Filtering by Tag: art

Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts Crowdfunding Campaign (A New Short Film)

Dear everyone,

The crowdfunding campaign of my film Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts (link below) has almost come to an end. In around a week, I’ll have to say goodbye to Indiegogo, and I’ll find myself, once again, in the real world (of course, that’s a lie). 

I wrote that I would spend the last half of the crowdfunding campaign posting content about the film itself, but unfortunately (fortunately), I had an idea for a new short film and... Well, I simply had to shoot it as soon as possible! 

Some info about this project: it’s related to Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts, it’s called Introducing Adam: Beyond Creation And Destruction, it will be screened at the closing party of the crowdfunding campaign and my subscribers will be able to see it before everyone else.

As for the posts I haven’t published about the feature film, don’t worry (you were worried, weren’t you?): you will see them after the crowdfunding campaign is over on the gavinomarianomura.com Art Journal (now that I think about it, this piece of info is useful only if you’re reading this on Indiegogo). 

And speaking of my Art Journal, I’d like you to know that its format will change a bit. I want to keep posting my thoughts on art and aesthetics, but I would also like to share the news regarding my work on another page. I hope that will make my art posts more engaging.

One more thing: if you have visited the Indiegogo page of my crowdfunding campaign, you have probably noticed that it’s been stuck for a while (sad but true). If you don’t feel any negative feelings coming from this post, well, that’s because I have actually been receiving a series of important external contributions.

At this point, I can’t say for sure that we will be able to shoot the entire feature right away. At the same time, I’m pretty convinced that we will make part of it or, better, that we’ll find other funding sources.

I’ll keep you updated, anyway.

‘But, hey, Gav, you still have a week!’

Yeah, that’s true:

If you haven’t contributed to the campaign yet, please consider doing it now (yeah, I mean, right now). We haven’t got much time left, and every single contribution, even the smallest one, can help us a lot!

Also, if you’re in Dublin on the 21st, come to the Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts Crowdfunding Campaign closing event (link below) organised by my friends at C-47 (whom I thank again for last Thursday’s super funny pub quiz!). The fabulous Nervvs and Jake Regan will be there to play, and there will also be something that art enthusiasts will love (tba).

Yeah, so... That’s it for now!

Take Care,

Gavino

 

Links

Crowdfunding Campaign:  

 https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/agalmatophilia-a-tragedy-in-three-acts/x/16999351#/

Closing Party:

 https://www.facebook.com/events/575605209582976/?ti=ia

C-47: 

 https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveFourtySeven/

Nervvs: 

 https://www.facebook.com/nervvs/

Jake Regan:

https://www.facebook.com/jakereganmusic/ 

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Agalmatophilia: A tragedy In Three Acts Crowdfunding Campaign Week #05 (Introducing The Characters)

Dear everyone,

I hope your week was good and full of pleasant surprises.

As promised, I’m here to talk about the characters of my film Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts.

I don’t know if this is clear from what I wrote on this website, but there are only eight characters in the entire film, and four of them will never even actually appear.

It’s not unusual to see independent films that feature only a limited amount of characters. As you can probably imagine, the reason behind this is, usually, lack of money, although, in this case, my love for chamber plays was the main factor.

I love minimalist art, (if you have seen my shorts, you already know that), and I’m very grateful I do: you can’t really dictate your sensitivity and your creativity, so if you’re into big budget movies, well, good luck: you have my respect!

Now, before I continue, it would be better for me to remind you what Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts is about.

This is what you can read on my website and on Indiegogo:

AGALMATOPHILIA: A TRAGEDY IN THREE ACTS is the story of LILITH, a lonely 25-year old sculptor who is visited by the living BLACK CLAY STATUE of a demon that claims to be able to make her live a parallel life shared with someone she loves.

Intrigued by the idea of leaving her loneliness behind, Lilith embarks on a twisted and surreal journey across three different versions of her life, all of them characterised by three different versions, or ‘faces’, of her new partner ADAM, a mysterious character who’s currently working on a show called ‘Agalmatophilia’ and who is, in turn, a masochistic actor, an emotionally unstable theatre director and a sadistic playwright.

Helped by the WHITE CLAY STATUE of a pagan god and by her guardian spirit, a FOX, Lilith tries to escape her nightmare by following a path hidden in the woods on another plane of existence: her imagination.

(A note: this synopsis is incorrect. It’s been extremely oversimplified, but I had to write it this way to give you a vague idea of what I’m doing.)

Now that you remember the story, we can continue to talk about its eight characters (by the way, did you notice I only mentioned five of them in the introduction above?).

I usually like to divide them into three groups:

Physical Characters

1. Lilith

2. Adam

Metaphysical Characters

1. The Black Statue (also called The Wolf)

2. The Shady Character (also called The Fox)

3. The White Statue

The Chorus

1. The Dear

2. The Snake

3. The Raven

(Yes, these are the ones that I didn’t mention in the synopsis)

I’m sure many people would divide them differently, but this is how I see them.

The first one I created (you guessed it) is Lilith, although that wasn’t her original name.

Lilith is the main character of the film, and the one I personally care the most, probably.

The second one I created was Adam (I’d like you to think about the implications of what I’ve just written).

As many of you will certainly know, the name Lilith comes from a Jewish mythological figure that from the Middle Ages began to appear in a series of mystical literary works as Adam’s first wife.

According to some of these writings, Lilith was created with Adam (and not after him, like Eve) and from the same clay (this is one of the reasons the name Lilith has been associated with feminism).

Do Lilith and Adam symbolise humankind?

Why do you think I didn’t choose to call the main character of my film Eve?

These are some of the questions I won’t answer on Tuesday, the same day I’ll write more about Lilith, Adam and the other characters of Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts.

For now, if you haven’t already, please consider contributing to the crowdfunding campaign of the film!

Also, if you’re in Dublin on the 10th of April, why don’t you come to the film-related pub quiz organised by C-47 (a brand new music-video/film company)? There will be tons of prizes to win, and all the money raised during the night will help us fund Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts. (Oh, and if you’ve already contributed to the crowdfunding campaign, you won’t be charged to take part in the quiz!)

Very, very well…

Take Care,

Gavino

Links

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/agalmatophilia-a-tragedy-in-three-acts/x/16999351#/

Pub Quiz:

https://www.facebook.com/events/305179830147939/

C-47 Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveFourtySeven/

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Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts Crowdfunding Campaign Week #03

Dear everyone,

I’m here, again, to tell you about my quest for a successful crowdfunding campaign.

I thought I would start this post by writing about the worst week we’ve had so far, but…

We’ve just received a huge donation from an angel who would like to remain anonymous and our budget has basically doubled…

That’s right: a quarter of the film has been funded!

I mean, I wanted to talk about crowdfunding-related anxiety and depression, but…

F**k that!

I’m going to celebrate.

By the way, a reminder: Destruction, a film/music video directed by M.A.K and shot/edited by John D Breen (C-47) for the crowdfunding campaign of Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts is now on YouTube, and it looks amazing!

It also features a song by the Irish band Junk Drawer so, if you like the Irish Indie music scene, you should definitely check it out.

Take Care,

Gavino

 

Links

Agalmatophilia: A Tragedy In Three Acts Crowdfunding Campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/agalmatophilia-a-tragedy-in-three-acts/x/16999351#/

C-47 (John D Breen & M.A.K):

https://m.facebook.com/CollectiveFourtySeven/

Destruction - Music Video:

https://youtu.be/NAhNQGlDbt0

 

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An enigmatic still from ‘Destruction’ by M.A.K

Random Thoughts About Art: #04 The Red Shoes

Dear everyone,

If you’re wondering about the title of this post, well, let me just say that the Powell & Pressburger film (more than the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen) could easily represent my artistic life.

My obsession with art will probably be the death of me, physically or psychologically, figuratively or literally.

I know there's no turning back and, honestly, that’s something that scares me and reassures me at the same time.

Take care,

Gavino

 

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The Red Shoes, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1948

Introducing Lilith’s World: Agalmatophilia

First of all, a giant ‘Thank you!’ to all the people that subscribed to my new newsletter.

I’m sincere when I say that it means a lot.

Thanks, thanks and thanks again! 

Now...

Let me update you on what’s happening right now in my artistic life.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you already know that I’m currently working on my first music album, Fear & Agony (yeah, that’s the title now). I’m happy to announce that the recording sessions are almost over: in a week or so I will have all the tracks I need to start mixing the album (that is, to give the mess I’ve created to a sound engineer). Hopefully, it will be released in January.

The second big project is Agalmatophilia, a feature film I’ve been working on for a long time and that I’d like to introduce to you with a series of related posts, this being the first one.

(If you haven’t, I suggest you visit the page I created for it on this website and subscribe for news and updates!)

So...

Let’s start with some questions:

1. What does Agalmatophilia mean?

According to everyone’s favourite encyclopaedia:

Agalmatophilia (from the Greek agalma 'statue', and -philia φιλία = love) is a paraphilia involving sexual attraction to a statue, doll, mannequin or other similar figurative object.

 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agalmatophilia)

Of course, I’m not going to tell you why I chose that title.  I hate spoilers.

2. What’s the connection between this project and Introducing Lilith, the short film that is featured at the bottom of its official page?

Well, this is pretty simple, and I basically talked about it in one of my previous posts: Introducing Lilith was meant to be the teaser trailer of Agalmatophilia (or, better, Lilith, as the film was called a couple of years ago). Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly happy with the screenplay at the time, and I simply decided to work and work on it again. It’s something I definitely don’t regret.

3. Are you currently shooting Agalmatophilia?

No, I’m not... 

4. Is Agalmatophilia in pre-production?

I really (really, reallly, really, really, really, really) wish it was...

5. So... What are you doing right now (apart from writing some new stuff and producing the already mentioned Fear & Agony) ?

That’s a good question! What have I been doing since I finished writing the script around a year ago?

Well, I’ve been looking for a producer... Unsuccessfully... 

I’ll talk about this next week. For now, let me just say that, if you’re wondering, yes, I’m going to make this film! 

 

Thanks for reading!

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Halloween Memories

After a short trip to Sardinia (when I’m there, I never have enough time!), I’m here to talk about art again.

Well, then... Halloween! 

I have many nice memories about the 31st of October, and today I’d like to share one of them with you. 

When I was around sixteen, as I already wrote in one of my previous posts, I used to sing in a (sort of) band, which was initially composed by me and one of my best friends.

We had been playing and composing together for a year when we decided that it was time to show our friends what we could do (which wasn’t very much, really...). We thought that Halloween would be the perfect day to do that: we would throw a Halloween party in my place and wear some costumes in order to create the characters that would become the members of our band. It was perfect!

If I remember well, we had a five-song setlist composed of original songs and covers, and we were pretty happy about the selection. We rehearsed for a week or so, and I must say that we weren’t particularly anxious about the performance, probably because we thought we were pretty good.

Anyway, on the day of the concert, at 5 or 6 pm,  the guests arrived (only ten people because we weren’t the most social people around)). We all ate and drank while chatting at the rhythm of David Bowie’s Scary Monsters, Disintegration by The Cure and other New Wave albums for a couple of hours.

At around 8, I and my best friend decided it was time to play some memorable music, so we grabbed our very cheap guitars and started to play in front of our friends. I remember I felt fantastic, all the eyes upon us and my voice reverberating in the small living room.

Also, our friends were very nice, and after we finished playing, everybody congratulated us for the show.

I felt it was one of the best days of my life.

Now, I’d like my story to finish like this but, unfortunately, someone recorded our performance (probably, my father), so after everybody went back home, my best friend included, I had a look at our amazing show and... I saw the scariest thing ever!

I think I wasn’t able to sleep that night...

 

Thanks for reading and... Happy Halloween!

 

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Random Thoughts On Introducing Lilith #03

After the existential question I wrote last week (you decide if I’m ironic or not), it’s time to talk about my promo/short film Introducing Lilith once again.

I wrote ‘my’, but I should have written ‘our’: a film is seldom made by one single person, although it’s difficult for a writer/director to acknowledge that, sometimes (I’m being very honest). 

When I decided to shoot the video, I was lucky enough to have a pretty large number of people willing to work for nothing, basically. Personally, I hate asking people to work for free, and I really believe that every artist/technician should be paid for what he does, but the crew was composed by some of my former classmates, and I thought we could actually help each other by making something that would eventually become a feature film (I made it clear that everyone involved would eventually get a paid job).

Some of my readers (according to the stats of this blog, it seems they/you really exist, and I’m particularly happy about it!)  may know this already: a crew is basically divided in a series of departments that work on different aspects of the film. The camera department, for example, is in charge of the images, while the people of the too often underrated sound department think about the audio.

Now, the job of a director is, in a way, very simple (if we don’t consider the artistic side of it, at least). He basically needs to give a series of inputs to all the departments in order for them to create a portion of the audio/video organism he has in his mind. Of course, a wrong input can undermine the entire work, and I think this fact is one of the main causes of stress in so many film directors: the pressure can be overwhelming.

I have to say that, fortunately, it never happened to me to have major problems during a shoot (maybe because I’ve only directed short films and music videos, who knows?)), and Introducing Lilith was no exception.  At the same time, my work as the director of the film was far from perfect.

The main shot of the film was meant to be a sequence shot.  My idea was: we see Lilith while she is shaping the statue, we follow her as she gets up, reaches the couch, sits down and notices that someone’s in the room with her. Pretty simple! The problem is that, although the camera people were pretty experienced and the art department had done a great job finding the right props, the camera movement I wanted just didn’t work well with the pieces of furniture we had chosen. The camera and the art departments were disconnected, and it was my fault. I was meant to be the connection between them. 

I could have chosen to shoot a series of brief shots instead of the long one I wanted, but I was afraid the crew would understand that I had made a mistake. What a stupid thing to do! I put my ego before the work of art we were making: one of the greatest sins for an artist.

I was lucky because I was able to fix the problem in post-production, and I think the film itself doesn’t look bad at all, but the feeling of having betrayed my inspiration and the crew is still with me.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

On the set of Introducing Lilith...

On the set of Introducing Lilith...

Random Thoughts On Introducing Lilith #01

Introducing Lilith...

Ah, there’s so much I could say about that, so I’ll start with a very simple introduction:

If you haven’t read my last post, it’s important for you to know that I’m talking about a short film I directed a couple of years ago (you can find it on this website and on YouTube: if you have time, check it out and tell me what you think of it!). Although it’s the most incomplete of all my works, it’s also among the most important ones.

Essentially, Introducing Lilith is the weird teaser trailer of a feature film I really (really, really, really) want to produce as soon as possible. Two years ago I thought it would be a good idea to shoot an introduction to the main character of my screenplay: I wanted to show a series of producers a very brief portion of the world I had in my mind in order to, well, make them produce my film. Unfortunately, the short film didn’t really help me (we’ll talk about that in the future), but I’m happy I realised it anyway.

Why? 

Well... When you spend so much time on a screenplay, you’ve got an entire detailed film in your head, an entire world to explore, and it’s fantastic. The problem is that you don’t know what that world will actually look like when represented in our material dimension, and I can tell you that you would really like to.

Now, Introducing Lilith is for me the first materialisation of the world of Agalmatophilia, which is the feature film I mentioned a few lines above. It’s a sort of faulty materialisation, maybe (there are so many interesting things in Lilith’s studio that can’t be seen, that are not there...), but it exists nonetheless.

In the next few weeks, I will talk about the making of the film, the lessons I learned from the experience and how they’re affecting Agalmatophilia.

 

Thanks for reading! 

 

 

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The Ruins Of The Tower Of Babel

First of all, I want you to know that yesterday I released my short film Introducing Lilith. It’s now on YouTube and, of course, on this website (on the ‘pictures’ section). It’s a film I really care about because of many reasons: if you’ve got 2 minutes (literally), I suggest you check it out. Also, the soundtrack of the film is available on iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon etc. Among all the pieces of music I composed, it’s probably my favourite one, so I would be particularly happy if you listened to it and left a feedback to give me your opinion.

Now, I’ll probably talk about these new releases next week. Today, I’d like to write about the last song of the album I’m recording, Songs Of Fear And Agony. I discussed the themes of all the others, so this will be the last post of the series.

The song is called The Ruins Of The Tower Of Babel:

 

When I’m alone, I’ll fall into

Antique Italian dreams, among

Thoughts made of marble, tears of paint

And ghosts mouthing rhymes.

 

In churches built of human blood,

I’ll listen to God’s harmony.

And when I return, I’ll tell

Everyone of my secret life.


Who would really comprehend my words?

Who would try to understand

Who I really am?


For now, I’d better hold my tongue

And work on some new cryptic lines,

While German songs and Indian chants

Try hard to overcome the noise.


We all belong to it now, and to

The unbridled Irish wind:

A frenzied oracle of hope that

Speaks in tongues and we can’t see.


Who would really comprehend his words?

Who would try to understand

Who he really is?


Who would really comprehend our words?

Who would try to understand

Who we really are?


A floating world would be enough

For me to face a sudden change,

Although my poor, chaotic talk

Would force me to lie ceaselessly.


Concealed behind the shadows

Of countless Japanese identities,

I’d greet the darkness, kneel

And, lastly, enjoy my solitude.

 

I think it’s fairly easy to understand that one of the main themes of the lyrics is ‘communication’ (or, better, the absence of it). The myth of the Tower of Babel has always been used extensively to discuss this particular topic, so this won’t come as a surprise. If we looked at the lyrics more carefully, though, we would find a deeper meaning concealed underneath the first one: loneliness.

It would be hard for me to deny that this song is particularly personal. To a certain extent, it’s even autobiographical, and the references to Italy and Ireland are there to prove it. At the same time, and this might probably sound strange to some people, Dublin has always made me feel less lonely, so the adjective ‘autobiographical’ wouldn’t be accurate.

Loneliness has been used many times to describe two different feelings. A person who’s got not friends or partners experiences loneliness, for example, and so does someone who can’t feel the presence of, let’s say, God. The two situations, although intrinsically connected, are different: interpersonal loneliness and existential loneliness are not the same.

When I was writing The Ruins Of The Tower Of Babel, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to write about interpersonal loneliness in order to talk about its counterpart. I pictured myself lost in a city full of people I could’t understand, a city built upon the ruins of the Tower of Babel, and I pictured many, many people like me.

There they are... Why can’t they understand each other? It’s because they (their fathers) built the Tower of Babel: it’s because they wanted to reach God.

Now, does interpersonal loneliness, absence of communication, or even absence of empathy, come directly from the absence of God, or his inaccessibility? Does it come from existential loneliness?

 

Thanks for reading! 

 

Building Of The Tower Of Babel, Hendrick van Cleve III, About 1525 - 1589

Building Of The Tower Of Babel, Hendrick van Cleve III, About 1525 - 1589

It Feels Like The Apocalypse

I usually start writing a song when I feel I have what I call ‘a good starting point’. It might be a sound, an image or even an entire line.

When I began to write It Feels Like The Apocalypse, I only had its title.

Among all the songs that are part of Songs Of Fear & Agony, It Feels Like The Apocalypse is probably the least personal. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s less important than the others. 

 

We saw their flesh rotting,

Their bones turning to clay.

He said: ‘It’s the apocalypse.’

I said ‘Just a play.’


We walked on the rubble

Of the Tower of Babel

He said: ‘We’ll be history’

I said: ‘Just a fable.’


Yet I find myself shuddering

At the syncopated tune

Of my own breath.

Death is a thought

I can ignore

No more.

 

I think of it as a series of memories related to a friendship that was not meant to last because of an apocalyptic social situation. I think it’s clear, in the verses above, that I’m talking about some sort of war. 

 

My friend was no idiot,

And to me, this was clear.

He just asked me in my dispassion

To comprehend his fear.


My friend transmuted hearts

Made of lead into gold

While I just conjured demons

For fear of getting old.


Now I find myself shuddering

At the syncopated tune

Of my own breath.

Death is a thought

I can ignore

No more.


Why was the narrator’s friend so scared? Well, I wrote this song thinking of him as one of the targets of a violent discriminating government. What do you think will happen to him?

 

The last time I saw him,

He’d been tied up in chains.

They had shattered his head,

They had trodden on his brain.


The last time I heard of him,

I was wrapped up in shame.

I groaned, it was agony,

And I cried out his name.


So I find myself shuddering

At the syncopated tune

Of my own breath.

Death is a thought

I can ignore

No more.

 

The narrator basically tells us that, in front of the reality of death, he finally realised what his friend meant when talking of fear.

Although this song might sound like a social (or even political) lament, the themes I had in mind when I was writing it were much more existential. As it happens, eventually, the song got a life of its own, and it would be difficult for me to say that it doesn’t contain any references to (historical or modern) society.

In a way, it’s funny: I’ve always tried to ignore any kinds of politics, but it seems I can’t do that anymore, not even in my art... Am I too scared?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Maus, Art Spiegelman, 1980 - 1991

Maus, Art Spiegelman, 1980 - 1991

Art Evolution

Three days ago, I wrote a very brief post about the implications of being an independent artist. It wasn’t particularly informative, to be honest, but I’m happy I did it because on the same day I received a very interesting comment on Instagram:

@neva_2018 About your post: I often wonder if creative works are ‘selected’ over time for traits that make them more competitive in the book market, like ‘literary evolution’. Do these popular works deserve their selection? Based on what general traits are they selected? What are your thoughts?

(By the way, I suggest you check @neva_2018’s Instagram profile: you’ll find some very interesting poems!)

The following day I wrote a very long reply and... I deleted it by mistake... Undaunted, I decided to write an entire post about the topic.

So here it is (if you’re not into literary theory, I suggest you skip this post. Come to visit this page on Wednesday, though: I’ve got some good news about my music!):

First of all, I’ve got to say that I’m not a scholar and this is not an essay: only my very humble (and probably disconnected) thoughts.

As far we know, humans have always tried to select and preserve the best works of art, but there’s always been a problem: what does ‘best’ mean, when applied to art, and literature in particular? Things get even more complicated if we realise that the concept of art itself has changed through the history of mankind.

In my opinion, there’s one precise human aspect that has always played an important role in the ‘literary evolution’, and that’s taste. Unfortunately (that is, fortunately), even during the same period, people’s tastes vary depending on many, many factors (country, social position, age... The list could go on and on).

I recently read a very interesting introduction to one of the most famous books of all time, ‘One Thousand And One Nights’ (or ‘The Arabian Nights’). Although the stories contained in the original manuscripts (most of them, at least) were originated in the Middle-East, India and even China, they didn’t gain much attention until they reached the European countries. That’s because their language wasn’t refined enough to be part of the Arabic canon. People didn’t like them and, even now, many scholars of Arabic literature question their value.

That’s a good example to explain why, personally, I’ve always found sentences like ‘That’s his finest writing’ or  ‘He’s the best writer in the world’ to be essentially naive (please keep in mind that, like most people, I often said things like that). How can an adjective like that be applied to a particularly subjective field as art?

Famously, Aristotle’s opinions on poetry ended up being so influential that for centuries numberless writers tried to stick to what they considered to be sacred rules. Even now, when teaching screenwriting, people take his ‘Poetics’ as fundamental for storytelling. 

(A very personal note: Unfortunately, Many Hollywood producers understood how to make tons of money with a very basic narrative structure, and Hollywood films have always been very influential. Sometimes I feel like the existence of films such as those by Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini or Akira Kurosawa is considered a sort of anomaly...)

Funny enough, the tragedies of William Shakespeare, who usually ignored the Aristotelian rules, are more famous than those of many other writers of the same period who followed them. Why? Because the tastes of the English in the 16th century were probably very different from those of the Greeks in the 4th century BC (and I’m not even talking about individual tastes).

Now, I want to get straight to the questions of the Instagram comment I told you about.

My thoughts about taste being fundamental in the selection (and in the preservation) of any work of art are pretty clear, I think, and I also already said that there are many general traits that are appealing to the people of a certain time and of a certain space. There are so many, that I might write an entire book trying to identify them... Sadly, I won’t be able to make a list today.

As for the selected books of the past, I really don’t know if they deserved to be selected. If I replied to this question, I would have to say that they were or they weren’t better than others, and as I said I don’t know how I could affirm something like that while being sincere.

But let’s talk of the book market. For a very long lapse of time, books (and works of art in general) were chosen because people wanted to preserve them. This kind of selection was essential and, as I said multiple times, was dictated by taste. The advent of printing in the 15th century changed everything, though, and everything changed even more with the birth of our capitalistic society around five hundred years after that. Although things are slightly changing, the books we now find in our favourite bookshops were selected by a number of people working in a publishing house.

Did they select them because they simply liked them more than others?

In my opinion, yes and no.

Although I believe many books get published because beautiful or interesting, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to read them if considered difficult to sell. I say ‘considered’ because, unfortunately (and the internet is here to prove it), it’s very hard to understand what will be successful or not, especially now. There certainly are particular traits that ‘make them more competitive’, but I do believe they’re difficult to analyse (there are probably entire teams that do it) and, most importantly, they’re unpredictable.

The people in the music and film industry, being these two fields particularly commercial, have tried to solve the problem by dictating or directing the taste of the people. This is something that happens for books as well, but I don’t think the problem’s so serious (maybe I’m being very optimistic, though).

Anyway, it seems this system is going to collapse. The artists can now reach the audience directly, and it seems this kind of self-production/self-distribution/self-promotion will last for a while (who knows?).

The art selection is becoming more democratic, but also more brutal, and apart from the artistic merits of a work, advertising and promotion are the essential elements of this reality.

In the end, it still is a matter of people’s tastes, but tastes in ads, probably, more than in art.

Oh, dear! It seems today I wrote a bit too much... I don’t know how many people will reach the end of this post. If you have, you can consider yourself a hero! I’m not sure whether what I wrote above makes sense or not. I didn’t really plan it, so it will probably sound like a chaotic series of random thoughts.

Anyway...

Thanks for reading (I promise I’ll post more entertaining stuff in the future...)!

Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, Rembrandt, 1653

Aristotle with a Bust of Homer, Rembrandt, 1653

Random Thoughts About Art: #03 Artistic Freedom

In an ideal world, artists would have complete creative freedom, and this would be a good and a bad thing. It would be good because, simply, they would create art without being supervised by publishers, labels, production companies etc. etc. That’s easy to understand. But it would also be a bad thing, and that’s because creativity often thrives on pressure.

I often wonder about the implications of being an independent artist, and I wish I had a pros and cons scale.

Thanks for reading! 

Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, Kenneth Anger, 1954

Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, Kenneth Anger, 1954

Random Thoughts About Art: #02 Life and Art

In my humble opinion, art-life balance is something that doesn’t exist. You can choose when to make your works of art and when to rest, but you should always be ready to let yourself be inspired by life itself.

It’s not an easy task.

If you decide to become an artist, and you’re serious about it, be prepared to sell your soul to your creative muse.

The most frustrating aspect of this is that most people will never understand that you’re working even when you speak with them about the weather.

Thanks for reading!

The Passion Of Creation, Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, 1892

The Passion Of Creation, Leonid Osipovich Pasternak, 1892

Random Thoughts About Art: #01 Writing Songs And Making Films

For many years, I tried to choose between writing songs and making films. I thought I would never have time to do both. I wasn’t right, but it’s true that it can be hard, sometimes. I find myself writing lyrics, editing scenes of my screenplays, recording music and trying to find funds for my films during the same week.

I tried to stop writing music a couple of times: the first time when I was around 20, and the second time when I was around 26. Of course, it didn’t work. If you feel you need to do something (that is, something legal and morally correct... yes...), you shouldn’t stop yourself. It’s that simple. There are compromises you need to accept, yes, but if you really want to do it (and you know it if you really want to), then, do it.

Personally, I now know that I can’t write films if I don’t write songs. Why? Well, although the answer is right above these lines, I usually fool myself saying that...

Songs, being closely related to lyrical poetry, are naturally more personal than films, which are closely related to dramatic poetry: I need to use my voice in order to create voices for my characters.

Does that make any sense?

Thanks for reading! 

Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits

Terry Gilliam and Tom Waits

© Black Art 2019