Sunday, March 30, 2008

Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night

Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night is definitely a worthwhile duo of fashion exhibitions. There's beautifully detailed Victorian dresses, architectual structures, exploration of shape and cuts, a variety of fabrics and surface contrasts best explored in monotone.

My expectations of it were a little topsy turvy - I found the Australian half of it at The Ian Potter Centre more impressive than the international half. It isn’t because the fashion was any better but because I could see it well. The lighting was extremely dim at NGV International. Why should this be when you’re dealing with pieces of the same age and materials? I respect the need for dim lighting of textiles but the disparity between the two shows baffles me.

One showcase had no lights on at all - most likely the light bulb was blown - when we visited on a Sunday afternoon. The space containing these large showcases is designed to cut out most daylight, and has minimal ambient light, so this rendered whatever was in the case invisible. I could just make out what might have been an embroided collar or perhaps an apron. I find this is unacceptable gallery practice for such a prestigious institution.

Most memorable pieces @ the Ian Potter NGV;
Two exquisitely beaded, Victorian mantles,
1950s dresses.
@ at NGV International;
Neoprene dress.

Cute and weird cigarette cards

Here's the cuddly, cute one hugging his grain husk:
Will's cigarette card  - Hamster
Common Hamster
Will's Cigarettes card

Here's a fairly odd, feral looking squirrel (I was originally going to put the hamster one directly on the left of the squirrel but it looked like he was doing something with his grain husk to the squirrel...)
Will's cigarette card  - Squirrel
Will's Cigarettes card

Finally, here's the weird one:
Will's cigarette card - Mauritius
Mauritius, Coat of Arms
Will's Cigarettes card

The bi-coloured critters and mammalian-like dodo are what make it for me. It doesn't seem quite so weird when you see what a modern version of it looks like.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hot production by Timbaland on Red Carpet Massacre

How good are the Timbaland produced tracks on Duran Duran's Red Carpet Massacre? I was driving along listening to the album for the first time thinking, 'meh' when along comes Nite Runner, then I'm like 'Yeaaaah this is HOT stuff!' and chillin' while I flew along the freeway. I don't care for much of the rest of the album although I think the second half is better than the first.

Zoom In
(DD/Timbaland/Nate Hills) reminds me a bit of Ladytron a little - not that it's a bad thing.
Right now I'm a bit/totally addicted to;
Nite Runner
(DD/Timbaland/Nate Hills/Justin Timberlake),
Skin Divers (DD/Timbaland/Nate Hills),and
(DD/Nate Hills/Jimmy Douglass).
I reckon with a bit of persistance from a DJ any of these could really fill a dance floor. Gotta love that throbbing, grinding bass and the popping electronic punctuation. I hope DD keep going in this direction.

Oh yeah and kudos to The HorseMuseum for playing Kingdom, one of Dave Gahan's new solo songs at Blitz. I was the only one dancing but those other punters just didn't know what they were missing. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Species bias. Sharks < Whales?

I read and reread this article and it disgusts me how people can be so species biased. This is but one case of many that you hear about. Sharks are just as special and important as whales if not more so! They have as much right to swim in the sea undisturbed, and unhunted by anyone who feels like it. I'm not saying I like them but I respect their necessity and place in marine ecosystems.

I find it even more ironic that there's a Jetstar ad right next to it featuring dolphins - again, species bias. I'm not innocent of it. I eat meat. I've eaten flake (shark) with chips many times. Picture the same story being published with a 250kg, 20 year old, 'monster' dolphin. Would there be such a proud glow surrounding it?

I don't think spending approximately 2 hours catching/killing a harmless, shy, cold-blooded (or otherwise), non-edible animal is anything to be glorified or be proud of. I'm anti-whaling - I've even done an artwork about it - but at least the Japanese eat their catch. This provides nothing but transitory glory and admiration from those who should know better. Oh, and a mute trophy to hang on the wall.

The only 'monster' in this story is the human ego.

The Forgotten Entomologist

Listening to Dancing With Myself by Billy Idol/Generation X

'To the colonists there was something odd about a man who kept a live anteater in his bedroom and was kind to cockroaches.'
From 'The Forgotten Apostle' by Stephanie Pain
in New Scientist, 4 August 2007, p44.

This was about the historically overlooked entomologist, moonlighting botanist, Daniel Rolander. He was based at the Dutch colony in Suriname in South America. His journals were recently translated from Latin into English. Rolander was patroned by Carl Linnaeus best known for his system of scientifically classifying plant and animal species.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Advertising Art

Lately I've had access to a broad range of magazines both local and imported. It's got me more interested in fashion and a better understanding or what works/doesn't work and why.

It's a known fact that glossy fashion magazines are largely advertisements with only a small segment having actual content. Yet what fabulous ads they are. The beautifully composed photographs, bold use of colours, shiney and sexy things to covet. The illustrated/arty ads can be particularly striking. Here's a couple that I am loving right now.

Champagne, Spain
From a Spanish magazine
I feel this will inspire a future collage from me. I quite like the coke ad that's around at the moment with a similar composition but this is more my style. Gorgeous!

Moxie Sleepovers, cute kitsch
I don't know who the artist is for this but it's an amusing and striking artwork. Moxie's website is a sweetly feminine, interactive place to visit.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Music to Drive to

Going by my list of favourite tracks to drive to, good driving music is often good dancing music. Here's some of what I had on my On-the-Go list on my i-Pod.

For a sunny day, especially past trees and greenery
My Baby Just Cares for Me - Nina Simone
Girls and Boys - Blur
Ticket to Ride - The Beatles
Day Tripper - The Beatles

Through undulating urban streets, or on the freeway

An Honest Mistake - The Bravery
Train of Thought - The Sharp
All I ever Wanted - The Human League
Strict Machine - Goldfrapp
Pulse - Covenant
Relativity - Grafton Primary
Dance Little Sister - Terence Trent D'Arby

With the windows down, sweeping past traffic going the other way which adds a sound effect, complementing the track
Peek-a-boo - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Horror Show - Birthday Massacre
Suffer Well - Depeche Mode

Cruisin' in mah vee-hic-cal
It's Like That - Run DMC Vs Jason X
It's My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
World in My Eyes - Depeche Mode (Cicada Remix)
Fame - David Bowie
Fashion - David Bowie
The Way I are - Timbaland

That said, something by Vivaldi can be nice and calming as well, aiding concentration.