Thursday, 28 November 2013

Type Tree

A collaboration with my friend Emil Ferdinand [2.5 y.o] Zürich

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

On the road to imperfection

DESIGN; an all too –encompassing word but a very narrow one when it comes to good or bad, as there is nothing in between.

One of the best surprises Switzerland had in store for me was Freitag. 
A brand named after its creators 
Daniel and Markus Freitag.
After 19 years of their original bag design,the name is proudly worn by many urban dwellers.

I came across the first Freitags in the street, though later discovered that they've been awarded exhibition spaces at MOMA N.Y and The Design Museum of Zürich.

The portrayers are mostly dynamic-city people who very likely prefer riding a bike to driving.

After seeing a few too many different bags I was curious to find out more about the origins of 
the Swiss Company.

Rather than retelling the whole story (which you may read through the link below) I just want to highlight some of the exciting facts along this reading, especially since they resonate with some of my own creative work and life choices.

•       Making something useful from waste
•       Each design is unique
•       Created out of sheer necessity and observation
•       Project and company are owned by the Freitag brothers

Last and not least, the first Freitag bag is proudly displayed at MOMA and Freitag's web site. 
Moreover, it became the source of inspiration for subsequent creations- patina included-

This vindicating fact has reminded me that imperfection can be perfect when it’s taken to its full potential, if you only believe.
Perhaps if the Freitag brothers had doubted that the worn out truck tarps would appeal to anyone, I wouldn’t be taking the time to write this and the tons of Freitag bag-owners would have to dispense with the hip environmental-statement they carry.

From the rejects drawer

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Sincretismo POP

One of the most iconic Mexican traditions is "El día de Muertos" or Day of the Dead, in which people make altars to venerate their late loved ones.
The whole concept is fascinating and incredibly rich in visual terms.
There is a mix of decorated paper, bright yellow flowers, food (pan de muerto) candles, decorated sugar skulls, photos, and things that the dead person used to like.

Having been in recent days to the International Contemporary Art Fair in Zürich, must have awoken some spirits in me.

By making use of recycled paper and a copy of Warhol prints of Marilyn Monroe, I made my first altar -a personal interpretation- and hopefully one that they would have liked.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Bejart Ballet Lausanne

Original photo on the program by Doron Chmiel

A couple of weeks ago on October the 5th, I had the pleasure of attending Bejart's Ballet in Zürich.
The company is named after the late artist's surname -pseudonym: Béjart (being his real name Maurice Berger) a dancer and choreographer himself.

During his days he caused controversy amongst some who thought his theatre performances to be too sensationalist and majestic. He would even have dancers speak during the performance.
Regardless of these unusual practices, Béjart was sought after by some of the greatest like Paolo Bertoluzzi and Nureyèv.

He passed away in 2007 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the company is currently located and carries on with his artistic legacy.

The performance was structured in 3 parts or independent choreographic works:

1. Ce sue l'amour me dit
Coreographie: Maurice Béjart
Music: Gustav Mahler

2. Syncope 
Choreographie: Gil Roman 
Music: Citypercussion

3. Boléro
Choreography: Maurice Béjart
Music: Maurice Ravel

was particularly enjoyable. The idea was fresh and creatively daring.
Gil Roman's work is superb, both choreographically and as lead dancer.

The dècor is minimalistic; a sofa and a lamp.
Moreover, the lamp is actually embodied by the female dancer whose head turns on and off injecting a spark of humorous wit.
Then we see the man (Gil Roman) sitting on the sofa right below her with an alienated expression.

The visual setting and costumes reminded me of Jacques Tati's "Play Time".

Gil wears ordinary lose clothes, his hair is disheveled and in tune with the rest of himself.
We see him being pushed around the stage by the lady-lamp with the same familiarity with which a mother pushes a pram.

The moment comes when he gets off the sofa in bouts of manic expression and starts dancing to the minimalist syncope and stroboscope.

Towards the end of the performance other dancers come on stage, adding to, and enhancing Gil's admirable performance. He moves and hops with the ease of a hare.
Music and movement match in a series of improbable, yet astounding impulses!

The sort of paper memorabilia I love to see stacking up..

Monday, 7 October 2013

A premonition, perhaps?...

Cuba. Che Guevara. 1963
Renè Burri
(Magnum Photos Archive)

Last Saturday Zürich awoke to a misty, rainy day. I took a stroll around the city with my camera and an attentive eye for the imprint of water in all things.
Crossing one of the streets in the heart of the financial district, I noticed a folded note, wet and thinned by the rain. I picked it, unfolded it, and found "El Che"! Luckily his skin hadn't completely wrinkled.
I put the note between the pages of my journal and pressed it under my arm. The event was somewhat surreal.

Just a day after this happening, I attended the marvellous exhibition of Swiss Photographer Renè Burri at Zürich's Gestaltung Museum. Burri's extraordinary work covers six decades in recent history, where he crosses paths with some of the 20th century's iconic figures: Picasso, Giacometti, Le Corbusier, El Che.
Renè Burri applied his visual language to photo journalism which is never devoid of the artist in him.
The above photo essay gave birth to one of the most memorable and compelling images of Ernesto 'El Che Guevara'.
For my part, I can say that I'm content with this silent, yet powerful, visual-victory!

A link to Gestaltung Museum

Friday, 4 October 2013

Braquia Part I

This work is the first part of an installation that takes place in two continents at two different times. Namely, Australia and Europe and in that order. 
It was born on the preceding days to another birthday in which I sought to be mindful of the key moments, even brief lapses of time in every single day that were meaningful to my life and represent it with a bird. 
It was paramount for this project to resist the impulse of perfecting anything. Each one of the 31 birds is 'perfect' in their own right and difference was welcome as a natural element of life's own unpredictability.
By the end of the month, thirty one birds had been born out of inspiration. Now the second part is on its way.