Sunday, October 28, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
You are presented with a really strong impression of the man and his character. Perhaps infuriating to have to work with, but clearly he knows what he's looking for. Producing two columns every week for the New York times on trends and events he's seen. It is his whole life, and his flat is stuffed with filing cabinets where every single photograph he's taken is cataloged, whilst he is happy to sleep on a mattress on the floor between them. An eccentric maybe, but no greater enthusiast for the colours and textures of life, which he thinks the ever changing world of fashion embodies, could you find. Living in a complex of studio flats occupied by similarly aging but enthusiastic people, all still alive and creatively kicking.
He's asked in the film about his sex life , whether in fact he's ever had sex. No, is the answer. Is he gay? Well, all he said was that the fears for him, and what this implied, when he entered the world of fashion that came from his parents, had proved to be true. All of which I took to mean, Yes. But sexual orientation didn't seem to be remotely what he wanted his life to be built around. This film was made three years ago, and he's still working now at the age of eighty three! For myself, as someone whose creative interests have often ranged far too widely, and whose enthusiasms and passions soon wax and wane. It was good to see what this remarkably humble and single minded man has achieved by maintaining this sole creative focus.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Sitting and simply taking in a person is not necessarily that new or radical an idea. In the Triratna Buddhist Community we've been doing communication exercises that include a period of just sitting looking at the person in front of you. True they are preceded by some meaningless phrases being exchanged, which judging by this performance piece could be a largely superfluous prelude. If you sit and stare long enough, then things will happen. I think even Sangharakshita got the exercises from a psycho-therapeutic source. In a sense what takes place in this performance takes this one huge stage further, rather than a few minutes looking, Abramovich does it for seven hours a day, six days a week, for three months.
Some folk miss the point that it's all about that simple meeting of one human being with another, as openly and honestly as possible. They try upstaging her by erecting their own contrived artifice in front of her, one woman thinks being naked in front of her would somehow be even more truthful and exposing. It seemed ironic when you think of the extreme things that Abramovich has done in her artistic career, that both these were hurriedly removed. But then this piece was about exposure of a different order, stripped of artistic expectations and individualistic self expression. On the one hand there was something shamanic and magical about it, on the other something deeply sad and affecting that human beings in urban environments can no longer experience such depth of communication. Suddenly peoples daily artifice drops away and there is the real person underneath vulnerable and defenseless.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
In and around the streets and canals of Bruge
The Markt & Belfry
Basilica of The Holy Blood
|Contains a bit of cloth with Christ's blood on it|
|Casket the relic is processed in|
The Jerusalem Chapel
|Another relic ~ a splinter of 'the cross'|
|Spooky puppet Virgin & Child|
|Baroque pulpit in Church of Our Lady|
The day after the legal ceremony we had our own ceremony at Abbey House. Just under forty friends and family came to witness us dedicate our partnership and tuck into savouries and cake afterwards. Though the Registry Office ceremony was simple and relatively brief, it was quite moving. The partnership dedication ceremony was more specifically focused on our life together as practicing Buddhists, and was of an altogether different calibre. It felt quite an integrating event, bringing family and Buddhist friends together for the first time. Jnanasalin and I worked really hard during the week before organising, buying and making things. We wont be doing this again for a long while. It was pretty full on right up to three quarters of an hour before the starting time.
THE TEA PARTY