All entries for Monday 10 April 2006

April 10, 2006

Do you own a video iPod (or similar?)

I see a lot of iPods and other players around campus. As producer of Warwick Podcasts I would be interested to know how many people have video versions of these. We could quite easily start producing video content as well, but is the effort worth it?

So the question is – do you own a Video iPod (or psp, or other mobile video device)?

or

Are you likely to buy one in the next 6 months/year?

BTW - There is no prize attached to this question!


Van Gogh and Britain: Pioneer Collectors at Compton Verney

Writing about web page http://www.comptonverney.org.uk/?page=exhibitions/vangogh

Went to see the Van Gogh exhibition at Compton Verney on Sunday. Pretty interesting exhibition but not for the obvious reasons.

Many of the paintings are a bit meh! Only one or two stand out pieces. However, what the exhibition does very well is give a sense of narrative progression to Van Gogh's work. It leads you through his early work – very 'Dutch' (dark, moody and brown) – through his early impressionist work to the height of his powers and into his decline.

It's really obvious that he took a long time to develop his style, had a short period where he was on top of his game and then fell into decline as his mental state went a bit pear-shaped.

What I wasn't prepared for was the side show – a series of character busts by 18th Century Austrian Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. The four busts were brilliant – challenging, technically outstanding and full of fun and wit. You can see a few at http://www.limmat.ch/schmid/fxm/pairs.html.

The Francis Bacon piece left me cold. It raised a debate in my head about what context art is created in – who is the artist painting for? It is difficult to imagine the Bacon piece outside of a gallery setting but the VG works seemd to be more suited to a domestic setting. Much of Modern Art seems designed for the Gallery and taken out of that context probably doesn't work that well at all. This seems sad to me. For centuries the setting of a piece was almost as important as the piece itself. I am reminded of Baroque church painters who painted specifically for the light conditions of a particular location in a particular church – who took into consideration the position of a window high up behind the picture. I rather like the idea that art should be as much about place as the thing itself. The Bacon work just seemed rather disconnected from the reality around it as if it was above it – the work was more important than anything else. The busts were of their space, celebrated the world they were part of and filled the room with their presence.

Worth a look, anyway.

BTW - when we left we drove into the aftermath of a very localised and heavy hailstorm – looked like an inch of snow had fallen. Saw two car crashes on the way home – it's icy people, slow down, duh!


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