Thursday, January 14, 2010

January 14th, 2010

January 12th, 2010

It is 50 degrees today, blue iris is blooming in the Bass Garden in the back, and the mimosa trees are also deeply fabulous yellow, covered in small balls of fuzzy pendulous masses. Beautiful and terrifying as local Italians are saying the weather is crazy. They will freeze and is this the climate change paradigm? Really the coldest stretch was the second week in December. It was 60 F for Christmas. I am liking it of course as it feels thoroughly Mediterranean—mild sweet.

The holidays are finally finally over—many of us are happy. Such an extended season of glitter and excitement! Now back to work and a pattern of time which was deeply interrupted. Yet interruptions continue—my theory of life—as I have had technological troubles—images disappearing from an edit drive! As a result, it has been two steps forward, one step back.

A number of smart folks are passing through including Alissa Quart who some of my poetry friends will know, so I showed a group some films in my studio. MIRROR WORLDS seems to stir up feelings—challenging because it never did in this ‘othered way’ with other audiences, including in Asia, and it’s been around a while. I wonder if because as three-screen installation—the vision of the Other gets subsumed into issues of narrativity and sexuality. One artist, a previous Fellow, the fabulous Patricia Cronin, said “you are skirting risky territory.” Now aren’t I always?

Some great suggestions for the Shelley film: definitely foreground home movie style, when the actors are ‘acting’ works less well; bring in as I had intended the contemporary—those gardeners in their fluorescent outfits carrying ladders across the screen!; think about issues of Empire who is removed, expatriated from where? The last hard to get away from since Rome is so present and acts not as “ old Europe” as one person said to me— but rather as a memory, history lesson from the past that is right in your face: war and power. Today and tomorrow.

Regarding RIDING THE TIGER, I have moved ahead to cut in all the voiceover, before the images went ‘down.’ And fascinatingly, perhaps predictably, the intermingling of voices is infecting the meaning as this dialogue about otherness and identity begins to resonate throughout the piece and suggest how China itself is redefining itself under Capitalism. One hears the questioning and feels through these varied voices, how unsure, how mobile, is “Identity”, how tenuous the nation state’s sense of self has become. How it can, or rather must, maneuver within this new situation. I await Yael Bitton’s voiceover version and Yael herself at the end of the month.

Off to swim.
Sun and close to 50 degrees today again. We are watching John Guare movie’s as he is recipient of Academy dvds—many many, some I have seen and others I have no interest in but some—yes some. So we have movies every night for the next 10 days! Wild really after a dearth of movies this fall. Either this is not a particularly movie group or rather not a communal group since people seem to be watching on their particular computer. Guare said in past years that there was a movie on EVERY night. Now that is more my style. I hope to get my fill this upcoming—

Talk of Sicily in March, our group trip, and the oranges—well, they are orange on all the trees, ripe, sweet mandarins and grapefruit—delicious—yellow balls on the ground. Here is a place to winter.

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