whitechapelgallery

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If somebody ask me to describe this place in one word, I would say «ambiguity».When you go to an art gallery, you can’t expect yourself to feel something concrete and monotonously unchanging during the whole visit. Even if you know what to expect, even if you have visited this particular exhibition several times, you can never look at something each time the same way, therefore you will always have different thoughts and feelings.

There was an exhibition called Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966), which was giving a wide range of emotions from disgust to interest. It was about technology and internet and these luminescent colors, weird noises made the atmosphere of the place very intense, confusing and obscure.
Going from one piece to another, made me experience something very different step by step. I found myself sitting in one room with very weird video on the screen showing some nonexistent world and thinking about something else, but still looking at the screen.
The spirit of this place can be called «lost», because it make you being lost in the space, in your mind, in different reality.
It is visually evidenced, because when you look around you see me walking through the same room 3 times, because of confusing amount of closed, but not obviously, doors. But this walking from one end of the room to another led to more thoughts about installations and finding more works, which were hidden for me in the first look.
I wasn’t reading any of descriptions, because most of the works were simple to understand as most of internet connected art pieces and my thoughts were also very simple while I was exploring the exhibition:
  • ohh, why am I watching this. this is disgusting. ok, naked guy. no, I can’t look at this anymore
  • wow, it is moving. ahhh, smily face
  • nice colour. I shouldn’t probably stand so close
  • this says, that this computer is broken. Is it really broken or is it a part of installation for it to be broken
Even though I wasn’t thinking deeply about each thing, when I connected together all the thoughts I realized, that it was confusing and not because of complication of each art piece, but because all together they created an atmosphere of different world, which I don’t feel like belonging.

Cinema as door

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A door is an object, which stands between two spaces/areas. It can let you in and out, it can lock you inside. Depending on its state, a door can be your barrier or point of transition.
Thinking of cinema as a door makes me feel, that every movie hypothetically can be a door to another reality. Even each shot of different places and areas within the film may be considered as your entering to this particular atmosphere shown on the screen.
Sometimes the entering to another world can be very abstract and it could vary depending on a person.
Taking, for example, The Darjeeling Limited, three brothers through the journey on a train change their normal life to something extraordinary, but for each one of them surely in a different way.
In this particular film the train can be this symbol of a change (also the changes not only in a place, but what happens in brother’s minds, life understanding, etc.) therefore a «door».
Also, it is interesting, that without entering the train’s door, they wouldn’t have been able to enter this journey/ world/ state of mind.
There are some films, where doors play important role without even being a symbol (just an incorporeal object). For example, in the The Adjustment Bureau, the main action is based around moving to different parts of the city through regular doors. The doors in this film have their usual purpose of existence, but hypertrophied, as they transport people to literally other places much far away than the next room.
The fact is, that there are no cinema without doors involved. The opening of each film and the closing action subtitles, the music, graphic images. In some movies you see a hero slamming the door to put an end in relationships, in others the whole Narnia appears behind the wardrobe doors. They are always there, but in a different roles and of different importance.
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moving images.Cinema as Window

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Cinema as a window. It is a window to another world, which you can switch on, when you are tired of your own life. You can look at different people and enjoy various stories.

But as a window does not allow you to see everything as you are staying at the same spot having the same angle of viewing, the movie scenes will show you only what the director wanted you to see.
You usually can’t control what is going on out there in real life and you can’t control the movie shots as well.
It is a common thing to see the window in action within the movie.
The most famous and obvious example is a Hitchcock’s «Rear window», but there is one more very good example of the window use in more current piece «Disturbia», the movie with Shia LaBeouf.
Actually, this movie was planned to be filmed much earlier, than it was finally made. The script was written in 1990, but it was postponed. Only after the Jeff Bleckner’s shot for TV remake of “Rear Window» Hitchcock in 1998, the studio decided to rework the script and start the production, however, it took up the case only in 2004.
«Disturbia» has a very similar idea : The main character by some reason ( here is house arrest) can’t leave his house and to entertain himself, he watches the street. He unwittingly becomes a witness to the incident and here is the moment the interesting part begins. You, as a viewer, follows the hero and watch through the window with him and it creates an affect of a window in a window « a life inside and outside» within the movie you are watching.
The interesting fact, which go along with the text by Lev Kuleshov, where he explains the montage importance and gives an example of shooting in two different location the same scene, is that the neighborhood houses in Disturbia were shot actually in two different cities.

lecture 5. Starchitecture & Museumization : GARAGE

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I think of the fact, that I am from Russia, Moscow, as my plus, my advantage. Basing your thoughts on something you found online is good, but why should I if a have the whole county to compare to.
I don’t know why, but after most of the lectures I think “yes, it is definitely right” and then when I sit down to right about the topic I realize, that maybe there is more than one point of view on this.
And it happened again after the Starchitecture & Museumization lecture. We were talking about how the buildings by famous architects change the perception of cities, the interest in it. As an example I want to talk about Garage Museum of contemporary art in Moscow.
It opened this summer and almost everybody was talking about it. It was renovated soviet-era building with the help of the most important architects of our time (as it says on their website, because I don’t have a lot of knowledge in the subject of architecture) – Rem Koolhaas. On the opening of the building a lot of celebrities were invited and I am not talking about just Russian ones unless Stella McCartney is Russian. Surely it was not only what people were talking about, this opening was all over the printed world too. The Garage founder- Dasha Zhukova said “I am certain that our collaboration helped us to create a new vision for contemporary art in Russia”.
After my first visit I was not that much impressed by the exhibitions themselves, although one of the first exhibitions held in the new garage building was by Yayoi Kusama. And I can’t say, that I was impressed by the building as well, but I liked it, I liked the fact, that now we have such space in Moscow. And I came back and not only once.
It is very hard to know whether this building attracts a lot of new tourists/visitors to Moscow or not, when you live in this city, but I am sure, that it appeared in the list of places to visit, when you travel to Moscow. Also because every next exhibition is by famous artist, for example Louise Bourgeois, which is currently now on, it is more likely, that people would like to visit it.
I can’t say, that because of this new museum Moscow became much more popular or much more interesting to visit, but in this race of cities and countries for the title of the cultural capital, it earned its points, because of that place.
It is more about politics and economy, what I don’t understand very well. I am looking at the museum as an artist. I enjoy it not because I know it was build by this or that person, not because somebody famous said it was good, but because I like the shapes, how the light goes through the big glass walls. I don’t really care if they sell books for the purpose of getting more money, because I buy it to get inspiration and knowledge and I think it matters more. Using art as an attraction to the city is not the worst way to go for.

lecture 4. The privatization of public spaces.

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The main idea is that nowadays we really can’t say from the first guess if the space is private or public. I thought it was stupid, before we did the test all together in class discussing famous places in London.
And we were asked to give an example of private public space. I started thinking of different parks, which were situated in the middle of the city, but which were not for everybody and closed with the key. But I was not sure if it was a right example. And then I remembered about one of my favorite places – Barbican. I did more than one work in this place and one of them was filming for my Genius Loci project last year. I did it in the Barbican gardens – Botanic Garden, situated on the 3 floor, which is open for public only once a week. Back then I didn’t think about why did I get that email, but when I asked if I could film in this place I got this.

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I couldn’t understand the reason for having certain rules if you want to film there. Why couldn’t I bring any equipment with me? I thought it was a public space and filming equipment wasn’t harming plants. I didn’t understand why half of the Barbican center was open for everybody and half of it just for someone, who lived there. And now I got it. Because it is not a public place at all.

It has people watching you behave right, it has a certain style café there, you definitely won’t find any type of homeless, street musicians and so on. With the utopian design of the whole center it feels like another world there. It is like city in a city, as there you can find not only cafes, and garden, but also tennis courts, cinema, theatre, art gallery, dance classes, music venues etc. But I am not saying, that for this place it is a bad thing. I feel like it should be like this and without right amount of control it would loose its uniqueness. In comparison to some walkways near the river, which I think should be public at any angle, because it is just a road, the Barbican center should remain the same, being private-public space. Maybe it is just all about the style of the place, but the perfectly clean and sometimes almost empty gray world in the busy loud London is a good enough place to keep it so.
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lecture 3 : another point of view

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Based on the text “The Utopia of Consumption”, I want to talk about people who understand. I feel like we’ve been taught just from the point of view, where everyone being manipulated and had no idea about it. We were discussing, that everybody, who got in the mall for one thing often went out with plenty of other useless stuff not knowing how did it happened. After the lections I had so many negative thoughts about shopping centers and it was really weird, because (sorry for comparing everything to Russia, but as I spend most of my life there it is just easier) in Russia everybody usually shop in malls, because of the lack of free space to park in the city.
And I surely can’t talk for everyone in the world, but nowadays there are quite a lot of clever people with university background or self taught, but clever. And a lot of people understand what they are going through while they are shopping in the mall.
As a person, who is visiting shopping centers a lot I can say, that there is a difference, when I want to spend some time just being lost in all the variety of shops and when I have just 15 minutes to find something particular and go.
In comparison to reading spending hours and hours just shopping is a really bad thing, but sometimes you just need to switch off your mind and let the architects of the malls tell you where to go and what to do. And when you have this time, when you are just trying everything on over and over again I am sure you understand, that you have just spend a lot of time. And if you spent so much time in the changing room didn’t you think, that meant, that you had this much free time and you were not missing anything from your to-do-list?

Besides, who doesn’t have their phones with them all the time, where you can check the time? I mean the shopping center may not have clocks and windows, but we are not in the stone age.
Also, if you have money just for one thing, you won’t be able to buy anything extra.

I really have never met anyone, who used all the facilities of the malls like gym, cafes, cinema, food shopping, clothes shopping in one go.

You always have the choice: whether to go to the mall with all the same basic shops you are sure would be there or to go to some place you haven’t been to and explore it. You have the choice of buying ant not/ doing and not. You are not a programmed robot without personal opinion. You are not a shopaholic to spend all of your free time in malls, so what to worry about?

I don’t want to be all that optimistic and say, that everything is ok and nobody can control us, no. But you can understand everything you are going through from escalators specially placed to all other tricks and think if you want to follow the instructions you were given or not.

lecture2. The Dream Economy : Moschino

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The first thing, that came to my mind, while I was reading the text by P. W. JORDAN was fashion industry. I couldn’t imagine a better example of dream economy, than in this sphere.

You open a magazine, you see an amazing beautiful model and no matter what she is advertising, you want it. Why? Because you want to look like her.

All the brands has their own policy, something like Hugo Boss is focused on the powerful, strong women/men, which were described in Starbucks paragraph in the text. This brand sometimes uses more mature models, but anyway they are models, they are beautiful and they catch your attention.

Sadly, but no brand would tell you just to be yourself ,(you are beautiful the way you are) because if they do, what they really mean would be «you can be yourself just in our clothes» to get more sales.

Most of the women (I can’t speak for the men), would always think, that someone is better, than they are. We are talking about self-image, when everybody see themselves very different from reality, more like Karlie Kloss, for example. And this helps to sell literally everything, every piece of clothes. You see it on Karlie and you are sure, that this piece of clothes would make you as beautiful as your favorite model is.
But there are a lot of other aspects of buying, what you might not need, but want.

For example I want to talk about one of the latest Moschino collections, because it was just terrible. I can’t say, that I was a big fan of this brand before Jeremy Scott and I can’t say, that all the collections he did I enjoyed, but at least I wanted them, except for this one.

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I can say, that if you go to the Russian market in the cheapest area in Moscow you would probably find something similar. And knowing this the coolest it-girls in Russia would be happy to get it from Moschino. And why is this brand so popular right know?
Let’s take the Lifestyle trends section from the text and analyze it.

1.Feminisation.

I would say just have a look at the girl, who is the best friend of the designer (at least we see her a lot on social media with him) – Miley Cyrus.

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2.Hedonism.

Within their last collection they are saying, that it’s ok to wear everything golden with a huge MOSCHINO sign on your hat. And I might say, not everyone can buy a £ 311.00 hat or a £1056 rucksack.

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  1. Every second counts.

It is not about Moschino, but about fashion in general: the collections and trends are changing very very fast and each season brands are showing new collections not to stay at the same place.

4.Tribalism.

«Getting your coffee from Starbucks was like being a member of an exclusive club.». It is the same with the clothes. Wearing a particular brand would open the doors to a particular events and people. If you are wearing mostly Moschino, you are not the same person, who wears H&M if saying it very simple and not discussing how massmarket can be nicely mixed with the luxury brands.

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  1. Fear

I am not sure about this one, but the designes of the last couple of collections,for example, the Barbie one, made people not to be afraid to look stupid or childish or even not to be afraid of such bright pink color.

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6.Individuality.

This is the easiest one, because to be sure, that this brand would make you stand out from the crowd , you just need to have a look at the last collection.

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As you can see, I got 6 from 8  points. This brand can really affect the society. This brand clearly understands people and knows them, what helps to sell whatever comes to the designer’s mind.

CTS2. Branding Spaces. Lecture 1

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As a person, obviously, interested in art, I must say, that details play one of the most important roles in my life. I figured it out not that long ago by buying a new toothbrush. Before this particular one I didn’t care about what color should I take and what brand would it be. But then I went to the MUJI shop just to have a look at other stuff and I found a clear plastic toothbrush, which changed the way I look at the world, even though it sounds rediculous. I just realised, that everytime I see this stylish very small detail in my everyday routine I feel better even if it works the same way as the most regular toothbrushes.

When I go to the shop I pay attension to everything even sometimes unconsciously. The lightning, the music, the smell etc. The way everything is placed there, the way the seller talks to me – the details. These details make my visit more pleasant, they make it different from another places I’ve been to and they make me remember it.

At the lecture we were talking about why do we buy things : because we need them or because we want them. And also there was a term such as experience economy.
What is interesting is that before the lecture I had an experience, which can very easy shows what “experience economy” is about and my details obsession.

In Russia, where I am from, we have LUSH shops and I wasn’t really a fan of them, because they were small, the smell was too heavy and the sellers worked not that good. And so I tried to go to the same shop, but in London. And I experienced something like I went to the beauty salon: my hands were covered with different masks to try, they were scrubbed and washed and dried after. There were smiling faces and “have a nice day” and the way I felt about this shop was “wow, I want to come back one more time”. I am not sure if I enjoy the mask I bought that day that much, but in my head I am already planning another visit.

As it is said in ‘Welcome to the Experience Economy’ by Pine, J and Gilmore, J (1998) “It’s an indication of the maturity of the service economy that IBM and other manufacturers now make greater profits from the services than from the goods they provide ».
It is all about the experience I got, not the product itself.

MATERIAL TEXT: Materiality and Method

CTS/ISHE

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During the lecture we were asked to create something new from already existed text. I remembered about black out method. I used it with my own rule – get rid of every third word. The text I had at the end wasn’t interesting at all and I decided not to stop working on it. I used photoshop to pixelate the whole text gradually. And I created an interesting pattern or even image from text without illustrating it or transforming the meaning of words into images.