Monday, 28 November 2011

Deadmau5 und Gluhwein

In the KUGA
I've found me people. I discovered last year in my Creative Writing class that I felt most at home with the creatively crazy people in this world. Well, welcome to the KUGA (Croatian Art Centre near Oberpullendorf). Home of eccentric "rock stars" that enjoy the frequent use of english curse words. My friend Konni and I did a little MCing and I got to try to speak some dialect.  I said, "I hab wos zum song =in German= Ich habe etwas zum sagen =in English= I have something to say," followed by how we all want to be Rockstars in the Land of Rockstars (choreography included). The Rockstar theme was inspired by the celebrated 200th anniversary of Liszt. Everything had at least a vague connection, (skulls because he's dead, sunglasses because he was a Rockstar, and posters with jumbled script).
After a little reading and art inspection there was a folky musician that played. He is from Vienna, but enjoys the Burgenland dialect so much that he writes a lot of his songs with it. Even though most of the poetry was a blur his guitar playing and hippie disposition was enough to keep me thoroughly entertained. (He came out for an encore with a glass of wine and smoking a cigarette, there is no smoking aloud in the KUGA, but everyone got more of a kick out of it than angry.)
My skull is on the left, made in school art class
Posters made by Konni

That's Konni
No smoking
Ah yes! There was a really cool hippie band after, we didn't stay for all of it but I had to get a shot of the Jazz Flute player. (yes I was referencing Anchor Man)
After the KUGA - Raha - Drum and Bass night. The DJ was fantastic, best music so far. Dub-stepped until 4am
Angie, Konni, Me

Frau gegen Gewalt
Women against violence was a little organized walk that my friends and I took part in. Really cute homemade signs and just a fun little get together. 

Ersten Advent
The four Sundays before Christmas are the "Advent Sundays." I suspect this is primarily a Catholic event as I can never recall doing this in Canada. This past Sunday was the first and also signified the lighting up of out small town's Christmas Tree! Hochtrass's Weihnachten Baum was super cute and it gave me an excuse to try Gluhwein (Mulled wine) which is Red or White wine with different spices. The tannin in the red I disliked because it overwhelmed the beverage's flavour, but the white was wonderfully fruity and provided a nice canvas for the spices. 

Konni's Geburtstag
Friday was Konni's Birthday and my first "House Party" since I have been in Austria. (Since we were underaged in Canada House Parties were the norm.) Mostly everyone in my class was there and a few from the other class in my grade. I am so lucky to have a class with so many friends! They all accepted me right away and I feel like I am a part of the class, not an exchange student outsider. Also this night was the first time I heard Deadmau5 in a club! (Ghosts and Stuff, obviously) Tuuli and I were so excited! For some reason the others wern't feeling it and just as the Dub-step kicked in we left to Legendary (more of a bar really) to hear classics such as "Cotton Eyed Joe," and "Achy Breaky Heart" (insert sarcasm here). The night was of course an overall success. 
OP Austauschschülerin
Noelia, Me, Veronica and Tuuli
Tuuli and Me

Early Christmas
I got a little package from my mom in the mail today. An early Christmas present!! She had told me about a beautiful kiosk that was next to her in a show that she was in, (selling her pottery,) and then I received this delicate and very lovely felt scarf. Here is her website on Etsy if you are curious. There are many beautiful textiles to choose from.
Thanks to Steph and Kalina for the Middle Card! Was such an awesome surprise getting it!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

I'm Filming A Bush

This is a fun little school project I helped my classmates with. Enjoy!

I you are interested you can check out all my movies on my YouTube channel KtownFilmMaker.
These include my Spoken Word performance for Word Ruckus, my winning Holocaust Film and a little stop motion experiment called The Spider for the DogWood Award.
Happy Lazy Sunday, Ciao!

Friday, 18 November 2011

When you play the Macarena is when I Leave

Hey there, 
You probably thought I’d dropped off the face of the earth... or maybe that my laptop did. So sorry for the delay between posts, well, it’s been interesting. 
I’ve had the most ups and downs in the past couple weeks. I am now starting to miss really stupid things about Canada, simply because they are unavailable to me here. I would give a lot to go back to Kelowna for just a week, realize how boring it is, then come straight back to Austria. I just need some comfort. Watching Modern Family gave me this warm comfy feeling. We all know Austria isn’t that much of a drastic change from Canada, it’s not like I’m living in Thailand or India or Japan, but nevertheless it’s playing a little on my brain. Now I’m not totally superstitious about star signs, or anything really, but after realizing the full-moon-watcha-majig was next to or in my cycle or something, I didn’t feel so bad about having a turbulent few days. Well, I guess the hype is bliss, and I am not looking very to hard to disprove that theory.
Liszt Saves the Day
I received the best news that I have had since I found out I was going to Paris yesterday; I’m going to be in a choir! My substitute music teacher was making a choir and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time and somehow she knew I would be interested. We had our first practice last Thursday and three more coming up this week. The concert is on the 1st of Dec., so quick. We are singing three beautiful pieces: Die launige Forelle by Franz Schubert, Fishfang mit Lis(z)t, and Es Muss ein Wunderbares sein by Liszt. I had a little trouble finding the links on YouTube so all I can say is they have the same melodies as the ones here, but in choir version. 
In high school I felt like the band room was my second home, I was so comfortable in there. Singing with the choir reminded me a little of that. Also, our teacher is very enthusiastic, I suppose that helped as well. 
Ma Chérie
November 7th I came home to a little package waiting for me on the kitchen counter from my mom. The most darling card, wishing me a wonderful time in Paris. My mom knows just how to brighten my day, and keep a secret. I’m quite shocked in fact. Only three more weeks!

Biss zum Morgengrauen

Sunday I will be going to a Twilight marathon with Tuuli from Finland! We estimated about 6 hours in the movie theatre. Oh, and we will be seeing all three and a half movies in German, good thing it’s not the most difficult dialogue, plenty of repetition. As my on-going project in school I’m reading the first of the Twilight series in German. I think I’ve had it for a little over a couple weeks and I’m on page 22, (pretty good considering I have to look up on average 3 words per sentence). 
When you play the Macarena is when I leave
November 10th was Burgenland Rocks Vienna. I apologize for forgetting my camera, there really wasn’t much to see anyways. When we arrived I was very concerned for the state of the party. By the selection of music and the two girls dancing on stage, I had guessed the DJs let their girlfriends have the controls for a little too long. There is no cause to ever play the Macarena, as far as I’m concerned all copies of the song should be destroyed so one never has to submit to the horrible choreography. I think I hear a little Aqua, blast from the past, Backstreet Boys or ‘NSync, can’t remember, (but in case you’re wondering I’m team ‘NSync) and Britney. As the night progressed we learnt the DJs had very little imagination and played the stereotypical and quite frankly “last month’s” popular club mixes. I think Burgenland could have shown a little more of it’s “one night” but as it turned out it was actually really fun. I guess that proves that the company you’re with ultimately decides how good of a time you have.

                                                                                           "And general all around Wonder Boy"
As a side note I was checking up on my Blogs I'm following and came upon this great short video about Gallery owner Lucy Chadwick. She's my new idol. If you are curious check it out. 
Lucy Chadwick Film

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What do you think?

Hey there followers!

In my last post I mentioned the online store Use a Brand. Well guess what! I've designed a little something and I would love to hear your feedback. So leave a comment either on this post or on the Use a Brand site.
If you like it please vote, if I get the most votes for the month of November I win! (and my design will be made and sold, you could even buy it!)
Here's the Link:
Foreigner Coat by Tess Paul

Thanks so Much!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Andy and the Mumok Factory

I just got back yesterday from Vienna (my 4th time there!) and I am really feeling like a local. I can competently take the U bahn (Subway) anywhere it goes, and I’m almost as confident with the Strassenbahn (Bus). With my map of Vienna in hand I felt unstoppable pounding the pavement, while looking for a few shops I found on This is a site that I found while looking for things to do in Vienna. It’s wonderful, not only for its artsy, cultured and cuisine savvy content but for its edited content. I really appreciate a tourist site that doesn’t make you feel like a tourist once you get there. It only lists the best of the best, writes a quirky little review and gives you the map right on the page. You can also go up to the top left corner and switch your city (which I have done for my trip to Paris!).
Here’s the link:
So go nuts and get traveling! 

 While I was in Vienna I had two very strong objectives: Go to Museums and Go Shopping at stores other than H&M and Forever XXI (Which are great, but need to be used in moderation)

So I managed to see three exhibits in two days. With the help and generosity of my host mom and sister we went to the Leopold Museum and the MUMOK on Thursday and then just Sandie and I went to the Kunsthall on Friday to see an exhibit titled Vanity.
At the Leopold there were four prominent exhibitions. The first we saw was The Excitement Continues which was walls full of modern art by many different artists. I found it to be a little all over the place. A little pop art a little realism a little charcoal a little sculpture. I suppose it gave a sense of where we are at today in the art world, an interesting contrast to the exhibit we would see next. Melancholy and Provocation was one I was looking forward to and it turned out to be my least favourite. It was mostly pictures upon pictures in every room done by Egon Schiele. He was an Austrian painter who died at the are of 28 and was a protégé of Gustav Klimt’s. It is the 10 year anniversary of the Leopold Museum and I understand why they wanted to showcase their country, but I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t so overwhelming.  Especially since this painter’s work is “characterized by a strong sense of melancholy and sadness, but also by his fascination with the unusual and the ecstatic.” There was definitely too much of a good thing here and had it been a little more edited I think I would have enjoyed it more. 

Then on the next floor, guess what, more Shiele! But this one was more enjoyable, when combined with a little Klimt and Art Nouveau it really gave the sense of a collection. Standing in front of Klimt’s “Death and Life” was really a wonderful experience. Especially after seeing the film Klimt (2006) I could marvel at it a little more educatedly. But his work really speaks for itself. Masterful.
The last floor we happened upon by accident. We got off the lift and stepped onto -2 floor to a press event to begin the new Nitsch exhibit which opened the next day. And standing twenty feet away from us was the man himself (known for his work with performance and real blood). Crazy, you’d never know from this cute little man with a santa beard clad in black cloth. My host mom said hello to her old art teacher and we all hurried back up the lift after being told the floor was closed for the press. All together a very exciting morning!

Best Pasta in Vienna
Vapiano is known in for it’s Italian cuisine, and more precisely it’s pasta. After an exhausting morning of Museums I needed to carb-up. It was my second time and my host mom’s first time there. Needless to say after the former commentary; best pasta of my life.
You enter and are given a plastic card (like a credit card) and you proceed to either a pasta, pizza, or antipasti line. Everything is freshly cooked/baked right in front of you. You order it up then swipe your card and the cook makes it, with all fresh indigents. After having a pizza last time I had to try these much talked of noodles. I ordered linguine with Pomodoro e Rucola (tomato sauce and rucola). So simple and so good, with parmesan on top my day was complete. Then after you’ve eaten, in their comfortable and very hip atmosphere you give your card to the front and pay. Easy as pie and oh sooo good. I am happy for you, but a little disappointed to say that this, I just found out, is indeed a chain restaurant. Find one near you! (soon, even in Vancouver, Canada)

The MUseum MOderner Kunst in Vienna is just as cool inside as it is outside. First impressions of the building tells the viewer exactly what to expect, minimalist, modern, cool art. Inside I had to remark at the artsy staff. Two brunette receptionists sat behind a stark white desk, one with blunt bangs and one without, and both with Rayban eyeglasses. Yep, I’m at home now. 
The exhibit Museum of Desires is described as “showing works and groups of works by pioneers of classical modernism right up to some of the most recent positions of the contemporary artists featured in the mumok collection.” We saw some excellent work that truly did depict where art had been recently and where it is going. Some that really stuck out for me were the abstract 50s and 60s works of Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis. They were displayed so beautifully it really makes one want to experiment with colour and try different combinations oneself. Next was the multi-video project Do it. Whenever I see a video in a gallery I head straight for it. But this one caught be by surprise. I was wandering around when I saw a black and white grainy film of a gun. A man in the film proceeded to show the viewer the common ways to commit suicide (shot to the head/brain/mouth) and how every way was false and could lead to an unfavorable survival. The whole thing was rather comical by the dry “matter of fact” tone in his explinations. Then, lastly, he showed the correct method, gun pointed down over one’s head. So morbid, but well edited and fascinating.
When I came around the corner on level 2 I knew there could be no mistake. It’s almost as if the entire exhibit was leading up to this one moment. Orange Car Crash is an diptych entirely painted orange with the repetition of a print of a car crash in purple not entirely covering the left panel. It was huge and said everything it needed to say. “By doing so, he questions how newspaper photos work, the visual culture they create, and how they affect our experience of reality,” beautifully said by the info brochure. I was reminded of Michael Kors’ tagline “Keep it Simple, Stupid,” (too much Project Runway for me).

Left: Orange Car Crash Andy Warhol Centre: Trixie Dee John Chamberlain Right: Plexi Louise Lawler
I also saw a Picaso, but strangely it didn’t have the effect on me as did the Warhol. Though it was true to his style this house hold name just didn’t resonate with me as much as Orange Car Crash. Also check out the movie Factory Girl (2006). It depicts the relationship between Andy Warhol and his prominent muse Edie Sedgwick and also her relationship with a folk singer (see if you can guess which one). Beautiful to watch, and set in my favourite decade.

Morris Louis Dalet Rash
Kenneth Noland Eternal Scholar

Use A Bag
After a very stimulating morning and midday it was off to shopping at of course, Mariahilfestrasse. I took the opportunity to explore the streets around there (Neubaugasse area, if you want to map it out) and visit some of the main shopping street stores. First off was Common People, small but good selection, but it had a little vintage area in the back and that made for a really wide pice range. A scarf in the front was 80 Euros and a shirt in the back was 8! I think they might need to specify their clientele. Then I went to Be a Good Girl and Wood Wood which both carry very obscure cool designers that come at a luxury price. The latter carries their own brand and the Danish Moon Spoon Saloon. Interesting to visit, but not in my price budget. Then when I thought all hope was lost of ever finding anything I could afford other than chain stores the Hallelujah chorus broke out inside Use A Brand
Use a Brand is a small store with innovative and well made clothes that range in price from the sale items (30-50 Euro) to a coat at 119 Euro (which I tried on, loved, then realizing it’s thin fall-like material put back in anticipation of a winter version). Everything is a basic with a twist, and beautiful rich colours of grey, black, white, blue and a little mint and orange.  I got a neat tunic. At first glance it’s just black with long sleeves, but look closer and you’ll see thin crisscrossed paneling that adds a neat texture, and the neck line is a sort of big crew. It looks really glamourous on, but easy. A great piece for my wardrobe and it only set me back 49 Euro; my treat for the trip. The concept of the store is very interesting as well. It’s an online store with one flagship in Vienna and all the designs are done by random people. Anyone can submit a drawing of their design. Then people vote online and every month a winner is chosen and their design is made and they get a profit for every one sold! The product is really unique clothing that the people want. Take a look:

Circle Scarf from AA

Forever XXI, yes, I caved.

Sandie and I took the next day to visit an exhibit at the Kunsthall (in between the Mumok and the Leopold). It was a bunch of fashion photographs that depict what the style was at that time. From the 30s to the present we saw it all. I rediscovered my love for the 60s and the really avant garde. There were two films, one at the entrance which was mostly a montage of fashion shows and experiences (I could pick out a few memorable Alexander McQueen shows) the next film was more planned. It featured a few shorts, my favourite being the last. It was dark, epic and delicate, in two words; Black Swan. (Wow that reference is getting over used, but I feel the film almost created it’s own genre, or enhanced one at least.) 

After that a little shopping, a little eating, and a little tea shopping!

Chocolate that comes in many different flavours

The Tea shelf in my room

(Yay Tea!)
Yes, I bought more Chai.