All 13 entries tagged Reviews

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September 26, 2006

La Mercè was "Amèrcing

GegantsThis weekend was as I expected, one of little sleep, or rather, little sleep during the nights. Of my lists of traditional things to see I scored quite a few. Really nice and typical such as the sardana (very traditional dance where the dancers have an average age of 60-70 and seem only focussed on getting the steps right), correfoc (smoking out one of the centre´s high streets with lots of sparkly fireworks shooting in all directions by people dressed up as quasi-terrorists), and the gegants (a parade of puppets up to 4 or 5 metres high, see photo).

But my highlight of the weekend must´ve been the piromusica, on Plaza d´Espagna, one of the city´s biggest and grandest squares. Thousands and thousands of people had come together yesterday night to see it. The palace, on Montjuïc´s hillside, formed the backdrop for a spectacular fireworks show. Normally I´m not a manic fan of fireworks, but this display was minutely synchronised with some excellent music, ranging from Miles Davis to a bigband interpreting Beatles songs. I repeat: it was amazing, I never saw anything like it in my life.

It would almost be a disgrace to post a photo of it here. Just kidding, in fact I just couldn´t find one. You´ll have to come to Barcelona yourself next year to see it with your own eyes.

Tomorrow: Finding a Flat in Barcelona

July 22, 2006

50 Jaar Singer in Laren

Writing about web page

Het is dit jaar vijftig jaar geleden dat het Singer Museum in Laren zijn deuren opende voor het publiek als museum, theater en organisator van verschillende evenementen. Dit wordt momenteel gevierd met een overzichtstentoonstelling met werken uit de eigen collectie, een selectie schilderijen van Larense schilders onder curatorschap van Larense basisscholieren en een overzicht van vijftig jaar televisie, theater en cabaret in het Singer. Opvallend bovendien is een overzicht van tien kunstwerken gekozen door tien bekende Nederlanders. De keuzes zijn misschien niet erg verbazingwekkend (Monique van de Ven kiest Rodin; Louis van Dijk, Sluijters; Youp van ‘t Hek kiest voor een eerbetoon aan de beeldend kunstenaar Toon Hermans), de werken daarom over het algemeen zeker niet minder. Ook Hermans bleek een begenadigd lichttovenaar te zijn geweest.

50 Years Singer MuseumVan dit alles, behalve dan de tentoonstelling Larense schilders, was ik mij niet eens bewust tot ik er vandaag kwam. Het Singer is een museum van nationale allure dat ik graag bezoek, temeer aangezien het zo dicht in de buurt ligt en ervoor gekozen heeft in zijn collecties de nadruk te leggen op kunst van het begin van de twintigste eeuw, een periode die met een aantal interessante tentoonstellingen mooi onder de aandacht is gebracht.

In de afgelopen tien jaar waren beelden van Zadkine, Rodin en Claudel te zien, evenals tentoonstellingen met werk van Sluijters, Breitner, Mondriaan, expressionisten als Macke, Kokoschka, Beckman en Kandinsky. Deze keer is in de zaal van Singer Solo achterin de eer aan Ferdinand Hart Nibbrig, een schilder die o.a. in Laren en Eemnes was gevestigd en met grote schilderijen op een gevoelige maar realistische manier het Gooise platteland en haar bewoners portretteerde. Alleen al hiervoor is een bezoek aan het Singer vóór 27 augustus de moeite waard.

Ik wens het Singer veel geluk met de komende vijftig jaar en zal de komende tentoonstelling met belangstelling blijven volgen.

June 19, 2006

Rednax Webpage of A Film Student

Writing about web page

Appeltaart (Rednax)A video with music by Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herrenband; several flyer designs; photographs taken in the Netherlands, France, Greece…

A friend of mine, Xander Bruins, is currently enrolling at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam. His aspirations in filmmaking have developed over the last view years. An overview of the progress made so far is Rednax, his second website, featuring several funny clips. Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herrenband were said to have been pleased when they saw the video. Have a look and judge for yourself.

June 13, 2006

Pretty Picture

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Photo by N. Hudgell
End of year nostalgia? It is true that I will be leaving England soon and will not be coming back until 2007. It makes my appreciation of the English countryside more direct and urgent, see also a blog entry earlier today. On Nicholas Hudgell’s blog I found a few more very good photos, among which the one above taken in Buckinghamshire.

June 06, 2006

Ich wil bald heimat

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Ich wil bald heimat

May 03, 2006

Wanna see some Dutch tv? / Mis je Nederlandse tv?

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After a suggestion made by a friend in the Netherlands, I can’t stop watching stuff from this website. It makes available some of the programmes that have been on the Dutch public channels (Nederland 1, 2 & 3) which is sort of equivalent to the BBC, but, I dare say, better (tongue in cheek).

Also for those who don’t understand a word of Dutch, interesting if you want a break from revision and have a laugh at Dutch “Gs” and “CHs” (quite similar to Arabic).

January 25, 2006

Hans Jürgen Goertz – The Anabaptists

The main thesis of Hans Jürgen Goertz’s The Anabaptists is to rewrite the history of Anabaptism on a more objective, dispassionate grounding. Goertz argues that ‘… polarised views [of Anabaptism] are explained by the confessional or denominational bias which used to dominate the history of Anabaptism’ and aims to set straight some parts of the metanarrative style of history telling which (deliberately or unnoticingly) took selective sources.

Most importantly, Goertz points out three theses previously held as true by historiography which he then deconstructs to retell a more pluralistic history of Anabaptism. First of all, he points out, that rather than being an organised movement, Anabaptism came into existence at several places, although around the same period, independently from each other. Secondly, upon closer inspection, Goertz finds that the “characteristic” nonviolence of the Anabaptists is not at all universal. ‘Anabaptism [can] no longer be depicted as possessing a consistent core theology’ (p. 4). Third point is that, according to Goertz, even at the high-time of Anabaptist success, it was not realistic to speak of a movement united through leadership, programme or theology.

The Anabaptists is a quite comprehensive work incorporating much of the history-writing on Anabaptism up to its date of publication. Goertz’s thesis comes across as very credible. One problem about the book is its chapter division. The titles of the chapters can make it difficult to find exactly what you want to know about certain aspects of the several Anabaptist movements without immediately having to dive into the book as a whole.

May 24, 2005

Lecture by Judith Butler on photography and torture

Just went to see Judith Butler speak on the controversies surrounding the role of photography of torture in conflicts, specifically looking at the recent shocking photos that went around the world, depicting US soldiers cheerfully posing with Iraq prisoners in humiliating positions in what has become the notourious Abu Graib-prison in Baghdad.

One point that I picked up, with which I kind of must disagree, is her opinion on the extent to which photography shapes our moral judgements. She believes, as opposed to what Susan Sonntag has earlier written on the topic, that photography on its own may still hold a narritive value which will allow us to interpret the event independently from context. While this may be true, she draws herefrom the conclusion that photography may just as powerfully influence us in our positioning and judgements on the controversie at stake. I can’t agree with such a catagorical position for a number of points.

First of all, the sheer extent of confrontation between the individual and shocking images, be it photo or film through mass media, have made us, as it were, somewhat “immune” to them. At least to me. It must be a thorougly unusually shocking image that might induce direct action in me these days, just because there’s so much of it, and it only observes yet does not explicitly direct.

Secondly, the “confrontation time”, the span of time in which we are confronted is much shorter, and much less focused with images than with texts/articles. A reading of a problem sets about to observe the problem, analyse it, and eventually provide some insights in its resolution. With images, this is not necessarily so. Whilst shocking photography presents the situation very vividly, it may be observed in an informal setting, for a short time, to be forgotten after a short (however intense) feeling of injustice.

Naturally, the effects are different for each, and not catagorically dividable. Yet, the degree in which the individual is made to think along, in an active manner (which, I would argue, is more the case in a text) will have a more thorough dialectic effect upon that individual. It will challenge the individual to come up with a position, a solution, and not move some deeper sentiment than just superficial indignation.

I’d be much interest in what others might have to say on the topic!

February 06, 2005

Wereldliteratuur onder de loep

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Surfend over het web kwam ik bij een pagina van het NRC Handelsblad, waarin in 52 columns die verspreid over 2002 in NRC werden gepubliceerd de wereldliteratuur uit de doeken wordt gedaan.

Een aardige eigenhandige introductie en poging van columnist Pieter Steinz om een canon van de wereldliteratuur te introduceren. Met hier en daar een leuk weetje. Leuk om af en toe naar terug te komen om een stukje te lezen over een paar van de belangrijkste boeken uit de wereld.

January 26, 2005

Photo and film work

Writing about web page

A friend of mine who does some graphic work involving film and photographic work. This is an impression of his work that I took of his site without permission. Hope it might interest you to have a look at his online page!

The site contains a blend of Dutch culture a la carte, blended with images in a more Europeanistic style and school art projects. All still under construction but already well worth a visit!

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