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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Portrait of George W. Bush

In these paintings below, George W. Bush reminds me of an opposite Basil Hallward, the artist in Oscar Wilde's The Portrait of Dorian Gray. While I strangely commend, respect and appreciate our former president's painting pasttime, I also genuinely wonder how it is he so comfortably, and seemingly frankly, exhibits his subconscious for us all to pick through these highly personal self-portraits. Whereas Basil Hallward profoundly dreads exposing the very essence of his being and can't seem to embrace the vulnerability that is usually attached with producing a piece of art that is most personal to and invested in by someone, George W. Bush almost seems to think "Been there, done that, Loh-ruh, have you seen my flat slanted brush?"  As we know, he is a very public figure even still.  Here, he's chosen to set himself in a bathroom, one of the most private rooms a person can be situated in.  The most likely case though is that no forethought occurred to him- and why should it?

His being under water is also very interesting, as is the literal and compositional reflection of himself; these paintings suggest he often reflects leisurely.... What I always imagined him to do- introspect, but in a very carefree, unaccountable way, like a rock into a lake sinking away from the repercussions of it's motion...   It's also worth noting, for brat-sake, that both sets of portraiture- Mr. Wilde's and Mr. Bush's- served as glimpses into the souls of two privileged megalomaniacs.

Monday, February 25, 2013

On the "Uncanny"

Read this fantastic essay by Freud this morning over breakfast: The "Uncanny".
I highly recommend it.
Reminded me a lot this beautiful film I saw last year called Patience (After Sebald) by Grant Gee.

Not sure why, but it also reminded me of these geniuses down here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wanting Rocks, Plants and Sand (in another configuration)

I am craving a change of scenery.  I'm at the point that anything will do.
Too much New York and no vacation make Annabelle a very dull girl.
The allure of a desert has never seemed more appealing...
Maybe there is too much going on here, visually, and I'm in need of a flatter landscape as a reset?

Albert Frey House, Palm Springs

Kaufmann House, Palm Springs

Merzouga, Morocco (Courtesy of Rui Pires)

Atacama Desert, Chile - "Mano de desierto"Mario Irarr√°zabal. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Dreams Are Wack

For a while now... For a great deal of my adulthood... I haven't been able to remember my dreams. I'm sure I had them, of course, but I just couldn't remember a thing upon a waking up, or even later in the day. Sometimes, if I was lucky, I'd remember a few hazy details, but they weren't very interesting. After hearing about my friend's ayahausca experience, I decided to start logging my dreams, this should imply also that I forced myself to have them more frequently, as a means to access more of my subconscious thinking (it's really very easy, you just tell yourself to and it happens... I know that's oversimplified, but before you go to bed you sort of make a mental note to remember them, then it becomes a habit just like the contrary became a habit- the power of intention!). So that happened.... Now my problem is twofold:

1) I can't stop dreaming! I'm having like 2-3 dreams a night and remembering all of them, and the worst part is they're keeping me in bed for too long. I had this nice 8 am wake up routine going and now I find myself kept by the dreaming until 10-10:30 am. They're so strong I choose not to wake up; maybe I'm unconsciously choosing to stay with them so I can keep this recording thing up, or maybe this is my new "normal".   Sleep patterns seem to be very much influenced by rhythm and habit. Also, when I do end up writing them...

2) They're wack! I have the worst dreams ever. When friends tell me theirs they're full of moments where one can't breathe, crazy sex, eerie environments, and mine are like- about amusement parks, conversations, dry cleaning, and if I get lucky- like the other day, a tropical forest with scary animals. That dream only happened because I had rum before going to bed and watched the first half of Tarkovsky's Stalker. Maybe I should drink more before bed... Just kidding. Terrible idea.

One positive thing, though, is that the logging has made me aware of patterns. For example, I've dreamed about amusement park situations three times since January 22. This reason is satisfactory enough for me to continue recording the dreams. I just need to learn how to control  the waking up part more efficiently.

Notes and Crystallized Ginger

Since a scattered schedule, as well as a working space and thus mind in disarray, are preventing me from producing worthwhile blog posts, I've decided to introduce this new label of notes.  This allows me to at least touch on briefly some of the things I'd like to discuss more fully if I had the time.  Although, let's face it... I have the time, but poor prioritization skills.  Maybe the majority of times we say we don't have the time for something, it's a quick acknowledgment of our inability to work with and manage time.  What's the term for admission through negation?

I just ate a piece of crystallized ginger.  I balanced the act of irresponsibly having the candy before bed and after having brushed my teeth by choosing the smallest piece.  The rationale here was that the gratification from this treat and the conclusion of a mediocre day on such a sweet note far outweighs any negative effect the candy can have on my overall health.  I'm no stranger to the importance of maintaining oral hygiene, as I recently shelled out more than I could afford on a crown for a molar, you'd think I'd learn my lesson (yet I remain convinced I didn't even need that root canal in the first place).  I bet the stress of preventing possible tooth problems is more detrimental than any pre-sleepytime snack.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trick Yourself

For such an out-of-this-world human being, he was so grounded in reality... Marcus Aurelius on self-hypnotism, as cited in How to Live - or - A Life of Montaigne:

" 'How good it is, when you have roast meat or suchlike foods before you, to impress on your mind that this is the dead body of a fish, this the dead body of a bird or pig; and again, that the Falernian wine is the mere juice of grapes, and your purple-edged robe simply the hair of a sheep soaked in shell-fish blood! And in sexual intercourse that it is no more than the friction of a membrane and a spurt of mucus ejected.'

At other times, he imagined flying up to the heavens so that he could gaze down and see how insignificant all human concerns were from such a distance." (Bakewell, 112)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fattening the Shelves

I got these books yesterday thinking they'd be a good follow up to John Searle's Making the Social World.


I've had a weird relationship with Sarah Bakewell's How To Live for like two years now. I have Montaigne's Essays on my bedside table, and have been fascinated with his style and contribution to literature for also about two years. I kept second guessing the purchase of this book despite the great reviews and recommendations because... well, I could just read his work and assess it myself. I don't need to spend $17 for someone to synthesize his writing and tell me how highly relatable he is, I can find out myself for free, right?! Wrong.  

I bit the bullet yesterday and got it after months of reluctance, and I'm so glad I did. The way she weaves his personal history elucidates the work and sparks the ability for the reader to make even more connections in this endless hall of mirrors that is seeing ourselves within other people. I'm only in the first chapter, but twenty something pages in, it's already got me thinking seriously about the role of death, and by extension loss, and its connection with rebirth and a personal renaissance. More on that later... For now, I just wanted to say I'm hooked. 


About Me

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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