28 February 2010

How To Do Things With Words And Other Materials

On Thursday, I participated in at art exhibit here in New York, "How To Do Things With Words And Other Materials," in conjunction with a conference on Eve Sedgwick titled Spanking and Poetry.

My art book was influenced largely by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, as well as some other texts, language study and New York City. Here is an image of the installed piece (click pictures to enlarge):

You can see my entire book at Mirawunder.com.

I was not the only piece inspired by Alice, though! Annie Cranstoun showed "Climb Me," An Alice in Wonderland Jacob's Ladder. Here are images of her piece:



I really liked her use of an actual mirror!

Also of interest was this altered The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe book:

26 February 2010

Alice in Wonderland Soundtrack

Avril Lavigne's video was released for Tim Burton's Alice movie.

20 February 2010

Alice Movies

In relation to the last post, I recently found part I and part II of Susan King's LA Times article about the history of Alice in cinema; it is a pretty thorough overview!

16 February 2010

Lou Bunin's Alice in Wonderland

In light of the upcoming Tim Burton film, here is a clip of puppeteer and director Lou Bunin's 1949 Alice in Wonderland, a predominantly stop-motion film that starred Carol Marsh as a live-action Alice. Unfortunately, a lawsuit from Walt Disney prevented it from being widely released in the United States, so it would not compete with their own forthcoming 1951 version.

It is interesting how Disney has been monopolizing the Alice brand, considering how Burton's version is presumably a take-off of the 1951 animated film (Disney being the movie house behind the new Alice in Wonderland and also in light of the news that Burton is adapting a film off of Maleficent, a character exclusive to Disney).

Lou Bunin's version is worth watching not just to feel rebellious, but as a film in itself. With an adult Alice, this contrasts well with the forthcoming movie, and the stop motion here is livelier than Jan Švankmajer's Alice. There are so many translations of Lewis Carroll's books to the screen, and each of them say something about Alice as well as the time and society they come from.

15 February 2010

Through The Looking Glass Chess Game

I started getting into chess lately, and went back to my copy of Through the Looking Glass to see how the chess game played. Alice of course starts as a pawn and becomes Queen Alice on the other side of the board. It turns out to not be a very good game, the Red King does not move out of check, which is illegal to do! The characters though of course act erratically in the book, so it is a good game in terms of that characterization. The Queens fly across fields, relating to the powerful queen pieces in chess, while the kings are pretty anxious and immobile. The knights falling off their horses mimics the L-shape movement of knight pieces. When Alice is on the same row as another character, she is talking with them. It is good to be reminded how clever the original books are!

I found this animation showing the chess game, which I think is helpful:

It's from this site which has good information about the game in relation to the book.

If you have further interest in this, you may want to look at the notes in Martin Gardner's Annotated Alice.