#I’mabadass//Guilty pleasure

So do you ever think that something you do or want to do is completely hilarious and enjoyable but are at the same time kind of scared to share with the world because of the fact that it exposes you being quite wierd? I was at my grandmothers birthday the other day and I did the only thing reasonable when you’re at a birthday and are in between converstations and see a book that seems intresting- I picked it up and read it. It was the Pogingen iets van het leven te maken. Het geheime dagboek van Hendrik Groen 83 1/4 jaar (attempts to make something of life, the secret diary of Hendrik Groen 83 1/4 years). The book is a hilarious diary and google tells me it is perhaps the pseudoniem of a 61 year old writer. Whatever the case what struck me as very funny was that endrik described a certain event as being very funny (someone sitting on a bunch of olibollen, traditonal dutch new years eve food) and him laughing about it. The people that were involved in the incident found that very unamusing and ‘instead of laughing harder like he should have he said his apologies because he was to afraid to show what he really thought and felt’. His whole life he spend hiding himself afraid of what people might think. And it is not completely strange ofcourse to feel this way. – what’s hilarious in your mind might be seem as rude in the best case and or just outragously crazy. So what do I do?

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‘Captital Space’ or as I read it in a blink: Capital Escape: this i found very suitable for this post. One way or another, it is a great photo from Place de la Villette.

I will say that I did something that was quite a bit of a guilty pleasure that made me feel very badass. And the truth I would love to write about how the details of this whole episode made me smile so hard, but for now I think i’ve been enough of a badass so now I just cowardly write about how I and I think we all enjoy the things we tell our close friends but rather not everyone 🙂 we after all should keep up the appearance that we are actually sane.

Things can change

blog bird post 6So after putting some poetry up here I want to write something else here again, something different, something like I’ve written before. I love conceptual thinking. I love taking things apart and moving them around in my mind. Today I’m writing for my thesis. My field now is the very practical field of Conservation and Restauration of objects. Practical you would think, way more practical than the field of philosophy or art history. Thankfully though -we’re related. Or in my case today not so thankfully. One could argue I’m kind of upset and frustrated or since I’m ‘ticking’ on the different letters on my keyboards, inspired. I’m reading an article about replica’s and museums. Fakes. The fact whether or not something is original or not. A quote:

[A]ll works of art are types which are identified by their physical
properties and the history of their production…there need be no
actual or potential perceptual difference between two paintings
for them to be different works; they need only have different
histories.- Mark Rowe, ‘The Problem of Perfect Fakes

Truth is I really quite like that quote, it is indeed something we find in conservation, particular circumstances create particular damages. And an object is more than it’s physical properties rather it is a web of values. So far I was quitely inspired. But then I read on and the discussion of ‘why don’t we display things in their original context’ came up. And I started to be outrageiously insprired. Read: frustratelingly saying unto myself- why can’t things change? Why do we have to write all reasons why things are and should stay a certain way and should go back to how they were or understood differently. Why can’t things change? I think change is a wonderfull thing. Transformation, evolution even. troughout the making and meaning of things change and they move on, and I am very much for embrasing this change.

So how does this relate to my love for conceptual thinking and taking things apart? It is ture that indeed the writers and speakers that are so much hamering on concepts and meaning and true or lack of understanding use the same methods as I do. However there is according to me ofcourse 😄 a difference: te reason why I like to deconstruct, to move and manipulate the things I hear and see in my mind is to add value, add frivolity and not to restrict to remove or to reduce. I usually really hate these three R’s that limit the beauty in this world. However, luckily everything can change: Ristriction, removal and reducing can lead to new problems that need new solutions, creativity 🙂

In het Nederlands

Ik voel me ergens toch gedwongen

Te schrijven in mijn taal.

De taal van Wilders en de koningin

En dan bedoel ik beatrix want ik ben nog steeds niet gewend

Aan willem-lex op de troon.

En het is waar dat nederlands mijn moedertaal is

En ik deze taal het minst beperkt beheers

En toch ik ben hardleers. Het engels helpt mij

Te zeggen en te voelen wat ik anders niet zo snel

Kwijt ben. En natuurlijk is er het publiek dat ik rijk ben

Omdat engels nou eenmaal door meer dan 20 miljoen word gesproken.

In het engels worden prachtige nederlandse woorden uiteengebroken

En in die zin en in alle anderen ben ik sneller klaar dan in die andere taal.

En toch het minder nodighebben van woorden is niet waarom

Ik mij van het engels naar het nederlands voel gedwongen.

Wie ben ik, als kaaskop, om mij op een engelstaligveld te storten.

Ik woon dan wel nu in een internationale wereldstad, mijn

Geboortegrond is plat platter dan plat.

Zou ik niet met aan mijn vingers de polderklei

Nederlandse poezie moeten schrijven?

Of heb ik toch meer dan die bodem, de aarde lief.

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Revisiting-A place I love.

So I’m back in the place that shaped me,

that changed me,

that moved me

and that taught me.

A place I love.

 

They asked me what I wanted-

I would love to be here once again-

but I do not dare to ask,

not yet.

 

I rhyme with my words

and of course

it pisses me off.

I’m rarely ever enough-

in my own eyes

in my own ears

in my own fears I see mirror images

that may or may not be anything like me.

I long to look like me

see like me

forgive like me

and love me like I do others-

or at least like I wish I did.

 

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Gravity Within Me

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I decided that I wanted to write a little less private. A little less: ‘the 10 people I know that put up with my writing’ have read it. I thought I might look for a class or a contest, just a place to see whether or not I could be a writer. Having the dream to be a writer is not new, but actually trying to more actively pursue it now is a little ironic. I was kicked out of my class because I could not deliver sufficient content for an academic paper. At the university writing has never been my strong suit. However, ideas have been graded more generously.  Presentations always were good so it is not that I’m not good with words.. However, writing is something entirely different then talking. And if you write like I do, like you are talking- only slightly slower because your fingers on the keyboard have to keep up- you bring yourself in a particularly messy situation. The truth however is that good writing has never been my aspiration. Rather I am looking for a creative way to express my ideas. To be surprised by what words, word combinations and exact coordination can deliver. What does it deliver? Poetry in prose. Not necessarily what they want you to give in academics. It is a fairly limited field, science and academics. It is so tedious and there is little space for new ideas. The ideas can exist as long as they fit in the format of being not to original a.k.a. being based on things other people have written. Excuse me. They are not based on what others have written but rather words of others are carefully selected to put an ‘Amen’  to your words. The truth is they might has well had very different ideas and would never agree with your argument. For that reason and the tediousness of trying to find words somewhere to keep your argument valid, I do not like basing my writing on that of others, or selectively quoting them just to make my argument more profound-looking.

 

Rather I like to be inspired. I love reading something and being surprised by the thoughts, ideas, arguments and poetry of sentences and paragraphs. And then a most wonderful process can begin, the process of association. The process of two things that previously had nothing in common except that they were seen by me, and connected. This association can happen throughout space and time, class and medium, culture and origin. That’s what I love about art history, some of the arguments may seem farfetched but connecting two artworks form different times and different cultures show that everything can come together, and that connecting two seemingly different things can create narratives beyond imagination. The funny thing is that there is always gravity inside institutions, disciplines and in me. I wanted to write that the idea of writing contests made me want to write things that do not come naturally from me. Fiction. Non-fiction about facts instead of ideas. Ultra-short stories or god forbid, really-really long stories. However this is what I can do. Starting somewhere and ending somewhere else. I don’t know if it’s good but it feels great. It feels like being a leave falling down the wind, gently being pulled down by gravity. The gravity within me.

Disalluted- and other words I redefine

So. like I’ve written  before sometimes you read back your own words and you are surprised.. Today I found myself having written the word disalluted. For your information, this is not actually a word. And honestly I don’t really know what I meant with the  letters. I wrote it on my non-smartphone cell and perhaps it was a mix up due to the fact that one digit accounts for at least 3 letters. However, looking at the context of the word it’s not really clear what it is supposed to mean.  I wrote the word in a poem on my phone 6 months ago and I have no idea why I wrote it or exactly what it is about but it intrigues me.

All the safety that I had

I disalluted with the tears.

I don’t know where to go from here

and fear keeps marching in

reminds me of my sins and

all our lost and unworthiness.

Today I like to dissect the words in this poem. They might not all be intended this way, I copy this straight from my phone and sometimes it is not in there ‘the right way’ form the beginning. At the same time I mostly write on my phone when I ‘have’ to write, so this was no intentional poem. Yet I find it very interesting. Firstly the word disalluted. It relates to tears, and to safety. The tears disalluted all the safety that I had. When you google disalluted google suggests  disallowed. When first reading the word I thought since it was linked to tears it should be diluted. All the safety I had I diluted with the tears.  All the safety I had I disallowed with the tears. The Merriam Webster dictionary gives Denied as a synonym for disallowed. All the safety I had I denied with the tears.  again via the Meriam Webster site diluted can mean  diminished strength. All the safety I had I diminished its strength with the tears.  These tears are very strong. They seem to diminish the strength of safety. The first sentence in itself sounds very hopeless. I destroyed with emotion all the emotional safety that I had. This is a heavy statement. Why was the safety so fragile? why were the tears so terrible and strong?

We find ourselves in this perception that these tears, this sign of weakness perhaps took away our safety and made us vulnerable.  It is unclear the writer does not know where to go from here, and it seems that there is a good motivation to leave because: Fear keeps marching in. And the fear reminds the author of something that cannot be run from, from which the only way to be free of it is forgiveness: Sins. In the last line we find another sentence with unclear meaning for the first time introduces someone else than the author. Perhaps the one ‘who made’ the author cry? All our lost and unworthiness. This is not actually a Grammarly correct sentence, but I suggest that the words should be ‘broken up’ differently. All our lost and unworthi-ness. All our lostness and all our unworthiness.

Even though I wrote the words I don’t know what they mean. Perhaps they are partly real emotion, and partly a play with words. Emotion can feel like a threat to safety, having sinned, being lost (together) and unworthiness are heavy things. Perhaps the clue to the poem is like I was taught the other day, in the middle of this ‘psalm’.

I don’t know where to go from here, and fear keeps marching in. 

The lostness in the last sentence relates to the statement of unclarity in this sentence. And at the same time we see the clue yet much clearer. Fear. Some identify fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. It would surely help  understanding the poem. It proves that the sin, the unworthiness, the lostness, the lost safety and the destroying tears not necessarily a given. But the fear that keeps on marching in affirms  the idea that ll is lost putting the writer in a conundrum. Not knowing where to go from here. Knowing that fear is the main player in this poem redefines the other words in in the poem. The safety is not lost. The tears are not the cause of loss of safety. it is only fear that reminds us of sin, lostness and unworthiness. It is not a great compass on deciding ‘where to go from here’. But perhaps the author doesn’t have to go, rather she should stay and redefine the space she’s in, through getting rid of the fear. . ‘Solving’ the word ‘Disaluted’ is interesting, yet it is more interesting to define  the meaning of the poem, and how the meaning is influenced by our or the author’s perception. It even may call us to ‘answer’ the prayer: don’t be afraid. Don’t run, all is not lost, and don’t be afraid of the tears, it’s scarier when you can’t be vulnerable.

 

Thanks for bearing with me for this experimental dissection of an unclear poem! Hope it inspires you to look at words more closely, and perhaps even dissect and redefine the words inside of you. Redefine how you feel!

 

Talk to your friends

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The only simbolicly appropriate photo that i have to represent talking to friends without them possible to being identified. 

Friends are incredible. hehe, family to. People really. I love people. Aside from loving people I love talking. Yes, I don’t even say talking to people. Having a conversation with people. Being wired the way I am I can really enjoy hearing myself speak. This is of course a completely socially unacceptable thing but I feel  it’s true. Why is it true? Because I love the creative things that come out of my mind through my mouth sometimes. Words are beautiful, and since I talk before thinking I’m often pleasantly surprised. I’m doubting now, while ‘talking’ out loud right now, whether or not I should address the fact that sometimes I’m also surprised by what I say, just not really pleased. I firmly believe it is good to sometimes say the things that apparently are in your heart and mind and that you want to say when in a certain emotion. That is, if you are willing to review and learn from some of the things you said and change your heart so you won’t  blurt out the same hurting or terrible thing the next time you open up to yourself or someone else. It’s pretty much like the ‘shitty first draft’ that Brene Brown introduced in her book about ‘when you get out there you will fail and fall and this is how to get back up’.

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The love that light and the edge of a tire bend in to shape can create. 

But this post is not necessarily a feast on why I love to hear myself talking so much, or why it is so good. This is a post about conversation, about how 2 people can get places where one person simply can’t. It is incredible the power words and conversations can have. I used to go to this church with this mantra ‘words have power’  as to say that you should be careful with your words, and though I don’t necessarily know if I agree with the theological reasoning behind it, it is an interesting given. I think one of the great things is that indeed words can literally change your life. Or at least help you set a step a step in the right direction. There is immense power for instance in talking positively about something, and I don’t mean the whole ‘be positive its good for you and the people around you’. I mean acknowledging things and giving value to them. Value is a hugely important thing in life, and it influences the way we look to things. We look different to things we value or things we feel are valuable because someone or society told us.

Back to conversation. We (hopefully) all know the ‘endlessly seeming to flow’ conversations that are hilarious or the ones where we stimulate each other to talk and all the sudden it’s 4.00 and the bar closes or we really should go to sleep. I think the magical thing about it is that you actually move time forward with your words or so it seems. And then talking with friends, by telling something yourself and allowing another to also talk, whether it is because you feel self-conscious about sharing so much yourself, or because you are really interested, something is build. I really like that when  you look at certain text or situations you see a common theme that even though when you focus on details sometimes it clearly gives a accumulation, a sum that is more than the parts. For instance in one of the bible books a lot of practices in faith and community and theology are discussed but the main refrain is ‘do this to build up the community’. There is something SO holy about building something. ‘Holy’ means beyond, from God, ultimate, good.

and so. Talk to a friend. I think a relationship is truly wonderful when either of you are wheels, and the wheels support each other, help each other move, and set other things in motion. So far my philosophical reflection for the day. hope you are inspired to review your own conversations, your words, and see where you build something!

Experiment in Cinematic Communications, Revisted

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In September 2012 I wrote this blog in Dutch this is my translation/interpretation to English. Now, five years later I revisit the text and I want to link the film to a film I saw recently ‘HUMAN’  the movie. I hope you enjoy and are encouraged to watch either films. Or start your own experiment in cinematic communication.

The movie ‘Man with the Camera’ starts with the following introduction:

“Attention viewers: This film is an experiment in cinematic communication of real events, without the help of intertitles, without the help of a story, without the help of theatre. This experimental work aims at creating a truly international language of cinema, based on its absolute separation form the language of theatre and literature.”

With this introduction the film create expectations. One of the questions I asked my self was: How do you create an international language in such a self-focussed land as Russia? A review on (THE) movie site IMDb describes the expectations and the (lack) of fulfilment of it very well:

Although I had obviously heard of this before watching it, and had been told enthusiastically by all that it was incredibly interesting, I found it hard to believe that a film with a) no storyline, and b) no dialogue or intertitles could be so exciting. I am now more than willing to eat my hat.

This is quite simply the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Probably best described as a documentary about itself (although by no means only this), this film and its creator were way before their time. bforbetty from Auckland, New Zealand 10 April 2004

The main question fort his post is the following: (how) does the Man with Camera create a truly international language of cinema? I will compare the content of the movie with the promises that are made in the introduction and give my opinion on whether or not (and how) the movie attains its goal.

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As mentioned the movie starts with a text introduction. After that we see a now old fashioned camera, on top of the camera there seems to be a kind of hill: we see a man with a man with a similar camera climb on top of this camera, and he starts filming. We see the men on its way. A cinema is opened to the public: the film is about to start. What follows is a view of the city that is waking up: streets are still empty and these images are followed by images of a woman in her morning ritual, and as such we move from the city to the woman.

The rest of the movie continues like this. The movie seems to be constructed from fragments, broken pieces of different sequences put together. Yet, this almost chaotic sequence is pulled together like beads on a string. Various places are more often shown on different times of the day. This review adequately describes the films style: ‘Certain shots, reappearing many times in different films, began to feel like old friends’ Anne Nesbet. Even when I saw the movie for the first time the images felt like old friends. Aside from this film we watched Architecture & the Avant-Garde (Craig). The documentary about architecture in fact uses images form Vertovs ‘Man with Camera’. It is no wonder that fragments of the films are used in other movies. Aside from showing ‘real life’ every shot as a clear composition of its own. Every single frame is a well though through masterpiece. This inspired me to write down following while watching the movie for the first time: “[the movie] Celebrates the city, modern life, every aspect of it, celebrates filming as a whole”. Through this method I believe I believe that Vertov creates ‘a truly international language of cinema’ .

Vertov celebrates film, and the camera as a creative machine. Aside from that the movie celebrates modern life and this as well is an international theme. Although the film is old and Russian, the subjects of his film are not. We still as (post)modern people are caught in the friction between humans and machines, the order and chaos of the big city or even more basic: marriage and divorce, life and death. At the same time the film does not reduce to generalisations, but rather shows typical, real daily things in a Russian city. The man with the camera is a documentation of history (although at the time of course it was the present time).

Yet aside from a relatable sequence of images the film is a true work of art. The film truly creates an international language free from the language of theatre and literature. This is obviously already attained by the little use of words. Only the introduction contains text, the rest of the movie is silent apart from the music that would have been played in the theatre. The movie promises no stories, and we see no fiction as such, but the movie inspires to think of the stories of all the people we see. The film uses several techniques that are typical and limited to film: the editing and montage of images, video effects, stop motions and such. There are many movies that use these experimental techniques but they are rarely as well done as the man with the camera. The movie is a great example of how to make a film. It is a perfect balance between opposites, movement and rest, acceleration and slowing down, nature and machines.

The film uses a lot of different images yet it also uses repetition. As I said, I believe man with the camera passes the test of creating a universal cinematographic language with flying colours. It creates a harmony out of thousands of fragments, and shows us both universal as personal things. All this makes the movie a success, timeless, a joy to watch.

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Yesterday I saw HUMAN, a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Although this movie is in a sense the total opposite of ‘ man with the movie camera’ by using a lot of text, of rather stories that people themselves tell it still reminded me of the man with the camera. There are no intertitles, yet similar to the Man with the movie camera various themes can be found by the viewer. There are no explanations, only when knowing the areas from which fragments of aerial view are shown, you will be able to connect the imagery to an actual place on earth. Similarly the interviewed people are not introduced by name, place of birth or age. Only by carefully listening to their stories this information might be pieces together. Similarly to the man with the movie camera this film inspires you to guess the stories of those who are shown but do not talk. Where did they come from? Where do they go? The use of areal views nowadays is not very revolutionary, yet showing them as almost abstract modern art, and barely framing the interviews recorded in all different languages gives HUMAN an international cinematic language of its own. Similarly as in Men with the movie camera, we learn about life, death, marriage, divorce, the struggles of modern life. Yet there is a level to the story that only people form or familiar with the countries depicted will recognise: the language spoken, the accents, the areas shown and described. The movie is a celebration of all that is human, of this world, and all that is and personal and universal. Although totally different the two movies seem to fit together. Like old friends.

 

Sources

Original post: on Slavische studies.

Understanding Man with a Movie Camera  Anne Nesbe  In: Film Quarterly, 2005

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op2sOtF113M  De gehele film man with the movie camera, met engelse ondertiteling

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019760/reviews hierbij heb ik de review onder de naam: All hail Lord Vertov….

 

 

The mys/history of blogging

I have been thinking of this blog, I did not really know how long I had not written. I didn’t even know for sure if I did or did not post my last idea: if you don’t write it they can’t read it. ha-ha , after a month or more of neglecting (too lazy to check) it has 6 views despite not being featured on Facebook by me as the place I usually get my clicks from.

So why write now? It was my birthday the other day, and my Russian friend send me a link to a YouTube video that I have viewed many times before. It is from the stop motion series where my recognition of the Russian language comes from. To be clear, I do not understand Russian, don’t read and speak it. However, 4,5 years ago I did follow a course on the culture and history of Russia, and that’s what I know the series from. Coincidently it is the reason why I have this blog, or why I found out about blogging, and it’s the course that I registered my WordPress profile for: every week we had to write about something related to our classes, and it was a lot of fun. One time I wrote about ‘Cheburashka!‘  and that is the series that the YouTube video of a birthday song was from.

What does this have to do with the mystery or history of blogging? Or rather  my history of blogging? I read back what I wrote and thought: this is not bad at all; I love the sentences I made and the content of the post. I wrote several blogs for this course that I was very proud of yet, some of them are very popular, and others have almost never  been read. And there comes the mystery. Why do some post do have a lot of visits even after years while others are way less popular? It is probably because the link to them ended up somewhere, I guess. I have decided to revisit the posts, and translate them to English (mostly because then I can share them with my non-Dutch friends (whether they’ll be read or not). These blogpost are part of what I ‘created in this world’ and I’m proud of them. Reading them back gives me a sense of accomplishment. They’re probably not perfect, but they are great mini research finds. And I hope they inspire others to discover the rich world of (Russian) culture.

Who knows, they might get read a lot. Or not at all, I don’t mind either way, I like it as a petit project.