Monday, September 23, 2013

MoMA: Akram Zaatari exhibition

Last week we went to MoMA to look at Akram Zaatari's exhibition Project 100. The exhibition was quite different from the Art I usually like to see, so I am going to write a little about the impression I had of it.

The Exhibit was divided in two dark rooms. The first one had music and TVs with different dancing scenes and daily activities recorded in Lebanon. The second one was the one I spent most time on, and it is the one I will write about.

As soon as you enter the room there is a big double screen, divided in two: on the left side there is a hand with white gloves that move showing pictures. On the right side the screen shows a TV that goes through records of different lebanese people talking about memories. The link between both of the screens is that the pictures shown on the left screen represent the memories the interviewed people are talking about. The relationship of both is interesting because you can hear a story and at the same time visualize it through real pictures of it. The artist of the exhibition used this technique to give life to memory and develop an exhibition that shows the Lebanese culture through the songs and culture seen on the first room, and through the histories of natives in the second room.

The conversation between the two screens was not only a rich visual resource, but also has the concept of not having any "human" intervention, as the recorded people are shown on a television inside the screen and you don't see any motion in the cameras: it is static and only the videos shown in the TV change. This way the artist created a very unique effect: the video seems to be a scientific research that brings the relationship between memory and history, as he shows the history of his country through the memories of its people.

 the right side...

...and the left side.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Project 2: Visual Backpack

Our second project was to create a "visual backpack". We had to choose objects that represented our past, present and future and find ways to represent them in a symbolical way, creating a memory backpack that had at least five different objects.

I decided to divide my backpack in three sessions and make it with wood sticks to look like a mobile. The shape of my backpack is also a triangle, because it is a strong shape that is very balanced. The three sessions are Memory (past), Security (present) and Luck (future). Each of these three words are the strongest feelings I have for each of this time tenses.

The past was represented by a picture of friends (which represent the memories I have and that are used as support and strength in the present). The second object is a miniature of three of my favorite books. Those represent what I learnt and thoughts that made me grow and become who I am. They are related to memory because I can remember my personal growth of the past and apply it to my present, not forgetting who I am.

For the present I used three different objects: The first one is the drawing on cardboard of seashells, which represent the good moments both from the past and from the present, as the seashells remind me of a good day on the beach with friends. Remembering good moments give me safety of knowing I can always go back to my past and remember good moments I lived. The second object is a small bed, which represent the necessity of having my own space and privacy in my new home, NYC. This represents both my present and what I hope to get in the future. The bed is a representation of safety and comfort as well. The third object is a purple sweater which was given to me from a friend and represents comfort, and also the memory of him. This object is a representation on how important people remain in your life in the present and, hopefully, in the future.

To represent the future I chose a Hamsa, which is a simbol of luck and protection. I believe those are the most important things you need to carry for the future. I also drew a window that faces a brick wall. This is a literal representation of New York, where space is precious and most windows face another wall. The window is a metaphor: as most people look to the world outside and dream, my dream was to come to the place I am now. The brick wall might also represent something negative, which is also a representation of myself: it's a matter of perspective looking at what you have and seeing as a positive thing. I believe most people would thing that living on a room that faces a brick wall is something bad, but the brick wall is something that for me became positive, because it taught me to look at the good side of things and understand that every situation you are at has something for you to thank for. I am happy to be living near a brick wall.. because I am in New York City.

my process work

the books that represent personal growth

the picture, from the "past" and the seashells, from the "present"

the books and the bed and sweater (present representations)

the box that covered my backpack

when you close the mobile it loos like a cozy room!

the final work

how it looks from above

Sunday, September 15, 2013

project 1: Memory Map Drawing exercise

We've been asked to make a memory map as the first assignment in our Studio Class. The requirements were to draw a map of the neighborhood that comes to mind when thinking of "Home". The place must have an emotional connection to us and should include important and significant locations.
We had to include our home, at least a place that no longer exists, which way we went to leave to NYC and a key explaining our map.

I immediately had the idea to draw my neighborhood, the big and bustling city of Sao Paulo. After a few sketches, I realized it was too big to fit a piece of paper, so I decided to draw the most important neighborhoods for me and highlight important constructions and people in my map. I also decided I would use a design with bright colors and that looked like a kindergarten work (as the map reminded me of memories of when I was younger).

The map explains itself because I added a lot of details and wrote a key and also a introduction (as each part of the map you unfold gives you a deeper perspective of my city).
I do not have photos of this process work, but I will try to add some on my future projects!

The cover of my map looked like this ("MM" goes to Memory Map)

The back of my map

opening it...

When you unfold the map you have a general key that explains colors, symbols and what to expect on the inside part of my map

When you unfold it one more time you can visualize 4 different "maps". On those I try to explain the size of my city: I draw Latin America, show the size of Brazil in it, then show the size of my state in Brazil and then the size of my city in my state. At last I made a red circle in my city showing the part of it that represents the 6 neighborhoods I will represent in my map. That way I wanted to give anyone who read my map a notion of the size of my "home" and its location geographically.

this is how my map looks like completely open. As I said, it is really detailed and there are a lot of things going on in it.