Yuliya Kate - Dominatrix
Saturday, February 04, 2012
My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Yuliya Kate - Dominatrix
The only thing I will not do is writing of any sort. Sorry...
Johnna Wright & Sascha
Director/Mother - Son/Dreamer & Poppy, Daughter
Decker & Nick Hunt
Cat & 19th century amateur
Vancouver Sun Columnist
Statesman, Flag Designer
Vancouver Sun Columnist
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart
L.Sprague De Camp's Lest Darkness Fall
Friday, February 03, 2012
“Ah, yes, the nature of time. This is a silly idea of mine, you understand. I was saying all those people who just disappear, they have slipped back down the suitcase.”
“The trunk, I mean. The trunk of the tree of time. When they stop slipping, they are back in some former time. But as soon as they do anything, they change all subsequent history.”
“Sounds like a paradox,” Said Padway.
“No-o. The trunk continues to exist. But a new branch starts out where they come to rest. It has to, otherwise we would all disappear, because history would have changed and our parents might not have met.”
“That’s a thought,” said Padway. “It’s bad enough knowing the sun might become a nova, but if we’re also likely to vanish because somebody has gone back to the twelfth century and stirred things up---”
From L. Sprague De Camp's Lest Darkness Fall
I found Lest Darkness Fall
in a used books store in Cranbrook, BC on June 26, 1987. I was there to teach photography for the Emily Carr Outreach Program.
Sometime in the beginning of November 1989 I photographed a charming accountant, Dennis Culver, for the newspaper Business in Vancouver
. I had been the original photographer of this business publication that is still going strong.
Culver lived on Eagle Island, off West Vancouver and access to it was a small metal barge with an outboard. Culver picked me up and we hit it off. Somehow our conversation involved time travel so I mailed him the book you see here.
The crux of the book is that history professor Martin Padway is hit by lightning while in Rome and suddenly finds himself in a Rome about to fall with no gadgets with which he can awe the natives. But he does awe them in the end and becomes the ruler of that world. It is a world in which history is changed and the dark ages never happen. How did he do this? With two simple innovations. One of them being the distillation of Roman wine into brandy and the other double entry bookkeeping which happened to be Culver’s forte!
The Latent Image Revisited
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Having always used film in my photographic pursuits I have never ever felt hampered by not seeing what my picture looks like right after I have taken it. I never experienced any kind of frustration as Edwin Land’s
3-year-old daughter felt when her dad snapped her picture and she asked why it was she could not instantly see it on the spot.
For many years I indeed used Polaroid with my Mamiya RB-67 to test my equipment, lighting or to make my subjects relax before putting “real” film into that Mamiya.
If anything I have never gotten away from the feeling of magic
of knowing that images of the people I had photographed were hidden in that film and only awaited development to suddenly appear reversed and then would emerge as a positive from my developer tray in the darkroom.
Every time I purchase a bottle of Kodak HC-110 (my main b+w film developer) I wonder if it will be my last. I have film in my fridge, waiting, without even a latent image, for the day that I will find a suitable subject for the special results that I can get with Kodak b+w Infrared Film or Kodak Technical Pan in 120 format.
When Rosemary asked me to put our Christmas tree (I had put it on our front lawn on January 6) in the back for the city to pick it up I noticed that the shape of the tree was there in the still frozen ground. Without really knowing why it made me sad to see what was left of our glorious and decorated tree with all those presents at its base. The impression on the ground was reminiscent of those left by the inhabitants of Pompeii after Vesuvius had vaporized their bodies. The impression on the ground seemed to be a reversed latent image - the image on the processed negative somewhat going backwards to an oblivion of a picture not taken.
Chimping and latency
Crazy borders and latency revisited
The Calendar Girls - Elegant Nudity At The Stanley
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
|Rachel Ditor - Director|
I attended the first night performance of Tim Firth’s Calendar Girls
at the Arts Club’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage tonight with some second thoughts. I have read enough newspaper articles on firemen, the goat herding women in Salt Spring Island or such projects as Dominatrixes for the Prevention of Tongue Lashing of Children by School Principals, doing their strip for calendars to over-satiate me to the point of boredom. I saw enough Stripathons (exotic dancers taking it all off for breast cancer) in the 80s in now sadly gone establishments as the Drake, the Marble Arch and the Cecil to quench all thirst for further nudity. In fact I attended one memorable one at the Cecil where I sat down for 12 hours and never watched a dancer do her routine more than once while my accompanying friend showed extreme tolerance to a continuous supply of Heinekens.
Before the lights went out I noticed behind me the fabulously dressed Sara-Jeanne Hosie who looked resplendent. My heart fluttered and I hope Rosemary did not notice. We were sitting next to the principal of one our city’s most venerable tax law firms and his British wife. We chatted. Junior members of his firm had once considered relieving Tony Ricci of the problematic ownership of the Marble Arch Hotel before it finally was purchased by gentleman of the Church of Christ of the Latter Saints who converted it into a Coca-Cola-free zone hostel.
The wife, after the first act informed me that she had seen the play in London some years back and was utterly amazed how more risqué the Arts Club Theatre Company’s version was.
My Rosemary has been noticing that her hearing has begun to deteriorate a tad. While many of my bodily functions are in obvious decline and decay I can state that my hearing is as keen as it ever was. As a high school teacher in the early 70s word quickly spread in the school that Mr. Hayward could read lips. I never told my students who were silent even in the back row that I simply had a very good ear.
My hearing was at fault in tonight’s performance. I believe that the Stanley was never really extensively modified acoustically to liven sound. When actors (and we had excellent seats on the 7th row, stage left) spoke in profile, stage right, the sound was muffled. Then there was the problem first stated eloquently by Samuel Clemens when he wrote about talking to en English gentleman in a train compartment:
“I could pile up differences here until I not only convinced you that English and American are separate languages, but that when I speak my native tongue in its utmost purity an Englishman can't understand me at all."
"I don't wish to flatter you, but it is about all I can do to understand you now." [So the Englishman countered.]
As I tried to decipher the various versions of the Yorkshire dialect (and I have read every Reginald Hill [alas he died a couple of weeks ago] Dalziel and Pascoe detective novel], when I could hear it, I wondered what Mark Twain would have opined. There was a fine moment in the play when Shirley Broderick (who plays the older of the six “girls” said something… bum and everybody laughed. The lawyer to my right immediately asked his wife what had been said. I asked as soon as the lights went on. It seems that Broderick’s (exquisitely funny) had used a very British euphemism for female pudenda which was “front bottom”.
With the sound problems out of the way, I can assert that I heard enough to really enjoy Calendar Girls and that throughout I noticed the elegant hand and gentle direction by Rachel Ditor who relinquished her position, temporarily. Having been in her apartment once to photograph her I can tell you that her apartment is elegant and in furnished in the best of taste. And who else but Ditor would have in the background Charlie Haden’s Nocturne (2002) playing on her CD player as my granddaughter interviewed her?
While not having seen the London version of the play, I would say that the nudity tonight was tasteful. On most occasions when people say my photographic nudes are tasteful I want to punch them, but here when I say tasteful I mean it as a compliment.
There is a word in Spanish equivalent (but happily not so much) to juggling. Our Spanish word is malabarismo
and it is a combination of skill and dexterity. That all the women, one at a time, during their nude photo session were able to almost instantly take it all off (behind some round black reflectors) and then magically appear with strategically placed fruits, or a teapot or a sweet bun, hiding all the offending bits, is a paean to malabarismo.
The calendar photographer Lawrence played by Aslam Husain, was a believable photographer. The placing of the two umbrella lights (but artistic license must be given as had they been as close as they had to be, they would have been not only in the way but dangerous to the actors) were placed too far appart. I particularly liked how he with the help of the dialogue enabled him to get the best he could from each “girl”. A minor detail (again artistic license should be paramount here) he should have moved his camera into a vertical position when he photographed Anna Galvin’s Chris, full body standing, with a flower in her mouth and a flowery background. The resulting view made me temporarily forget Sara-Jeanne Hosie and I felt as if my heart had had been pierced by the venomous spurs of a marauding Ornithorhynchus anatinus
Rosemary and I did lots of laughing but curiously I again noticed an increasing trend in Vancouver and this is that actors have to learn to do everything. Linda Quibell was just fine on the piano as was her direction of the “girls” choir. They could really sing.
David Marr’s Rod was spot on but I would bet that his superior talents would be vanquished if he were to ever appear as a Texan. (That’s a dare!).
In the end I always appreciate the performance of the man who can wear many hats (and I also mean that literally) Shawn Macdonald, who played the cancer stricken John. He injected just the right amount of bitter sweet pathos and Wendy Noel, as his wife Annie followed suit.
Meredith Kalaman - Which One?
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
|Meredith Kalaman - Dancer/Choreographer|
In my project Me&My
where I photograph people whom I know in different professions within our city I have set some rigorous standards. For one I must use the same film (Ektachrome 100G) and use the same camera (a Mamiya RB-67 Pro SD with a 140mm lens), one 2x3 ft softbox and the same gray background. I will only use one roll which gives me ten exposures. In most cases I know after about five that I have my shot and I might be able to squeeze two subjects per roll. But here you see that my ten shots gave me three different setups. When Kalaman was getting ready to pose, one eye was covered reminiscent of the look of Hollywood actress Veronica Lake. I asked her to hold it and took three exposures. I like the one here (it was the third exposure) where there is the beginning of the smile. The middle one is the one I like right now. But I find the third setup interesting. As the project continues I will eventually make up my mind which one of Kalaman is my favourite. Perhaps when she sends me her essay, her words will help me in the choice.
In The Lair Of A Dominatrix
Monday, January 30, 2012
|In the lair of the dominatrix|
age 69 I don’t often brag anymore. I don’t try to drive macho with my 2007 Malibu (even though it can accelerate like a bat out of hell with its V-6 engine). I may have had the mumps in middle age but my two wonderful daughters are proof of my procreating powers even though unlike Charlie Chaplin or Anthony Quinn I do not see any more offspring in my future.
But I will brag here that his man spent some four hours today in the lair (on the 25th floor of a condo on Pacific) of a professional dominatrix. Not only that but she pulled out a pair of very long soft leather boots with very glossy red Chinese lacquer finish soles and asked me, “Have you ever seen $3000 boots?”
My intentions where all above board and my wife Rosemary knew where I was. I was there to continue on my ongoing project, Me&My which are portraits of my friends from different professions all posing with my mother’s antique red Mexican shawl. I was also there to shoot new versions of women in bed that I featured in a blog here
Yuliya and I had a long chat over large mugs of herbal tea. We have known each other for something like 10 years. We met at Focal Point where she was working as a model. She soon became one of my favourite models for my classes.
|In my former studio on Robson Street|
One time she appeared in a strange but striking outfit. One of my students, a pleasant young man, asked her what the outfit was for. Yuliya’s answer, "I sit on men's faces with it," led him to exit the class, never to return.
Yuliya is not easy to work with. She has her own ideas and like me she doesn’t smile a lot. On a desert island with her it would soon become a contest on who would commit suicide or murder the other first.
But many of these ideas of hers have resulted in some of my best pictures and I have learned a plenty about women from her.
I will have to learn quickly as much as I can from her as she is abandoning her lucrative business to study yoga and plans to become a Buddhist somewhere in the sunny state of Arizona.
While I have never understood fetish and all its ramifications I remember some years ago when I was at the Railway Club with some friends. One of them said something in connection with shoe fetish. A woman at our table, a prominent Vancouver poet, removed her shoe, a tall pump with a sharp heel and banged it on the table and told my friend, “Men, come to me and pay me good money to walk on their backs with these.” My friend was in shock while I tried to look as nonchalant as I could.
Fetish and romance seem to be connected I must admit. With all her in-your-face attitude Yuliya seems to believe in romance and love. All this reminds me of a male friend I had in Mexico who had picked up an American blonde at a café but was having a hell of time getting to first base with her in his apartment. The woman told him, “Raúl, try me with some Ahmad Jamal.”
|In the Robson Street Studio|
In these politically correct times when actors can be of both sexes and chairs are men or women of power it is nice to note that there are two words in the English language that are here to stay, dominatrix and aviatrix. The second one is one of the most beautiful sounding words of the language while the other makes me think that there is no way anybody will ever walk on my back with a pair of Laboutin boots even if its pro bono and served up with herbal tea.
An Archipelago Of Delights
Sunday, January 29, 2012
My graphic designer friend Graham Walker and I attend as many baroque music concerts as we can. We sit, on the front row, facing the usually small ensembles with ecstatic smiles on our faces. We sort of know what to expect and even if the particular composer of the 17th century (a century much in vogue with baroque musicians these days) is one we have never heard of, the music will delight us without challenging our expectations.
It was with this in mind that I asked Walker why it was we were walking to the Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre at the former Woodward’s. We were headed to a Turning Point Ensemble concert featuring music by Claude Debussy, local composer of the avant-garde, Rodney Sharman and music by Toru Takemitsu. The concert was part of this year's Push Festival.
Walker answered that we needed to challenge our music tastes every once in a while or we would lapse into a rut of predictable taste. He was, of course, absolutely right.
When you consider that many of the musicians of the Turning Point Ensemble play lyrical stuff as members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra I begin to think that even musicians (and especially them) need to diversify and find it satisfying doing so. There is only so much 19th century music that you can play before a palate freshener is needed between heavy courses of Beethoven, Verdi, Wagner and the like.
I remember going to a concert of choral music by Messiaen at the University of Mexico in the early 60s. I hated it. And yet, a couple of years ago I found Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time
played by the Turning Point Ensemble wonderfully satisfying. Even and old dog can be taught new tricks if the Ensemble is involved.
It helps that I know many of the musicians. During opera performances I like to linger by the pit before the first act and I wave and chat with musicians. Musicians in Vancouver, all of them, including those of the VSO are amenable to contact, in fact most of them want it as it’s the audience that makes their job more than what it is.
Walker and I weren’t about to change our ways and we sat front row, dead centre a mere two feet from the back of musical director Owen Underhill’s heels. From this vantage point, every instrument, from the celeste to an oversized alto flute wafted into our ears with a most clear direction. Forget surround sound. This is the real thing.
Perhaps some might find A Very Short Trumpet Piece
(1984) by Morton Feldman played on solo trumpet by Marcus Goddard a glorified trumpet tuning work. But coming from somewhere in the rear, the lights mostly out and surrounded by people, some friends, the experience was a shared one that opened my musical pores for more. The work went down easy like a pre ice cold Tio Pepe before a feast. And a feast it was.
Takemitsu’s 1982 Rain Coming
was a light gazpacho and Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata
(1915) performed by Ari Barnes on cello and Jane Hayes on piano seemed complex to me and I found it incredible (it seemed so fresh) that almost 100 years had passed since its composition. It helped that I love to watch Hayes play. She was dressed in a shimmering tight outfit and her wavy silvery white hair (lots of it) helped to convey the image that here is a woman who on a whim could demolish a piano in an instant. And yet how often do you see a pianist's left hand on the piano using the right hand on a celeste? We did!
Rodney Sharman’s Chamber Symphony
(a 2012 world premiere) had an interesting first movement. But it was the second one that made me think of a slow version of the Clash’s London Calling
, perfect music to drive fast at night past a well lit city, and listened to, real loud. Let's hope the Turning Pont Ensemble commissions Sharman for more.
(1993) separated the orchestra into three sections into distinct places on the stage with clarinetists Franç
ois Houle and Caroline Gauthier playing to our sides in upper rafters. This kind of music is always challenging but interesting as opposed to the massed almost single sound of a large orchestra. It was interesting to observe that every time a harp is moved Heidy Krutzen had to tune it.
The final piece Debussy’s Jeux
arranged for a smaller orchestra by our local composer Michael Bushnell (a world premiere arrangement) had me wishing it had been longer. It seems I might not have to wait too long. I have heard rumors that Bushnell is busy working on an arrangement of Gustav Holst’s The Planets Op. 32 for a string quartet. I cannot wait!
It is most laudable to point out that at the bottom of the program’s cover I read that amount the donors that fund the Turning Point Ensemble was the Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation. I know that Louie
(as Henley is called by her friends) likes music she can hum. That she injects her money to groups that don’t always do that, plainly conveys the idea that here is a woman with a heart whose musical tastes, like mine, are ready to be challenged by the likes of the Turning Point Ensemble.