Monday, October 31, 2005

Making an Exhibition of Oneself

Monday 31 October 2005

So yesterday I went to the International Centre.Venue for the Foreign Artists Exhibition.Runs Tuesday through Sunday.Apprehensive.The taxi driver tried to make conversation.I tried to resist correcting his mistakes.My inner child Bob,grammar monitor was screaming in my head.I suppressed him.Barely.Incidentally why is one of the first questions always"How many sheeps is there in New Zealand?".Must remember to choose a non-agarian country next time.

Upon arriving at the fourth floor I was met by a choas of activity.People signing up and organizing their stuff in the display room.I felt immediately humbled.Awkward.Seemed many paintings and photography.Real art rather than the kids stuff and rainy afternoon filler that most people see as paper mache.I dont think i'll do much to dispel that image.
I tried to find an area away from most critical gazes.
A large beer can holding pony tailed man advanced towards me,arm extended.Yeech human contact.I briskly shook his clammy hand.Jim,one of the main organisers was very friendly and helpful.He advised me about the display and lighting.I arrived at 11:30 and left at 2pm.
Id sketched out where and how I wanted things displayed.It took longer than I thought to space and pin stuff.Plus other people came round to look and made encouraging noises.Mostly.This matronly woman steamed over glanced dismissively at my efforts uttered "Paper mache" and sailed away.At least she was honest.I noticed later while doing the rounds said woman was displaying these stereotypical watercolor prints of hydrangeas and other flora.Chocolate box stuff.
I'll go back on Friday and mix with the masses.On Sunday after the end of the exhibition theres a small party which should be interesting given the variety of nationalities involved.Yesterday I met a German,some Brazilians and Mexicans as well as a mixture of English,Irish and Aussies.
Was kinda funny leaving the pigs and frogs behind.I imagine its much like a parent letting go...the challenge is out in the real world to survive the criticism of others...whatever.

Watched this recently.Amazed at Christian Bales physical transformation.He lost about 4 stone.Looks like a cross between an Aids victim and a concentration camp survivor.The story itself is perplexing and confusing.Like Memento it plays round with time and it keeps you guessing what has,had or will happen.The movie itself is shot in mostly blue,gray industrial tones.Very moody.All the reviews Ive read speak of all the references to Polanski,Kafka and other literary things.If I were more educated or knowlegeable id have picked them and sagely nodded"ah that shot was a homage to Polanski".
Not being a film litterati however Im unburdened with this so I could enjoy this DVD even at a superfical level.

Couldnt let the week pass without some comment about this woman.None of the students at my school knew her and only a few teachers.I had to do a history course at Teachers College so was at least familiar with her name.
Briefly on December 1 1955 she refused to give up her seat as required on a Montgomery bus to a white man.Her subsequent arrest led to a 381 day boycott of the bus system organised by Martin Luther King.I read this week in a newspaper that her act of defiance sparked the creation of the civil rights movement in America.Both Rosa and her husband later lost their jobs,were harassed and threatened and moved to Detroit.
Rosa received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 the highest award the U.S government can give a civilian.This week to finally honor her life her body will lie in state in Washington an honor usually reserved for Presidents and other high profile people rather than a 42 year old seamstress who felt " I had a right to be treated like any other passenger"Rest in Peace.

Many Japanese words sound similiar.Can be amusing or embarassing.Take for example the words for cat "neko" and the word for meat "niku".I'll let you imagine the scene when you confuse the two in a butchers shop.....

More Spelling Mistakes.
You would expect that December 25 and the shopping extravaganza that revolves around it from the end of October to early January would at least be spelt right.Of all the words in the English language surely this word has reached some kind of awareness in terms of spelling.But no! Imagine my disgust when i saw a sign in an upmaket boutique displaying the following example of the "cold-blooded murder of the English tongue" ok drum roll please and execution squad at the ready...the crime against humanity read "Merry Cristmas".I know its only missing an "h" but surely such a well known person or persons and common expression should be spelt correctly.Needless to say Bob my inner grammar Nazi was beside himself, It was all I could do to walk by.Bob wanted me to rip up the offending message or point out the error which would be lost on the shop staff. Should the sign be displayed next week I'll have to take a photo of it and see if I can get it on this blog.....  

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