Sunday, 27 November 2016

William Kentridge: No It Is!

Continuing my ongoing obsession with the work of South African artist William Kentridge.

Here is an Institut fur Kunstdokumentation video from his exhibition at the Walter-Gropius-Bau, Berlin  earlier this year.

.... Everything in a sweetie jar as far as I'm concerned. Animation, drawing, film, machines, theatre... what's not to like.

Monday, 21 November 2016

A Night-In: Streaming "The Nose" by Shostakovich

... in which a pair of seniors do experiment with the Internet.

There are new ways to "go to the opera", I decide. We can try watching it via broadband. The Royal Opera House was streaming a live performance of "The Nose" by Shostakovich the other week (my word that do sound funny, put together like that) and The Old Man says: "Let's do it." ... Much to my surprise.

Rural, granite cottages are not very amenable to house-wide wi-fi. So it do mean that we have to watch the opera in the same room as the router... which is Mrs D's workroom (and feels like the coldest room in the house, except for the downstairs bathroom).... And on her laptop. Fortunately the laptop has a pair of additional speakers so we can listen quite nicely thank you... but sitting closely, side by side, peering at a laptop enthroned on an animating table, do make me long for ... opera glasses.

Never you mind, it was an enjoyable and, dare I say it, "exciting" if cramped experience in our sheltered life. We do only "buffer" twice!!
And the opera itself was a theatrical delight full of wonderful performances... though I would have liked it to have explored if possible even more of the plot's surreal absurdities caused by the flight of a civil servant's nose to live a life of high prospects and social success.

In fact our cramped viewing, despite its nature, proved so successful ... we have come up with an achievable technical solution ..... More of that later.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

William Kentridge: A Film About His Process

I only found out about South African artist William Kentridge a short time ago (clutch hand to forehead and roll eyes) and then, only in the context of animation. Now I find out he is also a theatre and opera director. And I wish I could see his upcoming Metropolitan Opera production of Berg's "Lulu" at English National Opera. I will in some manner.

Meanwhile I start by sharing this short video from San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in which he explains and demonstrates his extraordinary animation technique based on making a drawing in charcoal.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

A Bit Of A Family Do

The other day we are visited by niece, hubby and their border terrier. Everything very jolly, much hugging, talking and eating of buns... By the end of visit we is all quite tired... even little dog is found standing... with eyes shut.... like a sleeping horse.

Mrs D do keep up the family theme this morning by dragging out her Mum's sewing machine to do some repairs. This fine, black and gold, knee-operated machine must be all of eighty years old and probably clothed and curtained and covered Mrs D all of her life.

Having forgotten how to thread it properly, Mrs D gets out the instruction manual and finds a piece of paper inside with notes written in her Mum's hand. These turn out not to be instructions for the machine but for assembling a 1970s chair which must have been passed on to Mrs D. It finishes with a cartoon of Mrs D sleeping in the chair.

..... Cartooning must truly be a family thing.....