Monday, 19 November 2007

Stuttgart, Baden Wuettenburg, Germany

Been spending a long-ish weekend visiting in Stuttgart (South Germany) An impressive and huge city with lots to do and see. Saw Queens of the Stoneage on Saturday night and Sunday was filled with sightseeing and photo-taking. A long overdue visit to the Staatsgalerie was fulfilled today in the city centre ( A massive art gallery with a very impressive permanent collection (also an exhibition from Stan Douglas 'Past Imperfect' - but didn't have time for time hopefully) A great number of works by Paul Klee, Ferdinand Hoddler, Claude Monet, Fernand Leger, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc (the fanastic 'Small Blue Horses' inparticular) and 'sculptures' from previously unknown-to-me artist Oskar Schlemmer entitled 'Triadisches Ballett' (Triadic Ballet) The work consists of many different geometrically designed ballet costumes that were premiered in the ballet performance in Stuttgart on 30 september 1922 (with music by Paul Hindermith) This ballet became the most widely performaed avant-garde artistic dance which helped spread the ethos of the Bauhaus when it toured. (Schlemmer was at the Bauhaus during 1921-1929) The costumes really caught my eye, they would make fantastic character designs for animation (I'm quite positive these designs have been an inspiration for others!) However, it's quite a mission to find a good image of these costumes-unfortunatly the one above was the best example that I could find! They are full of vivd, bright colours and very visually stunning -you'll have to take my word for it! Back to jolly old Norwich in a couple of hours.

Self Negotiated Project
Research galore for the pre-production of 'A Very Old Man With Enourmous Wings' (for the full short story go here... ) has been going on, the background and setting of the story inparticular and discoveries that this story has been adapted before. Once on film in 1988 directed by Fernando Birri ( and also in an episode of The Simpsons 'Lisa the sceptic' which shares the elements of the plot that an angel appears (in this instance it's dead) and it is put on display for paying visitors.
Here is a summary of the plot of this short story..
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a short story that begins with a Mexican couple finding a very old man in their courtyard during a stormy afternoon. They watch in astonishment the enormous wings attached to the body of the old man as he struggles to get up from the mud. The couple attempt to communicate with the old man but is unable because he speaks in a different language. Their neighbor comes over and lets them know that the old man is an angel who has come to take their sick child. Pelayo locks the angel in a chicken coop overnight. Early next morning Father Gonzaga along with the rest of the community tests the angel to see whether or not the old man really is an angel. Elisenda, tired of having the community at her house, decides to charge an entrance fee to see the angel. The family becomes rich and builds a mansion with the money collected. The crowd soon loses interest in the angel for another freak who has arrived to the community. The new town attraction is a woman who disobeyed her parents when she was young and was transformed into a tarantula, and now tells her misfortunes to the audience. Meanwhile, no longer trapped in the chicken coop, the angel is free to roam around the house until one day his wings are strong again and flies away into the horizon.
On the practical side I intend to construct a puppet of the main character and have been looking at wing structures to map out how to build said puppet.

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