Open these books, read these words, memorize these images. In these works, there is a little bit of everything that the world has, or could have, of what is considered imperfect. And that is precisely why we want all of them on our shelves.
BASQUIAT - 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION, by Eleanor Nairne, Taschen (2020), € 20.
BEAUTIFUL MISTAKES, by R.J. Avenira, CreateSpace Publishing (2018), € 13.
THE DEATH OF BUNNY MUNRO, by Nick Cave, Canongate Books (2014), € 14,25.
EINSTEIN’S GREATEST MISTAKE: A BIOGRAPHY, by David Bodanis, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2017), € 14.
BY NIGHTFALL: A NOVEL, by Michael Cunningham, Picador (2011), € 12.
BEING WRONG: ADVENTURES IN THE MARGIN OF ERROR, by Kathryn Schulz, Ecco (2010), € 34,88.
POSTMODERN ARCHITECTURE: LESS IS A BORE, by Owen Hopkins, Phaidon (2020), € 39,95.
BEIGE IS NOT A COLOR, by Carlos Mota, Vendome Press (2019), € 66.
THE BEAUTY MYTH, by Naomi Wolf, Vintage Publishing (2015), € 7,25.
DALÍ. LES DINERS DE GALA, by Salvador Dalí, Taschen (2016), € 50.
More-than-imperfect Past: chapter II
These films had everything to be works of art. And they are. Still, they are full of errors. Not from one end to the other but, as they say in cinematic slang, from one frame to the other. It's time to load on the pause button and find the most blatant jackdaw.
In the last season of Game Of Thrones, the internet almost went down because of a cup of coffee (which cybernauts immediately assumed was from the famous Starbucks chain) that stood out on the table where Daenerys Targaryen presided over one of the most important councils in the series. Errors of this kind, which in the world of television and cinema are known as raccord errors, as they are a failure of temporary and/or spatial continuity between two consecutive planes, abound a little everywhere - even without realizing they are there. And they happen because, obviously, a film (or a TV show) is not recorded "all at once", in the chronological sequence that defines the argument, but according to a shooting plan. Is this, perhaps, the reason that justifies the presence of bullet holes in the wall of the apartment where the characters of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta move to pick up a folder, in Pulp Fiction (1994), even before the shooting scene happened. A small detail, such as the fact that Vivian Ward, protagonist of Pretty Woman (1990), was "caught" by the camera biting a croissant that, in the next shot, becomes ... a pancake. Worse, way worse, because it comes from the master of suspense - and who was admittedly obsessed with perfection - is the fatal mistake of North By Northwest (1959). In a scene in a restaurant, the character played by Eva Marie Saint shoots Gary Grant, his co-protagonist, and one of the extras (a child) covers his ears to protect himself from the noise... before the “boom” actually sounds. Something unprecedented, and that not even Alfred Hitchcock himself detected.
Who also failed to detect a failure - but this one is much more striking - was Mel Gibson, who let Braveheart (1995) debut with the presence of a white van in one of its most important battle scenes. Bearing in mind that the film takes place in the 13th century, it would be impossible to have on the stage such a prop. If his intention was to innovate, he did not succeed. The same happened, many years before, in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), whose action takes place in 1191. Also there - and note that we speak of the beginnings of cinema - something impossible happens: when one of Robin's comrades comes down from a horse to help a friend, you can see a car in the background. And since we talk about cars, why not remember one of the greatest gaffes of the old twentieth century? In Commando (1985), the film that established Arnold Schwarzenegger as the definitive hero of action films, there is a kind of paranormal extreme makeover: Colonel John Matrix's Porsche, played by the actor, is involved in an accident that gets him ready for scrap. However, moments later, it appears without a single risk, as if nothing had happened to it. Magic? That is something that only happens on the Land of Oz, Kansas. There, even with magic, the lapses, even if not so serious, also exist. There is a sequence in the iconic The Wizard Of Oz (1939) in which Dorothy's ruby red shoes become more than ordinary banal black shoes. More comfortable, perhaps? It is to be aware of the moment when “the tree” begins to bomb Judy Garland's character with apples. Equally subtle is the detail that can escape the least attentive, including those who have already lost count of the times that watched the wonderful Goodfellas (1990). Critics point out a series of "factual errors" to this classic, but perhaps the most glaring mistake happens in a scene where Jimmy (Robert De Niro) roughly wraps a telephone cord around Morrie (Chuck Low) 's neck at the back of the wig shop: the phone is clearly off the hook, but it starts ringing ... More? The list could go on. The cinema is, after all, the art of ingenuity, expertise and make-believe. Now (1979), the epic about the Vietnam War, will have a total of 395 failures. This statement offers two types of answers: a) did you try to discover them all? B) if we are facing a masterpiece, it is it is possible that part of its beauty comes precisely from errors.
Our social life may even be more or less conditioned, but that does not mean that the opening of new cultural spaces is on stand by. These two galleries, which present exhibitions that are a hymn to imperfection, are proof of it.
Noé Duchaufour Lawrance is the man behind Made in Situ. Noé Duchaufour Lawrance is one of the most relevant architects of his generation - he was the creative mind behind London's iconic Sketch restaurant. To know that Noé Duchaufour Lawrance lives in Lisbon, and that he decided to open a studio (that's what he calls it) whose manifesto defends “a creative dynamic of perception, rooted in the treasures of a territory, in its artisans and in its systemic connections with nature”, is the king of new that drowns out any possible state of calamity. The first exhibition of the space, nicknamed Barro Negro, is inspired by Serra do Caramulo, and shows a series of pieces “in three unique typologies that incorporate the characteristics of the rocks that fell in the mystical landscape, the community of people” and the traditional process “soenga” cooking, which gives objects an unfinished appearance. And wonderfully imperfect. More information at madeinsitu.com.
It is called Muñoz Carmona Art & Gallery and is born out of the passion that Juan Munõz Carmona, born in São Paulo, Brazil, has for Portugal - and for Lisbon, where he moved at a young age. After developing a series of cultural projects, he joined his partner, André Ribeiro, to open this gallery, located in one of the noblest areas of the city, Chiado. The exhibition with which they open doors is called Still Life / Steal Life, and is curated by Deborah Harris, former director of The Armory Show in New York. That alone would be enough to leave the house and visit the new 50m2 space that brings new life to Rua do Alecrim, but it is worth knowing that there was an interest here in thinking about the “sense of ownership” and making us question the our relationship with nature, “a way of examining the concept of the sense of appropriation intrinsic to the human condition.” To see until the end of the year. More information at www.munozcarmonagallery.com.
Once upon a time there was an exhibition with artists from all over the world who do not pretend to be perfect, just unique, and an immersive theater that, without asking for permission, takes us to the other side of the mirror.
At first, it was a book. In fact, much more than a book, an atlas. Atlas Parallel is a coffee table book that brings together all the artists present in the third edition of PARALLEL Review Lisbon, which opens its doors on November 25th. There will be six exhibitions that, presented for the first time physically, show the work of 23 photographers and six emerging curators of the most diverse nationalities, from Europe to China, through Iran or the United States. The multicultural brand is one of the tonic features of the works presented at Espaço Procur.arte, on Rua do Centro Cultural 11, in Alvalade. What unites them all? The imperfect beauty of the world we live in, in all its variants and in all its splendor. To discover until December 19th. More information at parallelplatform.org.
What is on the other side of the mirror, the one that Alice entered in - or fell over? In a space adapted for the construction of two universes, inhabited by ten (amazing) actors and an entirely recycled scenario, Alice The Other Side of History, tells the other side of the story of the blonde girl with blue eyes. The truth behind the “wonderland” (which was not so wonderful...) whose imagery is transversal to all generations, is finally revealed. Example? The story of Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll's inspiring muse for his best-known work, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is presented in this immersive play, which success justified the extension of the performances until the end of the year. The experience is to be lived individually, or in pairs, at O Lugar de Cabo Ruivo, in Lisbon. Tickets, those that remain, can be purchased on Ticketline. More information by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published on Vogue Portugal November issue, "The Beauty of Imperfection."