to be read: invisible cities

invisible cities - italo calvino
this short 165 page book composed of just 9 chapters is framed around the setting of marco polo telling the stories of his adventures and travels to kublai khan in a time when the khan's empire is coming to an end. each chapter contains a number of sections, each section only around a page long devoted to describing a different city. the book as a whole is fascinating, creative, and gives the imagination a thorough workout. i love what the book says about human existence, about memories and desires and how speech and writing affects those things. calvino speaks of cities with an entirely fantastical manner that conveys truths, questions, provocation of thought all at once. i wish i could illustrate each city he speaks of in the splendor and detail i envision in my head. invisible cities carries a particular impact for me while i'm away from the city i call home and will do the same for any traveller or resident when the place you live is placed under scrutiny.

"Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if i speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little."

strange compulsions?

when walking home from the north side, i pass a number of restaurants all with outside seating. - heartland brewery, republic...etc..pedestrians walk right next to all the restaurant customers eating their various plates of food and i've always contemplated how easy it would be to reach a hand out and snatch a glass of soda or a plate of clear glass noodles or a salad. or to take the fork and just steal one bite before moving on. not that i have.


architecture, art and fashion

this wednesday october 29 i went with a few friends to the chanel mobile art exhibit designed by zaha hadid, a world renowned architect. chanel hired 15 modern artists to create installation pieces for their mobile art exhibit inspired by their infamous quite quilted 2.55 handbag which is now celebrating it's 50th anniversary. hence all the commotion. the mobile in and of itself is a gorgeous ingenious design that can be taken apart, packed up, and shipped across the world. (in fact it was first in hong kong before tokyo and then new york) in english we were assigned two articles, one with a neutral perspective and one with a completely opinionated bias against the mobile declaring it a "cynical marketing gimmick" that is "delusional" and "exploiting the so-called intersection of architecture, art and fashion." in fact, according to nioclai ouroussoff of the new york times, it is "a black hole of bad art and superficial temptations...an elaborate mousetrap for consumers."

is it not possible for fashion and architecture to be art as well? do consumerist and materialistic qualities disqualify things from being art? is it possible to view art objectively from social issues or do they automatically apply?

if you're interested:
carol vogel nytimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/arts/design/24zaha.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=chanel+mobile&st=nyt&oref=slogin
nicolai ouroussoff nytimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/arts/design/21zaha.html?scp=8&sq=nicolai+ouroussoff&st=nyt
chanel mobile site: http://www.chanel-mobileart.com/