Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Artistic day

I now have alternate Wednesdays off and instead of frittering them away I have resolved to do something specific each time. This week I went with Sue M to see the Titanic Exhibition that has been on for months, but due to close soon. It has been booked solid all school holidays so we booked ahead.
It was fascinating and well displayed from the construction of this 'unsinkable' boat to the iceberg, the rescue, the loss of life and the subsequent massive changes in Maritime safety law. I didn't know about the coal strike in England that meant many people transferred off their planned ship to travel on the Titanic. The quirks of events that lead to.... The Grand staircase was replicated and the first class bedrooms and state rooms. The list of survivors and those lost was a huge imbalance of first and 3rd class passengers.When the ship went down there were still 1500 people on board.

After that we went down to Federation Square to ACMI (Aust. Center for Moving Image ) to see a new Bill Viola Installation. Not so new as he did it in 2003; I'd seen one of his in Melbourne last year (the same one was on in Japan when I was there with Kiyoe!). He uses water in his slow motion video images. The one on right is someone seen through a veil that you realize is water, and then they slowly move forward into the sheet of water and come through. Amazing in slow movement.
The recent one as part of the Melbourne festival is The Raft showing a group of men and women and women of various races and socio-economic backgrounds suddenly being knocked to the ground by a huge, high-pressure jet of water. Water flies everywhere, clothing and bodies are pummeled, faces and limbs contort in stress and agony against the cold, hard force.

Then, as suddenly as it arrived, the water stops, leaving behind a band of suffering, bewildered, and battered individuals.The action in The Raft is recorded in high-speed film and unfolds in extreme slow motion to reveal subtle nuances of the light and colour in the explosive impact of the water and the individual expressions and gestures of the figures in the face of an overwhelming onslaught. Described by the artist as “an image of destruction and survival”, this powerful and extremely moving work is a symbol of hope in the difficult times we find ourselves.
Seemed appropriate after the Destruction on the Titanic.
Next week I am off to Brisbane to see The Valentino Exhibition. A far cry from grief and destruction




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