The Diary of Frida Kahlo is a record of the last ten years of the Mexican artist’s life. Not simply a diary, it’s a notebook of calligraphy, a sketchbook, a book of poetry, and an art object in and of itself.
Within the vast body of Kahlo’s work, her personal notebook —discovered and published just over two decades ago —is among her most outstanding works. This is for the simple fact of showing a Kahlo who won’t be found elsewhere: a strong, brave, revolutionary, hurt, sensitive, joyful, brilliant woman, and one with a great sense of humor. All of this is distilled into a single notebook that’s become a treasure of Mexican art.
Part of the Sonic Cure program, an initiative of musicians to accompany the people of China during their isolation in February, Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the most prestigious contemporary musicians, composed the following work.
Its 29 minutes of musical improvisation range from strident transcendentalism to simple sound accompaniment recorded by Sakamoto in his garden.
Let’s wash hands. But we also need to save water. Let’s keep social distance. Stay inside. Stay home. And, I hope you enjoy the music.
Excessive visual and informative stimuli have, to some extent, distanced us from the magic of simplicity. Yet, it’s precisely these sorts of simple things and situations which may hold the most precious of secrets.
Can you imagine anything more mundane than the germination of a bean? Well, that’s precisely what this GPhase video illustrates. In three minutes, you’ll observe the unfolding of a seed. Though it’s hard to believe, it’s a bewitching experience: an invitation to be re-enchanted by the profound sophistication of the most organic and habitual processes of nature.
When bodily expression, art, and autobiographical reflection come together, something powerful can happen. This is demonstrated in a cathartic ritual, starring free diver, dancer, and underwater filmmaker, Julie Gautier.
In a work called Ama, the French artist immerses herself, literally, in a healing adventure:
It tells a story everyone can interpret in their own way, based on their own experience. There is no imposition, only suggestions. I wanted to share my biggest pain in this life with this film. For this is not too crude, I covered it with grace. To make it not too heavy, I plunged it into the water. I dedicate this film to all the women of the world.
Sillas (Musical Chairs) is a work by the Belgian artist, based in Mexico, Francis Alÿs. The work is part of a series of videos documenting children’s games around the world and highlighting the vital vibration that only children at play will radiate.
Here we see a scene from “musical chairs” recorded in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s an invitation to reconnect with the playful essence of the human condition. There’s little doubt that as long as children continue to play, hope will continue pulsing around the world.
The world of coral is a paradise for the senses. The rhythm, color, and textures there induce an experience of exultant beauty. It’s no surprise that corals are the original pulse of this exciting project that combines art, science, and outreach.
Coral Morphologic calls itself “a multifaceted platform for developing a symbiosis between people and coral.” They’ve made some of the most exquisite visual records of corals and they’re accompanied by immersive music by themselves (and some friends), to animate tales that are positively mind-blowing.
The synchronized flight of thousands of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) is a hypnotic spectacle. The phenomenon, known as a “murmuration,” has enthralled spectators since time immemorial, and hundreds of photographic and audiovisual works have recorded it.
The Dutch filmmaker, Jan van Ijken, documented the choreographic flights of starlings above the fields of his native country. The Art of Flying is a short film that resulted from this work. The video obviously murmurs an invitation to us: re-connect with nature, with its rhythms, cycles, and perfection. But flocks of starlings make another suggestion, too: a coordinated collectivity is the only path toward perfection.