Chairman


BOG*
October 14, 2008, 9:31 pm
Filed under: English | Tags: , , , , , ,

My new setting is here in Istanbul.  I have been in way too many settings so far and it is as if every setting has been a different life.  In each setting I lived all sorts of experiences which made me the person I am today.  Tomorrow I go back to my previous setting, London.  It has ALREADY been four months since I moved back to Istanbul and I have settled into my new home and am very happy.  On the other hand, it has ONLY been four months since I left London and I have mixed feelings about going back.  It almost feels like an undue flashback.  What is this unease that I feel?  I think perhaps I fear I might gag as I have not yet absorbed my four years of London.  I think I might have to pretend I am a Martian probe and see and collect only those that are essential.  We shall see.

On a ‘micro’ level, my new setting is my studio.  This past Saturday I finally introduced my studio to friends.  The introduction was in the form of a party and boy, did the flat look trashed the day after.  It was a good party in the end and everybody liked the flat.  The studio.  No, the flat.  People who came to a studio party were surprised to see a full-fledged apartment with a bedroom, a kitchen, a shower and a couch!  Sure they liked the flat but I think it didn’t really feel like a studio to many.  The setting was not as expected.  Yesterday I moved the couch out of the way and away from the windows and replaced it with a big desk.  I agree with my friends that an explosion of paint is long overdue in the studio to set the image right.  Anyway…

I just watched Orhan Pamuk’s speech on TV at the Frankfurt Book Fair.  He talked about his first experience at the fair as a young writer.  He said he had then felt that the shear scale of the fair invited all the writers who all thought they had something special to contribute to the World to assume some degree of modesty.  I will be visiting the Frieze Art Fair in London tomorrow.  I know how insignificant one feels among all the art that is on display.  On one level, I think this feeling of insignificance can be a good thing.  Once you resign to the idea that you are in fact insignificant you can go about doing your own thing, right?

FilmEkimi…  I have been one of the few lucky people to have the time to see a selection of films from all over the World during the past week.  To many ‘FilmEkimi’ (FilmOctober) is a better festival than the Istanbul Film Festival as the selection is carefully studied and is not cluttered with second rate films.  I was able to see five films. Some I liked better than others.  Now that I think about them they all had a common denominator.  It was the setting in every single film that made the film.   ‘Chelsea On the Rocks’ is a documentary about the Chelsea Hotel in New York.  Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Christina Barcelona’ is ‘obviously’ set in Barcelona.  ‘When A Man Comes Home’ is a melancholic Danish film that takes place in a small town in Denmark.  ‘Genova’ is Winterbottom’s new film about a family’s struggle to carry on with their lives in a foreign city after the mother dies and finally ‘Sad Dream’ is Kim Ki-Duk’s sad (and to my disappointment overshadowed by Ki-Duk’s arrogance fueled by his fame) new film set in a small town in Korean highlands.  One might of course argue that the setting is always important in a film but in all these films, some more than others, it was the setting that truly seemed to matter.  Each setting provided the film with such a peculiar fabric that the rest meshed right into it.

In view of all the settings I have considered, experienced and watched lately, the background then, as regards my painting, maybe is not so much the ‘back’ of the picture but it IS the picture.  So therefore it is now clear to me that I must paint my backgrounds with more conviction.  I must acknowledge the reality, the significance and the power of the background and perhaps just paint that.

So, here I come London.  What setting have you got in store for me now?

*  I promised my guardian dragon I would call this blog ‘BOG’ so I have changed the title from ‘Settings’ to ‘BOG’  For the record, ‘BOG’ means ‘blog’ in my dragon’s language.  In Dragonian every term is redefined with a hint of sarcasm and humour.  So there we are…

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