Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blue Heat wishes to White

What is wrong with this picture? Nothing really it has some playful surrealistic elements like the dolphin flying and the Moon emanating so much intense light as to give the girl some tan-lines but summer and Xmas is the normal way of things yes?

The images in this post are by Tadanori Yokoo and are from an advertising campaign he designed in 1971. Seeing the exhibition *The Complete Poster Works* of Tadanori at the the Osaka National Art Museum was one of my highlights of of my trip to Japan in August for the Aichi Triennale.

The whole exhibition was fairly overwhelming, and with no translations of the titles or wall plate information, I was pretty much lost in the spectacle of his amazing prints. So I had no idea that this series was advertising for Xmas holidays in Hawaii- as I said above, Summer and Xmas just seemed normal- I guess I though it was an extension on some of the images of women he had been doing. (which seems crazy now- but lots of weird things happen in Japan all the time, so weird seems normal)

I think this one is my favourite. (big picture here on flickr)

The flat horizon created by cutting across an image of sea, the centred island and the general From here to Eternity vibe are the first things that hook me in. The placement of that horizon is just above centre- the convention suggests that a mid-picture plane horizon is a very difficult image to pull off- Yokoo nails for me, by anchoring the bottom half with a gianormous pink fleshy nude. But I think the thing that keeps my eye moving around the image is the way the light comes from all different sources: from above on the palm trees and front right of the model just to name two. I also just can't get past the models awkwardness - and her right hand underneath her leg is crab-like and creepy. The pink nail polish is so uncanny! (click over to here for a big version)

Kind of odd advertising for a family holiday in the sun.

(BTW this is a *great* little tourist video showing Halcona Cove Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, where From here... was filmed. The narrators diction is interesting- is that a Hawaiian accent? And all power to this couple who re-enact the kiss- I hope I have the same amount of self deprecating humour and abandon when I am their age.)

Partly my reasons for not recognising what this was about, was I think of Hawaii- thanks to American TV (Magnum PI) - as being American even though I know there are a lot of Japanese living there. Also the landscape is not one I intimately recognise. For example the below scene just says "tropical" to me- maybe even reminding me a little of Mt Warning. And OK- I didn't notice the Hibiscus flower being distracted by that 'jazz-hands' nude. (another landscape poster here)

Who knows what thought to myself when confront with this one- That he didn't like Xmas? That this one was about the family dramas associated with Xmas?

So to all my Northern friends buried deep in a white winter I wish you some Southern heat and will be thinking of you on the beach tomorrow.

Xmas Paradise is missing you all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Conversations with photographers

Our friend Nadege was visiting on the weekend from land-locked Canberra, so after an excellent breakfast at Cafe Ella (now open on Sundays!), a bit of art at White Rabbit, we went over to Bronte for a swim at the Bogey Hole- sometimes also known as the Bronte Piss-pool due to its popularity with parents of small babies. It's one of my favourite places to swim in Autumn when the surf turns rough but the water is still really warm- I hate the rips and wild surf at Bronte anyway. (that link sends you to a Beach Safe website which has good images of Bronte on a rough day, when the rocks at the Bogey Hole are completely covered by white water, and explanations of the permanent rips)

When we arrived we saw that it was one of those very low tides that happen now and again in Summer. The drama of the high Winter Tides with a lot of surf, and low Summer ones exposing the rocks and sand bars bring out extra photographers to this picturesque spot. I wasn't surprised to see more people snapping that swimming- the air temperature was pretty cool and there was a big summer storm brewing and it was the last shopping Sunday before the Xmas consumer Fest.

As I was wading in I noticed one particular guy who was pretty hyperactive- moving around a lot- jumping the rocks and then climbing the walk-way fence. He had a pretty serious camera and a kind of washed up baby-boomer look of round glasses, dark baggy jeans, baggy loud printed shirt, and red baseball hat on. I watched him for a while as his frenetic movement was a little out of place at the beach. I guessed I was in some of his shots but what can you do about that. It was a great swim- the water was nice after you let yourself go and as long as you kept moving. Even nicer was that Nadege and I had the pool to ourselves.

This morning Haico called me at 8:30 laughing his head off telling me I was on page 3 of the Sydney Morning Herald- I was wondering what news would have made it there without either of my dealers calling me first. Haico soon informed me it was not about my work but that I should go and buy the paper.

Thank you Steven Siwert for my Page 3 bikini girl moment of fame.

Page 3 of the Sydney Morning Herald 20/12/10

Full size view here.

First harvest

We have been working on our garden a lot this year. Haico has spent days digging out rubble, and building raised gardens- I spent most of this time taking pictures of him doing it. I'll up load them eventually but as I am trying to keep on my writing schedule so I'm being brief. The last garden he made was my vegetable garden on the front cement driveway. We live in the Greek part of the neighbourhood so this is in keeping with the tradition- it would be more traditional if there where a couple of lettuce patches in styrofoam boxes but as if Haico would let me do that, and despite how messy I am it is one step too far for me too.

This weekend I have been able to harvest my first fruits: Chillies and yellow tomatoes. The basil has been used a few times already and the rocket has been harvested three times and is now bitter and going to seed.

The weather continues to be very erratic. On Friday afternoon I was wearing a singlet and on Sunday a long sleeve top and pants- its even colder today and I am in jeans.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marrickville nature strip

Wednesday again so soon. My problem is I feel like all my words need to be saved for my thesis at the moment.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kai over Sydney.

I have decided to start a wordless wednesday thread.

Last week a visit from my old friend Kai, from Strelizer Strasse, Berlin