Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Aishwarya Rai, regarded as the most beautiful woman in the world, turned a year older today (1st Nov 2006). Aishwarya is currently the most known face of Indian cinema, along with Amitabh Bachchan, abroad.

Aishwarya Rai in Umrao JaanAishwarya Rai in Umrao Jaan
Aishwarya Rai in Umrao JaanThe above three images are from the movie Umrao Jaan. Umrao Jaan is a forthcoming Bollywood production starring Aishwarya Rai as the famous courtesan. The film is directed by J.P. Dutta and also stars Shabana Azmi, Sunil Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan, Divya Dutta, Himani Shivpuri and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Aishwarya Rai in The Last LegionThis image is from movie The Last Legion. The Last Legion is a novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, published in 2002. A film adaptation is currently in post-production and will be released in January 2007 (starring Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley and Aishwarya Rai). Its filming locations included Morocco and Slovakia.

Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom 2
Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom 2
Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom 2
The above three images are from the movie Dhoom 2. Dhoom 2 is a forthcoming Hindi film to be directed by Sanjay Gadhvi. It stars Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Bipasha Basu and Uday Chopra in pivotal roles. The movie is the sequel to the 2004 blockbuster, Dhoom.

We wish the birthday gal a very Happy Birthday and a successful bright future for her forthcoming projects.

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Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll known simply as Shakira was born on February 2, 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is a Colombian Latin pop singer-songwriter. Shakira is currently in the Guinness Book of World Records for most weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart for "La Tortura". In 2007 she will be added for the best selling single in a week with "Hips Don't Lie".

Magia (Magic) was Shakira's debut album, recorded with Sony Colombia in 1991, when she was 15.

Shakira was the most nominated artist of the year for this year's MTV Video Music Awards '06. Her seven nominations were for "Hips Don't Lie", including Video of the Year and Best Female Video. Shakira also performed "Hips Don't Lie" to the dance moves of popular Indian Choreographer Farah Khan.

Foundation is, of course, the Gulbenkian Foundation. I have myself had the chance to discover some of the Foundation's warehouses and storage rooms, and it was an impressive experience. The average visitor has no idea that the two buildings, seperated by a medium-size, beautiful park with a pond in the middle, are actually connected underground. And I suppose that's where most, if not all, of the material for Cabrita Reis' work comes from. Neon lights, glass plates, old tables and shelves, cables, more cables, boxes, fragments of stairs, marble bases for sculptures, huge stones... The guts of an institution renowned for its clean, effective approach. The entrails we shouldn't be seeing, impressed as we like to be by the harmonious landscape designed to be seen from the outside, never from the inside. What is the impression now? How does it change our perspective, our view of the basis? The Gulbenkian Foundation can afford this self-irony. It is generous enough, and has good enough taste.

Is this ridiculous? Shouldn't we be analyzing something else? After all, Foundation is, of course, not just this foundation, but the foundation of something, the basis, the beginning, the rule - what Germans call Grund. Knowing Cabrita Reis' work to be often focused on the art world and museum institution as such, this might be the foundation of art, the real foundation of art, apparently chaotic, meaningless, or at least incomprehensible, often unaccessible (we can walk on some parts of the installation, but in an arbitrary way it is decided by the guards that we cannot walk on other parts), complicated, complicated, overwhelming... and yet, somehow harmonious, fitting, as if there was space for us, as if there was space for what we do, for our creation and our appreciation, for free-associating and even squatting on a stone, if we insist (although I haven't tried that, the guards might react).
If all this can be dwelved into, then why do I prefer to describe the Gulbenkian warehouse? Maybe because the one thing that's difficult to comprehend is how direct this link is. We are there, at the Center for Contemporary Art of one of 10 richest foundations in the world. And yet, this is the way it works. This is the foundation. It is a complex game of basic elements. Of course, with a Corot stuck somewhere to a wall.

Monday, October 30, 2006



Nayantara (real name Diana Kurien) was born on 8 November 1984 in Tiruvalla, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India. She is a south Indian actress and has acted in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies.
She was chosen by director Satyan Anthikkad and cast opposite Jayaram in Mansinakkare. Later she played the ghost who falls in love with hero Mohanlal in Fazil’s Vismayathumbathu. She played opposite Sarath Kumar in Ayya. She acted with Rajnikanth in Chandramukhi, her most successful movie to-date.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Miss Europe 2006 : Alexandra Rosenfeld

Alexandra Rosenfeld was born in 1986, Béziers, Hérault. She has blonde hair and brown eyes. She is 1.73 meters tall.She was elected Miss France in 2006 representing the region of Languedoc, she succeeded Cindy Fabre as the 52nd Miss France on December 3, 2005.

She was elected Miss Europe 2006 on October 27 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Mona Singh

Mona Singh

Mona Singh aka Jassi who got fame from Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin daily serial of Sony TV. Rakshanda Khan also performed in the serial Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. Mona Singh recently declared the winner of Jhalak Dikhla Ja, a celebrity dance show by gaining maximum number of public vote via SMS.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Clara Morgane

Clara Morgane
Clara Morgane (real name is Emmanuelle Aurélie Munos) is a French hot star who was born on January 25, 1981 in Marseille. Clara Morgane has also created her own brand of sensual lingerie : Clara M.
In 2003 she published her first autobiography: Sex Star.
She was elected the top French and eighth sexiest woman in the world by the French edition of the magazine FHM.
Check out more details of Clara here. (French Website)

Nandini Jumani

Nandini Jumani

Nandini Jumani aka Bollywood's Krazy Kat is from Biswanath Chariali town of Assam, India. Her first video album Bikini Lounge was released in 2003. Nandini is a trained salsa and rock 'n' roll dancer and performed in over 500 shows. This sultry actress performed in "I love you pyar karoon chhu...", a video from the Krazy Kat Mix.
Check Nandini Jumnai blog here.

At last! Some good quality theoretical debate about performance, in Portugal! This is a very unexpected early Christmas gift.
With artists such as Rui Horta and Pedro Tudela, and among the curators, Isabel Carlos and the Portuguese star-curator Delfim Sardo, this is going to be a delicious series of conferences. Considering performance is one of the crucial languages of today's art, this is a must-see.

This series of lectures takes the practice of performance in visual arts as departure point, with a view to covering certain thematic extensions that contribute largely to the definition of the individual nature of each performance.
In addition to an historical approach, the lectures will concentrate on these thematic extensions, thanks to the contributions of a group of speakers from different fields, work areas and artistic domains.
More on the Culturgest site.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ayase Haruka

Ayase Haruka

Ayase Haruka (real name Aya Tademaru) was born on March 24, 1985 in Hiroshima. She is a Japanese actress, gravure idol, and model. She achieved widespread recognition as actress in Japan for her starring roles in the short film "Justice". On March 24, 2006 she released her first single (Period).
Check out more picture of Ayase haruke here.

Rakshanda Khan

Rakshanda Khan

Rakshanda Khan, the ex-model and anchor who performed Mallika Seth of Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin and currently performing as Tanya of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, which made her mark as a hugely popular style icon. She also anchors many of the top-most shows on the telly and across the globe.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer Hawkins was born on 22 December 1983 in Newcastle, Australia. She was the winner of the 2004 Miss Universe pageant in Quito, Ecuador on June 1. She was a former cheerleader for the Newcastle Knights rugby league team, and the Hunter Pirates basketball teams.
Shortly after being crowned Miss Universe in 2004, Hawkins created news during a fashion show at Westfield Miranda, an Australian shopping center, when she tripped on the hem of her dress, which fell to the floor. Hawkins was left in her g-string in front of a surprised crowd. Hawkins later apologized, laughingly adding she "wished she wore better underwear".



Asin, one of the most sought after heroines in Kollywood today has indeed come a long way. The gorgeous actress is on cloud nine, as her latest release 'Varalaaru' has been declared a hit. A mind blowing performer, Asin celebrates her birthday today (October 26).
Many Happy Returns of the Day and Happy Birthday to Asin.
Check previous post of Asin Thottumkal here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Siti Nurhaliza

Siti Nurhaliza

Siti Nurhaliza was born on 11 January 1979 in Berek Polis Kg. Awah, Temerloh. She is currently one of the most successful Malaysian pop singers.

In Malaysia, she's known as one of the succesfull 'brand'+ businesswoman. She's currently been taught as 'Most Richest Artistes' in Malaysia.

Malaika Arora

Malaika Arora

Malaika Arora Khan is a Bollywood actress and model. She is married to the Bollywood actor Arbaaz Khan. When MTV India first started, Malaika was one of their most prominent VJ's. She rose from this to an interviewer for MTV India, becoming the most prominent non-movie non-model female in urban India. She got famous with an item number Chhaiya Chhaiya for film Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan. Malaika also appeared in the TV show Nach Baliye as a judge, the show aired on Star One in mid-2005. She is also judging Nach Baliye part 2, a celebrity couple dance competition on Star One.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006



Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born February 20, 1988, principally known by the stage name Rihanna, is a Barbadian singer with musical influences from pop, reggae, dancehall, and soca. She won the Miss Combermere Pageant in 2004; her talent was singing.

Rihanna's debut album Music of the Sun, which she co-wrote, was released in August 2005, led by the single "Pon de Replay", which peaked at number two on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tanya Vakil

Tanya Vakil
Tanya Vakil
Tanya Vakil

Tanya Vakil, a 22 yr old girl from Mumbai who was one of the semifinalist in Miss India 2006 and also awarded as Miss Catwalk and Miss Iron Maiden will represent India in Miss Tourism International in November 2006.
Natasha Suri won the Miss India 2006 title.

Daniela Hantuchova

Daniela Hantuchova was born on April 23, 1983 in Poprad, Slovakia. She is a Slovak professional tennis player. As of 21 October 2006 she is ranked #22 in the world in singles and #10 in the world in doubles.

Hantuchová has won one WTA singles tournament in her career, in 2002 at the Tier I Pacific Life Open, defeating Martina Hingis 6-3 6-4 in the final.

On Sunday 22nd October 2006 Daniela Hantuchova was defeated by Maria Sharapova in the final of Zurich Open 2006, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. Maria became the first Russian to win the Zurich Open.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Isha Sharvani

Isha Sharvani

Isha Sharvani was born in 1985 in Gujarat, India. She is a Indian actress who performs in Bollywood films. She is known for her stylistic and difficult dance performances.

She debuted in Bollywood with Subhash Ghai's movie Kisna in 2005 opposite Vivek Oberoi.

Pamela David

Pamela David

Pamela David was born on October 6, 1978 in Santiago del Estero, Argentina. She moved from hometown Santiago del Estero to Buenos Aires in 1998 to study Management for Enterprises, but left the university in order to concentrate in her career as model.
Pamela became famous after appearing in the second season of the reality TV show 'El Bar' (The Tavern) aired in 2001.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Kareena Kapoor

Kareena Kapoor

Kareena Kapoor, nicknamed "Bebo" was born on September 21, 1980 in Mumbai, India. She is an Indian actress, who appears in Bollywood films.

Kareena Kapoor is the daughter of Randhir Kapoor and Babita. Her sister, Karisma Kapoor, is also an actress.

She made her debut in J P Dutta’s Refugee in 2000 with Abhishek Bachchan and won critical acclaim for portraying the role of a Pakistani girl. Kareena's recent cameo in Don - The Chase Begins with Shah Rukh Khan received good reviews.

Aki Hoshino

Aki Hoshino

Aki Hoshino was born on March 14, 1978. She is a Japanese bikini idol. She has appeared in various men's magazines such as Sabra. She often appears on Japanese television shows as a guest. Men in Japan refer her as the "Angel of Japan".

Friday, October 20, 2006

Ishaa Koppikar

Isha Koppikar

Ishaa Koppikar was born on 19 September 1976 in Mumbai, India. She is a Bollywood actress and a model.She took part in the 1995 Miss India Contest, won the Miss Talent Crown.

She is performing as Anita in Farhan Akhtar's Don - The Chase Begins alongside Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal and will feature as the female lead in Ram Gopal Varma's Shabri, a movie about a woman who is set to become Mumbai's first underworld lord.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Brittany Snow

Brittany Snow

Brittany Snow was born March 9, 1986 in Tampa, Florida. She is an American television and film actress. She is perhaps best known for playing Meg Pryor on television's American Dreams. She began modeling at the age of 3. She is currently dating drummer Michael Johnson of The Black List Club.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Both pictures are by Margi Geerlinks, at the Aeroplastics gallery in Brussels.
Her works seem very uneven, some are simple "surrealist" plays with meaning, others are quite clever social commentary, others yet - really freaky stuff, way out there. But one thing is sure - she doesn't stop herself from going after what the mind's eye sees. Of course, that might not always be good.
I really liked both the works above. The first one, because making simple yet sustainable statements is extremely difficult. The second, because... what in the world is that? Extremely aggressive, yet organic, what starts off sexy ends with a scandal. And then, why is the scandal a scandal? This reminds me of elephant man, the figure/state and the film. But it's... controversial. In the litteral sense - it goes against the flow. The shock is not in the ugliness. It is in the denial of prettiness. What's wrong with us? What's wrong with us? Why is pretty so pretty? Why is not pretty such a problem? Say it's pretty, believe it's pretty.

There are other works in Margi Geerlinks' portfolio which I simply didn't dare to put here.

Rani Mukherjee

Rani Mukherjee

Rani Mukherjee, exclusive from her forthcoming movie Babul where she is performing in a lead role along with Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan and John Abraham.

Babul tells the tale of a man (Bachchan) who tries to bring happiness back into his daughter-in-law (Mukherjee)'s life after his son(Salman)'s death.

Check out her other picture here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway was born on November 12, 1982. She is an American Hollywood film and stage actress. Hathaway made her debut under the guidance of Disney, when she starred in the comedy-oriented film The Princess Diaries (2001) opposite Julie Andrews.

Hathaway starred opposite Meryl Streep in the screen adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada (2006), which is her highest-grossing North American film to date.

Hathaway was named one of 2001's breakthrough stars by People magazine.

Wooster Group, Hamlet (2006). Photo Paula Court

Everything I come up with in my head, I put it on stage. But in 90% of the cases it doesn't work, precisely because it's in my head.

I think about what the audience will think. Every single moment. I want to be there, every evening, and observe what people do when they watch the play. If I feel them disengage or feel uncomfortable, it forces me to think about what I really want.

- Elizabeth LeCompte, artistic director of The Wooster Group, in an interview with the French review Mouvement (no.41, oct-dec. 2006). (my translation)

Do the above two quotes appear innocent to you? If they do, you probably don't have much contact with contemporary performance. These two sentences are sure to shock a lot of the avant-garde purists out there. The second sentence is simply a shocker: a seemingly avant-garde artist thinking about the audience? How dare she! She is supposed to be focused on art, on her experience, on the stage, on the essence, or on the periphery, but hers and hers only. The public should be the witness of something beautiful, not a criterium of artistic choice... Oh, how tremendously, absolutely silly. How pretentious, snobbish, irritating. How old and tired and, silly, just silly. And naive.
Notice LeCompte doesn't say the public's opinion decides. She doesn't say she changes everything if the public doesn't like it. But it makes her rethink. In her own words, "it forces" her. She doesn't feel there is really any choice. Is there? Certainly. You can turn your back to the ignorant multitudes and do your own thing your own way for your own self. You can have an inner voice that says this or that. You can be forever faithful to this voice. It's up to you. Or you can have a little modesty. And listen. And respond. Or not. But listen.
The first quote has to do with creativity on stage. LeCompte has no problem saying she has ideas first, then she comes into the rehearsal space and tries them (all!) out. Instead of doing it the traditional, "new" way, devising everything together in one pretty melting pot. Instead of making everything appear out of improvisation, as is expected from a performance group. And if that were not enough, she admits that yes, 90% of her ideas suck on stage. And she doesn't see any problem with that. And it works.
(at least I hope it does. if you want to confirm - go see The Wooster Group's Hamlet at the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Nov.4-10 at the Centre Pompidou.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bipasha Basu

Bipasha Basu

Bipasha Basu was born on Jan 7 in New Delhi, is an Indian Bollywood actress and former fashion model. She is often regarded as a sex symbol. She is 5'8½" tall and dusky in appearance.

Bipasha won the Ford Supermodel of the World 1996 contest at the age of seventeen; she was also named Tulips Miss Super Vivacious.

Bipasha's debut movie was Ajnabee (2001) with Kareena Kapoor. She also won FilmFare Best Debut Award for this movie in 2001.She will soon appear in Dhoom 2 with Aishwarya Rai.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fixing theater

In the next couple of years I'm determined to make a couple of independent short films. I' m disappointed by a great deal of theatre. I love it, but I am beginning not to like its transience; as I get older I want to do something fixed.
- Pete Brooks
found here, along with a couple of other great quotes from the book On Directing.

Videoart contest

Magmart | International Festival of VideoArt | 2nd edition

"Is now starting, till February 2007, the 2nd edition of Magmart | video under volcano, international festival of video art.
The festival is a production of studio tad, with partnership of Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, GenomART and Computer Arts magazine (italian edition)."

Enrico Tomaselli
festival staff
Skype: MetaArt

Aram Bartholl
, First Person Shooter

Pretty self-explanatory. Among Bartholl's projects there are several ones playing with the idea of an "online" gaming world. It is all light-hearted, smart material. Taking oneself just seriously enough, but for heavens' sake, not too seriously! See, for example, this charming film from the WoW project:

(if nothing appears, see here)
Notice that the first work shown here seems to be created by someone protesting against the violence in video games. But discovering the artist's portfolio makes us realize he is rather someone who has been working (among others) on the crossing between real life and the gaming reality. This hides a very interesting and delicate issue: the spectator usually expects the artist to have some sort of an agenda, a declared ideology that he would be pursuing (here, it could be pacifism). Instead, artists often work on a vocabulary, a particular language, rather than an idea(l). Matter forms itself in a certain way and the artist, like the first spectator, discovers its dynamics and its possible readings. Especially in the world of theater (though not only), this makes a lot of people uncomfortable. The idea of an artist as someone entirely in control, like some mad scientist who knows what he is inventing (!) makes it difficult for many artists to assume: this is what I discovered, I'm not sure what it is, but I like it, and I hope we can all find out more about the potential vectors of this...thing. As Goat Island puts it, "we have discovered a performance by making it".

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Visitors to Paul De Marinis' installation A Light Rain (Helsinki, 2004) were given an umbrella to walk into the rainbow and listen to the music played by water.
De Marinis is also known as an electronic music composer, and a recent installation of his was featured at we-make-money-not-art. Personally, I like this one more - it's technically much simpler, but to the point.
Also, I really wouldn't need any music, and think it might fit better in the middle of, say, Lisbon, where the summer heat would be enough of a motivation to dive into the rainbow - no need for umbrellas or such. I know the umbrellas serve as speakers, but it looks like more of a gadget than anything else here, there is something wrong about it in this case. Maybe it's the isolation from the rainbow? Or maybe umbrellas simply have a sad relation with water.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A rose is a rose is a rose. Only each time it appears in a different light, in different hands, in different eyes, the name of the rose changes. If the above statement was as obvious as we would like it to be, if it encompassed all possible interpretations (of the world, of art), the world would be boring. Relativity only goes that far. Fortunately, things have a tendency to take shape. To taste, to appeal, to be somethings. And I wonder if this is not exactly why a lot of contemporary art works so well for me: this tendency to be defined - and not the opposite tendency to be all-relative or blurred!- is what gives it the tension, the controversy, the attraction and power.
A slide, in art, can hardly be a slide, can it?
We feel its tendency to be a slide, but it's this very change in definition, this provocation of designing it as something-else, something-more, some sort of hidden being, that brings about the blush of art experience.
There are several reasons why this slide can't just be a slide. 1) It is set at the Tate Gallery Turbine Hall; 2) It is considered a sculpture by its author; 3) It is considered a sculpture by the art milieu; 4) I feel like seeing it as something else (a sculpture, a performance, a social experiment, an undefined set).
Each of these reasons has an entire theory attached to it. Points 1) and 3) are closely related, they belong to the "institutional definition of art". Points 2) and 4) are both part of the "subjective definition of art", with some important differences.
But why bother defining? What does it matter? Can't we just enjoy the ride?
We can. Yet, we don't need to. And since art is to be an enriching experience (even if not always and not necessarily a pleasant one), why limit ourselves? Thus, the art amateur will know (what a scary word!) what he is dealing with. He will take pleasure in discovering all the undiscovered worlds that a quasi-ready-made (post-ready-made?) gives us. He will be extatic about the many directions, readings, he will talk about verticality, and danger, exhilaration, and pleasure... It has to do with enthusiasm and letting go, with laughter as an aesthetic experience, be it of the one laughing or of the one watching others laugh. The problem is, the deeper we go into the theory, the more concepts we use to describe the slide, the further we seem to get from the first purpose of the slide - to make us slide. Sure, we can consider it a wonderful performative installation, we can stay contemplative and look at how grandiose and imposing it seems. But all this would be nothing if there wasn't the sliding.
It seems only logical that the installation be presented at the Turbine Hall. This is another turbine, a machine that we fuel. By forcing ourselves to forget the conceptual grid, with its heavy chunks of grey cell mass, and diving in. Only then does it seem possible to believe in the

utopian vision of a world in which slides are a means of getting from one place to another, an alternative to stairs, lifts and escalators.
And only then does this whole affair appear as fun, appealing, and something that actually works, rather than as a funny but futile game. (Unless, of course, we accept art as being futile anyhow.)

Is there a difference between this slide and any other slide in the world? Any substantial difference? Not to me. Which doesn't in the least take away the value of this particular work, as art and as slide. Because thanks to this one, I will cherish watching slides, and sliding, even more. It brings a new starting perspective, like a paradigm that allows to see things with a previously unfelt freshness. I could hardly expect more from art.

There is a lot of time to visit the installation: Carsten Höller's Test Site, as the work is called, will stay at the London museum until April 9, 2007. More about the work: good article, excellent interview with the artist, medium article with a flash/podcast presentation, medium article but with the only note of criticism, original Tate site. Finally, the source of the photos.

PS.: A friend pointed out that to go on the large slides one needs a free ticket. Now that's a way of making you feel you're sliding art.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray was born on August 25, 1968 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She is an Emmy award winning television personality and author who currently hosts the syndicated series Rachael Ray. She has authored a series of cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept. Ray was also named one of Time magazine's most influential people of 2006.


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