Here are some breathtaking photographs of the sea/beaches by two highly influential photographers: Richard Misrach and Massimo Vitali. Immerse yourself in the fantastic shades of turquoise.
In his series On the Beach, Californian photographer Richard Misrach studies human interaction and isolation through aerial photographs (taken from hotel balconies) of beaches in Hawaii. Misrach says, “I always thought about it as being a god’s-eye view, looking down and seeing these amazing human interactions.”
Italian photographer Massimo Vitali has been documenting crowds since 1994, studying how and where people gather. Nature vs colonisation. These photographs are taken in Greece and Brazil. “Upon these swaths of water, sand, and sky are people parked and splayed, inactive, passive, disinterested, as neutral as grains of sand in an hourglass or the dots on a box of dominoes spilled out of their box onto a blanket… [Massimo Vitali] illuminates the apotheosis of the Herd” (What the Butler Saw)
“I have tried to avoid behaviour that is too focused on everyone doing the same thing. e.g a football stadium, where everyone is looking and reacting in the same way. I focus on groups of people, but I try to photograph them at times when they are not doing the same thing, in situations where they are free to maintain their own personality and individuality.” From an interview with Massimo Vitali
A poem by Vicente Huidobro
You hear the night glide across the snow
The song fell down from the trees
And through the fog sounded voices
I lit my cigar at a glance
Every time I open my lips
I flood the void with clouds
In the harbor
The masts are full of nests.
And the wind
groans in the birds’ wings
THE WAVES ROCK THE DEAD SHIP
Whistling on the shore I
Look at the star that glows between my fingers
(y la versión original aquí)
Colombian artist Doris Salcedo is the first Latin American to be invited to work in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. In her piece Shibboleth, which was her response to this invitation, she draws attention to issues of racial intolerance and segregation. The title of the piece, “Shibboleth” is an essential hint to understanding Salcedo’s intentions and is explained in this passage from the Bible:
“Therefore Jepthah gathered all the males from Gilead, and warred against Ephraim, and the Gileadites defeated Ephraim […] and occupied the margins of the Jordan, through where Ephraim’s people would have to pass on their return. And some of them arrived there and prayed to be let through, they asked him, Aren’t you from Ephraim? And as he answered, No, I am not, they replied: Then, say “shibboleth,” which means wheat spike […] And they pronounced it “sibbolet,” as they were unable to pronounce the same letters […] and were beheaded […] so that forty thousand men from Ephraim died in that war”. (Judges 12,4-6)
Shibboleth is a Hebrew word with multiple meanings, wheat spike, river, and olive branch, but beyond that it is a symbol of a strong cultural identity, since knowing how to pronounce it can indicate belonging or exclusion, or in the case of the biblical story, it can mean life or death. Being the first Latin American artist to be invited to work in the Turbine Hall, Salcedo felt strongly about making a piece which represented her personal perspective as a Third World person in the First World. Salcedo created a huge crack in the floor of the Turbine Hall. Breaking, penetrating, and invading the space. She said, “I think the space defined by the work is negative space, the space that, ultimately, Third World persons occupy in the First World” (Doris Salcedo, October 9, 2007). The work reveals a division that many people would rather ignore, an abyss between two worlds that do not touch and is a comment on the right wing European’s insistence that immigrants represent the loss of cultural heritage. Salcedo’s violent and bold action of creating a crack in the floor of the Tate Modern creates an impact on the viewer and leaves an important message, and even when the crack is filled there is a scar to show that this struggle continues.
“I have a preference for introverted people because I feel an affinity with them and therefore I can look at them longer than I do at exuberant people, who are very much focused on their surroundings. I like a particular kind of face, very classical and therefore timeless – the girl in the green swim suit in Kolobrzeg, for example. It’s about a particular kind of beauty that other people might find ugly, but it’s a kind of ugliness that I find beautiful.”
(Quoted in Rineke Dijkstra 1997, [p.38].)
Here are some shots from last night’s Manu Chao concert in Reus, a very lively and fun gig!
And a clip from the gig plus one of my favourite songs: