zondag 28 februari 2010
donderdag 25 februari 2010
woensdag 24 februari 2010
dinsdag 23 februari 2010
But this morning I went to see the film : A Single Man directed by Tom Ford with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore (2 of my favourite actors). It was a breath taking experience. The story is by Christopher Isherwood and situated in LA in 1962. It tells the story of 1 day in the life of a 52 year old professor who lost his lover in a car accident.I am not going to tell details but this film is really worth seeing.For me this movie is already one of the best from 2010! Not because the whole film looks amazing virtually (we couldn't expect less from Tom Ford who used to be the designer who made Gucci famous again) but all actors gave me the feeling that it was a real story which need to be told. In those years being openly gay was not accepted and 2 men living openly together was not something you would speak about. Everything changed (more or less) in the 70's and after watching the film I was so happy that I am living in this era and not in that secret world in the past. My "coming out" was round 1980 after I had a relation with a girl for half a year (she is still one of my best friends) and in the meantime I did fall in love with a man. For me that has been a real struggle to come in terms with. I have felt very lonely during my youth and could not speak over or as Oscar Wilde wrote: The Love that dare not speak it's name. Coming from a traditional background the step I had to take was not an easy one. In my youth I have always felt different and strange in a way compared to other friends from school. They were all taking about girls and for me that was not something I would do and I wouldn't speak about boys either. I was all very confusing and I remember going to the library to find out what the word Homosexual meant and I knew it was about me, but I felt very shocked afterwards. It was about me and I didn't dare to speak about it. There were no role models at that time or any good information. Going to the Social Academy to become Cultural worker I got confronted with the the label: GAY. One day they made a kind of huge diorama and when you looked in to it you could see 2 men holding eachother and in 1 face they put a mirror, so you would be that person who was hold by the other man. I felt shocked but couldn't talk about it and I knew it was me longing to be hold that way. Anyway.. it took some years to open up and to go into the open with my feelings and desires. I wasn't man who would go from one to another (to soft and emotional to do that)as some did in those days. I was looking for love and a man to share my life with. Of course I had some experiences which didn't work out the way I was hoping that time. But at the age of 24 I fell in love with Bram who was 48 at that time. Maybe that sound strange but we both had the feeling we knew each other already and the age difference was not an issue (being 51 now myself I still don't feel old) We immediately started living together (not an easy 1st year)and all the experiences in the past have bounded us much more. We have had hard times with Bram losing his job, difficult financial times, me losing work many times, Bram's health condition right now etc. All those experiences can make it really work between people I think if you are going into more or less the same direction. I have always felt a great love for Bram in good and in bad times (for better for worse we promised each other 2 years ago when we got married) and I feel so lucky to live with him. It has never been dull or boring and we always have something to talk about. He couldn't go with me this morning to the film because of the way he is now but I will buy the DVD and I am almost sure he will like the film as much as I do. And watching this film together at home will be wonderful.
P.s. Normally I never write a blog post each day, but I am having holiday this week.. so that's why.
maandag 22 februari 2010
One of the first times I was visiting Púchov I met this man who was the last Blue Print producer of Slovakia. He could talk very passionate about his work and his wife sold the fabric in the little souvenir shop in town which I always visited when I was in Púchov. This time I bought I think one of the last fabric he made and a little doll dressed in a blueprint fabric which hangs now above my desk in my workroom.From a colleague I got as a gift the last calendar he did print for the coming year. Unfortunately this will be the last calendar he printed and we have to miss it for the coming years.
I hope someone, or an museum or organisation will take care of this little factory because it would be so sad if this firm will forgotten. In my opinion it is very important for a country to take care of cultural heritage because it tells the history of a country which is very important for the coming generations.
Some years ago I did write an article about the workshop from the Trnka family but unfortunately Selvedge didn't publish it. I have made some changes to the original text and added some pictures.
A Blue Gem in Púchov ( The story of an almost lost world)
Stanislav Trnka is the owner and he told me the remarkable story of his studio. His studio lies behind his house in the centre of Púchov and is in the family for more than 100 years. Blueprint fabric is made mainly in Central Europe but was and is also produced in
The story of the blueprint in Púchov all tough starts not in Púchov itself. In 1820 just outside Púchov, in a tiny village the family Zaieretchy started up a blueprint-studio. Because in this family there were no children to take it over from the owner, the workroom passed to the Trnka family in 1898 in the name of Joseph Trnka who passed it over to his son Alois. After that the current owner Stanislav got the workshop after a long training period before he was allowed to take it over from his father. Now they are in the situation that none of the children from Stanislav and his wife will take it over, so at the end the studio will disappear unless someone comes up with a good idea.
You might think when reading this word that the fabric is printed blue, but the opposite is true. The white fabric is printed with a chemical substance and after that is dyed blue. After washing the dyed cloth, the substance disappears and the white patterns light up. It is similar to batik, but the result is different.
In the beginning the patterns were printed on the fabric by using wooden stamps (Blocks) and they were made by special travelling men who came to the blue-printers to make new designs. Similar to blockprint in
After this process of printing the cloth originally was dyed with natural indigo. Indigo is different from normal dyes because it sticks to the surface and doesn’t go into the fibre like normal dye does. After it comes out of the indigo tub the fabric has a strange yellowish colour, but with the use of oxygen in the air it turns blue like a miracle in minutes. Since 1930/40 natural indigo isn’t used any more and in came the chemical indigo which works in the same way but was much cheaper to use.
The patterns itself have changed during the years and you can see 2 things. One of it is that the designs are in strong connection with the region were the fabric is used.
The region of Púchov has simple patterns while more richer regions have more complicated and more figurative designs. The fabric is still used in traditional costumes from folkgroupes and everybody from those groups is very pleased that he produces his fabric. Also his fabric is sold in the shops from U’luv (the institute in
Slovakiawho buys and sells good traditional crafts from ). Slovakia
But, as said before it will come to an end. In 1950 in the whole A little sad I was when I left his studio. The next time when I come to Púchov, it might have been gone, but this story needed to be told and I have been fortunate to meet up with this good craftsman. October 2005, february 2010
Some years later I managed to buy a indigo dyed piece of blueprint on linen at U'luv in Bratislava. It has this typical almost black colour you get from Indigo combined with a wonderful flowery patterned border and matching print for the rest of the cloth. I have never made something out of this fabric but cherish it a a beautiful piece of history
zondag 21 februari 2010
There is an ancient Chinese belief which states that there is an invisible Red Thread that connects each of us to all of the individuals who have been, currently are, and will in the future be important to us in our lives. This Red Thread can stretch, twist and bend...but will never break.After that all students and teachers got a Red Thread tied around their wrist and we all kept it there till the last day. Normally I do not teach Management but because my colleague who is teaching Management couldn't come with us I had the task to do it. The theme was Guerilla Marketing and the task for all groups was to make as much positive attention on the project in Púchov, so everybody living there would know. It was great to see were everyone came up to and they all went for it 100%. Texts as: "Coming soon: Red Thread" were sprayed with red paint on snow, red balloons with the text were hanged everywhere, a meeting with the Major was organized etc. etc. and all very exiting for the students and colleagues to do. So it was 2 days of hard work and on Friday we did a big trip (almost 3hrs by bus) to the High Tatra's were it was sunny in the beginning and loads of people were skiing or snowboarding. After lunch with warm alcoholic tea ;-) we went up to 1640 Mtr. by a ski cable car and had hot chocolate in a restaurant.
So a big thanks you all colleagues from Púchov who organized an amazing program!!! and to all colleagues and students involved in the project.On Saturday morning we took the bus back to Vienna and we had 3 hrs. to spend in Vienna. The city doesn't do much to me. It feels stiff and cold and very conservative.There is Jugendstill, the Stephan's Dom, All very beautiful....but..... I can understand the perhaps for that time provocative nude girls paintings from Egon Schiele. Since seen his work for the first time at Art school I have always admired it.