'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

17 January 2013

Asia Pacific Triennial

Wednesday 16th January.
It is only three short years since the last Asia Pacific Triennial exhibition here in Brisbane at the The Gallery of Modern Art and The Queensland Art Gallery. http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/ This the 7th such collection in the 20 years since it was established  in 1993. It is a huge exhibition and is the largest of its type in the world and luckily runs for several months. Always more than one visit is required to take it all in. It attracts over half a million visitors and tens of thousands from overseas as well. It was so amazing to see the crowds gathered there in a mid week when I went even though it had been running for a month and a half already. Also the large number of rooms set aside for children's hands on art is impressive and also crowded with patient parents supervising. There were also huge gatherings of children both inside and outside the State Library which sits between the two galleries and they also had hands on participation. It certainly gives hope for an intelligent and appreciative future. Below are a random selection of pieces on display by over a hundred artists.

A short video on the 7th APT Exhibition

16 January 2013

South Pacific

Tuesday 15th January and I went to the first musical I have attended in many many years. The main draw card for me was to see Teddy Tahu Rhodes and what a reward it was. His first appearance on stage when he sang Some Enchanted Evening knocked me over and I burst into tears. His voice is one of the wonders of the operatic world. Described as one of the most famous Bass Baritones on the planet he is tall, sexy and his voice booms as it resonates into your soul. We are so lucky to have him planted here in Brisbane for a month doing 8 shows a week. This is a stretch for his usual 3 opera performances a week. It is his first musical and how luck we are. The part was originally written forthe great Italian operatic Bass Enzio Pinza so it is just that we have a great singer performing the role.
The award winning production by the Australian Opera is from the Lincoln Centre in New York and has a star cast here in Brisbane which also includes the great indigenous Queensland singer Christine Anu as Bloody Mary, Lisa Mc Cune, the wonderful energetic Brisbane boy Gyton Grantley as Billis and in the role of the Lieutenant, the beautiful tenor Daniel Koek from South Australia who has returned to Australia from the premier London and UK production. Apart from the great production, singing and orchestra there was also the bonus of two stark naked boys running around the stage for a short highlight.
The awesome voice of the fabulously gorgeous New Zealander Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the more familiar repertoire of Opera. This clip from  Carmen at The Metropolitan Opera New York.

and another spectacular example of his powerful voice from The Messiah - Handel

Teddy as the extraordinarily sexy Don Giovanni
Beautiful Christine Anu and her most famous song 'My Island Home'

15 January 2013

Bille Brown 1952 - 2013

Sunday the 13th of January 2013 we lost the actor, playwright, mentor and director Bille Brown to cancer at the young age of 61. Over some decades I had a small passing interaction with Bille. We nodded at cafe's, chatted at the cinema smiled at the opera and had several wonderful friends in common. Once I extolled the brilliance of his portrayal of Oscar Wilde and also found myself presumptuous enough to criticise his direction of the Opera Don Giovanni. We did have some chuckles over that via email. In his international career he was amongst many things an artist in residence and visiting Professor at the University of New York. He performed in London's West End and made his Broadway debut in 1986.
This video below of The Ages on Man is the last time I saw him on television a few weeks ago and the last time I saw him in person was back in September when we both in attendance at a concert opera with another great Queenslander Lisa Gasteen. He was wearing the same flamboyant red jacket he wore at the Helpmann Awards that same month. Bille stood out. He smiled and was charming and all the theatre people in our fine city will miss him.

09 January 2013

Homophobia or Equality

Reassembled old posts and some new bits just to keep the quest going.
Some photos that make a point.
Fight Religious intolerance 
 Fight Political persecution
 Make a statement
Be Fabulous
An Email I received today in March 2012

29 March 2012
E-mail: historyandphilosophy@gmail.com
 Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your email to the above inquiry and to advise that the committee has accepted the email as Form Letter 1, or a variation of Form Letter 1 (that is, a form letter in which a personal story or general commentary is attached/included). If you have requested that your email be treated confidentially by the committee, that request has been accommodated.
You are advised that all documents provided to Senate committees become committee documents upon receipt, and it is the prerogative of the relevant committee to determine whether and how it will accept and publish such documents. In this inquiry, the committee will publish on its website one example only of each type of form letter, as time and resources permit (that is, one example of Form Letter 1; one example of Form Letter 2, and so on). The names of those who have submitted form letters will not be published on the website. The committee is anticipating the receipt of thousands of form letters throughout the course of this inquiry, and it is not physically possible for them to be published on the website due to staffing and resource limitations. However, all form letters will be available to members of the committee during the course of the inquiry for their consideration, and the numbers of form letters received will be published on the website periodically.
Your email is protected by parliamentary privilege. Parliamentary privilege refers to the special rights and immunities attached to the Parliament which are necessary for the discharge of parliamentary functions. This means that you cannot be prosecuted or disadvantaged because of anything you have provided in evidence, or because you gave such evidence. If you have requested confidentiality, you are protected by parliamentary privilege in respect of your email, but this protection will be lost if you make it public without the committee's prior agreement.

Yours sincerely
Committee Secretary
March 21, 2012. It's not every day that a major world figure speaks out forcefully in defense of equality. But earlier this month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did just that when he made an incredibly powerful speech at the U.N. in Geneva. 
But most people didn't even hear about it. 
Why? After the speech, the media focused on a handful of delegates who stormed out of meeting in protest. Their story - that gay people should be denied human rights - is the one that dominated the day's news. But with your help, we're going to change that. 
Our friends at the U.N. let us REMIX Ban Ki-moon
, so we took his speech and created this video. We hope you like it! After you watch, please share with your friends and family, helping this inspiring message reach the audience it deserves.

Australian favourite actress Magda Szubanski (from the film Babe for international readers) 
Magda Comes Out and Supports Gay Marriage.
On the light side. Some positive ideas.

Click this link to watch '8' The Marriage Equality Play in full
People are demanding rights all over the world
and here
Great Australian Marriage Equality Adds.

Some of you might not like Stephen's comments, but I applaud them with enthusiasm. I was once a devout Catholic contemplating the priesthood and have been to several Papal audiences in Rome and have even received a letter from a previous Pope. I now believe the Pope particularly the current one and his church as he rules it, to be one of the most divisive, nasty and evil people and institutions on the planet. He and his church supports ignorance and persecution, encourages hatred and his pronouncements encourage death, gay suicide, homophobia, pain and cruel mental anguish to so many.
Watch!!!!      It is brilliant.
This powerful music film needs few words except to note that Homophobia is not restricted to Russia alone.
Look within your own borders as well. I see it here.
Quote from the Youtube site
Anthemic "I've Only Just Begun" -song will be released digitally (iTunes, Spotify etc.) 3rd of September 2012 in Europe, US, Latin America & Canada.
"I've Only Just Begun" is a ragingly beautiful and empowering story about Venuz Vulgar and his friends on their way to St. Petersburg, Russia.
It's written and directed by E. Over 60 people were involved in this free, independent production. Thank you all. Big up. No fear.
Prejudice - Fabulous Tim Minchin covers it all

02 January 2013

Sporting Bodies

Yes there has been a long tradition of men showing off their physique for the pleasure of others and for their own ego. Self image has always been a motivator for the strong or those with leadership ambitions. The assumption is that if you look perfect in body you have somehow reached perfection as a person. This beauty of body and mind was a strongly held belief in ancient Greece as well as many cultures. 
This is not my resolution for the new year but there is a saying about a healthy body making a healthy mind. This may be so, but as in everything human there are limitations to any generalisation. The ideal  body, however is a concept subject to individual taste, sexual desire, cultural history, the weather and many things that impact just about every thought we have.Commercially we are told that what is known as beefcake is the ideal. It sells the most but is far from exclusively the only image admired. To some who want to do only things for the majority, it is the easiest way. It is after all the image of the strong, the protector, the warrior and the gene pool that will survive. 
Nevertheless aesthetically muscles are subject to many variations like a heavy wrestler or a sleek runner; both strong and both useful in different circumstances. There is however an alternative image of the  Androgynous boy that is increasingly popular. Post coming soon.
Some Memories and Prejudices of a Failed Sports Life.
Punching Others
I too learned to box when a child. I hated it, but I believe it was an effort of my mother's to toughen me up.  With a neighbour and at the Police Boys Club were where this indignity happened. It did not work and my aversion to either inflicting or receiving pain has remained with me for a lifetime. Today I abhor the sight of a fight with fists as much as with knives or guns etc. be if in the streets or in the ring. Why punch someone in the face? It is cruel, harmful and vicious.
Jumping High
Leaping into the air does show grace balance and the thrill of those few seconds of flight does spark the imagination of both the the athlete and the spectator. It harms no one, it is a vision to see and requires a skill. Jumping on a trampoline was fun for a few seconds until I realised my balance was not great. I did however know a world champion once as a dera friend. The other jumping failures were ;omg, high amd wooden horse jumping. It was so embarassing to make attempts in front of fellow human beings who engoyed or excelled in such activities. As usual I just did not seethe point.
The ancient soldiers learned to dance to improve their coordination, balance and strength. Leaping across battlements, swinging into action an balancing with sword in hand on a cliff edge must have required talents. Perhaps the use of such a form to make a better killing machine has connotations that I dislike, but anything that involves grace, movement and control can not be criticised because of the end to which it may be used. An axe can chop wood for the hearth which is good, but can also crack a skull which is bad, but it is not the axe which is at fault. 
Conscience must guide everything. It guided me to try everything possible to avoid having to join the army when I was conscripted in the 60's. I managed to postpone it for many years until it was dropped. I believe I would have gone to gaol rather than be forced to go and kill Vietnamese youths. As for balance I have fallen over on a dance floor, but with great pain I found I could stand on point. I have no idea what use it was or why I even tried, but I could do it.
Throwing Things
We can throw a spear or throw a ball and both require that we throw them accurately. Once again it is skill, practice, coordination, balance and intent that makes it an action to be admired or not. The context is all.
Some images are from the great Bertil Nilsson Photography
Playing with Balls
I myself see little point in chasing a ball around a field, a pitch or court, but that is my own bias that I expect no one to accept or condemn me for it. For me it is an example of competition as are many sports and I do not have a competitive nature. My horror memories revolve around a time a teacher tried to make me captain of a football team. I think we played Rugby Union. I recall him yelling at me. 'You are the captain. Tell them what to do.' Defiant as always I stood mid field with my arms folded across my chest and yelled back. 'I WILL NOT!' Not so my cousins one of whom played for Queensland many years back and another who is currently one of the most famous footballers in Australia. I have no idea which code they play for.
 I see no necessity to be better than another in any form of physical activity.  Perhaps I do like the idea that a thought can be better than another, but a physical activity is irrelevant to me. Winning is not important unless it is an argument of reality and substance. I do not even get that thrill most receive from gambling. Winning is not a goal. I recall in my school-days I was compelled to participate in sports. On one occasion I was winning a foot race. I looked around and to my horror I was in front, so I stopped dead in my tracks. I did not want to win.
Nude Rowing for Charity
I have no rowing experience but I have sat by by the stream at Oxford where I believe rowing and if not at least punting takes place. I have rowed a boat and a canoe but never for competition. Much of this is like my photography and writing. I did it for pleasure, but once people suggested I make it for publication or turn it into a job, I lose interest. Private achievements are enough to satisfy my ego.

Even the game of Cricket is improved by nudity.
My Father and Grandfather both coached Cricket so I must have been a disappointment. So many of my Fathers family played sport and some internationally and nationally. My cricket memories involve trying to throw a ball while fielding once and it landing 15 feet behind me. Very inauspicious. Cricket today is ridiculously competitive, aggressive and commercial. It holds absolutely no interest to me. I can see and even admire the social ideal of a country or village cricket match accompanied by well dressed and elegant onlookers, umbrellas, a picnic and polite applause for a well taken wicket. A friendly match without abuse, sledging, illegal manoeuvres,  bribery and a constant barrage of product placements and excessive use of inappropriate adjectives.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...