Monday, 16 June 2008

9.7 million barrels of oil a day.

That’s how much oil will be oozing out from Saudi Arabia by next month after King Abdullah pledged to increase the oil production by half a million barrels to counter protests outbreaks and barely unmanageable food prices all over the world.
Come out of

Well done this blogger says!

While some minds rattle themselves searching for solutions to save this word, whose death appears catalyzed by us, I say: use it all up that oil; forget biofuels completely and go head on for nuclear energy.

Too much time and money is wasted away trying to defeat the black gold we do need, and cannot replace by biofuel unless we intend going for starvation.

Imagine the advancement of progress in the bid for harnessing nuclear and solar and wind if these were to get sole attention.

Catalyzing our End
Tail–chasing humanity should have learnt the lesson by now- on the brink of a global famine’s shadow – use oil until we have it, and forget biofuels which have only driven food prices up and anyhow, probably emit more CO2 than that saved when its final product is burned as fuel replacing oil.

In the mean time prepare for the end of oil supplies by investing in renewable such as nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, etc, trying to stay clear from those involving invasive action.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Bathing in knowledge

Bath of knowledge...
This bath is made entirely out of books which Vanessa cut and fitted together over a metal frame to form a bath of books, which is suspended by four antique bath tub, lion-shaped feet. She intends to later cover it in layers of resin and has already applied proper taps and drain, so that it will be a utilizable, functional bath at all effects.

The idea is of immersing oneself in knowledge, books, truths, and 'cleaning' or ‘purifying’ one's mind with from external, every day life bombarding from media, by reading ad reflecting on books,- ‘pure sources’, which is of course, metaphorical, implying we can become polluted by ideas of truths and knowledge, which we can only 'clean' by reading our way through to our own ideas and reflections.

Footprints were made by tracing her foot prints as she got out of the bath and walked over to the sink, on the right, which is filled with shredded pages, ripped from books. Under the sink is a stack of books. Vanessa also used pages to cut out the foot prints, which she glued on the floor, going from the bath to the sink.
The books are mostly old, hard cover, fiction and historical books. From the outside of the bath one can read the spines of some, as on the rim of the bath, which is covered entirely by book spines. In side the tub, open pages are laid out, so they can be read whilst lying in the bath.

Vanessa works mainly with books, light bulbs and plays with notions of knowledge, information, identity through knowledge, and tradition with all its imprisoning stereotypes and classifications in today’s society.

She also refers to food relating it to knowledge and generally to the concept of societies which thrive and become more centred on capitalist and consumerist modes, dictating lifestyle, life objectives and social expectations. Social ‘bingeing’ on classifying social identities according to force-fed notions and encoded schemes of a ‘free’ modern age in which we are unwittingly dictated by the capitalist virus in all of us, perhaps inevitably welded to our survival instinct.

I believe her work can be interpreted on many levels, also, within very sensitive topics, that I think many people, perhaps mostly women, but not necessarily excluding men, can relate to, as for example food disorders and sexual inhibitions through social pressures created by media dictating expectations.

On the right and bellow you see Vanessa signing the bath, having finished it (but still missing the resin coating to come later), after months of work in Canterbury.

Where would your mind flow to, if you were to loose your self in a bath of books, pages and words, only you- alone with those words?

Thursday, 5 June 2008

the author...

Vanessa Mancini

Vanessa has just finished her BA in Sculpture and early childhood studies.

Through many existential struggles that we all thread through, becoming who we are, she has grown stronger, and managed through this medium, to express what words cannot, and to incourage people to look further in ways that words cannot be more explicit yet so magnificently vague and interpretable.

No, I do not mean to be doing publicity, the aim is to offer visual inspirations to those who might not have time to look beyond their fast track city trajectories.

In an egoistic search of attempting to express what thoughts some of her works unlock in me and so doing, crystallising my own contemplations, I hope these will be at least appreciated and refreshing.

Lady in blue

I look at her lady in blue and wonder…

What defines a woman in 2008?- Beauty?-Propriety? Femininity? Independence?

Does gender define women in their femininity as sensual?

Have women really broken free through feminism in 2008? Equal career opportunities, freed from cultural expectations, to ware those skimpy miniskirts in broad daylight…for the fun of it, because they can?
…think: are those women depicted in sex and the city nothing more than rebels from stigmas that will for ever define women in one way or another. They are after all, only searching for something as class-climbing, or love-searching, family-searching and career –searching women through out the narrative.
How, in 2008 does ‘she’ become disgraced?

‘She’ looks misunderstood and probably, misunderstands herself. As do men probably in a world in which gender roles loose defining boundaries what is left for us to mark identity? Why should these two-way markers be cancelled in the first palce though, as these are inevitable logistics that make our world possible.

To cancel, deny and use hostage a marker leads only to the downgrading of markers, be it racism, classism or sexism.

Search to understand, express and look beyond.

Who is the Lady in blue...
The object, victim, or culprit?
Or only a woman within…looking out of a life-lasting shell, the birthmark of a sensual object, a sensual culprit…

In the words of Vanessa on what she searches through her work:
"In seeking to further my understanding of the visual culture, I do not wish to reproduce beauty or ornament.

Instead, I mean to experiment with values, already existing in every day to day objects surrounding us- imagery, senses and sounds, giving another chance to judge and perceive these through new perspectives.

Setting the right context means alienating the object from its prison of traditions, and stereotypical preconceptions, these take on new meaning and identity.

Over the past three years my processional development has embarked a path led by intertwining conceptual and contemporary ideas.

Technique and hand craft are shadowed in terms of importance and no attempt is made of capturing the literal reality in which we are conscious viewers.

I wish to experiment with the context in which realities are found."

…grazie Vess, I try to put in words how your thoughts’ forms have inspired my perceptions…

Plug your mind

by Vanessa Mancini,

Plugging in your mind...Is media killing thought and the discourse of literature?

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Art for thought

"Feast for the visually illiterate", by Vanessa Mancini

Light bulbs falling from a plate, suspended over fork and knife.

Yes, this is the work of my twin sister.

Recently I had abandoned this blog as too many things were happening and sometimes silence says more than words, even on blogs.

Whilst matters worsen in south Africa and in Zimbabwe, Pakistan’s government still is shaky and the nuclear squabble rights continues between, arguably, belligerent oppositions make no progress, this month this space will be dedicated to the works of Vanessa Mancini, who recently inspired me, distracting me from the world in which I usually get lost.

Hopefully these will inspire you too to spend some thought on things you take for granted.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Chasing our shadow

Still we chase our shadow.

Diesel, Bio fuel, Food prices, deforestation- playing with the thin thread delimitating life, searching to fight our own shadow and to fight life itself for something lifeless in its controlled existence.

...chasing our shadow.

Is it worth it?

Yes and no.

After all, it is the survival of the fittest. This vicious circle that we find our selves studded into. This circle that begins with the struggle for life and so, ends with its self-destructive nature

But then, nothing would be if it weren’t for the constant search and renewal of life replacing itself over and over again…

Food for thought

Be good to your self, by Vanessa Mancini, March 08

Chocolate coloured lightbulbs, painted and stuck onto solidified white foam resembling whipped cream, toping an open book.

Is all that you eat good for you? Do you know what it is exactly what you are eating?
Tasty emptiness?

Bellow the sketches for the sculpture.

"Fast food... fast thinking? or food for thought?"