“Why would some people willingly spend decades — and hundreds of thousands of dollars — renovating houses they will never own? For a small but growing number of so-called resident curators living in old and cherished state-owned houses up and down the East Coast, the answers include the pleasure of bringing an abandoned landmark back to life, freedom from mortgage payments and the chance to live in the kind of home that would otherwise be out of reach.
Programs like the one in Massachusetts have come about because many state governments own more houses of historical interest than they can afford to maintain, mainly on farms acquired decades ago and converted to parkland. Now a few states have begun turning these properties, along with some of the surrounding land, over to live-in curators, who take on restoration responsibilities in lieu of paying rent or taxes.
More states are looking to resident curator programs as a way to hold onto history, especially since a more familiar approach — opening the old houses to the public as museums — is on the wane, mainly because of a decline in visitors.”
Link: NYTimes.com–”Nothing Down…” by Eve M. Kahn
In the wake of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake’s deaths, Gilding posted an excerpt on July 29, 2007 from the LATimes.com in which a “friend” to the couple, one Ms. Christine–or should I say “Christine” Nichols–speaks in an interview of the couple’s “paranoia” of the Church of Scientology. It is evident from the quotes of Ms. Nichols and the tone of the journalist who wrote the article, that both thought the dynamic duo had gone a little off the deep end.
Let me tell you, my little Gilded Lilies, there is soooo much more to this story than we ever knew. As has been posted by the blog, “Formerly Fooled and Finally Free from the Deceptive Cult Called Scientology,” there is an inner story that this “educated in insolence” blogger has the inside scoop too. Read this back and forth blogging battle of words between this brilliant blogger out for the truth and defense of Gilding’s idol against the above mentioned “journalist” of the LATimes.com article and the couple’s so called “friend,” Carol “Christine” Nichols.
Link: Message to Kate Coe
Via: LA Crone: Children of the Staircase
“Charles Condomine, a successful author, is happily married to Ruth. To collect material for his latest book he invites Madam Acarti, the medium, to conduct a seance at his home unwittingly releasing the ghost of his first wife Elvira who it would appear wants him back! One of Coward’s great comedies.”
Blithe Spirit was also made into a successful film in 1945, adapted by Coward himself and directed by David Lean: Amazon.com–DVD Blither Spirit<a
Link: NYTimes.com–Current Shows:London
“”Fuerzabruta,” a new production from Diqui James, is a wordless fusion of physical and visual feats.
Held aloft by giant springs; the small amount of water puddles in the center. Fully lighted, it casts lovely, daydreamy shadows on the theater floor.
Positioned in each corner, the women waited for their cue. Then they executed an elevated aquatic ballet, diving and sliding in like porpoises. Sometimes they flopped down so all the liquid reverberated; sometimes they created whirlpools with their bodies. At the end of the routine they plunged in to form a starfish shape, a wash of legs and arms and breasts and hair.”
“Fuerzabruta” opens October 24th, New York City.
Link: NYTimes.com–Nevermind the Monologue
An English princess, daugher of Alfred the great and wife of the Alderman of Mercia and Govonor of London. Aethelfled married at the tender age of 15, though this was no shrieking violet that Aethelred, earl of Mercia, was about to marry. While traveling to Mercia, her wedding band was attacked by the Danes in an attempt to sabotage the alliance between Wessex, where her brother Edward the Elder (later known as Edward the Great) ruled, and Mercia. Though half of her company died in the first attack, Aethelfled made a fortress of an old trench, defeating the Danes.
“Purple is vulgar and impure, a bastardization of flaming, sincere crimson and noble navy blue into something neither/nor, a color fit only for the “spiritual” trinkets of New Age fatties.”
Gilding’s absolute favorite quote from Wit, the author “educated in insolence”–Purple Haze, Grey Concrete
The audience, placed upon the stage with the actors, files in by headcount a few at a time. Seating is limited, placed on risers, and in the formation of a triangle the color of yellow school signs but practically neon when surrounded by the black of the stage floor and curtain enclosure. Hushed whispers float through the audience as to just how close we will be to the actors. Is this play to be interactive? Will the actors pull audience members from their seats, not that we would have far to go as the tips of your toes touch the outline of the triangle in the center. The intimate setting begins to take on an air of spooky.The plays are short, the entire production consisting of six short plays: What Where, Come & Go, Catastrophe, Not I, Act Without Words, and Play. Bizarre as the plays are, the theme is obvious as it focuses on the human condition and Beckett’s obviously pessimistic view on the subject. There is humor, though it too is stark and twisted and puts a spotlight on human tendencies while the writing focuses a magnifying glass on them making those tendencies over exaggerated and eccentric.
In What Where, the characters Bam, Bim, Bom, and Bem, appear to be identical, droid-like beings, with the exception of Bam having an omnipresent voice which is presumably Bam’s inner voice only as none of the other character appear to hear The Voice. The fact that the voice sounds as if head level with Bam himself also lends to the feeling that The Voice is inside his head.
The Voice sets the tone as He is the first thing we hear, telling us of the passage of time and informing us that in His world there are only five of them. Combined with the dark of the stage and the enclosure of the curtains, the audience is drawn into a feeling of suspended animation; of knowing that we are here but questioning in just what capacity, so that we feel more like what we view is an out of body experience.
There is no pre-story, no more given information to let us know that state of things, and instead we are thrust in on Bam asking Bom of the success of the interrogation. What interrogation, its purpose, and who is being interrogated is never revealed. Bom’s answer is not suiting to Bam, even though he gave him “the works” until he wept, screamed, begged for mercy, and finally “passed out,” Bom is still unable to make the subject “say it.” What “it” is we do not know, but it quickly becomes apparent that perhaps even the subjects involved do not know what it is they are supposed to confess to. Bam then orders Bim to give Bom the same treatment until he confesses as he accuses Bom of lying to him. And so the cycle continues with each season passing and each interrogation of the previous interrogator brings back the same report of failure until Bam is finally the only one left to do the interrogation himself. The question in each interrogation gets a little more specific each time, but still reveals nothing and in fact the characters themselves admit to not fully knowing what must be confessed. In the end, Bam returns equally defeated and with a satisfied tone we are given the final words by The Voice which says “Make sense what may.”
The immediate sense of absolute confusion, being perpetually lost, and just outright baffled sits with you as the audience sits in total dark while the next act is being set up. There are no “Ah Hah!” moments, and while musings flit through your head in an attempt to grasp—perhaps Beckett speaks of senseless violence, or perhaps he speaks of the human tendency to seek something they do not know they want but act with all means possible to attain, who the hell knows!—the next play begins and the brain is sent to focus on the next play wondering if it will be equally as baffling and hoping that there will be some slip of a hint that assuredly had to be in the first one, just missed, though this time all attention will be on all detail and you will get it, by Jove!
Each one act play from thence forth is equally as baffling, equally as thought provoking, and equally as twisted in its borderline sadistic humor. No amount of research could help to further understand the plays as Samuel Beckett himself couldn’t answer the questions behind the meanings of his plays. The plays set about a specific purpose and that was to force the audience to be confronted with the human condition, to be forced to be up close and personal with no escape and no way to feign complete ignorance when such tendencies were exaggerated beyond deniability. And while we may leave pondering what exactly Samuel Beckett meant in each one act, we are none the less left pondering, thinking, on the absurdity’s he presents us in these plays.
Above is a clip from “A Night of Samuel Beckett” performed by the students at Gulf Coast Community College. The students put on a fabulous performance well worth sitting through the insane ramblings of Samuel Beckett.
Ladgerda, a skilled amazon, who, though a maiden, had the courage of a man, and fought in the battle to avenge the death of the previous Norwegian King’s murder and the shaming of all his female kinsfolk including herself. In front among the bravest with her hair loose over her shoulders. All marvelled at her matchless deeds, for her locks flying down her back betrayed that she was a woman.
Ragnar, grandson of the slain king, Siward and successor of the throne, when he had justly cut down the murderer of his grandfather, asked many questions of his fellow soldiers concerning the maiden whom he had seen so forward in the fray, and declared that he had gained the victory by the might of one woman.
“They began the sea-fight and sustained it on either side with high regard for their fame and courage. Then came the lucky moment the young man had been waiting for when he leapt onto Alvid’s bows and, surrounded by soldiers who were fresher and more numerous, forced his way right up on to the stern, slaughtering all who withstood him. Borkar, his companion, struck off Alvid’s helmet and, as soon as he saw the delicacy of her countenance, realized who the scourge of the seas had been.”
Prince Alf of Denmark had finaly captured the prize princess he had been chasing the Baltic Seas for and married Alivild (aka Alfhild) on the spot.
Link: Alvild (aka Alfhild)
Robin Lasser produces photographs, video, site-specific installations and public art working with socially and culturally significant imagery and themes.
In Lasser’s Dress Tent series, each piece of wearable architecture references specific body and land politics pertaining to the place and culture in which they are installed. Modes of female representation are addressed through the garment/structure. By referencing archetypes such as “housewife” in the Picnic Dress Tent, the dress tents push the prescriptive and fetishistic aspects of contemporary fashion toward new conclusions.
Each dress tent, which literally morphs from a dress into a tent, poses the question of what lies under a woman’s skirt in the 21st century. While each photograph specifically references body and land politics specific to the site in which it is photographed, the images also speak to a sense of place, questioning impacts of tourism and notions surrounding fantasy excursions into the landscape. While the photographs are meant to be seductive, the dress tents simultaneously emulate and poke fun of the recreational fashion industry.
Link: Artwork: Dress Tents | Artist Statement
Also known as the Red Maiden, Rusla and her sister, Stikla, were constant companions and formidable pirates who raided ships and cities in Iceland, Denmark, and the British Isles. It was Rusla’s fight with her brother, and King, Tesondus, that consumed her.
Disgusted with her brother’s failure when he lost the crown to the Danish King, she decided to avenge her brother by sending her own fleet to wage war on the Danes. Along the way, though, she chanced upon her brother’s ship and and sank it. He was a failure anyways. The sniveling whelp managed to swim to shore safely.
Link: The Red Maiden
Princess Sela, sister of the Norwegian King, Kolles, takes to the seas as a pirate when her much hated brother takes the throne. Sela led daring raids, amassing quite a reputation and a sizeable treasure. Her king brother was also a pirate of report and treasure and Sela’s hate for him grew ever more with each conquest as she becomes bitterly determined to defeat him.
Her brother’s greed and her hate-driven lust. however, become the end of them both as her brother sets off to attack a small island off of Norway. A chase ensues as Sela follows him, only finding when she arrives that she is too late as the enemy has already slain her brother and she finds herself trapped in the middle of the ensuing battle with her brother’s killers. Sela meets her end in this battle–or so the story goes.
Link: Princess Sela
Queen and regent of Illyria, Teuta’s first decision was to drive out the Greek colonies off the Illyrian coast. While Dyrrachium was too well fortified to conquer, Finiq surrendered, and while her ships were off the coast of Sarande, her pirates decided a little plundering was in order as they intercepted some merchant vessels of Rome. Spurned by their success, Teuta’s pirates plundered their way southward in the Ionian sea along the coast of Italy, soon becoming feared as the terror of Adriatic.
Link: Queen Teuta
Sister of Pygmalion and joint heir to their father’s throne, Elissa desires to flee Tyre after her baby brother has her beloved husband murdered to gain his rumored great riches. Under the pretense of wishing to move into her brother’s palace, she secretly orders her attendants to throw her husbands bags of gold into the sea as an offering to his spririt. In truth the bags only contained sand, but the more cunning Elissa convinces the attendants to flee with her, away from Tyre.
The party sails to the coast of North Africa where she bargains with the locals to lend her a small bit of their land–no more than what could be encompassed by an oxhide. Cutting the hide into fine strips she is able to use enough to surround an entire nearby hill (which is commemorated in modern mathematics as the “isoperimetric problem”). Many locals and envoys alike join the ranks of this settelment, building the city that becomes Carthage.
Carthage was Rome’s greatest rival and enemy. Virgil’s Dido symbolizes this, and though Rome did not exist in Elissa’s lifetime, her figures becomes demonized as an anti-Roman figure because she represented at least three qualities that were repugnant to Romans: feminine virtue, a Semitic ethnic origin, and African civilization.