I have one friend and every time when I see her she wears scrunchies of different colors and textures. I guess she has a one for every life occasion. It has already become a part of her personality and I could hardly imagine her being without it.
Recently I went to her apartment and saw a huge box full of them by chance. It was insane! I mean how many scrunchies does anyone need?! It seemed that there were not dozens of them but hundreds!
I asked her how long had she been collecting that. She frowned and said ” I don’t collect them. I just like how they look on my hair and buy when I see a nice one. It is like a product that you need every day, thats why I have so many of them.”
And that struck me-she didn’t even realize that it looked like a full-fledged collection. When I got back home the first thing that I did that evening was sitting in the middle of the room and looking around. I had never collected anything on purpose, nevertheless it turned out that I am a possessor of a huge book collection, as well as of an endless amount of various knee socks that for me are the same as scrunchies for my friend.
All those years I have been a real collector without even knowing that. Weird, isn’t it?! I can bet that the same can be applied to most of us.
We all collect some stuff-postcards, eaten types of food, memories, ex-boyfriends , whatever. I think there is just something in a human nature that makes us do it.
So I decided to observe what else people can have in huge amounts without labelling it as a collection.
My first guess was lipsticks. Just think about it! Logically, every average girl can live only with two or three basic colors,right? But no, we need all of them! New shadow to change yourself. New color that will match better your new top. New lipstick just to make a day better.
Lipstick is an answer for every problem-Life is a huge fucking chain of challenges-Lots of lipsticks are needed-As a result most of girls have this fat cosmetic bag that comes apart at the seams.
This is just life.
An adventurous researcher woke up in me. So I took my sketchbook and went to university asking every girl to kiss a page on my way. In the end I had a whole spread covered with lip prints. They were all of different shapes and tints. That made me wondering why all girls prefer different colors? For instance, my favorite color is red while my classmate hates it with all her heart.
I started to interview girls and boys asking them questions like “Do you use lipstick?”, “What to you think about it?” and so on.
Then back it that moment I had no idea how personal this topic would become to me. There lots of aspects that I would like to talk about but due to lack of time I had to concentrate just on one (for now).
So I decided to prove that we use lipsticks only for ourselves. I remembered one time when I came to school in a gorgeous dress, cute hairdo and red lipstick. The first thing that my best friend asked me was ‘ For whom have you done all of this? Who is this boy?’ I have never been so confused in my life before. ‘No boy. I just wanted to were these today.’ She didn’t believe me. A GIRL didn’t believe another GIRL that she wanted to be beautiful just for herself. I felt discriminated.
That’t why I spent more than a month researching the theme of lipstick. If I had time I would have done so much more! And I will! Because we all need this.
The main thing that I wanted people to hear was: no-one has right to shame that you wear a lipstick no matter whether you are a boy or a girl. There is no right and wrong colors. Lipstick should be only about you.
“What do you think about lipstick”, a question hung in the air. That was the first thing that I asked three girls who I was interviewing. The day before I had tried to answer this myself. Surprisingly, I got only incoherent parts of a torn sentence. Charlie, Victoria and Ploy did much better than me.
After I had shot all parts of the interview and was rewatching them in order to pick up the best pieces, I realized that all that I’ve done is not enough. At all! I also understood that this is the theme I would like to work with for years. I want to make a revolution out of it. I must do more! I must do better! I must lead a huge campaign to tell the world that no-one actually knows what lipstick is about, because each of us has his/her own reasons to apply it to a face. Awesome, isn’t it?!
This is a huge topic and deep deep in my heart I am proud of myself that I came up with this idea, that I has been brave enough to talk about such a sensitive topic. I am convinced that Art can’t be comfortable, if I want to create something meaningful and important I have to rise questions and talk out loud about things that most of us don’t want to touch so that we can avoid “upsetting” others.
What was the most difficult part? Time. Being overloaded by emotions. Lipstick is many-sided, thats why my ideas about final outcome were changing almost every day. At first I wanted to concentrate on ‘women power’ and what it means to be a girl in 21 century,how difficult it actually is. Then just to show lipstick in everyday life of several girls. After that I created a photoset that tells a story of a broken girl who is trying to use lipstick as something that will empower her and protect from pain. But that still wasn’t it. I needed something real. I needed people and their words. I decided to interview three girls asking them some basic questions about lipstick, combining this with my own lipstick experience. I wanted just to display different personalities, different colors, different opinions. The aim was to show people that we use lipstick for different purposes, but what we share is that we do it just for ourselves.
I really enjoyed working on the project. I finished with secondary research really quickly and productively. Several books about perception of women by society and our views on beauty were read, I worked through lots of articles and interviews, etc. That was really exciting.
It was the very first project when I really felt that I knew what to do.
I know that my video is not perfect. But, come on! I don’t have a lot of experience. I enjoyed doing that. I love what I have done. I am proud of it! What can be a better index of a successful outcome?
When I got an idea to create something about the meaning of lipstick in everybody’s lives, I, to be honest, hadn’t expected to find so many political, social and even religious issues behind it. Lipstick seems to be not only an extremely successful sale product, but also a psychological need of lots of women.
So, when did it all start?
Lipstick appeared before any other make-up product. It is believed that women were discovering ways to redden their lips as far back as 2500 BC. Why? Nice question. Who knows!? Psychologists believe that the reason is the same as nowadays-to attract male,imitatimg colors if vagina during orgasm. Personally, I really doubt it. Why not just to feel beautiful for themselves? Ugh, this is so irritating that if you wear something nice or put on make up it is considered to be done not to please you but someone else. How stupid! But we are a little bit of topic. So, the earliest lipstick users were from Sumerian civilization and they produced it from natural substances like fruits. No-one knows how this practice became so widespread as I really doubt that they did have something kinda Ancient Instagram for international bragging, but we have what we have-women from all over started to paint their lips using various ways to achieve an effect. For instance,’fragile’ Mesopotamian girls were crashing precious stones to shimmer their lips while Egyptians derived colors from harmful substances (like bromine man-nite and iodine – sounds not as something you would happily apply to your face, doest it?!) that might result in diseases or death, however, they also discovered that you can make lipsticks with carmine dye that is still one of the main ingredients, so maybe they weren’t that masochists.
What is really interesting is that in many ancient civilizations lipstick was used by men as well as women and its purpose was to symbolize a social status. Checkmate, boys! It isn’t only a ‘girl thing”.
Only in Greek Empire lipstick was a sign of the oldest profession and according to law all prostitutes has to have dark lips.
What is then? Ha! The most “interesting” time – Christianity became a thing now. And the best minds of the Church decided that red is the color of Satan (yea, definitely, the dude is into wine and bloody suits) and all women noticed to use lipsticks were accused of being witches. Men were afraid that if they kissed a girl who had a lipstick on, it might poison them (Heh,well… I don’t think that this is a bad idea. I mean I wish my lipstick could be stored in my ex’s body like a bomb that waits for its time to kill him at the very moment when he broke up with me). In that time even if your own HUSBAND found you attractive while you have a lipstick on, it was definitely ONLY because you used dark powers and was abominable and duplicitous. Nice,huh?! On the other hand, a lip salve was very poplar and “approved”. So, women secretly added color to it or bite/rubbed/harmed their lips with various materials to make them brighter.
The situation improved slightly when Elizabeth I began to reign England. She fancied a red lipstick and ignored all restrictions and prejudice against it (Yea, you go girl!). Okay, she was a queen, and yes, she was a head of the Anglican Church, so disobeying Catholicism was a fat pleasant bonus. But still she did what she felt to be right, she wanted a red color on her face not because of men, as we all know from history that she was one of the most independent and strong women through the whole history. She was a powerful leader and her lipstick was her armor and her choice. Nevertheless, she was an icon that showed anyone had a right to use lipstick, all others noble women couldn’t do that. Lipstick still was for prostitutes and cheap actresses, not for ladies! (Cool, and blue-blooded ladies still had to hurt themselves…)
To cut a long story short, the situation remained the same for the next three centuries. However, girls weren’t ready to give up on it and were creating their own lip colors at home.
It was only in 1884 that lipstick was back from the shade, when Guerlain (a French perfume company) introduced it to the womanhood again. Basically, those guys were the very first who had seen its potential and introduced it as a new-branded every day product. It was made with waxes and pigments, covered in silk paper. In other words you couldn’t take it wherever you go, but just at home. However, thanks to Maurice Levy, who invented a cylindrical container for it, women became able to forget about pots and brushes. Using lipstick became easier and more comfortable. Eventually,in 1923, James Bruce Mason Jr patented a swivel-up lipstick case and that was the moment when the modern classic lipstick was born.
Well, after centuries of persecution, lipstick was covered with admiration, being inexpensive and mass-produced. It was the most popular kid in make-up gang. Just to give you an idea of what lipstick really meant to women I will say two words: lipstick effect. Have you heard about that? This is an economic term considering the phenomenon that happened in the USA during the Great Depression in 1930s. Imagine: you can hardly make both ends meet, have difficulties to get enough money to but food, yet the lipstick sales rise and you are one of consumers who buy this product despite the fact that you can’t afford it right now. Impressive,huh? Phycologists says that the reason to all above is that lipstick is very powerful mood booster ( Remember that rainy, grey day when you bought a new lipstick just to make things better? That’s it! ) while economists clutch their heads.
Teenage girls were fighting with parents over lipsticks, pr managers were going with new campaigns and beauty makers were doing new lipstick formulas. In Hollywood if you were successful enough you would have your own color tone and all your fanes would buy that just to be a little bit like you. Second World War-lipstick is still one of the most needed products,moreover, women were actually encouraged to were the reddest of the lips to boost soldiers’ morale. A lipstick became a sign of a ‘fast woman’ and were actively used by feminists. Women interest jump from jelly ones to kiss-proof lipstick and lip glosses. Red colors are replaced by nude and then came back again.
Wanna one more queen story? Of course, you do! This awesome young lady was also named Elizabeth and also was (and is) a head of the UK. Yup, I am talking about current queen. So, did you know that she created her own shade of red color specially to match her coronation robe ? It was produced my her favorite brand Clarin’s and called “The Balmoral”. Awesome, right?! Do you really think that the reason why she did that included men? No, she did for the same reason as her predecessor – to be more confident, to be herself.
Fortunately, the latest researches prove that more women apply lipstick just for themselves even though their boyfriends don’t like colors or whatever.
And this is cool. We all have to understand that if a girl is trying to look beautiful she does that for herself, not for you, not for anybody else. No-one can right to judge a girl that she wears red lipstick. Because it is simply none of your business.
Whether you are a girl or a boy, it is only up to you to apply lipstick to your face or not, what color to pick…. You have to think only what you like. This is YOUR life. YOUR lips. YOUR color. And YOUR choice. Do you really wanna let others decide for yourself?
I wear lipstick not for boys. I use it because I want to. And you?
Have you ever collected anything!? Dolls, books, people…I mean whatever.
Well, than you know that for making a collection you need time. Like lots of time. However, our holiday brief was about collecting things quickly ( whereas considering 3 rules !!!). I had just several weeks to make three diffent collections with at least 25 objects in each.
The first my thought was “Crazy”. The second “Oh, come on, Anna! Aren’t you used to such things yet?!”. And the last one *exhale* “Just do this…”.
Well. The biggest challenge was that one of those had to consist of drawings. Bad, right? However, I came up with a cool decision- I gathered ways a one can use to draw a New Year tree if he/she doest have relevant skills. That was fun.
New Year tree collection, rules:
1. Orange color.
2. It has to take no more than 20 seconds.
3. Be obvious that it is a tree.
Then, I had to find 25 physical objects. I had had such experience before, so it was the easiest one for me. As a child I collected buttons. It all started accidentally. I just found several buttons that had a form of pencils of different colors and was intrigued to find out what other forms could they have. Plus, once my grandma told that my father had used to collect stamps and showed me the album where he had put it all. I noticed several blank pages at the end of it and was inspired to kinda go on with the work of my father. So I took dozens of stamps from my trips to Italy and San Marino to add there.
For the brief I wanted it to include something Ukrainian as I went back home for holidays. I went to a chocolaterie and bought there 25 candies that had images of Ukrainian sights on its cover. I had a lot of work with them, I have to say. Can you imagine how difficult it was not to eat 25 chocolates in one time?! My greatest achievement was that I didn’t gain weight doing this part of the brief.
Chocolates' wraps, rules:
1. Roshen production
2. They have to be chocolates.
3. With images of Ukraine on it.
And the last but not the least-my digital collection.
Honestly?! I really lacked ideas. I had a set of pictures and videos I collected during my trip to Paris and was gonna use them, but after all these New Year celebrations I got inspired by all of that so much that one morning I just took a tangerine and started taking pictures of that with festive decorations that I had at home. And I had a lot of that, like really A LOT.
Tangerine's collection, rules:
1.Cristmas and New Year theme.
2.All pictures have to be taken indoors.
3.The tangerine on each of them.
I won’t terrorize you by showing every picture and telling about it, but you definitely won’t shake off without seeing any of them. That’s why, enjoy:
Who is the master of disguise?! Yea, this is right. It is me!....Not you. Me!
Ho-Ho-Ho! I am your best present! OMG, you are sooo lucky! Honestly, I would be over the moon if I could get more of myself.
Everyone can be whoever he/she wants!I mean, obviously, I am perfect, but you still have hope to become, well..not asawesome as I am, but at least better than this.
Yea, I also have my needs! Even the greatest minds have to rest. Personally, I don't want, but you know...I have to. I am strong-willed enough to put aside my work and have rest. Of course, I have no pleasure of it.
Oh, holy shit! Bro! What have those stupid humans done to you?!
Basically, all of my three collections happened to be tied up quite closely. Main features are: Ukraine, orange color and New Year/Christmas theme.
The process was really enjoyable and interesting except for the fact that I was really nervous that I won’t have enought time to finish with that.
I have also stated thinking about such things as:
Why do people collect stuff?
Why do they choose exact objects for their collections?
What can me the deep meaning of collections of other people?
Why some people are collectors and other see no point in that?
Maybe I am a collector without realizing that?
There is a lot of famous people who collect very different things. For instance, Quentin Tarantino collects TV-shows themed board games, Herbert George Wells – tin soldiers, while Georges Simenon was more practical and collected first and second names from phonebooks to use them later in his novels.
So, the reasons and items of collections can be different as each of collectors are. For some reason it is important to have such collections for some of us. And I think that this is fascinating!
Well, now you know my story of collecting things. Let’s talk about you now.
14 november-11 march 2019
A virtual experience by Nicolas Thepot
When I was a child my mother brought me to Giverny, a small town not too far from Paris. I didn’t know why this was chosen to be our destination and was simply excited by journey, changed scenery around and later, when we eventually got there, by huge bright parrots that were flying in the sky or sitting on palms. I had no idea yet that this trip somehow would change my life.
We came to a wonderful cozy house with lots of painting, flowers, lace and books. It felt like home. There were lots of black-and-white photos of an old man with beard, mostly wearing a hat. I was told that was the owner of the house-one of the most prominent painters, Claud Monet.But the most amazing thing about this place was a garden behind the house which was considered by the artist as “his most beautiful masterpiece”. That was a kingdom of nature and magic. One could feel that breathing is easier here. I was surrounded by plants and surrendered to their charms. The best part was a pond covered with waterlilies. I have never felt such peace before or after. I always remember about this place with that warmness and attachment that is peculiar to child’s memories, I guess due to being a child my aim there was just to feel the place, I didn’t know who was Monet and was experiencing the garden only through myself without analyzing that as a subject of a great genius. Nevertheless that became the reason why I became a big fan of Impressionism and the most apparently of Monet as well.
So, after 10 years you can imagine how happy I was to return to this enchanting garden again, completely by chance, being on one of the Paris banks of the Seine. Moreover, that was my first experience of virtual reality and that just fueled my nervousness.
I was equipped with a special headset and headphones and my adventure started.
I saw the museum’s vestibule designed my Monet where 8 panels of his watercolors are presented. I heard the sound of water- a quick flow was coming impetuously through spaces that serve as doors. When the level of water had reached my breast and I felt a little uncomfortably the room started to fade, gradually turning into the Giverny’s garden. I was standing in the middle of the pond, still with most parts of my body being in aqua. The day was chasing the night. Hot summer gave way to autumn, ruby colors were changed by winter and its peculiarly expressive diamonds in the sky, spring fluff was flying in the air while bugs were filling the place with their buzzing arias and wind was gently touching plants.
After that I got into a canvas of the master with him putting multicolored strokes of the brush. I could see the layers of his work and that was the first time I realized that they have them, that their meanings and observations are way more deeper than I used to think.
The culminate moment-cataract. Monet is not able to see red and yellow colors, with time there are only white and black left in his world. (So did I ) At this exact time his life and inner well-being was invaded by the First World War. Being in the age he suffered a lot that he couldn’t help his country anyhow. Thats why, when the piece was gained he donated his Water Lilies to France with only one condition-those paintings could never leave the walls of the museum. He was offering Parisians a “Heaven”: “Nerves strained by work would relax I. its presence, following the restful example of its stagnant waters, and for he who would live in it, this room would offer a refuge for peaceful meditation in the midst of a flowering aquarium.” (Monet,1909) Waterlilies were presented to public after his death in 1927 and attracted little attention as the art world of that time was more interested in the new avantgarde. The deserved recognition it gained only after the Second World War.
I was back again in Paris in a dusty room full of covered canvases. The man’s hat and a walking stick were on a coach. The last words to us said by Monet. Everything rotated and the space transformed into a nowadays hall of Waterlilies in Orangerie. There was no water anymore…no sign of what had just happened…as if it was a dream…
All this time I was accompanied with English audio description of some periods of the artist’s life and basically, what I was seeing. The information was very sensible including separate deep voice for quotes and parts from diaries of Monet.
When a singer loses his voice, he leaves the stage, the same fate suffer a painter who can’t see colors no more-retirement. However and fortunately, Monet couldn’t do that. And this is a significance evidence not only of his spirit strength but also of the talent. He was painting not seeing what he was actually creating. And died without knowing what his heritage was.
Undoubtedly, now I feel and understand the artist better. Trembling I wanted to cry after that, overwhelmed by feelings and reflexions. That was like the one to one conversation with Claud – the experience I could never forget.
2019. Here it is. And, I guess, this is the perfect timing to tell about the interests that I have developed on the course so far and challenges that I will have ahead.
Fist of all – entering a uni for bachelor degree. I have come to the UK in order to make my childhood dream come true-become a movie director. However, an unexpected thing happened – I heard a presentation of PR course by Michal Chmiel and suddenly became extremely interested in the subject. So, after weeks of self-torturing and reflections, I decided to apply to both movie and pr courses. Picking up one of them is the problem of future Anna, not mine ( I can already feel how she is kicking my ass through space and time for that).
I realized that I really lack of time and knowledge: I immediately went to LCC library and took a textbook “Public Relations today” by Cameron, Wilcox, Reber and Shin, that turned out to be very interesting. Moreover, I started to write my “movie diary” in English to provide it together with a portfolio.
Moreover, 2019 will be the year that I publish my first set of short stories. I want to start with creating the design an bounding it on my own. My last uni workshop inspired me to go to hard cover workshop to make a book all by myself. If I really manage to do it, it will be gorgeous.
I also want to go to screen printing studio and make a set of posters to improve my skills in this technique.
Another goal is to shoot and edit as many videos as I can, cause I haven’t got a lot of practice. To tell the truth I am scared to do it. Here is the thing: I have been dreaming about it for so long, that when the time has come, I am afraid that they will be not as good as I imagined them to be. But it is not an excuse!
I am going to read at least 50 books during this year, not counting textbooks or those that I need for my studying. I hope it will give me more ideas for my own creative writing.
Besides living and studying in such a multicultural community make me search for language courses in London. I know already two foreign languages and I want to study the third! It will be French!
I want to visit at least three new countries this year and produce sets of art works reflecting on my impressions and experience there.
To top it all, my main aim is to understand and decide what I want to do in the nearest years, to find a harmony and develop myself in various directions one of which is drawing, cause I still suck in it.
So, wish me good luck, as I am wishing you and all the best in the new year. Some people think about it as a new page in life. Personally, for me it is not, it is just a chance to start doing something you have been postponing all the time.
“Dim and mysterious is London’s Chinatown-and in Limehouse Causeway one gets the tang of betel-nut,of bhang, and of-opium.”
I am really lucky that we had this post code project. Apparently, I learnt a lot from this. And it inspired me a lot.
If not for this, I will probably never create ‘UAtown’ .
However, Ukrainian diaspora hasn’t been a subject of my research from the beginning. I was interested to work on a ‘banana’ issue-self-identification of people who were born immigrants and how they are perceived my those who were raised in a Homeland. Chinese ‘bananas’ (yellow outside and white inside) is a bright maple of such discrimination.
I was thinking about creating am animation video with live background of Chinatown and Soho in collaboration with some of my classmates. I created a storyboard, shooter a background video and edited that. However, it turned out that other members of the team wasn’t as into this project as I was. So, I failed.
(Charlie’s drawings. There were supposed to be two main heroines-immigrants: one Chinese girl Ling who meets Ukrainian ,Zlata .)
But, it is okay. One day I will make it real!
So, before this project I was studying this ‘banana’ phenomenon. especially, it was extremely useful interesting to talk with my friends of Chinese descent: a boy from Canada , Jimmy, and a girl from Australia, Olivia. We were eating Chinese food together and chatting almost every evening.
After spending almost a month studying Chinatown and Chinese community, I ended up with one question : Why is it Chinese diaspora who has their cultural centre in London but not Ukrainian ?
I mean, I has nothing against Chinatown and I understand that Chinese community is much more numerous than any other. But still! There are dozens of Chinatowns all over the world and just several Ukrainian ‘towns’ ( mostly in Canada).
So, I decided to create my own prototype of ‘Uatown’ which was based on social survey of Ukrainians. I started working on this idea in my zine. That was a very exciting process, as I was comparing two completely different cultures.
After I finished with that I felt that it wasn’t enough, I had to go on with this idea! I decided to create editorial. The main problem was that I had no idea how to create it digitally! I had never used Photoshop or Indesign before, so I was freaked out because of that.
I was borrowing a computer from library to work in Photoshop several times during weeks and am proud to say that I am aware how to use it now.
Moreover, I needed pictures for my magazine. So , I took a camera from LCC kit room and went for photo-hunting in the city rather than working in the studio, as I had been spending all my time there while working on a previous project.
And, u know, what?! It is so much more difficult to take pictures with a camera rather than use a phone!!! I was taking several photos of one image to have a perfect one in the end.
I am proud of my work. And really hope that in the future this idea will transform from a university project into reality!
“The contemporary art museum is often compared to a secular cathedral, where agnostics come to engage in a pale mimicry of worship. The artists Jake Chapman, a ferocious critic of Tate Modern, expressed the complaint that its architecture is ‘concussive’: ‘You feel very small in the face of the magnitude of this cathedral. It sends messages for miles: this is important, this is a sacred place, everything here is sacred. Things that are sacred aren’t questioned and that’s the problem.’’ (Frances Morris, 2010) Maybe it is true and all installations and works there are icons of some kind. Nevertheless, if not to focus on how big the building of the museum is and go into comparatively small rooms within the gallery ,you won’t feel as being pressed by the complexity of understanding contemporary art in its intimidating entirity. If you head to the highest levels of Tate to several small quite chambers, you will see the greatest sample of simplicity and heaviness in the art at the same time.
The exhibition of Jenny Holzer won’t perplex you with its madness and extravagant effects. The artist uses the most basic tool – words. You just have to read short notes on the walls or posters or sentences that are projected on various objects… Allow yourself to take the look behind these characters. Some of these phrases might seem ridiculous or they can also contradict one another, but that is the best part, as long as you start to interpret those in your own way. ‘What are words? Words are how what you think inside comes out and how to remember what you might forget about.’ (Ann & Paul Rand, 1957)
A figure 1, Jane Holzer
‘Holzer’s writings give voice to anonymous, suffering souls, perhaps identifiable as “characters” that are disembodied and drifting. Her design inserts the voice in our heads. Sometimes it happens by a normal process of reading, albeit in abnormal formats: poems, engraved on marble benches, for example. More often-and masterfully-she uses technologies of advertising and public announcement: spectacular language, which is seen and absorbed rather than read.’ However, her works won’t give you the impression of being a propaganda, because it is not actually. Those displays are ‘mind bombes’ that just slip into your head and won’t let you forget about them. The author doesn’t provide you with a ready-made idea, she just shows you direction, but it is you who has to find your own way.
A figure 2, Jane Holzer
A figure 3, Jane Holzer
A figure 4, Jane Holzer
A figure 5, Jane Holzer
A figure 6, Jane Holzer
If to think about it deeply, one may say that Holzer is not an artist as she doesn’t paint on canvases or doesn’t create sculpture or whatever that involves years of practice and lots of knowledge. She just uses words, that we also use in our everyday lives . But yet it is she ,not us who can make a real ART out of it. It is understandable for each of us, in some way it is clear. Personally for me, it is perfect.
When you create a painting it always will stay abstract, because every person will choose different details to pay his/her attention to, so everyone will feel it differently. When you use words, you carry your message directly. There are no doubts that the impressions and feelings about it will vary as well as making people thinks about different meanings. This may lead to diverse conclusions, but anyway, those are words, and you can feel what an author wanted you to think about. You can hear the voice in your head, read someone’s thoughts. And it will happen to you so naturally and easily. Because what can be more instinctive than reading?
Frances Morris “Tate Modern. The Handbook.” Edited by Frances Morris. With essays by Michael Craig-Martin, Andrew Marr and Sheena Wagstaff. Tate Publishing, 2010
Ann & Paul Roland, “Sparkle and Spin. A book about words.” Jacket illustrations, 1957.
Jenny Holzer “Jenny Holzer. Xenon.” Ink, third edition.
Stop for a moment. Look around! What do you see? I can bet that now, while reading this text, you are sitting in the comfortable chair in your office, drinking coffee in Starbucks or waiting in the queue in a shopping mall… To cut the long story short – you are in the building, but not surrounded by pure nature somewhere deep in the forest or wherever else. Nowadays people spend most of their lives inside their modern new-tech ‘caves’. “Modern architecture was evolved less than a century ago to reconcile an idealized vision of society with the forces of the Industrial revolution. While it made drastic breaks with the past it also allowed the basic principles of architecture to be rethought in new ways.” ( Curtis ,1999) Have you ever thought how those changes may influence your happiness? What is the difference in the quality of people’s lives who reside in high-rise blocks and semi-detached houses, in the city and in suburban area? Do you know that housing may be unsafe for your health? Giving answers for these and lots of other questions is the aim of the ‘Living with building’ exhibition. Maybe you will find them, maybe not, but what is more likely and important – you will be offered a material to think over and that will raise questions of your own.
The exhibition is divided into two parts and situated, respectively, on several floors. Let’s look at the first part, initially. Among all aspects of the exhibition there are definitely some issues in what authors were interested the most- switching from architecture of the past to future, buildings impact on men’s health and usage of architectural methods and knowledge in medicine therapy. Lots of photos, drawings, 3D models and media sources are provided. You have a chance to see 19th century slum housing and alternatives that were offered instead of them, that, as for me, are the same as social building reforms in SSSR brought by Khrushchev but with another shape that depends on design culture and the amount of space. Many information is dedicated to models that promote fresh ideas about hospital and ‘hygienic’ flats designs that seems to be very relevant nowadays. “What we have to do in the realm of architecture is to find a method of linking rationality with the organic in such a way that the organic becomes dominant and rationality is reduced to a menial position.” ( Sigfried Giedion) You will find out a lot information about the architects and their projects dedicated to creation natural spaces that will be conductive to people’s well-being.
The second section has another subtitle ‘Global Clinic’. It was launched so as to draw society’s attention showing in what ways architecture may help in solving worldwide health issues today. The design that is presented was created as a result of coworking of Roger Stirk Harbour and Partners and engineers BuroHappold and ChapmanBDSP for independent humanitarian charity Doctors of the World. The core of the project was creating the design of a field ‘clinic’ that would be easy and flexible in transportation and reusable in construction. What they had as an outcome really amazes! Those are accurately cut pieces of plywood sheets that when connected together create a basic structure that answers needs of Doctors of the World. Also you can see projects of young designers working on simple prototypes of furniture and other objects that may be in demand.
Moreover, I highly recommend to take a handout about St Pancras area and have a walk after attending the exhibition. That would be a nice chance to think new information over on the fresh air and have a practical look on how design may affect us.
To conclude I would like to say that it is very important to be broad-minded and have critical thinking. You should know about environment that surrounds you, especially about how it is designed. Buildings have become part of us. “The structure of place ought to be described in terms of ‘landscape’ and ‘settlement’, and analyzed by means of the categories ‘space’ and ‘character’. Whereas ‘space’ denotes the three-dimensional organization of the elements which make up a place, ‘character’ denotes the general ‘atmosphere’ which is the most comprehensive property of any place.” ( Nesbitt,.1965-1995) It is quite useful to have in mind some aspects using which you can scan your building environment. This exhibition is a nice starting point. Some things will be difficult to understand or may seem weird but if you really spend some time there and try to think it all over, you will start looking at your life in a new way, regarding design not only as something aesthetically beautiful. Maybe an architect built stairs here to make you move more? Or maybe the shape of the window was chosen to let a specific amount in? You ought to be aware of it.
William J.R. Curtis (1999). Modern architecture since 1990. London. Phaidon Press Limited.
Sigfried Giedion.Space, time and architecture. The growth of a new tradition. Harvard University press Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England.
Kate Nesbitt.Theorizing a new agenda for architecture. An anthology of architectural theory.1965-1995. New York. Princeton Architectural Press.