Monday, 29 June 2009

My lucky numbers...

These are my lucky numbers that should win me that much coveted and record breaking prize in the local OZ Lottery history: AU$90,000,000 first prize. Yup, that's seven zeroes and I got one chance in 45,000,000!

Hey, you're telling me that money can't buy happiness, love or health. You're right. But it can buy me that much needed freedom to travel and see the world without the much "dreaded" nine to five job [which I do love, in case my boss is reading this!]. It is great to be employed during these hard times but one needs to dream as well of being financially independent and not constrained by a job that one needs to show up five days a week.

Money and millions of it, did not do any good to the likes of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, who both sadly passed away recently due to ill health. Like most things in this world, money [and fame] is a double edged sword... as a Jehovah's Witness phamplet left at my door says, "Does money rules over us?" and not the other way around as it should? Do we forget that money is just a means to a "better" quality of life? Another set of "tools" to leave a better legacy if used properly, to make people discover their best amidsts this material world?

Whatever it is, I will still buy that share of the Oz Lotto dream. Dream and hope what makes us people, or so I philosophize!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Fortunate accident

Who am I fooling? This is no accident but a 2004 installation sculpture by Jimmie Durham called "Still life with car and stone". A not so creative title but the actual installation is remarkable, especially in this roundabout setting in the corner of Hickson Road and Pottinger St:

Street view shot of the roundabout without the sculpture.

You would think that someone or somebody had an accident, but on closer inspection one would see the "face" painted on the boulder, and one would instantly get that it is not an accident but one of those "candid camera" moments... or errr an art installation.

The artist has spoken about this project:

"Like most of my recent work, this piece is concerned with monuments and monumentality, but also with 'nature'; that implacable hard stuff. In the first instance I am using the stone as a tool; to change the shape of an object. But I also, as usual, want to make stone more light, more moveable, even if it is in a fairly horrible way - like a road accident.. I do not think the piece is humorous; even though it turns out to be.

"The kind of face painted on the real version will, of course, depend upon the shape of the stone, but it will in any case be placid, and neither 'realistic' nor cartoon-like. To my way of thinking if the stone is simply a stone without a face it becomes a gesture but with the face painted on it, the work develops a strange narrative.

"Both a performance and an installation, this work reflects the play between nature and culture, technology and organic matter, as well as human life and monumental architecture. This work both explores and questions how familiar objects can be transformed into 'history'."

"He has said about his art - I would like to make work that you would say: "I don't understand. I'm confused now". I not only wish that I am confused, I want you to be confused. Because that is engagement….If we say a certain thing… that is a statement, then we enter into something quite false, theoretically false. And we enter into belief which, I think, is …sin.

"Jimmie Durham wants to remind us that singular or unified viewpoints of our world can result in a complacent mind set."

I've seen this installation way back when, since the Sydney Biennale of 2004 when it was first "installed" at the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House. With a relative in town, we somehow "bumped" into it around the Pier One - The Rocks area on a "tourist" walk of the area.

Great to see familiar places and not so familiar installation.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Lower Town on SBS

Another late night movie catched mid-stream or nearly starting. As I researched from the net, this Brazilian movie [in Portuguese of course] is titled Cidade Baixa [Lower City]. A nice little film set in the famous Brazilian favela with an "Abel and Cain" sort of theme - with one of the two main characters white [Deco] and the other black [Naldinho] - so much for colour symbolisms.

Here's a synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:

"Steamy sex, glistening sweat, dark photography, grungy ghetto colors, and sudden violence pervade this Brazilian feature from director Sergio Machado. Alice Braga (CITY OF GOD) stars as Karinna, a traveling prostitute who trades her favors to lifelong friends Deco (Lazaro Ramos) and Naldinho (Wagner Moura) for a ride back to Salvador on their run down boat. After Deco is almost killed at a cockfight, the three form a temporary menage-a-trois friendship, but the intense love each man feels for Karinna coupled with their homophobic macho wariness threatens to destroy their once unbreakable friendship. The pair starts hanging out at the seedy strip club where she plies her trade, each trying to one up the other, raising money from a life of crime and crooked boxing matches respectively. Machado culls a lot of sweaty atmosphere from his locations and a grimy cast of authentic locals as extras. The three leads ably convey the passion and pain of living in itinerant, eternal adolescence, lost in a glowing fog of cigarette smoke, sex, sweat, and neon, struggling towards some sort of stability in the haze. A big Cannes favorite, the film should please fans of sexy art-house hits like Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN and AMORES PERROS."

Another movie review aside from the above can be found here. But I usually watch the movie first and read the reviews. For the filmography, see IMDb here. The release date is 2005 in IMDb under Lower City, while on SBS - the Australian release date is 2006 - Lower Town.

A nice little movie that seems to capture what life in a favela is like - or so what I know from movies of the same genre. The twist is less violence and more romantic interaction worth watching till 1 AM.

[Photo credit: IMDb]

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Free Spirits A(r)t Play in Singapore: 5 June-7 July

Fellow blogger, artist, environmental advocate and entrepreneur; Bernadette Solina-Wolf won one of six berths to exhibit her art works at the prestigious Art Place of the Royal Plaza on Scotts, Singapore from June 5 to July 7, 2009.

The more than month long exhibition is dubbed: Free Spirits A(r)t Play and features another top five other Filipino illustrators - Frances Alcaraz, Beth Parrocha-Doctolero, Paul Eric Roca, Ferdinand Doctolero and Robert Alejandro. They will be exhibiting their take on "colourful and surreal" book-like illustrations, as all of them are at one time or another had a hand in illustrating books.

The exhibition is in conjunction with Singapore-Philippine based art eventologist, Art Sentral Asia.

Congratulations to all artists, especially of course to Bernadette - well done!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A page in history...

Found in a Montana History book [which I received via email]:

"If you were around in 1919 [just before prohibition started] and came upon the following poster...

I mean seriously, would you quit drinking?"

Thanks to Ed M for the email.