Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17th Rome.

Tuesday nite November 17th.

Russell gave his talk tonight. Very fine letter and book designer: funny and classic in his way.

Tomorrow we go to Villa Borghese to film at the pond with the Shelleys. The sunny mild weather has held (some people are still wearing sandals...) and we will be on the water. Last weekend on Saturday the 14th we shot at the carousel by the Castel San Angelo. Very beautiful. Unfortunately (purtroppo) the photos I’ve included were taken by an intern and she didn’t switch from electric light (!) so they are bluer than the real.

The other fotos are from today when I went and got fingerprinted (!) at the police station for my permesso de giorno, i.e. my visa to stay the year at the Academy. Jason, another fellow was at the same time so we walked out with ‘black hands’ (from the ink prints) and had a coffee and decided to visit a local church. The statue is a late Bernini and in the back was a “secret” room, a "camera" in Italian which I now understand since my bedroom has become a kind of clock with the light moving through it, across walls, armoir, now back wall, above the bed, circling. Our guide didn’t know how to operate the machinery of the secret doors so we saw some fine medieval paintings of St. Francis who presumably slept there waiting for the pope to give him his permesso! Ahhh the round.

Now backwards for all you followers (please do comment; it lets me know who all is reading this)

Thursday night November 12th
Before the dire Friday the 13th which turns out to be lucky ( I am sure) this has been a week of hard work on my China film: new title: RIDING THE TIGER: Letters from Capitalist China incorporating new recording Monday morning from my collaborator Danica M. in NYC via web—aiff (sound files to you) via usendit. Lovely and it works! Happiness. Then hours of cutting and pasting and then Wednesday spending most of the day rendering…so that I could play pool after dinner and watch (even) the first show of Mad Men…while my computer grinds away. Felt bad that I missed Maxxi invite Tuesday night, the new architecture marvel by the Iranian that opened with a dance performance by Sasha Waltz, (another great name) a German Fellow at their academy. Ahhh even gave up a walk this morning to Syrian vault in nearby Via Dandolo, a curvy S of a road right round us. But got a version of the film to send to Berlin. So cross your fingers for me. It needs more work but good to get this far.

I did take a break and walk down Dandolo to pool which I am to join—Friday I hope and swim regularly 2x a week say for the next 8 months. It’s down a wonderful flock of stairs. This neighborhood percolates with stairs coming and going in all directions and it makes the trip that otherwise would be 45 minutes only 25 min. door to door, and far more fun. I had to have a doctor examine me but we practiced our mutual broken languages. His English better than my Italian (but of course) and I was declared healthy with 120 over 70 blood pressure— lower than in New York I believe.

But sadly folks no fotos for this week’s report. Unless maybe I put in fotos of my new stairs in Nova Scotia that just got rebuilt and re-sanded to match the 150 year old ones? In a city of 2000+ year old bronze green doors, 150 years seems very young indeed. It’s amazing the relativity of time and also how impressive the empire was— its shared knowledge and civic reach.

We continue to eat well, crepes tonight with cherries and amazing lunches and many interns coming and going . I am beginning to think of the installation I am to do in the basement in March. How to make it match the marvel of the space, with its arched skylights circling the cortile, its sound potential and Rome itself circling in our brains. An old aqueduct runs under the floor—could it be incorporated? Must think and muse deeply here. The space and perhaps films previously shot in Rome will determine what to do.

Reading Holmes from FOOTSTEPS: his: “falling upwards into someone’s arms.”
Or on an adder: “It was small and handsomely zigged, glossy black on soft beige, and moved aside with perfect diginity.” On love and this is Robert Louis Stevenson whom Holmes is following (in his footsteps) a backpack trip through France:

“How the world gives and takes away, and brings sweethearts near only to separate them again into distant and strange lands; but to love is the great amulet which makes the world a garden; and ‘hope, which comes to all’, outwears the accidents of life…”

lovely lovely: RLS again to a friend: “I want—I want…I want to be happy. I want the moon or the sun or something. I want the object of my affections badly anyway and a big forest: fine breathing sweating sunny walks and the trees crying aloud in the summer wind and a camp under the stars.”

On that:
un abbraccio e buona notte.

later that same Sunday November 8th, 3pm my time (no idea how the blog names the time of my uploads—perhaps google California time? Since they are approximately 9 hours off….):
The day has been melodramatic: sun rain then a brief rainbow, now torrents of rain, lovely sound as if we are under a waterfall on a summer day, about to dive in. Exciting rain, trembling rain, rain of details and promises. Here you hear it as if thousands of years of ears have heard it over years. —Okay that was awkward but you get the idea.

I have taken out my video camera at least twice today, as insecure as the weather (whether) trying to catch the last golden leaves before the rains destroy them. Have I missed this time?

Fierce and powerful and I am told there was a storm last night. I can’t remember if I heard it since there have been a number of thundering storms in the early mornings. Now a plopping sound; the storm passed in 4 minutes. My trusty heater purrs. I bought a large electric one mid week last for the hours the heat is NOT on—presumably the city of Rome allows only a certain amount of total hours—[this is not New England nor Minnesota!]—thus, from 11:30am to 6pm and after 10pm there is no heat.
Toasty though with heater at feet and sun burning through again even as I watch grey clouds roll in in my heroic arched windows. What did the painters do? Skylights for the brightness of diffuse light? Likely.

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