Friday, August 25, 2017

Thessaloniki church crawl

That's it for today. Will catch up later.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bullshit

Sick and tired of bullshit GOP and Trump clown show? Princeton Professor Emeritus Harry Frankfurt runs it down. Don't miss it.


BULLSHIT! from Think Nice on Vimeo.

Harry Frankfurt is an American philosopher and author of the New York Times Best Seller "On Bullshit". Although first conceived as an essay over 30 years ago, his theory on bullshit is more relevant than ever before.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Venice, truth and illusion

Venice, Italy

Venice - one fish eating another?

What can I say that hasn't been said about Venice a million++ times? And, of the hundreds of photos I took of Venice, what can I post that isn't already a cliche? But we were there for the two weeks straddling July and August so, for my own record, I leave mention.

Merchant in Venice 1 - Venice shop, Italy
Merchant in Venice

For starters, I don't know which will destroy Venice first, sea rise due to human caused climate change or us humans tromping through it's crumbling maze. Beautiful, timeworn, sea-wrecked Venice.


Venice with cruise ship - Italy
Venice, Italy with cruise ship

It's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site yet is "close to losing its hallowed status in exchange for a place on the "In-Danger" list - a category normally reserved for war-ravaged ruins and dilapidated historical sites in Third World countries".

Venitian wall -  Italy
Venetian wall

What hope is there for poor Venice? I think of myself as fairly savvy about these things but still that didn't stop me from touching a brick in one of its ancient walls then being "startled" when red silt gushed from it like blood from a wound.

Asha - Venezia 2017
Damn.
I really am part of the problem.
photo by anonymous

Of course, like everyone else, we were put off by the hoards of other tourists. Some 70,000+ people pour into Venice daily even though it's more an apparition than a place. However, most are day trippers or cruise ship passengers there only for a few hours. The majority want to see the same things so, if you're willing to walk, you can explore Venice more or less on your own. That's what we did. It's what we always do.

Gondola tours - Venice Italy
Gondola jam

We did not take a gondola. It costs about €80 per boat ($95 US). At twilight, the price goes up to around €100. However, we did take the Grand Canal ferry. That cost us €7 each. Never mind we got on the wrong boat, an island hopper, and missed the canal altogether. We rode it to the end and hopped a return ferry which did go through the Grand Canal. I highly recommend it.

"Support" - 57th Venice Biennale, Italy
- Support -
Sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn
as seen from the ferry.
57th Venice Biennale

On our last two days there we attended the 57th Venice Biennale. Since it began in 1895, the venue has grown so huge, it is now more of an expedition into strange lands than anything resembling an "art show". The exhibits are organized by country and the two main locations alone house miles of art . . . installations, performance, cinema, music, spectacle from around the world.

Asha Venezia 2017 n
Roberto Cuoghi, The Imitation of Christ
photo: anonymous

Also, the grounds themselves are historic and fascinating. And, beyond the two main venues, small exhibitions are tucked into various buildings within the city maze. We stumbled onto a few but missed most.



Recorded in the Venice Arsenale.
I love the sound the old building makes.
video by anonymous

If you travel at all, are thinking of trying it out, are an artist, lover of art, lover of spectacle, a history buff or whatever, consider attending the next Biennale in 2019. I hope by then Venice will have established daily tourist caps. In any case, if you plan on going, plan ahead.

Gondola - Venice, Italy
Venice at twilight

More photos here.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cimitero Monumentale

I didn't intend to but I spent all morning reading and commenting about Trump again. So irritating. It's such a flaming shit show. Everyday there's a new outrage. I'm glad Mueller has finally impaneled a grand jury. They've got to nail these bastards.

OK. Breathe. Breathe.


Kiss of Death
Kiss of Death

Now . . . back to Milan.

Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale di Milano) Italy
One of the grander tombs

Of all that I saw in Milan, the Cimitero Monumentale (Monumental Cemetery) was the most remarkable. This cemetery, founded in 1866, houses acres of amazing works in marble . . . everything from ornately carved name plates, portraits, busts, and figures to entire scenes, obelisks, and sepulchers. The artistry rivals many, if not most, museum pieces I've ever seen.


Milan, Italy - Cimitero Monumentale


Some of the tombs depict the life, others betray the vanity, of the dearly departed. More importantly, most are extraordinarily expressive, making love, in life and in death, visceral.

The crypt of Zaira Brivio - Milan, 1896
The tomb of Zaira Brivio
B. 1876 -- D. 1896

For both of us, the most moving crypt in the entire cemetery was the tomb of Zaira Brivio, a 16 year-old girl who died in 1896. We lingered at her grave awhile, saddened by its beauty and the love expressed by her bereft family.

The crypt of Zaira Brivio - Milan, 1896
The tomb of Zaira Brivio
B. 1876 -- D. 1896

On another day, we visited Milan's Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera). The museum's collection was not the best but there were highlights. My favorite was Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus,

Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio - Milan, Italy
Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio
Pinacoteca di Brera museum - Milan, Italy

M. Lee's was an early perspective painting by Jacopo Tintoretto - St Mark Working Many Miracles

Jacopo Tintoretto - St Mark Working Many Miracles
attribution: Tintoretto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


This summer we are moving around a lot more than usual. Since July 4, we've been in London a week, Basel Switzerland a week, Milan a week and now, many many photos later, we've been in Venice for almost two weeks. It's very hot. This Wednesday we leave for Ljubljana, Slovenia.