel: Boquitas Pintadas (Heartbreak Tango). All these books will come in Romanian translations (Ubu Rege, Moarte pe Credit, Serile in Catun la Dikanka, Cel Mai Frumos Tango).

What links all these books and authors: the genius, that's it, crazy genius. That's how I chose them.

And what links the books Puig to the movies of Wong Kar-Wai & Chris Doyle? It's also about some kind of crazy genius. It's just a feeling. I will get also another book by Puig, El Beso de la Mujer Araña (The Kiss of the Spider Woman): it will take some time for this to come. from abroad, the English version. It was made also a movie, and I will watch it pretty soon.

It's just a feeling, I repeat. It's about the technique of the story, etc. Puig will help me in better understanding Wong Kar-Wai, and the reverse. And of course, each one deserves to be approached on his own merits.


(Una Vida Entre Libros)

(Wong Kar-Way and Chris Doyle)

Labels:

Frank Zappa: I Have Been in You


Continuing to listen Frank Zappa, to enter the mood in the movies of Wong Kar-Wai & Chris Doyle. In a couple of days I will start reading Heartbreak Tango (Boquitas Pintadas). I found the book in the Romanian translation (Cel Mai Frumos Tango) and I ordered it on the net.



(Frank Zappa)

Labels:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salt of the Earth

Once Communists gained absolute control over my country they started a pitiless struggle against any form of Western culture. For several years American movies were prohibited (and study of any foreign language other than Russian was eliminated from Romanian schools: even Latin was not good enough).

Then the rule began to relax, and the first American movie came to Bucharest sometime by the middle of fifties, definitely in the first half of that decade. I was too small to go to the theaters, but I was reading posters on the walls: by that time a poster was telling the whole story the movie was about. It was funny: people in Bucharest were excited as there was an American movie, wow! The movie was about a miners' strike, against ruthless capitalists. It was so radical that it was banned in US for quite a good number of years! Now this movie is kept by the Library of Congress.

This was Salt of the Earth. The expression came to me that way: I read the Gospel much later.




Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. The film is an early treatment of feminism, because the wives of the miners play a pivotal role in the strike, against their husbands wishes. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces. This film was written, directed and produced by members of the original Hollywood Ten, who were blacklisted for refusing to answer Congressional inquiries on First Amendment grounds.




Salt of the Earth was produced, written and directed by victims of the Hollywood blacklist. Unable to make films in Hollywood, they looked for worthy social issues to put on screen independently. This film never would have been made in Hollywood at the time, so it is ironic that it was the anti-Communist backlash that brought about the conditions for it to be made. In many ways it was a film ahead of its time. Mainstream culture did not pick up on its civil rights and feminist themes for at least a decade. Salt of the Earth tells the tale of a real life strike by Mexican-American miners. The story is set in a remote New Mexico town where the workers live in a company town, in company-owned shacks without basic plumbing. Put at risk by cost cutting bosses, the miners strike for safe working conditions. As the strike progresses, the issues at stake grow, driven by the workers' wives. At first the wives are patronized by the traditional patriarchal culture. However, they assert themselves as equals and an integral part of the struggle, calling for improved sanitation and dignified treatment. Ultimately, when the bosses win a court order against the workers preventing them from demonstrating, gender roles reverse with the wives taking over the picket line and preventing scab workers from being brought in while the husbands stay at home and take care of house and children. This film was selected for the National Film Registry in 1992 by the Library of Congress. It became public domain after its copyright was not renewed in 1982.

I watched it today on youTube.




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




Salt of the Earth: Part 1/10
(video by FlintPublic)




(Filmofilia)

Frank Zappa: Chunga's Revenge



(video by Ataatso)


(Frank Zappa)

Labels:

Frank Zappa: Muffin Man




The Muffin Man is seated at the table
In the laboratory of the Utility Muffin
Research Kitchen . . .
Reaching for an oversized chrome spoon
He gathers an intimate quantity of dried muffin remnants
And brushing his scapular aside
Proceeds to dump these inside of his shirt. . .
He turns to us and speaks:


Some people like cupcakes better. I for one
Care less for them!

Arrogantly twisting the sterile canvas snoot
of a fully charged icing anointment utensil
He pools forth a quarter-ounce green rosette (oh ah yuk yuk.
let's try that again . . .!)
He pools forth a quarter-ounce green rosette
Near the summit of a dense but radiant muffin
of his own design.
Later he says:


Some people . . . some people like cupcakes exclusively,
While I myself say there is naught nor ought there be
Nothing so exalted on the face of God's gray earth
As that prince of foods . . . The Muffin!

Girl you thought he was a man
But he was a muffin
He hung around till you found
That he didn't know nuthin'
Girl you thought he was a man
But he only was a-puffin'
No cries is heard in the night
As a result of him stuffin'


(Frank Zappa)

Labels:

Frank Zappa


In order to ease entering the Wong Kar-Wai/Chris Doyle mood, I think several videos with Frank Zappa would be what the doctor recommends.


(Wong Kar-Way & Chris Doyle)

Labels:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wong Kar-Wai: Fallen Angels (1995)



It's kind of exhausting and kind of exhilarating. It will appeal to the kinds of people you see in the Japanese animation section of the video store, with their sleeves cut off so you can see their tattoos. And to those who subscribe to more than three film magazines. And to members of garage bands. And to art students. It's not for your average moviegoers—unless of course, they want to see something new.

Almost manga-like in camera style and story telling (I mean manga as in Akira and Ghost in The Shell). Very colorful yet dark, explicit yet tender, soft and violent. You're sucked in by the nostrils, visually shaken about and taken for a very exciting trip into hyper-sub-reality. The daylight at the end has the same effect as the dish cleaning and lights on after a very good party. Very sobering. The movie leaves you with the feeling of having had a vigorous massage and wanting more. More Wong Kar-Wai.

And there is the real star, the traum-city itself. Corridors, subways, neon, time lapse, travelators and low flying jets, trains, shopping arcades, Chung King Mansions stuffed to the gullets with sullen, sweating people cooled by antique electric fans, the scheming tattooed triads, outbursts of random violence, warehouses, chopping knives, video cameras, motorbikes speeding through tunnels, the multiracial hand in hand with the super-commercial... Hong Kong insinuates itself into our imaginations as the Űbertraumstadt, the place of ultimate nightmare and ultimate romance, where beauty is all the more poignant for its dark, cheap, pitiless setting and dreams are all the more necessary.

Bringing a manga to the screen leads to a movie that's structured like a manga, which is far different from the structure of a novel. Manga means cartoons with a few explanatory text. Such a structure is by its nature extremely elliptic, leaving the details unexplained and assuming the active participation of the reader (viewer) who should fill the gaps and make the links. More than that, actually a manga offers only the essential elements, you are to imagine the story behind.


Fallen Angels (墮落天使 - Duo luo tian shi): like the companion movie (Chungking Express), it's a pure cinematographic gem born unexpectedly. Wong Kar-Wai and Chris Doyle were working on Ashes of Time, and the project was exhausting. They decided suddenly to put Ashes of Time on hold and to produce quickly something light, unpretentious, just to warm their spirits. There was no script, just a loose idea: some slices of life in today's Hong Kong, kind of romantic comedies with young heroes hanging around Chungking Mansions and Midnight Express. Two vignettes were made this way, with young cops falling in love, drug dealers wearing sun glasses and blond wigs, barmaids becoming flight attendants and flight attendants returning from San Francisco: this was Chungking Express, released in 1994.

As the third vignette was unfolding, it became clear for the director that the mood of the story was different, and it deserved a separate movie: that was Fallen Angels, released in 1995. Two completely distinct plots evolving in parallel, and intertwining only in brief moments and only by hazard. A young hitman getting his assignments through a fax machine and a sympathetic and totally immature mute (played with irresistible charm by Takeshi Kaneshiro, who was also an irresistible cop-in-love in Chungking Express).

Well, a mute cannot talk, everybody knows it, but what happens in Fallen Angels is that actually nobody seems able to communicate through human speech. The agent (Michelle Reis - I saw her also in Flowers of Shanghai) who gives the assignments to the hitman (and even visits his narrow apartment when he is out) is a gorgeous girl, unconditionally in love for his subordinate. However she never meets him and prefers to masturbate instead. It is a terrifying impression of loneliness in a frenetic city, everybody is alone there, on her or his own, deepened in her or his own thoughts and dreams, and everybody's dreams seem crazy while only dreams keep you there to not get crazy.

I remember the cabs in a region I used to live for many years: the driver had a small computer on board and all communication with the dispatcher was through the screen, no room for bargaining of any kind, no space for any human feeling, of joy or sorrow, of sympathy or sarcasm. Here in Fallen Angels it's the fax machine, the same sensation of alienation, of loss of humanity. Humans transformed in robots, keeping their human condition for themselves only, through masturbating dreams of impossible love.

And it remains the city itself. Mark Rothko (Jacob Baal-Teshuva: Mark Rothko, 1903-1970, Pictures as Drama, Taschen, 2003, p.27) has a great observation about the relation between foreground and background in an art work: sometimes the personages (or the objects) have only the function to glorify the background (... may limit space arbitrarily and thus heroify his objects. Or he makes infinite space, dwarfing the importance of objects, causing them to merge and become part of the space world). The same observation is somehow made by Malevich when analyzing the way Monet had rendered the Cathedral of Rouen: ...when the artist paints, and he plants the paint, and the object is his flower-bed, he must sow the paint in such a way that the object disappears, because it is merely a ground for the visible paint with which it is painted (Gilles Néret: Kazimir Malevich, 1878-1935, and Suprematism, Taschen, 2003, p.13).

Is this movie about people alienated by Hong Kong, or is it here a meditative poem about the city itself? One of the personages in the movie has an unexpected sentence, Buddha said, If I don't descend into hell, who will? The sentence passes quickly and seems at first sight without any meaning in the logic of the story. Maybe it offers the clue: Hong Kong, this space of hyper-sub-reality (as one of the reviewers puts it), this Űbertraumstadt of ultimate nightmare (apud another reviewer), actually offers the image of hell, and the heroes of the story descend there, why? To follow the archetype?

And if we go again to the observation made by Malevich on Monet and Rouen Cathedral, here in Fallen Angels subject and city disappear in the gorgeous cinematic language: a great movie pushing the cinematic language to its ultimate expression. A couple of great creators: Wong Kar-Wai and Chris Doyle. Let me add here that another great contemporary cinematographer was also part in the team: Mark Lee Ping-Bin.

And if I were to choose an image from Fallen Angels, this one would be: the city in the night with its endless traffic and movement and changing lights, near the narrow apartment where the hitman inspects quietly the fax machine.


墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 1/10
(video by tooomat)




墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 2/10
(video by tooomat)





墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 3/10
(video by tooomat)





墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 4/10
(video by tooomat)





墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 5/10
(video by tooomat)



墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 6/10
(video by tooomat)






墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 7/10
(video by tooomat)






墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 8/10
(video by tooomat)






墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 9/10
(video by tooomat)






墮落天使 (Fallen Angels): Part 10/10
(video by tooomat)


-----

Some useful links:



(Wong Kar-Way and Chris Doyle)

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bertolt Brecht: Das Lied von der Moldau



I would like to thank here Adrian Rezus who brought this great video on Facebook.



Reading: Marcel Reich-Ranicki

Music: Bedrich Smetana

Am Grunde der Moldau wandern die Steine
es liegen drei Kaiser begraben in Prag.
Das Große bleibt groß nicht und klein nicht das Kleine.
Die Nacht hat zwölf Stunden, dann kommt schon der Tag.

Es wechseln die Zeiten. Die riesigen Pläne
der Mächtigen kommen am Ende zum Halt.
Und gehn sie einher auch wie blutige Hähne
Es wechseln die Zeiten, da hilft kein Gewalt.

Am Grunde der Moldau wandern die Steine
es liegen drei Kaiser begraben in Prag.
Das Große bleibt groß nicht und klein nicht das Kleine.
Die Nacht hat zwölf Stunden, dann kommt schon der Tag.

Marcel Reich-Ranicky is regarded as one of the most influential contemporary literary critics in the field of German literature and therefore was in Germany often called Der Literaturpapst (the Pope of Literature).







(German and Nordic Literature)

Labels:

Arvid Is Getting Thirsty

Arvid is getting thirsty
(while working on a Dom Perignon mixed media)


(P&C Art)

Labels:

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Global Slum



Slavoj Žižek again: in his book, In Defence of Lost Causes, he identifies the slum dwellers as the new proletariat (in the Marxist sense: they have nothing to loose but chains). The slum seen now as global: a distinct segment of the global megalopolis. Žižek starts from there to build a new strategy for the Left: the alliance between the slum dwellers and the progressive segment of the class of knowledge workers (again a Marxist approach: think proletarians and Revolutionary intelligentsia).

Is he right? I know very little about him, and from the little I know I would say I disagree (or rather I keep my distances), while I think the future should be discussed by people across the whole political spectrum: each theory is dealing with a specific segment of reality; the proposed solutions can be wrong, while the reality taken into account by that theory cannot be ignored.

Here is the text from Žižek I'm talking about:



(Zoon Politikon)

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thomas Friedman: A Theory of Everything

(image: Thomas Fuchs for NY Times)

From Cairo to London to Athens to Tel Aviv to Barcelona the bottle burns and gets over. Is there a common denominator to explain all that's happening everywhere? Tom Friedman is trying an answer in today's NY Times: a theory of everything, as he names it (and humbly he then adds a nuance, not quite a theory, rather sort of). You could guess: for Tom Friedman the answer is globalization (and I'm wondering whether Mr. Friedman invented the globalization, or rather the globalization was invented for Mr. Friedman).

Globalization acts both ways (says Tom Friedman, and he is damned right): it's hugely difficult today to keep your status, due to global competition; on the other hand the anger of frustrated people gets global.

Acting both ways: globalization makes easier for employers to replace local labor with foreign skilled workers, and any president or prime minister realizes that his task is no more to give things away to his people (as it used to be in the glorious times before the new millennium): now it's to take things away.

Acting both ways: some Israeli protesters carried a sign, Walk Like an Egyptian!

You can read the article of Tom Friedman at:




(Zoon Politikon)

Labels:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Arvid: Hard To Say Goobye To Napa Valley




(P&C Art)

Labels:

Odessa in Flacari



Odessa in Flacari, un film care isi are un loc important in istoria cinematografiei romanesti. Este o coproductie italo-romana, realizata de catre regizorul Carmine Gallone in 1942. Filmul a participat in acel an la Bienala dela Venetia, unde a fost premiat. Rolul principal este interpretat (cu mare distinctie) de catre celebra soprana Maria Cebotari. Alaturi de ea, alte prezente romanesti in echipa filmului: scenaristul Nicolae Kiritescu (care este si autorul versurilor romanesti pentru Zaraza - voi reveni pe blog asupra istoriei acestui tango, si asupra lui N. Kiritescu), actorii George Timica (creditat in film ca Dumitru Georgescu Timica - de fapt Dumitru Georgescu era numele sau real, asa ca filmul nu gresea deloc), Silvia Dumitrescu-Timica (creditata in film ca Silvya Dumitrescu) si Mircea Axente, de asemenea compozitorul Ion Vasilescu. Pe sotii Timica aveam sa ii vad in anii cinzeci in spectacolele dela Teatrul National din Bucuresti. Despre Mircea Axente nu am reusit insa sa gasesc nici o alta informatie: se pare ca a jucat doar in acest film.

Titlul italienesc este Odessa in Fiamme. In Romania a fost cunoscut ca Odessa in Flacari si Catuse Rosii.

Filmul a avut un destin zbuciumat. Interzis dupa razboi, a fost considerat definitiv pierdut. Mileniul al treilea ni l-a daruit inca odata: pelicula a fost regasita in arhivele Cinecittà.

Am gasit o serie de detalii despre film pe web la Odessa in Flacari (cu mentiunea ca filmul nu a primit totusi Marele Premiu la Bienala dela Venetia din 1942), de asemenea si la Odessa in Fiamme - Film (1942) (unde este inserata si o cronica a filmului publicata in ziarul Il Messagero la 15 octombrie 1942).




(Filmofilia)

Labels: ,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Arvid: Drinking at Dancing Bear Ranch




Arvid sends us regards from the slopes of Howell Mountain in the Northern Napa Valley, where Dancing Bear Ranch is.







(P&C Art)

Labels:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Arvid: Drinking Alone in Napa Valley

from the mobile uploads of Thomas Arvid




(P&C Art)

Labels:

Philip Levine will be the next US Poet Laureate



The next US Poet Laureate will be Philip Levine, the voice of the American industrial heartland.

The 83 year old writer reacted with natural humor to the news: it's like winning the Pulitzer; if you take it too seriously, you're an idiot; but if you look at the names of the other poets who have won it, most of them are damn good.

Here is one of his poems, An Abandoned Factory, Detroit:

The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands,
An iron authority against the snow,
And this grey monument to common sense
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands,
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence.

Beyond, through broken windows one can see
Where the great presses paused between their strokes
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught
In the sure margin of eternity.
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought,

And estimates the loss of human power,
Experienced and slow, the loss of years,
The gradual decay of dignity.
Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour;
Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears
Which might have served to grind their eulogy.




(A Life in Books)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Ioan Cuciurca: Brancusi Fotograf

Brancusi Photographer is an essay written by Ioan Cuciurca in 1974. It was originally published in Steaua, a prestigious Romanian cultural magazine. Says Ioana Vlasiu, Cuciurca wrote about Brancusi as a photographer in 1974, before the advent of reference studies on this subject.

(Ioan Cuciurca: Brancusi fotograf, revista Steaua nr.3/120, ian. 1974)


(click here for the English version)

Brancusi fotograf este scris de catre Ioan Cuciurca. Articolul a aparut initial in revista Steaua (nr. 1/320, ian.1974, pp. 53‒54), intr-o vreme cand nu se vorbea despre asa ceva; aceasta explica poate de ce articolul a trecut aproape neobservat. Cativa ani mai tarziu avea sa apara la Paris un volum avand exact acelasi titlu. Ioana Vlasiu reaminteste acest lucru: ...Cuciurca a scris inca din 1974 despre Brancusi ca fotograf, înainte de aparitia studiilor de referinta pe aceasta tema, devenita astazi aproape un loc comun. (Grafica lui Ioan Cuciurca sau despre lucrul bine facut - Ziarul de duminica, 1 decembrie 2006)

(Ioan Cuciurca: Brancusi fotograf, revista Steaua nr.3/120, ian. 1974)


Exista un domeniu din activitatea lui Brancusi care, paradoxal, a scapat atentiei publicului, dar nu numai lui, ci si celor ce s-au ocupat indeaproape de viata si opera sa, biografi sau critici de arta, si anume, fotografiile executate de sculptor.

La inceputurile activitatii, Brancusi utilizeaza imaginea fotografica drept instrument de lucru. A executat mai multe portrete pentru care a folosit fotografii ‒ portretul lui P. Stanescu, al lui Zaharia Zamfirescu, etc.

Portretul lui P. Stanescu
(image: Florin Dragu)
(Mircea Deac: Constantin Brancusi, Ed. Meridiane, 1966)

Portretul lui Zaharia Zamfirescu
(image: Florin Dragu)
(Mircea Deac: Constantin Brancusi, Ed. Meridiane, 1966)


In iulie 1937 Brancusi retine pe pelicula mai multe imagini ale locului pe care urma sa se inalte Coloana infinitului. Una dintre ele (foto 1) a devenit fundalul original al Coloanei infinitului, desenata de mana maestrului [1].

foto 1 (pe care Brancusi a desenat Coloana Infinitului)
(Stefan Georgescu-Gorjan: The Genesis of the Column without End, Revue Roumaine d’histoire de l’art, nr. 2, 1964, pp. 179‒293)


Este, desigur, o latura mai putin importanta a activitatii sale, mult mai interesanta fiind fotografierea propriilor sculpturi. Fotografia nu constituie aici un mimesis al imaginii reale, ea devine un mijlocitor, dobandind valoare artistica intrinseca.

Priviti-mi sculpturile pana cand le veti vedea, spunea Brancusi ‒ si ne ajuta la propriu, propunandu-ne prin fotografiile sale un mod de a-i vedea opera.

In tinerete, cand nevoile financiare l-au constrans sa accepte comenzi, despartindu-se de lucrari, le-a pastrat fotografiile. Inca de la primele studii isi fotografia lucrarile, chiar daca, initial, nu el era cel care o facea.

La inceputul perioadei pariziene, cand avea greutati materiale, Brancusi isi fotografia lucrarile, de cele mai multe ori format carte-postala; comanda mai multe exemplare si le trimitea prietenilor. De obicei nota titlul, data si locul unde fusese expusa lucrarea. Mai tarziu va pastra acest obicei cu deosebirea ca isi fotografia singur operele, si tot el va prelucra placa si hartia fotografica in laboratorul dotat in acest scop.

Aceste fotografii reprezinta astazi un material vizual deosebit de pretios, permitand urmarirea etapelor creatiei brancusiene si cunoasterea unor lucrari care s-au pierdut. Pe de alta parte, ele au o valoare artistica deosebita.

Fotografiile facute de Brancusi, dupa propriile opere, constituie adevarate transpuneri foto-grafice ale universului brancusian, ce pot sta alaturi de creatiile artistilor fotografi de prim rang, specializati in fotografierea operelor de arta.

Pe Edward Steichen, unul dintre acestia, Brancusi l-a cunoscut in perioada de ucenicie petrecuta in preajma sculptorului Rodin. In 1908, Steichen a fotografiat Balzacul lui Rodin sub clar de luna; imaginile l-au impresionat pe Rodin, care a exclamat: Prin aceste fotografii veti face ca lumea sa-mi inteleaga Balzacul!

Preocuparea lui Brancusi pentru fotografie, pentru fotografierea propriilor creatii nu este intamplatoare. Spatiul si lumina, elemente specifice si fotografiei, joaca un rol primordial: ele nu sunt doar elemente in care opera se integreaza, ci si factori constitutivi ai sculpturii.

In lucrarile sale, Brancusi obliga spatiul sa se sesizeze de prezenta, in mijlocul lui, a unui centru iradiant de energie, care este opera dispensatoare de ecouri plastice si de lumina [2]. Se stabileste o relatie interferenta opera-natura, obtinand astfel o emotie vizuala si totodata spirituala a spatiului [3], care, nesurprinsa pe placa fotografica, nu are nicio sansa sa vorbeasca despre sculptura lui Brancusi sau despre universul si spiritul ei.

Pentru Brancusi, fotografia nu era o copie neutra a sculpturii, ci o modalitate de re-facere a acesteia prin alte mijloace.

In acest sens, stau marturie cuvintele lui Man Ray: ... ceea ce l-ar fi interesat cu adevarat [pe Brancusi] ar fi fost niste fotografii bune ale operelor sale; cele cateva reproduceri pe care le vazuse il deceptionasera. Mi-a aratat si o fotografie facuta cu prilejul expozitiei de la New York. Era o sculptura de marmura, perfecta in planul luminii si al materialului. Fotografia, mi-a spus, e frumoasa, dar nu ii reprezinta opera. Numai el ar sti cum sa si-o fotografieze. (s.m.) Oare as putea sa-l ajut sa-si procure materialele de care are nevoie si sa-i dau unele sfaturi? Cu placere, am raspuns. In ziua urmatoare am cumparat un aparat si un trepied. I-am sugerat lui Brancusi sa dea la developat si copiat la un atelier fotografic, dar Brancusi a dorit sa faca singur toate operatiile.

Prin modul de lucru, Brancusi a cautat sa obtina fotografia ideala a operei, o fotografie care sa se apropie in cea mai mare masura de esenta acesteia. Existenta, in mapa de fotografii consultata, a mai multor imagini ale acelorasi sculpturi ne face sa tragem concluzia ca autorul isi fotografia lucrarile din unghiuri si sub lumini diferite, pana obtinea imaginea fotografica care sa o reprezinte cat mai fidel. Artistul aplica in fotografie metoda folosita in sculptura: reia tema pana la obtinerea perfectiunii.

Dar inainte de a analiza fotografiile, inainte de a surprinde relatia pe care ele o stabilesc cu opera si masura in care aceste imagini ii redau spiritul, voi face cateva precizari.

Fotografia reprezinta o traducere dintr-un limbaj in altul; concret, in cadrul imaginii vizuale are loc un transfer de la o relatie reala, tridimensionala, la o relatie reala, bidimensionala. Daca, prin specific, fotografia pierde o dimensiune esentiala – a treia dimensiune –, o recupereaza prin mijloace sugestive. Transferul dintr-un limbaj vizual intr-un limbaj vizual diferit structurat obliga folosirea adecvata a mijloacelor si procedeelor specifice noului limbaj in relatie cu subiectul.

Exista, asadar, doua elemente de baza: opera propriu-zisa si spatiul in care aceasta se afla. Imaginea fotografica, fiind bidimensionala, reda a treia dimensiune prin sugestie: perspectiva liniara, aeriana, contrastul alb-negru, claritatea in profunzime si iluminarea.

Stabilirea relatiei, a raportului dintre imaginea fotografica a lucrarii propriu-zise si imaginea fotografica a spatiului in care este plasata lucrarea, locul sculpturii in imaginea fotografica (punerea in pagina), iluminarea lucrarii, punctul de statie si dozarea claritatii in profunzime sunt mijloace de expresie fotografica din analiza carora rezulta modul in care artistul isi vedea si propunea opera.

Analizand cateva dintre fotografiile facute de Brancusi dupa propriile lucrari, voi incerca sa descifrez modul de organizare a imaginii fotografice, mijloacele de expresie si procedeele folosite in functie de semnificatia sculpturii si a imaginii fotografice. Se va observa ca imaginea fotografica a lucrarii reuseste sa transmita ceea ce autorul dorea sa redea in sculpturile sale.

Pentru demonstratie am apelat la fotografii din albumul Carolei Giedion-Welcker, Constantin Brancusi, 1879‒1957, Éditions du Griffon, Neuchatel-Suisse, si la cele din donatia dr. Nicolae Maior din Oradea, aflata in evidentele Bibliotecii Institutului de Arte Plastice Ion Andreescu din Cluj.



Fotografia lucrarii Pasarea (foto a)

foto a: Pasarea, 1940, bronz polisat, atelier Brancusi
(fotografie facuta de Brancusi)
(
Carola Giedion-Welcker: Constantin Brancusi 1876-1956, Edition du Griffon, Neuchátel-Suisse)
Toate elementele care compun fotografia, precum si mijloacele si procedeele utilizate pentru organizarea imaginii urmaresc redarea miscarii si a ideii de strapungere a spatiului.

Iluminarea lucrarii prin geamul luminatorului atelierului prin care s-a lasat sa patrunde doar un fascicul de lumina, face ca imaginea sculpturii sa apara distincta pe ecranul alb (care este proiectia deschizaturii din luminator) si sa-si proiecteaze umbra pe acest ecran. Datorita unghiului de iluminare si a ecranului aflat la mica distanta de sculptura, umbra lucrarii, foarte neta, este proiectata tot vertical, dar e plasata mult mai jos decat imaginea sculpturii.

Miscarea pe verticala este accentuata prin plasarea imaginii lucrarii pana la marginea superioara a fotografiei si introducerea in partea de jos a unei parti destul de mari din soclu, prin diferenta de inaltime dintre imaginea sculpturii si umbra ei, precum si prin directia descendenta a ecranului pe care lucrarea si umbra ei sunt proiectate. Acolo unde fasciculul de lumina atinge suprafata puternic polisata a lucrarii, lumina este reflectata intr-un cerc de difuzie ce produce aureolarea zonei (treimea superioara a lucrarii). In aceasta zona are loc o dematerializare a imaginii sculpturii. Razele reflectate sparg imaginea spatiului, aureoleaza lucrarea, creand senzatia de strapungere.

Imaginile Pasarii in spatiu (foto b), reproduse in p. 131 a monografiei, nu sunt executate de Brancusi. Sunt fotografii cuminti care, in afara redarii elementelor formale si materialitatii operei, nu-si propun altceva. Folosirea unui fundal inchis ‒ in imagine, negru compact, posibil introdus prin montaj tipografic ‒ face ca lucrarea sa para rupta, izolata de spatiu. Fotografia este doar un document bun, dar cu putine calitati artistice.

foto b: Pasarea, 1940, bronz polisat, H 150cm, col Peggy Guggenheim
(Carola Giedion-Welcker: Constantin Brancusi 1876-1956, Edition du Griffon, Neuchátel-Suisse)




Fotografia lucrarii Inceputul lumii (foto 2)

foto 2 Inceputul lumii 1924, marmura 15,2 x 30,5cm. atelier Brancusi
(fotografie facuta de Brancusi)
(Carola Giedion-Welcker: Constantin Brancusi 1876-1956, Edition du Griffon, Neuchátel-Suisse)

Imaginea sculpturii se afla in centrul fotografiei, fiind inconjurata de imaginea spatiului. Sursa de lumina, un reflector destul de puternic, este plasata in planul ultim al imaginii, si neinclusa integral in fotografie. Plasarea ei in spatele lucrarii, putin mai sus decat sculptura, face ca imaginea sculpturii sa para foarte spatiala si sa-si proiecteze umbra in prim-plan. Conturul sursei de lumina, aflata in ultimul plan, reprezinta o reluare marita a sculpturii, iar umbra lucrarii, o reluare usor micsorata a aceleiasi forme.

Intre cele doua imagini – a umbrei si a reflectorului – se afla imaginea sculpturii, formand impreuna o succesiune a aceleiasi forme, ce se dazvolta de la primul la ultimul plan al fotografiei, dar in perspectiva inversa, realizand o trecere de la o imagine aspatiala, a umbrei, la o imagine spatiala si puternic iradianta. Intre aceste doua puncte ‒ unul, cuprins in intregime in planul imaginii, iar celalalt, doar surprins in planul fotografiei ‒ se afla imaginea sculpturii, care leaga aceste extreme si devine loc al prefacerii. Cele trei elemente ale imaginii se inscriu nu pe o verticala pura, ci pe o curba puternic ascendenta.

O asemenea folosire a mijloacelor de expresie obliga privitorul sa parcurga imaginea fotografica intr-o anumita directie, pe o anumita traiectorie si in sensul in care elementele imaginii se dezvaluie, rand pe rand, in zona semnificatiilor.

Cuvintele Carolei Giedion-Welker sunt mai mult decat revelatoare: Inceputul lumii transmite o atmosfera care pare sa izvorasca din profunzimile genezei si sa participe la formele primordiale.

Fotografiile analizate mai sus au fost executate in atelierul artistului. Elaborarea in studio si dimensiunile relativ mici ale lucrarilor i-au oferit posibilitatea de a interveni in aranjamentul elementelor ansamblului, transpus fotografic printr-o gama larga de mijloace si procedee.

Urmatoarea fotografie supusa analizei este executata en plein air. De asta data, artistul nu mai are posibilitatea de a interveni in relatia stabilita intre elemente: va selectiona mijloacele de expresie, restranse si acestea de lumina existenta, pe care artistul nu o mai dirijeaza ci o alege.



Fotografia lucrarii Sarutul (foto c)

foto c: Sarutul, 1908, piatra, h 125cm, cimitirul Montparnasse, Paris
(fotografie facuta de Brancusi)
(Carola Giedion-Welcker:
Constantin Brancusi 1876-1956, Edition du Griffon, Neuchátel-Suisse)

Este o lucrare de rascruce in creatia brancusiana, fiind primul pas pe un traseu in care artistul se va detasa de relatiile exterioare pentru a patrunde in zona esentelor.

Discutand cu Bohdan Urbanowicz despre aceasta lucrare, Brancusi spunea ca, prin Sarutul, a urmarit sa aduca [lumii] aminte nu numai de aceasta unica pereche, dar si de toate perechile care s-au iubit. In cartea lui Peter Neagoe, artistul spune: ... am despuiat forma esentiala de toate trasaturile care ar putea povesti despre o anumita epoca.

Sculptura este fotografiata intr-o lumina aproape verticala, care genereaza un contrast puternic intre lucrare si atmosfera schimbatoare, de factura impresionista, a spatiului ce o contine, evidentiind desenul formelor interioare. Un prim contrast apare intre sculptura de piatra si spatiul vegetal in continua schimbare, contrast marcat prin puternice diferente de luminozitate.

Aceasta redarea a spatiului si a atmosferei specifice s-a realizat prin reducerea claritatii in profunzime. Contrastul alb-negru obtinut prin diferenta de luminozitate dintre imaginea sculpturii si cea a spatiului, la care se adauga diferenta mare de claritate, duc la crearea unei puternice senzati spatiale.

Plasarea imaginii sculpturii pana aproape de marginea superioara a fotografiei, rezervarea unei suprafete mari imaginii spatiului, fotografierea frontala, alegerea unei linii de orizont coborate si plasarea imaginii lucrarii pe axa de simetrie sporesc verticalitatea sculpturii. Linia descendenta, dinamica si voalat-impresionista a gardului din planul indepartat accentuiaza prin contrast spatialitatea, verticalitatea si stabilitatea lucrarii.

Toate relatiile stabilite intre imaginea sculpturii si spatiul in care este plasata sculptura fac din imaginea sculpturii o prezenta verticala, dominanta si continua, intr-o lume trecatoare, efemera.

Aceasta fiind si semnificatia lucrarii de care vorbea Brancusi.

Sa analizam, prin comparatie, fotografia (foto d) facuta de Sidney Geist aceleiasi lucrari, reprodusa din studiul Brancusi ‒ A Study of the Sculpture. Este o imagine perfecta din punct de vedere tehnic, dar nu reuseste sa surprinda decat elementele de ordin formal-expresiv ale lucrarii. Daca in fotografia lui Brancusi, imaginea sculpturii domina imaginea spatiului, in cea a lui Geist, imaginea sculpturii umple imaginea. Imaginea spatiului aproape este eliminata. Cadrul este strans, lucrarea pare sufocata. Folosirea liniei de orizont ridicate reduce monumentalitatea lucrarii. Imaginea spatiului, avand o valoare apropiata de cea a sculpturii diminueaza efectul spatial, concureaza imaginea sculpturii, aplatizeaza astfel imaginea, ansamblul pare decorativ. Fotografia reda doar o imagine a lucrarii. Semnificatia, atmosfera, nu. Ramane interesanta doar ca o fotografie document.

foto d: Sarutul
(fotografie facuta de Sidney Geist)
(Sidney Geist:
Brancusi ‒ A Study of the Sculpture, 1968)


Fotografiile lui Brancusi devin o propunere de lectura a operelor sale intr-o
lumina si dintr-un unghi care reusesc sa surprinda si sa sugereze elemente definitorii, intr-o imagine ce devine ea insasi o metafora revelatoare, cum ar spune Lucian Blaga.

Aceasta lectura mijloceste intelegerea sensurilor, a mesajului transmis de imaginea sculpturii; un mod in care Brancusi a vorbit, fara cuvinte, despre sine.


  • [1] Stefan Georgescu-Gorjan, The Genesis of the Column without End, Revue Roumaine d’histoire de l’art, nr. 2, 1964, pp. 179‒293.
  • [2] Ion Frunzetti, Viziunea folclorica a omologiei cosmice la Brancusi, in Colocviul Brancusi, Editura Meridiane, Bucuresti, 1968, p. 83.
  • [3] Barbu Brezianu, Artizanul, in Colocviul Brancusi, ed. cit., pp. 94‒100.


Multumiri
Autorul le multumeste aici prietenilor sai Maria Negru, Traian Vedinas si Teofil Rachiteanu, si nu in ultimul rand profesorului Gheorghe Bus, care l-au incurajat in scrierea si publicarea lui in revista Steaua in 1974.


(Ioan Cuciurca)

Labels: ,