28 September 2009

Akhmatova



Dining room at Akhmatova's residence in St Petersburg
my grandma in Siberia has a similar colour scheme in her dining room.

27 September 2009

Monumental proposal



Monument 03 in the series Monument for a future generation by Andrei Davidoff

" Wandering the streets of any major town or city it is inevitable but to come across a myriad of monuments. Pieces of public art which once celebrated a distant victory, the passing of an ill fated explorer, the opening of a now demolished building, are now simply aesthetic objects, sculptures which have lost their conceptual worth to the community in which they exist. The question must then be posed; what if these works never had a meaning, moment or individual, behind them? What if through the simple act of being positioned in a prominent cultural location, conceptual value is placed upon them, with the help of plaques, dates and inscriptions. How would the relationship of the ever swirling community to these works change, if at all? "

23 September 2009

Rainy September



Old yellow telephone on the windowsill,
bottle of surplus gallery wine, an after thought
late september, rains come, go by the city's sea
the city sleeps and breathes with ease
we dream of sweet things in white sheets again
love you slow again, holiday rain day glow
dance leaves, guide the drops to rivulets flow
down love, got to go, there's this lace leotard I saw...

20 September 2009

denmark> france> germany

So the proverbial fork in the road. I've tried to make it work here, I love it because it's my home by the sea and I will always come back. I've talked to other people about it, a little too sensitive people like me (we always choose who we talk to so that we get the opinion that we want) - belonging is one thing and then there's all these thoughts, is there more?


My top three countries to move to:



Denmark
- I've decided to follow Jen and Paul, a young Hitler Jungend-esque couple from Austria who have moved to Copenhagen
Lots of photos of bicycles (i like- I don't drive and detest motor vehicles)
"But being here in Copenhagen now for about 2 months, it is so worth it! What is a small space compared to what you gain from living in the middle of the city, but also having enough green space and water to relax, go swimming, have a glass of wine at the canals…"

In short: I'm warming to Denmark. Efficient, climate-focused, good dressers.

Bonus points- The princess of Denmark is none other than Tasmanian-born, Mary Elizabeth Donaldson.

France - I am editing a manuscript about a fellow classmate's year in Paris, he claims there is still a lot of (passive) racism and forget trying to crack the French job market. I've read Almost French (Sarah Turnbull an Aussie freelance writer) and it sort of scared me.
In short: a baguette carrying nation with a similar psychological make up to (older) cultured Russians.
Bonus points - Aunty Lou Lou lives there


Germany-


one word, Berlin...


The Rudi Marie Cafe in Reuterkiez, an emerging boho area near the Kreuzberg section of Berlin. (courtesy, New York Times) Every week, another layer of awesomeness is spread thickly over this city - like the icing on a good slice of mille-feuille.

19 September 2009

bu-bye winter






POST 2009
16 September to 10 October

Worth checking out this exhibition til the 10th Oct, it's a kind of collaborative exhibition. Well, a bunch of emerging artists were sent an Australia Post package to fill/create/and nut over. My cousin Serge and his fiancee have come up with a magical floating parcel from Wandaland (it levitates by magnetic power).



Relocating a whole store, torrential spring rain, ran out into the street this evening with a giant man-size umbrella which naturally flipped inside-out. I danced a little bit with this bummed out umbrella to make my boss laugh. Work has been such a massive shit fight, just need to laugh at something. But bu-bye winter no more woolly hats I hope. Thinking of moving to Europe in a year, I love Melbourne but it's boring like the US, eat eat shop stay numb get fat get medicated die in your paid-off mortgage. enjoy your slavery to the Reserve Bank feed the Rothschild fortune watch the environment die... no habitat is permanent (watching The Baader Meinhof Complex)


16 September 2009

Little duck

Stalin said the death of one man is a tragedy
And there we were, in socks on my parents' porch
Some had guitars in their hands and others still cigarettes
You with three crosses around your neck, almost a seventh child

And the other part of Stalin’s truth was about numbers-
the impossibility of mourning many.
After you were hung, then down in the ground
I rode a bus out of Krakow along flat summer fields,
Saw a thousand shoes, a jumbled stock count
Of frail leather, tangled laces
All trapped in glass

All those feet.
Some that had limped after a fall
Others had confident strides
Maybe there was a velvet stiletto tango
Of a Last Sunday

I can’t love them all,
Those shoes are dry like parchment
How did the corners of all those mouths curl?
Your smile was like a little duck’s

13 September 2009

Collective unconscious

Week to week, our indelible teacher, Ania Walwicz http://www.textbase.net/walwicz.html gets us to write stream of consciousness poetry in class after covering poets as far ranging as Cohen, Heaney and Buson.
Recently, we were looking at myths and were required to close our eyes and let an image come to us. I saw a river with ice breaking up, extremely loud and incredibly close, yeah. I have not seen this at all during the course of my life, being dinky-di Aussie raised, apart from in movies. In particular, there is a memorable montage in the hilariously surreal fairy tale Varvara Krasa of images of changing seasons (with requisite Slavic fetishisation of nature poetry like 'ti nesi menya reka'... you carry me river....)

i wrote this in class,

River

Great ice floes,
The ice flows with a jostle
All speed downstream
The river is a raging horse
His white mane whips
The ice tumbles and smacks
In the darkness
Deafening, sharp
Dull, clear and
Turbine murkiness
The river is a brute horse
That storms by the centre
His magic hooves crack ice
Sending winter out.
My pale horse river
Amid pine needles and rock
He dashes away snow
With the wind of his stallion soul.

...using as many names and euphemisms for drugs as I could - but also writing about rebirth and spring blah blah. Oh and the magic hooves are a reference to a Russian fairy tale called Konek Gorbunok (little hump-backed pony). Ania is writing a book based on this Russian tale, it was translated into Polish- Konik Garbusek - it was the first book she read back in Poland and another one of my favourite childhood movies.




Later in the class I came across an entry in a book of mythology about Buri, the name caught my eye because it means "storms" in Russian. Buri is a Norse god who was licked out of the ice by a primeval cow over the course of three days. It resonated a bit with the poem I had written earlier, except here, there is a cow rather than a horse bringing in the end of winter. In the conspiracy-heavy Zeitgeist program, they point to such ancient myths as proof of the unoriginality of Christian ideas (or collective unconscious, really, if I could tap into it in 5 seconds with no prior knowledge of Buri... it's not mythological 'borrowing').



I wrote this for Buri

The god is carved
For a million frozen stars
It’s cold
Waiting in the northern light
with the grey sea thrashing
Under the ice, time is endless
waiting for the thaw
His eyes are unblinking as he lies
Waiting for her step to click
Closer
She licks him
Wake!
Her breath is like milk

and I used to think Norse mythology was the refuge of LOTR fangirls and Cornell Latin-speaking undergrad virgins... seems I've tapped into the collective unconcious of the Norse.

Balaclava shuffle

Noticed today, since I've always walked with a barely perceptible limp (slight scoliosis) how funny it is when I have also pulled a muscle in my leg. Sometimes it's a strain from salsa lessons or something of its ridiculous ilk. Usually from other, less organised forms of dancing that take place at various shindigs. Walking down the street all I can do is concentrate on my every step. The pain barrier is easily overcome, the next target is to overcome the new limp that creates itself on some kind of chaos theory. The muscles rebel against the control centre of the brain and throw out a foot; sharp angle to the hip, askew from the knee, a silly hobble. To combat the rebellion, I try to walk slower and urge muscles to comply to a smoother, more gracious gait. I force the toe in instead of out, overcompensating with a pigeon-toe effect. I look around casually, checking to see if anybody of note has witnessed my seasick elephant swagger. Elderly gents overtake me at crossings, quickly I check if the barista in the window has spied this. He nods hello. This neighbourhood is a bloody village. The springtime wind ruffles my hair into a bird nest of tangles, I'm wearing Andrei's coffee-stained jumper. I switch shopping bag to the 'good side' to level out the wonkiness and shuffle home slowly.

12 September 2009

black and white soliloquy




The morning was tentative, a non-committal milky grey like second-rate tea. I soft boiled an egg and spread it on toast staring out at the distant roof tops. My flatmate was up hours earlier and there was an extra echo to everything in her absence. The cups clattered loudly and my footsteps rang out on the downstairs ceiling. Why the neighbours never complained about our lounge room dancing, gentleman callers, arguments and all-nighters was a mystery. Aside from our impiety to the snooty suburban religion of silence; we never took the bins to the nature strip. There were a few Nevers we tried to live by. The cook never cleans. Never rat on each other. We would often run into the grounds of stately mansions at night, breathless and whooping on the inside.
I tried to leave the apartment soundlessly.

It was getting to the end of winter, passersby were still clad in marsupial palettes; brush tail possum brown, common wombat (common woman) umber. The city opened inwards to let me into its fold...

10 September 2009

The day I fell in love with the sea




1.
On a boat on the White Sea
climbed onto the deck to see
what I could sea sea sea
the see was like fishing in the Bay
as a kid, petrol and salt, queasy, happy
sun gloaming, going down, down, now
Arctic sun so pure, cold, love me, God Love
ME, sea.

2. Promenading, sunning,
legendary loves
on the sea shore in good shoes,
on a Sunday the sea is warm with life
azure, golubinka moya
from the carousels and rails there are small
cries and gulls fly

3.
the sea would not drown me

the sea is at my window as a blue line

to remind me where I am




09 September 2009

Sisterhood

I have three sisters:
We liked to invent languages, for instance we would write english words in cyrillic. it's impossible to get the depth of the million vowels of English in Russian transliteration - (fAHk u dYik-HaireD). Nabokov is a better expert on this. Also we played a game called "the writing game" where we'd each get a piece of paper and write:

1. a boy's name (cover and pass on)
2. a girl's name (cover and pass on + continue to do so after each turn writing)
3. where they met
4. what he said
5. what she said
6. what he did
7. what she did
8. what happened in the end



the aim of the game was not to write the most snivelling romantic story. no siree. the aim of the game was to make fun of people and their personal quirks. As daughters of a preacher man we had a rich pool of cranky babushkas, bejewelled spinsters, unwashed musicians, genius/and or overly adored children and "stage moms" to choose from. It would be all the more hilarious because our writings would be mashed into obscene constructions through passing it along.

07 September 2009

PREY (2009)



Released 7th May 2009
Out on DVD 30th June.
(Directed by George T. Miller, written by Miller and John V. Soto, Topcat Films)

Posters for Prey plague train stations in the inner south east like a bad hangover. Prey is a schlock candy horror film featuring an unintelligible Aboriginal curse, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, CGI black snakes and a lesbian kiss. It hopes so bad to be a cult film. It ran for one week in three Australian cinemas taking an abysmal $342 in its opening weekend. Some movies fail in their intended form and then experience a revival as cult; a lesson is the 1930s anti marijuana propaganda film that became a runaway comedy hit four decades later. Reefer Madness, this is not.

Candy horror sells because it is bad; hammy dialogue, joyously dismembered jocks and more corn syrup than Coca Cola Amatil USA (Fact: Coke in the US does not contain sugar cane but corn syrup, something about subsidising corn farmers). These flicks feature the kind of imagery the government should use in anti drug advertising; we’re talking ice and crank- let alone the humble cannabis sativa. So why do people gorge on this stuff like a fat Spanish kid on chorizo sausage? It’s pure escapism; whether well produced or not, it is supposed to be obscene yet entertaining. Very occasionally candy horror is successful as a cautionary tale like Teeth (2007), directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, which features a young a girl cursed with ‘vagina dentata.’ Men beware of the female that creates eunuchs.

Prey starts as a 4WD road movie; six characters are pulled together in a useless and jarring montage of their daily lives to ‘go out west for a surf.’ Cue disjointed back story about a road accident twenty years earlier and a revenge seeking Driza-Bone wearing orphan out for blood. The characters are as predictable as they are cardboard –cardboard ready to be scrapped in the recycle bin of senseless homicide. Included in the doomed posse is a gay guy, a hippy and the token Asian but we couldn’t care if any of them die. People cheered when Paris Hilton’s character was expunged in House of Wax. Here, you will yawn as they bloodlessly perish with little imagination or movie magic. The story telling is as incoherent as it is narcoleptic. Visually shoddy and bland; this film is the Kraft Singles of horror and pulls no punches. This film could have been funded by the Mormons- there is no gore, sex or swearing. This leaves the viewer feeling empty and cheated of thrills, however cheap.

Here, the Australian bush comes off static, devoid of the tension and mystery that made Wolf Creek work. Unfortunately, the bush is not the most underdeveloped character in this movie. Natalie Bassingthwaighte, in her feature film debut, blunders as Kate. Kate isn’t in need of a visit to a combined gyno/dentist like the heroine of Teeth. An obstetrician is more fitting, as is later not all too clearly implied, her boyfriend’s sperm has been imbued with a malevolent snake’s. Bassingthwaighte’s performance, punctuated by half-arsed shrieks and laziness, just cacks. It fails to meet the lowest expectations, even for those familiar with her Xanax-numb television skills.
Producer, Iowan expat Bobby Gelinksy confessed that 40% of the film’s four million dollar budget was spent on securing Jesse Johnson in a lead role. Jesse’s claim to fame is being Don ‘Miami Vice’ Johnson’s son. In one scene he approaches Indigenous art with dim-witted derisiveness and you get the feeling he’s not acting. Irreverence is one thing but the scenes involving references to Indigenous culture are uncomfortable viewing. The Driza-Bone killer uses rock art and an incantation to summon the said CGI black snakes; “Spider eats the fly, bird eats the spider...” Who’s writing this stuff? White supremacist Mother Hubbard?

Prey misses the mark by an excruciating distance in a genre that revels in being low brow. The opening credits feature previews of cult horror flicks; the Freddy Kruegar films, Fire Starter, The Exorcist and the freaky Jeff Goldblum movie, The Fly. All this serves is to make you wish you were watching one of the classics.