Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu


"nature" Tag


Pasolini, In Theory


Monday, April 18, 2016

Pasolini on the Set of Teorema, photo Angelo Novi

Pasolini, during the filming of the desert scenes for Teorema.

 

“Who is that boy?”

At the beginning of Teorema (1968), a film by the Italian director, writer, poet, and leftist intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini, this question is asked. The subject of the question (played by Terence Stamp) is the visitor of an Italian bourgeois family, and at the moment it is raised, he has just entered the room of their house, where at the same time a party is taking place.

In the film, it is through him that each member of the household (the mother, father, son, daughter and maid) will experience a certain key moment, through a brief relationship, wherethrough each of them will come to a certain realization about their life. When, in the middle of the film, the visitor suddenly has to leave, the film shows us how each member of the household tries to cope with his absence, and this insight.

Pasolini, in his cleverness, manages to let the viewer experience a similar feeling, all while focusing on his views of society: The uncertainty in the relation between the film’s prologue and the main part of the film is resolved in the last scene, and beautifuly so.

 

Teorema film still #1

Teorema film still: The father walks through nature after a rendezvous with the unnamed visitor.

 

A natural sacredness

Thematically, in these moments of realization, nature is used as a central theme, and throughout the film, shots of a desert are used as a motif. It is also a very visual film, and in it slowness, with little dialogue and scenes which flow in and out of one another, it displays a visual rhythm, a certain serenity, which invites the viewer in. In its ambiguity—it is a very open-ended film—it offers ample room for the viewer to put meaning into the work—and it is in this way that I consider it to be one of the finest art films. It is a film that keeps one mystified for weeks—and as such it made a most lasting impression on me.

Through its use of natural themes and its visual language, the film conveys a natural mysticism—reminiscent of Romanticism. As an example, it surely must not be a coincidence that the visitor is reading Rimbaud while sitting in the garden at some point. For Pasolini, nature had this timeless, miraculous, aspect.

 

Headpiece

Interested in this moment of realization which is connected to nature, I thought of a headpiece which would convey similar feelings. My first approach was to do something which would frame the face, thereby putting a focus on the eyes, mouth; like a veil as it appears in The Gospel According To St. Matthew, or as can be seen in portraits of Humanists such as Erasmus, or Petrarca—or the sight of someone, partly hidden behind a tree branch.

 

Pasolini’s use of anachronisms, as apparent in The Gospel According To Saint Matthew, seemed an interesting element to take on too. As an example, the Roman soldiers in the film appear as if stepped straight out of a renaissance painting, while in another scene Odetta’s live performance of Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child from 1960 is played in the background. Later on, records of pieces by Prokofiev, Mozart and Bach can also be heard, all clearly out of time. It marks, as far as I know, the first intentional use of anachronisms in cinema—and it works beautifully, as evident to anyone with eyes and ears.

As a person, Pasolini had many contradictory characteristics, being a marxist and atheist while working with religious themes, a homosexual who found inspiration, and perhaps a sense of consolation, in traditional Italian values. Instead of hiding the uncertainties that would come out of such contradictions, he decided to bring them to the center of his work, and in my opinion this is particularly interesting.

Related to the visual arts, he also experimented with drawing and painting, and in these experiments worked with non-ordinary materials, such as coffee, glue and tea, producing interesting sculptural effects.

As a loose interpretation, I translated this to thinking about the use of certain unnatural materials that surprisingly seemed to contain natural characteristics—concrete slabs which had dried in such a way that a leaflike structure was present on the surface, mortar, branches of trees and pieces of aluminium.

Similar to his (in form), my first experiments, trying to deal with the fragility of the concrete and mortar, consisted of an assemblage of these on a flat frame—to frame the face—itself made out of chicken wire, combined with a colour palette which was derived from the visual aspect of his work. But these went astray, both in form and content.

Deciding that I needed to shift my focus on the sublime aspect of these natural, mystical moments—in a scene in Teorema for example,  the maid’s body is partly covered with soil; in another, the daughter repeats daily the steps that she once walked with the visitor through the garden of the house—it became apparent that the headpiece itself would need to induce such a moment.  

Chipping off slim slabs from a block of two kinds of river clay with a metal spatula, I built up a flexible fabric of inflexible building blocks. By puncturing the clay before it dried with a needle, they could be tied together with thread to form a rectangular lattice structure, which I modified in specific places to follow the curvature of the face. 

Pasolini talked of “this longing for life, this sense of exclusion, which does not lesson, but augments this love of life” as the mark that dominated his work. As such, a headpiece which can only be worn when laying down on the ground seemed fitting in its passiveness, while referencing natural elements, as discussed above.

Arranged on the bottom, as a pillow, are loose slabs of a slightly darker clay.

PEOPLE NEXT DOOR


Monday, October 5, 2015

The design derby took place in the Boijmans museum. It is about the confrontation of Belgian and Dutch design objects from 1815 till today. The collection covered all kinds of design; from glass and ceramics, prints, furniture, fashion, even up to cars. The exhibition was ordered chronologically and all the items from each country were presented next to each other into two big lines.

Does this make sense and do you really find out more about Dutch and Belgian design by looking at it like that? This is an attempt to find out as much as possible through two chosen objects from the exhibition.

 

table carion OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Francois Carion table [x] and lamp [x]

Firstly, a small round table by the Belgian designer François Carion. He built this table between 1925 and 1930, the materials he used for it are iron and pink glass. The wrought iron is one of the key symbols of his work and he used it for a lot of other designs as well.

 

ravesteyn chair ravesteyn

Ravensteyn chair presented at the "Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris 1925 [x]

The second is this chair by the dutch designer Sybold van Ravesteyn, who was born in 1889 in Rotterdam. Van Ravesteyn is a nationally famous architect who designed some quite important projects in Holland, for example the central station in Rotterdam [x] (shutdown in 2007) and also various residences and furniture [x]. The presented chair was designed in 1925. It is made out of wood and painted in geometrical shapes in black and white, designed specially for mister Rademacher-Schoers bedroom with the matching nightstand for his house in Utrecht.

To find out more about the artists it is important to understand the circumstances of life and therefore their inspirations.
First of all, after the first World War progressive designers took advantage of the knowledge of material and techniques they had gained during war. That’s why for example it was also a big topic to design the first cantilever chair out of tubular steel which was used by famous designers like Mart Stam, Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe.

Moreover some big art movements were going on in this time; from 1890 until around 1910 Art Nouveau was a big influence mainly inspired by natural forms and shapes and therefore you can find many dynamic flowing lines and mainly asymmetrical shapes. Art Nouveau was seen as a harmonization between nature and design, and also a way of life. In the same time the Arts and Crafts movement was going on, which was an big influence from Great Britain; the movement was mainly about the combination of work and art. From France came the important Art Deco movement. Art Deco was defined by stylized and two dimensional representation of floral and organic designs. The industrial production and lack of shadows and natural elements was the new sign for modernity and the overtake of Art Nouveau. The absolute climax of Art Deco was the Exposition Internationales des Arts Décoratifs et industriels modernes 1925 in Paris, which defined the movements name.

Another movement was De Stijl in Holland. Famous contributors included painter Piet Mondriaan and of course architect Gerrit Rietveld. Their work is mainly known as plastic art which is a pure abstraction in form and colour. It is about the reduction to the essentials by only using primary colors (among black and white) and the limitation to use almost only vertical and horizontal directions. The most famous example is the Red and Blue Chair by Rietveld in 1917 which can be also seen as a three dimensional painting of Mondrian.This chair was also invented for mass production which expresses the mood of time in Holland at that moment.

Also because in most middle class houses in Holland and with the higher class in Belgium it became common to use a gas stoves instead of a big oven in the kitchen,  people didn’t gathered only in their kitchens anymore as nice and cozy place to stay but in their whole houses. There were other heated rooms, even central heating, as well and furniture became much more important in general.

I choose these two items mainly because of their difference, despite being designed and produced at almost the same time. This shows how many different influences the countries and artist themselves had during the time, which makes the derby more interesting, it is nice that you can find several elements of the ongoing movements in these two pieces.

arts and crafts   william morris niebelungenlied

Art Deco Jug • Charles Robert Ashbee (1904) [x

Art Deco Interior • William Morris Niebelungenlied (1860) [x]  

In Carions table for example I can find lots of flowing formed shapes and the motive of nature a characteristic of Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts movement which is coming mainly from Britain. I wanted to give another example for this movement because there are so many similarities to Carions work  in C.R. Ashbees work  (1863-1942) who was a British major designer for the arts and crafts movement. You can find simply the same elements and materials as Carion used in his works. In Interior Design wood was also a big thing  you can see that in the Red House from William Morris, who is actually seen as the founder of this movement and his friend Philip Wood. They designed this house in England together and until now it is a well known example for the Arts and Crafts movement.

18_designparade_jt130711   Bar Aubette

Art Nouveau Interior • Sybold van Ravesteyn room of Villa Noailles [x]

De Stijl Interieur • Theo van Doesburg Aubette (1928) [x]

Ravesteyn’s work which in this period consists of only geometrical shapes and very limited colours shows influences from the Dutch de Stijl movement, which is very much connected to Rietvelds work, who was also designing for private houses . But also artists such as Theo van Doesburg in whose Maison-Atelier de Theo van Doesburg de Meudon in Paris where he lived himself with his wife. It is quite obvious that both artists have similar inspirations and approaches in their work. In the picture you can see “Aubette” a collaboration between Hans Arp and van Doesburg for a cinema in Strasbourg which is very loyal to the de Stijl rules.

All in all from this exhibition as an example we can see the impact and influences countries get from other countries. As here seen in Holland which is more orientated on the East with Germany and the Bauhaus movement as there were also many refugees coming from there and they choose Holland as neutral country. In contrast to Belgium which was more focused on France and even Britain so therefore the south and west.

Moreover it is an interesting fact that people lived next to each other, but also very different, because there was a border between them. This has changed so much today where there is internet and it is so much easier to to cross borders to find inspiration online and not having to depend on the values and movements being part of the countries itself.

Made Trough Material Research


Sunday, March 29, 2015

I was thinking, writing about a chair can be really interesting but for me it had to be more than only writing about a chair.

Waste, material, life, renovation, structure, experimenting, design.

A few of the words that were coming up in my mind when I saw and started to research this chair, so I thought this will be a perfect chair and designer to write about. To find out how deep this designer can go into material research, waste and renewable energy. Marjan Van Aubel is one of the designers who stimulates this.

table-17

 

Marjan van Aubel is a designer that makes everyday objects in new innovative ways. She is trying to make people aware of the fact that renewable energy is everywhere. Normally there will be a waste of 50/80% during normal manufacture.  Van Aubel and James Shaw found a way how to use and incorporate that wastage during the manufacture.

When I saw “the well-proven chair” for the first time it looked like a normal chair because of the simple legs of the chair but when you see the back it becomes a object. For me it was hard to understand the material. I didn’t know where the chair was made of. The nice structure camouflages the fact that it is actually made out of  shavings and sawdust.The sitting part is beautiful and smooth, making this chair nice to sit on and really nice to look at. It’s good that the legs are simple so the focus stays on the sit area. With her designs she try’s to combine design and technology. She strives for a more renewable life

Well-proven chairJamesShaw+MarjanvanAubel

For me this was a really interesting topic because i didn’t know a lot about this kind of experimenting with material. There are so designers working with this way of designing. They are busy with making new materials to make life more renewable. I think these new materials are needed because our resources are running out.

As an artist/designer Marjan van Aubel always was interested in how things are made, a reason why i feel related to her. I always want to figure out how ‘it’ is put together.

She was also intrigued by solar panels and why they are so ugly and why they can ruin the face of a building. Why are the panels not integrated in the tiles? I really agree with her. That is why she started at her collage time a research about energy. Now not only design was important also science. She graduated with “The Energy Collections” a set of solar glassware that discharges through a matching bookshelf, which serves as a rather large battery. This kind of thinking can make our life a lot more easy an conscious. Like I said we are running out of material so this kind of design thinking can improve this.

I have a lot of interest in nature.  For me that makes her work really interesting, because she interacts nature with design. I have a few works i made a few years a go which are also related to this.
I investigated how nature and mathematics have a lot of comparisons. Like the golden ratio and Fibonacci. You can see it in a lot of plants, a lot of leaves  grow in a spiral around the branch to get enough sunlight and rain. It is also in our human body. For me structure in  nature is an important way for making a work. It is really nice that nature can help us to make products. I think it’s also good that new young designers/artists also use this opportunity to invent new products and make use of our nature. Like her latest project  ”The Current Table‘ which was also able to generate energy. This project she made in response to “the energy collection”.

 

Current-Table

The market for these well made products is getting bigger and bigger.  People are more concerned with a healthy and a conscious way of life and designers will react on that.

This movie from 2012 shows how a lot of designers are busy with the meaning of material.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-GofyAQK6Y

 

It’s fascinates me a lot how this young designer are making al these new innovative products. I found a movie on this page and it shows how scientists are combining non-living chemicals to create materials with the properties of living organisms.

Now you can see how new materials, new invented but also already existing materials but used in an other way will blow your mind. For me their is still a lot to discover about al this material researches and the meaning of material. This research showed me a lot new ways of seeing waste and make new material with it. So we al can be more conscious and re-use waste to make something new.

 

Links:

http://www.marjanvanaubel.com/

http://wellprovenchair.com/

http://www.dezeen.com/

http://www.rennyramakers.com/

 

 


 

 

 

Curves


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Golden_Ratio_4

curved_archtecture_redu

Capture d’écran 2014-06-04 à 14.38.24

 

If I tell you architecture, you’ll tell me SQUARE

If I tell you nature, you’ll tell me ROUND

We obviously link architecture to geometry, structure, squares, etc… and nature to organic features and therefore curves and irregularity.

Therefore what is interesting is the notion of curve in architecture.

We started seing curving architectures at the same time as the introduction of movement in art (cubism, kinetic art, futurism, chrono-photography, mobiles, etc….)

Beyond the fact that it’s aesthetically seducing, and beyond the fact that it is bringing movement, curves are attracting more attention from your brain.

Psychologist Oshin Vartanian made researches on what was going on in people’s brains as they viewed two rooms — one with rounded features, the other more rectangular. First of all, the ones that were confronted to the curvy one were more likely to define it as “beautiful”. They also displayed more activity in a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex that, among other functions, is linked to the brain’s ability to regulate and process emotions.

Curved buildings can point to nature, whereas angular buildings contrast with it. Straight lines and angular shapes are disconnecting a building from nature, and humans natural state. It is reducing everything into a harsh and boxy aspect, which we naturally don’t identify in so much.

I observe (on a very personal level) that in the end my attraction goes to buildings balancing the angle and the curve. The final reconciliation between “organic” and “organized”. People like Frank Gehry, Herzog et de Meuron, Oscar Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Rudi Ricciotti and many others are/have been working on it and succeeded quite well so far, to bring new rules and esthetics to modern architecture, inspired from the so called international style and reconciled with more organic references, as well with new materials that are more environmental friendly.

I am starting for this occasion a tumblr “Curves” where I will be developing this idea through posts and references, grasping a lot of elements orbiting around this, and that is starting from this thesis that I invite you to read on Orthogonal Allegory in Architecture by Anton Stuckhardt [graduation essay [x].

 

Ecosophical Roadmap


Friday, August 30, 2013

intro

Haeckel_Orchidae

“The drawings in Kunstformen Der Natur express Haeckel’s fascination and devotion to the study of nature. Haeckel himself described his fascination for the world he was investigating, mostly referring to his main discovery, the Radiolarius [x], a single cell organism discovered in the depth of the ocean.
“It’s hard to believe that these creatures are single cells, some are like grids, broken nets or stems, others like tiny balls, helmets or bells when others appear to us like tender houses, windmills, fantastic towers.”

These words reflect on how much the artistic impulse of Haeckel seemed to have taken over his wish to be perfectly accurate and neutral as a scientist. His drawings are projections of real observations but they are as much projections of the inner interpretation of the artist’s vision of reality. Kunstformen der Natur was a way for him to unite these two projections in a single work. He by doing so “began to see not only the outer forms but also the inner content, the nature and the history of things”. He’s been trying to see nature as a “single unfolded work of art” by trying to understand the sequences allowing the Radiolarius to be present in such a multitude of forms. By doing so he achieved an astonishing body of work that can be seen as a suspended moment in time, a witness of this wish to leave space enough for observations and fantasy in a single picture. Following Goethe’s attempt to present nature in its diversity and trying to find unity in it at the same time, Ernst Haeckel created hybrid specimens that reflected on his subjective way to create the marvelous and the poetic in order to try to decode the genesis and the evolutionary systems of nature. That lead him to coin the word “ecology” itself.”

Excerpt from “The Curious, the Marvelous and the Particular”
(thesis by Rudy Guedj can be downloaded as pdf at the end of the article)

 

roadmap

By exploring the potentialities of ecological worldviews, old and new, through theory and art, WHERE ARE WE GOING, WALT WHITMAN? seeked, to accelerate, accumulate, animate and activate our poetical and political understanding of the world. (Introduction of the Studium Generale 2012-2013 “Where are we going, Walt Whitman? An ecosophical roadmap for artists and other futurists”)

The visual campaign for the Studium Generale — designed in collaboration with Sophie Rogg, Olya Troitskaya and Martin Huger –all graduates from the Graphic Design department in 2013— revealed itself progressively. It was trying to both map knowledge acquired during the past lectures, and project on a fictional level thanks to a visual pollution which was growing exponentially on all the mediums we used.

billboard1

The first layer of the campaign, the map, was created before the Conference-Festival as a simple topology arranging references into a single spacial representation. Day after day, the basic map, as all the different supports we used to communicate with, was taken over by a visual infection.

DSC_0030

The creation of each of the collages has been realized as a reaction to the existing publication Kunstformen der Natur (Ernst Haeckel, 1899-1904). These bold interventions on top of the existing drawings shaped a fictional journey throughout the campaign and provided endless interpretations of the very broad topic of ecology today.

Collage_Orchidae calabi-yau-2 poster_3 Haeckel_Kunstformen_Page_065_2
< illustrations Rudy Guedj, Sophie Rogg, Olya Troitskaya and Martin Huger >

“A welcome pendant to the overload of terms and theory is the online Ecosophical Roadmap: an ongoing encyclopedic exercise accumulating (visual) footage that inspired the speakers. (Ecosophical Roadmap) I dare say this experiment is the only contribution to the Studium Generale that practices what it preaches: it actually embodies our way of interacting with the material world, mediated through technology and immaterial digits.”
From : Metropolis M (online reviews)

DSC_0110 DSC_0127
< Studium Generale poster, physical translation Roadmap >

The online roadmap was a way for us to respond to the immediate and ephemeral format of the lecture by gathering notes and other references mentioned during the discussions. It functions today as a remaining archive, an attempt to visualize the many connections that were progressively built up and to emphasize on the important role that plays serendipity in our daily use of technological medias.

text by Rudy Guedj [graduate student department of Graphic Design]

thesis

 

Pdf-icon Download my thesis: ”The Curious, the Marvelous and the Particular“

 

Nature at Home


Thursday, May 22, 2008

porseleinebordThe Alfred Meakin plates I own, are like most of my belongings, second hand. I got these plates because the over organic and curly pattern looked beautiful and at the same time so fake and corny to me. I always enjoy this friction in things I own

These plates, like most Meakins are inspired, by nature not just in its patterns but also in the shape. They were not made anymore after 1937 and still, all modern Meakin plates, and also most porcelain, are in a nature theme. I find it interesting that throughout history one thing has not changed and that is the urge to recreate nature, even out of something as lifeless as porcelain, while at the same time bending real nature to our desires. Creating things that have a beauty like nature and that are at the same time cold and fake. This friction that works both ways is what really grabs me.
http://www.terhitolvanen.com/html/woodland12.html
http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=XL1aCkKR0h4


Log in
subscribe