Archive for the The Russian Avant-garde – Renaissance or revolution Category

New Rodchenko and Stepanova Exhibition in Japan

Posted in Alexander Rodchenko, art, artists, constructivism, Russian Avant-garde, The Russian Avant-garde - Renaissance or revolution with tags , , , , , on September 19, 2010 by copernicusfilms

TAB Event – Aleksandr Rodchenko + Varvara Stepanova “Visions of Constructivism”

Starts in 4 days

At Utsunomiya Museum of Art

Media: GraphicsPainting

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On display are 170 works by Aleksandr Rodchenko from the collection of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

[Image: Aleksandr Rodchenko (1924, 1965) collection of the Pushkin Museum]

Schedule

From 2010-09-19 To 2010-11-07

Website

http://u-moa.jp/ (Japanese) (venue’s website)

Fee

Adults ¥800, University & High School Students ¥600, Junior High and Elementary School Students ¥400

Venue Hours

From 9:30 To 17:00

Closed on Mondays

Note:On a Public Holiday Monday, the museum is open but closed on the following Tuesday.

Maps

Navitime (Japanese)

Yahoo (Japanese)

Access

25 minutes by bus from West exit at the JR Utsunomiya station or 20 minutes by taxi from the JR Utsunomiya station.

Address

1077 Nagaoka-cho, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi-ken 320-0004

Phone: 028-643-0100 Fax: 028-643-0895

When you visit, why not mention you found this event on Tokyo Art Beat?

Guggenheim on its 50th anniversary and Kandinsky Film

Posted in abstract art, art, artists, Filming in Russia, Japan, Kandinsky, painters, painting, Russian Avant-garde, The Russian Avant-garde - Renaissance or revolution on September 9, 2009 by copernicusfilms


Kandinsky, a full-scale retrospective of the visionary artist, theorist, pioneer of abstract art, and seminal figure in the history of the Guggenheim Museum will be presented from September 18, 2009, to January 13, 2010. This exhibition is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, in cooperation with the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The film “Kandinsky and the Russian House” was released in 2007 and has featured as part of the Kandinsky exhibitions in Germany and at the Pompidou centre in Paris. It gives me great pleasure that the film will be associated with the 50th anniversary of the Guggenheim especially as Kandinsky served as an inspiration for the foundation of this great museum. This retrospective will bring together more than 100 paintings drawn primarily from these three institutions, whose collections make up the three largest repositories of Kandinsky in the world, as well as from significant private and public collections. A DVD of “Kandinsky and the Russian House” will be on sale at the exhibition and can be purchased at the Guggenheim shop in New York

When I was in Germany filming “Kandinsky and the Russian House” I was invited by a director friend, Peter Goedel who lived in Munich, to the film festival which was going at the time of filming. I had met Peter at another film festival in Toronto a year or so earlier and this meeting was one reason why I decided to go ahead and make a film about Kandinsky. Peter’s superb film “Tangier -Legend of a City” won three awards at Toronto and it was he who invited me to Munich when he heard that I was thinking of making a film about Kandinsky.

When I mentioned Kandinsky at the Munich Film Festival, people often talked about him as if he was a quasi European painter in the Matisse or impressionist mould and didn’t seem enthusiastic about acknowledging that Kandinsky was Russian at all. However if you look at Kandinsky’s work, the light that he found even in Southern Bavaria is very similar to a Russian light, the light of the Steppe. This is true I believe of even the most abstract of his paintings. Even as I look out of my window on a bright sunny Moscow morning I see Kandinsky’s colours and light everywhere. Anybody who has spent a long period of time in Russia will, in my opinion recognise this. The Argentinian and Irish artist Carmen Casey, who lived in Moscow for more than six years, commented to me that one of the difficulties she found about working in Moscow when she first arrived, was the sheer intensity of the light (on a sunny day of course) which she wasn’t used to and had never encountered befere. When I tried to explain this to people they would look at me blankly while I rambled on about my theories, especially the one that Kandinsky is the quintessential Russian painter. As he himself said, “Moscow is the tuning fork for all my painting”. And that is despite the fact that Kandinsky spent many years in all the European centres of artistic excellence of that time; Munich, Paris and finally Berlin at the Bauhaus. He always, I believe, returned artistically to his Russian roots . Why did he leave Russia it might be asked. In some ways it doesn’t make sense to ask such a question. Every artist must continuously expand their horizons and seek inspiration by travelling and through studying other cultures. Kandinsky came from a section of Russian society who would have been familiar with all the philosophical and cultural trends of Europe as well as Russia and would have been drawn to Europe as a result. However, the fact that Kandinsky no longer painted in Russia and had moved to Europe made him no more a European painter and no less a Russian painter.
Where ever artists find themselves they always see the world with their own eyes and interpret what they see from their own inner understanding.
An other factor here is the eastern influence in European painting which at that time was not such a strange thing as one might imagine. The collector of Central Asian Ikats or multi coloured robes,Tair Tairov, believes that the abstract patterns of these textiles and robes inspired a generation of artists in Europe. Picasso, Mattisse, Whistler and many others were all influnced one way or another by eastern art in particular Japanese art. It could be said that eastern art with its emphasis on the abstract was a componatnt part of the rise of abstract art in Europe and America. Kandinsky apparantely himself remarks how these multi-coloured robes infleunced his artistic development.

The film “Kandinsky and the Russian House” was released in 2007 and is part of a series of 6 films about the Russian Avant-garde.

What’s been happening back in Moscow

Posted in General Articles, Japan, Japanese days 2009, Russian Avant-garde, The Russian Avant-garde - Renaissance or revolution on July 12, 2009 by copernicusfilms

Already a month since we have returned from Japan. The backlog of business was formidable even though I tried to deal with a much as I could while we were on the road in Japan. Reasonably successful dealing with most things but all the same the sheer volume of tasks was overwhelming once we arrived back in Moscow. I had made a conscious decision to try and hit the ground running and get straight back into editing as soon as possible and that more or less worked out. Just getting back into the rhythm of Moscow life is a task in itself but then I have plenty of experience.

Its time to really take stock of what was the outcome of the whole Japan trip. The first thing to say is that we achieved at least 95% of the goals we set our selves plus an extra 20% of other goals which were fulfilled through the chances and opportunities thrown up by simply being in Japan for such an extended period. Ultimately these things aren’t quantifiable in any meaningful sense but it gives some idea of scale. For instance after visiting Oshima with Akira Suzuki and meeting the curator of the Island Museum in memory of Gomo Kimuro we decided to interview both of them and the connections they have with the Island and its culture.I hadn’t really intended this, I really just wanted to look at the Island and film a bit especially as David Burliuk spent time there painting with his family. It unclear how to use this material but there are various possibilities which are worth pursuing.

As for the main task in hand, that is the two films about Japanese art which are in progress (One traditional one contemporary), the material which we have shot and coupled with the extensive research we were able to complete in Japan have broadened and given depth to a project which was already at a well developed stage. The situation as it stands now is that I have to extend the post production stage for a much longer period than I expected but in the long run it will be of over all benefit to the project.

At the moment its too early to reveal the substance of the films in question simply to say that they will concentrate on Japanese art seen from an unusual perspective and contemporary art in Japan. The films will be linked thematically so that from time to time there will be a seamless crossover from one film to the other but at the same time the two films will stand alone as separate entities and can be viewed as such. Editing is progressing at a slow but steady pace and unfortunately you can’t rush these things, its laborious,time consuming but rewarding. Time will tell.

The Avant-garde series is selling well in most outlets. The Pompidou centre in Paris ordered more discs and negotiating with Guggenheim about Kandinsky film.

Tokyo Shinjuku Filming

Posted in Japan, Japanese days 2009, The Russian Avant-garde - Renaissance or revolution on April 7, 2009 by copernicusfilms

Today in Shinjuku was one of those days were you start to understand what you are doing how it will work and things will fit together. Its a rare experience which perhaps has something to do with the weather and wont last long but its a good feeling all the same. We spent almost the entire day filming in Shinjuku Goen park. Spectacular sight of cherry blossom in full blaze. Its very difficult to escape at the moment but all the same its an incredible sight. I’m not usually one for the postcard visions of a country but experiencing the cherry blossom in Japan is an unexpected delight and goes well beyond the cliches of cherry blossom romantic vision of Japan. There is a genuinely spiritual meaning to the festival in that the fleeting appearance and disappearance of the blossoms represents or embodies the fleeting character of life itself. Most of the footage I am getting at the moment will fill in gaps which will have a qualitative effect on the over all direction of the first film which is centred around traditional Japanese art. In many ways at the moment there is nothing new coming in just a building up of layers and shades to add depth to the film. When engaged with any film or any project for that matter, when you start, it takes some time to reach an understanding of the outer parameters. In other words the limits within which the film will be formed. These limits are never actually reached as any creative project is forever in the stage of formation but at some point you do get a sense of what that territory will be. With these two films I don’t think I have reached that point. As I film and collect material here in Japan those limits and that territory is still in a significant state of flux.

The same thing was true of the series The Russian Avant-garde – Renaissance or Revolution whereby I was never really sure with each film and the series itself whether I was coming to the end or beginning a new phase of the series. It was only after the six films were completed that I felt as if the outer parameters of the project had been reached.

Copernicus Films – Tokyo Filming

Posted in David Burliuk, Japan, Japanese days 2009, The Russian Avant-garde - Renaissance or revolution on April 5, 2009 by copernicusfilms


Several days of filming around Tokyo. Mostly general stuff but at the same time bearing in mind the archive footage I already have and how the archive footage might be integrated with contemporary scenes of Tokyo. This will hold true for the traditional film and the contemporary film both of which will make up the project. Filming and writing almost simultaneously which is a very new sensation. I have already done a considerable amount of research leading up to this trip but there is nothing like being in the field so to speak and seeing how things actually are on the ground and in reality. Have been spending time with Akira Suzuki who gave me a copy of his new translation of David Burliuk’s book about Siberia. Its about the fifth or sixth book he has translated of Burliuk’s work – its just a shame that I don’t read Japanese. Information about Akira Suzuki can be found on my web site as well as an interview with him in my “David Burliuk and the Japanese Avant-garde” the fifth in the series “The Russian Avant-garde – Renaissance or Revolution”.
At the moment its the cherry blossom festival in Japan so I feel a bit dominated by it but at the same time I am looking at other things which are going on around Tokyo. In some sense I am still finding my feet and trying to get into some kind of rhythm. Kyoto was much easier because we had a short space of time in which to fit everything in and so we were quite focused. Here in Tokyo things are a little bit more open ended and so it requires more discipline. Some of the evening material looks interesting although I haven’t had a chance to look at it all.