Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Daily Dose of Beauty, October Edition
Monday, October 4, 2010
My Life v. PhD Comics
Friday, October 1, 2010
I MADE A PIE
Sunday, September 26, 2010
New favorite Summer/Fall 2010 movie!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Daily Dose of Beauty, Rainy Day Edition
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Secret Fashion Icon
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Movies We Live With
I started off detesting my film class, but I've realized that there's no reason silently seething in the second row, refusing to do unnecessary assignments and unconsciously hating all the readings when I do them, when I could instead try to find ways to enjoy it. So I spent the weekend reading Michel de Certeau's The Writing of History, which only gets good in the 8th and 9th chapters, and began to start liking it. And then, just a few minutes ago, upon watching The Sound of Music for, oh, probably the thousandth time, I remembered something Professor Conley said about "living with" films, and how there are films, and films we live with, that we watch tens, hundreds of times, films we've seen often or which have just had a remarkable impression, etc. It made sense to me, and it especially makes sense now, sitting on the couch, watching a movie that never fails to arrest my attention for its full 174 minutes.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Updates from Grad School
Friends! A blog post is long overdue. Unfortunately am slightly hungover so any extensive abstract reasoning isn't really in the works right now, but I'm in list-mode right now, so:
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Lollapalooza Day 3
Regardless, Yeasayer played a pretty good show. ESPECIALLY in comparison to MGMT, who, although playing all of their best songs, are permanently BANNED from my music library now (well, not really, but practically banned). Now every time I listen to "Kids" or "It's Working," I think of what is definitely the DOUCHIEST CROWD I have EVER seen, encountered, or heard of at a show. And when I capitalize my letters, you know I mean business. Talk to me about it in person... I have a pretty ridiculous story about telling off an incredibly sexist jerk standing right next to me. Ugh.
After MGMT, I was in a foul mood. The adrenaline rush that I got from yelling at the aforementioned MGMT fanboy, coupled with crowd surfers continuously falling directly onto my head (concussion?), and the bizarrely oven-like overcast weather, was... troubling. It was a balmy 89 degrees, but with the humidity it felt much higher. I felt myself fading in and out of consciousness, and my eyes glazing over and occasionally being unable to focus. Slowly I began to realize that I was getting heat exhaustion. I made my way out of the crowd before "Kids" came on as their second-to-last song.
Lollapalooza Day 2
Lollapalooza Day 1
Overall Gaga was a great show. I can certainly understand why someone would pay more than half the price of a Lollapalooza ticket to see her... about 10 costume changes and plenty of ridiculousity, including an appearance with Lady Starlight in which both of them danced to a Metallica song and lit hairspray on fire. That was my favorite moment... it showed a Gaga before Gaga, when she was starting out as a music fanatic trying to make it in the industry.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Artists! Poets! Craftsmen!
Key: Bolded words are written out on the screen; all other words are spoken.
0:00-0:03 “Artists of the Capital City-Red Army.” Cinematographer: B. Makaseiev*
*last letter is cut off, says “Makaseie” on screen but probably should be “Makaseiev” since Boris Makaseiev was a famous documentary cinematographer at that time
0:07-0:12 The Studio of Moscow Artists prepares new TASS Windows
0:20-0:25 The artist Sokolov-Skalia creates a poster about the two Battles of Borodino
0:37-0:44 The subject of artist Aivazian’s poster is the victory in Moscow’s surrounding area
0:55-1:02 The artists will take their new work to the Front as a present to Red Army soldiers
1:03-1:09: Smashing satire – on the enemy!
1:10-1:21 Following the example of Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky's infamous ROSTA Windows, the Moscow poets and artists of the Great Patriotic War create TASS Windows.
1:22-1:28 During the Civil War a new style was born of precise and crushing caricatures and formidable, apt poetry.
1:29-1:36 TASS Windows, falling into the category of war posters and pictures, are as sharp as bayonets.
1:37-1:41 (reading the Alphabet poster aloud) Shchorse** beat the Germans in the Ukraine, they won't be spared, not even now!
**last name of famous Red Army general from the Civil War
(end reading the posters aloud)
1:50-1:59 Yet another instalment: the artist Savitsky finishes up a painting representing the daring attack of the Red Soldier-Horsemen on the fascist hordes
2:00-2:06 The artist Goriaev threw his poster-bayonets to create a caricature of the bandit and cannibal- Hitler!
(Художник Горяев плакатнaми штыками набрoсал карикатуру на опера бандита и людоеда Гитлера!)
2:10-2:16 The talented group of friends, famous by the name Kukriniksy, the artists Kuprianov,
2:27-2:34 With the sharp sting of their caricatures, they are helping to annihilate the enemies of our motherland.
2:50-2:52 (reading the poster aloud) The Fuhrer is getting ready for a long journey
2:52-2:54 To pin a cross onto his chest
2:54-2:56 But only one is yet unseemly
2:57-3:00 He'll get a cross from us as well!
3:01-3:04 The fascist operations… with vodka
(end reading posters aloud)
3:05-3:12 The Soviet people have already begun to love the TASS Windows, which mirror their deadly hatred of fascism.
3:13 Artists! Poets! Craftsmen! Sharpen your battle weapons for the complete destruction and annihilation of the enemy!
(all text copyright Julia Alekseyeva 2010)
Friday, August 6, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Xanga! Total Embarrassment!
"I was a neurotic jerk yesterday. But that doesn't mean I had to get punched! Does my shoulder really deserve such a bruise? Ouch. Now I refuse to apologize. Fuckass." (Mean? Angsty?)
And aww, the first entry when I talk about wanting to go to Columbia: "I'm hoping that I'm going to get into Columbia University. It's both an ivy league and an artsy liberal arts school. The best of both worlds. We'll see where I go from there. I checked into it today, and they have coed dorms only! FUN STUFF!"
"Wouldn't it be weird if say... I was in my mid-twenties, and all the sudden someone comes up to me and says, "Oh, yeah, you're God. We forgot to tell you for the past 20 something years, but you are, and you have all these cool powers." Maybe that's why I kick ass at the Sims." Huh?
"There are no more cookies..."
"You have no idea how much I love iambic pentameter...
Or at least structural poetry,
although I love writing free verse and blank verse a lot better.
Usually blank verse.
But anyways... GO POETRY!" (How to know that 15-year old me has NO IDEA what she's talking about)
"I love being liberal. Except for affirmative action. That shit should die." (I still believe this, but this sounds really strange and very egotistical coming from my old self)
Oh, and then there were the Theorems. I had Theorems. And because I love(d) Oscar Wilde so much, I thought a pretty sweet pseudonym would be Julia Wilde, so I called them my Wilde Theorems. For example: "[Wilde] Theorem 1-1: If a person perpetually claims themself as an intelligent person when it isn't necessary to do so, then they are most likely not very clever (or just plain stupid) to interrupt their conversations with exclamations of "i'm intelligent and don't deserve this." A true intellectual would usually shirk away from praise and, if needed, replace self-gratification with comedy." The more fancy words I use, the less I know what the hell I'm talking about, which is pretty obvious.
This is how most of the entries began: "I had an interesting dream last night… it was trés cool."
When I realized I hated economics after having to study it for Academic Decathlon: "QUESTION: If you could have been working at $24.00 an hour for the two hours it took you to shop for the $59.99 lava lamp, and its ugliness caused your rich significant other to break up with you right before he or she was going to give you a $100 watch, what is the total cost of the lava lamp? I have some problems with this... #5. WHO CARES ABOUT MONEY??? You just got dumped! For a lamp!You're not going to find out the economic cost of the lava lamp! You're gonna bawl your eyes out and empty out 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's!"
Nonsequitors: "Ugh, well, my contacts are messed up.
Funny moment today: (don't remember most of it, but I'll try my best)
(Ginny, Shaina, and I sitting on a front porch outside)
Me: There's an ant on my arm...
Shaina + Ginny: Flick it off.
Me: But it's so cool... so tiny and cute... it's running all over my arm... so tiny... and THEN I SMUSH IT TO PIECES!
Ginny: You are SO sadistic!
Me: ... (The ant doesn't die even after smushing, so I flick it off)
Shaina: You're such a freak!
Me: Says The Shaina...
Ginny: Shaina, she makes a point."
Thursday, July 29, 2010
My Art Institute Blog Entry!
LINK TO THE SITE (and nicer image of TASS 1000) HERE
Mightier than the Bayonet?
POSTED BY admin, ON July 28, 2010,
The word propaganda might initially sound pejorative. Propaganda has been historically perceived as a malevolent method of spreading false rumors. But might we also interpret propaganda as a means of providing a nation courage and willingness to fight in the face of immeasurable odds? Such was the task of the Soviet news agency (TASS) window-posters created in the Soviet Union during the Second World War—and such is the content of Windows on the War, a massive exhibition of these “propaganda” posters that will be mounted at the Art Institute next summer.
Propagandistic posters are usually focused on bolstering support on the home front and distanced from the reality of the battlefield. However, the makers of the TASS Windows had a different idea: to use their creative skills as ammunition in the fight against the Germans. Art became a weapon.
The poster above, number 1000, acts as a visual manifesto for the TASS studio. Above the picture is a quote by Vladimir Mayakovsky, the acclaimed Russian Futurist poet and founder of the ROSTA Windows—predecessors of TASS in the 1920s and the inspiration for the TASS Window project as a whole. The quote reads, in translation, “I want the pen to be equal to the bayonet”—a wish visually manifested in this image. We see Hitler being attacked by three bayonets, alongside a pencil and ink pen. In fact, if we follow Hitler’s gaze, he seems to be staring directly at the hands holding these two tools. The artists, writers, and poets of TASS, it would seem, have succeeded—they have “killed” the enemy’s spirit, while boosting the morale of Soviet citizens with this symbolic defeat. Finally, as Mayakovsky wished, the pen and pencil are on equal footing with the traditional weapons of war.
There was a bona fide sense that producing these TASS Windows was as important as being at the front. In the Soviet Union, the artists who created the posters became beloved cultural icons, as important as military generals. They received state medals and great renown for their work. To this day, surviving former Soviet citizens alive at the time of the TASS Windows can name the artists by heart—artists such as Sokolov-Skalya, Solov’ev, Shukhmin, and the Kukryniksy.
Surrounding the production of the TASS Windows are stories of passion, fervor, and intense labor. The artists would gather, regardless of abominable weather or the advancing enemy attack on Moscow, to create a new poster virtually every day of World War II. Not unlike the Red Army soldiers, the artists and writers labored in inhospitable conditions for the sake of the war effort. Because of the cultural importance of these posters and the iconic status of these artists and writers, heroic or wistful cultural myths came to surround the studio as time went on. According to some anecdotes, TASS posters were carried to the Front by the soldiers and were used to intimidate the enemy. Some TASS artists and writers were even driven to the Front itself so that they might absorb the details of war to imbue later drawings with veracity. The artists and writers of the TASS Windows truly felt their art to be one of the most powerful weapons against the Nazi invaders.
–Julia A., intern in the Department of Prints and Drawings
Image: Nikolai Fedorovich Denisovsky and Pavel Petrovich Sokolov-Skalya, Our One Thousandth Blow, June 5, 1944. Gift of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.