Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garlic Harvest

Pulling them out of the new raised beds was easier than when I just planted in the clay soil directly.
Mnnn! Time for some really frest pesto: walnuts, basil and as many cloves of this garlic I want to peel!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009


I was suspicious about the rave reviews of Varda's new auto-bio-pic. I've never been a big fan of Varda. I found the film Daguerréotypes (also known I think as Rue Daguerre) excruciating. The Gleaners, which so many swooned over, just made me angry. An insult to Millet.

Years ago I did see and rather liked Lions' Love, but only because Shirley Clarke and Viva were in it-- in all their glory.

Her new film, The Beaches of Agnes, is just as cloying as Daguerreotypes and even more (if that is possible) narcissistic. Lots of familiar folk here and lovely images of Guillaume (Chris Marker's signature cat)-- as a larger than life cut out walking down the street. Perhaps the best image in the entire film. But there is no real appreciation of Marker or of any of the people she mentions. Beaches is replete with name dropping, like a society column.

The problem is there is really no sense of history. In any of her films. History for Varda is like an antique shop-- there only for consumption. In Beaches, she breezes past WWII, Vietnam, the Black Panthers, as if they were tableaux in shop windows--and all she is interested in is her own reflected image.

She uses art the same way. She culls contemporary art and takes the visuals for her "background" and leaves the concept behind. The film opens with a scene on the beach with a group of interns each holding or placing mirrors. Joan Jonas did stark and scary work in the 1970s carrying mirrors around--showing the audience to themselves or looking at various parts of her own body. Her performances made the mirror an instrument of terror. In Varda the mirror is just part of the decor.

Varda takes her office to the street which has been covered with sand (beach). Beuys did performances in the streets of many European cities--performances that challenged the prevailing mores. Varda's office street beach is reassuring. There is a smugness about putting your office outside. It doesn't challenge anything. It borders on cute, sort of like a child's lemonade stand.
For an interview with Varda check out Liza Bear's piece in Interview:

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Weaving Porch

Xena, Molly and Io made this rug.
For our annual 4th of July party Molly and I set up a loom for the guests to weave. It took Molly two days to warp it, but it was a great experience for all!
This is Iolanthe's rug:
This is Molly's rug:
Tolan started weaving after everyone left Willow.
Tolan kept weaving deep into the night. This is his rug:

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