Daniel Saint of Irony – a procession, Fellini, samples of saint processions and blessings, a brick wall with a door and a visit to the PBS studios downdown
May 24, 2013
Wow. It’s been a while. I am back. It is not that I did nothing in between. I did a lot, which is occasionally really boring to post. Further I needed some time to do what is called ‘live a little’, as I am human too and sometimes I need to waste some time with the other dogs running over a meadow chasing a Frisbee. Let’s leave it at that and you can let your imagination run wild if you must.
Anyways, back to work.
So, I am working on two projects, ‘BUFFALO RUNNING’ my brain and heart child being the one I am more looking forward to, but I also need more time and full concentration for that one. So far I deciphered Cookie’s narration and am still waiting for Pippa’s response with a couple of words I can’t read 100% for sure. Other than that it is put on low flame right now, because I want to give it my everything and am also scheduled with Jim Wolpaw’s movie, or rather the Daniel Saint statue.
Jim is luckily very open to suggestions and contributions, so it is an option for a lot of real creative input from my side, not only a commission.
And whilst figuring out what the statue is going to look like and what is the best material to make it from I also suggested to go full force and add a procession of the statue through town or along Coventry Road or something what was remarkable in Daniel’s life.
First of all I had to explain to Jim my idea of “what is a procession?” It is very common in Europe, Austria in particular, but apparently less so over here. I immediatly thought of plenty of saint processions in Fellini movies, but when you need them they all disappear, or God knows, I could not come up with any apart from the over and over displayed Vatican’s fashion show in “ROMA”:
which is very fun depending on how you look at it, but actually totally NOT what I am having in mind at all.
So I had to look further and came across the beautiful town of Boston, where they are very saint procession friendly, and Fellini would have loved them for that reason:
Yesterday Compagnie Mama’s (that is Mike Bradley, The Mungo and my humble self) went to the PBS studios downtown, which are scheduled for the weekend of July 20th). Visuals are plenty and will add them later, but for now I go to bed! Night-night!
May 9, 2013
Last Tuesday Ray Harryhausen died in London at age 92. If you think you don’t know who that is you may be familiar with a certain movie fighting scene between Jason and an army of skeleton soldiers (“Jason and the Argonauts” / Don Chaffey , 1963 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_and_the_Argonauts_(1963_film))?
Ray Harryhausen “Jason and the Argonauts” (1963)
So that’s him, I mean, he did that sort of animation with miniature figures replacing actual life size creatures where they are actually extinct along time ago (dinosaur battles) or never really existed in the first place, he also created a freaky Medusa-like lady with a snake body and a bad attitude (“Clash of the Titans” / Desmond Davis, 1981, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_the_Titans_(1981_film):
Ray Harryhausen “Clash of the Titans” (1981)
Here is the updated wiki-page on him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Harryhausen
Here the clip with the skeleton fight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF_Fi7x93PY
and here the battle scene with the Medusa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X7W-oPhY48
There are tons of other cool things by him, never gets boring, and since he is now come to the spotlight of the moment you can find it all online easily so for here it’s enough, but you can see the above images from this site and get other info there for your own check-up:
Hang on, this one is an ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of mine, the dancing statue of the Goddess Kali in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad / Gordon Hessler , 1974:
Ray Harryhausen “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad” (1974)
which, so I found out just now actually, was modeled authentically after an antique Indian sandstone carving, read about it here: http://gwangipedia.wikia.com/wiki/Hoysala_Carving_(Kali)
And since we are already looking at it, compare with a statue of Lord Shiva depicted as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance, destroyer of a universe full of crap to be rebuilt by Lord Brahma, more better and …well, that’s left to dispute; anyways; nice story. Read more, for instance on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nataraja
Nataraja – Lord Shiva dancing
Meanwhile, Compagnie Mama’s has not been resting at all and neither have those dear family members and friends we manipulated into helping out! And to some extent “The Lincoln Brothers” and “He was famous in the neighborhood” Jim Wolpaw’s documentary on street poet Daniel Thompson have been overlapping.
Here a band new Vegas-Elvis outfit created by Mike Bradley’s sister Patti:
Josiane Keller “Vegas Elvis suit” (2013)
and Mike was working on this Elvis head, of course with movable jaw as always:
Josiane Keller “Mike Bradley with Elvis head” (2013)
Of course Elvis is, like all of Mike’s puppets, credibly fabulous.
Meanwhile Jim Wolpaw sent me more thoughts on Daniel, the Saint of Irony:
So far for now. I am off to bed.
May 8, 2013
Here another moon photo taken some days ago (half moon is my favorite moon, don’t ask me why):
Josiane Keller “Half Moon” (2013)
Since Pippa is helping me (once again) so much with getting my interview with Cookie I thought she deserves a THANK YOU! – picture, and so I ventured out yesterday and took a bunch with her figure.
I admit I recently watched Elia Kazan’s “Splendor in the Grass” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splendor_in_the_Grass, which is very good and very depressing in some ways, or maybe I should just say ‘sad’, tragically illustrating what happens when you are surrounded by people seemingly well meaning but in reality big time projecting onto their offspring, relying on them to make their unfulfilled dreams come true at last, so everyone ends up in the end somewhere totally different from where one wanted to go to, hurrah!
The film may have subconsciously influenced me a bit here, but not entirely. Also the lush, lush C-town spring-summer mood and how good that feels after that local winter here that is always just that one tic too long.
These are two of the pictures I took, this one:
Josiane Keller “Pippa in the grass” (2013)
a bit too romantic, perhaps…?
And this one:
Josiane Keller “Pippa in the grass No.6″ (2013)
May 3, 2013
So I finished typing Cookie’s interview, which is very interesting, but some odd words are not readable.
I have to ask Pippa for help, who can then ask Cookie. The words are only few and could be guessed, but it is important to get it really right and not guessed, so I supposed this extra step in between is necessary.
Meanwhile Jim Wolpaw is sending me ideas for the Daniel-sculpture per e-mail:
“so I’m thinking that while traditionally statues of saints are meant to inspire and comfort the faithful, maybe Daniel, as the saint of irony, could inspire laughter and and convey confusion rather then comfort,,,
Perhaps 2 unrolled scrolls, one representing Bible verses and the other representing Daniel’s poems, could be slung over his shoulders like ammunition belts, — they could cross over his stomach, just above the Christmas ornament…
Possible visual pun — “avocado desperado” (Fruits&Veggies, page 86) – maybe he’s holding an avocado grenade (they kind of look like grenades) – he’s already pulled the pin (which is in his mouth?), and he waiting for the explosion— “Which side are you on? Suicide or Genocide?” (Hail to the Chief, pg. 50)”
To which I say:
May 2, 2013
Just came across once again a person who is very dear to me, painter John Emanuel from St. Ives, Cornwall/UK.
I used to live in St. Ives for a winter in 1998/99 to prepare my MA application. At the time it was a dark, jobless nest by the sea and every man in town seemed to be on the wrong side of 50. But the good news were: everyone in town was a fisherman and at the same time also a painter, and in the evenings they would meet at the St. Ives School of Painting to do life class and that is where I earned my daily bread as a life model.
I was also modelling for individual artists, specifically John Emanuel:
(The Telegraph) “John Emanuel” (2008)
(*I have no clue anymore which of these paintings may or may not show me modelling… it is too long ago, all I recall is that he loved my looooong back… perhaps this one is one of the ones…?:
Really not sure anymore. Anyways. He is the greatest!)
and Naomi Frears:
Andreas Sterzing “Naomi Frears in her studio” (2009)
By the way: the photographer who took this picture, Andreas Sterzing, is right here, have a look at his work, too: http://www.sterzing.co.uk/asp/people/Pages/24_Artists.html
Both painters are amazing artists, but with John I guess I fell a little bit in love (how could you not???) and so to see this film here is wonderful for me!
Have a look! https://vimeo.com/album/1903746/video/1966216
Oh, and since we are here already: also a video about Naomi, who is just as impressive, even if much younger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VGItlX1IfIo#!
May 1, 2013
So. Two projects. Hmm. Cookie’s interview arrived last night together with more Daniel footage from Jim Wolpaw.
I am not sure how I can effectively document process of working on BOTH of them next to each other without being utterly confusing to people. Well. Good news is that the Daniel-project is really much faster and the filming of the completed statue will be in July, so not too long from now. That means after that I have full work power for the BUFFALO RUNNING-project alone, but it also means that I have to chunk in to get the Daniel-project going in a proper way.
The BUFFALO RUNNING-project then again is way too interesting for me to postpone it. So we simply have to put them side by side for time being, I have no better idea.
Cookie sent his interview in diary form copied, which looks like this:
Josiane Keller “Cookie’s interview” (2013)
So first thing to do with this is deciphering it all and typing it all out. (*In the back on the right top side of the copies you see latest Daniel-footage material “More Famous Excerpts” to screen through too.)
And if you want to see how I look like reading and watching this material right now I can show you, it looks like this:
Josiane Keller “reading Cookie’s interview” (2013)
Jim Wolpaw is sending me more ideas in e-mails, so I am accumulating stuff to work from. So far we established the Daniel sculpture will wear either a raincoat or a bathrobe.
In terms of Saint statues I am lucky, as right where I grew up, in beautiful Bavaria, is a school dedicated to the art of wood carving exactly these saint sculptures so very popular where I am from since centuries; if you feel inclined to learn how to do that you can apply right here: http://www.berufsfachschule-berchtesgaden.de/pages/bildhauer/start.htm
And luckily I have a friend who went to high school with me, Klaus Effern, sculptor in Bremen http://www.klaus-effern.de/start.html, who originally went to this school. His work by now looks completely different, but he can still give me the necessary advice:
Klaus Effern “Junge Schmerzensmaenner/ Unantastbar”, Installation (2009)
Klaus suggested I should check into Baroque sculptures, being the most typical in our home area, but my think is really Gothic style. We will see.
And the rather excellent art museum here in C-town is also not empty of nice examples:
Josiane Keller (photo) “Saint Sebastian at CMA” (1600-1620)
For example this one.
Today I came across for the first time an animator named Brent Green. Apparently he is from Pennsylvania and makes very Svankmajeresque work, if I may say so, check it out here: http://site.nervousfilms.com/
Particularly I liked his film “Carlin” on his diabetic aunt: https://vimeo.com/10525510;
One big reason why is that he created a stop-motion animation, but instead of using small scale figures he used a life-size house and furniture, stuffed chicken and 1:1 scale puppet = BRILLIANT!!!
I asked the man if he is available for interview, we will see. Pretty amazing!
*It turns out YES, the man is available! Hurrah! So I will schedule an interview date with him and you will read everything about it right here on this BLOG!!!
African profile and two new projects: ‘Daniel, The Saint of Irony’ – material collection and BUFFALO RUNNING – material collection
April 30, 2013
Josiane Keller “African profile” (2013)
I took this picture yesterday off the city bus. In 2000 Cleveland’s population was 50% African-American, I think by now it is way higher http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/cwp/pop_trend.php
Meanwhile I got a number of CD’s from Jim Wolpaw about the Daniel Thompson project “Famous in the Neighborhood”.
I am working myself slowly through it to come up with a draft for the saint sculpture for him, Daniel, the Saint of Irony:
Josiane Keller “Daniel Thompson, film stills” (2013)
And further I got material from Cookie back for BUFFALO RUNNING. It is in diary form and at times a bit hard to read, but one thing I can already see: it is fabulous!
So I have to type this all out and then see what do with it.
But for now: off to bed, I am nagged!
April 20, 2013
Ha. So Cookie let me know YES, he is willing to do the project, but he would like a reinstatement of a carton of “American Spirit” cigarettes. At first I did not understand (bloody foreigner!!) and thought it is some kind of cartoon, as in drawing. I thought “fair enough!”, but a box of additive free cigarettes is fine, too. (I smoke them too, on a very rare occasion…)
Yes, that could work.
Let’s see how things proceed!
Josiane Keller “Cookie painted meets the White Buffalo” (2012)
Not so brief interlude – The Children of Foujita: “What’s the difference if I am here or not here?”- Show, Volume II with Yasuo Imai at the Kyoto Art Center
April 18, 2013
Meanwhile I am discussing with my friend Yasuo Imai an exhibition option at the Kyoto Art Center in 2014.
Deadline, of course, is tomorrow, which in Japan is actually today, thanks to Japan being EAST of here.
At the time of the 3/11 tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi accident we had a collaboration at JARFO with the title “What is the difference if I am here or not here?”
We had the show booked and planned before everything went wrong in Japan and consequently had to adjust it almost by the week. It was very stressful, but in the end we did get it done.
I had to leave shortly before, as the radiation levels were unclear and I was in Japan together with my little daughter, who was going to Japanese school at the time, and Japanese school was serving still milk and outdoor vegetables for lunch, and free play in the quartz sand on the school playgrounds.
Now I am old enough that back in the days I experienced Chernobyl as a teenager in Bavaria, which occurred on a warm spring Saturday afternoon. I was outside with my best friend and doing pretty much everything we heard on Monday in school from our various Physics teachers we should rather not do for a while. Like going barefoot through grass or sand, play in outdoor waters, eat fruit like mushrooms or berries and so on. At the time we were informed that it was unclear if the girls among us would ever be able to give birth to healthy children, so we better not do that at all. Meanwhile both my friend and myself gave birth each to one healthy child, so we were fine, but it was a very impressive Monday and I remember it very well.
And with that in mind I thought it might be better to leave. So the show then was re-formatted to me sending my images in fax format.
You can see the images, which in original are large scale graphite drawings, here: http://www.josianekeller.com/category/usagi-chan/more-bunny-women/
I painted five of these in Kyoto and on the back there are clips from newspaper articles from the time, documenting how very safe it all is or how many foreign students are lining up at the embassies to obtain a permission to leave. The drawings are inspired by various people in Kyoto I know, for example this one:
Josiane Keller “Little Nationalist” (2011)
and five I painted in US after I reluctantly had returned to a certain place and time I prefer to refer to as “life in the sticks”, for example this one:
Josiane Keller “Daddy’s back” (2011)
Link to the show is here, you got to scroll down til you get to it, it took place in May 2011: http://www16.plala.or.jp/jarfo/kaisaiyotei2011.html
By now we decided to form a 2 people group and give ourselves the name “The Children of Foujita”, after an artist we both admire very much for his strange images of mostly woman, cats and children: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuguharu_Foujita .
So, now Yasuo had the absolutely BRILLIANT idea to re-do this show, but this time me actually being there, in Kyoto.
I love the idea and it makes so much sense anyways to continue, as otherwise if one has only one side of a question, how can one really compare? Besides, ‘being there in Kyoto’ is generally a very favorable condition, as it happens to be the most beautiful city in the world and I dare to say that although I readily admit I have not seen all cities in the world yet.
It is basically like going around in one huge book, and that equals my vision of Paradise.
So now, whist waiting for the deposit check from Jim Wolpaw for the Daniel – The Saint Sculpture I have to make some draft for the application for this exhibition. Wish me luck, guys! I want to do this show! (Also, since for once they pay for some of the expenses…!)
April 13, 2013
I met with this person, James Wolpaw. He is film professor at Rhode Island School of art and Design RISD http://www.risd.edu/Film-Animation-Video/James_Wolpaw/,
and he is currently filming a documentary about Cleveland Heights late street poet and activist Daniel Thompson.
Josiane Keller “James Wolpaw in my studio” (2013)
So Mr. Wolpaw wants me t make an edible sculpture of this Daniel, which will be devoured at the end of the film and
all that shall be filmed, in June. The statue shall resemble Daniel as “The Saint of Irony”. I guess we will see what happens next with that….
Nina’s elephant as a cover and some pics from the latest Compagnie MaMa’s outing: The Lincoln Brothers in nature
April 9, 2013
Now working on getting Nina’s elephant also poshed up as a potential book cover.
Hmm. Where to start? OK, version one, something like this:
Josiane Keller “Somewhere in a town you never knew existed somewhere – cover 1″ (2013)
Something like that. Maybe.
*Later on Nina and me decided to finish up without the writing as some publisher would anyways ant his one designer work on it, and so Nina’s elephant project is completed.
Further, let me show some of last Sunday’s work with Compagnie Mama’s filming “The Lincoln Brothers / Spring Recital”:
Josiane Keller “Compagnie MaMa’s filming ‘Spring Recital’” (2013)
I put it up a tic bigger, so you can admire the details. You can see the fearless Mungo dangling from an old willow tree (or is it?) and genius puppeteer Mike Bradley animating The Lincoln Brothers here in free nature doing their thing.
Compare it here with Millais’ “Ophelia”… :
John Everett Millais “Ophelia” (1852)
Pretty friggin’ gorgeous, isn’t it?
If you want to see what Compagnie MaMa’s is all about go to this site here:
April 9, 2013
Let me just say this here one time only, and then I will keep silent ever after: all these self-proclaimed “good lovers” are starting to very much go on my nerves!!!
Read a book, boys! Get your act together.
*Self proclaimed or soi-disant describes a legal title that is only recognized by the declaring person and not any recognized legal authority. It can be the status of a noble title or the status of a nation. It is used informally for anyone declaring themselves to any informal title.
here the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-proclaimed
And as a musical illustration listen to and sing along with Them and Van Morrison “It’s all over now, Baby Blue” in a cover from I think that is 1966 (?):
It is originally written by Bob Dylan, the year before, 1965. (*Not bad either, but you know that probably already.)
April 6, 2013
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!!! Nina has chosen her elephant photograph! After careful consideration and long discussions and many restless nights filled with anxious elephant dreams (*I am only assuming here, guys!) and on my side after many exhausting hours at the computer and with frozen fingers out in the cold night of early spring Ohio, I am so glad!
She picked a beautiful one, I love her choice, #13, which is this one here:
Josiane Keller “Elephant 13″ (2013)
In addition to this picture she now has commissioned me to do her a cover with title and author, that means more hours in front of the computer, but at least the frozen finger-days are over for time being, (that also because finally spring has come to Ohio!)
So for now I am happy about this project’s process. Great, great, great!!! And because it fits so very well I will now go to the yearly massive cook-out party of my friend Kevin (who runs also a farmer’s market in one of this towns most down and out neighborhood http://www.coitmarket.org/ and a spice business as well: http://spicehoundcleveland.com/) and I will eat and drink and sing and dance til I fall over. (No, not quite that bad, but very closely to that!) So see you later, peoples!
Some party pics, of course Mr Lincoln was there, too:
Josiane Keller “Mike with the Lincoln puppet at Kevin’s party” (2013)
He is actually dancing with the puppet, not roasting it, if you thought that…
Josiane Keller “Lincoln puppet by the fire” (2013)
Well, we had fun.
April 5, 2013
Brief musical intermission: HUGO with “99 Problems”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LloIp0HMJjc
More info on Hugo here: http://www.last.fm/music/Hugo
April 4, 2013
Nina couldn’t decide between the elephant photographs I took so far. So there was only one way out of this: take even more!
Here they are:
Josiane Keller “Elephant 11″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 12″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 13″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 14″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 15″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 16″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 17″ (2013)
So far that’s it, seventeen elephants. Oh, did I hear someone say “She is very dark!”? Yes, that’s correct. Very, very dark. That’s my Polish soul! Or was it Czech? Never mind.
Austrian film director Ulrich Seidl interviewed by Armin Wolf about his new movie “Paradies: Glaube” (‘paradise: faith’)
April 2, 2013
More or less by chance I came across this interview with Austrian film director Ulrich Seidl, in US maybe most famous or infamous for his film “Hundstage” (‘Dog Days”) , 2001.
Wikipage on him is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulrich_Seidl;
trailer to the most freaky film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYOddVREv80
interview with the main actress Maria Hofstaetter here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbZaBUd_7r4
(*Guys, she is wonderful, but I won’t translate that one as well right now, maybe another day, forgive me!)
I found this interview so interesting that I went through the trouble and translated it here for those who might be interested.
This also after the recent experience showing my portfolio with the “Each reflection”- project to a local gallerist in town who mentioned “nobody in Cleveland is interested in street kids from Portland.” (Although I should add to his honor that after that he did have some praise for my work after all…)
I am not sure, to some extent I might even agree with him, but possibly it is a cultural thing? Maybe Europeans like to apply themselves to each and everything and Americans are more picky and choosy? How would I know. Anyways, here the interview:
And here the full translation by Josiane Keller (*that’s me):
Wolf: “Mr Seidl, what happened with the accusation of “blasphemy” that an Italian attorney brought against you?”
Seidl: “Well, until today I have not been served with a notice from court yet. One is wondering if either the Italian Justice is working too slowly or the whole thing was just a PR story to put them into the spotlight.”
Wolf: “And it didn’t necessarily harm the movie or its publicity. Are you afraid you have to appear to an Italian court for blasphemy?”
Seidl: “Not really. I was waiting for a comment from the Vatican, which til today has not happened.”
Wolf: “You said in an interview you ‘could not imagine the film would cause a scandal because these days the church is too weak to be reproachful.’ Is it like that?”
Seidl: “Yes. I think the church should have a look into its own rows to look for ‘blasphemy’ so to speak, if that is what this is about, because I think what I have shown in this film is based upon a story and the figure in the film about which I am telling the story is understandable. It is not the point to provoke people who believe with a scene and it is neither the point to slander God, but the point is telling a story that is true and accessible.”
Wolf: “But perhaps the church is not too weak to be reproachful, perhaps the church simply has turned more relaxed and tolerant?”
Seidl: “Perhaps it is also a strategy, a clever strategy that one does not wish to take a stand because one would be in hot water.”
Wolf: “You yourself come from a strict catholic upbringing and were supposed to become priest, as you have mentioned in several interviews, and you also said you have been fighting for a long part of your life against the Catholic belief. Are you doing this also with this film?”
Seidl: “No, that would be too cheap making a film to work out one’s youth and childhood, but I was concerned with something completely different. I was concerned to tell about a woman who is frustrated by her marital life and who is looking for her salvation and longing for love in Jesus Christ. That is what I am telling about, and in this case it is not so much about religion, of course it does play an important role, but I was showing a woman who in an extreme way is looking to find her faith.”
Wolf: “You have been disturbing people with your films and after all that is quite according what you want to achieve, but recently a critique wrote ‘there is something masochist about going to watch a Seidl-film’, and indeed if one watches your films and this afternoon I have been watching your new one, they are all so hopeless, why is that?”
Seidl: “Well, they are just at first glance ‘hopeless’, once can’t let go of these films, that’s what it is and that is also by all means what I want to achieve, so that one does not come from the cinema thinking ‘well, I don’t have anything to do with that’ but I try to irritate the audience because in some ways he sees something where he also possibly identifies himself with and also know this is a world where I do have something to do with and for that reason am also responsible for.”
Wolf: “I wrote today on facebook that will come to the show tonight and someone wrote back ‘if I want to see so much reality I take a ride on the subway.”
Seidl: “That would be another option. It is up to him. Nobody has to go by force to a cinema, but I think with my movies one would experience more because finally every irritation also brings enlightenment. The point is also to create awareness and cause a controversy; it is not all about the joy of provocation as you mentioned it earlier.”
Wolf: “You are also working a lot with amateurs; apparently there are not written dialogues in your scripts. Is that really the case, how does that work?”
Seidl: “By working a long time on it in the first place, by choosing the right actors including amateurs and with a very long preparation time identifying what is the intention of the film and what is the intention of the particular role and then one improvises; there are just not many actors and amateurs who are really able to do this, that is the art in it.”
Wolf: “In your films are no full face views. Why not?”
Seidl: “Because it is very essential to me, after all I have developed for myself so to speak a visual language, I am trying to tell a story also visually not just verbally, and it is important to me to also show a person’s surrounding and to see him embedded in this surrounding and I don’t have to come close to a person with the camera, that is already done in TV.”
Wolf: “How Austrian are you films after all?”
Seidl: “They are of course very much Austrian, as they take place in Austria and are about Austrian people, but, and for this reason they are also very international, they are about people one could talk about in this way in any Western country, the them is overlapping, it does not only apply to Austrians.”
Wolf: “Somehow your films remind me of the caricatures of Manfred Deix. Do you understand that?”
Seidl: “No, I don’t understand that.”
Wolf: “Not at all?”
Seidl: “No, that is completely wrong. My films, the people in my films are not caricatures, they are average people and, that is what I meant earlier, if one looks closely one will recognize oneself in them. I only look behind the beautified facade. I show people who are just like all of us, we look different to how it is being served to us on a daily basis by the media.”
Wolf: “Well, possibly would Mr. Deix say the same thing about his work, too. Your newest work, which will just now not yet come to the theatres, is a film about ‘basement’, that is a VERY Austrian topic, isn’t it?”
Seidl: “It is an Austrian topic, well, I didn’t research to this extent if it is also an international topic, but this film is about, well, ‘basement’ does have many meanings. First of all it is the hobby-basement and the handiwork-basement and the fitness-basement, so in this sense it is something harmless, and then ‘basement’ for me is also a place for men, so this might also become a film about men.”
Wolf: “In Austria of course this reminds of Fritz Lang Kampusch in context with this.”
Seidl: “That is no longer to be taken away from people’s minds, the audience’s minds, that will drag along although of course my film of course is not about that, but one will just carry that along, and the basement has at all times been a place of darkness, a place of fear and finally a place of crime.’
Wolf: “Mr. Seidl, thank you very much for your visit at the studio!”
Seidl: “You’re very welcome.”
April 1, 2013
So, Nina wanted very much the ‘sad eyes’ of the elephant in the picture and I told her that was way too literal (according to MY taste), but I tried a bit around. Here six further possibilities of elephant pictures for “Somewhere in a town you never knew existed somewhere”:
Josiane Keller “Elephant 5″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 6″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 7″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 8″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 9″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 10″ (2013)
Hmm. Let’s see what she has to say. Meanwhile I am falling into my bed, so for today: good night!
March 30, 2013
Last night out to take 103 more photographs of Nina’s elephant, but I think the one was taken within the first bulk. need to work through some more before i know for sure, and in this case it is also a bit under influence of Nina’s needs. Just hope I can convince her that showing sad elephant eyes would be going the wrong direction to convey the mood I think she is after…
Meanwhile to loosen up my brain and because there is the occasion I made a piano spring recital poster, which looks like this:
Josiane Keller “piano SPRING RECITAL poster” (2013)
I am mighty proud of it, hahaha!!! Happy Easter, peoples!
March 29, 2013
A night with an elephant out under the street lamp that illuminates my alley which has a sensor… and that works like this: you set up your model (this time an elephant) they way you think it might look good, then you run under the street lamp to set it off, run back, take your shot, or two, or three, light is off, back again under the lamp, back to the elephant, readjust, back under the lamp, back to take the picture… and so on.
That night there was fresh snow in C-town, so my pretty artist fingers were FROZEN…………… aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
Oh well. Artist life. That’s the way we actually like it. Standing the pain is understimated.
Now working on the images. Concentration for hours can make you realize the brain is actually a muscle and I am tired. Break-time please! I am seeing elephants everywhere….!!!
These are four samples for example (get it? samples for ex-ample…! Ha-Ha!!) to show you so far:
Josiane Keller “Elephant 1″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 2″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 3″ (2013)
Josiane Keller “Elephant 4″ (2013)
And now my friends I will go for a pre-Easter stroll in the park and get some vitamin D, as otherwise this project will be stuck right here and stay stuck. See you later!
March 26, 2013
The elephant did well in the firing, I still need to reattach that one wheel, no big deal.
Other than that it looks great, had to take it to one of my coffeeshop hang-outs, here from both sides (elephant only, no wagon under), looks something like this:
Josiane Keller “double elephant” (2013)
*Almost forgot showing this to Nina, who is hopefully following the step-by-step creation of her elephant picture. For those who click into the BLOG for the first time: this elephant will be modelling for an illustration of the surreal story “Somewhere in a town you never knew existed somewhere” written by Nina Hart, and the specific scene is one of a stuffed elephant with real tusks being pushed on wheels through a city. So here the animal on wheels. You can see additional lumps of clay under the elephant legs under the wagon, without these the wagon would most likely crush from the elephant’s weight. In the final image you will not see those.
So here it is with wheels:
Josiane Keller “elephant on wheels” (2013)
And that is how you turn a lump of clay into an elephant, basically.
Doing my elephant research I didn’t come across to many of older images, but instead this still from a documentary by Jeremy Dear for Pioneer Productions “Animals in the Womb”:
Pioneer Productions “Animals in the Womb – elephant fetus (2013)
pretty amazing! Here is an article in the telegraph about this project:
here the link to Pioneer Productions site:
here another clip, this one shows some images of the baby elephant: http://www.pioneertv.com/programmes/programme-list/animals-in-the-womb.aspx
*In case you were unsure: I am pro-choice and anti-death penalty, which is probably a very average 21st century European attitude, and I am aware of it that to plenty Americans there is a possibly a contradiction. Well.
** talking about ‘elephants being pushed about’ : here R.E.M. and “The Great Beyond” live, looks like Wiesbaden in good old Germany but I am not sure and it wasn’t mentioned and I am too lazy to e-mail the kid, so if you must know you can do that yourself, otherwise just listen and sing along: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J9YAFf-xqs
The elephant in the kiln and an animation about extramarital affairs “Kolmnurk / Triangle” by Estonian animator Priit Paern
March 25, 2013
The elephant made it safe back to my kiln studio and is cooking (“firing” to use correct terminology!) right now, which looked a couple of hours ago like this:
Josiane Keller “elephant in the kiln” (2013)
You can see through the lower peek hole one foot and a wheel of the wagon the elephant is standing on. So we will see how things go tomorrow, when it is finished and cooled off to open.
Meanwhile let’s watch an interesting animation by Estonian animator Priit Paern, who made the insightful film “Kolmnurk” (= Triangle) in 1982:
It also beautifully illustrates the roles of the gender. So there is cooking, eating and seducing…………………………………….. Is that all?
More on the artist here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priit_P%C3%A4rn
March 25, 2013
Finally it is completed and the dear animal is drawn upon from many, if not every side:
Josiane Keller “Nina’s elephant painted” (2013)
looking very elephantose:
Josiane Keller “Nina’s elephant painted 3″ (2013)
and off into the box ready for transport and second firing tomorrow:
Josiane Keller “Nina’s elephant boxed up” (2013)
Wish me success, peoples!
Firing the elephant – Part III, an interview with animator Emma de Swaef on “Oh Willy…”, Beast Animation, the TRICKY WOMEN animation festival Vienna and Iva Musovic’s “Indistinct Conversation”
March 20, 2013
Next step is to draw on the bisqued elephant with iron-oxide and eventually refire him to fixate the oxide.
Josiane Keller “elephant to draw upon” (2013)
Meanwhile watch an interview with animator Emma de Swaef on her film ”Oh Willy…”:
Emma de Swaef “Oh Willy” (premiered 2012)
Read more about this film in an article of http://stopmotionmagazine.com/?p=168
This is Emma’s homepage and the plenty of awards that “Oh Willy…” earned: http://www.emmadeswaef.be/ohwilly
and here is the site of their company beastanimation: http://www.beastanimation.be/
and here is their BLOG: http://beastanimation.blogspot.com/
All is really funny and I like the work, so I show everything they have.
Sorry if anyone’s offended by this, but I always find it so refreshing if a stop-motion animation is not about troll-like creatures living in an imaginary world or in an Adam’s Family-style house, but real life stories with a deeper meaning than HAHAHA behind it.
I came across Emma and “Oh Willy…” through the Tricky Woman animations festival in Vienna of all places!!! Look here: http://www.trickywomen.at
Further, watch here a film by my class-mate from Amsterdamer days, Iva Musovic: “Indistinct Conversation”, which I find very avant-garde, very artistic and VERY IVA: https://vimeo.com/62247246
Back to Nina’s elephant, looks currently like this:
Josiane Keller “drawing on the elephant” (2013)
March 19, 2013
Elephant did well in the kiln, although after transport back from kiln studio to my making studio one wheel came off, but that is no big deal fixing.
This would be an image of the elephant bisqued in the kiln, but since I am thinking now about Nina’s commissioned final image I payed a bit around with shadows and stuff.
(*The final image is about a stuffed elephant with actual real tusks pushed through a city and eventually left standing there in the dark night)
Josiane Keller “elephant bisqued” (2013)
Next part is drawing on it some textures and lines with iron-oxid and eventually a second firing.
Whilst I am working on the elephant a beautiful early shot of a very young Marianne Faithful in London by Gered Mankowitz:
Gered Mankowitz “Marianne Faithful” (1964)
Apparently her record company for whom the shot was taken didn’t like the men reflected in the mirrors: ” they thought it looked leery and she looked too available” :
Oh well. It reminds me somewhat of Koala’s shot from “Each reflection”:
Josiane Keller “Koala painted and butterfly” (2012)
At least when I took this I tried to create this British pub atmosphere.
March 18, 2013
It’s time. Nina’s elephant is now for sure thoroughly dry and we can attempt a safe (?) firing.
Step one: packing him up securely, if that is possible at all, we are talking brittle unfired clay.
Josiane Keller “elephant in the box” (2013)
I used to have my kiln right next to my studio when I lived in the sticks, but here it is separate. That means I have to squeeze that dangerous step in between of packing unfired ware and driving it through town to my kiln studio. Not ideal, but possible.
Some hours later the elephant is fired. This is a view during the firing, a bit photoshopped so you can see any outlines other than white gloom, a view through the peek-hole showing parts of the left front leg and the trunk:
Josiane Keller “elephant in the kiln” (2013)
It has to cool down before I take it our of the kiln, so we will see how it all went tomorrow.
Compagnie MaMa’s more of The Lincoln Brothers, Mr Lincoln dancing himself headless and Bob Dylan’s Duquesne Whistle
March 17, 2013
Meanwhile I am thinking about BUFFALO RUNNING and once again do the initial set-up discussions Compagnie MaMa’s is working hard on new material. The Mungo poshed up our homepage, which now looks very dashing indeed:
This afternoon set with Mr Lincoln in a coffin where my floral design class once again come sin handy with a miniature sympathy arrangement, a heated discussion over Asian scale and rhythm looking at samples of koto and erhu musical pieces to fuse and jazz and at last Mr Lincoln danced himself headless over “On the Sunny Side of the Street”:
Josiane Keller “Mr Lincoln dancing himself headless” (2013)
Special request by Mike Bradley, with great pleasure posted here: Bob Dylan and “That Duquesne Whistle” from his 2012 album Tempest:
more info with the video on the Rolling Stone site: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/bob-dylan-debuts-shockingly-violent-new-video-20120829
lyrics are right here for singing along: http://rapgenius.com/Bob-dylan-duquesne-whistle-lyrics,
and then there is always the Bob Dylan site: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/home
(* I had to find out what the heck Duquesne is anyways, apparently there is this posh university in Pittsburgh (where the video is filmed) called like that. If you must you can google it yourself.)
BUFFALO RUNNING, Cookie, an animation project by Edward Rose and: don’t give important things to stupid people!
March 13, 2013
I checked with Pippa from p:ears (http://pearmentor.org) if Cookie would possibly be available to work with me on BUFFALO RUNNING, in context with his gripping interview from last year, and GOOD NEWS: yes, he is and wants to help out! BRILLIANT! Thank you!
To remember, her is Cookie’s image, if you click on the link you get to his interview:
Josiane Keller “Cookie painted meets the White Buffalo” (2012)
I also came across an artist called Edward Rose, and he makes animation with Eadweard Muybridges clips, the most interesting I could find was this one: http://edwardrose.co.uk/Muybridge%20No%201.htm
Now I am working on the script for BUFFALO RUNNING (yes, Longbird… I know!)
*By checking the actual p:ear site I came across this interesting sign board, I love especially the advice:
don’t give important things to stupid people
Love it. (Only wish I had read that earlier!)
If you want to see the original, click here: http://pearmentor.org/celebrating-11-years-of-hope-and-aspiration-at-pear/
Brief Interlude: Urashima Taro’s mother eating with her left hand, an illustration flipped horizontally, and what does it mean?
March 13, 2013
Hmm. A while ago, 2010 to be precise, I illustrated a traditional Japanese fairy tale, Urashima Taro. I had completed my research in the Manga class at Kyoto Seika University and was on my way back to Britain to study illustration. Things came different and lead me on a wild Odyssey all over the world, but without getting into this story now, I completed the illustrations for this story and spent a while trying to market my work. Annoyingly enough it is refused by any children book publisher I showed it to so far with the argument “Dear Ms Keller, your project is incredibly beautiful, you are a very talented artist, but unfortunately it does not quite fit in our program, good luck with finding your place with this project (somewhere far away from our company.)”
This experience was repeated about 20 times with publishing houses known for fairy tales and artistic illustrations, so in the US, a little in Europe and UK and recently similar version refusal from a Japanese publisher (they were actually ones of the people a bit more specific, pointing out that my illustrations are allegedly more for adult’s than child’s taste. If it’s not pink and balloon heads…) This leaves me with a collection of these refusal letters enough to make its own “Urashima Taro refusal letters – exhibition”. THE AGONY! A lot, lot of work for nothing, it seems. I still believe in the quality of this project, but I am relatively sane, sane enough to know when to stop hitting my head against a brick wall. And so the project is now sitting in one of my many portfolios and occasionally I contemplate how I can do something with it other than having it sit there. But for time being I parked it until I have a better idea.
Just there is one double-page, where my old koto teacher in Christchurch New Zealand pointed out to me that Urashima Taro’s mother on my image is eating with her left hand (I had not noticed that before), and in her youth people would get slapped on the hand for that. Thanks to technical advances namely photoshop I can simply flip the page horizontally, thus getting Urashima’s mother to eat with her right hand.
Looks like this:
Josiane Keller “Urashima Taro – Urashima eating a sparse dinner with his mother – flipped version” (2010/13)
Luckily it is not so easy after all, and the painting like this communicates something completely different from before. Now there are two people in a relaxed manner watching perhaps at the end of the day their little farm, all is well and rustic idyll.
The original version contained much more angst and drama:
Josiane Keller “Urashima Taro – Urashima eating a sparse dinner with his mother” (2010)
Like this it looks like we are all focusing onto the BIG NOTHINGNESS, the people have nothing to eat and even the rooster has nothing to eat. Bleak and desperate. *Is this feeling only mine, or would it work in cultures that read from right to left?
Interesting. Anyways, coming from a culture that reads from left to right side it feels wrong to me (if that is the reason). After all my idea does not work out and Urashima Taro’s mother will for ever and all times eat with her left hand.
The rooster is inspired by a traditional Japanese painter, who is, you guessed it, famous for painting among other animals, rooster, Jakuchu Ito (1716 – 1800). He lived during Edo time in Kyoto, of course, so when you go to Kyoto you will find references to his work all over.
Jakucho Ito “Rooster and Hen with Hydrangeas” (18th cent. Edo)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%C5%8D_Jakuch%C5%AB; this above image is well known also in the West, probably due to the fact that it is now in a Californian collection, you can buy it on coffee-mugs and kitchen-aprons, but he also painted beautifully insects, water-creatures and birds in the snow, which are perfect to illustrate the principles of negative space:
Jakucho Ito “golden pheasants in the snow” (1759)
His last master piece is very strange, I don’t like it as much as the rest of the world is hyped up about it, it reminds me too much of an illustration for a tile wall of some millionaires indoor swimming pool, since it is made up from tiny squares, which is exactly why it is so famous. But I acknowledge any artist who is out on a quest for new territory, successful or not, so I show it here anyways:
Jakucho Ito “birds, animals and flowering plants in an imaginary scene” (18th cent. Edo)
And now back to “Buffalo Running”!
March 13, 2013
So. This is the first step to the new project. Working title for time being is “BUFFALO RUNNING”. As stated in the last post, the idea came from Cookie’s image for last year’s project “Each reflection of myself echoes a different emotion at me” and an early movie by Eadweard Muybridge “Buffalo Running”:
I unwrapped Cookie’s buffalo and started to try first things out with the good old overhead projector. Unfortunately the bulb is way too bright and so this beloved tool is not ideal. I have an unfinished light-box standing around in my studio, I made last year living in the sticks from a vintage sewing mashine; all it needs is a light bulb, so perhaps that will work better.
Here my test pics so far:
Josiane Keller “buffalo silhouette” (2013)
nice, and not nice too. Here my second attempt:
Josiane Keller “buffalo silhouette 2″ (2013)
once more to compare the original film clip (from 1883): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bqu6YsQocU
Pearl Jam: Yellow Ledbetter, Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing, “Artist Life / The Mungo editing and me with a towel”, the new project and Eadweard Muybridge “Buffalo Running”
March 12, 2013
To start setting me mood: Pearl Jam and “Yellow Ledbetter”, with lyrics to sing along:
more detailsabout this song from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Ledbetter
to compare with Jimi Hendrix’ “Little Wing” also with lyrics, to prove how very well things sometimes come out if you do them with your left hand:
More info on it on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Wing
Today I managed to take a picture that completely illustrates pretty drastically my life as is these days, the good and bad.
So I called it: “Artist Life” subititled: “The Mungo editing and me with a towel”. I was just lucky to get that shot. Originally I had the more realistic version with just some strong contrasts, but this one is limited to really the essential elements and also merges more into some sort of abstraction of the scene and it is no more clear if the girl is actually standing in the front or if the guy sitting with his head in his hand is possibly on another photograph with is in front of the girl:
Josiane Keller “Artist Life / The Mungo editing and me with towel” (2013)
To compare, this is the original version of it, everything in terms of space is clear and logic and that makes it also a bit of a sad image, oh well:
Josiane Keller “Artist Life / The Mungo editing and me with towel – original version” (2013)
Just when I thought everything was running smooth…
Anyways. I am thinking maybe I am more a photographer than a ceramist, after all. Although I invent the pictures, so in that sense it has maybe more to do with painting. Tricky.
I decided on the new ‘big project” instead of working with H.I.P.S., since that feel through. It will be a stop-motion or possible better time-lapse animated film, and it will have something to do with American Buffalo in some ways or another.
The idea to it came last year when I was working on Cookie’s image and researched buffalo:
Josiane Keller “Cookie painted meets the White Buffalo” (2012)
I am not sure yet on the script (*oh Longbird, will you just stop it!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRX8Zea6Qj8 ), but there will be definitely one bit in it, which is inspired by an early clip by film pioneer Eadweard Muybridge of a ’Buffalo Running’ from 1883. The film consists of a series of still photographs added together in a loop, here a version that’s a bit longer:
The question is: can it be done with clay figures? (The rest is not history, the rest is future, but eventually it will be history, so keep checking here what happened next!)
Here more info on Eadweard Muybridge, this time not wikipedia, hurrah, there is a great site other than that for him: http://www.eadweardmuybridge.co.uk/
Surrealist animated film by Jan Svankmajer: “JIDLO / Food” (1992) and not so surreal animation: “RUKA / The Hand” (1965) by Jiri Trnka
March 11, 2013
Just for our enlightenment on a rainy Monday, watch with me Jan Svankmajer’s “Jidlo / Food” (1992):
and then: story of my life… story of Jiri Trnka’s life as well, stop motion film: “Ruka / The Hand” (1965):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLtdCWrpM90, Trnka’s last film, of course forbidden at the time for obvious reasons.
Read more info on Gijs Grob’s animation BLOG: http://drgrobsanimationreview.com/2011/05/14/the-hand-ruka/,
and of course on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ji%C5%99%C3%AD_Trnka
Jiri Trnka (1912 – 1969)
and even MORE info here: http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/jiri-trnka-100
March 9, 2013
Here the newest Compagnie MaMa’s “The Lincoln Brothers” video:
if are like me and you prefer vimeo, here the same film on vimeo… :
so you get to choose…
Nina’s elephant on wheels and more ECA animation: Joseph Feltus and “Solo Duets” and another production diary
March 7, 2013
Since Nina Hart’s story actually talks about a stuffed elephant on wheels (since he is being pushed through the city) I had to make this structure somewhat in a plausible scale, so the simple toy elephant wheels wouldn’t do.
Looks like this so far, slowly drying:
Josiane Keller “Nina’s elephant on wheels” (2013)
Ten wheels, exactly.
Further not much is happening apart from waiting that it will dry, that means checking at least 2x a day, turning things, covering with rugs to slow down drying process or uncovering to speed it up (generally anything clay wants to be dried evenly, as otherwise things will crack where dry material borders moist one). Basically taking care of a newborn baby.
If you have ever done clay projects like this you know: there is no way you can even as much as leave for a day not checking, as it might mean you must start all over from the start. Weekend-trips: adieu! Oh well.
So meanwhile we stare at a clay elephant counting the minutes, hours and days it takes to thoroughly dry let’s watch more interesting animation, shall we? Will Anderson sent me the link and password to watch the full length “The Making of Longbird” which I thoroughly enjoyed, THANK YOU WILL, you are genius and very nice on top of that!!!
But because the film is still touring festivals he asked me not to publish it, so I can’t show it to you. Perhaps you get the chance to see it at a festival.
Instead we could see this one here, highly decorated “Solo Duets” by Joseph Feltus, another animation graduate from ECA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhFoSvRAKU0
March 6, 2013
See above, see below:
Josiane Keller “Nina Hart’s elephant sculpted” (2013)
It’s 2:00 am at night now, I am tired, my head hurts (since I am withdrawing from coffee), and I am pretty much done for today. Yesterday.
See you all tomorrow, boys and girls, whilst this heavy bugger is hopefully gonna dry in peace.
Compagnie MaMa’s: “The Lincoln Brothers / Mr. Lincoln in Trouble” and Jordan Bruner’s music video HEM
March 4, 2013
Compagnie MaMa’s despite various hurdles has finally completed the second video “The Lincoln Brothers / Mr. Lincoln in Trouble”, which you can view here:
Also watch, if you have not yet, Jordan Bruner’s music video HEM here (but: DON’T compare! Only watch…):
Here is Jordan’s website: http://www.jordanbruner.net/, she is based in Brooklyn. (Is it too commercial? Maybe a bit. But still nice, at least the one with the foxes!)
Will Anderson / Whiterobot wins BAFTA Award with graduation film “The Making of Longbird” (2011) – totally BRILLIANT!!! and an earless but otherwise complete elephant
March 1, 2013
Ha, burning hot news through the ECA Alumni underground channel (I wish it was as exciting as that…, but anyways!): Will Anderson’s short film “The Making of Longbird” (2011) won the BAFTA Award for Short Animation (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), hurrah-hurrah-hurrah!!!
Here is Will’s homepage: http://www.whiterobot.co.uk/
the trailer is a bit short and it is now all over the place anyways, so I leave it up to you check it yourself, but instead WATCH THIS BIT which is longer to get the feel: https://vimeo.com/32500808 and let me add this info just as well about it:
Will Anderson “The Making of Longbird – A Retrospective” (2011)
“Interview with actor, Longbird, and Director, Will Anderson reflecting on the last year and beyond. Interviewed by Ainslie Henderson.
*This isn’t the 15 minute short film ‘The Making of Longbird’. It is an exclusive interview.”
WATCH IT and watch anything else from these guys!!!
Here another interview in more depth about “The Making of Longbird”, found this most interesting:
“I began to convince myself that this whole thing was real, which is absolutely essential in making animation come to life. Among the hundreds of cut-out paper birds, the character still needed a reason to exist, with a credible and realistic past.
My film was becoming a documentary, so I needed source material to edit together in order to tell my story. So I started making source material: old stock film footage, newspaper clippings, posters, and an excerpt from an old animated film. Around this point a lot of the idea development was shared with co-writer, Ainslie Henderson. This writing relationship has continued to develop, as we still work together.”
If you were wondering about the fantastic voice of LONGBIRD, you can learn it all here:
“In terms of finding a voice actor, one of my good friends and fellow animator, Vitalij Sicinava, knows lots about this stuff… A tall, somewhat intimidating figure within the Animation department at the Edinburgh College of Art, Vitalij was someone who I had traded few words with prior to making this film. Born in the former USSR, his knowledge of Russian history was acute, particularly in relation to acting. He would speak wisely of Stanislavski, a Russian theatre actor/director who invented the Stanislavski system, a way of training actors to achieve believable emotional performances. I put it to Vitalij that he could perhaps lend me his knowledge, and his voice. He constructed some of the internal emotional memory of the Longbird, a key in Stanislavski’s teachings in performance. This credible history transpires in my film when an immature director wants to change the Longbird. Longbird retorts: “You don’t understand… You are just a silly boy.” This is the moment where everything just fell into place. The film now had an antagonist.”
Read the complete interview here:
But I did not only admire other people’s stuff today, I also worked hard myself and basically completed most of the elephant’s body apart from the ears:
Josiane Keller “adding the elephant head” (2013)
back above and front below:
Josiane Keller “smoothening the elephant legs” (2013)
and yet again I am asking myself the old question: “How much money could I earn with that if only I would make it from sugar…?!”
And now: more “Longbird”-watching!!!”
February 28, 2013
Working more on Nina’s elephant and comparing elephants I have looked at during the last year. There is the one I am working on from before:
Josiane Keller “an elephant head” (2013)
and a very similar poster in the neighborhood:
Josiane Keller “ZS Guardian Alien Cereal Banter – elephant head poster” (2013)
working-sketch for Nina’s image:
Josiane Keller “elephant sketch for Nina Hart” (2013)
tattoo design (need to bug Bryan if I can try it out on someone….!):
Josiane Keller “two grey elephants – tattoo design” (2013)
ad in the local wine bar:
Josiane Keller “elephant dream – delirium tremens” (2013)
(*as far as I know ‘delirium tremens‘ is a rather serious condition in the last stages of fatal alcoholism, so besides that it is still a nice elephant)
Winsor McCay “Little Nemo in Slumberland – elephant tightrope dancing” (1924-1927)
(*For more info on this one read the wiki link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nemo)
Winsor McCay “Little Nemo in Slumberland – elephant 2″ (1924-1927)
Field Museum in Chicago:
Josiane Keller “Field Museum entrance hall” (2012)
And if you are into steampunk or Belgian comic style (although it was built in 2007 for the 100th anniversary of the death of Jules Vernes) or just want to see something really cool just like that you should also look at this: http://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/, about elephants: http://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/machines-de-l-ile/great-elephant/
and whilst you’re at it you should also see this, even though it is not about elephants: http://www.lesmachines-nantes.fr/en/machines-de-l-ile/le-carrousel-des-mondes-marins/presentation/
I know it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ART, but never mind, today I had this for lunch: twin eggs:
Josiane Keller “twin egg with sibling” (2013)
I mean how often in life do you get to see a twin egg, far from eating one? Hey!
February 26, 2013
Whilst I am working further on Nina’s elephant, here a brief intermission:
during my last stay in Kyoto I came across this by chance and thought it is hilarious. It is anime clips about typical Japanese everyday life, very basic animation but the dialog is so funny, because, well check yourself! There are several episodes, for instance this one:
February 25, 2013
At last completed the last page for “BRILLE” (btw: it translates to “glasses”) for Murmel Comics Vienna:
Josiane Keller “comic Brille page 5″ (2013)
At last: it’s done!
And now: back to Nina’s elephant!
How to turn a lump of clay into an elephant – an elephant for Nina Hart’s story and Michael Craig-Martin’s “An Oak Tree”
February 23, 2013
The question of today is: ‘how to turn a lump of clay into an elephant?’
Josiane Keller “how to turn a lump of clay into an elephant?” (2013)
This post’s title is in reference to Michael Crag’s Martin fabulous piece “An Oak Tree” (1973). It is a conceptual art piece that at the same time exemplifies the essence of conceptual art as it also makes the audience wonder if the artist is possibly just taking them for a ride since quite some time now, but til the end one never can be sure which one applies, or perhaps both apply?
I had to look for an online version of the interview that goes together with the visual piece, to read it click here: http://offthewalls.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/an-oak-tree-michael-craig-martin/
Michael Craig-Martin “An Oak Tree” (1973)
Today it’s officially season 2013 opening, H.I.P.S. or not on the train, these things are like giving birth, one can only drag it our for so long, eventually something has to happen. Time to get some clay into my system again after a long winter of philosophizing:
Josiane Keller “season ’13 opening” (2013)
Nina hart wrote a surreal story “Somewhere in a town you never knew existed somewhere” and is waiting since before Christmas for me to make her an illustration with an elephant in it. It is further a stuffed elephant with real tusks that has been pushed through the city. I am so glad to finally get started with this! (Page 5 for the comic “Brille” has to be squeezed in somehow, but everything is possible once I am on the go, so I am not worried.)
I researched by now so many Mughal elephants primarily and Winsor McCay’s one and made up my own I feel ready to stand up to the task. (In that sense I will not follow Mr Craig-Martin, as much as I love and admire his piece…) Further: I always had a thing for well developed noses:
Josiane Keller “I always had a thing for big noses” (2013)
*In the background on the left side you can see one of the Lincoln Brothers lying on the ground. Just for those who click in here for the first time: it is NOT MINE, but made by OROBOROS lead singer Mike Bradley, with whom I do experimental improv puppetry within a group called “Compagnie MaMa’s”, on the window sill you can see a miniature Lady Liberty and on the right side you can glimpse my wheel behind the bed, although I am not throwing since I started the bunny-people other than if I need a new salad-bowl.
In the end I really had an elephant head (no ears yet, though) and it looks like this:
Josiane Keller “an elephant head” (2013)
So far so good. It is late now and I will go to bed. Let’s see how this is gonna turn out later on, more tomorrow!