November-December 2014 … The Global Online Magazine of Arts, Information & Entertainment … Volume 10, Number 6
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Search Results for "sarai"

Sarah Sarai: Fiction


Napoleon on the ‘N’ Page


Sprawled on a Salvation Army Thrift Store couch dusty enough to hide advancing troops, Vina turned to the ‘A’ page of her address book, Anne Adams, a late-in-life dyke with a cleavage like heavy gears rolling, four children and conservative relatives frowning down both aisles of forsaken vows.  Her ex-husband avoided his children who reminded him he’d been left for a woman — although every so often he complained about his children being raised by a lesbian.

Vina looked at her legal pad with an uncertain eye.  Her plan was to profit from her friends’ problems, her thought being she had the advantage of distance.  So.

So.  There was Anne, once-unclaimed daughter of Bilitis’ overflowing womb.  Anne’s current lover was pouty and possessive.  Anne said she strayed.

“Honey, I want to watch The L-Word, I don’t want to live it.”

“I hear ya.”  Vina sighed.

The medium-tip Bic left splotches as she wrote:

Anne:  job, relationship (former), relationship (present), in-laws, kids, money.  Bad people picker.
The husband:  Anti-woman?  Too proud.  Luck of the draw.

Vina smiled.  Was she writing student evaluations?  Her attention wandered from the pad to a dust bunny under the coffee table, and it hit her, not the dust bunny, tenacious and fragile enough to have its own set of problems — a memory of fellow teacher Joan Czery who was always borrowing money.

She skipped over the ‘Bs’ to the ‘C’ page of her address book.  Vina and Joan’d had dinner after school at Taix on Sunset.  Vina taught History, which was nothing but problems, and Joan taught Science, which boasted it could solve the problems. They’d eaten early— poulet in a wine sauce and a basket of sourdough rolls served with sweet butter squares so cold, they alone could have defeated Napoleon’s army on its famous retreat from a numbing Russian winter.  As usual, Joan borrowed fifteen bucks.  Vina fought her irritation and, as usual, paid the bill.

In the tiny parking lot they ran into Ramona Martinez.

Vina thumbed over to the ‘M-s.’  Ramona and her boyfriend had fought; Vina was creeped out when the boyfriend snarled, ‘Now, Madam,’ and Joan’s hand almost clamped his shoulder when the couple locked eyes and stormed into Taix.

That night the President delivered his state of the union address.  Joan phoned Vina and the two watched with the sound turned off.  “That was funky,” Joan said, “with Ramona.”  She dropped the phone when her cat jumped on her head but rescued the receiver.  “You know what I mean?”

“Like fighting was an appetizer?”

Ramona quit her job a week later; the principal had to hustle to find a replacement Social Studies teacher, social studies being a discipline striving to understand the problem.

Joan:  $ stuff
Ramona:  unhealthy relationships, quitter, mystery element

Vina flipped to ‘H’ for Hubert, Latice Hubert who lived near the May Co. at Wilshire and Fairfax, where Vina shopped sales — her most recent Christmas coup being matching chartreuse-fluff bedroom slippers for her three nieces.

Vina squinted at Latice’s barely decipherable phone number, penciled in.  She’d met Latice at an art gallery in Venice, with bad Ralph, who’d been a major problem..

She and Ralph went to Latice and Tanya’s — the lover — moldy apartment after a few rounds of Irish coffees at Mulveney’s.  Conversation slogged along reasonably until Tanya received a phone call from her bar where the bartender had tussled with a drug dealer; things had gone from bad to fucked up.

Tanya’d ordered in a stiff, arched tone, “You’re coming with me, sugar,” and “Don’t you ditch me now.”

‘We have guests!” Latice yelled.

Ralph apologized because apologies were the best way to smooth take-off for a flight out of there which he and Vina, did, fly off, speedily, stopping off at Fatburger’s for two greasy bags of food which they slammed down at their apartment while they watched the old Cagney movie where he crams a grapefruit in Jean Harlow’s face.

Enough with Latice and Tanya.  Of Ralph, more later, except, all right, Vina’d recently lay down the prosthetic arm of the law and ordered him to leave.  And he did just that:  Left.  Ralph was gone, she’d asked for it.  There it was.  “Free to be me,” she said to a quivering dust bunny.  “Whoever the fuck that is.”

On the K-page was Nancy Katona, a friend since high school.  Nancy had created one problem to obscure another.  She was divorced, with the perennially complicating factor of kids; kids were perennials.  Nancy confided, “I got so tired of being the one who did wrong,” with her husband and later affairs, “the one accused,” so she drank and bloomed in girth.  “I got sex out of the picture.”

Nancy:  Food.  Booze.  No sex.  Bad skin.

Vina didn’t think for a second it was Nancy’s size that mattered — she was pretty and a great cook. But in drinking and eating so much she’d developed food allergies and ezcema and was now physically uncomfortable.

Vina was nowhere near a solution to this being alone thing.  If her former neighbor Al Zemo hadn’t moved, she’d unpack her feelings with him.  She leafed over to the ‘T’ page because she once thought his name was spelled Tzemo and subsequently cross-referenced him by writing ‘Al, See T’ in the Z’s.

“Really, I think I’m a lesbian,” he had told her.  “With all the constraints and ridiculous concepts everyone has of gay men, my God.”

A month ago he’d moved to northern Cal and rented a cottage in the back of a house owned by a woman named Meg.  There were redwoods all around, the only companions Al thought he’d ever need, but he had to go to the house to shower.  Meg’s boyfriend eyed him with suspicion and her handsome devil of a brother had a key.  Get this, Al wrote.

The brother is a Freudian slip-in-motion.  ‘I’m your landlady’s sister,’ he said to me.  I waved it aside, you know good-old-me, while the guy backtracked in fear and blindness.  Meanwhile, his woman, a strong girl, smiled bullets.  Eeek.

Vina turned to the second page of mauve stationery, a real letter.  Al was retro.

He’d written that Meg the landlady’s stereo was lifted.  She was pissed the thief’s dog fouled her carpet, and she knew it wasn’t Pepsi’s shit because she locked Pepsi in the service porch when she was gone.  She’d come home and smelled something, shook out the rug and there it was, wet and smeared.  Her brother had two dogs.

I didn’t leave the bungalow womb of Echo Park for this, my friend.

Crazies were drawn to nice Al in some perverse cosmic balancing act.  It had happened in L.A., too.  Vina sighed.  Oh, Al.  She again consulted the aging address book with its cover of peeling black leather and saw she’d missed Polly — on the P page because Polly was Polly, and that was that.  She lived in a Reseda mother-in-law in back of a three bedroom, had issues but wouldn’t admit them.

Polly:  Denial

A month ago she stopped by on a Saturday afternoon to sip ground Colombian with half and half out of ceramic mugs from Pier 1, and after a rant about California’s karma regarding earth, wind, air, water — quakes, Santa Anas, smog, and the drought —commiserated with Vina about Ralph. “And don’t you let him back, sister!  That no-good Ralph!”

Who was on the ‘B,’ for Boy with a ‘d’—‘Boyd,’ page.  Why had Vina asked him to leave?  His lies had become ridiculous; her susceptibility undiminished.

An in-town roadie to a rock band working clubs in Glendale and the Valley, bad Ralph told Vina the band had a gig in Puerto Rico.  Who would invent Puerto Rico?  It didn’t even occur to Vina, but when bad Ralph’s mother was hospitalized and his brother phoned, Vina discovered the group hadn’t left L.A.  Ralph had gone to Mexico for R & R.

Before Puerto Rico there’d been Colorado.  Ralph didn’t invent Colorado, but simply chanced on it when skiing in the Sierras, on the cheap, where he made friends and gone with them to Aspen so when Vina phoned to find him at a lodge in the Sierras on a Saturday night after her car caught on fire, no one in the expansive California mountain range knew where  Ralph was.  He’d slipped out to a new state as easily as a teenager slips out on a weekday night.

Me:     Too vulnerable.  Bad people picker.
Ralph: bad bad bad bad bad.

To avoid Polly, Vina slipped inside for Al’s latest letter.  She could diss bad Ralph, but Polly shouldn’t.  Guess what, she read, her voice so loud Polly winced..

The landlady’s thieving and devilishly handsome brother had moved in with Al.

I always forget to see that the process itself helps things unfold.  You find out more about the situation as you go along, things keep changing and soon it’s a different set of problems.  Someone said we don’t resolve problems, we outgrow them.

“Isn’t Al wise?”

Polly didn’t think so.  “I don’t have any problems.”

“You know I sleep with women now.”

“So?”

“Well it’s not a trivial admission.”

“But it’s not a problem.”  She muttered something Vina didn’t catch.  Vina was convinced Polly pushed away sensitivity.  Her force field had blazes of her name:  arrows, poison darts of autobiography whose trajectories said ME and I and POLLY.  She used to rant about her husband Fred in the same way she presented herself.  She was ME ME, I I, and Fred was HIM this and HIM that.

HIM HIM HIM.  And when Vina finally met HIM he was just a guy, Fred, wearing jeans and a checkered shirt, coming to her apartment to hook up her stereo.  Just a guy.  Not HIM, not any more than she was SHE or I or ME.  Fred’d left POLLY.

“You wanna go to a movie?”

Vina suggested another day.  Polly left to catch the matinee rate.

“Ah, shit.”  Vina threw her address book to the floor.  A dust bunny skittered.  She ripped pages from her yellow tablet, broke her pencil in two.  She knew, even if she didn’t know in so many words, that she couldn’t know in any words.

Two months later, Polly stopped by with a pound of organic Kenyan coffee beans.  Vina shared a new letter from Al.  The old girlfriend snapped her fingers like a genie and Meg’s brother was gone, Al wrote.

Now I’m stuck in another stupid apartment and really alone but, hell, we’re all alone and that’s the human or inhuman or un-human condition.

“I’m not alone.”  Polly bristled.

“Yes you are, Polly, and So am I.”

Polly clenched her fists.

“Though I like my new girlfriend.”

The women stared at one another.  Somewhere pages ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘H,’ ‘T’ and ‘Z see T’  and ubiquitous bad Ralph sighed, from somewhere on the island of Elba.

About the author:

Sarah Sarai’s poetry collection, The Future Is Happy, is published by BlazeVOX [books]. Her fiction has appeared in Storyglossia, Fairy Tale Review, Stone’s Throw, Tampa Review, South Dakota Review and others. She divides her time between NYC and http://my3000lovingarms.blogspot.com.


October 25, 2010   Comments Off on Sarah Sarai: Fiction

COVERS: Look back

* * * * *


* * * * *

* * *

Ten Years & Counting …

Welcome Ragazine

Ragazine.CC

 * * *

Chilling

They say there are 8 million stories in the Naked City. Some days it seems like every one of those 8 million stories is being told in an independent magazine, on stage, in a zine on the web, in a TV show or movie theater, distributed on a broadsheet, voiced in a spoken word performance in a poetry bar, or even — emulating Speakers’ Corner in London — shouted out by someone standing on a soap box in Times Square. Not to be forgotten are the Mimes, whose actions speak louder than words. An artist acquaintance recently explained her paintings as an attempt to portray the noise she hears all around her every day, that anxiety-inducing clamor that seems almost sub-atomic, in that it carries on even when the screaming stops. This issue of Ragazine cuts through some of that noise, at the same time it contributes to it. Kind of like an air conditioner that cools the room you’re in, while it heats the air outside. A thermoelectric device that sparks a creative fire, even while you’re chilling out.

Now here’s this issue’s mix — in no particular order. It’s ALL GOOD…  Enjoy!

* Short Fiction: Jason Allen puts love on the block;

* Art: Hawk Alfredson takes a classical background and puts it to work in surreal explanations of an inner life. Find out what makes Hawk tick in an interview and gallery of some of his favorite work;

* Musician and Theremin master Eric Ross interviews himself on the extraordinary and groundbreaking video artistry of his late wife and long-time collaborator, Mary Ross;

* The We Are You Project International traveling art exhibit goes to Colorado, and takes along a few new artists;

* Photography: Mia Hanson spent years living in the Hotel Chelsea with her husband Hawk Alfredson; now the couple live in Washington Heights, and she’s still taking photographs of superstars. See what’s behind the lens in an interview with the photographer and a gallery of her images;

* Stephen Verona, filmmaker, photographer, artist, writer and world traveler. Verona can’t be accused of sitting still, unless it’s at one of his favorite restaurants. Next project: Compare and Contrast China, Then and Now!

* Contributing editor John Smelcer cuts to the quick with his take on “We Are Still Here,” or, “How American Indian Literature Re-visions the American Indian Experience in American History.” A must read for all “red-blooded Americans”.

* Poetry: A terrific mix of poets and reviews of poetry and poetry volumes.  Emil Fishcer reviews  Paul Sohar’s translation of In Contemporary Tense, the most recent collection from Sandor Kanyadi, considered by some to be Hungary’s greatest living poet. True to our mission of publishing both established and emerging talent, you’ll also find the poetry of Chloe Marisa, Daniel Rehinhold, Carlton Fisher and Dana Shishmanian.

* Books & Reviews: Something a little different here are capsule reviews of three chapbooks by Robert Joe Stout, and back to “normal” are studied reviews of four books, not all of which were published last week… Reviewers and books include: Kathryn Levy’s This Is For Life, by Jorge Rodriguez, who also reviews Micah Towery’s Whale of Desire. Matthew Ray examines ethics in The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran, by Sigrid Fry-Revere. and William Taylor Jr. reviews A. D. Winans’ In the Pink.

* Creative Nonfiction: “In Breathing Underwater,” Mark Montgomery marks the time he spent growing up,  trying to get to know his father, and staying alive.

* Columns: Jim Palombo takes a careful look at the Common Core curriculum and the direction of post-secondary education; Stephen Poleskie in his “Now and Then” has at it with an episodic look back at life in NYC in the ’60s; Mark Levy keeps himself awake with a Casual Observer‘s take on napping; and Bill Dixon goes to the edge reflecting on suicides he has known.  Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret, On Location” in France interviews artist Valentin Magaro. And Barbara Rosenthal reviews the work of Allison Berkoy.

* Music: Fred Roberts opens doors to other worlds with reviews of new music groups playing in Hamburg‘s underground. The piece includes a few lines from one of the more memorable tunes of the summer in Germany, one that got the group’s catchy video banned from YouTube. Not to worry, we’ve got the Vimeo Link.

* Memoir: Artist-Writer-Sailor and world traveler Helene Gaillet has provided Chapter 42 of her memoir, I Was A War Child.mother’s art gallery, and her private decision to secretly provide safe haven for a French Jew who eventually chose to go his own way.

* News, Haps, Snaps, Short Takes & Events: Check out these pages for updates on recent happenings and upcoming events. Updated at random, so don’t ignore….

* And don’t forget our illustrators, those artists and photographers whose works help tell our stories. Thanks as always to Walter Gurbo, Edmond Rinnooy-Kan, Jonathan Kelham, Angela White and Lynda Barretto.  For more about the editors who help bring you this zine every couple of months, see ABOUT US, where you’ll also find links to the websites of the artists who contribute to our “headers”. It’s a great group of people who work hard to make this an entertaining and visual treat.

* We’re running a Fall Fundraiser to keep our program in the air … Contribute if you can; want to if you can’t….

Thanks for reading … and spread the word.

— Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

 

We need your help… 

From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. We want to change that, but the only way we can do it is with your help…  If you are in a position to — and care to donate, or become a sponsor, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!


Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All relevant rights reserved.
 ______________________
combofallingworked-for-liked
Walter Gurbo, Drawing Room, Click to Enlarge
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

__________________________________
Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762

* * *

Ten Years & Counting …

V10N4 Cover -- Soffian

* * *

The Old World Order

(Chaos)

While many of us are watching the World Cup or enjoying the first real days of summer – or in the Southern Hemisphere anticipating the coming snow of winter in the mountains – the Old World Order appears again to be gaining ground. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central America, and in the United States itself … the list goes on. And on. One would think that peaceful co-existence would have made headway by now, in the broadest sense, but no one is holding his/her breath that will happen anytime soon – at least not without intervention by external forces – and we all know how effective that is. While the seemingly endless cycle of senseless human activity continues, there are a few people feverishly working outside the fray to understand the underlying cause of Conflict, and to artistically express both frustration with current events and wonder at the amazing accomplishments that come about despite the resistive drag of conflict on progress and harmony.

Whether or not you agree with this premise, we trust you’ll find the latest Ragazine.CC articles will provide grist for the mental mill where these and other ideas are constantly at play. From the photo essay and interview with “war” photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie, who provides an alternative view on Ukraine, to a review of the recently released “Writing of Blue Highways,” by John Smelcer, to the art of Robert Soffian, there’s just enough in this issue to keep you reading and on your toes until our next issue in September. Stay tuned…

Thanks for reading … and spread the word.
Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

 

We need your help… 

From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. We want to change that, but the only way we can do it is with your help…  If you are in a position to — and care to donate, or become a sponsor, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!

 

Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All relevant rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

GOT A DIFFERENT WAY OF SAYING IT?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

* * * * *

Ten Years & Counting …

Haupt UK Cover V10N2.1
Photo credit: Chuck Haupt

* * *

Winter, Spring, Sum…

 WHAT’S INSIDE?

OK, the plan was to take the summer off and figure out what we’re going to do next, and how. Then all this stuff starts coming in that we didn’t expect and that couldn’t wait until September to be published. Time sensitive, and all… So “Voila!” Special Issue. Easy … and a very good collection it is, at that…

* Photo editor Chuck Haupt’s collection of images from England, where he’s been since January;

* Miklos Horvath’s Coverage of the European Parliament in Strasborg, it’s last gathering before elections in May;

* Columnist Bill Dixon’s first article since a brush with death last winter;

* An interview with historical fiction author Jeanne Mackin and review of her latest book, “The Beautiful American,” publishing date: June 2014;

* A review by Fred Roberts of Hamburg’s regional battle of the bands, where three out of four contenders moved on to the German “nationals”;

* Artist-Author-Aviator Steve Poleskie, who provides a worrisome answer to the question, “Do you know who’s in your cockpit?”

* A review of Marc Vincen’s recently published collection of poems, “Beautiful Rush,” by Larissa Shmaillo.

* A short triptych and photo essay by The Camel Saloon barkeep and high plains drifter Russell Streur on a trip to Wyoming.

* A bio on the late artist Pamela Brown Roberts, and the group organizing an exhibition of works by lesser known artists who “died too young;”

* And, reflections on the passing of time and life at end of an era, in the article “Kumaon is Dead, Long Live Kumaon,”  by batik artist and writer, Jonathan Evans.

As always,

Thanks for reading …

Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

* * * * *

Ten Years & Counting …


V10N2Cover

* * * * *

SOS: It’s a Jungle Out There

(but we’re good with that)

If you haven’t seen Ragazine before, “Welcome.” If you have, then “Welcome back.” Either way, this issue’s collection of articles, images, poems, and stories won’t disappoint. From discourses on the politics of “Deep State,” to the art of Dorothea Rockburne and the photography of Ralph Gibson, to the poetry of John Smelcer illustrated by R. Crumb, to an exploration of the logging regions of Amazonian Brazil, to the “Moveable Feast” of Ernest Hemingway, there’s food for thought on every page.

As an independent e-zine, we compete with thousands of other zines, blogs and websites for your time and attention. And we really appreciate when we get it! Your page clicks, likes, tweets, retweets, pins and good old-fashioned word of mouth are key to growing Ragazine. And to keep us fueled for another ten years. We know not everyone is in a position to contribute financial support, but it’s an easy step, and free, to spread the word. You do that for us;  we’ll keep doing “this” for you.

As always,

Thanks for reading …
Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

 * * * * *

 WHAT’S INSIDE?

INTERVIEWS:

Ralph Gibson: The modern master of monochrome photography, shares his thoughts on the medium and one of its greatest tools, the Leica MONO camera, used to produce the images in his new book, aptly titled, “MONO.” With Mike Foldes.

Dorothea Rockburne: One of the foremost abstract artists of the 20th Century — and now the 21st — talks about her inspiration, motivation, and “the work”. With Charles Hayes; photographs by Guenter Knop.

John Cage:  This previously unpublished interview took place 30 years ago as part of a series Charles Hayes launched to identify key components of the creative processes, in particular factors inhibiting creative and artistic productivity. Cage and Rockburne were at Black Mountain College together in the ’50s, so it seemed purposeful to run her and Cage’s interviews “side by side” in the same issue.  With Charles Hayes.

Paul B. Roth:  Bitter Oleander Press stands as one of the guardians of independent book publishing. In an age when the small press industry and its plethora of startups struggles against giants of print and internet,  Roth’s The Bitter Oleander journal continues to weather the storm. With Alan Britt.   

On Location, France: Contributing editor Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret offers up two interviews, the first with Swiss-born artist Alexandra Navratil, and the second with Austrian Barbara Ellmerer.  See what’s happening in their parts of the world.

CREATIVE NONFICTION:

Amazonian Water World by Robert “Bob” Walker: As creative nonfiction editor Prof. Leslie Heywood writes in Submission Guidelines,  “Ragazine’s creative non-fiction section brings together the kind of writing I like most:  grounded, compelling first-person narration set in a concrete time and place that reflects thematically some way on the human relation to the natural world and the ways we’ve transformed that world, and in the process, transformed ourselves.”   Walker’s narrative on the effects of loggers and logging in Brazil’s Amazon region perfectly conforms to this ideal.

POLITICAL COMMENT:

DEEP STATE: Two Views

In the twin posts of this Politics edition, Jim Palombo presents a provocative premise in his “Deep State” article. This is accompanied by a commentary from Henry Giroux who has his own take on the “deep state” concern. Coming from somewhat different perspectives, the two pieces provide engaging and informative thoughts on what should be considered a most disturbing situation.

ART: Two Moveable Feasts

FOOD, ART & HEMINGWAY: Artist, writer and Hemingway scholar Raul Villarreal writes about Hemingway’s love of food and place, especially as it relates to his life in Cuba, and his love for Finca Vigia, the great writer’s retreat near Havana. Villarreal’s article is followed by a summary of “The Moveable Feast” exhibit at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J.,  curated by the author, Dr. Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph.D.  With galleries of art from the exhibit.

MUSIC:

DARSHAN: Contributing music editor Fred Roberts reflects on the music and influence of “Darshan,” and the strange coincidence in meeting its creator, Patrick McMahon, in Cincinnati.
EVERLY BROTHERS: Music writer/Contributer Jeff Edstrom provides a 20-20 hindsight review of the unforgettable Everly Brothers reunion concert at Royal Albert Hall in London, in 1983.

FICTION:

Commented judge Sheree Renée Thomas on Speculative Fiction Contest runner-up Ely Azure’s “NEVER. GIVE. YOU. UP.”:  “Moving but creepy adopted monster/baby/zombie? (I) don’t usually care for zombie tales, but this family’s attempt to adopt and become parents during a biological epidemic was compelling.”

Award-winning author Paul West’s “Hurled Into Eternity” achieves stark reality in the dark world of life in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation.

POETRY:

John Smelcer’s poem, THE BOOK OF GENESIS, REVISED FOR AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY, appears with an illustration by R. Crumb from Crumb’s “The Book of Genesis Illustrated.” Smelcer’s poem “Genesis” has been taught in a course on genocide at the Open University of Israel. Completing the quadratic are poems from Adele Kenny, Dana Jaye Cadman and Martin Willitts, Jr.

COMICS:

Everyone needs a laugh, even though it might take a minute to figure out what’s funny. With this in mind, we trust you’ll enjoy the latest entry to our wry comedic offerings: Gou-gou World, the brainchild of artist Edmond Rinooy-Kan. Kan explains Gou-gou’s history best, and to start out, there’s a page with pix from Gou-gou’s latest adventures…

Walter Gurbo, whose Drawing Room panels appear on Ragazine’s Welcome Page, and sometimes appear on other pages, suggested a fund-raising contest where writers submit a flash fiction story to go along with one of his drawings.  The entry fee is just five bucks. Winner takes home a third of the entry fees received for that issue. Submission guidelines appear on the “WRITING ROOM” post. The first contest illustration appears here (and there):

bear-swan-bomb-RAGAZINE.jpg-800

And while you’re looking through various articles in the zine, you’ll likely run across two other illustrators: Jonathan Kelham and Lynda Barretto. Enjoy the hunt.

BOOKS & REVIEWS:

Photo editor Chuck Haupt’s “the PHOTOGRAPHY spot” features “City of Shadows,” photographs from the Sydney, Australia, police department during a period in the city’s history when “select” men and women under arrest were routinely allowed to help compose their own “mug shots.” More than 2500 of these “special photographs” were taken between 1910 and 1930, providing the grist for this most unusual historical record. … And there are more ….

Barbara Rosenthal reviews A Dirt Road Hangs from the Skypoems by Claudia Serea, and Cherise Wyneken reviews Jester, Grace Marie Graton’s latest book of poems. Miriam O’Neal reviews Mary Szybist’s award-winning IncarnadineDiana Manole explores the poems of Flavia Cosma in On Paths Known to No One; and Grayson Del Faro reviews the novel by Rick WhitakerAn HONEST GHOST.

COLUMNS:

Artist/Author/Professor Steve Poleskie joins Ragazine as the contributing columnist of “Now & Then,” reflections on his life and career in the worlds of art and academe. Join Poleskie as he writes in a most engaging style about NYC gangsters, Andy Warhol,  the Mercury Riders motorcycle gang, and more.

From the Edge: Bill Dixon allows recent life-changing experiences to color-in parts of his past, lending understanding to a father-son relationship perhaps stronger in retrospect than it was in life.

Galanty Tweets: The glib and popular sociologist shares recent reflections about life, love, hate and things between, in these, a collection of his recent favorite – and  favorited – tweets.

Casual Observer: Mark Levy was one of the first contributors (and pro bono legal adviser) to Ragazine.cc. In this, Ragazine’s 2nd 10th Anniversary Issue, Levy cogitates on what a decade means, and brings it all to the table in his usual casual and empathetic fashion.

* * * * *

Diamonds — and Not In the Rough:

As this issue’s cover attests, we’ve had a varied and colorful history graphically presented for the past five years by Ragazine‘s photography and contributing editor, Chuck Haupt. Chuck not only designs covers and edits “the PHOTOGRAPHY spot”, he also produces the art used in the email blasts we send out two or three times during the two months between issues.

A high-resolution poster of this issue’s “cover featuring covers” (V10N2) is our way of saying thanks for a contribution of US $30.00 or more. Includes shipping and handling in North America ($40.00 outside North America).

* * *

catwomancoverV10N1-B

Thanks for a Great Ten Years

This issue of Ragazine.CC is the first of our tenth year of online publishing. It contains a wealth of material from around the world. Literally. Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, the United States, Mexico…. We think that’s just one of the things that makes us a little bit different from the enormity of other online and print publications available today. The variety of material we publish reflects not only diversity of humanity, but also the diversity of interests of those people who inhabit the planet — and who work on or contribute to Ragazine. The family tree of our contributors runs along the right side of this page, on the About Us  page, and in the growing number of readers, known and unknown, to all of whom we owe a huge debt of Gratitude.

And while V10N1 begins our 10th year, watch for V10N2, the real anniversary issue (coming in March) that promises to offer one of the finest collections of material on the web. Eclectic content for a global audience …. Thanks for reading! 

* * * * *

heart-hiding-behind-rockfinish300wmDrawing Room/Walter Gurbo

_______________________________
Help us if you can … and spread the word
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!
* * *
* * *__________________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

__________________________________
Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762

 

* * * * *

NewYearV10N1 

________________________________
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent.



________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
 Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Local Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
 Linked-In    MySpace    Facebook    Blogspot
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA! Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets

* * * * *

V9N6-Blast3

 * * *

REMARKABLE.

* * *

The final week of October marked the final days and passing of two notable characters of the 20th and 21st Centuries. As with all remarkable characters of any time and place, their names may not be remembered one hundred or two hundred years from now (I believe in this case they will), but the effects of their lives will be long felt. The two people of whom I write are Deborah Turbeville and Lou Reed. I never met either one of them, but I readily remember what I felt the first time I looked at one of Turbeville’s photographs that atypically captured a spectacular blend of sex and death – so mesmerizing I never forgot the images or her name. I got the same powerful impression when I first heard, then played and replayed Reed’s  “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” produced by Andy Warhol.  Couldn’t get enough of it then, and some days still can’t. Without a doubt, they left us with something that stirs the soul… and who could ask for more.

* * * * *

What else? In the column to the left, you’ll find the standing Pages. Beneath them, the latest posts of all the stuff of which we’re made.

BRAZIL…. In a first-person essay by Brazilian-American artist-poet-filmmaker Duda Penteado, the artist DUDA09_Arte19 (2)explains the creation of an historical — and historic — mural in Sao Paolo.

In a separate piece examining Brazil’s contemporary art and culture, Professor Dinah P. Guimaraens posts a review of the country’s  transformation from a post-colonial agrarian society to a member of the global socio-politico-economic community. The concern being, what about the past, what about the people? What is happening in this transcultural event that many fear will change the face of the nation forever – and not necessarily for the better? Art editor Jose Rodeiro  provides an overview in News/Haps/Snaps of the ongoing exhibit of New Jersey landscapes at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey home of Governor and Mrs. Chris Christie.

Regular columnists humorist Galanty Miller, gay life writer Mircea Filimon and adventurer Bill Dixon are back with their various takes on life in earth’s ether, joined by JH Mae who brings us the ruralist’s view from New York state’s North Country.

Music editor Jeff Katz, taking a break from writing a book, takes aim at the annoying behavior of a free spirit run amok at a small-venue concert. Contributing music editor Fred Roberts, in   “Soundscene Europe ” and “World Out of Control,” gets behind Felix KubinMary Ocher and Gustav, and goes deeper into the black hearts of men with a timely retrospective of “Decoder,” the 1984 German film inspired by the writings of William S. Burroughs with an equally dark sound track by Soft Cell and Einstürzende Neubauten.

Politics editor Jim Palombo poses a series of rhetorical questions you can answer on your own time about where we as Americans are on the scales of justice, equality, and other civic concerns, including the degree of critical thinking that takes place – or doesn’t – in our everyday lives. He also points to several organizations that are currently at work trying to improve our civic understanding and public dialogue prospects.

On the literary side, poets Nicole Broadhurst and Teresa Sutton bear witness to events very often beyond their control; Alex Straaik blends fact and fiction reflecting on the whereabouts of a long-lost friend who took the other fork in the road; and Michel Collins takes us to a western desert where a team of young app2undofailures2©GN_2013anthropologists discovers how wide the divide between digital and analog. John Smelcer offers up two pieces, one a poem written years ago with Ted Hughes over a couple of drinks in an English pub, illustrated for this occasion by Micah Clarke, and a memoir recounting how his acquaintance with the famed Irish poet Seamus Heaney got off to a shaky start.

A raft of book reviews includes “Ekphrastia Gone Wild,” “The Natural History of Asphalt,” “Poised in Flight,” “Coffee House of Confessions” and “Strange Borderlands.” Thanks to Reviews editor Alan Britt for recruiting the able talents of Silvia ScheibliDavid FraserMiriam O’Neal and Boris Dralyuk.

On the visual side: An interview with Gabriel Navar, and galleries of recent work reflecting the worldwide obsession with smart phones, add another dimension to the West Coast art scene… Particularly gratifying:  Rod Serling, and “The Masks.”  Then there’s photographer Jennifer Georgescu, whose “Sand, Stones, Dead Leaves & Bone #13” is one of many images that swim in the river of nature’s chaos.  the Photography Spot features images from a new book by Belgian Photographer Marc Lagrange; contributing writer/photographer Ginger Liu interviews ex-rocker Andy Summers about his life on the road as a photographer; and from place to place you’ll find the work of Walter Gurbo, Lynda Barreto and Jonathan Kelham. Bottoms up!

 

* * * * *

Speculative Fiction by People of Color Contest 

We are very thankful to the writers who entered our Speculative Fiction by People of Color contest, and offer our sincere congratulations to the winner and runners up, whose stories will be critiqued by our final judge, Sheree Renée Thomas, announced on or about December 1st, and will appear in Ragazine.CC in 2014.

Best wishes for the holidays, whatever holidays they might be in your part of the world.

Thanks for reading… spread the word.

— Mike F.

* * * * *

introvert2noDRwm
Drawing Room. “Introvert.” Walter Gurbo.

 

 

________________________________
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent.

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

 

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
 Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Local Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
 Linked-In    MySpace    Facebook    Blogspot
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA! Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets
_________________________________

 

V9N5 COVER 3

What to do “After the Fall”?

Our friend Nick Buglaj is in Idaho this week, trekking at 10,000 feet. Most of the rest of the world’s population  is living somewhere between sea level and, oh, maybe 1000′ above it. Max.  I didn’t get that figure from Wikipedia. I made it up. But from all I’ve learned over the years about population centers and their proximity to the sea, it’s true. So what do we all do when the seas begin to rise? Head inland, of course.  Which leads to the next question, how many humans can live on the head of a pin — or a Himalayan peak?

Forty years ago a couple of pals hiked Glacier National Park. There were still glaciers then. I was driving around this week with a business friend. We stopped for a brief look at Taughannock Falls in Tompkins County near Ithaca in upstate New York. Taughannock has the highest vertical drop of any water fall in the Northeast – at 215 feet, 33 feet higher than Niagara. The geological history map reports the area was under a mile of ice just a  hundred thousand years ago (or so). Goes to show the phenomenon of global warming is nothing new — it’s just accelerating now, helped along by humanity’s varying needs for power and light, without which this web site wouldn’t be possible. I’d like to be able to say, “Don’t worry about it,” but that’s not entirely true. Just have to consider the alternatives. That’s a bit of what journalist Tom Wilber does in his recap of President Obama’s visit in August to Binghamton University, and the controversy over fracking.

The cover of this issue perfectly meets the coming season. We had several choices to make and settled on Tom V9N5 COVER 1Bovo’s simple, yet elegant photograph depicting what happens to a leaf when it falls. In this series, the photographer gives leaves an afterlife worth  living. Some of the other choices were a collage by photo editor Chuck Haupt from the art works to be displayed at the Ponce, Puerto Rico, exhibition Past, Present, Pa’lante # 2, and a sunrise image taken by Cheryl Carter-Price in Maine that is part of the current exhibition at the  National Center for Atmospheric Research  (NCAR) in Boulder, CO.  All three pieces are excerpts from features that appear in this issue of Ragazine.CC. We hope and trust you’ll take the time to see and read who and what are behind their respective curtains.

Thanks to the many talented people whose contributions to Ragazine.CC  make worthwhile the effort to bring it all together, among them:  Poets Christopher Phelps, Dante Di Stefano, Edie Angelo  and Oliver Rice, and in translation by Flavia CosmaLuis Raul Calvo; steadfast columnists Mark Levy (Casual Observer), Jim Palombo (politics), Galanty Miller (Re-Tweets) and Bill Dixon (From the Edge); music reviewers Jeff Katz (music editor) and Fred Roberts V9N5 COVER 2(contributing editor, music); and,  creative nonfiction writers Jaron Serven and Cris Mazza.  Behind the curtains, Leslie Heywood (CNF editor), Joe Weil (fiction editor) and Emily Vogel (poetry editor). And where you find them, illustrator/cartoonists Walter Gurbo, Jonathan Kelham, Lynda Barreto and Benoit Jammes. Roberts, by the way, also contributed a review of “Berlin! Berlin!,” translations of Kurt Tucholsky’s “Dispatches from the Weimar Republic.” If you have any interest in politics and positions leading up to WWII, this should get you interested in reading these translations of Tucholsky’s heroic essays that led to him being driven out of pre-war Germany.

Other new books on review include “2057,” “Figures of My Century,” “Silvertone,” “Parabola Dreams” and “The Fellowship,” while contributing editor John Smelcer takes a critical look back at Jean Toomer’s “Cane.” Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret reviews artist Annette Messager’s  “La Tortures Volontaires,” a collection of images that explores “the frontiers between art and marketing.”  Behind the curtain: Books and Reviews editor Alan Britt, and the reviewers themselves: Smelcer, Abigail SmootMiriam O’Neal and Matthew Hoffman. 

The Past, Present, Pa’lante # 2 exhibit preview by contributing art editor Dr. Jose Rodeiro with an assist from photo archivist Christie Devereaux explains how the modern day La Ruche gallery in Union City, New Jersey, got it’s name, and provides brief bios of curator Robert Rosado and the many artists whose works are included in the exhibit in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome, so post them at will. Find an error? Let us know and Monique Gagnon or I will make it right…

Thanks for reading.

– Mike Foldes

*********************

 Thanks to all who entered Ragazine’s

Speculative Fiction by People of Color

writing contest. Winner and runners up

will be announced in December.

 

*****

 

exit-graveworkednoDRwm

 

WALTER GURBO’S DRAWING ROOM

 

 

 

________________________________
 

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
_________________________________

2013 V9N4 COVER 1

***************

Summer reading …

Take us to the beach (or Else)

***********

And while you’re in Oakland

Check out the WAYPI

California Exhibition

Mel-Ramos-Catwoman-Web-File

 Mel Ramos, “Catwoman,” Lithograph, 2010

Click here: For the California Exhibition page

 

What’s Inside:

Pretoria, South Africa. September. Join the Conversation as artists, writers, politicians, diplomats and others congregate in Pretoria to discuss an agenda that could mean keeping humankind alive for another 1,000 years. Or more. Afro-American artist Ben Jones will exhibit his series, “Evolution, Revolution,” at this ground-breaking world gathering, and in this issue we present both an art critique of Jones’ work by art editor Jose Rodeiro, and Rodeiro’s interview with the artist with photos by Christie Devereaux.

Joao Pessoa, Brazil. July. With the best interests of the people in mind, politics editor Jim Palombo excerpts information from the upcoming program, “The Economy of the Workers” conference.  Jim comments on the concept of “work” from his own experience, and includes the program notes to provide the backdrop for a discussion that is mushrooming from the bottom up about differentials that experiments in Capitalism and Democracy must come to terms with in an increasingly globalized world.

Nocturnes On the matter of Darkness in Art. A studied overview and motif for the current show at the Therese A. Mahoney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J., by curator and art history professor Dr. Virginia Butera.

Music:  A unique presentation of recent work from New York musician David Gaita, with excerpts from the score of his Veterans’ Day Parade for String Quartet, and a video outtake of the piece performed by a string quartet at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y.

More Music: Fred Roberts from Germany on the Dream SyndicateJean-Paul Gavard-Perret from France, on Elainie LilliosPhotography: An interview with and gallery of photos by, our cover art photographer Dina Litovsky; and, the Photo Editor’s Choice, a selection of work from Chris Anthony.

Poets: Can’t live without them …  Kate Sweeney, Tim Suermondt & Hal Sirowitz

Fiction: Kevin Carey’s “Lucky Day” … when the sun shines…

Creative Nonfiction: Alex Holmes’ “114” … there’s no way like the highway…

Columns — holding up the house: Bill Dixon/From the Edge; Mircea Filimon/Gay Life; Mark Levy/Casual Observer; Galanty Miller’s Re-Tweets.

More Art: Shades of Phillipe Mohlitz — A trip to the studio/apartment/studio of artist-curator Gloria Duque, with Jorge Alberto Perez! It’s not easy to capture what  Gloria’s life and work is all about, but Jorge’s done a great job – and that’s why we asked if we could re-run his story, which first appeared in the newsletter of the Camera Club of New York. Seeing is believing.

Books & Reviews: Alan Britt and Abigail Smoot  review  Eclectic Coffee Spots in Puget Sound; Seven American Deaths and Disasters; Words the Interrupted Speak, and Flies and Monkeys.

For a short take on what’s going on in the world of medicine, check out the report on M Sedlof’s recent visit to the annual SAGES conference. SAGES is the acronym for Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. You did want to know more about that, right?

And, keep a keen eye out for Walter Gurbo, Bennoit Jammes, Jonathan Kelman and Lynda Barreto. They’re all in here somewhere.

*********************

FICTION CONTEST DEADLINE EXTENDED

The first Ragazine.CC Fundraiser-Writing Contest deadline is extended to September 20. The theme of this event, “Best Speculative Fiction by a Person of Color written in 2013,” is meant to bring attention to this under-served genre, and we trust you’ll find the winning entries provide fascinating encounters with other worlds.  Complete background on the contest, including its origins by fiction editor Joe Weil; a bio of the final judge, speculative fiction editor and author Sheree Renée Thomas; and, full contest guidelines, can be found on the “Contest” page.

 

Thanks for reading! 

— Mike Foldes

 

**************

fashion-in-the-future-cl-3-levelDRwm275
Fashion of the Future
________________________________
 

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
_________________________________

 

In this issue

Another side of the coin …

We sometimes hear about renaissance men, but it’s less often we can appreciate them in their lifetimes. So it is with great pleasure we profile George Nelson Preston, a New York City native son who traces his lineage farther back than almost any of us can to the 18th Century. A septuagentarian man who plays baseball with unabashed enthusiasm, who ceremonially and effectually presides over the Ghanian tribe to which he claims the deepest roots, whose studio on the lower east side of Manhattan in the ’60s hosted the greatest poets, artists and writers of the latter half of the 20th Century. And more… Preston has been called a National Treasure, and to know more about him, as you will discover in this in-depth profile by author-photographer Petra Richterova, will convince you of no less.

News from the sidelines, and inside baseball …

Music editor Jeff Katz is taking a sabbatical to write a book about the 1981 baseball season and strike …. Qualifications: Jeff not only is a baseball fan, but also mayor of Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He has great access to research materials. And people who  really care about The Game. Fred Roberts, On Location in Germany, has picked up the ball, so to speak, with a look at a David Bowie redux exhibit on the artist-musician’s years in Berlin, and reviews of au courant European music groups.

no-worms-#15-susLynda Barreto, who contributed “The Litchfields” cartoon/illustrations for a couple of years a few years ago, is back with a new series she’s managed to produce between turns as a barrister in her café in Naples, FL.  She and Benoit Jammes join Walter Gurbo and Jonathan Kelham with illustrations on ‘gray pages’ and other suitable locations to inject a change of pace into our cyberpages.

Art …
Contributing art editor Jose Rodeiro , with photographer Christie Devereaux, take readers on another art odyssey, this time to ancient Greece and Rome and “Art of the Mediterranean.”  Midori Yoshimoto interviews artist Babs Reingold, whose latest series “The Last Tree” speaks to the unnatural decimation of the natural environment.

Photography …
An e-interview with Sebastian Łuczywo by photo editor Chuck Haupt reveals the passion that drove the Polish photographer to pursue his art and craft. Brent Williamson, aka Teknari, is back in Ragazine with Whatever Comes, a showcase of large images on tempered glass created using his own film and plates in a unique photographic process. Ellen Jantzen returns with a series titled Compressing Reality produced by blending a series of shots ‘taken in the moment,’ into a moment. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy share their ultra-high resolution images of nature; unfortunately, you won’t be able to see them here as they and others do when properly presented, but you’ll certainly get the idea. Rounding out “photography” is “Photo Editor’s Choice,” vibrant images from some of Sweden’s top photographers.

Video …
Contributing editor Ginger LiuOn Location/LA, interviews videographers Enrico Tomaselli and Francesca Fini.  Video posts include works from FiniCecelia ChapmanSteve Johnson and Jeff Crouch. Tomaselli is project director of The Project 100×100=900, which celebrates the 50th anniversary in 2013 of Video Art. One hundred video artists from around the world are invited to participate; each will produce a video artwork inspired by one of the previous 100 years, with an international exhibit to follow.

Politics …
brics flags
Politics editor Jim Palombo extemporizes from his winter residence in San Miguel Allende on re-thinking Karl Marx. In this latest chapter of his ongoing analysis of “Is it Capitalism, or is it Democracy,” Palombo looks at the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and how they relate to America’s economic, social and military presence in the modern world.

Literary …
Contributing editor (Latin in America) Lilvia Soto reviews Eulogy for a Brown Angel, by Lucha Corpi, “a murder mystery set against the background of the Chicano civil rights march of August 29, 1970.” Books editor Alan Britt reviews Lost Arts, by Leslie HeywoodRagazine‘s creative nonfiction editor. Britt writes that what you will find in Lost Arts is “a hands-on, often literal, bare-bones diction that is occasionally peppered with the right dose of metaphor.”

Poet and professor Silvia Scheibli reviews Duane Locke’s The First Decade, a collection of poems the reviewer describes as “a book that takes its readers day by day through the pantheistic, sacred landscape of the imagination into a new and exciting linguistic reality and also constructs a broader picture of the callous and inhumane treatment society perpetrates on itself through menial self-deceptions and unmistakable denials.”

John Smelcer,Tom Sorci, Dave BongaandTrudell Guerue  remember author/friend Michael Dorris. Dorris (1945-1997) was the award-winning author of numerous books, mostly about the Native American experience, including his popular novel, A Yellow Raft on Blue Water (1987).

In Sarah Odishoo‘s creative nonfiction  piece, “The Projectionist: Show Me,” the author grapples with the existential balancing acts of love and life. Thaddeaus Rutkowski, in his fiction piece “Out of Fashion,” examines reasons why one might not want to declare as an artiste.

On the poetry front,  poets Emily Vogel and Lisa Flowers take a look at each other’s work in two analytical essays that reflect each woman’s approach to her own poetics, as well as an understanding of the other’s. Reviews and analysis aside,  we trust you’ll appreciate and enjoy the work of poets Abby MurrayPaige Gittelman and Andy Doyle.

Holding up the roof …

columnsMark LevyCasual Observer: Comments on the anxiety created when you don’t know where your anti-anxiety pill has gone.

Mircea Filimon,Gay Life: Ponders the contradictory roles religion plays, and the influence it has, on being gay.

Bill DixonFrom the Edge: Delights in not sharing   oddities of the English language, preferring instead to keep a beer-drinking friend a friend. Dixon, by the way, recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery and isn’t back, yet, to his old habits… or haunts. That should be something to write about.

Scott “Galanty MillerRe-Tweets. The professor rants in short form about peeves, pecadilloes and personal favorites, among them, Sean Connery.

Fiction Contest …
Ragazine.CC ‘s fiction contest is under way! We are offering $1000.00 first place prize for the best speculative fiction story written by a person of color in 2013. Complete information on the contest, including its origin with fiction editor Joe Weil; a bio of the final judge, speculative fiction author Sheree Renée Thomas; and, contest guidelines, can be found on the “Contest” page.

Thanks for reading!
— Mike Foldes

________________________________

Fear itself.
_
Fear itself.

________________________________

Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog DirectoryLocal Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA!Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets

 

**********************************

march-april02

………………………………………………………………………………….

Yes, it’s a whistle.
__________
Constant discoveries occasioned by simply moving forward make the effort, no matter how difficult, all worthwhile. We trust you’ll advance to the horizon with us by spending a little more time than usual reviewing the most diverse offerings we’ve ever assembled under ‘one cover.’
Fundraiser:
For starters, while putting together this issue, many of us were still burning off the energy created during the recent Ragazine/We Are You Project fundraiser at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Photos and comments from the event appear at www.weareyouproject.org, and elsewhere here in Ragazine.
Fiction Contest:
With this issue, we bring aboard fiction editor Joe Weil, who is taking over for Metta Sama. When the idea of having a fiction contest was bobbing around, Joe suggested we make it a contest for “Speculative Fiction by People of Color,” and Metta suggested we get in touch with Sheree Renée Thomas, who we’re most pleased to say, agreed to be the final judge. Thomas’ bio, which reveals why she’s precisely the right person for the job, appears on the contest page along with Joe’s thoughts on the subject, competition rules and submission guidelines. http://old.ragazine.cc/2013/03/contest/
What’s inside:
An interview with artist Chuck Plosky, whose years in Tonala, Mexico, helped shape whistle sculptures, such as the one above. The interview, by Ragazine art editor José Rodeiro, includes galleries of Plosky’s work.
An interview with Brooklyn-born street artist RAE, whose recent show in London drew RAEve reviews. You may have seen some of RAE’s works around New York. See more in the gallery accompanying the interview.
Rodeiro doubles down in an interview with Dr. Deborah A. Sanders, a leading US supporter of this fall’s trail-blazing “Africa Speaks” global initiative in Pretoria, South Africa. The article includes a statement by American artist Ben Jones, whose “Evolution/Revolution 2” is to be featured at the initiative.
wide-ranging update from Zaira Rahman, on various subjects and conditions On Location in her native Pakistan. 
Kids Like Blues,” an interview with the popular program’s creator Jon Schwartz, by contributing editor Ginger Liu On Location in LA.
An article looking back at the influence of Politics on Art in 19th Century France, by Patrick Ferguson with an introductory comment by politics editor Jim Palombo.
A studied look at the influence of boarding schools on Amerindian literature by contributing editor John Smelcer, and Joseph Bruchac.
Multiple reviews selected or written by books editor Alan Britt, including two on the same collection, “Native American Classics,” Graphic Classics Series Volume 24. One is by Britt, the other by Dale Seeds, who aptly describes it as “a collection of Native American stories rendered in the graphic novel/comic book format (that) features a synthesis of Native American traditional stories transcribed on or before the 20th century with the work of contemporary comic/graphic novel artists.”
Music reviews and commentary by music editor Jeff Katz, contributor Jeff Edstrom and Jeff’s buddy in Berlin, Fred Roberts.
Poetry by Joel SoloncheTara Betts and Gerburg Garmann.
Fiction from Eric Schafer in Vietnam, and Rachel Guido deVries.
New columns by Bill Dixon (From the Edge) and Romanian ex-pat Mircea Filimon (Gay Life), as well as the continuing saga of Casual Observer Mark Levy and the Re-Tweets of Scott “Galanty” Miller.
Videos from Stephen Schweitzer, Eliane Lima, Jason Greendyke and Karina Wiciak.
Creative nonfiction from Rick Bailey,James Randolph Jordan and long time environmental activist Daniela Gioseffi.
Photography of Dance from German photographer Franziska Strauss; American Larry Hamill’s experiments in creating 3D images; Serbian Rina Vukobratovic’s photographic exploration of sources of emotion.
Look for illustrations by Walter Gurbo and Briton Jonathan Kelham; they could appear anywhere, anytime, and sometimes do. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading!

Mike F.

stairs-of-lifeDRwm
Stairs of Life, Walter Gurbo’s Drawing Room

________________________________

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog DirectoryLocal Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA!Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets
_________________________________

jan-feb2013_01


On with the show!

 Let’s start with the anonymous aphorism, “Time stands still for no one,”  that familiar and inclusive declaration of the transitory nature of being. Simply put, 2012 is over, long live 2013…

Not too soon to say good-bye, either …. floods, fire, famine, war, wanton murder, plague… Six Horsemen, and an Apocalypse that didn’t happen.

So, on with the show, and a good one it is, including: John Smelcer‘s memoir of times shared with John Updike; images from the portfolio of Rahi Rezvani (cover image, above), accompanied by an interview with the photographer; poetry from Elizabeth AndersonTom BairJohn BellingerMolly Goldblatt, and an interview with poet David Ray.  Art content features a retrospective of the work of Mary-Ellen Campbell, and Jose Rodeiro’s Art History romp from Ireland to Italy and back again. Politics editor Jim Palombo mixes it up with art in an overview by Martin Rosenberg of Polish posters produced under Communist regimes.

Music Editor Jeff Katz provides his annual roundup of  the year’s 10 Best — meaning, most listened to music in 2012, not just FROM 2012 (Yes, there are seismic shifts in that list from year to year), and a review of Graham Parker‘s “Three Chords Good.”  Fred Roberts brings back Berlin, circa 1980s, and Eric Schafer chafes at those who disrespect Rolling Stones from days of yore.

Jonathan Evans recounts in “Legend of a Gone World” time spent with the inimitable Peter One, foremost photographer of  Moroccan kif culture, along with images from Peter’s 1975 postcard booklet, “The Kif Smoker.”Bill Dixon answers a wake up call in New Orleans’ Latin Quarter at dawn. Robert Scotellaro provides a couple of short takes on the fiction front. C. Goodison kicks with her story, “Wolf at the Door.”

Don’t miss regular features: Galanty Miller’s Re-Tweets; Mark Levy’s  Casual Observer, “Life’s a Gamble,”  and pictures from the wall of Walter Gurbo’s “Drawing Room.” Sci-Fi’s on the menu of  Alan Britt’s selections for review. If you want to find out what events may be happening in your part of the world, or elsewhere, have a look at our EVENTS page. And,  from time to time, check out short takes about our readers and contributors that appear in “News, Haps & Snaps.”

We regretfully say good-bye to Metta Sama, our fiction editor for the last few years, whose final selections for Ragazine appear this issue. She’s done a great job and we’ll miss her steadfast effort to identify the best new short fiction writing of the day as she moves on to more teaching, writing and the tribulations of making a real living.

Thanks for reading!

Mike F.

 

Walter Gurbo’s Drawing Room

frackit

 ___________________________________

Ragazine.CC/We Are You Fundraiser Tickets:

Feb 23, 2013, Maysles Cinema, NYC, NY

4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/302533

__________________________________


___________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

 Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Advertise with us!
Contact: editor@ragazine.cc …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________


___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
 Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Local Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
 Linked-In    MySpace    Facebook    Blogspot

 

________________

 

Welcome

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 We are where we’re at …

but we won’t be forever

  

“Ragazine is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.”

You may have read that sentence before; it runs near the bottom of every Welcome page.

The zine that began eight years ago to share the art, poetry and photography of a small circle of friends now generates growing interest and increasing support from hundreds of contributors and thousands of readers around the world. You might say we’re reaching our target audience. Except for the fact that many in our target audience are themselves targets of another sort. For any number of reasons, from political or military repression, to ethnic and religious prejudice, to social norms and economic disparity, they are denied access to open forums where they can bring their ideas to light and flourish.

What better way, then, than to close out our eighth year of publication with a diverse  selection of material that reflects how we are dealing on myriad fronts with challenges  to human progress and enlightenment in the 21st Century. In early October, we published “The Levant Exhibition,”  a mid-issue post of one of many papers presented at a recent symposium in the United Arab Emirates examining “aspects associated with orientalist art creativity in Levant,” and dealing “with the most prominent features and historical eras related to orientalist arts,” including  “aesthetics, the approach and the printing techniques of the orientalist paintings.” The exhibit, borrowing heavily from the collection of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, a member of the UAE supreme council and ruler of Sharjah, presents western artists’ perceptions of the region, principally in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Many of the images hearken back to what some might recall seeing as children in illustrated editions of The Arabian Nights – where, it seems, too many of us learned our history lessons. Mohammad Mahdy Hemaida’s paper was selected because it seemed more objective about the artwork, and carried fewer political undertones, than some of the other presentations.

The article remains live, residing in the current issue alongside an impressive scholarly review of three “Fertile Crescent” exhibitions in a cross-disciplinary art project on display now in Princeton and New Brunswick, New Jersey.  “Politics, Society and Sexuality in Middle Eastern Art,”  by professor Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph. D., is an educated look at the art produced by women from or associated with cultures where the social and political fabric binds them in ways that deny opportunities to freely depict frustrations, realities, hopes and dreams. It’s unlikely this breakout exhibition will ever hang in the same halls as art of the Levant.

Some time ago we had the good fortune to connect with We Are You Project. WAYP is an international organization based in New Jersey publicizing contributions of Hispanics to American art, culture, education and the economy, and by their example fighting the anti-immigrant fervor that simmers today in this country. To this end, we’ve shared work of WAYP artists and poets, and have planned a joint Ragazine.CC and WAYP fundraiser at the Maysles Cinema in New York City(POSTPONED due to Sandy; Rain Dates to be announced). We hope you’ll join us.

For a clearer understanding of what many Hispanic-Americans feel and face living in America today, read Professor Lilvia Soto’s insightful message to a Latino audience on a U.S. college campus that holds as true today as it did when delivered in 2009. Then, continue on to her translation of Mexican poet Alberto Blanco’s poem, “The Undocumented.” Blanco, one of the most recognized contemporary  Latin American poets, received the Octavio Paz Poetry Award in 2001.

Photographer Karen Miranda, who lives in Queens, New York, collaborates with native communities and with her relatives as subjects of her photography projects. She has worked with the Mandaeans from Iraq and Iran living in Sweden and Detroit,  Waoranis in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes Mountains, and for a brief period with the Mam in Guatemala. Her intimate portraits tell a tale of their own, but you’ll learn a bit more about her approach in our interview.

Tice Lerner’s debut exhibit last summer at the Anthony Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton, N.Y., placed him prominently on the stage of photographers whose works embody both empathy and contrast with an outside world not of his subjects’ own making. Lerner, an engineer by training, captures neighborhood denizens in a once-thriving upstate city striving to remake itself. His photo on this month’s cover (above) is an invitation to see and know more about what makes him, and his approach to photography, unique.

Photographer Steve Bromberg has spent enough time in China to know his way around a bit more than most. His camera reveals a nation of contrasts as it struggles with change, and the scars that struggle leaves as the country transitions from an agrarian Communist to industrial Capitalist power.

Artist Stephanie Rond’s subtly provocative works focus largely on distrust. The “Dick and Jane,”  storybook-type illustrations incorporate clues to a world populated by wolves in men’s and boys’ clothing. Active in the Columbus, Ohio, arts community, Rond is also curator of the miniature s.Dot Gallery.

Jack Zipes discusses “Why Fairy Tales Stick,” with Ragazine contributing editor John Smelcer. Zipes, a foremost scholar of the fairy tale, postulates “that the most important stories in a culture become memes, “which evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins proposed in his book The Selfish Gene (1976)…” If you like fairy tales, or wonder where they come from and why some persist where others don’t, you’ll certainly remember this conversation.

In an artful essay, author and Nobel Prize for Literature runner-up Paul West wakes the unconscious mind with a literary foray into the writings of Samuel Beckett. West ventures to examine the short stories of Texts with a critic’s evincing eye and ear. Commenting on a passage in “Assumption,” he writes, “Something rippling evokes muscle and, as always in Beckett, a better mind than the mind on show makes the whole thing irresistible.” We trust you’re up to it.

Creative nonfiction editor Leslie Heywood says her selection for this issue, “The Sleep Scale,” commanded the rapt attention of other students in her class at Binghamton University when read aloud by its author Cecil Jordan. Read it to yourself. Read it aloud. Be advised: Not a cure for insomnia.

Fiction editor Metta Sama delivers a piece from Alison Meyers titled “Pest Control” that focuses on the continuing divides between haves and have nots, whites and people of color, the privileged and those who work for them.  Live a few snippets of their lives; see what the other sides see of each other. Reflect.

Poetry editor Emily Vogel provides selections from poets Phil Boiarski, Devin McMicken and Nicholas Wilsey.  Boiarski’s been writing and publishing for more than forty years; McMicken’s first public reading took place in early October. Wilsey DJs a poetry-focused radio show.

Alan Britt joins the Ragazine team as Books/Reviews editor. The Books section will move from a Page to a Post, which can be dated and saved for archiving. In his initial offering, Britt reviews three volumes from Split Oak Press, and includes Paul Sohar’s examination of The New Arcana by John Amen and Daniel Y. Harris. Find out more about Alan Britt in “About Us.”

Music editor Jeff Katz examines the “music listening and buying experience” as it relates to The Internet Radio Fairness Act. The bill aims to “lower the royalty rate that Internet radio stations like Pandora pay from over 50% of total revenues, to the less onerous 7ish% of revenues that satellite titans like SiriusXM pay, or even the cable rate of 15%.” Asks Katz, “It’s all about fairness, no?”  Also on Katz’s agenda: Reviews of Bob Dylan’s latest, Tempest, and The Once and Future Carpenter from the Avett Brothers.

Politics editor Jim Palombo discusses education and empowerment in the modern age, where the notion of a healthy society comes into play.  Under-education and a desensitized environment, Palombo contends, contribute to an “unhealthy state of affairs.”  Jumping from that to “Part II,” Palombo comments on what’s being said about the subject on the campaign trail to Election 2012. Add to that contributor Doug Bond’s satirical overview of the Last Minute October Surprises coming our way, and you have a wide-screen advantage over the next guy.

Casual Observer Mark Levy casts a jaundiced eye at too-real developments in high-def television technology; Galanty Miller begins his collection of Re-tweets with, “The richest man in the world has something in common with the poorest man in the world; they both want to be richer.”  And throughout, the illustrations of Nadja Asghar and Walter Gurbo.

Enjoy. As always, thanks for reading!

– Mike Foldes

 * * * * *

 

 * * * * *

Welcome

V8N5

sept-oct2012_02

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If you can’t make Money …

Make Art

If you can’t Make Money, Make Art. If you can’t Make Art, Make Money – and spend it on Art. The arts may not be able to lift everyone out of poverty, but they do have the power to lift the spirits of rich and poor alike. A good enough reason to keep our shoulders to the wheel.

What’s inside:

Karl Polanyi was one of the most influential economists and social thinkers of the last century. His work, widely read and recognized throughout the world, is largely unknown in the United States. When Politics Editor Jim Palombo discovered that Polanyi’s daughter, Prof. Kari Polanyi Levitt, is living in Canada, he reached out for an interview. Prof. Levitt, in her own teachings and writings, is carrying on her father’s legacy, and the two professors share that and some of their own critical thinking here.

Nikolai Buglaj is more interested in capturing the essence of an idea than in fame and fortune. In this regard, he has few peers. Art Editor Dr. José Rodeiro and artist Christie Devereaux interview Buglaj; and, in an accompanying article “The Artist Who Refuses to Show,” Rodeiro examines Buglaj’s work and its historical value as “art for art’s sake.”

Jeff Katz moves beyond the sound stage to share the joy of watching his autistic son Nate achieve a personal best with an art exhibit in Soho earlier this year. Katz’s memoir of that event is aptly titled, “Really, It Was A Miracle.” Elsewhere, Katz jumps back into his role as Ragazine’s music editor with a variety pack of short takes on old favorites and recent discoveries. Also on the music front, Eric Schafer, back in the States for some physical therapy and R&R after several years working in Viet Nam, writes up some of his own “I wish…” covers of favorite tunes from the not-so-olden days.

Photography features this issue include, as always, Chuck Haupt’s “The Photography Spot” – individual photos with explanations from the do-ers about motivation and origins. This post is about the resilience of boys, no matter where they come from. In addition, photographer Todd Smith takes us to the shore and more from the ’70s to today, in a “compare and contrast” visual essay about changing times.

Poetry: There’s plenty to choose from: Lauren Tursellino, Samantha Zighelboim, J. Barret Wolf and Simone Kearney; an interview with poet-author Klaus Gerken, publisher of the literary journal Ygdrasil; a review by Paul Sohar of poet Alan Britt’s Alone with the Terrible Universe; and a look back at the convergence of art, poetry and architecture at 1WTC Visitor Center the day the building became the tallest in NYC.

From author Christopher Panzner, an American in Paris, comes “A Tati Moment,” an entertaining oblique excerpted from his first collection titled SLOW. (In my mind, Georges Seurat paints Marcel Marceau or the Little Tramp.)

Sarah Silbert’s “Mondays Can Seem Like Sundays,” is a mother’s reflections on raising a family in rural Vermont. Silbert strives to maintain the will to preserve the events, large and small, that help her maintain her own identity, even while it further entwines with those of her loved ones.

If you didn’t get ’em while they’re hot, catch Galanty Miller‘s retweets, featuring the wit and wisdom of Prospero. For example, I think it’s unfair that it’s so hard for aging actresses in Hollywood to find good roles in the Transformers movies. And before you stop laughing, tune in to Mark Levy’s Casual Observer as he looks at life through a jaundiced eye. Kind of like Nadja, who did the illustration for Mark’s column. Or our friend Walter, here…

Happy autumnal equinox, and …

Thanks for reading!

__________________________________

Dead_Chair_Ragazine_Submission_Drawing_Room_2012

__________________________________

  Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/
Twitter:
Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
twitter: ragazinecc

 __________________________

 

V8N4 July-August 2012

"Consumption," M. Owczarek, V8N4/2012

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

We haven’t come a long way, baby

June 29/30, Endwell

Pick a topic. Any topic. Write about it without injecting yourself into it. Write about anything else, but not … You. Make a list: Politics, culture, art, war, peace, food, hunger… recognizing opposites begins to come easily, a cheap way to make the list longer with little extra effort. Stop there. Begin again. A month goes by. And then another. Openings, closings, travel for business, travel for fun, travel for no other reason than to get from there to somewhere else. Or here. “Outside the beltway.” “West of the Hudson…” In touch with realities. Each powerful word carries with it a visage, a comprehensive, multi-dimensional emotional package of what is (fill in the blank), for example, CULTURE: So much of what Politicians debate and the Media presents should go without saying. Yet it’s part of Our Culture to be zealously fractious.

So every couple of months the contributors and editors of Ragazine bring at least some of it back together under one e-cover.  We’re especially proud with this issue to provide the vehicle for reintroducing Walter Gurbo’s “Drawing Room” to a surreality-starved world.  Gurbo returns with Drawing Room after an hiatus that followed his 12-year tenure contributing panels to the village Voice. His work appeared in Ragazine simultaneously with a show at Anthony Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton last year. You can recap at: http://old.ragazine.cc/2011/08/walter-gurbo/

Other recent additions to the crew – you already may have seen or read their work – include: Dr. José Rodeiro (Art); Monique Gagnon German (Copy Editor); Rhonda Branca (Flag Waver, until she has time for something more); Scott “Galanty” Miller (Columnist/re-Tweeter-ist)and Nadja Asghar (Illustrator). Metta Sama, our fiction editor for the past few years, is stepping down. She tried to quit once before, but we wouldn’t let her. Metta’s selections will run through the January-February 2013 issue. We wish her well in her new ventures, and the chances are good you’ll be hearing from or about her here again. Joe Weil will be picking up as fiction editor where Metta leaves off – with the March-April 2013 issue. Joe, a long-time Ragazine supporter, was poetry editor early on and we’re glad to have him back in this new role. You can read more about them all in About Us.

What in store with V8N4? Where to begin?

* An interview with Cuban artist Raul Villarreal, who co-authored a book with his father Rene Villarrealmajor domo at Ernest Hemingway‘s Finca Vigia estate outside Havana. Villarreal’s paintings embody the culture and sentiment of the disenfranchised who left the island nation after Fidel Castro rose to power. The article appears as Hemingway scholars recall the author on his birthday, July 21, 1899.

Poets Chelsie Malyszek; Alfred Corn; Melissa Schwalm and  Nicole Santalucia appear along with a review of Maria Mazziotti Gillan‘s forthcoming “The Place I Call Home” by poetry editor Emily Vogel.

* Politics editor James Palombo offers a snapshot of Harlem from a visit to the Maysles Theater for presentations of Stain – Changing Lives After Incarceration, and “OWS,” a series of shorts on the Occupy movement.

* On the side of Art, we have an interview with collage artist-photographer Marcin Owczarek, whose piece, “Consumption,” leads this page. Owczarek’s work intrigues and mystifies at once. And get ready for a leap of faith with José Rodeiro‘s exuberant review and analysis of Christie Devereaux’s latest show, which opened at The Treasure Room Gallery in New York at the end of June. Find out what drove Devereaux to make ART in an accompanying interview.

* The Fiction roster lists Rosebud Ben-Oni‘s short story, “As the Twig Is Bent,” and flash fiction from Hermine Pinson, “The Cat and Mouse and the Shoe.” Creative Nonfiction by Paul Sohar, “Worm Dialog,” recounts an endurance run on a trans-Atlantic flight with a fellow traveler who thinks he’s identified the leading actors in the space-time continuum.

Photography highlights include an interview with French photographer Pierre Corratge. Corratge practiced medicine for 30 years before turning his energies full time to the camera. Find opposite points of view in interviews and galleries from DJ Pierce and Dennis Maitland; and, find out what ticks in “the Photo Editor’s Choice,” selections by Chuck Haupt with “the story” behind each piece from the photographers.

* On the Humorous side, read what Mark Levy in Casual Observer has to say about “Bobs”, and be bitten by the satire of Galanty Miller‘s re-Tweets.

* Did someone say “Music“? If you’ve been following our friend Jeff Katz‘s articles, you know he has wide-ranging tastes and angles. This issue he sets up a bunch of friends to go toe-to-toe on “Beach Boys vs Beatles,” while Fred Roberts puts into words the rapture he felt listening to singer-songwriter Maia Vidal in a Barcelona bistro.

* Finally, a visit to Haiti to teach batik takes Jonathan and Beth Evans to Gonaives. There the travelers find themselves face-to-face with a culture unlike any other, as they bring their art to a community where it just might take root and grow.

 

 

 Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes

____________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter:

Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Good god, we even  tweet: ragazinecc

 __________________________

Welcome

Volume 8, Number 3, May-June 2012

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Real Dreams

I’ve had some strange dreams lately, and not a few had to do with Ragazine. Indirectly, of course, but somewhere in those thoughts, twisted like brambles in a centurion hedge, the trail led back to the Rag. Because that’s where the creativity is. Look at the work represented in these cyberpages, most obviously, perhaps, the Art and Photography, because for those of us with eyes that can see, the visuals are an immediate challenge to fathom, if not believe. The Poetry, the Fiction, the Creative Nonfiction, Music Reviews, Political Commentary and other literary bytes are harder to comprehend; they have to be taken in word by word, line by line, page by page. Only by diving deeper into the heart of these ideas can one hope to grasp their meanings. Reading, however, takes time and concentration, two things too often in short supply. We trust this issue of Ragazine will awaken your inner self, derail the Daily You long enough for the Real You to resurface — without a slap in the head from Larry, Curly or Moe.

* * *

Art-heavy, we are, and internationally so. Briton John Tierney‘s paintings have been likened to David Hockney and Edward Hopper, but he retains his own unique style in bringing scenes to life on canvas. In an interview, the retired criminology professor discusses his work,  ”nature vs nurture,” and whether he would  travel the same road the same way again.

“Three Hot Brazilian Artists” – Priscila De CarvalhoDuda Penteado and Gersony Silva – are introduced to Ragazine readers in an article by Dr. Jose Rodeiro that includes galleries showcasing the work of each. The artists and the article’s author have been instrumental in promoting WE ARE YOU Project International, furthering the cause of equal rights and immigration reform as it affects the growing Latino community in the United States (http://old.ragazine.cc/2012/04/we-are-you-project/).

Canadian Xavier Landry savages contemporary society with the same sharp wit as Lenny Bruce, only on canvas. In an interview, Landry explains how current events, fast food and historical personages figure into his world of Cabbage Patch Kids grown-up. Perhaps as fitting to say, “What Alice didn’t find when she fell down the rabbit hole….”

Danish-American artist Hanne H7L‘s surrealist imagery will teach you not to crack your knuckles. In an interview, H7L talks about her methods, her vision —  including the complex layering of photographic images in ghostly procession – and her artistic influences, among them Henry Buhl and Yoko Ono.

The curative power of art is found in an article from Rose Robin about the recently popularized Mexican fishing village of La Paz, Mexico. Development in La Paz has displaced many of the original residents. Robin organized Painting Pirates to give impoverished children a positive outlet in otherwise bleak lives, imbuing them and their families with hope for better days ahead.

Rounding out the this issue’s art assemblage is the work of Tuten Hiromi Sakurai, aka Tuten, whose vibrant expressionist paintings resonate wildly, at the same time they break with what we in the West might see as Japanese painting tradition.

Poetry editor Emily Vogel has selected the work of five poets for this issue:  Monique Gagnon German, Kathleen Keough, George Moore, Juan Soler and Barbara Sue Mink Spalding. Great coincidence that with so much poetry as National Poetry Month winds down, we’re also showcasing an Anti-Poetry-Month essay by Charles Bernstein on the News & Haps page. It’s a good bet this essay will appear yearly in April (somewhere) as surely as a letter to Virginia appears on editorial pages in newspapers across America at Christmas time.

Creative nonfiction editor Leslie Heywood brings to the fore thoughtful stories by Carol Sanford and Alexis Paige that explore finding the perfect “Now” in the perceived wilderness of rural America. Fiction from Beth Couture traces the path of curious girls and the risk one of them takes that carelessly puts a man’s life on the line. Fiction editorMetta Sama comments, “Hot damn! This is a great story. Creepy. Desperate. Sad. Honest. Familiar. Reminds me, in parts, of the wickedness Alice Munroe can write out.”

In our regular features, Politics editor Jim Palombo, who spent the winter in San Miguel Allende, points to environmental concerns that should be forefront (even if they’re not) at the upcoming G20 meeting in Mexico. Music editor and Cooperstown’s new mayor Jeff Katz reviews Blue CheerCWB and Bruce Springsteen’s  Wrecking Ball.  Casual Observer Mark Levy  returns with a positive take on getting older… sage advice on saving from a new Floridian. Welcome to illustrator Nadja Asghar, whose work appears as one of our rotating headers, and ‘inside’. Last but not least by any means, as you can see when you browse our pages, Photo editor Chuck Haupt has selected five memorable images with photographer statements for this issue’s the PHOTOGRAPHY Spot.

Ragazine.CC. Miss it and miss out.

Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes

________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter:

Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

ADVERTISE WITH US!
CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

_______________________________

 

Volume 8, Number 2, March-April 2012

 


Party On

Let’s hope the worst is over with the GOP Presidential primaries. This is not a political statement. Just the sad fact that so much money is being wasted by also-rans. They’d likely win more votes by contributing the millions they receive in SuperPAC money to help satisfy global needs for food, clothing, education, shelter and medicine. Instead, in the relentless pursuit of a seat at the table with Really Big Poobas, the most resilient candidates settle for a sustained diet of rubber chicken dinners, the style and class of sweater vests, and vain efforts to seat themselves a little closer to their makers, both in heaven and on earth. Why are these losers still in the race? What did Newt do for that special someone in his life to contribute millions to a campaign going nowhere? What will happen to the treasure chests when the dust settles and it’s time to regroup until the next campaign? Go into treasury funds?

It’s a sad day for America when “freedom for all” gives way to parochial interests. But that’s what 2012 is shaping up to be. Now on to more satisfying things.

There’s a load of great stuff in this issue of Ragazine, including much better fiction than I offer, from professor and artist Steve Poleski;  creative nonfiction from Jennie Case exploring community gardens; the inimitable cityscapes in the photography of Martin Stavars; and an incredible look into Mumbai’s dhobhi ghat from Adeel Halim, street photographer extraordinaire, whose photograph of Mumbai’s open laundry tops the Welcome page .

Politics Editor Jim Palombo takes a more serious and encompassing look at the political scene in his “Primer to the Primaries – and Beyond.” With a clarifying review difficult to locate anywhere, Jim presents political, economic and social considerations which in turn affect concerns around the globe. This unusual piece will definitely speak to bettering your ideological acumen, which in these turbulent times, is something to be looking towards.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the death of author John GardnerJoel Gardner discusses his father’s work with contributing editor John Smelcer.  Poetry offerings include work from Claudia SereaAlan BrittCarol DineEvan Hansen, and poems from 14-year-old Carly Gove. We round things out with a meditation jointly composed by Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso and Smelcer, and illustrated by Micah Farritor.

Music editor Jeff Katz offers his usual eclectic mix of reviews and opinion turning his practiced eye on the Avett Brothers, the classics of the Jet Set, and his own favorite first tracks of debut albums.

Tara Dervla deconstructs the painting Hips Don’t Lie, from José Rodeiro, art professor at New Jersey City University;  contributing editor Miklós Horváth interviews the worldly performance and visual artist Murray Gaylard; and John Kelly exalts in The Art Museum, a recent release from Phaidon publishing. Indigenous art lovers will appreciate Images from Injalak, a project of the indigenous people of Australia working with Melbourne-based artist and printmaker Andrew Sinclair, with an informed introduction by Marguerite Brown, exhibition curator.

I can’t think of a better way to slide into spring and away from the cacophony of current events than to spend a little more time with us than usual. As for those of you in Southern Hemispheric temperate climes, it’s time for tea and honey.

Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes

_________________________________

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

_______________________________

Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.

__________________________________

Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

___________________________

Volume 8, Number 1, January-February 2012

 

Reader’s Challenge Issue

Fun Food For Thought

Civil society in America is evolving faster than anywhere else in the world. The Middle East, China, Africa, South America will catch up and possibly surpass us well before the end of this century in total economic output, but by then the rules of civil society will have changed dramatically. The economic and even political rules America and the world play by today have roots in the 19th Century. The developing world is doing what we have been doing for 150 years or more, and in some ways doing it better. But better is not going to be good enough. By the time the developing nations catch up, one would hope we will have further evolved into a society that breaks down barriers between humanity, technology and bureaucracy so that corporations — as governments — no longer are regarded as “persons”, but as constructs devised by people to realize human goals — and nothing more.

We hear a lot of complaints these days about what people don’t get in the way of intellectual stimulation from newspapers, magazines, or  television news shows.  “You give us twenty-two minutes and we’ll give you the world,” proclaims the most listened to station in the nation, and that’s great when you’re driving to work in the morning, but not if you want to begin to understand  the “Whys” and “Hows” behind the “Whats”.   Happily, and in a completely random fashion, this issue of Ragazine.CC brings together a banquet of food for thought about relational changes taking place in the biosphere.  We call it the “Reader’s Challenge Issue,” because you’re going to have to read a lot — and think about it —  to see how it all fits together.

A good starting point would be Eleanor Goldfield‘s article about the “Move to Amend” effort in Los Angeles that resolves that corporations should not enjoy “personhood”. Follow that with Scott “Galanty” Miller‘s piece based on his sociology class lectures − a discourse on how corporations, the internet, and technology in general, drain the individual of empathy, sympathy and, in turn, humanity, turning them, he laments, into “F**king A**holes”.

After these, you might want to dive into politics editor Jim Palombo‘s follow-up report on his visit as Ragazine envoy to the Rhodes Forum in Rhodes, Greece, where delegates from around the globe shared their world views on political, economic and social issues of the day. Jim also weighs in the OWS crowd. Not enough? Flay yourself further reading a moderated interview by Rosebud Magazine publisher and Binghamton University professor John Smelcer with Donald Pease, of Dartmouth University, and Robyn Wiegman of Duke University, as they discuss the present state and direction of American Studies.

Garnish this with dynamic portfolios from photographer Olaf Heine; the surrealistic comic bookish fine art of Fernando “Pulpo” Hereñu; fiction from Ann Bogle; Bengali poetry in the original and in translation from Masud Khan; poems by American poets Gail Fishman, Gillian Brall, Myron Ernst and Dwyer Jones; music reviewer Jeff Katz‘s annual TOP TEN Not-All-New picks from 2011; Mark Levy‘s “Casual Observer,” and more.

Just look inside to find it.

Thanks for reading!

− Mike Foldes

_________________________________

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

_____________________________

Volume 7 Number 6, Nov-Dec 2011

Welcome

Mr. Hyde, Dale Grimshaw

Occupying Wall Street

(This is not a potlatch)

The periodic redistribution of wealth by some Northwest Coast native American tribes is a great example of what was done at one time to ensure that everyone got an equal chance at a better life. Those “who have” were called upon to give much of it away. The same was expected of others in following years,  as they managed to amass material wealth. The honors went to those who gave away the most. What one accumulated was shared, a reminder we share the earth.  It was called potlatch.

The 99% sitting in at Zuccotti Park are not asking that the 1% give everything away; they’re asking for long-overdue reform of what is euphemistically called a profession, but which in Christ’s time would have been called something worse than “money changer”. It’s one thing to invest one’s own drachma in a venture, on-going or new, and another to skim the cream then spill the milk. That mark of greed coating the lip of the fat cats is a slap in the face to anyone who’s lost a job in the last five years, or who just graduated from college and can’t find one, or who’s working two or three jobs to make ends meet, where one used to be more than enough.

It’s too late to say that if all the money spent in the past ten years on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and misspent by investment banks and brokerages on Wall Street and other financial centers around the world, were invested more wisely in education, health care, infrastructure and the humanities, we wouldn’t be living in this sad state of affairs. And it hasn’t stopped, as shown by recent charges against former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, who allegedly bled MF Global of hundreds of millions of investors’ dollars. Since we are against the wall, it’s up to us — and the 1% in power who have a conscience — to help clean up the mess. Not the petty mess some point to as the “fault” of a group of urban campers, but the mess the financial and political ruling classes made tripping over themselves to feed at the brimming Wall Street trough. Photos from Occupy Wall Street appear here:  http://old.ragazine.cc/hot-shots/ ‎

* * *

We’ve got another astounding issue covering subjects and events as diverse as the work of Dale Grimshaw, whose painting “Mr. Hyde” is the cover of this issue, to the overlooked beauty of the Pakistani countryside in a travel piece by Zaira R. Sheikh, to the photography and haiku of Sean Lotman.  If you like poetry, you’ll love the work of the five other poets in this issue, Lyn Lifshin, Bianca StoneEsta Fischer, Pamela Uschuk and Ann E. Michael. In the realm of creative nonfiction, Joe Weil writes of “Fishing in a Filthy River,” and its undertow of memories, while Kimberly Dark recounts her unique acquaintance with Greybeard, a down-to-earth neighbor in Hawaii.

Music editor Jeff Katz recounts the “Sad Journey of Gene Clark”; Beth Timmins, resident writer with Giffords Circus, gives a peek under skirt of the Big Top;  Mark Levy, back after taking a break during which he moved to Boynton Beach, Florida, from Binghamton, New York, delivers his “Casual Observer” column, and his “Feeding the Starving Artist” pro bono legal series with a look at the new Patent and Trademark law.

Politics editor Jim Palombo gives an overview of his preparations for the annual Rhodes Conference in Rhodes, Greece. Jim, as an envoy from Ragazine, was one of only a few Americans at the event, which he plans to report on in our January issue.

Maile Colbert‘s “Letter to the Editor” ponders capital punishment with subtle eloquence; Sridala Swami’s short short stories will stay with you much longer than the time it takes to read them. And don’t miss Anthony Haden-Guest’s cartoon panel,  hidden somewhere in the gray matter within these e-pages. If you’re looking for something to do, check out the Events page for ideas about places and events where you’re likely to find like-minded Ragazine readers.

Thanks for reading… And thanks especially for passing it on!

— Mike Foldes

_________________________________

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

ADVERTISE WITH US!
CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free at last — But you can still contribute!

 

___________________________

WELCOME:

September-October 2011, Volume 7, Number 5

Big Apple Bites Back _ Walter Gurbo

Back to Basics

This issue’s cover art comes compliments of Walter Gurbo. If you were in New York back in the day, and read The Village Voice, you’ll remember Gurbo’s “Drawing Room”, superb panels of surrealistic images surrounded by sexed-up ads on the tabloid’s back cover. Always new. Always sure to stretch the imagination beyond the bounds of decorum. See for yourself in our recap of July’s retrospective at the Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton, New York.

Politics editor Jim Palombo interviews singer-songwriter Eleanor Goldfield, founder and lead singer in the band Rooftop Revolutionaries. Palombo explores and Goldfield explains with refreshing intellect how she reconciles making money and making change in a convulsing world.

John Smelcer offers an intriguing memoir of his acquaintance with Britain’s then poet laureate, Ted Hughes, and a subsequent friendship with Hughes’ and Sylvia Plath’s son,Nick. Smelcer includes a poem co-written by him and Ted Hughes as a bar “game” more enduring than darts.

Don Ruben, lawyer and long-time friend of Ragazine, interviews Drug Policy Alliance’s Tamar Todd on obstacles to legalizing medical marijuana nationwide, including conflicts with federal law in states that have already legalized it, and President Obama’s failure to follow through on pre-election hints he would work to decriminalize the herb.

Adding food for thought to the article on DPA, we’re pleased to offer the first of four panels contributed to Ragazine by noted author and cartoonist Anthony Haden-Guest.Subsequent panels will appear in the next few issues, where you will find them strategically placed to challenge your senses of self and humor.

Music editor Jeff Katz hooks up, so to speak, with Eilen Jewell, at the Oneonta Theater in Oneonta, New York, where the “turbocharged kewpie doll” and her band played in August to a country-loving crowd.

Welcome – in some cases, welcome back – to poets Hal SirowitzJohn Richard Smith,Laura Close; to poet-photographer Jeanpaul Ferro,  short fiction author Carlo Matos, and collage artist Joseph Bowman.  And if you have a few minutes more, check out the books and reviews, and Zaira Rahman’s Islamabad tripper’s diary.  Special thanks to Hala Salah Eldin Hussein who filed a story on the situation “on the ground” in Cairo, Egypt, that posted in mid-August.

Kudos to the editors and contributors who help bring Ragazine to the stage every couple of months,  and to the thousands of readers who give us the motivation to labor on again and again, year after year… We trust you’ll find plenty to enjoy!

Thanks for passing it on.

– Mike Foldes

 

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
 
________________________________________

Welcome: July-August 2011, Vol. 7 No. 4

 

From the 9/11 obsessions of Ultra Violet

The Good, the Bad …

and the Way It Is
Who can forget Nine Eleven? It carries the same tune as Sarajevo did for the generation that lived through World War I, and as Pearl Harbor did for the generation that fought and lived through World War II. It’s historical significance as the start of the War on Terrorism is established, but the lessons learned are indeterminate. The recent art of Ultra Violet explores the cause and effect of Nine Eleven in a variety of media from drawings, to prints, paintings and sculptures. It’s serendipitous that our interview with Ultra is running in this issue, even as the 10th Anniversary of Nine Eleven looms. And ironic that one of the icons of the aesthetic nihilism endemic in the New York City art scene of the Sixties and Seventies is now among those who lead the chorus calling for acceptance and understanding from both sides of a widening gulf between the Ancient and Modern worlds, to help ensure nothing like Nine Eleven ever happens again.
Moving right along …
We think you’ll find this issue of Ragazine especially challenging throughout. Rebecca Young finds out for herself and shares with all, what goes into the factory-like food chain that puts meat and potatoes on the table at a price almost everyone in America can afford — but at what cost?
Join noted author Cris Mazza and interviewer Kristin Thiel as they discuss Mazza’s writing and her recently published book, “Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls,” a woman’s disturbing trek along a path of sexual abuse, and her attempt to climb out of the psychological hole it puts her into.
Artist Shawn Huckins explains in an interview the motivation behind his “Revolution Revolution … ” series, which we think you’ll find surrealistically amusing. Hungarian writer Miklòs Horvàth comments on the recent Gauguin exhibit at the Tate Modern in London, with an examination of why his art was not as well received in Belgium in 1889 as it is today. What a difference a century makes!
Rounding out the art bubble, in a somewhat unusual fashion, Leon Tan in our Politics section brings to the table the ongoing political and legal debate over “Darfunica,”  a painting by Nadia Plesner on the order of Picasso’s infamous “Guernica” that challenges the complacency of the civilized world in the face of constant depredation in the widely ignored African nation, Darfur. Louis Vuitton found it so offensive they instituted a lawsuit against its content.
On the literary front, we’re pleased to have the poetry of Jennifer Diskin, D. Alexander Mosner and Charlotte Lowe; an amusing “mystery” from Pedro Ponce; a short short story of awakening by Racquel Goodison, and our regulars are back: Jeff Katz’s top ten failed musical partnerships, and reviews of Bowl Soup and Vol. 2 of The Baseball Project; Mark Levy reflects on the simplicity of life in the Amazon, and he and Nick Andreadis look YouTube in the face.
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated. You’ll need to sign in to comment, but don’t let that stop you! And if you like what you find, please let your friends know we’re here. Lots of Summer Reading “Inside”.
Thanks for reading.
— Mike Foldes
 

_________________________________

 

Welcome: May-June 2011, Vol. 7 No. 3

………………………………………………


Sometimes,
the less said, the better. Tempting it is to let the statement stand alone. But that would would be to overlook the hard work and contributions so many people have made along the way to get us to this May-June issue of Ragazine, and the start of the summer reading season. With that in mind, take us to the beach on your e-reader, tablet or laptop…

On the docket this time around:
  • An interview with NYC artist Karen Gunderson and a gallery of her black paintings;
    the photography of Slovenian photographer Janez Vlachy, whose photo is on this issue’s cover;
    an interview with veteran Hollywood Cartoonist Herb Moore, and an introduction to his new series, “Duffy MacTaggart, Scotland’s Greatest Golf Teacher”;
    A report from Pakistan by Zaira Rahman on the unsettling deaths and lynching of two boys in the wrong place at the wrong time, and their family’s quest for Justice;
    interviews with, and poetry from, acclaimed poets Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Lyn Lifshin, and additional poetry from Steve Oldford, Svea Barrett and Emily Kagan Trenchard;
    Chris Mackowski’s account of a winter trip to the barrens of his native Maine;
    fiction by John Palen and Eric Bennett;
    a video trailer for a film by Eliane Lima, and a profile of the filmmaker;
    and, all the regular sections: Music comment and reviews by Jeff Katz; free legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” by Mark Levy, who also writes “Casual Observer”; the value of education in “Politics”, from editor Jim Palombo and contributor Frank Gaydos; and more…
We trust that lineup will float your boat, whatever shining sea you’re in. Enjoy!
And thanks for reading.
– Mike Foldes
 

_________________

 

Welcome

 

Volume 7, No. 2.5

April 2011

© Guenter Knop

What in the World …

Earthquakes, tsunamis, meltdowns, no-fly zones … you’d think the world would be a better place, but hard as we try, there’s always something standing in the way.

Perhaps that’s why the articles in this interim issue of Ragazine, our first attempt after seven years of bi-monthly issues to produce a monthly, are as divergent as they are — our attempt to bring things together in the face of greater odds. And, as interesting (yeah, we know, that’s subjective. So here’s the Challenge: Read on, and decide for yourself).

Here’s what we’ve got: A street-level, local report from Egypt covering not menacing tanks or burning cars, but graffiti on the walls of Cairorecounting the effort and pronouncing the people’s victory over tyranny (Hala Salah Eldin Hussein); a Pakistani reviewer’s take on Dobi Ghat, a Bollywood indie film that took honors in film fests around the world for its look at the effects of caste on four main characters (Zaira Rahman); poetry by Martin Willitts, Jr.; Land Art installation by an American artist (Jody Joyner) working on the grounds ofSoekershof, a botanical paradise in southwest South Africa; life studies of women by a German-born artist (Guenter Knop) who makes his home in New York City; the translation of an excerpt from aRomanian novel, along with the original language text (Daniel Dragomirescu); an interview with the Alaskan writer some have called “a  modern-day Jack London” (John Smelcer); an interview with photographer Michael Eastman, whose unmatched images of Havana capture the color and life of the city and its history (as he does all of his subjects) with surreal accuracy; a look at Ghanathrough the eyes of two travelers (Roscoe Betsill & Steven Keith) who came back to the States with a far different understanding of the country than they went away with.

Speaking of understanding: An American ex-pat group is forming in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, to educate Americans in particular to what their real place is in this world…. Talk about an uphill climb.

As if that’s not enough, reach inside for Jeff Katz’s remembrance of singer/songwriter Marvin Gaye; book reviews; the foodie’s Kitchen Caravan; and thePHOTOGRAPHYspots (Albert Dorsa/translation page & Chuck Haupt/politics page).

Comments, by the way, are much appreciated. Don’t be shy. Let us have it, good, bad or indifferent. We thrive on feedback. And please, ”Pass it on ….”

Thanks for reading!

— MRF

 

 

_______________________________

Welcome

 

Volume 7, No. 2

February-March, 2011

“The Millinery Studio”, Acrylic on canvas, 14″ x 20″, 2010

Amy Kollar Anderson

_____________________________________________________

So much to see, so little time …

Science Fiction turned to fact in February when an IBM supercomputer named “Watson”visited upon earth, defeating two heralded champions in a “Jeopardy” smack down decades in the making. We’re not running an article on this noteworthy event, but it says here Watson, named after the company’s founder Thomas J. Watson, will be among the finalists (if not the Chosen One) in Time‘s Person of the Year award selection come December. What makes this all the more special, in a way, is that Ragazine publishes from the Greater Binghamton area of Upstate New York — home of IBM (aka, International Business Machines), and once the stomping grounds of “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling. The area always has been culturally and socially influenced by a mixture of science fantasy and fiction. You might say, we’ll believe anything, even that a tsunami of peaceful revolution could irrigate the monarchies and dictatorships of the Arab world, re-making it as a cradle of shared prosperity and humanistic reason. So, let it be known, “Another King is dead. All hail the Thing.”

Of course, there comes a time in everyone’s life when a little fantasy will do you good. Sometimes even better. Fortunately for us, the talented Amy Kollar Anderson came to the rescue, as you’ll see from a thorough look at her work in the galleries embedded in these pages. And for those of you with short attention spans, check out Amy’s captivating time-lapse video that condenses 50 hours of painting into  less than three minutes, backed by the music of Dayton, Ohio, super-group Ape the Ghost.

The horizon doesn’t end there. Check out Ellen Janten‘s photographic essay “Losing Reality; Reality of Loss — 2011”, an exploration of the diaphanous layers between the free-standing worlds that separate life and memory. Internationally recognized architect and artist, Michael Jantzen, Ellen’s husband and model for many of the images in her work, shares his visions for The Sounds of the Sun Pavilion, a curvilinear approach to sustainable living in which solar energy powers a community where there’s literally music in the air.

Other visual delights include the work of John Dobbs, whose recent show at ACA Galleries in New York City closed in February, but you can get a taste of it here. Elizabeth Cohen returned from a recent trip to Gallup, New Mexico, with a packet of cell-phone photos, and an accompanying essay about an Old West indulged by sentiment and confused by age. If you can accept there is sometimes poetry in the subtlety of photographs, see Ida Musemic‘s images that appear following John F. Buckley‘s poem. And don’t be surprised if you find a few more images bringing color to otherwise gray pages in thePHOTOGRAPHYspot, strategically placed by photo editor Chuck Haupt.

Literary complements include short fiction by Ian Williams; an excerpt from R. J. Dent‘s recently published translation (with the French original) of  The Songs of Maldoror, fittingly accompanied by an other-worldly portrait of Salvador Dali by contributing photographer Valerie Brown; and poetry from some of the best emerging and established poets working today, including Buckley, Ann Clark, Micah Towery, Katie Hogan and Florence Weinberger.

Music editor Jeff Katz takes a look at the documentary “LennonNYC”, and sings praises for the library of great releases from Sundazed Music. And while you’re online, have a look at Jeff’s site, “Maybe Baby….”

Politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Professor Randall Sheldenexamine the escalation of force used in the ongoing, increasingly costly (in both lives and money) drug war between the United States and Mexico, leaving even the most jaded among us to question, “Is it worth the price?”

In Feeding the Starving ArtistMark Levy, an intellectual property lawyer, providespro bono advice for wedding and events photographers to protect themselves and their clients against one another, and sometimes even from the guests. Levy, also Ragazine’s Casual Observer, offers his take on moving up to modern appliances — he’d take a washing machine over a washboard anytime.

If you, or someone you know, has work that will fit Ragazine’s eclectic collection of creative content, see and share our submission guidelines. We’re always looking for new artists, illustrators, writers, musicians, poets, travelers, thinkers and others, to collaborate with. It’s a great way to know, and get to know… Likewise, if you have events you’d like to publicize, share the news by adding a comment on the Events page. Keep it short and sweet: Time, Date, Place, Description, Contact Info; nothing more than 45 days in advance, please. As always, Comments are welcome on any or all of our pages; shed a little light while we stumble around in editorial darkness.

For those of us up North, Spring is on the way. For you south of the Equator, well, good luck with that, too!

Thanks for reading.

— MRF

_______________________________

Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.

Advertise with us!
Contact: info@ragazine.cc

 

 

_______________________________

Welcome

Volume 7, No. 1

 
January 2011
 

…………………………………………………………………

Dancing with Dragons

Putting out a magazine is like dancing with dragons and letting go genies…. You struggle to pull things together without knowing what kind of animal you’ll deliver until the things – the issues — are out of the bottle. We’re doing our best to see that what you take the time to look at and read in Ragazine will add something measurably more memorable to your day than the daily dose of dumbed down pablum delivered by mainstream media to a mind-numbed populous.  Let us know if it’s not and we’ll kick ourselves in the shins, scream “Sakai,” and pay homage to the gods of wind feces (snow), until we get it right.

For those of you ready to dive in now, there’s plenty to break your fall:

The Ragazine cover this month is contributed by New York photographer Gabrielle Revere, whose work reveals the youth and beauty of a new generation. An interview with Revere shows she’s well aware not everyone in the world is so lucky. Our associated galleries include shots from her documentary series, “I only have eyes for you,” which captures the ice-cold irony of the beauty of children living in the midst of oft-neglected poverty.

Photographer Josephine Close explores the world of the psyche in the shadows, a journey into what lies within and beyond the visual field one sees through the camera’s eye, what evolves in the darkroom (or on the computer), and comes to life in the print. Close, in her own words, undertakes the pursuit in “… seeking to illuminate the magic in my life.”

On other fronts: A surreal love story from Stephen O’Connor/Fiction; Michael Parish’s Vignettes/Creative Nonfiction,, which CNF editor Leslie Heywood describes as a “series of vignettes on our strange contemporary relationship with the natural world.  There’s the poetry of John F. Buckley, Anne Babson and John Richard Smith; Jeff Katz’s unusually broad Top Ten music picks of 2010; Mark Levy’s eye on life as theCasual Observer, and his pro bono legal advice column for creative types in Feeding the Starving Artist.

From deep in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel Allende to be exact, politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Horace Whittlesey comment on the effects of modern day prohibition and the unfulfilled promise of California’s recently defeated Proposition 19.

There’s more, of course, including illustrations, book reviews, a couple of events that caught our eyes, and more. … Such As —

WATER:

Water, from Cecelia Chapman’s Video series

This is the first video we’ve run in Ragazine, but we’ll have more, soon. We are looking for original short videos (approx. 2 minutes) that have not been posted elsewhere, but we’ll sometimes take them if they have. They’ll run in a window on Ragazine, without redirects to other sites, but we will include the videographer’s site references with the piece. E-mail to editor@ragazine.cc, as attachments, with a still from the video.

So, while we close out 2010 dancing with dragons, and let the genie out of the bottle with VOLUME 7 Number 1, we wish you a healthy and progressive new year.

As always, thanks for reading.

— Mike Foldes

Shop the Ragazine store: http://old.ragazine.cc/support-ragazine/

 

 

_______________________________

Welcome

 

Volume 6, No. 6

November-December 2010

©Aline Smithson

Arrangement #3

Aline Smithson: The Photographer’s Mother

……….

The Art of Being Modern

Hello, again. Thanks for coming back. We know it’s not easy to take a few minutes out of a busy day for an “arts’ breather,’ but we’re glad you did.
The beauty of the web is also the spider at its center, that being people’s ability to spin whatever yarn they like and put it out in cyberspace. Everybody gets a shot. It used to be there were so few people with sites that it was a small community, many of whom knew one another, often righteously so. That community has grown so that now we’re not just a city, not just a nation, and each site has become one in a million. Or more likely, one in a few hundred million. The web, like the universe, is expanding exponentially, and it’s our challenge to keep up.
The New York Times newspaper is a great example of meeting that challenge. The gray lady may not be at her best these days, circulation and advertising revenue-wise, but she hasn’t lost her touch with news, features, reviews, opinion and leading edge journalism. Say what you want, but take a Sunday morning and afternoon off to read the Times cover to cover (if you can) and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t just take it for granted, because of the paper’s reputation, or because it’s been quoted from or talked about in news and movies since you were two. Read it once cover to cover and deny you’re less of a person than you were hours before when you picked it up — all two or three kilograms! (Sorry, tree people.)
I used to work for a newspaper conglomerate that published News Lite. The managers of the empire knew that busy people didn’t have time, and many didn’t have the interest — to read anything “in depth”. And in order to deliver bite-sized morsels of information people could digest, they peeled the onion until there was little left to eat. Reading theTimes on Sunday is like going to a farmer’s market in September. Two-page spreads on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who too few Americans really know about, and fewer understand. Interviews with Centenarians who too often are passed over in favor of attention to youth culture. Articles on youth and growing up in America, the cost of education, and the more exorbitant costs of not having it. Political coverage by international correspondents who live and work close to the ground they cover. And, of course, so much more.No paper, of course, is perfect, and I’m in no position to tear wings from the dragon. But so much of what we see and hear on the web these days is a mirror of what the least-common-denominator print publishing offerings give us, that it’s a blessing the Times is still with us — and a sad fact of life that so many other great papers have died, not all of them with their boots on.
This issue of Ragazine has a lot to offer, too. We’re not just a Sunday read; we’re here two months at a time, and it’s OK to come back — again and again, we hope — until you’ve read us “cover to cover”.  Poetry, art, interviews, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, music, reviews, travel and more, from around the world.

November-December 2010 brings you the photographic series by Aline Smithson, taken of her mother in a variety of poses, including the one at the top of this page; poems by Hannah Greenberg; Farsi poetry by ex-pat Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei in the original and in translation by Abol Froushan; an interview with Belgian-American artist Amy Swartelé; fiction by Paul Lisicky and Sarah Sarai; music columns byJeff Katz; a take on illegal immigration by politics editor Jim Palombo and guest writer Robert Murray Davis; a story of reconciliation with the harsh reality of a child’s death in creative non-fiction by James Benton; the Casual Observer followed byScott Hardin’s pane;our legal advice column for creative types, Feeding the Starving Artist; and, from Colorado, Art & About, where Jonathan Evans explores a bit of the blues.

There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to find it. And again, thanks for reading!

– MRF

 

 

_____________________________________

Welcome

Volume 6, No. 5

September-October 2010


©Albert Watson

Taking the best shot yet

Welcome to another killer issue of ragazine.cc.

Photographer Albert Watson,  in an interview at his NYC studio, discusses aspects of his craft, the evolution of his career, the equipment he uses to produce his prints, and more.  Referred to byPhoto District News as “one of the most influential photographers of all time,” Watson generously allowed ragazine.cc to reprint an extensive portfolio of images, many of which you’ll no doubt recognize from the covers and pages of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Harper’s Bazaar.  Showing no sign of slowing down, Watson has two book collections coming out this fall from PQ Blackwell publishing company, a solo show in Chelsea opening in October, and more than one project in the works.

Sara Ellison Lewis tells what it’s like for her to be a photo stylist in New York. Brookly-based sculptor Miya Ando explains what it means to her “to do good” in the world, a task that merely begins with making art. The cast and crew at Spool MFG, a gallery-performance space in Johnson City, New York, share part of their group’s latest production,Ampersand, a collage-like assemblage of history, poetry and art.

In Music, Jeff Katz reviews the latest musical offering from Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and looks back on 30 years of Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony“. Jonathan Evansremembers Bob Marley a full 19 years after the reggae legend’s death. And, in Politics, San Miguel Allende, Mexico-based writer Lou Christine recounts his impressions of a 2007 trip to Havana that ring true even today.

On the literary front, there’s the Poetry of Emily Vogel, Tony Gruenewald, J.P. Smelcer and Rob Mustard; the Creative Non Fiction (CNF) of Marissa Fielstein, Fiction from  Mira Martin Parker and Jessie Carty; a book review of  Ted Greenwald’s 2008 volume “3″ by Kayleigh Wanzer, and the wry commentary of our Casual Observer Mark Levy. Levy also weighs in this month withShaun Vavra, offering legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” — “Wait, Wasn’t That My Substantially Similar Idea?”

Rounding things out is the new strip from editorial cartoonist Jeff Hardin, whose first appearance in ragazine.cc anchors the Casual Observer.

If all that’s not funky enough for you, we’ll just have to keep trying.

— MRF

 

 

Thanks for reading!

August 26, 2014   No Comments

On Location/India’s Art Boom

thukral2

Thukral & Tagra, Science, Mystery and Magic II (superman), 2011

………………………………………………………………………………………………… 

* * * * *

India’s Art Rising Again

It took two decades, individual initiatives, and an art market boom for Indian contemporary art to finally find its place in the sun. 

 by Shreya Ray

On the southern edge of New Delhi lies the satellite city of Gurgaon. Once a mass of agricultural land (gaon means village in Hindi), and now the country’s third-richest city, the story of Gurgaon encapsulates several other stories.  It tells for instance, of the transformation of a stuttering socialist economy to ‘Asian tiger’; the mall-studded utopia alongside sprawl of slums, telltale to India’s rising inequalities. Gurgaon is the story of decentralization – no longer does power and privilege reside only within the inherited bungalows of central and south Delhi, the noveau riche can buy his way into Gurgaon’s glitzy high-rises. Gurgaon is the story of the outsider who made it big.

Gurgaon echoes the journey of contemporary art. Once confined and crumbling in the city’s power and thukral1geographical centre — the culture ministries, fine-art centric art academies – art found new language and resurrection only in the city’s far reaches. With success, came status and the art that was once in the margins, was now in the spotlight.

Fittingly, Gurgaon is home to some of the biggest entities of contemporary Indian art – the country’s first contemporary art museum, and some of its biggest stars. One such entity is GurgaonOne, a towering structure positioned between Old Gurgaon Road – the rundown rustic ancestor to Gurgaon — and Maruti Udyog, the factory of Suzuki, the Japanese car manufacturer that came to India in the early ’90s. Dusty on the outside, and shiny on the inside, this architectural edifice of New India, is also the “office-cum-thinking space” of artist duo Thukral and Tagra, the youngest artists to have taken the world of Indian contemporary art by storm.

Dressed in fitted suits – one all-purple and one white with Jodhpur trousers – Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra reflect on how the position of their building says so much about their art, and indeed the current state of Indian contemporary reality. “The references to pre-liberalised India, the Maruti Suzuki showroom (which represents the start of a new era in the country), and the plush building itself, is the perfect place for us,” says Tagra, through his trademark gold-rimmed glasses.

The office interiors are similarly balanced between this old, changing, and changed India: subtle grey walls, venetian blinds, and wooden flooring, adorned by colourful and quirky artwork by the duo: there’s a wry comment on India’s population problem, tiny cell-phones – a reminder of jet-setting urban India — etched on the wooden floors. When you sit down, you are greeted by the good old Indian beverage: the milky, light brown chai.

It’s been a busy last week for the duo – first an opening of their exhibition ‘Longing for Tomorrow’ at the residence of the German Ambassador in Delhi, followed by a family function in his hometown of Jallandhar, for Thukral. “The two evenings were such contrasting affairs – in one we were being celebrated, in the other, I was asked by an uncle what I did. I’m an artist, I said. “But how do you earn an income?” said my uncle.

 

 

Last seen, Thukral & Tagra exhibited at the India Today show at Arken Museum in Copenhagen, and before that Centre Pompidou in Paris, Mori Museum in Tokyo, Kennedy Centre in Washington, as well as the Basel Art Fair in 2012. But instead of being offended by his uncle’s question, Thukral recounts the episode with a chuckle, for this innocuous query posed by his uncle, is an essential piece of the India puzzle, a key concern in the work of Thukral and Tagra. Constantly tapping into the interplay between old and new, and the constantly changing definitions of India and Indian, is what informs the work of Thukral & Tagra.

In Longing for Tomorrow, for instance, they use the elitist brand of Meissen Porcelain from Germany trademarked with their brand of irreverence. They married the exquisite pieces of traditional German craftsmanship with Indian imagery with decidedly pop overtones. Every corner of the ambassador’s home has been “infected,” to borrow a word from the official event press release.

A few months ago, Arken Museum in Copenhagen had been similarly infected with their immersive installation. “Centred on the theme of migration, the entire gallery including carpets, chairs, artwork on the walls, pinball machines, and an iPad app were all playing on the notion of migration,” says Thukral. The traditional Punjabi motif of the ‘phulkari’ woven into the carpet mimicked the patterns of an aircraft carrier to evoke the scores of Indians from the Punjabi community migrating to foreign shores. “The entire gallery was a cross between a pinball arcade and an airplane machine,” says Tagra. The pinball, he says, stands simultaneously for, an antiquated machine, as well as young Indians, bouncing around the globe, constantly being pushed in different directions, be it tradition, modernity, religion, or family.

“Art is always a reflection of its times,” says artist Subodh Gupta. “Renaissance Art was evidence of that time. Similarly, the art of today is a representative of people’s lives, times, and artists work as a reaction to that life,” says Gupta, seated on the second floor of his massive studio in Gurgaon.

gupta

 

Subodh Gupta, Untitled (Pot), 2004, Oil on canvas; 168×229 cm

Gupta, one of the biggest names in contemporary art, pays homage to the life of ordinary India using everyday objects like kitchen utensils to form spectacular installations. The utensils remain a recurring ingredient in his works, referencing at once India’s changing economy, the link between rural and urban, (steel tiffin carriers are extremely popular in the takeaway lunch industry, herein also lies a comment on class dichotomy with the tiffin guys serving people in air-conditioned offices).

“These were objects our generation grew up on – now, hardly any kitchen features steel utensils, in fact in urban kitchens, steel utensils have made way for corel and china,” he says. “My work addresses the mundane, but the mundane is an important signifier of its times,” says Gupta, whose personal journey from Khagaul to Gurgaon, echoes that of contemporary art, from periphery to centre. Gupta’s works have flown off international auction shelves – Across Seven Seas sold in 2006 for Rs 4.5 crore, Sunday Lunch sold in 2008 for Rs 1.86 crore, Untitled, a sculpture of family on Vespa sold by Sotheby’s in 2007 for Rs 1.11 crore.

* (A crore is a unit in the Indian measuring system. A crore is represented by ONE followed by 7 zeroes, which is: 1,00,00,000. This translates to 10 Million.(10,000,000). [Wikipedia]. Thus, 1.11 crore/rupees is worth about $178,000.00 US.)

Historically Speaking

The year was 1999. Much before he became the name that people dropped, Subodh Gupta was a struggling young artist from Khagaul, Bihar, trying to make way in India’s capital. At a workshop for emerging artists in Modinagar, an industrial town on the outskirts of Delhi, Gupta did a performance piece. Smearing mud and cow-dung all over his naked body, he laid down on the ground. The work was reference to his childhood and identity as a Bihari; it was also as well a play on the ideas of pollution and purity — cow dung is considered sacred in Hindu religion and is ubiquitous to the rural Indian landscape (although in urban India — which has shaken off many of its traditions — it is hardly something you would smear on your body).

This was the second-ever workshop for the artist-led Khoj International Artists Association which Gupta, along with 10 colleagues – including artists Bharti Kher (also Gupta’s wife), Anita Dube, Manisha Parekh and curator, now Director, Pooja Sood – had founded in 1997.

The India of the 1990s was a very different place, says Sood. The country had just liberalized in 1991, and globalization, and its allies consumerism and communication were at nascent stages of development. The idea of art itself was very different. “Painting and sculpture were big; at a public debate, the noted painter Anjolie Ela Menon had dismissed the idea of installation art,” says Pooja Sood. “Encounters with international art were limited to exhibitions brought in by the cultural arms of foreign embassies or the Indian Council for Cultural Relations; opportunities to travel abroad came only via personal invitations or scholarships offered by the Inlaks Foundation and Charles Wallace Trust. Public museums were apathetic and the few commercial galleries that existed, extremely conservative. The spotlight was not on India. We felt ‘third world’, isolated, on the periphery,” says Sood, a few weeks after Khoj turned 15, in March 2013.

Khoj was set up as an “experimental art lab” — as founder member Anita Dube describes in the first Khoj khojcatalogue — a place where Indian artists began interacting, and where they could dialogue with artists from the sub-continent, and the rest of the globe. There was also special emphasis on establishing a dialogue amongst third-world artists. Some of Khoj’s earliest workshops had a Japanese artist Fuji Hiroshi spending a week cleaning a sewer to enable goldfish to live, the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera collecting the workshop’s used teabags to make comments on memory and history, or India’s Sheba Chhachhi resurrecting personal stories of abandoned mill workers in Modinagar;  Anita Dube’s work on human bones creating a crisis of belief for the Australian indigenous artist Fiona Foley, or the South African artist David Koloane’s paintings contrasting his experience with apartheid. “In these workshops, stereotypes were challenged and cultural differences pried open,” says Sood. The art historian Kavita Singh wrote about Khoj: ‘Outside the market, beyond and before it, Khoj and other artists’ networks set up in the past ten years in India have been a crucially important part of the experience of globalisation in Indian art.’ In the years since, Khoj graduated from its workshop space from the outskirts of the city, to an office-studio space in another peripheral space: the Khirkee extension in south Delhi. Although located in the elite hub of the city, Khirkee itself is inhabited by working class and lower-income migrant groups.

Around the same time as Khoj was unearthing new artistic languages, three media practitioners were also out on similar quests. Monica Narula, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Jeebesh Bagchi – formed the Raqs Media Collective in 1992 at a time “the idea of the artist was beginning to get examined,” says Narula. “It was by the late ’90s that it began to be extended to include wider aspirations, disciplines and media. We ourselves were trying to understand these shifts. With the advent of the internet and of new media art, the conditions of the production of art work came in for serious dissection,” says Narula. Raqs has explored themes of urban experience, the idea of creativity, the narratives of history in their work, over visual, text, sound and architectural media.

By the early 2000s, the experiments of the ’90s were beginning to pay off. The installation – which according to Tagra, even until a few years ago people didn’t respond to, very much the outsider in the world of art – was becoming the new buzzword. Photography came into its own as an art form, as did video. There was also the beginning of performance art in India. “Artists of this generation had succeeded in taking Indian art out of its ‘fine art’ category, into a ‘visual art’ culture, says art historian and curator Alka Pande.

India was changing, and the idea of India was changing. “No longer were we about the exotic, the sensual, no raqslonger were we synonymous with 10-handed Durgas (a goddess),” adds Pande. The Raqs Media Collective, also around this time, began to receive invitations to participate in conferences, workshops and master classes in new media. “The decade from 2000 onwards was a very important one for contemporary art and culture in India. Initiatives like Sarai (the programme run by Raqs), like Khoj, and in the wake of our early interventions at Sarai, other groups, collectives, publications and coalitions in different places like CAMP in Mumbai, Periferry in Guwahati, Maraa and Jagah in Bangalore changed the scene in significant ways. All of these were done without the support of the state or the market, by leveraging grants, mainly from international foundations and networks. This created the climate of openness and experimentation that we see the Indian Art Scene benefitting from today,” says Bagchi, Raqs. In the years following Raqs has showed works in Documenta, the Venice Biennale; as well as co-curated of Manifesta 7, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art which took place in Trentino-Alto Adige/SüdtirolItaly in the summer of 2008.

raqs 2

A scene from “Four Looped Videos. India Art Fair, 2012, Delhi (Solo booth, Project 88)”

Suddenly, Indian art was no longer relegated to the South-Asian section of international galleries, it was occupying central space in international art circles, says Pande. In 2002, Pande along with curator Gavin Djantis helped put up the The Tree from the Seed, the first-ever exhibition of Indian contemporary art in Europe, at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo featuring artists who in the years to come would become big-names in the world of Indian contemporary art: such as Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Jitish Kallat, Reena Kallat, Anita Dube, Hema Upadhyay. In 2003, the Louis Vuitton flagship show in Paris opened with an exhibition called Indian Summer. In 2004, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth organized Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, a show of 37 artists encompassing various media. In 2006 Tate Britain started UBS Openings: Saturday Live Mumbai, putting together performances and visuals celebrating India’s vibrant metropolis of Mumbai . In 2007, America joined the club with two big shows of Indian contemporary art in the United States: Public Places, Private Spaces: Contemporary Photography and Video Art in India curated by Gayatri Sinha, at The Newark Museum; and  Tiger by the Tail!: Women Artists of India Transforming Culture, at Brandeis University.

This period also coincided with the boom in the art market and art was now being seen as the best investment. “People would buy an artwork work one day, and sell it the next for a killing,” says Pande. Being associated with monetary success also did lots for the status of art and artist.

The periphery found itself at the centre of attention. And in this era, India was found having entered the era of conceptual art and the politics of production. “The artist did not have to make any of his artwork himself or herself, he merely supervised it,” adds Pande.

The Evolution of Praxis

February 2013 might well be the most important month in the contemporary art calendar of India: the country’s first-ever biennale, Kochi-Muziris, in the southern-Indian port town of Kochi is in progress, as is the 5th edition of the India Art Fair. It’s day-two of the art fair and the Speakers Forum, a private ‘invites-only’ enclosure, has a panel discussion in progress. Five artists are discussing ‘Art as Self Realisation – Praxis in an Age of Flux’: the Pakistani artist Rashid Rana, along with the local artists – photographer Dayanita Singh, Sheela Gowda, Anita Dubey, along with the biggest star in the contemporary art constellation: Subodh Gupta.

When Gupta takes to the stage, he points to a screen next to him. The picture on the screen is that of his installation displayed at the three-month long Kochi-Muziris Biennale. An enormous boat carrying dusty utensils, lanterns, an old television set, is suspended on a set of wooden stilts, in continuation of his preoccupation with ordinary objects. Gupta talks about the actual assembling of the piece, and the number of collaborators such a massive structure demanded. The discussion turns to the importance of collaborators, although Gowda makes the point that perhaps collaborators may not be the right word to use for the people who are essentially executors of your idea, cogs in the wheel of a machine driven by the artist.

 

gupta boat

 

Gupta’s Kerala boat sculpture exhibited at Kochi-Muziris Biennale

The debate of the word aside, all artists acknowledge the use of collaborators/assistants on their work. For instance, Thukral and Tagra’s work at Arken involved having locally-woven carpets, locally-sourced chairs, an iPad app, all of which were outsourced and their task was that of assembling each of these units into a piece of art. Raqs’ solo show The Great Bare Mat and Constellation”at the Isabella Garden Museum in 2012 Fall had a piece called Drawings of a Conversation – a physical representation of the conversations the three have with each other – a web of lines woven into a carpet by three women in Bulgaria. Pande cites the book The Art of Not Making (2011) by Michael Petry on artists outsourcing production, which mentions Gupta.

In the 1980s, when the artist Vivaan Sundaram — possibly the only one of his generation — started conceptual art, nobody else was doing it, says Pande. “But with increased interaction with international art marked the beginnings of conceptual art in India,” she says. Furthermore, a dialogue with international art has become common occurrence now. Atul Dodiya’s paintings reference Russian constructivists and Picasso, Jitish Kallat’s date paintings echo works of the Japanese artist Onk Wara, and Gupta famously pegged the “Damien Hurst of Delhi” by the Guardian, UK, in 2010 made ‘Et tu Duchamp’, a sculptural take on Duchamp’s mustachioed Mona Lisa, L.H.O.O.Q., made in 1919.

Bharti Kher’s latest solo show in Delhi in Janurary 2013- Bind the Dream State to Your Waking Life—has as its centerpiece, with the same title, a wooden staircase pierced through by two wheels, which says Kher, reminds her of Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase.  “In her piece, both the staircase and the wheels signify movement, but the wheels also interfere with the fluidity of time.” This sort of tension created by contradiction is a favourite trope used by Kher. For the same show she did a set of sculptures called Portraits of Memory, gestural sculptures showing sari-clad women dancing or gesturing – the fluid and translucent sari fabric against the immobility of the sculpture. Kher draws inspiration from the French-American artist Louise Bourgeouis who subverted traditional feminine imagery in her works. Two gigantic mirror works, from her latest show, show shattered mirrors smothered in bindis. The bindi – a dot of colour worn by South-Asian women to symbolize fertility – used by Kher initially as a mere experiment, over time acquired became synonymous with Kher’s work, and is now used by her to reference her own work. This piece too uses the idea of contradiction – the destroyed mirrors, symbolizing bad luck and domestic violence, versus the bindi, almost the maternal, healing touch.

Although now known for these installations that are simultaneously stunning and sinister, Kher started out as a painter trained in London. Only upon moving to India, experimenting over the years, did she increasingly get fascinated by the immense potential of material. Kher’s studio in Gurgaon is where she keeps collecting everything from tea-cups, egg-shells, mirrors and more. “Each artwork is a combination of an ongoing thought, and perhaps some material that is around, but there is no clear answer here. The studio is like a great kitchen in which several things are on the boil at the same time. You plan to make something, but discover there’s fresh vegetable that needs to be used – at the moment for instance, I have just remembered that I have some great clay I need to use fast,” she says.

Individuals vs Institutions

“It’s an interesting time to be an artist in India today – as it has been since its liberalization – yet in terms of institutional support, there is nothing,” says Kher. It’s only this year that the country had its first biennale, and this too, like Khoj, and some of contemporary art world’s most exciting initiatives, was started by an individual, not institutions. “And it had a few glitches here and there, but the art world came out in full support, it was almost as though they were saying we are here because this biennale needs to happen. It reminded me very much of the first Khoj workshop,” she adds.

While government institutions still treat contemporary art as a step-child – there is no museum dedicated to contemporary art in the country unlike Shanghai and Beijing which have about ten each, says Gupta – it is private initiatives that have fostered its growth. In 2008, Anupam and Lekha Poddar opened up their personal collection of contemporary art to the public.

Called the Devi Art Foundation, this is the closest the country has got to a contemporary art museum. The red-devi artbrick building situated in the premises of a corporate office – its neighbouring buildings mostly godowns and offices – is the first physical space designed to foster conversations and ideas about contemporary art. “Our hope as a non-profit art space is to allow for ideas and works to grow, unbounded by commercial limitations; an art institution that encourages new ideas and works to be realized and shown, outside the scope of what the market dictates. Every vibrant art culture needs institutions and spaces that nurture this freedom,” says Anupam Poddar. Every year, Devi hosts two exhibitions, alongside a host of talks and lectures, engaging artists, curators, critics, and connoisseurs. In 2010, Kiran Nadar, another private collector, opened the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, with one branch in a south Delhi mall, and another in Noida, east of Delhi.

Simultaneously, a host of commercial galleries showcasing edgy, contemporary art have begun to open up in Lado Sarai, an urban village on the southern edge of Delhi. Lado Sarai- a narrow dusty lane dotted with art galleries– is Delhi’s up-and-coming arts district. After liberalization, the one economic episode that has affected the art world – for the better – is the economic downturn,” says Bhavna Kakar, Founder-Director of Latitude 28, one of the first galleries in Lado Sarai. “Once the economic crisis hit the West, the international art market started looking East, because this was one of the few places people had the money,” says Kakar, who is also Editor-in-Chief of TAKE on Art magazine. To cash in on the interest in India, Kakar, along with other gallerists in the district organize an annual event called the “Lado Sarai Art Night” in which galleries open shows in one evening, with collectors, tourists, artists and art lovers turning the tiny lane a frenzy of activity. This year, Latitude 28 celebrated Art Night with a show on Pakistani contemporary art, at a time when political tensions were rife between India and Pakistan.

avinash

 

Avinash Kumar, “Boys at Food”

The margin is an interesting metaphor to use in context of contemporary artists as margins are what they seem to be constantly playing with. Avinash Kumar, a designer and visual artist says that instead of canvas or colour, his medium is a night-club or discotheque. Combining food and fashion, music and technology Kumar stared the visual art collective called BLOT (Basic Love of Things), and started producing art works as a background to electronic music. Kumar also started the Unbox Festival in Delhi, a festival premised on the idea of creative explosion and collaboration in contemporary art and design. “The idea of Unbox is to meet other people who feel the same way about the nature of art. Art is no longer one-dimensional, it is multi-disciplinary,” he says.

Raqs Media Collective’s curatorial venture in September 2012 was also on similar lines. The nine-month long Sarai Reader 09 – an intriguing concept in which the process of an exhibition coming into being is itself the exhibition – had mathematicians, writers, musicians and theatre persons, doubling up as contemporary artists.  Divided into four three-month long chapters – each chapter being a point of departure for a newer set of artistic interventions – the exhibition saw participation by artists living in London, Mexico city and Delhi, says Poddar.

The themes covered include migration, urban life, digitization, and of course, Gurgaon. One of the pieces called Cybermohalla Hub (CMH) is a building prototype covering 3×6 m area is structured entirely by rectangular frames and made in collaboration with Frankfurt-based artists Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Muller. The CMH is a reference to resettlement neighborhoods in the city like Gheora in north-west Delhi and the size of government plots offered (3×6 m): resettlement neighborhoods becoming a presence in a city that is increasingly pushing out its working class population to the margins. Further interventions have all added to the structure: its contents and its exterior. “The idea was primarily to encourage creation and critical thinking about contemporary art. Typically most shows are centred on a theme – this was contemporary art for the sake of contemporary art,” says Sengupta, Raqs.  This was also a way of getting ordinary people drawn into the contemporary art dialogue.

In contrast to Raqs approach to creating an environment conducive for dialogue on contemporary art, is that of Thukral and Tagra. “The common man in India doesn’t really care about art or galleries, they just want to go into a mall, and they want to shop,” says Tagra. Which is why, Thukral & Tagra’s intervention on the subject has been rather simple: take art to the mall. Although a vast chunk of their work plays with brands and commercial images, in 2012, they made a dinosaur made of commodities for a collector in the southern city of Chennai, displayed at Phoenix Market City mall. “The dinosaur stands for many things at once – in 20 years, these commodities will be extinct as newer things will keep coming, therefore today’s mall is almost tomorrow’s museum. Then, the museum itself is a dying institution. The lines between mall and museum are blurred, as are art and commodity,” says Tagra. When the work had been installed, the typical Indian-mall scenario played out there: hundreds of people gawking at the structure, incredulous and yet posing with their cell-phone cameras.

Commodity-hungry consumers had no choice but to devour art because there was no escape. When the periphery becomes powerful enough, the centre gets drawn to it, so much so, that you won’t be able to tell the two apart.

(First published in Norwegian for Aftenposten K, June 2013).

 

About the author:

Shreya Ray is a New Delhi-based writer.  She has spent most of the past five years writing about art and culture. In April 2013, she quit her job with Mint, and is fully engaged freelancing.  Her website is: shreyaray.wordpress.com; you can reach her at shreyaray@gmail.com.

January 1, 2014   Comments Off on On Location/India’s Art Boom

Zaira Rahman/Tour de Pakistan

Indus River, Sindh

Sindh, Indus River. Photo: Zaira Rahman

………………………………………………………………………………………………… 

Tour of Pakistan

by Zaira Rahman

Now that 2013 has come to an end, I sit down to write the memories of an exhilarating trip across Pakistan. The ten-day journey that started in October was essentially a road trip. During these vacations we covered the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, Kyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) as well as parts of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

Before we stepped out, we had our doubts if our car would survive such a hectic schedule, with a daily average of 9 hours on the road, but surprisingly it did not fail us. Pre-travel arrangements were quite stressful; we had to safely transfer our pets to the boarding home and spell out the instructions regarding each pet specifically to the staff.

Once these settlements were made, we left before sunrise on the morning of October 17th. We chose a good day when the country was celebrating the second day of Eid-ul-Azha (Festival of Sacrifice also known as Bakra Eid). As we left Karachi to drive through Sindh, we came across very little traffic on the main motorway.

Sindh

The key areas that we covered in Sindh were Indus River, Hyderabad, Hala, Nawabshah, Moro, Sukkur and Khairpur. It was perhaps the most difficult day of the journey. Sindh is terribly hot for the most part of the year; sunlight was a killer; even the shades did not help much. This was the first time that I traveled by road beyond Hyderabad so extensively. Road kill was quite the norm; we must have seen over a dozen dead dogs on the way, which only tells one of how inconsiderate passersby are. Beyond the tirelessly fast life of Karachi, I was not so excited by all that we witnessed in Sindh.

There was so much of barrenness and sadness all along. Once we moved further into the interiors of Sindh, we saw plenty of poverty and hopelessness. People in general were poor and uneducated with desolate lands and fading hopes. Roads were broken in totality and there were hardly any gas stations or tuc shops as we moved ahead. It was evident that our governments over the years have done nothing for this province. The people of Sindh fail to realize that the regional leaders they choose for so many decades are their real enemies. Simply put, Sindh was not at all inspiring. We reached Punjab before 5 p.m. that evening and our first stop was Rahim Yar Khan.

 

Lahore Fort, PunjabLahore Fort, Punjab. Photo: Zaira Rahman

Punjab

Rahim Yar Khan was just the city we needed to stay in after our exhausting journey. I was visiting this city for the first time and I was more than happy to see how developed and clean it was. We stayed at a local club with big lush green lawns, a tennis court and many swings that took us back to our childhood days.

We were so tired that we didn’t really check the city out as such, but we did pass by offices of some of the biggest MNCs, a number of schools and a university or two, as well, as we moved out of the city. People in Rahim Yar Khan were just sweet and hospitable. They spoke different dialects such as Punjabi, Saraiki, Riyasti, but had no issues conversing in Urdu with us. The food at the club was just perfect – large quantities and reasonably priced. A special mention should be given to the chicken corn soup, kebabs and chicken karhai that we had for dinner at the club.

A visit to Punjab is incomplete without visiting the heart of the province – the city of Lahore. Lahore is the second largest metropolitan city of the country. It is referred to as the “Mughal City of Gardens” due to the historic presence of gardens in and around the city dating back to the Mughal period. Although Lahore has always been considered a green and beautiful city, this time round I felt a positive vibe about it too, which I didn’t feel in my previous visits. Lahoris are full of life; Punjabi is the most commonly spoken language, although there is a great variety of dialects spoken by people who have moved here from different districts. I felt so secure shopping around quite late in the evening in the midst of Liberty market. This is something we don’t experience in Karachi – where we are always afraid of getting mugged. My sister and I bought a pair of colorful khussas (shoes) each – a must buy when one is in Lahore.

Before heading out of the city, we did a quick city tour and visited some historic places such as the Lahore Fort, Hazuri Bagh (Hazuri Garden), Badshahi mosque and Sheesh Mahal.  The structures were humongous and quite exquisite. However, I do feel the authorities can certainly do more to revamp and preserve these culturally rich monuments. Most of these places have been renovated only from the front, but not in their entirety. As lovely as the front side of the mosque is, the backside has been appallingly neglected. 

As per our family tradition, we had to visit the city’s zoo as well, and I am so glad that we did. Lahore Zoo is massive, clean and has some lovely animals that are well cared for. Some of the key attractions were the giraffes (Sunny and Twinkle), Suzi the elephant, a few pair of lions and their cubs. One can clearly see how Lahoris are so passionately proud of their culturally rich city. Lahore is certainly a treasure for Pakistan and a prominent tourist attraction.

We also spent a few days in the capital city of Pakistan – Islamabad. It is one of the most urbanized cities of the country. It is common for both locals as well as visitors to dine at Pir Sohawa, a tourist resort located some 17 km from Islamabad on top of Margalla Hills and I remember mentioning it in my travel post some years ago (Yet Another Visit to Islamabad…). It was fairly chilly when we reached Monal Restaurant. Sadly, this time we felt the food quality was not as amazing as it used to be, so we were left with the city view to admire.

During the city tour of Islamabad we visited Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Rawal Lake, Bani Gala, Centaurus Mall, Jinnah Super Market and Pakistan Monument. One of my favorites was the Bird Aviary Lake View Park, Pakistan’s biggest bird aviary. It was massive and well maintained. However, the Wild Life Safari was quite a disappointment. It was poorly constructed amidst the jungle; all we ended up seeing were wild bushes, tall trees and the “Be Ware of Lions’” signboard on every corner. I am sure there must be a lion or two somewhere in that jungle, but it was quite a failed project from the looks of it.

………………………………………………………………………………………………… 

 

ZAIRA RAHMAN - PAKISTAN V10N1

Zaira Rahman shares her love of homeland, Pakistan, with photos and impressions gathered from a recent trip through the provinces.

[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_badshahi-mosque-1-lahore.jpg]90Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_badshahi-mosque-lahore.jpg]70Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_lahori-khussas.jpg]160Lahore, Khussas
Lahore Khussas (Typical Shoes). October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_bani-gala-islamabad.jpg]150Bani Gala, Islamabad
Bani Gala, Islamabad. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_pakistan-museum-of-natural-history-islamabad.jpg]180Pakistan Museum of Natural History
Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Islamabad. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_neelum-river-muzaffarabad.jpg]140Neelum River
Neelum River. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_shrine-of-sayeen-sakhi-muzaffarabad.jpg]80Shrine of sayeen Sakhi Muzaffarabad
Shrine of sayeen Sakhi Muzaffarabad. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_sharda.jpg]80Sharda
Sharda. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_girls-coming-back-from-school-in-sharda-village.jpg]180Girls coming back from school in Sharda village
Girls coming back from school in Sharda village. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.
[img src=http://old.ragazine.cc/wp-content/flagallery/zaira-rahman-pakistan-v10n1/thumbs/thumbs_sharda-fort.jpg]40Sharda Fort
Sharda Fort. October 2013. Zaira Rahman.

………………………………………………………………………………………………… 

Occupied Kashmir

Our next stop was Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is located on the banks of Jhelum and Neelum rivers with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) on the west. Though we have visited other parts of KPK in previous years, Muzaffarabad still was a treat for the soul. Our stay at PC Muzaffarabad was an absolute haven. We got the chance to visit the shrine of Hazrat Sayeen Sakhi in Muzaffarabad, which is by far one of the cleanest shrines that I have visited all of my life.

We went up to a tourist spot known as Pir Chinasi, 30 km east of Muzaffarabad on top of the hills at an altitude of 9500 feet. It was freezing cold up at the mountain but we got the rare opportunity to visit yet another shrine in one day – the shrine of the famous saint Hazrat Pir Shah Hussain Bukhari. Pir Chinasi got its name owing to Hazrat Pir who used to live at the mountain peak. It is said that he chose this unique spot because of its tranquil surroundings to form a deep, uninterrupted contact with God. This shrine has a remarkable significance to the people of the region as well as the visitors who believe their prayers are answered if they pray at this shrine. 

Pir Chinasi is famous for its scenic beauty and velvet, lush green plateaus. Standing at the edge of the mountain, one can sense a certain kind of spirituality. It is certainly a place any photographer and nature lover should see with their own eyes. Pir Chinasi is ideal for hiking, trekking and camping activities. The sight and its surrounding areas are covered with pine and oak trees. The best time to visit would be an off season, somewhere around September and October, but once the snow hits the ground, it becomes impossible to visit this lovely spot on any mode of transport. I could barely stop shivering till we got some hot tea and spicy pakoras from the small restaurant at the mountain peak. The locals were welcoming and easy going.

Neelum Valley was the best part of the whole trip. Saying that it is beautiful and breathtaking would be an understatement. Deep down I feel proud that such a place exists in Pakistan, but it is sad that due to our government’s negligence the world does not know of such attractions. Throughout our journey in Azad Kashmir, we saw several groups of children and teenagers going to schools. It was overwhelming to see how these kids walk so long on these curvy, rocky mountainous routes to reach their schools daily in the cold. I don’t see that kind of enthusiasm and struggle on the faces of children in the urban cities where life is so easy. It is a wrong perception about Pakistan that there is lack of education and a dearth of institutions, though I do feel what we require is a structured, unified system of education free for all across the country.

Our final stop in Azad Kashmir was Sharda village, the de facto border of India and Pakistan. It took us a long time to reach with countless check points, however we did make it. Due to its location, the security was super tight; we were surrounded by the Pakistan army everywhere. The natives of Sharda village were extremely uncomplicated and poor but they were also the most genuinely happy group I have come across in a long, long time. One can only dream of such carefree lives although these people live in a strategically dangerous place (situated right next to the Indian border) where things can get quite unpredictable any moment. Here too, we got to see more than a few children, even little girls on the way back from their schools. We also walked on foot to see the ruins of Sharda Fort inside the village, which was quite a unique site, unknown even to most Pakistanis.

Shrine of Pir Shah Hussain Bukhari, Pir Chinasi.

Shrine of Pir Shah Hussain Bukhari, Pir Chinasi. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa  (KPK)

Just before heading back, we spent one night at Changla Gali, a tourist mountain resort town of Galyat, in the province of KPK. By the time we arrived, I was just too tired to do anything but crash for a few hours. I distinctly recall the blissful sleep which is so rare in Karachi. I remember that I experienced a similar kind of quiet and peace when I visited Nathia Gali seven years ago. There is something in the air about these unusual places that takes us away from all the worries of our regular, money-driven, mundane selfish lives.

Changla Gali was our final holiday spot after which we returned home following the same route back. By the time we got home, I had become quite the expert at navigating the paths. The motorways were brilliantly made till we stepped back into Sindh. It was a torturous and dangerous ride. Clearly, there is no monitoring here, unlike Punjab and other areas where people have no option but to follow the rules while driving on the motorway. We witnessed a gigantic blockade of trawlers but thanks to some Sindhi locals who guided us out via a shortcut, we reached to Karachi safely during day light.

These ten days were tiring, to say the least, but they definitely enlightened me. I surely learned a little something about the people, culture, places and good things of our country, of which I was so blindly unaware. However, I was also relieved to be home and to see our pets after a long break. I know I am no travel guide or travel writer, for that matter, but I felt all these lovely places that the world is unaware of should be talked about. Pakistan and its perception globally is so negative (for real and perceived reasons) that everyone misses out on the essence of this country: the richness of its culture, the hospitality of its people, a deep aura of spirituality and of course the abundance of scenic beauty, which I believe any citizen of the world, irrespective of their religion, color or nationality should visit or at least read about with an open mind and heart. I may not reach many, but even if a single person is moved by what they read here, that would leave me slightly less burdened. But for now, no more road trips.

 

About the author:

Zaira R. Sheikh has an MBA in Marketing from SZABIST, Karachi.  She was a Media Planner at Mindshare (GroupM Pakistan) and Account Manager at Interflow Communications Pvt. Ltd.  You can read more about her in About Us.

 

 

December 31, 2013   Comments Off on Zaira Rahman/Tour de Pakistan

BRAZIL/As It Is

bra

* * *

“Primitive” as Futurist:

Intangible Heritage, Living Museum

and Transcultural Panel

 

by Professor Dinah P. Guimaraens
Graduate Program in Architecture and Urban Planning
School of Architecture and Urban Planning
University Federal Fluminense, Brazil

 “In countries like ours, not arriving exhausted, though oppressed and underdeveloped in terms of contemporary history,  (…) when we say it’s primitive or folk art, it is worth as much as to say that (it) is futuristic, or contemporary.” 

— Mário Pedrosa . Discourse to Tupiniquins or Nambás. Paris, 1977.

* * * * *

 

Transculturalism and Revolt in Brazil

* * *

A month and a half ago, Brazil lit up with protests as a million people took to the streets; violence ensued, people died. Inexplicably, the country is nevertheless due to host the World Cup in less than a year (and the Olympics in less than three), but many Brazilians are increasingly unhappy with the government’s imprudent spending of vast fortunes on huge sports-stadiums, while ignoring genuine, everyday human needs, i.e., necessary and urgent infrastructure upgrades, and a plethora of public services.

In April, the uprising began with the eviction of indigenous people from the site of the Brazilian Indian Museum. Soon, the unrest spread to the National Museum Honestino Guimarães (aka the National Museum of the Republic), which is part of the Cultural Complex of the Republic in Brasília. It is symbolic that the initial Amerindian struggle began in these particular buildings due to their Amerindian architectural allusions. The complex, the work of famed architect Oscar Niemeyer, is designed as a kind of retrofuturistic dome, like an ancient Amerindian earth mound resembling a spaceship.

It opened in 2006, paid for and operated by the government of Brasilia (Federal District). Artist and protestor Suyan Mattos explained the situation this way: “…the space is used for traveling exhibitions of renowned local artist, nationals and international lectures, film screenings, seminars, and other events,” adding that the museum has a “priceless” permanent collection of contemporary Brazilian art but focuses on rotating and temporary exhibitions.”

— Jillian Steinhauer, writing in  “Hyperallergic”

 

* * *

In the famous words of the “socialist” art critic, Mario Pedrosa, “We are a country condemned to be modern” (Arantes, 2004). This ironic disclosure reveals the classic Latin American dichotomy that prevails between internationalism and nationalism, which constantly swings like a pendulum from one extreme to the other.
According to Pedrosa, South America-Atlantic hybridism of cultures is the trait that denotes Brazil’s erratic and unstable behavior, as well as its economic fluctuation from boom to bust. The nationalism that emerged with the neocolonial vogue in Brazil, for example, expresses the search for an identity in architecture, alluding to mythical Europe. As the Argentine cultural-theorist, Néstor García Canclini states, “Modernity is often seen as a mask, a mockery woven by elites and state apparatchiks, especially those concerned with the field of art and culture” (Amaral, 2005, p. 353-354).

The article “500 Years of Disgrace” by Aracy Amaral, written in 2000, describes the current state of indigenous culture, the culture that inhabited Brazil when the Portuguese arrived, as being destitute, unprotected, abandoned, and unvalued. Amaral’s essay also speaks of African or Afro-Brazilian cultures, in the 19th Century freed from slavery; yet, for the last hundred years still continue to be instantly identified with the disenfranchised, excluded or disqualified group(s) within Brazil; albeit, they are, according to common sense, the core of Brazil’s population. Amaral points out, also, the complete lack of political will, coupled with an astonishing lack of vision on the part of many Brazilian politicians, who inherently refuse to improve Brazil’s society, by failing to be responsible for the socio-cultural aspirations and expectations of the people as a whole. Instead, their focus is primarily on the elite classes. This lack of vision is reflected in the institutional cynicism revealed in the mensalão scandal and myriad court cases pending against members of the Brazilian National Congress (http://bit.ly/H5aOm1).

++FACEDUDAPACHECO09_Arte35 (2)

Amaral points out that after 500 years, there still is not a museum of the History of Brazilian Man, just as there is no “large” “comprehensive” art museum dedicated to the indigenous people who populated the land before the European invasion. There is no “Indian Museum,” testament to a once enslaved population pushed to the hinterlands of Brazil’s “Central West” region, out of contact with one another, living in poverty and degrading conditions, begging the question, “Is this a nation with a viable Constitution representative of all Brazilians; on that is worthy of the name: “constitution?””

According to Amaral, a city without museums, such as Brasília, cannot expect to develop the higher spirit among its inhabitants. Canclini also reaffirms the near absence of museums in Latin American countries, calling it a symptom of neglect of memory, which the Bolivian art theorist Nicomedes Suarez-Arauz called Amnesis. Without memories, it is impossible to build a hierarchical relationship of continuity with the history of a society, a people, or a nation.

Pedrosa, in 1978, launched the project “Museum of Origins” in the ashes of the Museum of Modern Art – MAM/Rio. To the sound of samba, dancers from the School of Samba of Mangueira arrived on stilts designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy and singed by fire, as a way to show appreciation for Brazil’s multi-cultural origins. Nevertheless, there is still no immense museum to express the contemporary lives and cultures of indigenous people.

Pedrosa highlights the importance of aesthetics in the face of science as a “struggle of knowledge against knowledge,” as advanced by Friedrich Nietzsche (1892) in his book “The Birth of Tragedy”. For Nietzsche, the spiritual dilemma of the future lies in “Mastering the instinct of knowledge in favor of a religion.” He favors aesthetics and restores to the arts their rights, positioning himself against religion, metaphysics, and science, in favor of a thoroughly aesthetic-civilization. For him, science cannot be a disciplined without the intercession of art, which has the innate mission to “recreate life.”
For Nietzsche, “Art is the affirmation of Life!”

Hence, in this Nietzschean light, in appreciation of the revitalization of the intangible heritage of indigenous knowledge, such as arises from the bioclimatic architecture of Malocas (Indian dwellings), this native architecture affords a theoretical and political position that warrants the right of Indians to permanently occupy the ancient Indian Museum known as Maracanã Village, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Indians own that museum in Rio, thus the world must condemn the traumatic expulsion of the indigenous inhabitants from Maracanã Village under volleys of rubber bullets, as well as cruel tear gas attacks by “elite squads” trained by Governor Sérgio Cabral with funding from the mega-entrepreneur Eike Batista. This forced eviction of natives from Maracanã Village contributed directly to the riots in June 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. The backlash from these evictions provoked the massive demonstrations that arose instantaneously from scratch, helped along by the “ninja press” Facebook and other social media, giving rise to vociferous protest (Agier, 2011, p. 172).

FACE_05_Outras22 (2)

International Seminar: “Museums and Transculturality”

“To establish an interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue, the university should allow the strengthening of the social culture of human beings, promoting critical thinking that develops through philosophy, literature, art and aesthetics that are intrinsic to culture, communication, and history.” (Poulain, 2012)

The “1st Meeting of Museological Exchange: Living Cultures Seminar,” held in July 2010 in London and led by Professor Jack Lohman, former-Director of the Museum of London, aimed to outline practical guidelines for cultural cooperation and exchange between Brazilian and European museums. Co-sponsored by HSBC and UNESCO, a draft was prepared for a new, Living Indigenous Museum in Brazil by 2016. Some participants proposed implementing the project by 2014, in time for the Olympics; discussions centered about the philosophy of museums, intangible heritage, aesthetics, history and other cultural disciplines.

The project seeks to analyze the constituents of particular cultures by means of scientific research, based on the concept of transcultural anthropology stemming from work by Jacques Poulain, Professor and Chair of Cultural Institutions at UNESCO/University Paris, France. The Brazilian indigenous cultures in question and the museological institutions would be analyzed via a dynamic relationship in multiple areas to accurately identify, evaluate and recognize the ethnographic plurality that unites them. For example, according to a decree by the Department of Intangible Heritage (DPI/IPHAN n. 3,551 of 04/08/2000), the project aims to contribute to the recording of intangible factors which constitute the cultural heritage of Brazil. The decree refers to the Record Book of Knowledge, specifically the typical form of Indian dwellings represented by Malocas of Xingu, Amazon, along with the architectural styles of coastal communities that continue to construct similar structures to this day, as well as currently influencing both rural and urban Brazilian architecture.

Furthermore, the traditional architecture forged by Brazil’s ancient cultures are at present inspiring the creation of living art, i.e., an Experimental Bioclimatic Architecture, where Brazilian university students and faculty members interact directly with indigenous peoples from the Village Maracanã (Pataxó, Apurinã, Ful-niô, Tukano, Potiguara, Kaingang, Kamayurá and Tupinambá). This will be the basis of the participatory project of the Living Museum as a model of preservation and revitalization of traditional cultures recommended by IPHAN (Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage), MINC (Ministry of Culture) and ICOM (International Council of Museums) of UNESCO.

The proposed implementation of this project was discussed recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art – MAC Niterói / RJ, having as its theme the interrelationship of Transculturality, Architecture/Visual Arts, Music and Theatre/Performance. The aim is to create an interdisciplinary dialogue and strengthen cultural relations. The University Federal Fluminense, through its Graduate Program in Architecture and Urban Planning (PPGAU), and the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), seek to develop research and establish outreach with indigenous and African-Brazilian inhabitants.

Poulain (French coordinator of the technical cooperation CAPES-Cofecub n. 752/12), opened the international seminar “Museums and Transculturality: New Postmodern Practices”, held in May 2013, by stating that the university allows the strengthening of socialist culture in humans to promote critical thinking developed through philosophy, literature, art, architecture and aesthetics, along with culture and history of communication. In view of the Curriculum Guidelines for the National Education of Racial-Ethnic Relations and the Teaching of History of the Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous Populations (Law No. 11,645 of 10/03/2008), and the requirement by the Ministry of Education of Brazil that the theme of Afro-Brazilian and Indigenous History has to be included in the disciplines and curricular activities for undergraduate courses in Brazilian universities, the seminar asks: Is it possible to successfully integrate indigenous and African-Brazilians in the scholastic universe from the perspective of globalization and communication, in view of the policies of public space, the valuation of intangible heritage by UNESCO and its resulting cultural education equity?

DUDA09_Arte25 (2)

University Truth, Public Space and Live Art

It is within the philosophical viewpoint that the Living Museum intends to unveil some clues about cross-cultural issues that underlie the present historical moment of late capitalism in Brazilian society. This live art, mentioned by Mário Pedrosa (1978) to define the strength of indigenous cultures, can be symbolized by the tension between the Apollonian and the Dionysian as manifestations of art and life, which is present in the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche and was presented in 1871 in his first work “The Birth of Tragedy: or Hellenism and Pessimism.” Flusser, in his 1998 book “Philosophical Fictions,” appropriates this Nietzschean concept to express a postmodern living art characterized by two sweeping revolutions: telematics, and biotech.

How to talk about technological innovations to address the Brazilian native cultures alive today?

In case of the relevant discussion about a bioclimatic architecture or “green” architecture, look for inspiration to the indigenous Malocas (Indian dwellings) of Amazon, Xingu and the seaside regions of Brazil? It seems that architects such as Severiano Mário Porto already “had been there” in their search for popular techniques of housing in the Amazon to create prototypes of a new, intelligent architecture suitable for humid and torrid climates. These structures, with large covered roofs, allow the outward flow of hot air and thermal cooling of the interior space. Through the inspiration of the telematics´ revolution discussed by Flusser, is it then possible to prototype innovative Digital Malocas, where the technology is allied to ancient building techniques?

This is one of the questions asked by the current project, within the Innovation Agency of the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies and Innovation of the University Federal Fluminense.

The modern “baroque” inspired-architecture (according Campello, 2001) of Niemeyer, with its circular and spiral shapes, eventually influenced the structure of the kitsch architecture of the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, and the Northeast states of Brazil. The imagery of this architectural kitsch (Guimaraens & Cavalcanti, 2006) expresses an aesthetic that merges constructive principles of modern architecture of Niemeyer with the functionalism of Le Corbusier. The presence of a stream of Luso-Brazilian Baroque influence in the work of Niemeyer is characterized by the use of elements of curved lines and free-form (according Underwood, 1992), as occurs with the colonnade of the Palácio do Alvorada (Palace of the Dawn,1956 to 1958) in Brasília. Their columns were inspired in extended networks, or boat sails, and became icons of federal political power. The  constructive elements were popularized and copied in molds of plaster, and are widely used as decorations on the facades of the houses of the working classes throughout the country. Other elements absorbed from Le Corbusier and Niemeyer were the flat roof and the “butterfly” (ceiling in “v” with a rail center, where rainwater is drained), derived from the aesthetics of “machines-of-living” modernists.

The international seminar “Museums and Transculturality” had the key idea to honor the live architecture of Niemeyer, and selected the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC/Niterói), one of his most significant projects, as the site for the gathering. This museum is the city icon of Niterói and the district. During three days, conferees had the opportunity to experience in situ the concepts of the cross-cultural philosophy of Jacques Poulain by integrating academics, students, technical staff and indigenous and African-Brazilian members into a “full trial” university.

The “triumphant joy” of Parangolé and Tropicália is based on plastic experimentation of the schools of samba in Brazil, thus indicating what Hélio Oiticica calls “leisure non-repressive” which can “self-structure” the individual.

The kitsch aesthetic also throws into question the Brazilian identity: How can we create an “authentic” art (artisanal and regional) by incorporating international trends (technological and global)? The cannibalistic posture of Oswald de Andrade and Hélio Oiticica-HO, throws into opposition the aesthetics of vanguard and the consumption of the mass culture. The “ready-made” of Marcel Duchamp approaches the kitsch aesthetic by emphasizing the “non-purity” that blends spurious architectural elements. The kitsch aesthetic is therefore an anti-art. A transient work that incorporates the postures of everyday life. The experimental kitsch aesthetic expresses the role of mass culture as a territorial boundary between high art and popular art, representing a “vanguard” of shock.

DUDA09_Arte21 (2)

Transcultural Panel and Performance

The relationship between image and being over time defines the different artistic practices such as visual arts, sculpture, literature, architecture, music and dance/performance. The excess of visual images today is emblematic of our society, but does not necessarily reflect the discriminatory power of the era. Images taken from the Transcultural Panel traced by Duda Penteado and Fernando Pacheco, along with the student staff of the School of Architecture and Urbanism of University Federal Fluminense, and representatives of the former Maracanã Village, presented a creative exercise that closed this international seminar.

The presentation emphasized the dialogue between different artistic manifestations. In general, the graphical notations, in all forms of expression are considered basic tools of artistic design. The graphical notation used to draw diagrams and sketches are understood as fundamental to the design of this project. The use of axes and triangular shapes as elements of composition is a tradition in the visual arts. The imaginary axis establishes a support line that creates a kind of relationship between the parts of the composition when setting an ideal type of a “skeleton” that supports the design of the primary values of order, stability and domination. With this emphasis on the axes, the geometric idea of the Transcultural Panel starts by reducing the traditional solution of crosslinked network in a network system that determines the organization and layout of urban elements.

The artistic expression of something drawn on paper thus assumed the form of a medium, or the form of a plastic thought, as occurred in the proposed panel performed in MAC-Niterói on May 29, 2013. The conceptualization of this visual project can be expressed by the thought, and the thought of the design may be indicated by the aphorism proposed by the architect Lucio Costa (1962) that “the design is a design project.” The “design” of the two artists stimulated the imagination called “active” with an imagination “will” (Bachelard, 1979). The project design referred here to an activity where the graphical notation appears as a mode of discourse, i.e., the speech of a poetic style that symbolizes one of the four levels of accuracy proposed by Aristotle: poetics, rhetoric, dialectics and analytic. Such poetic discourse characterizes itself as part of the image where the conventional habits state a way of being that must be accepted as true temporarily, thus causing the suspension of disbelief about the reality of imagery.

The transition from the real world in the visual arts stems from the role played by the creative activity of the eye as an organ that provides a common space for architecture, sculpture and painting. The essential among the three arts of architecture, sculpture and painting is the element that the art theorist and German sculptor Hildebrand (quoted by Poulain, 2002) calls “architectural” printouts, and represents the confluence of verticality, horizontality and depth as a general law that constitutes the space of composition.

On visual perception of this Transcultural Panel, we can establish a connection with the world to answer the question: What is (re) presented by the image (real or imaginary)? (Cany, 2008, p. 47-48). The classic answer is that “the level of graphical consciousness is what formalizes,” because the traditional response states that “the unconscious is the plan that materializes” (Bachelard, 1979). Such poetic discourse is characterized as part of the image where the conventional habits state that a state of being must be accepted as true (only) temporarily, thus causing the suspension of disbelief about the reality of imagery. The Transcultural Panel instructs us, then, in belief in a multicultural society in Brazil. A society where representatives of different ethnic groups, social classes and educational levels can interact to build a dialogue and creative space in the art world, inspired and influenced by the circular-contemporary baroque architecture of Oscar Niemeyer.

 

* * *

REFERENCES:


AMARAL, Aracy. “500 Anos de Carência” in Textos do Trópico de Capricórnio. Artigos e Ensaios (1980-2005). Vol. 2: circuitos de arte na América Latina e no Brasil. São Paulo, Editora 34, 2006.
ARANTES, Otília (org.). Textos escolhidos – Acadêmicos e Modernos (vol. 3). São Paulo, EDUSP, 2004.
AGIER, Michel. Antropologia da Cidade: lugares, situações, movimentos. SP, Editora Terceiro Nome, 2011.
BACHELARD, Gaston. A Poética do Espaço. São Paulo, Abril Cultural, Coleção Os Pensadores, 1979.
CAMPELLO, Glauco de Oliveira. O Brilho da Simplicidade: Dois Estudos sobre Arquitetura Religiosa no Brasil Colonial. Rio de Janeiro, Casa da Palavra-Departamento Nacional do Livro, 2001.
CANCLINI, Néstor García. “La modernidad después de la posmodernidad”, in BELLUZZO, Ana Maria (org.), Modernidade: vanguardas artísticas na América Latina. Sao Paulo, UNESP/Memorial da América Latina, 1990.
CANY, Bruno. “Perspective Musicale”, préface in LYOTARD, Jean-François. Que peindre? Paris, Hermann Éditeurs, Collection Hermann – Philosophie, 2008.
COSTA, Lúcio. Sobre a Arquitetura. Porto Alegre, Centro de Estudos Universitários de Arquitetura, 1962.
FEITOSA, Charles. Du nihilisme europeene selon Nietzsche au nihilsme brésilienne selon Flusser. Paris, CAPES-Cofecub, 2012.
FLUSSER, Vilém. Ficções Filosóficas. São Paulo, EDUSP, 1998.
NIETZSCHE, Friedrich Wilhelm. O Nascimento da Tragédia, ou Helenismo e Pessimismo. Trad., notas e posfácio de Jacó Guinsburg. São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1992 (1871).
GUIMARAENS, Dinah. Do Kitsch à Metafísica: Arquitetura, Estética e Imagética Transculturais. Niterói, PPGAU-UFF, 2013. (Org.) Museu de Arte e Origens: Mapa das Culturas Vivas Guaranis. Rio de Janeiro, Contracapa/FAPERJ, 2003.
GUIMARAENS, Dinah & CAVALCANTI, Lauro. Arquitetura Kitsch Suburbana e Rural. Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 2006.
HILDEBRAND, Adolf. Le problème de la forme dans les arts plastiques. Préface de Jacques Poulain. Traduit de l’allemande par Éliane Beaufils. Paris, L’Harmattan, 2002.
PEDROSA, Mário. Discurso aos Tupiniquins ou Nambás. Paris, 1978.
POULAIN, Jacques. « L’enjeu d’une anthropologie interculturelle pour une esthétique transculturelle ». Texto inédito apresentado no Seminário Internacional « Museus e Transculturalidade: Novas Práticas Pós-Modernas”. Niterói, MAC, 2013. La Neutralisation du Jugement ou la Critique Pragmatique de la Raison Politique. Paris, L´Harmattan, 2012. De l’Homme: Elements d’Anthropobiologie Philosophique du Language. Paris, Les Éditions du Cerf, 2001. La Loi de Vérité: La Logique Philosophique du Jugement. Paris, Albin Michel, 1993.
UNDERWOOD, David. Oscar Niemeyer e o modernismo de formas livres no Brasil. São Paulo, Cosac&Naify, 2002.

 

 * * * * *

Portuguese Original

*************************

“Primitivo” como Futurista: PATRIMÔNIO IMATERIAL, M– USEU VIVO E PAINEL TRANSCULTURAL

Professora-Doutora Dinah Guimaraens                     02 de setembro de 2013

Programa de Pós-Graduação em Arquitetura e Urbanismo – PPGAU

Escola de Arquitetura e Urbanismo

Universidade Federal Fluminense

 

“Em países como os nossos, que não chegam esgotados, ainda que oprimidos e subdesenvolvidos, ao nível da história contemporânea, (…) quando se diz que sua arte é primitiva ou popular vale tanto quanto dizer que é futurista” (Mário Pedrosa. Discurso aos Tupiniquins ou Nambás. Paris, 1977)

 

PATRIMÔNIO IMATERIAL E “M– USEU DAS ORIGENS”

 

Na célebre frase de Mário Pedrosa, “Somos um país condenado ao moderno” (apud ARANTES, 2004).  Este crítico de arte socialista aponta a clássica dicotomia latino-americana entre internacionalismo e nacionalismo que se dá em um movimento pendular constante. Para ele, na América do Sul Atlântica, o hibridismo de nossas culturas é o traço que denota nosso comportamento instável, assim como nossas economias flutuantes.

O nacionalismo que emerge com a voga neocolonial no Brasil, por exemplo, expressa a busca de uma identidade na arquitetura, inspirando-se em uma Europa mítica. Néstor García Canclini (apud AMARAL, 2005, pag. 353-354), por sua vez, afirma que “A modernidade costuma ser vista como uma máscara, um simulacro urdido pelas elites e pelos aparatos estatais, sobretudo os que se ocupam da arte e da cultura”.

Aracy Amaral (in op. cit., pag. 321-327), no artigo “500 Anos de carência” escrito em 2000, nos fala do estado atual da cultura indígena, indigente, desprotegida, abandonada, não-valorizada até o dia de hoje, cultura que aqui estava quando chegaram os portugueses. Ou sobre a cultura africana ou afro-brasileira como tendo sido liberta da escravidão há mais de cem anos e que continua sendo identificada com os excluídos ou desqualificados que constituem, segundo o senso comum, grande parte da marginalidade brasileira.

Amaral (id. ibidem, pag. 321) destaca, igualmente, a falta total de vontade política, aliada à espantosa ausência de visão por parte de nossos políticos – ou será àquele cinismo institucional ora revelado no caso do “mensalão” que tramita no congresso nacional -, como sendo os responsáveis pela situação em que se encontra o Brasil na área cultural. Para esta crítica de arte, na celebração dos 500 anos deste país, não havia um museu de História do Homem Brasileiro, assim como não há um museu de arte das primeiras populações que viveram em nosso território.

Ou um Museu do Índio, escravizado, acuado, empurrado para o sertão e para o Centro-Oeste, e que ainda vaga como mendigo pelo território do Brasil em nações indígenas que têm pouco contato entre si, vivendo em condição degradante aos olhos de uma constituição digna desse nome? Enfatiza Amaral o fato do Museu do Índio realizado por Niemeyer, a pedido de Berta Ribeiro, ter ficado abandonado por muito tempo, até que somente recentemente Marcos Terena assumiu sua direção (id. Ibidem, pag. 323).

Segundo ela, uma cidade sem museus, como Brasília, não pode esperar desenvolver o espírito cidadão de seus habitantes. Já Canclini aponta a quase ausência de museus nos países latino-americanos (apud AMARAL, in op. cit., pag. 325) como um dos sintomas de descaso com a memória e a ausência de construção de uma relação de continuidade hierarquizada com os antecedentes da própria sociedade.

Mário Pedrosa, em 1978, lançou o projeto do “Museu das Origens” nas cinzas do MAM-Rio, ao som do samba embalado pelos passistas da Escola da Mangueira que evoluíram nos pilotis projetados por Affonso Eduardo Reidy então chamuscados pelo incêndio criminoso, como forma de valorização de nossas matrizes culturais. Falta ainda, no entanto, um espaço museológico contemporâneo para expressar a cultura viva das populações indígenas, afro-brasileiras e populares.

Pedrosa (apud ARANTES, in op. cit) destaca a importância da estética em face da ciência, de uma “luta do saber contra o saber” preconizada por Nietzsche (1992) no livro O Nascimento da Tragédia. Para este filósofo, o dilema espiritual do futuro reside em “Dominar o instinto do conhecimento, seja em proveito de uma religião, seja de uma civilização estética: é o que se verá”. Nietzsche toma o partido da estética e restitui à arte seus direitos, posicionando-se contra a religião, a metafísica e a ciência, a favor de uma civilização estética. Para ele, a ciência não pode ser disciplinada a não ser pela arte, que tem a missão de “recriar a vida”.

É no sentido de valorizar a revitalização do patrimônio imaterial dos saberes indígenas decorrentes de uma arquitetura bioclimática de Malocas que me posiciono, portanto, teórica e politicamente junto a este movimento pela ocupação definitiva do antigo Museu do Índio/Aldeia Maracanã, após a expulsão traumática dos indígenas do local, sob saraivadas de balas de borracha e ataques de gás lacrimogêneo da “tropa de elite” treinada pelo governador Sérgio Cabral com financiamento do então mega-empresário Eike Batista.

Acreditamos que tal desocupação forçada da Aldeia Maracanã colaborou decisivamente para deflagrar o movimento popular de junho de 2013 por ter possibilitado a manifestação maciça daquelas identidades locais que logram “se enraizar” do nada, criando um espaço de reflexões urbanas (estabelecido pela imprensa “ninja” virtual e por interfaces como o facebook) e de ações que oscilam entre o vazio e o cheio, entre uma cidade nua e uma cidade densa que se mascara, se teatraliza, se pinta, desfila e escreve/grita slogans de protesto (cf. AGIER, 2011, p. 172).

SEMINÁRIO INTERNACIONAL “M– USEUS E TRANSCULTURALIDADE”

“Para estabelecer um diálogo interdisciplinar e intercultural, a universidade deve permitir o fortalecimento da cultura social dos seres humanos, promovendo o pensamento crítico que se desenvolve por meio da filosofia, da literatura, da arte e da estética na cultura da comunicação e na história” (POULAIN, 2012).

Tendo em vista a continuidade dos esforços do 1° Encontro de Intercâmbio Museológico: Living Cultures Seminar realizado em julho de 2010 em Londres pelo então Diretor do Museum of London, Professor Jack Lohman, do HSBC e da UNESCO, com vistas a delinear diretrizes práticas de cooperação cultural e intercâmbio entre museus brasileiros e europeus e a conseguinte elaboração de um projeto de um novo Museu Vivo Indígena e um Canteiro Experimental de Pesquisas Transculturais no Brasil até o ano de 2016, momento de realização das Olimpíadas, acordaram alguns participantes da necessidade de propor a implantação deste projeto em terras brasileiras no ano de 2012, desejosos de amplos debates nas áreas museológicas, filosóficas e artísticas, no que tange ao Patrimônio Imaterial, Estética, História e outras disciplinas culturais

Partindo da concepção de antropologia transcultural da UNESCO baseada na obra de Jacques Poulain (da cátedra em Filosofia da Cultura e das Instituições na UNESCO / Universidade Paris 8-Sant Denis, França), o projeto procura analisar a emergência de sujeitos constituintes de determinada cultura no processo de investigação científica. Longe de ser um objeto de pesquisa em si, as culturas vivas indígenas em questão e as instituições museológicas passariam a ser analisadas numa dinâmica de relação entre múltiplos sujeitos de conhecimento, fazendo com que, neste processo cognitivo, estes possam exercer sua faculdade de julgar a verdade e reconhecer a humanidade plural que os une.

De acordo com o decreto do DPI-IPHAN n. 3.551 de 04/08/2000, o projeto pretende contribuir para o registro de bens de natureza imaterial que constituem o patrimônio cultural brasileiro, referindo-se ao Livro de Registro dos Saberes no que tange às formas típicas da construção de moradias indígenas, representadas pelas Malocas xinguanas, amazônicas ou das comunidades costeiras e que continuam, até os dias de hoje, sendo atualizadas por nossas populações nativas rurais e urbanas

Ao refletir sobre a arquitetura milenar de nossas culturas vivas nativas, o projeto propõe a realização de oficinas de arte viva que incluem a criação de um Canteiro Experimental de Arquitetura Bioclimática no Campus da Praia Vermelha – UFF, onde seu corpo discente e docente poderá interagir diretamente com indígenas oriundos da Aldeia Maracanã (Pataxó, Apurinã, Ful-niô, Tukano, Potiguara, Kaingang, Kamayurá, Tupinambá etc), de forma a estabelecer as bases do projeto participativo do Museu Vivo nos moldes de preservação e revitalização das culturas tradicionais recomendados pelo IPHAN (Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional)- MinC (Ministério da Cultura) e do ICOM (Conselho Internacional de Museus) da UNESCO.

A proposta de implantação deste projeto foi recentemente discutida no Museu de Arte Contemporânea – MAC, em Niterói/RJ, tendo como temática a interrelação entreTransculturalidade, Arquitetura/Artes Visuais, Música e Teatro/Performance. Visando criar um diálogo interdisciplinar e reforçar relações transculturais, a Universidade Federal Fluminense, através de seu Programa de Pós-Graduação em Arquitetura e Urbanismo-PPGAU, da Escola de Arquitetura e Urbanismo-EAU, ao lado da UNIRIO, busca desenvolver atividades de pesquisa e de extensão com comunidades autócnes de indígenas e afro-descendentes.

O Professor Jacques Poulain, coordenador francês da cooperação técnica CAPES-Cofecub n. 752/12 abriu o seminário internacional “Museus e Transculturalidade: Novas Práticas Pós-Modernas”, realizado de 27 a 29 de maio de 2013 afirmando que a universidade permite o reforço da cultura socialista no ser humano ao favorecer o espírito crítico que se desenvolve através da filosofia, da literatura, da arte, da arquitetura e da estética com a cultura da comunicação e a história.

Tendo em vista as Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais para Educação das Relações Étnico-Raciais e para o Ensino de História e Cultura Afro-Brasileira e Indígena (Lei n° 11.645 de 10/03/2008; Resolução CNE/CP N° 01 de 17 de junho de 2004), e a exigência pelo MEC de que a temática da História e Cultura Afro-Brasileira e Indígena seja incluída nas disciplinas e atividades curriculares dos cursos de graduação das universidades brasileiras, o seminário tem como uma de suas intenções indagar: Será possível inserir adequadamente as populações indígenas e afro-descendentes neste universo escolástico sob a ótica da globalização e da comunicação, tendo em vista as políticas do espaço público, a valorização do patrimônio imaterial pela UNESCO e sua decorrente educação cultural patrimonial?

VERDADE UNIVERSITÁRIA, ESPAÇO PÚBLICO E ARTE VIVA

Os sociólogos de direita de todas as nações descrevem os efeitos da mundialização através de uma primitivização das relações sociais e da redução das intersubjetividades a acões de consumo alimentar / sexual e agressivas da humanidade. Habermas e Gehlen descreveram este processo como a desintegração de todas as instâncias de autoridade (cf. POULAIN, 2012.).

Ocorre aqui um individualismo máximo onde o mundo é o indivíduo e se reduz a ele mesmo, e onde ocorre uma alienação que reduz o indivíduo ao mundo.  Assim, na tautologia, o homem só encontra aquilo que procura. Experimenta-se, então, a palavra como grau zero do parceiro, onde ele não fala e somente se submete aos valores da autoridade.

O futuro da humanidade pressupõe uma redução da racionalidade ética à uma racionalidade funcional aplicada à própria história. A falsidade da imagem filosófica decorre da identificação do ser humano com seu ideal moral, percebido como a vontade de submeter ao espírito o ser irracional dos desejos (cf. POULAIN, in op. cit., apud Max Weber). A experimentação cultural, sob a égide do consenso comunicativo democrático, submetida à ânsia do domínio moral de si mesmo e ao domínio tecnológico do mundo, cria uma imagem do homem como sendo autônomo dessas instâncias.

A experimentação da subjetividade se dá, portanto, através da comunicação e da afirmação do consenso. O consenso faz de nós reféns de nós mesmos: a crise do mundo moderno se baseia na crise de comunicação, com o fracasso de instituições comunicacionais e democráticas que criam uma tautologia de linguagens que procura minimizar os apetites pelo domínio de si mesmo através da palavra como elemento dominante na sociedade.

É dentro da ótica filosófica que o Museu Vivo pretende desvendar algumas pistas sobre as questões transculturais que perpassam o presente momento histórico do capitalismo tardio na sociedade complexa brasileira. Esta arte viva, mencionada por Mário Pedrosa (1978) para definir a pujança das culturas indígenas, pode ser simbolizada pela tensão entre o apolíneo e o dionisíaco como manifestações da arte e da vida, a qual está presente no pensamento de Friedrich Nietzsche e foi apresentada em sua primeira obra O Nascimento da Tragédia: ou Helenismo e Pessimismo, escrita em 1871.

Vilém Flusser, no livro Ficções Filosóficas de 1998, apropria-se deste conceito nietzschiano para expressar uma arte viva pós-moderna, caracterizada por duas revoluções arrasadoras: a telemática e a biotécnica. Como falar de inovação tecnológica ao tratar das culturas vivas nativas brasileiras na atualidade? No caso da pertinente discussão sobre uma arquitetura bioclimática ou verde, como buscar, então, inspiração nas Malocas indígenas amazônicas, xinguanas e do litoral?

Parece que arquitetos como Severiano Mário Porto já “estiveram lá” ao pesquisar técnicas tradicionais populares na habitação do Amazonas para criar novos protótipos de uma arquitetura inteligente adequada ao clima úmido e tórrido, com amplos telhados de cobertura vegetal que permitem a saída do ar quente e o resfriamento térmico do espaço interior. Será que é possível, a partir da revolução telemática discutida por Flusser, criar protótipos inovadores de Malocas Digitais, aonde a tecnologia de ponta se alia a técnicas construtivas milenares? Esta é uma das indagações feitas pelo atual projeto, inserido dentro da AGIR (Agência de Inovação) da PROPPi (Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa, Pós-Graduação e Inovação) da Universidade Federal Fluminense.

ARQUITETURA MODERNA “BARROCA”

A arquitetura de inspiração “barroca”, segundo Glauco Campello (2001), de Oscar Niemeyer, com suas formas circulares e espiraladas, acabou por influenciar a estrutura da arquitetura brasileira de caráter kitsch dos subúrbios cariocas e do interior do Nordeste e de Minas Gerais. A imagética desta arquitetura kitsch (Guimaraens & Cavalcanti, 2006) expressa uma estética mesclada aos princípios construtivos da arquitetura moderna de Niemeyer, a qual por sua vez incorpora posturas barrocas ao funcionalismo de Le Corbusier.

A presença de uma corrente de influência barroca luso-brasileira na obra de Niemeyer é caracterizada pelo uso de elementos de linhas curvas e de forma livre (cf. Underwood, 1992), tal como ocorre com a colunata do Palácio do Alvorada (1956-1958), em Brasília. Estas colunas foram inspiradas em redes estendidas ou em velas de barcos e se tornaram ícones do poder político federal, tendo seus elementos construtivos caído no gosto popular e sido copiados em fôrmas de gesso, dispostos maciçamente como decoração nas fachadas das casas das classes trabalhadoras em todo o país. Outros elementos absorvidos das obras estéticas e funcionais de Le Corbusier e Niemeyer foram o telhado plano e o telhado “borboleta” (teto em “v”, com uma calha central, onde a água da chuva é drenada), derivadas da estética das “máquinas-de-morar” modernistas.

O seminário internacional referido teve como ideia-chave homenagear a arquitetura-viva de Oscar Niemeyer, tendo selecionado como seu espaço de realização aquele que é considerado como um dos projetos mais expressivos deste arquiteto: o MAC-Niterói, ícone da cidade e da Prefeitura de Niterói. No decorrer de três dias, tivemos a oportunidade de vivenciar in loco os conceitos da filosofia transcultural de Jacques Poulain ao integrar acadêmicos, alunos, técnicos e agentes culturais indígenas e afro-descendentes em uma “experimentação total” universitária.

A “alegria triunfal” do Parangolé e da Tropicália baseia-se no experimentalismo plástico do barracão da escola-de-samba, indicando aquilo que Hélio Oiticica denomina como “lazer não-repressivo” que pode autofundar o indivíduo. O kitsch questiona a própria identidade brasileira: como se pode criar uma arte “autêntica” (artesanal e regional) através da incorporação de tendências internacionais (tecnológicas e globais)?  A postura antropofágica, de Oswald de Andrade a Hélio Oiticica-H.O., contrapõe a vanguarda estética ao consumo da cultura de massas.

O “ready-made” de Marcel Duchamp aproxima-se da estética kitsch ao enfatizar a “não-pureza” que mescla elementos arquitetônicos espúrios. O kitsch é, então, uma ANTIARTE: obra transitória que incorpora posturas do cotidiano. A estética experimental kitsch expressa o papel da cultura de massas como território de fronteira entre arte erudita e popular, representando uma “vanguarda de choque”.

PAINEL TRANSCULTURAL E PERFORMANCE

A relação entre a imagem e o ser, enquanto estrutura social no espaço-tempo define as diferentes práticas artísticas como artes visuais, escultura, literatura, arquitetura, música e dança / performance. A reprodução excessiva de imagens visuais na história contemporânea simboliza a imagética típica, em termos estruturais e históricos, da civilização dos meios de comunicação de massa, embora não represente o poder discriminatório de uma era.

As imagens do Painel Transcultural traçadas por Duda Penteado e Fernando Pacheco, juntamente com o corpo discente da Escola de Arquitetura e Urbanismo-EAU da Universidade Federal Fluminense-UFF e com agentes indígenas da antiga Aldeia Maracanã, expressam um exercício criativo que encerrou este seminário internacional, no qual o diálogo entre as diferentes manifestações artísticas foi enfatizado.

Em geral, as notações gráficas, em todas as suas formas de expressão, são consideradas como instrumentos fundamentais do desenho artístico. “O pensamento visual” adota os conceitos de “imaginação interativa” e do “conceito figural” para reiterar sua rejeição de qualquer dicotomia entre a concepção do projeto e a gravação da imagem figurativa. Em outras palavras, a notação gráfica empregada para desenhar diagramas e croquis é entendida como sendo fundamental para a concepção do projeto deste painel.

O emprego de eixos e formas triangulares como elementos de composição é uma tradição nas artes visuais. O eixo imaginário estabelece uma linha de suporte que cria um tipo de relação entre as partes da composição, quando se define um tipo ideal de um “esqueleto” que apoia a concepção de valores primários de ordem, estabilidade e dominação. Com esta ênfase nos eixos, a ideia geométrica do Painel Transcultural se afirma pela redução da solução tradicional da rede reticulada em um sistema de rede que determina a organização e o layout dos elementos urbanos.

A expressão artística de algo desenhado no papel assumiu assim a forma de um meio ou a forma de um pensamento plástico, tal como ocorreu na proposta de Painel Transcultural realizado no MAC-Niterói em 29 de maio de 2013. Na concepção deste projeto visual, a conceituação do pensamento e o pensamento do desenho podem ser indicados pelo aforismo de Lucio Costa (1962) de que “o risco é um risco” – projeto.

O “risco” dos dois artistas plásticos estimulou a imaginação dita “ativa”, ou seja, uma imaginação com “vontade” (Bachelard, 1979). A concepção do projeto referiu-se aqui a uma atividade onde a notação gráfica aparece como um modo de discurso, ou seja, o discurso de um estilo poético que simboliza um dos quatro níveis de precisão propostos por Aristóteles: poética, retórica, dialética e analítica. Caracteriza-se tal discurso poético como sendo parte da imagem onde o gosto de hábitos convencionais se afirma como forma de ser que deve ser aceita como verdadeira temporariamente, ocasionando desta maneira a suspensão da descrença sobre a realidade imagética. A transição do mundo real, nas artes visuais, decorre do papel fundamental desempenhado pela atividade criadora do olho como órgão que estabelece um espaço comum para a arquitetura, a escultura e a pintura artística.

O essencial entre as três artes da arquitetura, escultura e pintura encontra-se no elemento que o teórico de arte e escultor alemão Hildebrand (apud Poulain, 2002) chama de impressões “arquitetônicas” e que representa a confluência da verticalidade, da horizontalidade e da profundidade como lei geral que constitui o espaço de composição. Sobre a percepção visual deste Painel Transcultural, pode-se estabelecer uma conexão com o mundo para responder à pergunta: o que é (re) apresentado pela imagem (real ou imaginária)? (Cany, 2008, p. 47-48).

A resposta clássica é que “o plano da consciência gráfica é que formaliza”, já a resposta tradicional afirma que “é o plano do inconsciente que se materializa” (Bachelard, in op. cit.). Caracteriza-se tal discurso poético, expresso neste Painel Transcultural, como sendo parte da imagem onde o gosto de hábitos convencionais se afirma como forma de ser que deve ser aceita como verdadeira temporariamente, ocasionando desta maneira a suspensão da descrença sobre a realidade imagética.

O Painel Transcultural nos fala, então, sobre a crença em uma sociedade multicultural brasileira, onde representantes de diferentes etnias, estratos sociais e níveis educacionais puderam interagir para construir um espaço dialógico e criativo no universo das artes plásticas, inspirados e contaminados pela forma circular-barroca contemporânea da arquitetura de Oscar Niemeyer.

 

Referências:

AMARAL, Aracy. “500 Anos de Carência” in Textos do Trópico de Capricórnio. Artigos e Ensaios (1980-2005). Vol. 2: circuitos de arte na América Latina e no Brasil. São Paulo, Editora 34, 2006.

ARANTES, Otília (org.). Textos escolhidos – Acadêmicos e Modernos (vol. 3). São Paulo, EDUSP, 2004.

AGIER, Michel. Antropologia da Cidade: lugares, situações, movimentos. SP, Editora Terceiro Nome, 2011.

BACHELARD, Gaston. A Poética do Espaço. São Paulo, Abril Cultural, Coleção Os Pensadores, 1979.

CAMPELLO, Glauco de Oliveira. O Brilho da Simplicidade: Dois Estudos sobre Arquitetura Religiosa no Brasil Colonial. Rio de Janeiro, Casa da Palavra-Departamento Nacional do Livro, 2001.

CANCLINI, Néstor García. “La modernidad después de la posmodernidad”, in BELLUZZO, Ana Maria (org.), Modernidade: vanguardas artísticas na América Latina. Sao Paulo, UNESP/Memorial da América Latina, 1990.

CANY, Bruno. “Perspective Musicale”, préface in LYOTARD, Jean-François. Que peindre? Paris, Hermann Éditeurs, Collection Hermann – Philosophie, 2008.

COSTA, Lúcio. Sobre a Arquitetura. Porto Alegre, Centro de Estudos Universitários de Arquitetura, 1962.

FEITOSA, Charles. Du nihilisme europeene selon Nietzsche au nihilsme brésilienne selon Flusser. Paris, CAPES-Cofecub, 2012.

FLUSSER, Vilém. Ficções Filosóficas. São Paulo, EDUSP, 1998.

NIETZSCHE, Friedrich Wilhelm. O Nascimento da Tragédia, ou Helenismo e Pessimismo. Trad., notas e posfácio de Jacó Guinsburg. São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1992 (1871).

GUIMARAENS, Dinah. Do Kitsch à Metafísica: Arquitetura, Estética e Imagética Transculturais. Niterói, PPGAU-UFF, 2013.

(Org.) Museu de Arte e Origens: Mapa das Culturas Vivas Guaranis. Rio de Janeiro, Contracapa/FAPERJ, 2003.

GUIMARAENS, Dinah & CAVALCANTI, Lauro. Arquitetura Kitsch Suburbana e Rural. Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 2006.

HILDEBRAND, Adolf. Le problème de la forme dans les arts plastiques. Préface de Jacques Poulain. Traduit de l’allemande par Éliane Beaufils. Paris, L’Harmattan, 2002.

PEDROSA, Mário. Discurso aos Tupiniquins ou Nambás. Paris, 1978.

POULAIN, Jacques. «  L’enjeu d’une anthropologie interculturelle pour une esthétique transculturelle ». Texto inédito apresentado no Seminário Internacional « Museus e Transculturalidade: Novas Práticas Pós-Modernas”. Niterói, MAC, 2013.

La Neutralisation du Jugement ou la Critique Pragmatique de la Raison Politique. Paris, L´Harmattan, 2012.

De l’Homme: Elements d’Anthropobiologie Philosophique du Language. Paris, Les Éditions du Cerf, 2001.

La Loi de Vérité: La Logique Philosophique du Jugement. Paris, Albin Michel, 1993.

UNDERWOOD, David. Oscar Niemeyer e o modernismo de formas livres no Brasil. São Paulo, Cosac&Naify, 2002.

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2, 2013   Comments Off on BRAZIL/As It Is

Friends & Contributors

Featured & Contributors

Abetz & Drescher

Ali Abdolrezaei

Hassanal Abdullah

José Acosta

Maria Aguiar

Hawk Alfredson

Manolis Aligizakis

Jason Allen

Jonathan Alpeyrie

Nelson Álvarez

Amy Kollar Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson

Miya Ando

Edie Angelo

Chris Anthony

Lucia   Antonelli

David Aschkenas

Nadja Asghar

Ely Azure

Anne Babson

Willie Baez

Christine  Bahr

Tom Bair

Walter Barco Bajana

Megan Baker

Alexandra Bakonika

Stanley H. Barkan

Lea Barozzi

Josephine Barreiro

Svea Barrett

Lynda Barreto

Michael Bashover

Ryan G. Beckman

John Bellinger

Rosebud Ben-Oni

Eric Bennett

James Benton

Allison Berkoy

Roscoe Betsill

Tara Betts

Denis Bezmelnitsin

Michael Biach

Robert Bixby

Alberto Blanco

Chloe Marisa Blog

Ann Bogle

Phil Boiarski

Doug Bond

Dave Bonga

Tom Bovo

Julie Bowen

Joseph Bowman

Jeff  Boyer

Richard Braco

Robert Bradbury

Dorothy Bradbury

Amanda J. Bradley

Jillian Brall

Charles Bremer

Alan Britt

Sophia  Brittan

Nicole Broadhurst

Steve Bromberg

Marguerite Brown

Valerie Brown

John Brunelli

John F. Buckley

Joseph Buemi

Nikolai Buglaj

Matthew Burns

Renate Buser

Virginia Fabbri Butera

Dana Jaye Cadman

John Cage

Charmaine Caire

Erskine Caldwell

Jean Marc Calvet

Mary-Ellen Campbell

Alejandra Campos

Herm Card

Kevin Carey

Cheryl Carter-Pierce

Jessie Carty

Jennie Case

Gerardo Castro

Sultan Catto

Pablo Caviedes

Jan Wenk Cedras

Cecelia Chapman

Carlos Chavez

Lou Christine

Ann Clark

Gene Clark

Audrie Clifford

Josephine Close

Laura Close

David Cody

Elizabeth Cohen

Maile Colbert

Michel Collins

Pierre Corratgé

Alfred Corn

Jeff Crouch

Hal Crowther

Jack Dann

Joel Davis

Susan Deer Cloud

David Chirico

David Cody

Maile Colbert

Lucha Corpi

Benedetto Croce

José Cruz

Eileen Dandashi

Kimberly Dark

Adrian Roland Davis

Robert Murray Davis

Priscila De Carvalho

Margarita Delcheva

Chislain de Lossy

Marie David de Lossy

Don DeMauro

Abigail Denniston

R. J. Dent

Christie Devereaux

Deb Dibari

Debra DiBlasi

Susanne Dieckmann

Carol Dine

Jennifer Diskin

Dante Di Stefano

Bill Dixon

John Dobbs

Michael Dorris

Albert Dorsa

Andy Doyle

Daniel Dragomirescu

Jessica Dubey

Isabelle Collin Dufresne

Jacques Dupin

Gloria Duque

Michael Eastman

Jeff Edstrom

Barbara Ellmerer

Evelyn Embry

Myron Ernst

Jonathan Evans

Susana Falconi

György Faludy

Claus Feldmann

Jeanpaul Ferro

Rainer Fetting

Marissa Fielstein

Mircea Filimon

Francesca Fini

Emil Fischer

Esta Fischer

Carlton Fisher

Gail Fishman

Adam Fitzgerald

Lisa Flowers

Michael Foldes

Scott Freeman

Maria Friberg

James Friedman

James Devin Fry

Dylan I. Furcall

Michelle Gabel

Helene Gaillet

David Gaita

Alessandro Gaja

Alex Ganimian

Joel Gardner

Irving S.T. Garp

Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret

Tenzin Gayato, The Dalai Lama

Murray Gaylard

Jennifer Georgescu

Klaus Gerken

Monique Gagnon German

Patrick T. German

Gail Gerwin

Ralph Gibson

Henry A. Giroux

David Gittens

Paige F. Gittleman

Marsha Glaziere

D. R. Goff

Molly “MK”   Goldblatt

Eleanor Goldfield

Andrea Goldsmith

Kenneth Goldsmith

Alredo Gomez Jr.

C. Goodison

Racquel Goodison

Carly Gove

Grace Marie Grafton

Padraig Grant

K. J. Hannah Greenberg

Tawnysha Greene

Sonia Greenfield

Alina Gregorian

Mary Gregory

Alex Grey

Sargam Griffin

Roy Grillo

Christine Grimes

Adrian Grimmeau

Dale Grimshaw

Tony Gruenewald

Denise Grünstein

Trudell Guerue

James Guignard

Lilace Mellin Guignard

Dinah P. Guimaraens

Karen Gunderson

Walter Gurbo

Andrei Guruianu

Tenzin Gyatso, The Dalai Lama

Adeel Halim

Eva Halus

Larry Hamill

Raymond Hammond

Hanne H7L

Evan Hansen

Mia Hanson

Jeff Hardin

Tara Hardy

Elizabeth Harney

Elizabeth Hartowicz

Chuck Haupt

Charles Hayes

Robert Hazzon

Olaf Heine

Richard Heisler

Fernando “Pulpo” Hereñu

Julia Hetta

Leslie Heywood

K.H. Hödicke

Matthew Hoffman

Rouald Hoffman

Katie Hogan

Gordon Holden

Alex Holmes

Judy Horowitz

 

Miklós Horváth

Shawn Huckins

Ted Hughes

Deborah Humphreys

Hala Salah Eldin Hussein

Mary Pat Hyland

Avery Irons

Aya Iwai

Cecelia Jackson

Mitch James

Ellen Jantzen

Michael Jantzen

Steve Johnson

JW Johnston

Ben Jones

Dwyer Jones

Cecil Jordan

Jody Joyner

Edmond Rinooy Kaan

Ivar Kaasik

Mahmood Karimi-Hakak

Kojo Kamau

Ineke Kamps

Mary Kane

Sándor Kányádi

Basanta Kar

Amy Karle

Jeff Katz

Simone Kearney

Steven Keith

Jonathan Kelham

Jonathan Kelman

John Kelly

Adele Kenny

Kathleen Keough

Jim Keysor

Masud Khan

Guenter Knop

Cloe Koutsoubelis

Chas Ray Krider

Piotr Krol

Minter Krotzer

Leo Kuelbs

Xavier Landry

Deborah LaVeglia

Stuart Lehrman

Seth Lerer

Tice Lerner

Marsha Levine

Mark Levinson

Kari Polanyi Levitt

Mark Levy

Sarah Ellison Lewis

Lyn Lifshin

Elaine Lillios

Eliane Lima

Joseph Lindsley

Paul Lisicky

Dina Litovsky

Ginger Liu

Duane Locke

Jack Long

Sean Lotman

Charlotte Lowe

Carmen Lucca

Kevin Lucia

Sebastian Łuczywo

Geoff MacEwan

Jeanne Mackin

Chris Mackowski

J.H. Mae

Valentin Magaro

Dennis Maitland

Sara Marilungo

Chelsie Malyszek

Clint Margrave

Abi Maryan

Charlie Mason

Laura Mason

Phyllis Mass

John Matkowsky

Carlo Matos

Lori A. May

Cris Mazza

Maria Mazziotti Gillan

Miles McNulty

Ifeany A. Menkiti

Annette Messager

Beth McCoy

Rebecca McGinnis

Deloss McGraw

Devin McMicken

Alison Meyers

Ann E. Michaels

Myrna E. Micheli

Noel G. Miles

Scott “Galanty” Miller

Ryan Miosek

Karen Miranda

Carmen Mojica

Mark Montgomery

Darren Moore

George Moore

Herb Moore

Osdany Morales

Mario Moroni

D. Alexander Mosner

David Murphy

Abby E. Murray

Rob Mustard

Gabriel Navar

Alexandra Navratil

Greg Neault

Wolfgang Neumann

Kylin O’Brien

Stephen O’Connor

Sarah Odishoo

Jill Okpalugo-Nwajiaku

Steve Oldford

Marlene Olin

Ty Oliver

Peter One

Miriam O’Neal

Raphael Montañez Ortíz

Marcin Owczarek

Jeff Paggi

Alexis Paige

John Palen

James Palombo

Christopher Panzner

Michael Parish

Mira Martin Parker

Diego Trelles Paz

Donald Pease

Duda Penteado

Jorge Alberto Perez

Anders Petersen

Christopher Phelps

DJ Pierce

Hermine Pinson

Emma Piper-Burket

Phil Pisani

Tim Plamper

Stephen Poleskie

Pedro Ponce

Patrick Power

Claudiu Presecan

George Nelson Preston

Zaira Rahman

Mel Ramos

John Crowe Ransom

Luis Raul

David Ray

Sheyra Ray

Babs Reingold

Daniel Reinhold

Gabrielle Revere

Rahi Rezvani

Oliver Rice

Petra Richterova

Edmond Rinnoy-Kan

Eri Ritsos

Yannis Ritsos

Andre Roberts

Fred Roberts

Pamela Brown Roberts

Dorothea Rockburne

José Rodeíro

Tatiana Olga Rodeíro

Ivelisse Rodriguez

Jose Antonio Rodriguez

Bertha Rogers

Stephanie Rond

Rooftop Revolutionaries

Liz Rosenberg

Martin Rosenberg

Barbara Rosenthal

Eric Ross

Mary Ross

Paul B. Roth

Daniel Rousseau

Don Ruben

Lelia Cady Ruben

Fred Russell

Thaddeus Rutkowski

Kris Saknussemm

Metta Sama

Carol Sanford

Nicole Santalucia

Aaron Joel Santos

Sarah Sarai

Peter Saunders

Petr Savrda

Eric Schafer

Alice Schapiro

Roy Scheele

Silvia Scheibli

J. D. Schraffenberger

Karen Schubert

Marissa Schwalm

Tom Scorci

Robert Scotellaro

Phillipa Scott

Zach Seeger

Joachim Seinfeld

Claudia Serea

Jaron Serven

Art Shay

Randall Shelden

Lucy Wilson Sherman

Myra Sherman

Dana Shishmanian

Sarah Silbert

Gersony Silva

Hal Sirowitz

John Smelcer

Jan Smith

John Richard Smith

Todd Smith

Aline Smithson

Abigail Smoot

W. D.  Snodgrass

Soekershof

Robert Soffian

Paul Sohar

Joel Solonche

Juan Soler

Lilvia Soto

Barbara Sue Mink Spalding

Elizabeth Helen Spencer

Jan “JR”   Sprawls

Martin Stavars

Bianca Stone

Sridala Swami

Kate Sweeney

David Stanger

Martin Stavars

Andy Stevens

Wendy Stewart

Alex Straaik

Alisa Strassner

Russell Streyr

Tim Suermondt

Teresa Sutton

Amy Swartelé

Trish Keleman Szuhaj

Mary Szybist

Salvatore Tagliarino

Leon Tan

Irelys Martinez Tejada

Teknari

Masami Teraoka

Kristin Thiel

Sheree Renae Thomas

John Tierney

Beth Timmins

Robert Tolchin

Enrico Tomaselli

Jean Toomer

Micah Towery

Emily Kagan Trenchard

Craig Tuffin

Lars Tunbjörk

Lauren Tursellino

Tuten

William Tyree

Pamela Uschuk

Carmen Valle

Vantzeti Vassilev

Jeanann Verlee

Stephen Verona

Maia Vidal

Raul Villarreal

Ultra Violet

Janez Vlachy

Emily Vogel

Robert Walker

Kayleigh Wanzer

Candice Watkins

Albert Watson

Sacha Webley

Joe Weil

Florence Weinberger

Paul West

Angela White

Horace Whittlesey

Robyn Wiegman

Tim Wilber

David Williams

Hudson Eynon Williams

Ian Williams

Roger Williams

Chip Willis

Martin Willitts, Jr.

Nicholas Wilsey

Michelle  Winston

J. Barrett Wolf

Leslie C. Wood

Cherise Wyneken

Midori Yoshimoto

Rebecca Young

David Zeggert

Samamtha Zighelboim

Jack Zipes

Herbert Zulueta

If over the years you have been a contributor to ragazine.cc and your name does not appear here, we apologize.  A lot of files have been lost as the site was updated, so let us know. We’ll add it to the list of those whose contributions have helped keep us up and running. We appreciate it!

September 1, 2013   No Comments

Covers: Sept ’10 thru Feb ’11

…………………………………………………………………

Dancing with Dragons

Putting out a magazine is like dancing with dragons and letting go genies…. You struggle to pull things together without knowing what kind of animal you’ll deliver until the things – the issues — are out of the bottle. We’re doing our best to see that what you take the time to look at and read in Ragazine will add something measurably more memorable to your day than the daily dose of dumbed down pablum delivered by mainstream media to a mind-numbed populous.  Let us know if it’s not and we’ll kick ourselves in the shins, scream “Sakai,” and pay homage to the gods of wind feces (snow), until we get it right.

For those of you ready to dive in now, there’s plenty to break your fall:

The Ragazine cover this month is contributed by New York photographer Gabrielle Revere, whose work reveals the youth and beauty of a new generation. An interview with Revere shows she’s well aware not everyone in the world is so lucky. Our associated galleries include shots from her documentary series, “I only have eyes for you,” which captures the ice-cold irony of the beauty of children living in the midst of oft-neglected poverty.

Photographer Josephine Close explores the world of the psyche in the shadows, a journey into what lies within and beyond the visual field one sees through the camera’s eye, what evolves in the darkroom (or on the computer), and comes to life in the print. Close, in her own words, undertakes the pursuit in “… seeking to illuminate the magic in my life.”

On other fronts: A surreal love story from Stephen O’Connor/Fiction; Michael Parish’s Vignettes/Creative Nonfiction,, which CNF editor Leslie Heywood describes as a “series of vignettes on our strange contemporary relationship with the natural world.  There’s the poetry of John F. Buckley, Anne Babson and John Richard Smith; Jeff Katz’s unusually broad Top Ten music picks of 2010; Mark Levy’s eye on life as theCasual Observer, and his pro bono legal advice column for creative types in Feeding the Starving Artist.

From deep in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel Allende to be exact, politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Horace Whittlesey comment on the effects of modern day prohibition and the unfulfilled promise of California’s recently defeated Proposition 19.

There’s more, of course, including illustrations, book reviews, a couple of events that caught our eyes, and more. … Such As —

WATER:

Water, from Cecelia Chapman’s Video series

This is the first video we’ve run in Ragazine, but we’ll have more, soon. We are looking for original short videos (approx. 2 minutes) that have not been posted elsewhere, but we’ll sometimes take them if they have. They’ll run in a window on Ragazine, without redirects to other sites, but we will include the videographer’s site references with the piece. E-mail to editor@ragazine.cc, as attachments, with a still from the video.

So, while we close out 2010 dancing with dragons, and let the genie out of the bottle with VOLUME 7 Number 1, we wish you a healthy and progressive new year.

As always, thanks for reading.

— Mike Foldes

Shop the Ragazine store: http://old.ragazine.cc/support-ragazine/

_______________________________

Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.

Advertise with us!
Contact: info@ragazine.cc

_______________________________

Mail: Ragazine, c/o PO Box 8586, Endwell, NY 13762

Editor: 607-343-3091

Ragazine blogSign in here
Blog Directory Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Local Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:

USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA! Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets

Good god, we’re even on twitter: ragazinecc
(But we seldom tweet….)

November-December 2010


©Aline Smithson

Arrangement #3

Aline Smithson: The Photographer’s Mother

……….

The Art of Being Modern

Hello, again. Thanks for coming back. We know it’s not easy to take a few minutes out of a busy day for an “arts’ breather,’ but we’re glad you did.
The beauty of the web is also the spider at its center, that being people’s ability to spin whatever yarn they like and put it out in cyberspace. Everybody gets a shot. It used to be there were so few people with sites that it was a small community, many of whom knew one another, often righteously so. That community has grown so that now we’re not just a city, not just a nation, and each site has become one in a million. Or more likely, one in a few hundred million. The web, like the universe, is expanding exponentially, and it’s our challenge to keep up.
The New York Times newspaper is a great example of meeting that challenge. The gray lady may not be at her best these days, circulation and advertising revenue-wise, but she hasn’t lost her touch with news, features, reviews, opinion and leading edge journalism. Say what you want, but take a Sunday morning and afternoon off to read the Times cover to cover (if you can) and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t just take it for granted, because of the paper’s reputation, or because it’s been quoted from or talked about in news and movies since you were two. Read it once cover to cover and deny you’re less of a person than you were hours before when you picked it up — all two or three kilograms! (Sorry, tree people.)
I used to work for a newspaper conglomerate that published News Lite. The managers of the empire knew that busy people didn’t have time, and many didn’t have the interest — to read anything “in depth”. And in order to deliver bite-sized morsels of information people could digest, they peeled the onion until there was little left to eat. Reading theTimes on Sunday is like going to a farmer’s market in September. Two-page spreads on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who too few Americans really know about, and fewer understand. Interviews with Centenarians who too often are passed over in favor of attention to youth culture. Articles on youth and growing up in America, the cost of education, and the more exorbitant costs of not having it. Political coverage by international correspondents who live and work close to the ground they cover. And, of course, so much more.

No paper, of course, is perfect, and I’m in no position to tear wings from the dragon. But so much of what we see and hear on the web these days is a mirror of what the least-common-denominator print publishing offerings give us, that it’s a blessing the Times is still with us — and a sad fact of life that so many other great papers have died, not all of them with their boots on.

This issue of Ragazine has a lot to offer, too. We’re not just a Sunday read; we’re here two months at a time, and it’s OK to come back — again and again, we hope — until you’ve read us “cover to cover”.  Poetry, art, interviews, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, music, reviews, travel and more, from around the world.

November-December 2010 brings you the photographic series by Aline Smithson, taken of her mother in a variety of poses, including the one at the top of this page; poems by Hannah Greenberg; Farsi poetry by ex-pat Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei in the original and in translation by Abol Froushan; an interview with Belgian-American artist Amy Swartelé; fiction by Paul Lisicky and Sarah Sarai; music columns byJeff Katz; a take on illegal immigration by politics editor Jim Palombo and guest writer Robert Murray Davis; a story of reconciliation with the harsh reality of a child’s death in creative non-fiction by James Benton; the Casual Observer followed byScott Hardin’s pane; our legal advice column for creative types, Feeding the Starving Artist; and, from Colorado, Art & About, where Jonathan Evans explores a bit of the blues.

There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to find it. And again, thanks for reading!

– MRF

_____________________________________

September-October 2010

©Albert Watson

Taking the best shot yet

Welcome to another killer issue of ragazine.cc.

Photographer Albert Watson,  in an interview at his NYC studio, discusses aspects of his craft, the evolution of his career, the equipment he uses to produce his prints, and more.  Referred to byPhoto District News as “one of the most influential photographers of all time,” Watson generously allowed ragazine.cc to reprint an extensive portfolio of images, many of which you’ll no doubt recognize from the covers and pages of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Harper’s Bazaar.  Showing no sign of slowing down, Watson has two book collections coming out this fall from PQ Blackwell publishing company, a solo show in Chelsea opening in October, and more than one project in the works.

Sara Ellison Lewis tells what it’s like for her to be a photo stylist in New York. Brookly-based sculptor Miya Ando explains what it means to her “to do good” in the world, a task that merely begins with making art. The cast and crew at Spool MFG, a gallery-performance space in Johnson City, New York, share part of their group’s latest production,Ampersand, a collage-like assemblage of history, poetry and art.

In Music, Jeff Katz reviews the latest musical offering from Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and looks back on 30 years of Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony“. Jonathan Evans remembers Bob Marley a full 19 years after the reggae legend’s death. And, in Politics, San Miguel Allende, Mexico-based writer Lou Christine recounts his impressions of a 2007 trip to Havana that ring true even today.

On the literary front, there’s the Poetry of Emily VogelTony GruenewaldJ.P. Smelcer and Rob Mustard; the Creative Non Fiction (CNF) of Marissa Fielstein, Fiction from  Mira Martin Parker and Jessie Carty; a book review of  Ted Greenwald’s 2008 volume “3″ by Kayleigh Wanzer, and the wry commentary of our Casual Observer Mark Levy. Levy also weighs in this month withShaun Vavra, offering legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” — “Wait, Wasn’t That My Substantially Similar Idea?”

Rounding things out is the new strip from editorial cartoonist Jeff Hardin, whose first appearance in ragazine.cc anchors the Casual Observer.

If all that’s not funky enough for you, we’ll just have to keep trying.

— MRF

February 25, 2011   Comments Off on Covers: Sept ’10 thru Feb ’11