Category Archives: Travel

The war is over…

Last week I was in Sarajevo and visited an exhibition opening in gallery Duplex 100m2. The exhibition was great, but I caught this corner in a side room, a painting and poster showing Radenko Milak‘s work, and another wall object. It says: “The war is over! Let’s go to Venice.” Somewhat blurry images, which made my thoughts sharp.


Well, is it? And if yes, what war? As Venice Biennale is indeed celebrating world’s differences and joint life ahead (its slogan being “All the world’s future”), I can’t help thinking about all wars that are currently taking place, world’s past and the future that seems more complicated and blurry as never.

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Not only for shopping… or – when in Japan…

Recently in Tokyo, I saw beatifully decorated inside windows by various designers. This one caught my attention: for intricate miniature jewelery pieces, for reference to Japanese sakura, for reminding on digital world that we are operating in with a – sharp yet poetic – video…

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…and where clothes are flying


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Light and Color!

I spent several days in December in Oslo. You may not believe but first thing that comes to my mind is – light! And then color! And then some more light!

The color was more indoors. Somewhat lazy and unwillingly I went to City Hall, only to discover that it was a real gem. One may say it is kitsch or another that it is too much of national and soc-realistic portrayals of the history and local population; I may say that is was, in today’s abundance of images and reincarnations of power and force – just fresh, unexpected and alive. What you say?

What you have seen here are details from ceilings, walls, doors and interior.

Not so far away another fascinating indoors, Oslo Opera House, designed by Snohetta – and again light:

Although mother nature did its magic and outside are predominantly monochrome colors, human touch did its magic and, as beauty is in the eye of beholder, some of you may appreciate a whole different angle on Scandinavian outdoors:

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He Couldn’t Swim Either

When in Oslo, don’t miss two things: Oslo Opera House and Astrup Fearnely Museum. Here are some messages and impressions from the second one.

This museum has been built between 2006 and 2012 and designed by designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The complex is itself very nordic: very light, very ethereal, very transparent and minimalistic. Or is it just a huge sail? Inside, on the other hand, is colorful and loud, as one of the world most complex and diverse private collections found its place there. The collection itself dates to 1960s and museum displays it not in chronological view but in its full visual richness and expression. I may say that I learned here about Bjarne Melgaard and have never seen before so many damien-hirsts at one place. However, another piece was perhaps more intriguing:

Tom Sachs, “London Calling”, 2004

Is it electric cupboard? Or self-reflection board? Or serves only as a visual composition?

The exhibition is curated in the way that the visitor is engaged herself in the art, from just observing, going and out or avoiding it, to picking up the posters or candies from the floor and taking them with (yes, ‘the art pieces’ they are!).

Or – others are just – honest:

More about it you may found in their own blog.

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Today is Eid…

… and this beautiful folio comes from the present-day Uzbekistan, Samarkand. It is attributable to the calligrapher ‘Umar Aqta’, who made this to the ruler Timur. It represents a beautiful calligraphy from Timurid period, written in muhaqqaq style and depicting Sura al-Qisas (28: 82-84).

This belongs to the one of most probably largest copies of Qur’an ever produced: each line is almost one meter long and each page over two meters tall. The legend goes that the ruler was quite unimpressed when the calligrapher presented him with a Qur’an copy that could fit under his signet ring; the calligrapher then produced a next copy so large that it was brought to the ruler Timur on a cart.

Folio from the “Qur’an of ‘Umar Aqta'”, late 14th-early 15th Century, the Met

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Naked

Naked before the Camera is a small temporary exhibition given in Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It evolves around the topic of naked human body in photography, bringing the light to this highly disputed motive in art and depicting it from various angles. Therefore, we see the first female naked bodies and acts, done by French impressionist for the purpose of painting them later on, we see the photographs of dead bodies or bodies in motion, used for medicine and scientific scrutiny, as well photographs of rare skin illnesses or muscular build of athletes, again finding its use in medicine and analyzing human anatomy. One may see also varieties in the technique and media how human body is being portrayed; the proximity of camera, the angle, play of light and shadow, so that the body often has an abstract organic form. It becomes apparent that the photographer wants to tell us something with it. The motives are sometimes banal and show the everyday life, but soon they become more personalized. There we see first attempts in feminist photography as well as gay population. It is interesting – just to see this rather obvious image having its evolution in art in so many unexpected directions and applications and being subject here to artistic investigation.

Eadweard Muybridge, “Boys Playing Leap Frog”, 1883-1886

Brassai, “Nude”, 1931-1934

Man Ray, “Arm”, 1935

Franz Roh, “Nude in Tub”, 1922-1925

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Skyscrapers: in and out

I’ve been recently in Chicago – a city with certainly some of the most beautiful high-rise buildings in the world. These buildings have later inspired the cities and architects around North America to compete more creative, more theme oriented and unusual in their next project. Museum of Contemporary Art has organized a fantastic exhibition on skyscrapers, showing them from inside out: what it means not only for citizens as part of the skyline but also for their inhabitants. Moreover, what skyscrapers meant for society, their construction and, sometimes, deconstructions. Last but not least, all those emotions that those skyscrapers involve have been also touched upon and often on display.

 

Roy Ethridge, “Tokyo 2”

What a fantastic shot! Roy Ethridge captured romance of this world by striking the upward rising Tokyo with a sharp ray of light and rainbow in one and focusing not only on metropolitan urbanism of the city but also on its lucky charm of modernity.

 

Peter Wegner, “Buildings Made of Sky, VI”

Another interesting photography: Wegner shows the obvious here with non-obvious means. Long city boulevards, elongated upending buildings and gloomy sunset – he surrealistically ‘creates structures where none seem to exist’.

 

Jan Tichy, “Installation No. 3”

The image here does not do the work its justice: the light projection right on the fragile paper structure is further translated on the wall, so that the installation is a constant play of light and shadow. Reminds a lot on works of Sol LeWitt.

 

Kader Attia, “Untitled (skyline)”

What you see here are refrigerators,  which have been altered by simple mirrors. This work symbolizes ‘a yearning for the glamour of the metropolis’, but also shows how this urbanity can be easily improvised and approximated.

 

Ahmet Ögüt, “Exploded City”

Ahmet Ögüt shows here an imaginary metropolis, comprised of building that have been destroyed in an act of destruction, conflict or war. He shows them in the shape as they used to exist, disregarding the geography and placing them all together (this above is only a table explaining the background). Through this installation, the artist is playing with personal stories and emotions, the meaning of building and their destructions as well as the role of mass media.

 

Jonathan Horowitz, “Recycling Sculpture (World Trade Center Memorial)”

What you see behind Ögür’s model of Vijecnica in Sarajevo (“Exploded City”) is an everchanging sculpture representing World Trade Center towers. Every day the newspapers are placed and the ‘towers’ are rising; once the newspapers fill rectangular forms, they are removed for recycling. In this way, the artist plays with idea of constant change and rise and fall patterns.

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