Wednesday, 13 February 2008

LOOK-SEE

Nicolas Roeg's 1973 film, Don't Look Now, based on Daphne Du Maurier's short story, suggests that Venice is not the place to go if you are - as they used to say on the cinema posters - of a nervous disposition.

As for us, whilst we've never once spotted Mr Roeg's dwarf in the red raincoat, wandering through the streets of Venice has stirred memories of another film: that last, dreadful offering from the late Stanley Kubrick - for Venice is truly a city filled with "eyes wide shut..."

Indeed, Stan sent his prop-buyer there to get Tom's mask and we came across at least half-dozen mask shops boldly sporting signed testimonials to that effect from no less an authority than Mr Cruise himself.

Anyway, dwarfs aside, we did, quite often, get the feeling that we were being WATCHED --- albeit by largely unseeing eyes...
















Images: © Brian Sibley and David Weeks, 2008

12 comments:

Boll Weavil said...

You have a great eye for good photographs Mr B ! Nice to see you 'calling card' in amongst the collection there - a gentleman in underpants.That's a logo that's as distinctive as a Hitchcock cameo in your work.

Brian Sibley said...

BOLL - Thanks for the compliment - but at least half the pictures are by David, so we'll jointly take a bow!

I do, however, take full responsibility for the guy in pants --- although, of course, I was actually photographing the reflection in the window of the buildings opposite!

I had thought about making a pun on the words 'hitch' and 'cock', but then changed my mind... ;-)

LisaH said...

Yes, as Boll Weavil has commented - well done on getting knickers into the Blog. There are some terrific photos there - and some creepy ones. And a couple that reminded me of the time you were away in Venice and there were no blogs - and the old adage Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

Glad you changed your mind about the pun, I might have had to calm the Duchess......

Pictures, as ever, are amazing, I love the skull. Is it really made from tin cans as it appears?

If you two ever had to go away without your cameras would you get withdrawal symptoms?

Brian Sibley said...

LisaH - Ta-da!! :-)

I suppose, sometime, I really ought to TRY absinthe. A few years ago I bought a packet of absinthe-flavoured pastilles (in Venice) and only ever ate the one!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL - You comment: "I love the skull," and ask: "Is it really made from tin cans as it appears?"

Well, here's the story behind this curious work of art that we encountered in January when it was floating on a pontoon on the Grand Canal outside the Palazzo Grassi.

Entitled 'Very Hungry God', the 1000 kilo sculpture by Subodh Gupta is made out of aluminum pots and pans.

It was first exhibited in Paris in 2006 in Paris in the Eglise Saint-Bernard church during the annual all-night festival, 'Nuit Blanche'.

In an interview Gupta explained the motivation behind his decision to fashion this huge momento mori from objects that are designed and usually associated with the process of sustaining life:


"My work was conceived to be shown in a church in Barbes on the outskirts of Paris, which is largely inhabited by an immigrant population.

"I made the work in response to the stories I read in the news about how soup kitchens in Paris were serving food with pork so that Muslims would not eat it. It was a strange and twisted form of charity that did not continue for long but raised conflicting ideas of giving and the way we have become now.

"Outside the church I served vegetarian daal soup as a form of 'prasad' (in India when you go to a temple or a guduwara you are offered food with the blessing). I liked the mix of the Catholic church and my intervention using a symbol that many artists have used before - the skull - and its many connotations.

"'Very Hungry God' is like a vanity, but also the idea of food and the utensils is very much part of my language dealing with ideas of the everyday and turning them into iconic symbols."

Brian Sibley said...

GILL asks: "If you two ever had to go away without your cameras would you get withdrawal symptoms?"

Not so long as we went somewhere where there wasn't anything to photograph!

Brian Sibley said...

GILL comments...

Trust me to ask about something so complex, but many thanks for the information, fascinating!

Your second response poses an interesting philosophical question. Can there be anywhere where there is nothing to photograph?

My ex-husband won a competition with a photograph of an escalator! And I guess people do take photos of paint drying?

Just a thought.

Brian Sibley said...

GILL - They do indeed! In fact, there are at least two books of 'Boring Postcards' as testimony to the fact that people will photograph (and then BUY!) pictures of Nothing-in-particular.

As some of our photos reveal, David and I are increasingly drawn towards recording the oddities and curios of life: the strange reflection, the unexpected angle, the sudden glimpse of the bizarre...

Suzanne said...

Absinthe - yes... I actually tried some over 20 years ago before it was re-legalised... and the bottled it was served from must have been at least 20 years old then!
I was tempted because of the literary/artistic connection and everyone cried "Suzanne, don't, you'll go mad!" I found it quite delicious but I don't know about it driving me mad... I'm not sure who can claim that about me!

Elliot Cowan said...

Eyes Wide Shut is indeed an awful movie.
It should be called Eyes Wide Shit.

Brian Sibley said...

ELLIOT - Your response is somewhat rude but f****** accurate!! ;-) *

* ;-) ONE eye shut!!