Inspired by: Discomfort.

I’ve been thinking about Discomfort a lot lately, especially when it’s triggered by Art. Why does it make me so uncomfortable? Art that makes me feel this way can be on all kinds of media, and they seemingly have no common thread that could explain that discomfort. I thought giving a few examples would help demonstrate my point.

  • The Man Who Laughs, Victor Hugo

I haven’t seen any of its adaptations (movies, plays and surprisingly a comic) but I certainly felt distraught after reading it 10 years ago.

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The Man Who Laughs (1928)

One of the most commonly discussed features of Hugo’s work, is how he tended to overly describe the historical context in which his novels took place.

This is also the case with The Man Who Laughs. By doing so, he made the horror of Gwynplaine’s life more tangible.

And the atrocities, we are capable of, are an uncomfortable reminder of the tendency people have to treat each other like dirt and to mock people for their differencies.

 

  • Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581, Ilya Repin
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Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581 (1885)

Just a few words about this painting, because I think it speaks for itself.

Guilt, despair, insanity, regret and sadness are all written on the face of Ivan the Terrible just after he struck his son on the head, mortally wounding him.

As uneasy as it makes me feel feel to look at it, I must admit I am impressed by the depiction of so many emotions on one’s face. And I must thank one of my best friends for showing me this painting since it definitely had the effect on me I was looking for, while writing this blog post.

  • Disturbed Vision, Edvard Munch
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Disturbed Vision (1930)

A few years ago, I went to Paris with my University to see a couple of art exhibitions. And while I really enjoyed the commentary by our guide at Orsay’s Pre-Raphaelites exhibition, I was much more taken aback by what at saw at the Centre Pompidou: Edvard Munch. L’œil moderne 1900-1944.

Munch’s paintings are often grim but I wasn’t prepared for what was at the end of the exhibition, we entered a circular room, with dimmed lights and a low ceiling. In there, were paintings from a particular period of his life. He had an introcular haemorrhage in his right eye, affecting his sight and therefore his art. I was so disturbed by such depictions of his world, that I felt like I was somehow suffocating and had to leave the room.

  • Alice, Jan Švankmajer

I believe I saw this version of Alice in Wonderland when I was about 12… The most surprising thing perharps is that I saw it with my class. I remember being so weirded out by this movie using stop motion animation of a taxidermically stuffed white rabbit  and changing the little girl into a creepy porcelain doll. In the end it was perhaps the strangest interpretation of a fairy tale I have ever seen, probably because there is no moral at the end of it, and that the surrealism commonly employed by the director leaves you with sort of a sour taste in your mouth.

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Then, there is art that through the years, helped me growing up through Discomfort. Art that made me challenge my opinion on certain things, or enlightened me on subjects and questions I was not really conscious about such as racism or feminism. But this is another theme, for another article, perhaps. And anyway, Kelly Sue DeConnick explained it way better than me in her speech at 99u.

 

I think it’s important, at least with Art, to come out of your comfort zone from time to time.

Does Art make you feel uncomfortable or make you challenge your views? If so, I’d love to read about it! 

 

Pour bien commencer 2016…

Beware! The following post is IN FRENCH.

Il y a quelques mois, je vous parlais de certains de mes blogs favoris, dont Super by Timai faisait partie.

Je ne suis pas du genre à prendre des résolutions pour la nouvelle année, mais après avoir visionné maintes fois (et partagé avec plusieurs de mes amies) cette très belle interview de Sophie Fontanel, il se pourrait bien que 2016 s’avère différente (tout du moins sur ce plan là).

S’assumer, plus fort même que ça, se comprendre.

Et vous, quelles sont vos résolutions pour 2016?

Knowledge, podcasts & FoMO.

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The official definition for FoMO is the following:

FoMO: noun. “Abbreviation of Fear of Missing Out. Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”

This all comes down to knowing as many things as possible, as fast as possible. And while I must admit my day-to-day behaviour falls under that definition regarding social media and current events, it has always extended to other things.

I mean obviously as a kid social media was not one of my concerns since Facebook didn’t exist and internet wasn’t as accessible as it is presently. But I always felt like I HAD to know. By that I mean I had to know about every new subject I heard of, in case it might come up later in a conversation or would be proved useful someday. But it was for my personal satisfaction mostly. I’d be happier with myself if I knew about it. Whatever IT was supposed to be.

Once, my therapist noted that my “craving” for knowledge was something I gave as much importance as people did for their physiological needs such as food and sleep, because it had come to the point where I was anxious not to know about things. Which I thought sounded incredibly pretentious, somehow? And which I didn’t want to be interpreted as such, since to me it wasn’t a matter of being smarter than people. It was only for myself.

I enjoy learning, even about things I’m not particularly interested in, because I believe it is important to understand what people enjoy (even if that’s not your case) in order to understand them.

What is your relationship to knowledge and learning?

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Also, for some reason, I wanted to introduce podcasts in that post. Thinking it might be appropriate and somehow related to the main subject of today’s post.
So, without further ado, here’s a list of 5 of my favourite podcasts:

Be Proud.

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This was my make up to go out on Friday night.

  • Eyes: Kiko #412 “Light Green” glamorous eye pencil / Urban Decay “Dragon”, “Bobby Dazzle” (both from the Vice 3 palette) & “Loaded” (from the Smoked palette) / Benefit “They’re Real” mascara
  • Lips: Nars “Yu” satin lip pencil

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My make up for today.

  • Eyes: Urban Decay “Lucky”, “Downfall” & “Truth” (From the Vice 3 palette) / Make Up Forever “Aqua Black” / Benefit “They’re Real” mascara
  • Lips: Sisley #7 “Ruby” perfect lipliner / M.A.C. “Viva Glam Rihanna” lipstick

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I went to my first Pride this week end. I had a ton of fun and met lots of new and awesome people! Also it was an excuse for me to take a closer look at Drag Queens’ make up, which I’ve always been curious about.

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For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Pride Parade is a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots that occured on June 28th, 1969 in New York City. Nowadays it celebrates diversity and advocates gender equality as well as equal rights for people from the LGBT community.

25th Birthday: of growing up and gaining in confidence.

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So here it is, I just turned a quarter of a century. It is both kinda scary and exciting at the same time.

This is my first year away from my hometown, and I feel like this is also the year I have grown up the most. When I moved to Madrid (albeit temporarily) in order to start my new job, I was apprehensive but determined. So I sucked it up, packed and left Le Havre, on the cold morning of January 12th (I am pretty sure it was raining? I mean, it’s not as if it rains 75% of the year over there). To be honest, the first few weeks in Spain, and even though I had known some of my colleagues for a year from a previous job, I felt very much alone. Obviously, to me at least, the best was to start something new; something that would enable me to meet new people and be more at ease with my new life in Madrid.

IMG_2850For years, I had wanted to take fencing classes but never voiced this wish to my family, either by lack of motivation or by fear of failing. Probably both.

Anyway, long story short, this is how I started taking historical fencing classes (I can’t thank my friend Antonio enough for that! Muchas gracias Anto!!). I met wonderful people, and for the first time in my life, I was happy with doing some kind of physical exercise. Rapier practice (nb: Verdadera destreza) and the friendships I made along the way are some of my favourite memories from my stay in Madrid.

I’m impressed how something that started as a simple way to pass the time made me more confident about myself and reinforced my will to achieve my project (aka enter a make-up school and make a living as a make-up artist).

Creatively speaking I think my shyness is still holding me back, but I’m getting there.

A special thank you to all the people helping me daily through the many steps leading to the achievement of my dream! ❤️

Make-up:

•Eyes: Urban Decay “Rockstar” (from the Smoked palette) & “Vanity” (from the Vice 3 palette) / M.A.C. “Kitschmas” pigment / Benefit “Roller Lash” mascara

•Lips: Tom Ford “Pussy Cat” Color Matte lipstick