Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20071001


Jools and I skived a day of work and went to the Guggenheim exhibition at the NGV, and oh did we have fun.

Straight up you walk through the door and turn to your left and there is a Rothko and right next to it is Pollock’s “Green Silver”, I could have left then. The Pollock is just amazing, I look at it and I can see the wiring inside my brain, it is just so powerful. The Rothko is not what I expected, don’t get me wrong, in no way was I disappointed, I am just left really curious about how he got from A to B. I have always liked the late sixties stuff he did.

There was and opart piece by Vasarely that was wonderful and a kinetic piece called Vibration that was especially brain damaging, one of the kinetic pieces. I was truly blown away by the Dan Flavin piece (he’s the dude who did the flouro tube things), the light was truly transcendent, I had mentally scoffed at the “spirituality” interpretation that I kept reading about (The New York Times piece was sceptical) but now that I have seen it I can why it takes people down that path. Truly wonderful.

What else? I found the Floating room was more interesting as an idea than as a piece, but Jools loved it. It was fun standing inside it though.

The Lichtenstein triptych was disturbing (and I suspect it’s supposed to be) but the Warhol electric chair prints were glorious. After years of seeing pictures of this I found that I was actually unprepared for it in the flesh (I will skip over the shock pun). He was a flake, but damn he was a talented flake.

On the subject of flakes… Jeff Koons stuff made me smile, actually I got a fit of the giggles. I discovered that I can’t actually divorce him from his works anymore. I really liked them. Unlike the pompous Gilbert and George stuff.

Another one that sandbagged me (and was one of Jools faves) was Dave Muller’s Northerly Set, it is 8 panels of sky, clouds and flags, it was one of the few “recent”pieces that had anything to say to me. I loved it.

The Mapplethorpe self portraits were amazing, again the reproductions that I have seen of these over the years don’t really prepare you for the “real” thing.

Which brings us to Anne Hamiltons “Taxonomy”. It is proving difficult, I need to think about this one a lot. I find myself intrigued and repulsed at the same time. It’s made up of 14000 teeth (people and animals) that are laid out by size and shape rather than species, they are sitting on a bed of iron oxide. I think the rust is supposed to represent decay (which means this could be a huge dental pun). Truly a difficult work. I find myself trying to come up with a story that makes sense to me.

Not a lot to write after over 4 hours looking at what was a small sample of the Guggenheims works, but I am still digesting a lot of it. The weirdest thing about the exhibition is that as a rule of thumb the closer the pieces got to us in time the less interesting they were. The 40’s and 50’s were way more fun than the stuff in the last ten years. I am not sure why that is.

So if I had to pick one to take home, this is a conversation that Jools and I had over lunch and on the way home. For me it would be Green Silver. I cannot tell you how that painting sets off all this stuff down the back of my brain, it’s the same places that I use for imagining music and code (I’m odd).

Jools wants to take home “Mist” by Gottlieb. Go figure, and they were right next to each other on the wall too, maybe they will give them to us as a set…. yeah. right. time to re-engage reality.

On with the sillies.
When you go over to England and strolling around you are assaulted with information, most of the buildings are covered with blue plaques placed by British Heritage, commemorating the birthplaces of important people, famous architecture and well history. lots of history.

The British Heretics have decided to be equally helpful and are putting up Black Plaques to commemorate an entirely different kind of heritage:

“The Black Plaque scheme was instigated in October 2003. Its purpose is to commemorate and draw public attention to historical figures in such diverse fields as sorcery, the Royal Art, left hand path occultism and witchcraft, as well as the mentally infirm: tortured poets, psychopaths and village idiots.”
If anyone over there spots one send me a picture. I will pop it up on the website.

Flash Game Time. Another in the tower defence school of puzzle / strategy game. You have to protect your desktop from invaders by spending money on attacking pieces and building a maze for them to follow. I find these things seriously addictive, so how many levels can you survive?

This one was spotted by Jools
“Running with the bulls the easier way. Just don’t hesitate.
Love, Jools”

There are some really nice RC planes and birds made from drinking straws and plastic wrap over at
Have a look at the pictures, face it you want one, I know I do.

Once Upon a time there was a band called Talking Heads and in 1980 they played a show in Rome. SO? I hear you ask. well
A: For this tour they had Adrian Belew on guitar and
B: Some one has put the concert footage up on YouTube.
Turn up the volume and watch for Belew’s solo on Psycho Killer.

Then there is the apocryphal Life During War Times

and don’t miss Take Me To the River. That bassline could have kept the Roman Empire in business for another couple of centuries, it’s that damn solid. Yep two bass players.

Over at we have had a bumper crop of great music. Well I think so. There was Feist ( the annoying iPod ad music), Jools found a great band called “The Skies We Built” and don’t miss “Iron and Wine”.

{Currently listening to Sarah McQuaid & Talking Heads}
{Currently reading: An Agatha Christie mystery. the butler never does it}
{Quick Status Check: Still going to Hell.}
{Crop Circle Status: It’s over for another year. }

Categorized as Mondays

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