360 Modigliani

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Last night saw the private view of the Modigliani Opera on Bold St, the 360 Degree cinematic experience had finally arrived in Liverpool.

Waiting with great anticipation on the purposefully darkened lower level of 25 Bold St, we look toward the technology. Laid out we had sets of boxed in eye units and industrial scale headphones.

After a short period, we are given the chance to try out the units. In confusion, Italian is selected as the language, Amedeo Modigliani, the great painter was Italian, but also spoke impeccable French after spending most of his adult working life in Paris.

Eyes boxed in and earphones in place we are taken through a short enactment from the direct perspective of the artist. The 3D visuals effect real beyond belief. In the bar we have a man come forward and grapple over what felt like our leg, wincing in response. Equally, convincing was the life model, in Italian, I picked out the word ‘Prostitute’. In the early years of the twentieth century, prostitutes were often sought for life modelling, this was commonplace in Paris. Modigliani was also renowned for the use of sex workers for other purposes then simply modelling nude. The screenplay takes us through a scenario where the girl is enticing sex, it is very visual in 3D, as the viewer and a woman this brought on feelings of discomfort.

The main 360-degree cinematic experience was to follow. We are lead through to the arena where it was to be screened. All around us, there are visual platforms, utilised at varied points. We are taken through Modigliani’ life, starting with his birth in Livorno in difficult financial circumstances. Progressing through his upbringing in Tuscany to his artist’ working life in the Bohemian, studio lined district of Montmartre, Paris. The screening incorporates the use of actors, filmed with traditional methods to stills of the artworks created by Modigliani. We gain an insight into his addiction to narcotics and alcohol, however, the Foundation argues that this appears to have been greatly exaggerated over the period elapsed from his death. They note that the use of hashish and the drinking of absinthe were not unusual in the artist communities of the period.

The film escorts us through more life modelling, reclined nudes in particular to Modigliani premature death to Tuberculosis at the age of thirty-five. Jeanne Hetbuterne, the love he spent the last few years of his life with is portrayed. Several days after his death she throws herself from her parent’s apartment window. Heavily pregnant, she, and her unborn child are killed on impact.

A sub-plot takes us from the start and at the end to the auction house, Christie’s of New York. In his lifetime he struggled financially, often selling drawings for the price of a meal, his painting never selling for more than a hundred and fifty Franks. After his death the price of his works increased sharply, there are recollections of art dealers re-negotiating prices at his funeral. In today’s market, his sculptures and paintings sell for Millions of, in this case, dollars.

The Modigliani Opera, a great experience, an insight into experimental new media and most of all it demonstrates how the artist and his works are as relevant today as when the oils were wet on the canvas.

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Footage from screening
Footage from screening

More about the Amedeo Modigliani Foundation

 

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Multitude of Colour: The Liverpool Plinth

 

Split decision

Multitudes of colours rise up on the Liverpool plinth with Split Decision, the city’s latest public art sculpture.

Split decision is the much-anticipated form to take its place on the Liverpool plinth. Just under five meters in height the multi coloured abstraction of the human form draws attention to the anguish those suffering from depression struggle with when being forced to make decisions. The Egyptian born, Yorkshire based sculptor Sam Shendi states his intentions through the works:

‘Give hope to those going through hard times.’

The desire is not only to decorate our vision, but equally to enhance the quality of life of those struggling with mental health.

Many of Sam Shendi’ works can be considered quite sexual in the shapes in which he creates. Works such as ‘Mademoiselle’ suggest movement through its organic nature, but equally metamorphic in the way the structure looks to push inward. Other creations are very animated, ‘Bloomed’ in particular, indicating a rising motion, springing out through re-growth. Parallels can be drawn with the leading, internationally renowned sculptor: Louise Bourgeois, notably, ‘Backbiter’ implying a more sadistic side to sexual intercourse.’

The Liverpool Plinth is sited outside Liverpool Parish Church, often known as St Nicks. Located on Liverpool’ iconic waterfront it is a much sort after location for contemporary artworks. Set up to rival London and Trafalgar Squares forth plinth, Split Decision is the second sculpture to be sited there since the removal of Brian Burgess’ Christ on a Donkey.

Split Decision will be in place for the next twelve months and if nothing else it certainly brightens up our day.

More about Sam Shendi

 

 

Lady-Like

Lady Like

Lady-Like

Childhoods spent of girls being told to be more lady-like.
The need to wear petty coats decades after there use has dwindled.
Showing your knickers during a fast-paced cartwheel, unthinkable.
Denied the pleasures of tree climbing,

void of the fun from play fighting

in the name of being lady-like.

Adulthood,
Restrictiveness of ladylike rears its head.
Women should drink half glasses of larger not pints.
No smoking or swearing.
In pubs, females should find quiet side tables
No stand at the bar talking to men!
To be seen but not heard.

The route of the term: the Debutante balls.
Girls came of age. Introduced to society as Ladies.
Pressed into crippling finery,
Paraded so Men could stipulate their woman of choice.

Objectification through parentage,
through social class,
deprived of their own decision making capability.
This to dribble down from the social hierarchy,
the Aristocracy and the jolly well off,
the role models of the day.

Most hated of all,

a control term for effeminate men.
‘That’s not very lady-like.’
Low-level mutterings
for those who lack capability
Mission: to dis-empower women

through brandishing the phrase.

Renounce the term
P*ss all over it!
Say no Lady-Like
Tell the young to flash their pants if they like
Be strong and capable
Reject delicacy and weakness
Drink pints if you want
Smoke if you desire
Swear like a trooper
Stand at the bar
Tell effeminate controllers to F*ck off
Make Lady-like an outdated term!

Like corsets, chastity belts and underskirts,

let it cripple us no more.

Lady-Like no longer.

 

Lady-Like is a free-flow text work from Alison Little, written in 2019, see hopes the term is made redundant by the end of the decade.




..to explain….

Ver 0.28N

..to explain….

Ahead, we have a field, common ground, or well done up waste ground for those less gracious in terminology. Grass recently cut, some stripe like forms, but simply devised from the day-to-day routine of the Council cutter, not pitch perfect and suburban.
Ahead, we have a field, common ground, or well done up waste ground for those less gracious in terminology. Grass recently cut, some stripe like forms, but simply devised from the day-to-day routine of the Council cutter, not pitch perfect and suburban.

A random assortment of trees and stinger nettles encase the alleyway to the back entrances of the small residential estate adjacent. On the other side, there is a small woodland, a natural barrier to the mass wards of the hospital.

To the rear is a seemingly derelict sport and social club. Securely fenced and graffiti clad, topper of with a standard council issue ‘No Golf’ sign. A parameter created by the road ahead, a busy route to the motorway, a route to Manchester and a connector to the mass destinations of the M6. Above the road, a wind turbine takes direction in rotation.

The greenspace lies flat and barren, not a lunchtime dog walker or childhood games play in sight. Above the sky’s blue, to the left the clouds are dark and waterlogged, blowing over, traffic flows fast, an ambulance speeds through, desperate, an emergency. More cars, more vans head faster towards the motorway junction. The wind turbine rotates at full speed as currents cut through the air. The emptiness must end, she must make the appointment and she must explain what has happened.

Although a spring day, a hailstorm was to follow….

 

..to explain…. is a flash fiction works from Alison Little, it could potentially be used as the openning to a novel or  a shorter creative narrative.