Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Global cities are scary

I went to see "Global Cities" at the Tate Modern (in London), last tuesday an exhibition that I found very interesting.

Andreas Gursky - Los Angeles 1999-Framed C-print

Mixing urbanism, architecture, we would also find contemporary art installations such as those two movies reflecting each other in the "pavilion" (if I may call it that way) of the city Shanghaï. Those "global cities" were presented either individually or compared and key figures were always there to show us, to remind us of the problems those cities are occurring. Striking to see that comparison between the movements of population, either studied on a long time scale or just during a day. Comparisons between the London subway and the one of São Paulo reveal the need to think about the future of those cities. Shanghaï, Cairo, Istanbul, London, L.A and São Paulo are the concerned cities by the exhibition. The big figures that drive us through the exhibition are rather/also here to make us aware about craziness and uncontrolled building.

The exhibition was also made to ask this question: "Can design improve our cities ?" A question which in that environment would bring the yes answer...

Fascinating reflexion by starchitects Rem Koolhas, or Zaha Hadid or artists such as Andreas Gursky through models or pictures for those who search big names.

I definitely recommend that exhibition. This week end a series of debates about urbanism, architecture and the future of those topics are to take place at Tate Modern. Need to book to have a seat.
Tuca VieiraParaisópolis Favela in Sāo Paulo, Brazil 2005© Tuca Vieira / Folhapress

This picture for instance is amazing since the difference between the rich and the poor cannot be more obvious.

"Global Cities looks at changes in the social and built forms of ten large, dynamic, international cities: Cairo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo. Drawing on data originally assembled for the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibition features both visual art and architectural responses to explore these cities through five thematic lenses: speed, size, density, diversity and form. This exhibition in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern incorporates a range of existing art works that explore conditions in each of the focus cities, with many of the international artists presenting their work in the UK for the first time.

Closer to home, a number of commissions responding to the London context and to specific issues such as sustainability and social inclusion have been realised especially for the exhibition. As Global Cities takes place in the midst of one of the focus cities, the exhibition uses London as a concrete point of reference and comparison. Inspired by the local urban dimension of London as part of a global phenomenon, a selection of prestigious architectural practices have been commissioned to present research and proposals about London's urban development."

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Bowie won the Webby whatever prize...He's got tons of awards but still one more is to make a joke about. Check the classy, so beautiful, so much charisma Bowie rules !

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Diamonds are Damien Hirst's best friends...

People are going to say that it is another "coup" from Damien Hirst, to draw attention and confirm his Art-superstar status ! Sure that is part of the game but I would reply that you had to have the idea, you had to come up with the concept and just because of that nothing can be said in front of the diamonds encrusted skull. He is surely one of the most brilliant/innovative artist of our time, and this skull is to confirm that.

The £50 million diamond encrusted skull is on display at the White Cube Gallery in Mayfair, in London.
But how the hell did he work on that skull ? Hirst said: 'We have been buying diamonds slowly and have worked out that it will take about eight and half thousand to completely cover the surface of the skull.'
'I just want to celebrate life by saying to hell with death,' said the artist, 'What better way of saying that than by taking the ultimate symbol of death and covering it in the ultimate symbol of luxury, desire and decadence? The only part of the original skull that will remain will be the teeth. You need that grotesque element for it to work as a piece of art. God is in the details and all that.'

Why is he doing it ? 'I've always adhered to the principle that the simplest ideas are the best, and this will be the ultimate two fingers up to death. I want people to see it and be astounded. I want them to gasp.'

Too bling bling and too perfect for 50 cents ? 'If it's vulgar, I'll put it on a chain and hang it round my neck - or I'll stick it on the mantelpiece.'

Surely will I hurry to the White Cube to see the piece. And of course believe Damien on his reflexion on art, death and money.

More info on:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Face of Fashion, National Gallery, London.

"15 February - 28 May 2007 in the Wolfson Gallery

Face of Fashion focuses on the portraits of five outstanding fashion photographers from Europe and America: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Corinne Day, Steven Klein, Paolo Roversi and Mario Sorrenti. It is the first exhibition of its kind, celebrating the innovation and diversity of current fashion portraiture. In the contemporary fashion world, models, actors, musicians and designers frequently swap places. The exhibition highlights the relationship between fashion and celebrity and illustrates the extraordinary intimacy that often develops between photographer and subject. The exhibition is curated by Susan Bright and the installation is designed by David Adjaye. "

I recently went to Face of Fashion at the National Gallery, here in London. I must say that it was quite deceiving. More than "Face of Fashion", it should have been called "Kate Moss" and even if I pretty much like Kate Moss, (worship her I should say more than like the people that don't know why she is so big...) I have to say it was a very small exhibition.
Apart from Steven Klein (but it is purely subjective) I was not impressed or touched at all.
Not so many photos, bad museography, not so many photographers...

In a nutshell it could have been so much better. Too bad !
Anyway now the exhibition has ended. The only picture I will remember is the one showing here. This picture fascinates me since it is like the quintessence of good tastes: Black and White Kate Moss wearing an amazing Dior Homme suit, posing like Marlene Dietrich. Itself this picture concentrates the best references ever...

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