Dance on Screen
02 November, 2002
Dance on Screen
15: 00 The Place / The Robin Howard Dance Theatre
Home (Dir. Anton Califano, Chor.Jo
Parkes, UK 2002, 4mins)
The beginning is like a documentary film. It is the story
of three different families of each of different races living in the East End
of London. But in the middle of the film, the casts enter an imaginative world.
Inasmuch (Dir. & Chor. Wim Vandekeybus,
BEL 2001, 15 mins)
This film focuses on Birth and Death. The basic idea is nothing
unsusual. A man faces the birth of his baby. And in the next scene the man faces
the death of an old man, who seems to him like his son and his father. The scenes
seems to merge the boundaries between illusion and reality. The scenes, in which
young and old people are running on a sandhill are impressive, as well as the
scene with the ruined ship "Normandy". When I see his works, which
of course include dance pieces, my mind is full of affection to people, even
when he focuses on violence. I think he is a remarkable film director, as well
as a good choreographer.
A 1-Minuite Wander (Dir. Jo Ann Kaplan,
UK 2002 / 1 min)
Dana Caspersen is featured.
Swanlake (Dir. Sonja Junkers / Chor.
Katya Troger & Susi Wisiak)
A male dancer dances the Swanlake in the narrow bathroom.
I regret deeply that I have missed Tierry de May s film Master Class.
Darwin Centre Phase one
03 November, 2002
Darwin Centre (National
I joined the tour of the Darwin Centre. The centre was opened
in September inside the National History Museum in the first part of a development
program. Phase two will be opened in 2007. It houses the largest number of archives
of biology and zoology in the world. (Now, they have 200,000 reptiles and amphibians,
two million fish, two million mollusks and three million crustaceans.) Normally
we can see only the ground floor. Many bottles of specimen, which are full of
formaldehyde, are lined up on the glass cases. Although only a small part of
the collection, it's overwhelming in the sense of wonder that biology or zoology
provides for people. Nature created the miracle form.
We need to register for a tour of the other section. The maximum number of participants
of a tour are 8 people. Everybody has to wear a white coat before entering the
closed section. We go to some storage rooms, working rooms, in which scientist
use to investigate or make specimens, on other floors. It's a disappointing
that most specimens are behind closed doors in the shelf. Only some specimens
are shown to visitors. Putting exhibits on display naturally conflict with interests
of good preservation. It's difficult to cope with both storage and putting specimens
on show in the museum. But I had a really good time seeing the exhibits at the
natural history museums both in Paris and NY. I think the Darwin Centre's main
purpose is not show. However it showed me the significance of the impact that
people such as Charles Darwin, Captain Cook and so on made in history in Britain.
The tour lasts for thirty mins.
03,05 November, 2002
Caribs' Leap / Western Deep
02 Oct - 10 Nov
Lumiere is the film theatre near St Martin in the
Fields. The cinematic installations by Steve McQueen, which was one of the Artangel
program, took place there. At Lumiere, all sheets and screens were taken away.
It seemed like a ruin, and not a film theatre. More like a factory or something
like that. It was a strange place. A large white wall was set on the middle
of the theatre as a screen. "Western Deep" was projected on the wall
where the normal screen would have been. And "Caribs' Leap" was projected
on the wall in the middle and the wall on the back.
"Caribs' Leap" consists of two films. One describes daily life of
people living in the north of the Caribbean island of Grenada, where there was
a cruel history. But the focus is on everyday life in the film. In another film,
as opposed to the Caribbean people's film, there is an image of a man is falling
in the sky slowly. The man appears in the screen many times from different angles.
While watching the falling man several times, he seemed to swim in the sky willingly
not falling. I felt the world of released mind. On the other hand, it refers
also to a scene in their history. In 1651, most Caribbeanss, including children,
jumped from the top of the cliff to the death because the French forced them.
It was the f(l)ight for resistance.
"Western Deep" focuses on the one of the world's largest goldmines
near Johannesburg in South Africa. A camera follows miners into an elevator
which connects the ground and the deep underground for two miles and places
for miners' health examination. Quite impressive is the contrast of industrial
noise and silence and deep dark, and blinking artificial light or sunshine.
He describes the black miners' severe working condition. Lumiere suits that
the image brings us to another place, the goldmine.
On 3rd November I couldn't see "Caribs' Leap" because of trouble with
the projector, and I revisited on 5th.
06 November, 2002
17 Oct - 16 Nov
06 November, 2002
The Toilet in the Corner
03 Oct - 16 Nov
06 November, 2002
25 Oct - 30 Nov
06 November, 2002
Holywood is a Verb
29 Oct - 20 Dec
Included classic works by Ed Rusha, David Hockney, Dennis
Hopper and Andy Warhol, and more recent paintings and photography by Maurizio
Cattelan, Philip-Lorca di Corcia, Dexter Dalwood, Dougras Gordon and Cindy Sherman.
Bark Dance Productions
05 November, 2002
Bark Dance Productions
Now Blind Yourself
20: 00 The
Place / The Robin Howard Dance Theatre
This work was a mix piece of Dance and Theatre. But it was
not a Tanztheater. In this work, the part of dance was dance, the part of theatre
was theatre. I guess the director (Jan de Schynkel) wanted to create a theatrical
poem. But I didn't enjoy this experiment. The actors and the dancers lacked
fascination. Only lighting sets were interesting. The left-hand of the stage,
a big light ball hanged down. The texts were projected on the surface of the
ball from inside. Some fluorescent lights covered with a long and narrow vinyl
were hung over the stage. The lights seemed like the backbones of animals. But
the chair on which the main character (a blind old man) was sitting was the
wrong choice. Its chair, which like Marcel Breuer's one did not match other
sets and costumes. The dancers' costume were like decorative swimming suits.
It made dancers' bodies seem like sausages. In addition, I think there was also
a problem in the ensemble of dancers.
The old blind man required a girl to read the book. But the texts she read have
been written on her skirt. I think "Book" should have a book shaped
material. Because pleasures which a book gives us are in touching and seeing
the material, not only in reading or in listening to the voice. It might be
that reading the book had a sexual meaning in this play. I think that it was
the less of sexually attractive if the director has intended that.
11 November, 2002
In this year, those nominated for the Turner Prize were Keith
Tyson, Liam Gillick, Catherine Yass and Fiona Banner. Keith Tyson's works are
most enjoyable because of his various methods and quotations in his drawing.
Liam Gillick is a maker of object and designer and also writer. His works are
stylish. Fiona Banner uses erotic texts. It is controversial but not impressing
Catherine Yass made a lot of impression on me. She exhibits films and light
boxes. The film named "Flight 2002" was shot from a remote controlled
model helicopter flying around the roof of Broadcasting House, London. The sight
with camera is falling down or rising suddenly. No. If anything, I can't recognize
the direction "up" or "down". The camera seems to move as
if it were out of control. My physical perception was changed by only sight
of the film. Another film "Descent"s sight is rising with falling.
We see a shot of the following a skyscraper which is under constructtion from
top to bottom in deep fog. However, the film was projected up side down. It
reminded me of the words "To be free, one must first fall." The light
box series are images made by this footage. These are mere colour lines, which
have become an impression of light and graphical meaningless surface of time.
I voted for her.
11 November, 2002
Logic of the Birds
Logic of the Birds
20: 00 Union Chapel
Chapel is an arts and music venue in Islington. The live performing " Logic
of the Birds" took place in this gothic interior. This work was inspired
by Persian poet and mystic Farid al-Din Attar's 12th century masterpiece "The
Conference of The Birds". The three big screens have been set in a chapel,
some beautiful footage, which shows a woman(Sussan Deyhim) floating in a lake,
the woman and Muslim people wandering on the wasteland which have been blown
up in places, the standing woman on a red heath and so on, projected on that.
The woman and people, who were featured in the footage, performed. Their music
and footage were beautiful and strong. But it was flat and too heavy.
12 November, 2002
Bridie Productions <http://www.outofschoolhourslearning.org/site/partners/performingarts/bridie.htm>
The Hunchback of Bethnal Green
19: 30 St John in Bethnal Green
This is the modern and Bethnal Green version of "The
Hunchback" by Hugo. Bethnal Green is in East End of London, many immigrants
have lived there for many decades. "The Hunchback of Bethnal Green"
was performed in an old chapel in front of the tube station.
As the audience was waiting in the entrance hall, suddenly the lighting went
down. The play started the steps at both sides of the hall. After then the audience
acted as "the audience". The story proceeded at places of this chapel
and the audiences followed the actors and actresses.
I couldn't imagine that such an immoral play could be performed in a real chapel.
A Romany girl Esmeralda dances bewitchingly for the Father in front of Christ's
statue. The Father entreats Esmeralda to marry him at back of the chapel. The
black Hunchback dances Michael Jackson right in the chapel. A drug dealer threatens
the Father with a pistol. At the basement, there is Hell. There is Violence,
Sex and Drugs.
All casts were fascinating.
The production make me remind me Shuji Terayama's play. (He was a Japanese experimental
playwright.) He often made the audience act "the audience" and the
theatre opened onto the real city. In the last scene of this play, the door
of the chapel opens and the Hunchback releases to the actual town. We could
see a real double decker go past a road over the door. But this play's theme
was the release from chapel (Father), But Terayama had focused incestuous love
and hate between a mother and a son. This is big difference.
Anyway I was really impressed. There are some rooms for artist in residence
at the basement of this chapel. And also regarding the performance I saw last
night, I was moved by the strong support and tolerance for the Art by the Chapel.
17 November, 2002
The Laws of the Land
- 17 Nov
Emma Kay exhibited eight panels, printed British legal documents,
on the wall in her latest work.
From Adoption Act, Freedom of Information Act, Homeless Person Act, Wild Plants
until Protection Act, the eighty four acts were listed by small letters heavily.
But depending on the context they seem almost to limit our rights, instead of
protecting them. It shows us the framework of rights in Law.
17 November, 2002
Great Balls of Fire 2001
One of the video programmes "NEAR-LIFE EXPERIENCE".
This video was taken on a street in NY in the afternoon of September 11, 2001.
A camera takes a man, who is singing, asking a pedestrian for coins with a coca-cola
cup. The pedestrians are walking wearing a mask not in a hurry, but in normal
speed. Sometimes the scenes, in which the World Trade Center building is falling
apart, are insert until it become mere white smokes at night.
The building is collapsing, the pedestrians are walking on the street, the man
is cursing and swearing. You could never see such a sight on the CNN.
17 November, 2002
Cornford & Cross
30 Oct - 21 Dec
Presented some proposal for site-specific political art projects.
Photography, drawings, models, clippings and plan about Afghanistan, Hyde Park
21 November, 2002
30 Oct - 21 Dec
This is European art which aspires to be light-footed but
in vain, because of the burdens of tradition and history.
21 November, 2002
Glen Lunchford and Paul Berczeller
Here to Where
20 Nov - 23 Nov
I saw this documentary-like film in an art gallery.
According to the instruction of this film, Alfred Merhan, from the Middle East,
has lived on a bench in the basement of Terminal 1 in Paris Charles de Gaulle
Airport for 11 years. He couldn't enter Paris and go to any countries, likes
the protagonist of Kafka's "The Castle", because he didn't have the
papers he needed. The lawyers fought for is freedom and he was finally granted
travel papers in 1999. He could go anywhere he wanted in the world. But all
he wanted to do was stay on the bench. This story reminds me of "Fallen
from Heaven" directed by Philippe Lioret featuring the unforgettable Jean
Rochefort. And the title reminds me of J.L.Godard's film.
The film follows the story of how ambitious American film director Paul Hugo
tries to make a film about Alfred and failed. Deserving special mention is Abbas
Kiarostami stars as himself in the movie. In it, he is asked to play the role
of a psychiatrist. In the first scene in which Abbas meets Alfred, Abbas speaks
in French not in English to Alfred, on the other hand Alfred doesn't speak in
French. They couldn't communicate and there is a silence. They are upset in
this unexpected and ridiculous situation. We foreboded the unfortunate future
of this film from this scene. In the next time Abbas tries speaking his lines
in English. But he has a question for the way this film is in this time. After
an argument between Abbas and Paul, Abbas escapes from this film and the airport
where this film is located. He said that Paul should let Alfred alone. He is
a victim. That's true. He loses the actor and the fund at the end. Paul's father
was a refugee and the film and taking the prize of Cannes would have established
his identity if he had succeeded. Eventually he loses hope. On the other hand,
Alfred doesn't have his official identify. Nevertheless he lives everyday life
on the bench with a serene state of mind. This filmed like a making film about
the unaccomplished movie. But this is a well-made fictional film about Film.
24 November, 2002
14 Wharf Road
24 Oct - 24 Nov
Exhibited works by Roderick Buchanan, k r buxey, Phil Collins,
Alan Currall, Graham Fagen, Ori Gersht, Dryden Goodwin, Luke Gottelire, Nigel
Shafran, Lesley Shearer, David Shringley, Keith Tyson, Michelle Williams, Saskia
Olde Wolbers, Shizuka Yokomizo and Bettina von Zwehl. Organized by The
25 November, 2002
Talk to Her (2002)
Odeon Wardour St
In the first scene I see Pina Baushs dance masterpiece
"Café Müller". Pina Baush and Pedro Almodóvar, I felt
strange this combination first.
This film is mellow like the song by Caetano Veloso featured. Humour, sweet
sadness and challenging polite ideas about sex are all his style. For example
the male nurse, who acts like a gay person, lies about his sexual inclination
and rapes a coma girl he loves. A sensitive protagonist is in tears by Pina
Baush. And a brave female bullfighter fears a snake. This is a story about impossible
love. This setting is his own. But this film has different flavour from others.
In the last scene, Pina Baushs dance work ("Masurca Fogo") is
featured again. I was really impressed with this matching. His film has become
very sophisticated. This film is excellent. I was gripped. But I think I am
not alone in missing his earlier "bad-taste" style of film.
26 November, 2002
My Voyage to Italy (2001)
Martin Scorseses "The history of Italian Film"
started from his family memory, in Little Italy, NY in the early 20th Century.
His grandfather was an immigrant from Sicily. Surprisingly, he has preserved
the old films, which filmed his big family. When he was a child, he saw a lot
of films on his parents´ 16 inch black-and-white RCA Victor TV set. This
voyage starts from a private life, but he didn´t tell the private history
and the film´s history in piles. He only indicated how the immigrants think
Italy in modern Italian films. The movie doesn´t trace his roots directly
but explains how he caught the tender views from the classic Italian films.
He tells the styles of Neorealismo directors and so on with footage from the
I couldn´t supress my tears in "The Biycle Thives" and "Umberto
D" by De Sica, discovered the shocking beauty of "La Terra Trema"
by Visconti, moved with the sharpness of "Germany, Year Zero" and
beautiful Bergmans action in the "Europe 51", "Voyage to
Italy" and "Stromboli" by Rosselini, and absolute beauty of "L´Éclipsse"
by Antonioni. (I really like Antonioni´s films), rediscovered the last
scene of "La dolce Vita" which had been established in my mind in
another way with Scorsese´s analysis.
The length of 245 mins, is full of pleasure of seeing Film, and is not long.
A must see for all film lovers.
30 November, 2002
Biome, Eden Project
I went to Cornwall. Its 270 miles away from London.
I left from London Victoria coach station at 23: 30 on the previous day and arrived
at St Austell at 7:15 on the next day. I was very tired. I couldnt sleep
on the coach. I remembered Japanese coaches which are comfortable. And I missed
Su-Udon in the service areas. (Su-Udon is Japanese noodle soup. It has no topping
except chives. I like the simplicity of it. Ive always wanted to eat it
Now its winter. It was raining. This means season
off. Nevertheless, a lot of people were there. I recognised the success story
of the Eden project with my eyes.
Biomes are absolutely amazing. Biomes itself are like living colonies. They seem
like eggs of frogs or the insect Ohmu from the Japanese animation film
of Valley of Wind.
If Buckminster Fuller lived now, he would be satisfied to see Biome. Biome is
the biggest geodesic dome in the world. The Eden Project is really appropriated
to his geodesic concept, which is creating the maximum energy from minimum energy.
This architecture is photogenic both from the inside and outside. The dynamic
rainforest landscape inside the Biome is wonderful.
This area has been a disused china clay pit. The scientists developed a way of
bringing this area to life again without bringing clay from other places. This
project is expected to spread to other wastelands around world.
Meanwhile I was not impressed with art works in Eden. These are of exotic taste.
I think the founder sees the myth in the exoticism. And they present the myth
to us by low tech. Even though the architecture is very high tech. The project
suggests how to live with plant life for the present and also with a vision of
the long term in mind. According to an article on the Wireds site Mr Tim
Smit, the founder, doesnt have faith in interactive technology. Im
wondering if it means he hasnt hope in communication technology. Perhaps
he likes the way of physical.
In addition, I never saw exhibits about the genetic modification. GM is out of
the myth of relationship of the human and the plant. But I think that we need
to get the story, not the myth, about GM now. (I think that GM should not be made
a myth so easily.) Anyway this project is full of hope and optimism. Its
good. Because the Eden was named from Eden. They found out optimism, which they
believe that we can survive with, from the myth. Maybe the Eden project is just
a tropical garden.
*Buckminster Fuller Institute <http://www.bfi.org/><http://www.bfi.org/Trimtab/summer02/eden.html>
Special thanks: Kengo Oshima