23 Nov 2010

Step out of London, to Cambridge

Today, Darryl (Course Director) take us, who didn't join the trip to Budapest, to Cambridge. Frankly speaking, i have never been out of London, including the period of my foundation days. So, i'm kinda exciting about that.

We gather in front of college around 10. By the way, the amount of staying-in-London students is bigger than i though. Then get in the coach, start our one day journey. it takes approximately one and half hours to Cambridge. The first place we are going to visit is Kettle's Yard.          

We arrive Cambridge about 11:30, and the current exhibition of Kettle's Yard garllery is AS SO CI ATIONS. The title comes from John Smith's film "Associations", 1975. Fellowing is its introduction taken from John Smith official website

Images from magazines and colour supplements accompany a spoken text taken from ‘Word Associations and Linguistic Theory’ by Herbert H Clark.  By using the ambiguities inherent in the English language, Associations sets language against itself.  Image and word work together/against each other to destroy/create meaning.
"Associations is a straightforward rebus (a game in which words are replaced by pictures).  But the text is so dense (contemporary linguistic theory) and the combination of visual puns so extensive that a simple, unique reading of the film is impossible."  
A.L. Rees, Unpacking 7 Films programme notes.

This Artist's other work"The Girl Chewing Gum" is included as well. i have watched this film 4 years ago. Roughly, It films on a busy street corner, and a voice seems to direct the action commandingly , but actually it is just a narrator descibeing what happened in front of the him. 

Other works of this exhibition show how the artists (including Marcel Broodthaers, Pavel B├╝hler, Matthew Buckingham, Sharon Hayes, Michael Snow ) rearrange the words, the images and its meanings, focus on the relationship between language and history. Majority of these works i quiet enjoyed. However, i seriously consider how to improve my language level. (sigh)

After lunch, we go and visit the house of Kettle's Yard. Kettle's Yard is fomer house of Jim and Helen Ede. Jim was a curator at the Tate  Gallery during 1920s and 1930s. After retiring from the Tate in 1936, Mr. and Mrs. Ede travelled all around the world, due to above-mentioned two reasons, they got not a small amount of art collections. They searched a suitable place to live in and display the art works they owned as well. They found a area, consisted from four small and  dilapidated houses, known as "Kettle's Yard" locally. And Jim designed all the space and rooms, and display their  exquisite collections in it. The couple had lived here for16 years, from 1957 to1973. After many times of extensions , the scale of Kettle's Yard is what we see today. It divides into two parts, one is gallery( where the exhibition is ), the other is House. 

The House only open 2 hours per day ( 2pm ~ 4pm every Tuesday to Sunday). It is very worth to visit, you can find creativities, stimulus and inspirations in all of these rooms, just in the corner, the space, paintings, sculptures, books, furnitures, contemporary artworks, even the light and others objects. I really really like this house, truly provoke thinking. So adorable. They mix different kinds of styles perfectly. Really, i want to live in !

After this lovely house, we walk to the museum called The Fitzwilliam Museum, its scale is bigger than Kettle's Yard, the collections is a little similar to the British Museum ones, antiquities of Egyptian, Greek and Roman, sculptures, but one biggest difference is the former has a huge number of paintings.

We finish the visiting of The Fitzwilliam Museum in a hurry, coz have to catch the coach back to London. And 2 hours later, the Cambridge one day trip ends in front of college, where we get off the coach, with a great mood and satisfaction.


12 Nov 2010

Barnaby Barford

Salads? I'll give them fucking salads! 

We have a "Visiting Practitioner Talk" every Wednesday, from beginning to now, we had Tom Guald ( a cartoonist and illustrator, his drawings are simple and concise, can be seen in many publications) , Alice Stevenson ( an illustrator and surface pattern designer, work for Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss and etc ), James Jarvis ( very famous illustrator and toy designer, i have already seen some of his work before, maybe 10 years ago, not sure), and my favourite one - Barnaby Barford ,who is an artist and filmmaker use the ceramic medium to create narrative scenes , most of time, these scenes are very satire.

The Reason why i enjoyed this lecture is not only his witty work but also his inspiring presentation. His work doesn't relative to illustration directly, But these images appear to tell stories in strong and humourous way. In other words, he make an illustration with these 3 dimensional objects.   

Wait until I get home, they're going to go crazy!

The way Barford work is reproducing the porcelain figures which are purchased from mass markets and antique shops. Cutting them, exchanging the part of them, and also repainting them. To be honest, i really cant tell these figures are assembly and remade :P

At least I'm still here
The stories he tell is reflective of current affairs, for instant, alcohol and teen drinking, teen gangsters and guns, celebrity culture, fast food globalization, and so on. Very irony but true.

Shortly After the Marriage (1743) by William Hogarth(1697-1764)
In this talk, Barford mentioned Hogarth, Chaucer, Dickens and Shakespeare as his inspirations, and displayed some paintings from Hogarth, these  compositions are dramatical and powerful. And Dickens and Shakespeare are well-known geniuses at using words to describe people and affairs in that periods. All of these masters' works have something in common, that are telling stories brilliantly and responding to the era they lived in. So, it is easy to understand why the scenes that Barford created are narrative and closing to everyone.      

Barford showed us other three film clips as well, two of them are masterpieces from Jan Svankmajer, i have seen them before.(By the way, Jan Svankmajer is an original creator and pioneer undoubtedly) ,and the other one is so ridiculous funny, Please search "Nigella XXXMAS" on youtube. i won't put that thing in my blog XD

Final, here is Barford's film called "Damaged Goods" , that is an 100% love story, looks like a tragic romance, but its ending is quite happy. ( Just click the title, it would link to the page)