provoke!

provoke!, an exhibition which was recently inaugurated in viennese albertina, is one of the most powerful exhibitions i’ve visited since i moved to vienna. for some reason, it is still in my head.

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provoke was an experimental small press Japanese photography magazine founded by photographers yutaka takanashi and takuma nakhira, critic koji taki and writer takahiko okada in 1968. it was viewed as “a platform for a new photographic expression”. provoke magazine was born around the idea that even though images cannot completely represent an idea as words can, photographs can provoke language and idea. hence provoke’s subtitle “provocative materials for thought”

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only three issues of provoke magazine were published on 1 november 1968, and 10 march and 10 august 1969, each in an edition of 1,000 copies. however, it had a profound effect on photography in japan.

the photographers of provoke magazine captured what cannot be expressed in words, such as massive protest movements active in japan between sixties and seventies, as well as the search for a new japanese identity.

the magazine wanted to be a provocation to japanese society and its photographic culture, european-style photojournalism and straightforward commercial photography. they also sought to awaken and refresh the aesthetics of existing photography and question the increasingly commercial visual language of japanese society.

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exhibition shows around 200 photographs. these images represent both an expression of this political transformation and the renewal of aesthetic norms.

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i guess that the powerful thing which kept me thinking about this exhibition for some time is how little i know about that era in japan. sixties were quite turbulent period on a global level (civil rights, feminism, space race, and so on). ever since i saw these photographs i keep wondering how it was to live there in that turbulent period.

for all of you living in vienna (or if you’re planning to visit in the next months), do not miss this exhibition. it will truly give you an insight in that particular period of japanese (and global) history. the exhibition is open until 8.5.2016.

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end of summer

we can all agree that we had a long and very warm summer.. it was even warmer for us who stayed in the city. i thought that, by moving to vienna, i would no longer experience such warm weather (summers in milan were really unbearable.. just like the weather during an entire year in kuala lumpur). but i was wrong – vienna welcomed me with the warmest summer ever.

however, it came to an end. the weather these days announces the arrival of autumn..
i spent the last day of summer in the garden of palais liechtenstein, its summer palace to be precise, which is quite close to where i live.

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later i had learned that the liechtenstein summer palace is home to one of the most significant and largest private art collections in the world. the collection of the prince of liechtenstein includes treasures from the early renaissance to the high baroque, such as masterpieces by rubens, rembrandt, van dyck and many others. however, the art collection of the palais liechtenstein is visible only at events or booked tours. public tours are offered regularly and their timetable is exposed at the garden entrance.

since there were no tours offered at the time, i decided to stay in the garden (but i wrote down a note to myself to check out the timetable). i found a free bench, opened a book and enjoyed the last day of summer. i was so taken by the book that i forgot where i was. after some time, i looked up and saw a beautiful garden filled with flowers.. i decided to put down the book and take some pictures. i finally started practicing using my camera the way it should be used, so i thought i could give it a go..

..et voilà!

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some photos may need improvement, but it’s a good start.. don’t you think so?

destination vienna 2015

destination vienna 2015 (or destination wien 2015) is the name the exhibition in kunsthalle wien, one of the leading contemporary museums in vienna. the exhibition itself gives the landscape of contemporary art in vienna, presenting selected contributions from artists of different generations, working in various methods and differing in their use of media.

i have visited kunsthalle wien a couple of days ago and i am so glad i did so, since the exhibition ended just yesterday. i got to see many interesting works of the viennese contemporary artists and i will share with you my favorites:

— marina faust, stacks
the idea of the exhibition is to show that the overlay of see-through images does not necessarily offer transparency. rather, the underlying layers become visible. they are like shadows of the above image.

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— sonia leimer, neues land / nowaja semlja / new land
the work of sonia leimer combines historical footage of the nuclear-powered icebreaker lenin in action, as well as the excerpts from soviet propaganda footage of the space program. the video is projected onto an oversized envelope.

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— christian mayer, putting in time
this series presents original photographs taken from american newspaper archives dealing with the burying of time capsules.

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— karin pliem, concursus naturale I / concursus naturale II
the aim of these paintings is to bring together creatures from diverse parts and ecosystems worldwide: flora from the tropics, alpine valleys or the botanical gardens encounter sea animals or transgenic plants cured in the laboratory.

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— hanna putz, 07min02, 2015 / 15min47, 2015 / 12min21, 2015
the exhibited photographs show people waiting, which produces a concise image of passing time. the images’ titles give us a hint of the waiting time frame.

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–ana hoffner, transferred memories – embodied documents, 2014
the work transferred memories – embodied documents shows a conversation of two woman, who describe images of violence and horror in the north-west region of bosnia and herzegovina – prijedor, trnopolje and tomašica, while these images remain invisible.

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— —

note:

in the video, women also talk about the day when citizens of prijedor were forced to mark their houses with white flags or sheets and to wear a white armband if they were to leave their houses, in order to distinct themselves. it was 31st may 1992.

31st may is known as the white armband day – by wearing the white armband we are showing solidarity with victims of prijedor, and also with all of those who were targeted for their race, ethnicity or political beliefs.

— —

sommernachtskonzert / summer night concert

vienna welcomed me pretty well, i would say.

last night we went to a summer night concert (or, in german sommernachtskonzert) – an event organized on a yearly basis, in the gardens of schönbrunn palace and hosted by the vienna philharmonic. with this open-air concert in schönbrunn, the vienna philharmonic wishes to provide all viennese, as well as visitors to the city, with a special musical experience in the beautiful setting of schönbrunn palace and its lovely gardens. and as i heard, the repertoire is different each year.

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this year’s summer night concert featured compositions by northern european composers (such as christian sinding, carl nielsen, etc) whose works are today nearly forgotten, but during their lifetime were very popular and successful.

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“music is magic. what happens in the moment when music is played? people pause, they stand still and no words are needed”  were the opening words of the twelfth summer night concert. and that’s what we did. we stood and enjoyed the great performance in the rather chilly spring night.

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ps. my photos weren’t of high quality, so i took these photos from the kurier’s website.

the elegance of the hedgehog

“i think that grammar is a way to attain beauty. when you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you’ve said or read or written a fine sentence. you can recognize a well-turned phrase or an elegant style. but when you are applying the rules of grammar skillfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. when you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together…”
— muriel barbery, the elegance of the hedgehog

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while the book “the elegance of the hedgehog” is not among my favorites, this particular quote is the one i found to be a reason to read this book. the plot of the book is quite simple, it’s focus is on two characters: renée michel, a 54-year old concierge who loves literature, philosophy and japanese art, and paloma josse, a twelve-year-old girl who lives in a building where renée works and who considers her family quite phony. renée and paloma develop quite unusual friendship which influences the lives of both of them.

the book is known to deal with several important topics of today, such as class consciousness and conflict, but it gives enough space for diverse discussions on philosophy and literature.. and, as mentioned previously, languages.

i’ve given a lot of thought about the introductory quote of this post. before reading this book, i never realized how much i paid attention to grammar, both when speaking my mother tongue and when learning foreign languages. i used to say that grammar is like a math -> you can analyze the grammar rules in the same way you perform addition, subtraction, etc. i used to love languages whose rules are quite clear, and where you don’t find many exceptions. but, once i encountered the language where the rules weren’t as straight forward, i managed to find the beauty even in the exceptions and irregularities (after a long battle, of course!). this book helped me understand that there is the beauty in every language, we only need to understand where it lied.

other than that, this book is special to me for one more reason. when i finished reading it, i posted this quote on my facebook wall. but i also wrote a comment that the book was very well written, too bad that the translation in bosnian was not as good as it could be and that maybe reading it in english or italian would make me like it even more (the book is originally in french, but unfortunately, i don’t speak it). couple of months later, my friend alma sent me her copy of the book in english, all the way from new york! i couldn’t believe she remembered that.

so, yes. this book is important to me for making me enjoy studying foreign languages and understanding there is certain kind of beauty in every language; while some languages have lovely melody, others may have “to-the-point” expressions or clear grammar rules. but also, it reminds me of alma and her amazing gesture.

hence, i chose this book to be my fiftieth post on “on the importance of small things”, as well as to celebrate my 2 year anniversary on wordpress.com!

cortili aperti a milano

once a year gardens and courtyards in milan are open for public. that special day happened to be last sunday – 25.5. since i had nothing planned anyway, i thought i could give them a look.

even though i live in milan for six years, i’ve never managed to catch that one day. i still remember reading about these courtyards, couple of years ago when i read a book “mrs dalloway”. one of the characters, lucrezia smith, was milanese.. and she used to say how much she longed for “gardens of milan”. and i made a promise to myself that i will see them one day.

most of the courtyards were in via borgonuovo and in via fiori oscuri (street of dark flowers). and that’s where i visited these two lovely gardens.

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casa valerio

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palazzo orsini

the courtyards were beautiful, but i have to say i’ve expected more. maybe because i was reading about them and planning to see them for a long while. a lot of gardens were only partially open, keeping some part closed for public. however, it was nice to see milan inside-out & to witness the presence of both light & dark flowers in this (so-called) industrial town.

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fiori chiari & fiori oscuri

red bag

i think every person needs a bag which is able carry everything one may need that day.. besides the usual, wallet, mobile, keys and lipstick, you could put your laptop, book (or in my case a space-saver, kindle), and even your groceries.
well.. maybe not every person.. but i know i do..

so, this is my “big-bag” – where i can put all the above. aaaand.. it is red! and very very pretty!

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this lovely zadig&voltaire bag is big enough to take in everything i need daily. it is strong enough to carry everything.. it’s got even this little red wallet for my passport.. and a little butterfly just to spice things up.

i have it for several months only, but it’s already my favorite. and as you could see, it goes well with vacation mood.

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ps. the first photo was taken (but slightly modified) from zadig&voltaire website, while the second took my husband during our vacation in france.

back to the roots – indastriadesign

april is the month of design – at least for those who live in milan, when the city hosts its famous design and furniture fair, salone del mobile.

as written in one of my previous posts, i did not attend many events. but i did manage to visit cascina cuccagna, where an opportunity was given to young designers, especially to those designing and producing environment-friendly and sustainable furniture.

furthermore, i was invited the booth of my friends’s friend, claudio, who proposes sustainable design and recommends to use the furniture used in the past as an inspiration for new designs. may i present to you – indastriadesign & their fantastic pieces!

aprile è il mese del design – almeno per chi vive a milano, quando la città ospita la sua famosa fiera di design, salone del mobile.

come scritto in uno dei miei post precedenti, non ho partecipato molti eventi, ma sono riuscita a visitare cascina cuccagna , dove l’opportunità è stata data ai giovani designer, specialmente a coloro che progettano e producono dei mobili ecologici e sostenibili.

inoltre, sono stata invitata allo stand di un amico della mia amica, claudio, che segue la progettazione sostenibile e propone di utilizzare i mobili usati in passato come fonte di ispirazione per nuovi progetti. vi presento – indastria design & i loro pezzi fantastici!

abi

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abi is a coffee table, with a double scope – three lids, which open the inner container, may be rotated and used as serving trays. there is also a possibility to have the patterns customized!
btw, this piece is my personal favorite!

abi è un tavolino dalla duplice funzione: i tre coperchi infatti, che aprono al contenitore interno, possono essere girati e servire da vassoi con la possibilità di personalizzarli graficamente!
btw, il tavolino è il mio pezzo preferito!

pregadio

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pregadio hanger – hanger made ​​of birch plywood, is inspired in the form of an ancient ladder used by peasants from the veneto. its name “pregadio” or “pray-to-God” comes from the simple fact that you had to rely on your luck before you climb!
the hanger is designed to be assembled and disassembled easily. the components are interlocked, without the use of screws or glue.

pregadio appendino – appendino in multistrato di betulla tutto ad incastro, è ispirato nella forma a un’antica scala usata dai contadini veneti. il particolare appellativo di “pregadio” deriva dal semplice fatto che bisognava affidarsi alla buona fortuna prima di salirvi!
l’appendino è concepito per essere montato e smontato facilmente. i componenti si assemblano ad incastro, senza l’uso di viti o colla.

mod

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mod is a cube with the pattern which may be customized and assembled differently in order to create different kinds of pieces of furniture.

mod è un cubo personalizzabile con stampa digitale che può essere assemblato creando di volta in volta mobili diversi.

patterns

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as previously written, when creating furniture there are plenty patterns to choose from. the figure above shows several examples!

come scritto precedentemente, ci sono tante scelte dei motivi grafici. la figura sopra fa vedere alcuni esempi!

ps. in this post i have shown only several pieces, the ones i liked the most. for more info visit the indastriadesign website – http://www.indastriadesign.it

ps. in questo post ho mostrato solo alcuni pezzi, quelli che hanno attirato la mia attenzione. per ulteriori informazioni, visita il sito web di indastriadesign – http://www.indastriadesign.it

a day in ventura lambrate

salone del mobile 2014, or milan design week, has just ended. truth to be told, i’ve remembered it is that time of the year only last week.. even though it caught me a bit off guard, i did not miss the chance to see what’s new out there.

this year i’ve decided to go to ventura projects in lambrate, former industrial area in milan.
since i’ve been in that area last year as well, i’ve noticed a lot of designs were sort of recycled.
however, what i really liked about this part of salone del mobile is how they used old workshops and factories as an exhibition place.

i will dedicate this post to spaces in ventura lambrate. designs were lovely, but spaces managed to impress me even more (which is not easy!).

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i think you would agree with me that these spaces were totally worth a visit to ventura lambrate.

highlights of paris

they say that paris is always a good idea! and i will add – especially when you get to go with your sister, like i did last week.
i will dedicate this post to a couple of highlights of my short trip.

highlight #1 – pompidou centre

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pompidou centre is without any doubt the building like no other. the centre was designed by italian architect renzo piano & british architect richard rogers. the project was awarded to this team in an architectural design competition, and the building was completed in 1977.
even though the building is very popular now, in the 1970-ties the reactions were divided for its “inside-out” architecture, since the design was quite ahead of its time (for example, national geographic described the reaction to the design as “love at second sight.”). just a bit of trivia, all of the functional structural elements of the building are colour-coded: green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are for climate control, electrical wires are encased in yellow, and circulation elements and devices for safety are red.
ps. you wouldn’t want to plan your visit to pompidou centre on tuesday – like i did.. and found it closed!

highlight #2 – la défense & grande arche

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la défense, business district of paris, was named after a stand against the prussians in 1870.
the district was founded in 1958. with the first generation of skyscrapers and it kept its appearance until the early 1970s, when in response to great demand, a second generation of buildings were realized.
a third generation of towers began to appear in the early 1980s – which lead to construction of the grande arche, the main landmark of la défense, in the 1989.
after the stagnation in the 1990-ties, la défense is once again expanding and is now the largest purpose-built business district in europe.
i loved how the architecture of la défense was mirrored in its continuous building over the years; you could see the skyscrapers from the 1980-ties together with the buildings of a newer date. and i loved how the entire district was grouped around the grande arche, its natural centre.
oh, and i was also very proud of my photo!

highlight #3 – a walk in marais

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once a swamp, now hip&trendy neighborhood – i loved marais! i loved its small-scale buildings, cosy cafés (i would recommend “le loir dans la théière”, where i had lunch) and lovely boutiques (i found all my favourite boutiques – comptoir des cotonniers, sandro, zadig&voltaire, and a bunch of new ones). i came to marais the first day with my sister, but i couldn’t resist coming back at least one more time.

highlight of highlights – my sister!

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three days in paris with my sister were just what i needed.