As promised this is not a garden post. For the first time since giving birth I went to see exhibitions. I saw two and both were excellent.
The first one is finished now, it was Yohji Yamamoto at V&A. It was a fantastic selection of his designs but it was only one room and I was left wanting more. The creations were beautiful and the construction of the dresses unbelievable. I think what stroke me most is how much influence he had from the 50s, I always have seen him as an ultra modern designer, which he is in a way, but some of the silhouettes are reminiscent of New Look. Most things were very wearable, as my friend said, it’s not very important which dress size you buy, you can always make it work.
The second exhibition left me speechless. Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography of the 20th Century, at Royal Academy. I think I liked every single picture in this show. From idyllic nostalgic vision of the country folk through city architecture to cruel images of war, glamorous fashion shoots and surrealism, last century was documented in the most beautiful way. There were many known names like Brassaï, Robert Capa, André Kertész, László Moholy-Nagy, Martin Munkácsi but I also discovered two brilliant women: Kata Sugar and Kata Kalman, both took some beautiful portraits; and Erno Vadas with his Harvest picture. One of my favorite photographers, Kertész whose work I saw at The Photographer’s Gallery two years ago, had too many stunning pictures to list.
Erno Vadas Harvest
Robert Kapa Death of Loyalist Militiaman
André Kertész Circus in Budapest
You probably heard me before going on about Dorothea Lange who is my favorite photographer ever. My dear friend Ewa got me her biography for my birthday and I cannot wait to dig in.
At the moment I am reading The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton but despite it being a good read it fails to deliver the drama and passion of Martin Scorsese’s adaptation. I am also very much looking forward to Mildred Pierce which I downloaded on my Kindle, I think I need a break from the old Victorians and 20th century has got a lot to offer. I have mentioned Mildred Pierce here before, see it, it is very good.
A book worth recommending that I read lately is Zeitoun by the amazing Dave Eggers. It is an insider’s account of the hurricane Katrina and Eggers delivers it beautifully. It is not only about the disaster and its aftermath but it is also about the paranoid Bush administration and the war on terror. Our protagonist, Zeitoun, is a devout Muslim, a hard working painting and decorating contractor running a successful company and a family man. When his family evacuate the city he stays behind to make sure their house and other property are protected after the storm, he uses his canoe to rescue people, feed dogs, deliver food and water to many, check on friends’ houses. One day he gets arrested for looting (his own rental property together with the tenant and few other innocent people) and gets put in an outdoor cage for days then transported to a maximum security prison and kept for months without charges. He is also refused a phone call so his wife doesn’t know if he is dead or alive. Being a Muslim he is of course suspected of being a terrorist. It is a very captivating and fascinating read.