Monday, 16 March 2015

Suspicious Circumstances

I seem to jump from one all consuming obsession to another. On one hand it really annoys and frustrates me because I start to doubt I 'know who I am' and what I want to 'do' with my life. On the other hand, I get to learn about so many amazing things that I might miss if I stay preoccupied with only one thing. What's interesting about it as is that, since I've started seriously journalling I can look back, as far as three years and track all these supposed new obsessions and see that those seeds of intrigue were actually sown a long while ago.
This is the case with the things taking up my attention most recently: showmanship, hoaxes, P T Barnum, creative genius, eccentricity, the surreal, the freak show.

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As I think I mentioned in my last post, I had a nervous breakdown which, among other things, manifested itself in some obsessive trains of thought. I became re-obsessed with Michael Jackson. I was very aware though that this made perfect 'sense'. I've always been a big admirer of his and at the time that I was feeling the most worthless, uninspired, unproductive, and fatigued of course I turned to one of the most hard-working, productive, capable people to ever perform, in an attempt to escape that reality and I guess, live vicariously through him. It was during this preoccupation (which has not really abated) that I remembered why Leave Me Alone (by Jim Blashfield) is one of my favourite videos ever. It contains everything that really appeals to me visually and I am a collage and cut out fanatic. 


Ever since I had nightmares as a child that looked like Terry Gilliam animations, I've been interested in the surreal and in collage. I like to be freaked out a little bit. I love artists such as Dali, Gilliam, Richard Hamilton, Joe Webb, As well as movements like Dadaism which I would have to say was probably the first art movement I ever properly looked into, even secretly incorporating elements into my GCSE art projects despite my teacher's comments that I could not do collage for my final piece. (I was obsessed with Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out.)

                                     
Terry Gilliam's The Miracle of Flight

Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out directed by Jonas Odell

What is it about these videos that simultaneously fascinates and scares me? Maybe it's the jerky movements. When I was little I used to be afraid of Ray Harryhausen films not because they had gigantic mythical monsters but because of the way the stop motion made those creatures move. It was disconcerting. Fluid and stilted at the same time. I don't think I'll ever forget Medusa in Clash of the Titans


Ahh I guess I got sidetracked. I'm supposed to be talking about cut out animation and Jim Blashfield. Well, I think I like the slightly dated look of the images Blashfield uses. The use of vintage paraphernalia in collage has always interested me. Blashfield uses lots of everyday objects, pop culture objects but in his hands, under lots of photocopying and hours painstakingly cutting these out, they kind of become like Freudian symbols, the sort of images that could give you bad dreams. The two videos below are my favourite. The first is Suspicious Circumstances which is confusing and sinister. The second is Michael Jackson's Leave Me Alone which is "whimsical" but actually quite sad especially now that he's gone. The circus-y, 'cabinet of curiositiees' aesthetic is one I love. I don't know why, perhaps it's to do with the idea of 'The Show', and spectacle which I'm going to write about in later posts. If you aren't busy I'd really recommend watching these! Just to see something different! He also did videos for Talking Heads and Paul Simon.

Talking Heads - And She Was

Suspicious Circumstances - Jim Blashfield

                                     
Leave Me Alone - Michael Jackson




Image credits;
Jim Blashfield gifs from tumblr
Harryhausen gifs from tumblr



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

I Accepted The Invitation To The Voyage



GOYA: THE SLEEP OF REASON PRODUCES MONSTERS

My head has been a little frazzled recently. Actually, that's an understatement and I'll explain in the next few posts what happened but it's the reason there's no cake. (see last post) Thanks for your really kind and understanding comments! I'm graduating (hopefully) in 4 months and have a dissertation to write on before that and all I want to do is curl up in bed and listen to music and eat chocolate covered rice cakes. 
My brain is tired and I can't sleep. There is just an incessant internal monologue going on in there and it's distressing to say the least.
I've been finding solace in my bass guitar and just learning simple bass lines like Hanging on the Telephone. I don't know, there's something really hypnotic and soothing about running your fingers over the same two strings over and over again, I get to switch off for a bit. Well, at least until I accidentally miss a string and am brought back to the present by the discordant noise.
I have quite a few posts lined up and some new obsessions to show you. 
They involve: the circus, hero worship, "freakery", creative genius.
Thanks for sticking around despite my sporadic blogging. I promise, I'm back and ready to see what you're all up to.

So! What have you been up to?



Thursday, 12 February 2015

I rolled and I tumbled



So I'm ill! Hooray! (Wow. When was the last time anybody said hooray? Evens sarcastically? #bringbackhooray) I thought it was a cold but nope it must be flu because whenever I'm really ill I can't stop singing. I'm been wailing and sniffling through Bob Dylan's 'Rollin and Tumblin', which is perfect considering that's what I've been doing the last few nights in bed. 

So what do you do when you're sick? You get up at ridiculous o'clock even though you kept waking up during the night, you shower and then you open your webcam and moan about being ill and how you have no bone structure on blogger: I'm ill and I have no bone structure. :( 

I'll walk you through my "outfit". I'm wearing a vest under a long sleeve yellow top from H&M basics under a jumper from H&M under a hoodie from H& -  oh, it's from Primark. A kente cloth is on my lap, on top of that is a pink fluffy water bottle. Underneath these are jeans I haven't washed in forever, underneath those are tights and socks and socks and unshaved legs which where supposed to keep me warm (damn you! *shakes fist*)  and my creepers because they're loose enough for me to put on without untying! And now you see how being ill makes me sarcastic and more narcissistic than usual! I'm semi-delirious as I'm writing this and contemplating whether or not to order a pizza. What a world we live in. I want a pizza, somebody cooks it and then brings it right to my door, and places it in my hands and then I put it in my face. What a fucking world!

Ah I sound like a douche, kinda. I'm ill! Also: I love how there seems to be a consensus that if you act a little bit dickey, as long as you admit it, it's kind of more socially okay? I mean you all are probably having a lovely day and then I come in all grumpy and complaining on the internet. But then I remember some people make their living off of that, (*cough* Marc Maron)**  so if any money people are reading, I can do grumpier. Money people. Wow. I told you I'm ill.

I might regret posting this when I am well again but right now let's just say, I'm showing another side of me. A side that has ran out of pills. Please forgive me. See you all on the flipside of this illness! There'll be cake, or something. I don't know but it will be sweet. 

Aida
x



**he's hot? Yes. To me. He is an attractive man to me, Delirious ramblings. Marc Maron... kinda hot. Also saying 'hot' in my accent is just wrong. Some words do not sound good in this "British" accent. Like 'Chandler' and 'ass'. Oops okay bye!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Baby Love

Listening to Petite Meller's Baby Love over and over again. 

The video is stunning and was directed by A.T. Mann and Napoleon Habeica. It's filmed in Kenya and normally when I see videos for European artists filmed in Africa this weird feeling rises within me, a mix of suspicion and annoyance. That's how I felt when I first started watching it. But I was also really curious because yes, I am African, my mother and my (deceased) father are Ghanaian immigrants, and I have only been to Ghana once when I was too young to appreciate it's beauty and just wanted air conditioning. So I get really curious to see portrayals of Africa that aren't just dust and poverty but at the same time aren't ignoring that to show how Africa is 'catching up with the West'. 

You're never going to find that full representation in ONE video or documentary or film, but I really liked the video to Baby Love. There was an aesthetic that I don't know how to describe in a full sentence but perhaps can try in a jumble of words: art, clarity, joy, attitude, beauty, style, colour















Saturday, 31 January 2015

Time present and time past



Everything is from H&M except for polo neck which is just random.



Doc Martens

Reading T S Eliot's Four Quartets
the continuum of time
circles
history repeating itself
I am like a palimpsest?
and in a way everything that I have ever been lies faintly underneath. 
incompletely scratched off and something new written on top



I was planning to do a 2014 diary post but that fell through. I keep my diaries and zines in a Doc Marten box and last year I kept about 6 journals. I also became really interested in the diaries and letter of writers



I am a visual person but my journals have been recently just pages and pages of messy writing. One reason, I guess, is lack of time. I'm often scribbling while rocking back and forth trying to fight off sleep. Another readon, is that I'm become les reliant on images to fill up the space. When I firt started journalling, I bought a huge molesine sketchbook and consequently became so intimidated bu the huge blank sheets that it's till half empty. As I dedicated more and more time to journalling, my diaries became smaller. I started using the graduate sketchbook which was not as scary, and also just normal oxford exercise books.


After watching Lost In Translation



After watching Her

Studying Samuel Beckett


This i my hournal at the moment. I'm about to fill it and start February with an Oxford book. My mum bought this for me when I went home for Christmas. We were talking about how she used to buy me exercise books from the corner shop when I was little and she bought me this Silvio.




What I've been reading:
T S Eliot's Four Quartets
Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited
Voltaire's Candide

What I've been listening to:
Tweedy - Sukierae
Nick Lowe - Stoplight Roses
Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Leonard Cohen - Chelsea Hotel






What I've been appreciating:
David Shrigley



a: I Thought I was Doing Something; b: Lost Filofax 1998, c: Untitled, (please excuse the terrible injustice) 2010; d: Untitled, 2014

So how are you all doing?
Also sorry for the poor picture quality for the diaries. I think my iphone is giving up on me or something

Aida
x