Tag Archives: Political

{STYLE WISE} ANTONIONI’S “ZABRISKIE POINT” +BLOW IT UP!!!+

Our latest addition to the altar of E.O.F. {STYLE IDOLS & DIVINITIES) was the impossibly stunning Mark Frechette, whose stardom originates as the handsome hero of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 counter-culture cult classic Zabriskie Point.

We thought it apropos to delve into the fantastic and fundamental stylish-ness of this poignant and severely under-rated film.

Whilst the flower power movement is mostly seen as Woodstock, flower children dancing in parks, peace, love, and rainbows – the counter-culture movement that began to arise from the horrors of the Vietnam War and injustices in America was also an aggressive and violent force ready for radical change.

Parties like The Weathermen, Baader Meinhoff, and the Black Panthers fought for revolutionary change from the capitalist bourgeoise regimes that still run the world to this day.

Much the way Antonioni’s fashionable masterpiece Blow-Up captured the Swinging London of the mid-60s in his chic docu-stylized manner, Zabriskie Point aimed to shed light on this particular moment in time.

The film even features a cameo by THE political power-force and activist Kathleen Cleaver (who is also very due to be inaugurated to the rank of E.O.F. DIVINITY}!

The turbulently good-looking Mark Ferchette plays Mark, an armed student radical on the run from the cops.

While flying an airplane over the desert he spots Daria Halprin who plays Daria, a gorgeous bohemian goddess who may or may not have a thing for wealthy older business execs, and they engage in an erotic (and dusty) desert orgy.

Whilst a desert orgy might seem like a tried and true climax for any film- the real climax drifts dreamily to Daria’s increasing discomfort and disgust over bourgeoise attempts to redevelop the gorgeous Mojave desert.

What follows this moment of realization is a fantastical finale that tells a thousand thoughts, statements, and poetic musings through the universality of cinema.

This final moment cannot be denied.

SPOILER ALERT!

{WATCH THE FINALE BELOW}

 

If you watched the clip, you can see why Zabriskie Point  is really fuelling our psych-rock summer.

Would have to recommend musing over the desert love scene, if you’re in the romantic mood . . . 

And whether you’re in it to take in all the timelessly cool/counter-culture chic/boho American stylings of costume designer Ray Summers or the epic psych-rock soundtrack that features a theme song by Roy Orbison, and tracks by the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, The Youngbloods, Patti Page, and the ultimate Pink Floyd– this film is ICONIC in every right!!!

Interestingly, both of the films stars were non-actors who both appeared in exactly three films.

Mark Ferchette was a carpenter discovered during a loud argument on the streets of Boston where he allegedly threw a flower pot at a woman, while Daria Halprin was spotted by Antonioni in the Jack O’Connell documentary ‘Revolution‘ which profiled the counter-culture movement in San Francisco.

The two make for a beautiful All-American bohemian brunette couple, whose enigmatic bond is as mysterious as it is inspiring…

 

They gained the status of the first counter-culture couple, and actually maintained a real life romance, which later led to them getting a string of magazine covers, TV appearances, and even joining a cult together.

After all, a couple that joins a cult together stays together! 

 

 

”It put me in a kind of lifestyle and situation that in many, many ways I wasn’t ready to deal with,”

-Daria Halprin

 

Halprin would later leave the Fort Hill Community that was founded by musician Mel Lyman, who was known as the Charles Manson o the East Coast,  while Ferchette was arrested for armed robbery and died in prison from a weightlifting accident joining the notorious Dead at 27 crew.

Whilst the film garnered lack lustre reviews at the time for its meandering plot and docu-surrealism which may have just been a little too ahead of its time.

{watch it now}

But, that’s what’s great about exploring the {PAST} you have the opportunity of looking at it through the lens of the {PRESENT} and hopefully keep the dialogue going into the {FUTURE}.

In a world as messed up today (if not more than)- a film like Zabriskie Point is a fearless reminder of the people who almost 50 years ago cried for change, the timelessness of true style, and the dreaminess of the desert . . .

 

Where did this courage and fight go in our day to day? Have we really been brainwashed to believe everything will be OK?

Sometimes it feels like you just might pull a Daria, too?

Talk about American beauty . . . do yourself a favour and watch this film!

[start PART 1 now]

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Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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{E.O.F. STYLE IDOL} Ai Wei Wei: According to What?

Ai Weiwei

AI WEI WEI: ACCORDING TO WHAT? at the AGO (August 17, 2013 – October 27, 2013)

Ai Wei Wei is currently the world’s leading bad ass.

Arguably the world’s most influential contemporary artist (no doubt, the most popular), Ai Wei Wei has made a name for himself with politically charged works that bring insight into the current politics of his Chinese homeland by fusing elements of the {past} and {present} together to incite change for the {future}.

Ai WEI WEI- NamesColored_Vases_03Ai-Weiwei-Sunflowers

The seed is a household object but at the same time is a revolutionary symbol.

-Ai Wei Wei

His works go far beyond the physical art he creates with teams of talented craftsmen who use thousand-yea-old techniques to create many of his most intricate works, but also stems into the world of photography and new media using video and cell phone imagery to capture significant moments of his life and the world around him.

This god-like attention to the details of his environments have gotten him into major trouble with the government of China which have their own god-like attention to detail when it comes to censoring sensitive subject matters they would rather seen brushed under the rug and forgotten. Ai Wei Wei creates works so that we we will never forget.

He knows the importance of the truth and works like “Snake Ceiling” and “Straight” aim to bring awareness to matters the government would rather leave in the dust.

Ai-Weiwei-installation-Straight

“Straight” acts as a catalyst to remember the tragic earthquake in the Sichuan province of China which killed over 90,000 people. Wei Wei salvaged the rebar of various buildings that were destroyed in the earthquake and had teams of craftsmen painstakingly straighten each bar by hand, and used the revamped rebar to create a piece reminiscent of a series of waves (perhaps invoking the wave-like motion of the earthquake).

The piece is part of the Ai Wei Wei: According to What? exhibit which is making its North American debut in Toronto at the AGO. The piece provided curators of the exhibit a specific challenge as the sculpture was delivered in 40 crates each weighing 2,500 lbs requiring the gallery to seek critique from engineers to ensure the building’s safety during the installation. The entire installation process took 70 hours over a period of six days to complete. The challenge of the piece is a testament to Ai Wei Wei’s relentless vision that sees very little bounds.

“Snake Ceiling” is a beautiful, organic sculpture created entirely from backpacks to commemorate the more than 5,000 children who were killed in the Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008 due to clumsy engineering and construction of schools. While the government refused to release the number of children killed, Ai Wei Wei conducted his own citizen’s investigation into the incident to uncover the names of the children killed which were celebrated in a spoken-word performance called “Say Their Name” which was performed at the AGO on August 18, 2013 in conjunction with the “Ai Wei Wei: According the What?” exhibit which runs at the AGO from August 17 until October 27.

Censorship is saying: ‘I’m the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.’ But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word – even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice. Such power fill collapse because of a whisper.

-Ai Wei Wei

According to What refers to a series of lithographs created by one of Ai Wei Wei’s own personal idols – Jasper Johns, and is a poignant phrase that encapsulates Ai Wei Wei’s own personal mentality to always question authority and the things people tell you are true, and to be responsible for your own life and destiny without the interference of others to tell you what to do.

One of the most powerful pieces in the exhibit is a blown up ink-jet print of a brain scan of Ai Wei Wei’s own head after being bludgeoned by police during a protest. Other pieces like beautiful marble sculptures of security cameras and hand-cuffs are also a powerful reminder of the heavy weight of authority and the permanence of the damage this authority can do on individuals.

AiWeiWei-FUCK

ai-weiwei-S.A.C.R.E.D.-disposition-venice-art-biennale-designboom-01

To the media, I have become a symbolic figure, critical of China. According to the government, I am a dangerous threat.

– Ai Wei Wei

Being a child of the People’s Revolution and seeing his own father, a poet, detained for his beliefs- Ai Wei Wei has never been a stranger to police detainment or having alternate beliefs to that which his government demands of his people, and for 80 days was detained in complete isolation with the company of two guards at all times which he has immortalized in a righteous music video called “Dumb Ass”.

He sees no fear, and this quality is very important, and is something to be looked up to in an idol. Don’t back down from your beliefs, and if you see something wrong – point it out and say it. What is the point of being afraid to be arrested or detained for doing what is right. If this is the case – the truth will be known, as is the case with Ai Wei Wei who is almost always in trouble with the Chinese government. What can they do, though? They detain him and arrest him, but in the end, they have nothing against him but the fact his beliefs are not in line with what they want him to believe. It’s an impossible cause on their part, as we, as humans, were born free. Never forget this.

Ai-Weiwei-installation-GrapesAi-Weiwei-installation-Kippe

While his politics are front and center of his work and persona, its some of his other pieces which really strike a chord with The Eye of Faith. Pieces like “Grapes”, “Kippe”, and “Divina Proportione” (after a study in geometrics by our own master and mentor, Leonardo Da Vinci) use antique furniture and pieces from dismantled Qing dynasty temples, as well as century-old woodworking techniques to create masterful sculptures that can make a man weep in its craft, care, and detail. These pieces take from the history of his culture, his past and memories, and create something new in the now that hopes to also provoke future generations to look at art and history in a revolutionary way.

Dropping_a_Han_Dynasty_Urn_02

Dropping_a_Han_Dynasty_Urn_03Ai-Weiwei-installation-Colored Vases

Above all, the ultimate example of this revolutionary fusion of {past}, {present}, and {future} has to be his Colored Vases series which takes ancient Chinese vases (between 1,000 – 4,000 years old) and has them dipped into brightly colored house paint to make something completely new from the very, very old. While this technique has been seen as controversial, it’s another form of fearlessness, and a bold statement on the history of his culture, and the call for rebirth and  perhaps even rebellion.

12.20-54AWW_in_NY_1980s

You can take a lot from Ai Wei Wei, and we were so lucky to get to see so many of his pieces up close and personal at the AGO. If you have the chance to see these works, please do go. While much of contemporary art can come off as superfluous and unrefined – Ai Wei Wei’s work is sophisticated both intellectually and aesthetically, and each and every piece cries out in its importance and significance in the grand scheme of art and our growing global culture.

Style isn’t always about what you wear. It’s a lot about what you do. The most important thing you can take away from it is the power to ask “According to What?”, and see the ever growing power of art and thought in our contemporary culture.

Ai Wei Wei - Jump

A nation that has no music and no fairy tales is a tragedy.

-Ai Wei Wei

Click here to visit his official site.

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Music Minute: “We’re all Water”- Yoko Ono (1971-72)

This music minute was brought to our attention by one of our friends, and the second we heard Yoko Ono‘s iconic cry, we knew we had a Music Minute on our hands.  We love strong artistic women who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.  Queen of the Lucid Dream, the track “We’re all water” truly draws the conversation… what do we all have in common? The thread of mankind linking us all together is simple! We are all Water!! (duh.)

An amazing recording with great musicians, Stan Bronstein is the KILLER sax player, Tex Gabriel is the other guitarist, Gary Van Scyoc is the bassist and Adam Ippolito is the keyboardist with Rich Frank as the drummer.  Oh, and did we mention it was produced by Phil Spector . Give this melodic jubilee a listen, and tell us what you guys think of The  Queen of the Peace Movement and Music Scene, Yoko Ono.

Sharing a similar experimental flavour as B-52’s smash “Rock Lobster“. We have to say this track somehow takes it to the next level with comparisons between iconic pop idols, and political figures.  From Chairman Mao to Richard Nixon, not to mention a few name drops of Marilyn Munro, Raquel Welsh, Lenny Bruce, and the Queen of England, this experimental jam really knocks our socks off and get’s our toe’s tappin’ BIG TIME.

{The Eye}
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Unhate Campaign 2011 – United States of Benetton

Came across an article from the Daily Mail regarding The United Colors of Benetton’s newest scandal of a campaign! I love how they’re always stirring the pot.


Benetton is not new to controversy- this is just what they do! Gotta love a company who can stand up for what they believe in, whether it sells them sweaters or not.

I actually love the message of this campaign. It’s part of the Unhate campaign from Benetton, and I think the photos perfectly capture the idea of moving past our racial, religious, and political identities and uniting us strong!

It definitely shocks me in a way, don’t get me wrong, but there are some things in life too important to shy our eyes away from! That’s what makes them great (Plus- who were the actors?).

There seems to be a lot of buzz about this, so let us know what you think! Leave a comment 🙂

The Eye.

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