Thursday, January 20, 2011

New York - had fun @ here!

So our New York time is going to the logical end. We are going back to Abu Dhabi tomorrow night.

New York and Modernity class is almost over, one activity left – Top of the Rock!

But what I want to say is that this class and these 3 weeks of intensive course were very interesting in sense of gaining experience and knowledge at the same time. Sometimes I think now that I might know about the history of New York even more than a random native New Yorker.

During these 3 weeks of our study I learned about New York City a lot and also I learned how it was and is connected to modernity of itself from the inside and outside views. Looking at its modernity from the inside I can say that development of the city was very fast and great in case of developing in a short periods of time. From outside I can see its modernity in comparison with other cities, which also seem to be modern. For example brand new city with everything new in it as Abu Dhabi and old city as Kazan with more than 1000 years of history. New York with its 300 years of history is lying somewhere between these two cities in a historical development. Abu Dhabi and Kazan are the cities which represent another kind of modernity than New York’s. New York developed way faster than Kazan and in a short period of time is way further in development. We can’t say that about Abu Dhabi because it is really very young (~40 years) and developing very fast with all those skyscrapers and technologies available. But who knows what will happen in the next 50 years?.. That’s why modernity of New York is different from Abu Dhabi’s.

Modernity of New York city is expressed in arts, architecture and city planning. Kazan’s modernity is represented in a way of life in such an old city – everything is up-to-date and modern: behavior of people, business strategies, and politics. I can’t say that about New York just because it always was like that starting from the very beginning – new kind of life, speed of life – and it is not something special anymore, at list now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


The New York Idea, off-Broadway play. It is a story about divorcing and marriage. Mostly about marriage between two divorced couples. Why is it called “The New York Idea”? Well, they called it that way because of idea of remarriage.

In my opinion the play itself was really fascinating. The main point was that it was a comedy, even if I didn’t feel so while reading. Those jokes were really smooth and funny, but unfortunately without seeing a play it is really hard to see and understand them as jokes. But anyways it was fun.
Actors perfectly fit their play characters what made the play to be watched on one breath. 
I liked it!(=

P.S. I liked Cynthia, I mean the actor – she was really pretty and beautiful!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


American idiot… who is that? I don’t know who exactly that guy is, but I can tell that it is the album of Green Day… and it is the musical play on Broadway, which I saw yesterday.

You may ask what I think about that. Well, I am absolutely EXCITED about the play. Show was good, actors really good, story is funny and music is incredible! Storyline was about a year from a life of a young guy and what he has experiences in that year – it wasn’t easy time, his friend has gone to serve in army, another friend has had a baby-born, his girlfriend has left him because he became an addict… but he has fought it and in the end won. His friend has returned from the army without left leg, another’s friend girlfriend left him and took the baby with her… Actors ended with the song “The time of your life” – they all were playing guitars and it was great, I haven’t seen so much playing guitars at the same time.

How is it connected to the course that we are learning? Honestly, I don’t really know how is it exactly connected, because it wasn’t in course’s schedule and we’ve (whole New York group) on that play just for fun. But definitely we may connect it to the New York and Modernity, because it was the play that was not like general play – it was rock musical made up with songs of Green Day – so by that director of American idiot made it really modern!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Old story of the city

“Kazan is preparing for the demolition of a number of monuments - architectural structures of the republican and federal levels. Buildings age from 200 to 300 years under the protection of the law may be destroyed very soon. "NG" (Nezavisimaya Gazeta – Independent Newspaper) has received such information from a source in the government of Tatarstan. Monuments that are being prepared for the destruction are located in the center of Kazan, where land is very expensive. Land freed after demolition is going to be used for building new facilities”, part of an article from a newspaper of 2nd of December 2010.

This is whole true. Kazan is being torn down, especially in the center of the city. It used to be composed of many architectural monuments approximately 20 years ago, and now they are being destroyed. The reason is that those old buildings are owned by private persons and they suppose to look after those buildings, but usually they say that there is not enough funding or resources to look after or to reconstruct. Those people start to do appropriate actions but then stop in the middle of a process because of “not enough funding”. After what government of Republic decides that building is not a monument anymore because of decrepitude of it. After what building is being destroyed.

People of Kazan think that those buildings have to be reconstructed and restorated for future uses and generations, for saving them as historical monuments of the city with a 1000 year history which are making the face of the city.

For example there is a building – the oldest civilian two-storey house made of stone in the middle of XVII century which used to be a tea serving fabric and was a monument till nowadays – is going to be demolished  because it is staying near a new road which has to be build before Kazan Universiade of 2013 and area under that building is planned to be used as parking.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Museum of Modern Art, shortly MoMA. We’ve been there yesterday and it was awesome. Being surrounded by abstraction and modernism is really new for me.

Everything what we’ve seen was modern, I think. I don’t know another word to call it. And it was more modern than Whitney museum.

For example a cup and a spoon covered with fur – what is it? It is not just a simple cup, you can’t drink from it. It is a piece of art; I would say an abstract piece of art. Why did artist made it, who knows… He made it because he felt like doing it, for his own purposes and reasons. He inserted some meaning into it, but what was that? Some of us will understand one way, some of us in another. Abstraction experts will interpret in absolutely different way, but I think no one will completely understand true meaning of it, which was putted by author.

Or another one, which really agitated my mind was sculpture of a head with zipped eyes, they were closed. What author wanted to say by this? In my opinion he tried to say that there is no matter how free and powerful you are there will exist things that you’ll never know about and learn about. But this is my opinion. Another one will represent it differently.

This is the main topic of abstraction, modern abstraction – to make things remind you about something and you will insert the meaning yourself.

Monday, January 10, 2011

La Voice del Opera

To hear something is really great ability for everybody. We hear and listen to different things: sounds, noises… music.

Music – what is it? Combination of notes, 12 of them… Not too much, but how much different music has already been composed and played and how much is going to be written and played. Unbelievable. Is it only the combination of notes? What about the voice? When voice is added to the music it becomes something really different as new piece of art.

Can music be modern as paintings or architecture? I think it can, voice and words help to create modernity in music. (But this is not the only way to do that – you can actually play with style of music and create something modern).

Music, words, song… OPERA – one of the forms of voice together with music. (Classic one, usually presented with classical music compositions).

We actually heard one just on this Saturday and it was great. “La Fanciulla del West” by Puccini. It was a play about life in a little town in California (why? Play was in Spanish) and event that happened there (about girl who fell in love with a thief). But I want to say about the music of this opera (actually about the voice because it seemed more interesting to me than music itself).

Voice of opera – as I felt, it didn’t go with scene of the play, but…. But it was needed for this play. Especially opera voice style. As I said in my previous posts – modern is something that blows your mind but in normal way.  You don’t expect the voice to be flowing in different directions during the play, it doesn’t fit that way, but with combination of differences you can create really amazing thigns. Voice was supposed to be there, in the play, to make it modern, because Puccini was creating a modern style ‘thing’, what was great in my opinion and breathtaking piece (it was 3 hours long, but we didn’t feel the time).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dialogue after a hard day

- What was interesting yesterday? - asked me my mind 
- Fieldtrip to Whitney Museum of American Art - answerd I to myself.
- Really? Tell me something about it, please - asked it again.

- Well, I met Russian guard there and we talked a little bit... 
- Are you kidding me? Really? How was it? - it was keeping asking.
- Wait, I am not going to talk about this - answerd I and swithced the topic...

I saw an interesting piece of art there (actually they were all interesting and all pieces of art). I will talk about the film, "Shadow" by Slater Bradley and Ed Lachman, which is presented there.

Film's construction is very interesting. It begins with sounds of steps and man with his dog walking towards us in a desert. Without any voice… in the beginning. And you don’t expect the voice to come into the film for the whole scene, but it does.  

We hear the voice of that guy after he accidentally finds little girl in the middle of the desert (not actually in a desert, there were an abandoned house and van – she was in a van). She scared him and he said couple of words to her. Wait, girl, what is she doing in the desert, alone ? I have no idea, but this is impressive as voice. Guy left her there. And you think voice is over and nothing strange will happen. Ha-ha! Very strange thing happens later in the film – this guy finds a guitar from nowhere and plays a song and sings – then continues to walk.
Then, what you really don’t expect, girl comes into the scene again by following that guy – and guy's voice again.
Film ends as it began – with sounds of walking away man, but into the dark and with light on his hand (without dog – where is the dog???)

- What an interesting piece, but is this a modern moove, museum is aout modern art? - asked it again after a bit of sielence.
- Yes, I think so – it is something that blows your mind but in normal way (not as surrealism or abstractionism), and you can feel that something is missing there, something that you want to add or fix after what it will become realistic - but this is not a goal of the video - it's modern! - said I and realized that I have been talking to my mind. It's ok, happens to everybody =)