Monday, March 31, 2008


Although I like some of Oscar Niemeyer's work overall I am not a huge fan. Unfortunetly in Brazil, specially in Brasilia, criticizing the man is often taken as an insult to the country itself. This obviously hinders objective analysis concerning his work. This is why articles like this one, written by someone who I imagine is not influenced by such an atmosphere is useful.

The author of the post is Edward Winkleman and he uses Niemeyer's desire to alter some of his buildings to discuss if an artist should tinker with work which has been presented to the public. He also talks about some of Niemeyer's creations here in Brasilia which have seen changes and gives a before and after critique.

Here is a slide show of some of the constructions mentioned in Winkleman's post.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Robin's in the metaphysical section

Embedding disabled , no matter, this has to be the first tube I post so here is the link.

It may be yesterday's oatmeal but it still tastes great to me.

And so it begins ...

I once heard a guy shout "and so it begins" at an Irish Pub right before the kickoff to that years superbowl game. I do not remember what year nor which teams were playing. I do recall laughing at this person, remarking to my brother that the phrase, the tone, the whole thing seemed too bellicose for the setting and the occasion. After all here we were, in Geneva, Switzerland, having beers at an Irish pub. This popular hangout of many other expats, people from all over the world plus a minority of curious Genevois, who, like us, appeared to have more of an interest in chugging back a few than actually watching the superbowl match.
Yet "and so it begins" and the attitude it encompasses in the above mentioned context seems to have now found me. Uneasy as I feel in this place at this point in time. You see I always suspected that the guy, who in Pattonish style uttered said phrase, was marking his territory. He was stating that this was a place (the English speaking pub) that he belonged to, regardless of being a foreigner, and the superbowl and the "charge" like manner with which he celebrated the kickoff was a code to his kind and understood only by them. He was, in my mind, calling out to them and asking, almost begging, to be recognized by them, to then become part of that group so to quench the loneliness and awkwardeness he was experiencing. The kind of out of placeness that many foreigners encounter.
I sometimes feel that way here. Hence the reason that that particular phrase seems somewhat haunting now. Nobody approached that guy in the Irish Pub in Geneva. I couldn't care less. It was his problem, it was up to him to figure things out, overcome his difficulties and realize that he was coming off too needy, too noisy, too annoying, and would, as he did, end up alone.
I still hold that attitude to a large extent however. A person should think about his present, analize what is happening to him or her, really ponder and perhaps he/she can get some clarity and increase the chance of modifying the situation to their benefit.
It was up to him . As it is up to me. And so it begins ...