"Starting from the provocative premise that political and commercial regimes regard us as 'subjects of pleasure', controlling us by offering us enjoyment, director Sophie Fiennes and charismatic philosopher Slavoj Žižek repeat the formula of their 2006 collaboration, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema.
The quirky, genial Žižek employs cleverly chosen clips from a huge variety of movies – including Brazil, M*A*S*H, The Sound of Music, and Brief Encounter – to illustrate his fascinating monologue, frequently appearing on sets and in costumes which replicate scenes from the films in question. For example, dressed as a chubbier, bearded Travis Bickle, he expounds the darker subtexts of Taxi Driver's plot from within the anti–hero's grotty apartment. This entertaining approach helps to ensure that what might otherwise have been a dense, even daunting intellectual challenge is actually an engaging and unexpected delight."
(The Institute of Contemporary Arts)
"Luis Buñuel's The Phantom of Liberty was quickly dismissed upon its release in 1974. Not only did it have to contend with the lingering success of 1972's similarly themed but significantly less abstract The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, but it was quickly followed by the dreamlike, bi–polar romantic entanglement of the director's last film, That Obscure Object of Desire. Like Discreet Charm, the plot–free Phantom of Liberty is a patchwork of comedic sketches and sight gags through which Buñuel ravages a complacent European culture and the various sexual hang–ups and historical and cultural disconnects of its inhabitants. This heady, almost off–putting masterwork isn't particularly easy to decipher (maybe we aren't meant to), which is why it's best to approach it as a literal comedy of manners.
Films structured around daisy chains of dysfunction are a dime a dozen; most, though, are as tiresomely long–winded as they are content with their own strained circularity. This isn't the case with Phantom of Liberty, which begins with a shot of Goya's 1808 masterpiece 'The Third of May.' The painting depicts Napoleon's army executing a group of faceless Spaniards, and via a reenactment of this struggle, Buñuel depicts how one of Napoleon's captains tries to defile the monument of Doña Elvira only to be smacked on the head by the moving arm of the statue of the woman's husband. (He later intends to sleep with the woman's corpse, and when he opens her coffin, he's amazed by how her beauty has been preserved.) It's the first of many sight gags in the film, each and every one as startling as they are perversely funny. All these moments are possessed by a sense of shocked wonderment and discovery, and they all more or less evoke fragile pasts and characters trying to reconcile their historical detachments."
(Ed Gonzalez, 13 September 2003, Slant Magazine)
Kinetica Art Fair 2013, February 28th – March 3rd 2013, Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS, London, UK
"The Kinetica feature exhibition and events programme is themed on 'Illusion and Reality' and the thin veil that divides what is real and perceived. The exhibition will focus on perceptions of reality, with works by 19 international artists exploring the many dimensions of illusion. The exhibition aims to challenge ideas on what is real, perceived or imagined, and focuses on transformation, metamorphism, visual paradox, vibration, nature, the subliminal and the subconscious.
The exhibition includes a huge interactive light sculpture from Dutch artist Titia Ex, an exoskeleton hybrid of man–animal–machine by Christiann Zwanniken and a giant three dimensional zoetrope by Greg Barsamian.
The boundaries between reality and illusion will be explored in a series of live performances using the Musion holographic projection system, and features an international line–up including the award–winning audiovisual collective Origamibiro ; a fusion of 3d imaging and quantum mechanics in danceroom Spectroscopy ; a hypnotic audiovisual experience from Simulacrum ; and multi–sensory Polish collective INIRE. The Musion Academy will present a further series of captivating performances including Analema Group, AV3, IEOIE and Paul Prudence.
Key figures and eminent pioneers in the fields of new media art and neurosciences have been invited to participate in a daily programme of Talks, which also features presentations by experimental artists exhibiting at the Fair."
(Kinetica Museum, UK)
"Dara traces the brain's journey from a useless organ once ditched by Egyptian embalmers to the centre of everything that makes us human. Science journalist Alok Jha asks whether smart drugs really make you brainier, oceanographer Helen Czerski explores cutting edge therapies allowing the brain to control limbs remotely and materials scientist Mark Miodownik takes apart a smart phone."
(BBC Two, UK)
Fig.1 this animation is from Episode 5 of 6 of Dara Ó Briain's Science Club, Tuesday 04 Dec 2012 at 9pm on BBC Two, voiced by Dara Ó Briain, animated by 12Foot6, Published on YouTube on 5 Dec 2012 by BBC.