The works of the Krakow-based duo of Przemysław Podolski and Marta Basandowska are magnificent immersive installations that succeed in restoring the beauty and vastness of the cosmos to the viewer.
Since he was a child, Podolski has always been attracted by the universe, by its immensity, but also by the unknown. He never lost this passion, not even when he started studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, on the contrary, he managed to make it the starting point, the solid basis for all his future works.
From the encounter between Przemysław and Marta was born DecodeTheCode, an artistic project that aims to create immersive installations that recreate and analyze the entire cosmos and make the viewer feel as if he was floating in the center of the universe.
The peculiarity of their works is that they are realized with the technique of String Art, which consists in creating a shape through the layering and intersection of colored wires. This process usually takes place on a single surface that can be a simple sheet or a board of plywood, but those signed by DecodeTheCode are on a completely different level. They are, in fact, installations that embrace entire rooms, completely filling the available space, enveloping the viewer who can experience them at 360 degrees.
As always we are here to see all the details and aspects that do not jump immediately to the eye of the fifth episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones, “The Bells“. Finally, the episode in which we see the long-quoted “The Last War“, which divided the audience between those who were passionate about watching King’s Landing burn in the flames of Drogon and those who, however, expected much more. We, of course, are not here to judge the choices of director and screenplay (although we still do not explain how they did the Dothraki and the Unsullied to multiply from one episode and the other) but to shed light on some small details that can not go unnoticed, so let’s start!
As always, we are patted by the opening credits in which, although we see Winterfell, it never appears in the episode, as opposed to Dragon’s Rock, in which the first part of the episode is set, but it is no longer seen in the opening credits. Moreover, already from the initials, we see how the King’s Landing has prepared for battle, in fact on all the walls were placed dozens and dozens of Scorpions, or the giant weapons invented by Qyburn to kill dragons.
The episode starts following one of the most interesting and intriguing characters of the entire saga, Varys, the Master of Whispers who is writing a letter in which he says that the real heir to the Iron Throne is Jon Snow. This moment immediately reminds us of the first season, the letter that Nedd Stark wrote to Stannis Baratheon to inform him that Joffrey was not Robert’s legitimate son and that he should have succeeded his dead brother. Unfortunately, that letter was one of the causes of the war for the throne. There are also other sealed letters on the table, but no one can say yet whether they will be a key part of the next episode.
Then we see Varys delivering the letter to Martha, whose face is not new at all. In fact, the little bird of the Master of Whispers was next to him in the crypt of Winterfell during the Long Night.
Unfortunately the path of this character stops a few minutes later, when his game is revealed by Daenerys who, still deeply shocked by the loss of Rhaegal, understands that she was betrayed by Jon Snow who revealed her true identity to Sansa, who told Tyrion, who in turn informed Varys, who was ready to make it public. The Mother of Dragons thus decides to execute him, just as she had told him in the past.
Although sorry, Varys’ death was no surprise. Exactly in the same place, at Dragon’s Rock, Melisandre predicted to him that he would die in a foreign land, we were just waiting to find out where.
Given that “There must always be a Stark in Winterfell“, Bran doesn’t appear in this episode, but that doesn’t make us think of him. At the beginning of the fourth season, in fact, Bran, still in the company of Hodor, Jojen and Meera, had a confused vision of past and future scenes, between the latter two, proved to be of fundamental importance.
The first is the one in which he saw the shadow of a huge dragon flying over King’s Landing, which in this episode has come true.
In the second, instead, he saw the hall of the Iron Throne destroyed, with no more ceiling and windows, completely covered with what at the time we thought was snow and today we believe it is ash.
But he is not the only one to have had this vision, even Daenerys when to search for his dragons stolen by Pyat Pree, he entered The House of the Undying and, choosing one of the many doors, entered exactly that room of the Iron Throne covered with ash that would later appear in Bran and that we hope to see next week.
After the almost total absence of Cersei in the previous episodes in this one, we find her always at the same window, looking from the top of the King’s Landing, until she has to surrender to the evidence, to the fact that she is losing. Spurred on by Qyburn and escorted by the Mountain, she tries to take refuge in the basement and after losing both her men, she finally finds Jaime. It is no coincidence that the two brothers reunite in exactly the same place where Jaime decided not to support his sister, leaving her alone.
Still hoping to escape, the two brothers go down to the basement where, unfortunately, they will not be able to save themselves.
With the death of Cersei we cannot help but think of the prophecy of Valonqar. We all remember the first part:
“You’ll never wed the prince, you’ll wed the king. You’ll be queen, for a time. Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear. The king will have 20 children and you will have three. Gold will be their crowns . . . gold their shrouds.” .
In fact, everything that was predicted to her was then really realized, but there is also a second part of the prophecy, which is not mentioned in the series but only in books.
“And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you”.
In part, this second prophecy has also been fulfilled, in fact, in Valirian “Valonqar” means “younger brother” and, even if initially he was thought to be referring to Tyrion, now we know that the “younger brother” to whom he referred was Daenerys.
In the highest pathos moment of the episode, that is the death of Jaime and Cersei, in the background play the notes of the song “The Rain of Castamere“, the same song that was played by the musicians during the Red Wedding.
We had been waiting for seven seasons for the Clegane brothers to come to terms with each other and (at least this one) did not disappoint us, either because we can see the Mountain in the face, or at least what remains of it, or because the Hound’s one was one of the most honorable deaths. After trying in every way to take his brother’s life, even stabbing him in the middle of the eyes, just as Arya said she would have done with him, Sandor, now at the end of his life, understands that the only way to end it is to jump from the tower, straight into the flames, thus defeating his fear of fire.
After eight seasons, we know that it’s not uncommon for well-known characters, often fans of the series, to appear among the participants. In this episode, being very careful, we can see a small cameo of Aaron Rodgers, NFL player and fan of Game of Thrones, among the soldiers of the Golden Company.
At this point, after the deaths of Varys, Qyburn, Euron Greyjoy, The Hound, The Mountain, Cersei and Jaime, we wait to see how the new Queen will be welcomed, but it seems that she has lost all her supporters and also all her fans.
So we decide to get out of balance, hoping that the closing scene, with Arya riding a white horse (which has perhaps been covered with too many meanings by the public) on the streets of what seems to be the distant memory of the King’s Landing, is a sign of hope and that the nameless girl surprises us as she did with the Night Kings.
It probably appeared the night between Thursday and Friday, on the wall of a house in Venice, an alleged work by Banksy, discovered by photographer Lapo Simeoni.
In fact, what better occasion than the Inauguration of the Venice Biennale to appear and get people talking about themselves.
In the Dorsoduro district, near Campo Santa Margherita, (between the Ca’ Rezzonico and San Tomà vaporetto stops), if you walk along Calle de la Chiesa until you meet Calle S. Pantalon, you can see, painted on a wall of a house, a child wearing a lifejacket holding a rocket sign in his hand. The child, with his feet reaching the water, seems to be about to drown, maybe that’s where he tries to be seen in a world of people too busy thinking about themselves, or even worse, a screen, or he’s there to show us a way forward.
Although the work was not claimed by the British artist, the style and subject immediately made Banksy think of it and perhaps it’s not even important to have confirmation of it.
We’ve already talked HERE about Qixuan Lim, better known as Qimmy Shimmy, and her creepy mini sculptures, and we’re back to doing so because, as always with her, we’ve been fascinated by her new creations, even though we still don’t know if they’re good or bad.
The fact that man has always been attracted in a strange and perverse way by what repels him, is not new. The horrid has always been an artistic category, even before it was consecrated as such between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today it seems that this trend has no limits and the small sculptures made of synthetic paste by Qimmy Shimmy are part of it to all intents and purposes.
In his latest creations, he continues to shape small organs and body parts, but they are always matched to the world of food. Cakes filled with hearts, cans of tuna filled with brains and limbs, macarons made with the faces of children.
You would not like to do it, but you will not be able to stop looking at them.
When it comes to contemporary art, it rarely happens that we talk about artists who are no longer with us, but for once we make a break from the rule.
Tetsuya Ishida was a Japanese artist who died prematurely in 2005 and who managed to capture in his works the atmosphere of one of Japan’s darkest historical moments, the period of the 1990s when the Japanese country experienced a serious crisis, starting with the stock market and the real estate sector, expanded to the entire economy of the country.
In his paintings, Tetsuya returns the despair, the anxiety, the loneliness, the fear of a society without prospects and without a future. Looking at his works it seems impossible to think that this was the situation in Japan less than twenty years ago, that the generation that lived through that period is the same generation that now holds the reins of the country.
What is most surprising is that, although the technique and style of his paintings are vaguely based on Realism, his subjects oscillate between the surreal and the oneiric, but in any case they manage to recreate the situation that he also lived in first person.
Some of the most important works by Tetsuya Ishida will be on display at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid until September 8, then the exhibition will be moved, from October 3 to December 14 in Chicago.