Category: Art&Design

In essence of revealing: Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich 2016

Schloss Nymphenburg 2016

In the style of a Japanese Imari baluster vase with lid ca. 1720, Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich , Germany 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

One of the most torturous things you can do to an academic mind with an eager disposition is suggest threads of thought tangent to the current context of dialogue. This however, is what one experiences when reading Martin Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology [1]. As commentary on Heidegger’s essay on Heidegger’s claim that the essence of technology is itself nothing technical, Mahon O’Brien wrote in footnote in a 2004 conference paper,

“One should be warned however, that Heidegger will not simply introduce his problematic and then present the solution, one has to follow the path which he weaves on the way toward coming to grips with the problem. Following this path is a rather arduous task and involves a significant level of patience and commitment from the reader. A number of thinkers have resisted what they see as this recurring ‘errant’ method in Heidegger’s philosophy, not least, Ernst Tugendhat who dismisses Heidegger’s technique as merely “evocative” and thereby groundless. This is a serious charge but one which Heidegger himself was not unaware of.” [2:1]

For Heidegger, technology is not merely means, but it is a way of revealing, an unfolding from the essence of technology. In quotation below, are some paragraphs from Heidegger’s essay that perhaps caused Tugendhat and others of like mind to label Heidgger’s writings as evocative: Continue reading “In essence of revealing: Schloss Nymphenburg, Munich 2016”

Lenbachhaus, Munich 2016

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Rochelle Feinstein, Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany 2016

Geography 1994, Rochelle Feinstein [1], Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany 2016.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

His eyes followed my form from one room to the next, one exhibit to the next. He watched me grab the by-laying catalogue from the clean white benches that invite visitors to sit and contemplate the displays. He watched me, with catalogue in hand, stride back to the painting of a framed white paint splatter. In that moment, he strode across the room covering the distance in but a few long strides between us to stand by a Rochelle Feinstein work that I was contemplating with my back to wall. He pointed to the caption on the wall regarding the framed paint. I read the caption. He smiled. I smiled right back. The photograph shown above was taken right after that encounter with him.

Continue reading “Lenbachhaus, Munich 2016”

The latent image

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Auguste Rodin, L’aurore (Camille Claudel) c.1885, Musée Rodin, Paris.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016

Dionysius the Areopagite

Mystical Theology

Chapter II

How it is necessary to be united with and render praise to Him Who is the cause of all and above all. Unto this Darkness which is beyond Light we pray that we may come, and may attain unto vision through the loss of sight and knowledge, and that in ceasing thus to see or to know we may learn to know that which is beyond all perception and understanding (for this emptying of our faculties is true sight and knowledge), and that we may offer Him that transcends all things the praises of a transcendent hymnody, which we shall do by denying or removing all things that are like as men who, carving a statue out of marble, remove all the impediments that hinder the clear perceptive of the latent image and by this mere removal display the hidden statue itself in its hidden beauty. Continue reading “The latent image”

Goya geosemiotics in Singapore

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The geosemiotics of Singapore. Towering plastic sculptures in the city’s heartland. Freud, Goya – or both? I would beg to differ on the perspective that Singaporeans have no sense of humour.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2015

They walked as a pair in complete synchrony in rhythm and sway. Finding a seat in the train, they sat comfortably, next to each other. After contemplating the signs hovering above the bright coloured plastic seats of the train for all of three seconds, the older of the two decided to take the seat marked for the disabled. She was after all in the elderly range in the context where she now found herself. The pair gestured animatedly as they talked while they sat for their journey. The younger of the two had at all times in hand a mobile phone where utmost attention was paid. If there was any sort of hierarchy between the pair, it was not much noticeable except that the older seemed to speak much more than the younger. And when the younger was too engrossed with the phone, the older of the two would peer over the younger’s shoulder, inquiring in expression of what it was that made the small screen so interesting to the younger. The younger did not seem to mind this intrusion of space, a normalized behaviour that had by now become an expectation. Continue reading “Goya geosemiotics in Singapore”

Antonio Gaudí: Casa Batlló and Casa Milà

Barcelona is a city that can truly inspire and touch the soul of a visitor. Not in the least because of its education institutions, of which I especially was taken in by IESE, but rather by looking at what is silently said through its culture, art and architecture.

Antonio Gaudí is one of the many geniuses of Catalonian descent that have left their unforgettable imprint on the city. His art speaks loudly, but only to those who can listen with their eyes and peek into each wrought iron entanglement and crack of a mosaic, rearranged to a new meaning.

In this post, a walk-through of Casa Batlló and Casa Milà.

Casa Batlló

There’s a constant stream of people to visit these buidlings, so having some quiet time whilst walking around the conserved apartments is not quite possible. Still something fun to do and worth discovering.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2011-2013

Continue reading “Antonio Gaudí: Casa Batlló and Casa Milà”

The Lamborghini Aventador J, Geneva 2012

The Lamborghini Aventador J (Photo by GT Spirit) at Geneva 2012.
I could die just looking at it.

I cannot wax more lyrical than Sam Smith who wrote in 2011 about his driving experience with what he called a “hellfire sexplosion” of a car that is the Lamborghini Gallardo in his article at Exhaust Notes.

And this year in Geneva 2012, the Lamborghini Aventador J was unveiled.

Lamborghini Aventador J, back.

At 6.5L with 700 horsepower and its V-12 engine untouched from the Aventador LP700-4 – this piece of blinding passion and desire embodied in a deep glowing lava of metal takes creativity in luxury sports cars to completely unchallenged dimensions that makes the future passé.

The Aventador J is a multi-layered construct of contradictions in practicality and design. Open air and without a hard top, the insides of this superfine piece of engineered art is exposed purposefully to all natural elements and an untold number of bugs, as if in challenge to the Gods themselves, since there is also no windshield to its 217-mph top speed. Thus embodied in its very design, the Aventador J literally forces you to live in all out Italian extreme – all or nothing!

As a metaphor for good leadership, I was once told, “It isn’t enough that you own a Lamborghini. You need to know how to drive it!”, the thoughts resonating with Lamboghini’s own “Every weapon needs a Master!”

Indeed.

Swedish west coast inspirations in ceramic form

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro Vävra Keramik II 098

Sitting with some of my favourite items made by Helen Kainert at her boutique studio, Vävra Keramik that is located just before Marstrand along the Swedish westcoast.
JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro Nilsson © 2011

Driving along the Swedish westcoast in the area of Kungälv towards Marstrand from Gothenburg, a red house with two flags at its door post with a friendly sign that said ‘pottery works’ loomed large, and we couldn’t help but pull into its sand filled driveway to check-out the creative assortment of ceramic pottery works inside, meeting with owner and artist herself, Helen Kainert.
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In the footsteps of Anna Ancher and Marie Krøyer at Skagen, 2011

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Skagen 2011

At the very, very northernmost point of Denmark is Grenen, the point where the two
seas of Skagerrak and Kattegatt meet. Here you can literary stand with one foot in each sea.

JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro Nilsson © 2011

In a landscape of muted pastels that continued to appeal even under the grey of the rain clouds hovering above, I felt it was surprisingly heavy and tiring to walk in the shifting sand of the long beach that led up to Grenen. An aspect that might not be immediately apparent when just looking at the famous paintings by Peder Severin Krøyer of the Skagen Painters that have Grenen as a theme, just north of the northernmost fishing village Skagen at the very tip of the Danish peninsula.

Krøyer was probably the most well known of the artists that lived and worked here from the late 1870s until the turn of the century, and it is his paintings too, amongst all Skagen artists, that attract me most. In fact, a reproduction of one of his most famous paintings, Hip Hip Hurra!, of a summer party held in Michael Ancher’s garden in 1884, adorns one of our guest room walls at home. Ancher belonged to Krøyer’s circle of artist friends, though with a different temperament altogether.
Continue reading “In the footsteps of Anna Ancher and Marie Krøyer at Skagen, 2011″

Miró, Miró on the wall …

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From Castell de Montjuic silent large-calibre guns overlooks the sea and port as well as the metropolis of Barcelona itself. On the west side, stands an ornate memorial to General Francisco Franco. An unintentional but vivid commentary on the history of Spain and Barcelona as good as any history book would offer.
JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro Nilsson © 2011

The headline pun is, of course a play on the words from the English translation by D. L. Ashliman of the definitive edition of the Grimm’s Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Berlin 1857), tale ‘Snow White’, in which the Queen asks her magical mirror “Mirror, mirror on the wall / Who in the land is fairest of all?” The tale takes a dramatic turn when the mirror tells her an unwanted truth.

In a similar manner, the period around the early 1900’s was extraordinarily volatile when it came to artists and architects communication with the public. Many of the art movements that enriched the early 1900’s in Europe were protests against those in power that for their winnings sake drew the world into war. Various kinds of repression caused new ways of commenting on society to appear.
Continue reading “Miró, Miró on the wall …”

Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, in Barcelona, more or less

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

The Mies van der Rohe Pavilion is but a short walk downhill from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, or the MNAC. It’s situated at the foot of the Montjuïc hill. The outdoor café outside the Museu Nacional offers a much needed refreshment.
JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro Nilsson © 2011

Just below the Museu National on Montjuïc, towards the Placa d’Espanya and on its original site lies the newly rebuilt Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, originally the German Pavilion, built for the 1929 world exhibition held here in Barcelona.

The Pavilion is to me, a fundamental architectural monument from a time when the hope towards a unified and better Europe prevailed. Even beyond the field of arts history and architecture, the German architect and designer of the early 20th century, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1969) was known for his works being some of the most influential of the time. He was one of the founders of modern architecture and a proponent of simplicity of style.

He coined the phrase “less is more” in referring to clarity of shapes and thoughts. So influential were his ideas from the early 1900s that today, these clean lines are visibly noted in the design of just about every current shopping mall or airport in the world. It could even be argued that the very typography of this blog, looking as it does, could be traced back to him.

Because of this, it is a little mind boggling that I found myself in the very building that in architectural form, presented this new ideology to the world, considering too that this was the fruitful result of a flow of ideas between the Russian constructivists, the Bauhaus design school in Berlin and the De Stijl group in the Netherlands, who no doubt also fetched energy and ideas from the modernists here in Barcelona.
Continue reading “Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, in Barcelona, more or less”

A visit to the Schönenberg Church in Ellwangen, Germany, by Kevin D. Cordeiro

The Schönenberg Church, also the Wallfahrtskirche in Ellwangen, Germany.
Photo: Kevin D. Cordeiro.

The Schönenberg Church is a pilgrimage church that is also known as the Sanctuary of Our Lady. It’s a major church in the region of Ostwürttemberg in the southern regions of Germany. In years past, people made their pilgrimage voyages by foot in order to reach the churches and their sanctuary of prayer. These days however, pilgrims are more likely to arrive at their respective churches via buses. Just as well too since this particular church sits atop a 530 m climb.

Photo: Kevin D. Cordeiro.

The foundations to the church were laid in 1682 by Johann Christoph von Freyberg who was then the Bishop of Augsburg. The building’s architect was Michael Thumb Vorarlberger Munster whose design template for this church had great influence over other important buildings of Baroque design such as the baroque pilgrimage church of the Holy Cross built on Gottesberg hill in Bad Wurzach in 1709. Continue reading “A visit to the Schönenberg Church in Ellwangen, Germany, by Kevin D. Cordeiro”

In black and white: Haus Schönenberg, Ellwangen, Germany

In black and white, by Kevin Dominic Cordeiro, cortenography, Haus Schönenberg, Ellewengen, Germany

The compounds around Haus Schönenberg in Ellwangen, Germany.
Photo for CMC by Kevin D. Cordeiro © Singapore 2009

Haus Schönenberg is a charming hotel located in the small historic German town of Ellwangen that lies east of Baden-Württemburg. It’s a throw back in time in its architecture, standing next to the renowned pilgrimage church, Wallfahrtskirche.

By Kevin Dominic Cordeiro in black and white photography, Cortenography

While the hotel isn’t one that is too luxe, visitors will be won over by its rustic appeal. Those who love the outdoors and nature can explore the rather generous grounds of the place. Continue reading “In black and white: Haus Schönenberg, Ellwangen, Germany”

Into the heart of the St. Peter’s Basilica – The Vatican City and its treasures in Rome

Small treasures on this trip to the Holy See – fresh summer fruits and some time away from the mid-day sun. This particular café served a good range of lunches from pizzas to fresh fruit and ice-cream.

We parked our car in Rome and then in all of about 300 meters, it seemed we were standing right in the middle of a different state; the Vatican City.

The Vatican state and its structures, to me, seemed to blend seamlessly with everything else Roman. Large, majestic looking sculptures, passageways and corridors that seem almost too large for any efficient or practical use of space, making one feel almost insignificant when walking about. I can imagine the purpose of the imposing structures from ancient times, that people needed to feel the power of the ruling, for the masses to feel at once diminished, yet safe. The structures work to the very same purpose today, except with a different flavour.

As a tourist, it’s splendid with so much space to conquer during your visit. And the Vatican state allows you these conquests as it invites hoards of visitors into its arms, into its heart which is St. Peter’s Basilica and into its treasure filled museum wings. The high arches and open spaces aid in dispensing with the overly crowded feel; a feel that Venice for example, could not overcome.

A curious feature: an Egyptian obelisk stands in front of St. Peter’s church.

Though small as a state, by foot, the grounds of St. Peter’s Basilica are still vast, with an intriguing sight of an Egyptian obelisk in the middle. Its slightly skewed alignment to Michelangelo’s building is said to have been compensated by Maderno’s nave inside the Basilica. Continue reading “Into the heart of the St. Peter’s Basilica – The Vatican City and its treasures in Rome”

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum

Nibbling the Big Apple X

Outside the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro-Nilsson 2008

Since its opening in early May, the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum has drawn quite some media attention with numerous write-ups, press conferences and an opening night gala dinner, where all invited were supposed to dress to the superheroes and fantasy theme. My favourite evening wear for the night was an elaborately padded silver gown by Chanel, donned by Anna Wintour.

I couldn’t well pass up on the chance to view this exhibition at the Met, when in New York. Continue reading “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum”

Cufflinks – a perfectly smart finish

Cufflinks in gold and white gold, set with mother of pearl and 2 brilliant cut diamonds, c. 0.10 cts. Stamped GD & Co (G Dahlgren & Co.), Malmö 1940, Sweden. These are to be auctioned this coming weekend, at W.A. Bolin.

In a crowded room to any formal event, one could well sweep over the hall and indulge in the general sight of people well dressed. But as the evening draws on and conversations are engaged, it is most often that one cannot help but notice details in a person’s dress. Women for example, might notice details in men’s dressing such as the colour of his tie as in contrast to his shirt, the cut of his jacket or the pockets on his coat, his tie pin if he’s wearing one and then most interestingly, his cufflinks. Every bit of clothing on a person contains information about personality, and a pair of cufflinks might just well tell if he has a sense of humour. Continue reading “Cufflinks – a perfectly smart finish”

Annual Antiques Fair in Gothenburg

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Me in a curio stall at the Gothenburg Antiques Fair. On the shelves, the Swedish ceramic artist and studio Tilgman’s ceramics, much defining Swedish homes from the 1950s.

Over the last week, Gothenburg held its annual antiques fair at Svenska Mässan, a large convention hall for just such events. We thought we’d spend some time there browsing the ins and outs of antiques. Continue reading “Annual Antiques Fair in Gothenburg”

Pottery works by Adrian Cordeiro

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Stoneware Pot, free form. Size: H 35cm X W 18cm. Glaze: Transparent with oxides staining. Method: Coil

The piece is asymmetrical with a slight twist and
change in direction from foot to rim. I am more
interested in form and texture for visual and tactile
stimulation. With its variation in textures,
a blind person should be able to appreciate this piece.

– Adrian Cordeiro

Continue reading “Pottery works by Adrian Cordeiro”

The Sanderson, London

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Entrance to the Sanderson, picture by Morgans Group LLC, from the Sanderson.

JE and myself had the privilege of staying at the Sanderson hotel in London when we were there earlier this year.

Upon entering the hotel

The Sanderson opened on 25 April 2000 and after a great success of St. Martins Lane, Ian Schrager again teamed up with Philippe Starck to create, what to me is a fairly eccentric hotel with an ecclectic mix of too much money and not knowing what to do with it, although they have phrased it rather differently in this article. A quote from the article:

In a world where style is knocked off and mass-marketed at the speed of light, Schrager is keeping alive those most endangered of artistic species: experimentation, risk-taking, innovation and originality. Sanderson is all about charm, poetry, excess, glamour and elegance. It is an ironic combination – a balancing act – between extravagance and simplicity.

While I do agree on the originality of the idea of the design at the Sanderson, the “balancing act” as mentioned above, came across as none too well executed since the putting together of the pieces of art / furniture came across more as an indecision than statement purposeful.

The lobby at the Sanderson, picture by Morgans Group LLC.

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The ’60s murals and mosaics clashed specifically with the enormous and out of place Louis XV armoire. Set that right next to the African chair, an etched Venetian mirror and you hardly get sophisticated but rather, confused. Something that is most definitely difficult to categorize and impossible to define. One could almost get a headache out of looking at all the fantastic furnishings that would have indeed cost quite a bit to procure.
Continue reading “The Sanderson, London”