March 28, 2011
Robert Peary in Arctic furs.
"In June 1906, Commander Peary, from the summit of Cape Thomas Hubbard, at about latitude 83 degrees N, longitude 100 degrees W, reported seeing land glimmering in the northwest, approximately 130 miles (210 km) away across the Polar Sea. He did not go there, but he gave it a name in honor of the late George Crocker of the Peary Arctic Club. That is Crocker Land. Its boundaries and extent can only be guessed at, but I am certain that strange animals will be found there, and I hope to discover a new race of men."
- Donald Baxter MacMillan
[click image to enlarge]
An example of a Fata Morgana mirage, a rare and complex type of superior mirage. Here, an illusion of a large 'wall' of land is created, upon what is actually just open water.
The name of the mirage stems from the Italian for Morgan le Fay, the sorceress of Arthurian legend. In Italy, she was believed to be associated with the sirens, who lured unwary sailors to their death in the waters around Sicily.
March 26, 2011
March 24, 2011
A collection of images of Jonty Rhodes mid-air, with the ability to jump both vertically and horizontally.
Jonty Rhodes was cricket's first real fielder, before him, it was just something to do while waiting for your turn to bowl. Rhodes literally flew into legendary stratospheres with his full-body diving run out of Inzamam-ul-Haq in the 1992 World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan. Instead of attempting to throw down the stumps as was common practice for a run out, he sprinted towards them, ball in hand, and hurtled towards the wickets - a full-stretched flying dive - like a human cannonball, his entire body parallel to the grass beneath him, and resoundly clattered into the stumps and Inzamam was on his way back to the pavilion.
"Out of the corner of the eye I saw Jonty diving in. I'd never seen a bloke dive at the wickets ever before."
He leapt like a salmon, or a dog catching a frisbee, flying through the air as if a Hollywood action film explosion was propelling him.
When I represented Auckland in cricket as a teenager I was once compared to Jonty Rhodes in the field. It was the best cricket compliment I had ever received.
March 22, 2011
March 21, 2011
The Only Son
Disappearance at Sea
- For many, Donald Crowhurst is just a cheat who abused the sacred unwrittens of good sportsmanship. But for some, it is more complicated than this and he is seen as much a victim of the Golden Globe as the pursuer of it. His story is about human failing, about pitching his sanity against the sea, where there is no human presence or support system on which to hang a tortured psychological state. His was a world of acute solitude, filled with the ramblings of a troubled mind.
Tacita Dean, 1997
The film Disappearance at Sea is part of a series of Tacita Dean's works under the same name focusing on Donald Crowhurst and the Teignmouth Electron, and the effect the sea had upon his mind.
The Only Son was Ozu's first talkie - exploring the mother/son relationship, and perhaps also the idea of 'big fish in a small pond' and vice versa. Ryosuke moves from a small town to Tokyo with his tutor, to continue his education, but both are small pebbles cast into the swelling sea of people in Tokyo, and their efforts result in little success, Ryosuke teaching in a unremarkable night school, and renting cheap shabby rooms for his wife and child, and his tutor now running a tonkatsu restaurant in the lonely outskirts of the city.
Cont Ship #1
c. late 1930's
The abandoned Teignmouth Electron is discovered: Donald Crowhurst's trimaran in which he attempted the Golden Globe Race, that would result in his eventual insanity and suicide.
via, via, via
The image from Jack's Dream by Joseph Cornell comes from a fascinating blog by the name of the art of memory, in particular a collection of atmospheric imagery of the ocean, film stills featuring the sea, illustrations of ships, fog lights and horns, misty rigging and alongside paintings and photographic works of waves. I stumbled across it looking for film stills from L'avventura (Antonioni, 1960).
My interest in islands and the sea grows continuously. Ships are, in a way, similar to moving islands. So much mystery surrounds both, and both can maintain an almost continuous isolation as long as one is deprived of the other.
Cinemateket, other films I am looking forward to are 'Morte a Venezia' by Luchino Visconti (1971) and 'The Housemaid' by Kim Ki-Young, (1960).
March 20, 2011
Multiple views of Isola Bella, a fantasy island full of intricate Italianate gardens, laconic leucistic peacocks and housing the Palazzo Borromeo. Grandiose isolation, as all isolation should be.
The 1986 travel photo of well-dressed pensive-looking man in front of Isola Bella could easily be mistaken for being 25 years later, I'm sure. Sometimes attire is not indicative of a time period at all.
March 16, 2011
girl with moon, stairs by Toshio Shibata
Waiting for these grey days to wind up and spring weather to burst out of the frozen, dead ground, preferably in one of those sped up versions of the life of flora David Attenborough is such a fan of. Malmö has a shadow of Narnia about it at the moment, where it's always winter and never christmas, and I would really appreciate it if Aslan got 'on the move' before my birthday rolls around in the beginning of April.
I suppose this winter has felt a little like climbing a never ending case of stairs. At the start, it is all rather exciting, and you can't comprehend how long these stairs stretch on for, and you pause every now and again to take in the scenery and you notice how it changes the further you progress. Then you get to the stage where admiring the view is the last thing on your mind and the main priority is putting on foot in front of the other, while walking headfirst into a stiff breeze, and instead of wishing for this toil to be over, regretting that you foolishly took it on in the first place.
In the meantime I will try and follow through with a few recent plans: photograph my immediate environs regularly, practice my knot-tying technique, spend an entire day speaking swedish, and see more films at the Malmö Cinemateket.
March 15, 2011
Aerial view of the Hearst Castle Estate, with indoor roman bath and diving board.
William Randolph Hearst's mansion "La Cuesta Encantada", affectionately known as 'the ranch', and the inspiration behind 'Xanadu', the residence of Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane, 1941.
March 13, 2011
Hand painted Russian movie posters
KILL BILL / MEN IN BLACK 2 / MATRIX 3 / 50 FIRST DATES / TROY
foreign films that were brought to Russia's rural areas and shown makeshift cinemas were promoted with these captivating naive posters, made to measure and on demand by hired 'professional artists'. many were employed in house to keep up with the steady stream of incoming films, seemingly mostly sequels.
Portrait after having lived for one year in Malmö, Sweden. A small milestone!
Efter tolv månader i Sverige, har jag nu:
- mastered enough of the Swedish language to articulate my thoughts to Swedish friends and acquaintances in both sober and less sober states of mind, attempted to read my first Agatha Christie in Swedish, written short pieces of text about ABBA, Twin Peaks, and my old flat in Auckland, followed American TV shows by reading Swedish subtitles, watched an Ingmar Bergman film without subtitles, however the extent of my comprehension of that film is highly debatable.
- become a fully fledged cyclist about town, no other mode of transport can compare to the bicycle, especially after one has learnt the necessary cycle etiquette and rules, thus avoiding any awkward cycle faux pas or potentially hazardous accidents.
- been offered full time employment as a library assistant at Malmö Högskolas Bibliotek, the huge success after months of job coaching, awkward phone calls, applications I didn't understand and seemingly pointless business networking. Good things, do apparently, take time. Was told I had 'made a great impression and had really good references', so those must be the secrets to employment.
- not cut my hair for 12 months. It is at present the longest it has been in my life. The goal is to leave it that way at least until I can successfully explain to a Swedish hairdresser what I actually want in a hair style.
- travelled to more cities than I ever have before. Copenhagen, London, Glasgow, Berlin so far and counting. With the incoming funds from the above mentioned employment, hopefully this year the list will continue to expand.
- read an impressive number of classic books, taking advantage of Malmö public library's excellent English fiction section. Titles include Rebecca, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Steppenwolf, The Remains of the Day, Pan, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the short stories of Truman Capote, all of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels. I hope this reading trend will continue, with high literature in English and low brow pocket detective fiction in Swedish.
- experienced my first northern hemisphere winter, and in turn seen my first snow. A truly magical experience, and now, after many snowfalls, the wonder of it still gets me in a bit of a tither and I feel the need to uselessly announce the fact that snow is falling. These thoughts and feelings are documented in a short text about my first impressions of snow.
March 12, 2011
Two overwhelming images from the 8.9 magnitude Sendai earthquake and subsequent tsunami which struck Japan on Friday, March 11th, 2011. Another chilling reminder, so soon after the earthquake in Christchurch, of the power of nature.
March 11, 2011
Images from Norwegian Wood, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami's much cherished novel from 1987, released late last year. I am uncertain as to whether or not I would like to foray into the cinematic version, as I hold the novel so close to my heart. Along with Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, it is one of a select few books I can open randomly on any page and pick up where I left off. I am apprehensive because I fear that Norwegian Wood will leave me with the same bitter after taste of disappointment as Mike Nichol's 1970 adaptation of Catch-22. The images I have built in my head, the sound of the characters voices and intonations and the environments they live in, will always seems more complete and real than any film. Perhaps, as a novel in one part about memories, it is best to keep your version of it inside your head.
However I am sure my curiosity will trump my well intentioned Murakami purist mindset, and if the opportunity arose I would watch it.
March 7, 2011
morning box, portrait of a civilization (1969)
Macrame on wood
via an ambitious project collapsing
Langley House by Warren & Mahoney
17 Michael Ave, Christchurch, New Zealand
via Christchurch Modern
continuing exploring my interests in lines, and lengths of materials used to make other lines, mainly in craft and architecture. sometimes it is hard to gather up all these different threads of interest in my head and to try and arrange or make sense of them in a more linear, less scatterbrained manner. perhaps once i recommence employment in a library, beginning on the first of next month, my catalogued and ordered surrounds will transfer into the rest of my life.
March 2, 2011
Sitting in style with this chair by Theodore Waddell. Perfect for unrolling and setting up for a five day test match.
Most likely the chair of my dreams. I would like to make something so well thought out and as aesthetically pleasing as this.
March 1, 2011
On RAIN: some images I associate with Ash Kilmartin's one day sculpture garden.
Dragon - Scented Gardens for the Blind (1975) / Frank Stella Zambezi (1959) / Zambesi AW 2009 / Ash Kilmartin The Travelling Mime (2011, leather and silk) / Zambesi storefront circa 1980? (31 Lorne St, Auckland) / Dragon - Rain (1983)