Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Call It Your Own!

Useful Link:
This is a very useful link for those of us who like to take a look at monumental sites around the world without leaving our comfy chairs. It will give you a Panoramic view of the site. You just need to open a free account and then you search the site you want. I just learned about this website through a graduate seminar I am taking this semester; The Islamic City. The site is part of UNESCO's project to preserve world heritage sites. 1001wonders.org : World Heritage sites in panophotographies - immersive and interactive panoramic images.

I am preparing a presentation for tomorrow on Peter Henry Emerson and Photography. He has many contradictory statements; each individual statement makes sense only when you read it alone but the combination of them in an essay becomes very confusing. I will end this post with one of Emerson's many statements, but perhaps the most positively confident one. Most of these statements are hints to Photographers; a very early attempt to establish photography as a worthy Art.

"Do not talk of Rembrandt pictures, there was but one Rembrandt. Light your own pictures as best as you can and call them your own." (Emerson( 1856-1936), Hints on Art)

Pond In Winter, by Peter Henry Emerson, 1888

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is here!

Went to Denver for a couple of days; had little time to study.

Spring Cleaning:
I have been struggling with the regular cleaning since September. And more to my shame I had not enough time to finish this year’s Spring Cleaning properly. The question of having a cleaning person is an old and unanswered question in my book; a debate that finally had a winner side when I saw a tempting housekeeping flyer in our apartment building lobby; So hopefully on the first day of spring and the first day of the year 1388 in Persian Calendar I will have a proper cleaning.

Fernand Léger: Cleaning, Art & Unemployment:
In 1937 Léger proposed to the City of Paris to employ the 300,000 unemployed in Paris by giving them the job of cleaning the walls of every building in Paris; so Paris will be all white during the day. Based on Léger’s proposal during the night Paris would be covered with colored light; the white walls would work as screens for projection. Although Leger’s proposal was rejected back then, three decades later Paris was bleached out white.

I am working on Fernand Léger’s work during 40’s and 50’s for one of my papers this semester. Most Léger scholars and commentators seem to be interested in Leger’s proposal of cleaning Paris walls, connecting it to Léger’s core interest in Architecture and painting and his ideals of public art.

Traveling & Spring Break:
I am still in Denver airport due to flight complications. I would never travel during the spring break again. Never Ever!

The Builders, Fernand Léger, 1950


Happy Nowruz & Happy Spring to all who celebrate Spring!

PS. President Obama sends a Nowruz message to all who celebrate Nowruz: a message of New Beginnings. See the Video Message here! Isn't he a great president !

*Thanks to Roya for sharing this link on her Twitter.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Let your Lungs be your Guide!

To get to her,
Let your lungs be your guide,

To find her you should know Attar-y *
To understand Attar-y is to understand a culture,
A culture that she was born, raised and died in.

She sat in her shop,
On a small wooden chair,
Surrounded by
Lines of spice containers, rows of perfume bottles, and barrels of herbal arrack!

Her Attar-y was a small narrow room in the basement of a busy street,
Eyes wouldn’t notice the presence of her shop,
But by your lungs you couldn't see anything else on that busy street, but her shop!

There was no escape, once you were there;
The small windows of the basement would grew so big into your lungs,
That no curtain could hide her existence.

Her gravestone is a gray blank sheet of stone,
No inscription; none was needed,

Here again your lungs can guide you
If you stop by that cemetery
The one filled with walnut trees, the one with rocky grounds

Just take a deep breath
So, when the soil she is in take your breath away,
You have something to go on with.

If you happen to pass by that busy street,
If you happen to walk into another dimension of space, time and scent,
If you happen to know her,
Your lungs will never escape her again!

*Attar-y or perfume shop is where you can find perfumes, essential oils, herbal medicine and old remedies!

**Happy March 8th; Happy Women's Day!