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Ephemeral Cities

October 21st, 2005

Lost in Words Lost in Words
Watercolor on the photos of Jungmannova in Prague.

” … the city which can not be expunged from the mind is like an armature, a honey-comb in whose cells each of us can place the things he wants to remember…” Italo Calvino.

Uffizi Ephemeral Cities
Uffizi, Florence Photo Fung Lin Hall -

“Perfection is a road that leads only to solitude: I no longer see in men anything but surmounted rungs. The Maestro, who has greater genius than I, is in my presence nothing more than a poor man no longer in possession of himself, and Michelangelo would gladly exchange his ardor for my serenity…..
That mad emperor wished that the world had only one head, so that he could cut it off. Would that it were only one body, that I might embrace it: one fruit, that I might pluck it: one enigma, which I might finally solve. Shall I seize an empire? Shall I construct a temple? Shall I write a poem, which will last longer?…
One has to have too many illusions to desire power, too much vanity to desire glory. Since I possess myself, what enrichment could the universe bring me – and happiness means nothing to me. ” (excerpt from “That Mighty Sculptor, Time” by Marguerite Yourcenar.)

Boboli Boboli Fung Lin Hall
Boboli Garden, Florence photo by Fung Lin Hall – Sculpture by Sculpture by Igor Mitoraj

The archive of Cities from this blog will be presented at the Deptford Festival in London. The following index was created to offer an alternative viewing experience for the audience. The individual pages will be presented without the sidebar menu.

-c- New Orleans

-i- San Francisco

-t- Walking in the Clouds – New York City

-i- Cities + Cinematheque

-e- Venice to Florence

-s- Besieged

  • Film Quiz + Nobody Knows + Cities & Neglected Children

    October 10th, 2005

    The film quiz of this month – do these images seem familiar?

    Name this man. -Dziga Vertov-
    Clip of L’atalantaParis, Paris (Paris, Paris)

    What is the relationship of this man and the film directed by Jean Vigo?
    Go here for Answers.

    Theme: Abandoned children growing up by themselves in the cities, name three.
    Well the answers are here for this quiz. Two are acclaimed films from last year and one is almost 17 years old.

    TokyoNobody Knows - Kore-eda

    Bombay -Salaam Bombay Mira Nair (Her first film is her best film – a near masterpiece).

    Rio de JanairoCity of God – Fernando Meirelles.

    Nobody KnowsNobody Knows (via).

    Back to Ephemeral Cities

    A Streetcar Named Desire – Love Note to New Orleans

    September 8th, 2005

    “Welcome to Johnny White’s, a New Orleans bar that has actually managed to stay open all through the Katrina disaster and has turned into a kind of community center for folks who have refused to leave the city. ” (via Sfgate)

    Bellocq bellocq11

    FIRST 0F ALL, the pictures are unforgettable – photography’s ultimate standard of value. And it’s not hard to see why the trove of glass negatives by a hitherto unknown photographer working in New Orleans in the early years of this century became one of the most admired recoveries in photography’s widening, ever incomplete history. (Susan Sontag on Bellocq )

    13 more photographs by Bellocq from Masters of Photography

    Step inside A Gallery for Fine Photography, located in an historic 19th-century building at 241 Chartres in New Orleans’ French Quarter.
    Bellocq at A Gallery, here.

    Luois Malle and Pretty Baby.
    “Violet (Shields) is the daughter of a prostitute (Susan Sarandon) who works at one of the brothels in New Orleans’ legendary red-light district, Storyville. One day photographer Ernest Bellocq (Keith Carradine) arrives at the brothel to take photos of the prostitutes and becomes fascinated with Violet, who is fast approaching her 12th birthday and a subsequent initiation into prostitution. When her mother moves to St. Louis in search of marriage and respectability, Violet determines to marry the much older Bellocq. Malle infuses the potentially lurid subject matter with a lyrical beauty that brings humanity to his characters and story, with the assistance of a sensitive script by Polly Platt and superb cinematography by Sven Nykvist.”

    Andre Codrescu on Love Note to New Orleans

    The Lady with the Cross from A Gallery of Eccentrics from New Orleans

    My Family Can Help

    World Changing on Katrina home.

    A Street Car Named Desire on Wikipedia

    “A strong, soulful, wicked, frail city” wrote Reed Johnson –
    “After disaster recedes, the rebuilding will begin. Artists and others wonder: What will become of the culture?”

    New Orleans is a ghost town, an occupied city, from Life in the Necropolis.

    Spike Lee is headed to New Orleans to make a documentary examining how race and politics collided in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    The Subject Supposed to Loot and Rape:
    Reality and fantasy in New Orleans by Slavoj Zizek
    “New Orleans is one of those cities within the United States most heavily marked by the internal wall that separates the affluent from ghettoized blacks. And it is about those on the other side of the wall that we fantasize: More and more, they live in another world, in a blank zone that offers itself as a screen for the projection of our fears, anxieties and secret desires.”

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    Hotel des Arts – On the Streets of San Francisco

    August 14th, 2005

    All in one – a slide, a bed, and a balcony, a new concept in architectural design?
    Or a bed trying to escape from the building?

    bedwindow.jpg

    The image was copied from a news headline from SF gate a couple years ago. It was a time people were fleeing the city, losing their jobs and rents remained expensive.

    Yesterday from the same newspaper came this delightful news:
    Local California artists are busy decorating the rooms of a new hotel in San Francisco.
    Three photos on view, here.

    Gallery of Hotel des Arts.
    (great idea)

    New Can below by Los Angeles street artist Buff Monster who decorated the rooms of Hotel des Arts.

    New Can #4 New Can

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    Street Artists and Mother at the Ranch

    August 9th, 2005

    Where? Here, there in the (Ban)-sky, Museum of Bank sy(stem)

    Micky and Ronnie got the famous screaming naked girl

    August 2, 2005 – walls got decorated in Palestine

    Dead Soldier’s mother camping at Crawford

    with a Cow in Warhol tatoo.

    Besieged by Banksy

    Street artists Practice war on the ground
    Practice war
    digital image Aug 8, 2005 Fung Lin Hall

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    Phillip Petit – Walking in the Clouds

    August 7th, 2005

    Man on Wire Trailer

    On Aug 7, 1974 Frenchman Philippe Petit
    (an illegal street juggler, consumate pickpocket, poet and the grandest tightrope walker) walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.
    Quick digest of the event, here.

    <> <> <> <>Philippe Petit
    Digital image Aug 7, 2005 ( made it this morning with 2 coffees in between)
    Digital photo collage dedicated to all street artists and poets.

    The miraculous walk of TWC started with a tooth ache.
    “The adventure of the World Trade Center begins with the first appearance of such thoughts, in a dentist’s waiting room in Paris. I am barely eighteen years old. ”

    Stepping Into the Void
    It took all night to complete the rigging, securing the steel cable a quarter of a mile in the sky across the 130-foot gap separating the towers. Wall Street was just beginning to come to life when, at a little past seven on the morning of August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit stepped onto the wire stretched out across the void.

    Spellbinding
    Philippe Petit On the street below, people stopped in their tracks — first by the tens, then by the hundreds and thousands — staring up in wonder and disbelief at the tiny figure walking on air between the towers. Sgt. Charles Daniels of the Port Authority Police Department, dispatched to the roof to bring Petit down, looked on in helpless amazement. “I observed the tightrope ‘dancer’ — because you couldn’t call him a ‘walker’ — approximately halfway between the two towers,” he later reported. “And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire… And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead he turned around and ran back out into the middle… He was bouncing up and down. His feet were actually leaving the wire and then he would resettle back on the wire again… Unbelievable really…. [E]verybody was spellbound in the watching of it.” (Via)

    Marlon Brando invited Philippe at his workshop, from here.
    (This info will be filed to Marlon did this and Marlon did that collection )

    Summer reading for kids:
    The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

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    No Sun In Venice – Henry James and Leonardo

    April 14th, 2005

    Venice
    Here is a piece of music to accompany the photos of this page, No Sun In Venice by MJQ (Modern Jazz Quartet). More about the album. The brilliant music composed for the French movie “One Never Knows” became the masterpiece and the best album by MJQ.
    My trip to Italy coincided with the US Election 2000. I learned about the mess in Florida while in Venice from Italian newspapers and CNN at the hotel . On the eve of Election day, I developed a hive thinking about the dreadful possibility of a Bush Presidency. On the train from Venice to Florence the Americans we met discussed our worries.
    Venice

    Today, April 15 is the birthday of Henry James and Leonardo da Vinci.
    “The Master” is a novel about Henry James written by Colm Toibin recommended by Caterina Fake quite recently and the timing is perfect.
    Michael Cunningham wrote, “In The Master, Colm Toibin takes us almost shockingly close to the soul of Henry James and by extension, to the mastery of art itself. It is a remarkable, utterly original book.”
    Here is an excerpt from the novel.
    “It was not true to say that Minny Temple haunted him in the years that followed; rather, he haunted her. He conjured up her precense everywhere, when he returned to his parents’ house, and later when he traveled in France and Italy. In the shadows of the great cathederals, he saw her emerge delicate and elegant and richly curious, ready to be stunned into silence by each work of art that she saw, and then trying to find words which might fit the moment, allow her new sensuous life to settle and deepen.
    Soon after she died he wrote a story, “Travelling Companions,” in which William, traveling in Italy from Germany, met her by chance in Milan Cathederal, having seen her first in front of Leonardo’s The Last Supper. He loved describing her white umbrella with a violet lining and the sense of intelligent pleasure in her movments, her glance and her voice. He could control her destiny now that she was dead, offer her the experiences she would have wanted, and provide drama for a life which had been so cruelly shortend. He wondered if this had happend to other writers who came before him, if Hawthorne or George Eliot had written to make the dead come back to life, had worked all day and all night, like a magician or an alchemist, defying fate and time and all the implacable elements of re-create a sacred life.”

    Leonardo

    The Renaissance man by Adam Gopnik from the New Yorker. He wrote, Leonardo remains weird, matchlessly weird, and nothing to be done about it.
    Leornardo

    Leonardo’s Resume (hilarious)

    Leonard spent his last years and died here at Le Clos Luce and see this page. This is a wonderful place to visit, following La Loire and visiting the famous castles nearby.

    Leonardo da Vinci Tarot is here.

    Arno
    (All Photos of Venice and Florence are by Fung Lin Hall)

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