What We Feel and What We Mean
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Category — How it Feels

Something Beautiful

I posted this a while ago but for some reason it isn’t showing up in my posts so I’m just going to do it again.

Last year, I went to Aruba for a week on winter break. The island itself is breathtaking, but the thing that struck me the most was this beautiful sunset. I took this picture after standing in amazement for a few moments, taking in the beautiful sight. The colors were so rich and bright, and the reflection it made off of the ocean made it even more beautiful. I couldn’t help but be astounded by the beauty of it. It made me realize how beautiful and amazing nature could be, and that we don’t always appreciate it as much as we should. Beauty is everywhere, we just have to open our eyes to see it.

December 21, 2011   No Comments

Mark and Michael’s Final Project

December 20, 2011   No Comments

Faust: The Opera

Although I cannot call myself knowledgeable about opera as an art form, I still thought Faust was absolutely incredible. Opera was a completely new experience for me. Up until now, I had seen shows on Broadway and been to concerts, but the opera was still completely foreign to me. Part of me feels like my praise for Faust is overblown, that I enjoyed it so much simply because I had never seen opera before. While this may be somewhat true, I still loved Faust and cannot wait to see another opera.

As an art form, opera is quite obviously very strenuous for those involved. I have a lot of respect for the singers, musicians, and directors who work to put on the show. The singers must show an immense amount of dedication towards their craft to be able to perform like that on a regular basis. The performer that played Mephistopheles, especially, was wonderful. He had charisma, his singing was clear and all eyes were on him whenever he was on stage.

My favorite part of the opera was the ending by far. After the majority of the play featured Marguerite’s demise, I was happy to see her redemption in the eyes of God. The scene of her walking up the stairs to heaven was haunting, with all of the singers in white lab coats chanting about her being saved. The end scene mirroring the first scene was another nice touch by the director in my opinion, showing the story had come full circle.

Besides the opera itself, I am in love with the ambiance of the opera house. Seeing everyone dressed to the nines with champagne glasses in their hands and the plush, red carpet on the floor just gives you the feeling that you are in the presence of something grandiose. The British ushers gave me that feeling as well (why do Americans perceive the British accent as high-class?).

After thinking about the opera for a couple of days (and formulating my own opinion about it), I wanted to see what the critical opinion of it was. I was expecting it to be very different because of my lack of knowledge about opera. What I found was that critics were very harsh about Faust, something I don’t necessarily agree with. A review of Faust in the New York Times says, “The production, though rich with ideas and theatrically daring, is finally rather clinical and oppressive.” I disagree with this vehemently.  Although I do see that at times Faust seemed cold and clinical, for the most part I thought it soared with emotion. Furthermore, the review criticizes the stage layout of the stairs on both sides. I, however, thought it was smart to have it organized like that to facilitate some of the key scenes in the show. This review really demonstrated to me how differently I saw the opera than the reviewer. Here is the link to the opera review: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/arts/music/a-review-of-the-metropolitan-operas-faust.html

December 20, 2011   No Comments

The International Center of Photography/ 9-11 Exhibit

What an amazing exhibit! I could not imagine photos that spoke the full 1000 words until I entered this exhibit. Such heart-wrenching photographs filled with strong raw emotion. It was truly an experience.

As I went through the exhibit, one thing kept popping up in my mind: We should’ve visited this exhibit right after the 9/11 Memorial Visit. It complemented the memorial in every way possible. The exhibit seemed to give off a sense of time and place in between the past and present, where 9/11 has happened, but we haven’t just yet moved to the next chapter. I cannot remember the exact quote, but one of the curators and photographers had said just that, and they were so right. The sadness and pain felt through the photographs were truly overwhelming. One photograph was of a uniformed man holding back tears. It brought on such feelings inside of me. I was ready to cry right then and there. I had to force myself to move on, only to find yet another uniformed person holding back tears. This woman had been leaning on someone else (possibly her daughter? they had similar features) and it was just heart-breaking.

But I also saw the videos, oh what videos! To see a person’s belongings is to see what characterizes them, and I saw a whole bunch of personalities in those piles of rubble. In those piles of rubble, I saw among other things, a baby’s rattle, a child’s alphabet stencil, a student’s backpack, a college student’s Biology homework, a parent’s wallet-sized pictures of his/her children, a grandparent’s recent family reunion photo and so much sadness. What really broke the camel’s back, however, was the small boat in the middle of the wreckage exhibit. It was a small paper boat, not unlike the ones I am very accustomed to making. It reminded me of a recent time when, while on the bus, I saw a small child who was very bored and was annoying his mother. I put down my stuff, took out a paper, made a small paper boat, and gave it to his mother to give to him. He loved it, but he was unaware that anything was wrong. That experience helped me understand this paper boat in the middle of the exhibit. This boat resembles more than just boredom; it resembles a sort of family experience that was created in that train, and even larger, within our city. Yes, 9/11 has taken a bite out of us, but united we stand, even in the face of terrorism.


Joey Kabariti

December 4, 2011   No Comments

The Brooklyn Museum

Hey Guys,

This past visit to the Brooklyn Museum was particularly interesting. There were some exhibits which I absolutely loved, and others which I absolutely hated.

We first visited the Dinner Party, which really represented something really special for me. As a big advocate of Women’s rights, partly because of my growing with three sisters, I really appreciate when someone goes out of their way to appreciate what they have done, as the famous quote proves, “Behind every great man there is a woman.” It was also very informative. I did not recognize many of the women there, and so, when I saw Judith, the Jewish representative for Women who slaughtered Holofernes and rescued her people, I felt proud. I barely knew the story and she is part of my history, so the fact that they were hosting a dinner party to congratulate all these women on their fine accomplishments truly meant a lot to me.

And then we visited the period rooms, which were absolutely marvelous. Those rooms gave us the feel of those times, and there a hint of fear and awkwardness in each new room. We observed that there must have been nothing to do if not for work. There were no TVs, no radios, nothing to keep them from becoming bored. Their living rooms were the emptiest parts of their houses. But the fear stemmed from the darkness that lurked around each and every house that was alone for miles around them. Some of the houses were the only ones for miles on end. How could they have lived in such a distant, quiet and unsafe place? Anyone could just break into their house and kill everybody and no one would know who it was, how they did it, or even when. They could be dead for weeks before anyone would realize their absence. That point struck me the hardest. But all in all, it was an amazing experience; the rooms were absolutely delightful to visit.

And the last exhibit on the fourth floor, which resembled the Sistine Chapel in many ways, was interesting yet I could not connect to it. The art was beautiful but I could not feel an emotion broadcast. It was interesting because of its resemblance, but other than that, it was just paint on wall.

We then moved to the fifth floor, where we visited the piano and the tree, which was very cool, yet weird and eerie. I liked it because it showed that art does not have to be beautiful; it could also be scary and eerie and have a different effect, yet still be art. The fact that the piano was playing itself was also a nice trick, and added substantially to that eerie yet pleasant feeling.

And then we moved on to the Youth and Beauty Exhibit.

Unfortunately, we didn’t save the best for last. I hated it. The only thing the exhibit accomplished, in my eyes, was to make that line between pornography and nude art all the more murky. It seemed to me to be just another way to portray nude bodies, and not at all a way to portray art. Granted, it was nice to see the exhibit that we mentioned about in class, the young man pushing the wrench which turned the gear and moved the machine. That was an appealing photograph, because it portrayed the young man as a strong attractive individual, and made him seem reliable.

However, that was one of the couple of pieces of art which I enjoyed in that exhibit.

I did feel the need to continue exploring, but time waits for no one.

I do plan on returning in the near future to complete my Brooklyn Museum experience.

Joey Kabariti

November 22, 2011   2 Comments

My New York City

Being born and raised in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, I feel like what I call New York City is a mix of what I’ve experienced throughout my life. Many people automatically imagine the city life in Manhattan and the MTA when they think about NYC. For me though I feel like city life might actually only be a small part of what I consider to be my New York. Sure I love going to the city once in awhile to look at the skyscraper buildings, shining lights and to watch the constant movement. However when I take a step back and look at my life, how much of my life have I actually spent in the city? I can’t imagine my NYC life without the picnics I’ve spent in Central and Prospect Park or going to a nearby playground to enjoy the swings in the middle of the night. Below are 4 pictures that mix together to form what I consider my NYC because I feel like my NYC can’t be complete without all the other parts of it.

As someone who loves exploring, I’ve traveled around the city a lot, and I’ve found many things that make our city so unique. The form of expression we have is incredible and I feel like the city is what it is because you get a different feeling when you travel from one part of NYC to another.  NYC wouldn’t be as amazing as it is if people could only feel one thing from it. The first picture is a picture of Shore Road which is about 3 avenues down from my house. The view from Shore Road is amazing, whether you go there for a morning jog, to admire the ocean at night or to watch the sun rise and set. I love going at night and it’s especially amazing during July 4th with the fireworks. Shore Road has always been a place where I can just stroll around at, admire the scenery and smell fresh air. In the morning it’s so quite that it’s unbelievable and you feel like it’s just you and the water.

The next picture is a picture of Prospect Park. I feel like parks make a huge part of NYC. It’s what makes the city even more amazing because even though there are so many buildings and roads we can still find a huge park encompassed by greenery. The parks is what gives our city the serene side where families bring their kids out to the park to just relax and play.

Compared to the park, Times Square itself brings out a whole new image of NYC but it’s also the main image that people see NYC as. NYC wouldn’t be what it is without the constant motion of people and cars. We’re known as the city that never sleeps and in Times Square you’ll always find people there, no matter what time it is. Times Square is where all the main attractions of the city is from Broadway shows to huge department stores. It’s where everyone usually goes to have fun at night. This is the “other part” of my NYC and it’s a more adult like or party like compared to the Shore Road and parks part of my NYC.

The last picture is a picture of the playground near my house. Compare to Times Square the playground is more secure but yet the same level of activity is going on. Even though I’m 18 now I’ll still go to the playground to go on the swings. To me my NYC isn’t defined to a single image because my NYC simply isn’t limited to that. My NYC is a mix of what I’ve experienced and what I’ve taken from this city. There will never be a single image for my NYC because without the other parts, that one image won’t seem so significant.

I feel like the song  A Whole New World from Aladdin would describe NYC perfectly. It’s a song with amazement of the new found scenery and I feel like a lot of people who come to New York City are amazed by what they see and it’s totally differently from their own life.

November 15, 2011   1 Comment

Dia: Beacon

The view heading North was actually one of the most striking works of art I saw today.

That being said, the following are some other notable experiences.

Sol LeWitt’s Drawing Series was amazing because of the dramatic irony. In Wall Drawing #136, the viewer thinks the scribbles (arcs, straight, not straight, and broken lines) on the wall are haphazard. Which is an interesting assumption int he first place, considering that even those who don’t appreciate modern art and its ambiguous lines and shapes cannot fail to recognize that the artist very carefully orchestrated a piece. It is not just a random assortment of lines, or if it appears so to the viewer that is only because the artist wanted it to appear so. LeWitt elevates this reality by showing the viewer exactly how precise his randomness is. The writing is (literally) on the wall. Each “random” line is numbered and each sequence planned. No one sequence is repeated.

Wall Drawing #248, too, looks random. Elementary shapes drawn on a white wall. However, LeWitt also writes exactly where each shape is placed. His “not-straight” line is not randomly but rather exactly placed. He writes so finely, one could almost miss it altogether.

Another favorite exhibit of mine was Franz Erhard Walther’s Work as Action. On first inspection, the room is strangely silly. Pieces of canvas line the walls on a raised part of the floor. They are sitting, neatly folded. It’s not art. It’s not pretty. It’s not striking. Then one reads figures out this is art waiting to be made (In my case it was Maryam who figured it out) The canvas pieces are meant to be turned into art. In doing so, the viewer becomes the creator…or the art itself. When we were re-enacting the positions and formations photographed by Walther, the other visitors to the gallery were watching us with curiosity. We were the exhibit, as novel as the item with which we were “playing”. It was a pretty powerful moment. And it was fun.

Another interesting exhibit was was the strings. It’s like the emperor’s new clothes. There’s nothing there…or is there? The outline is the artwork. Or maybe the art is the outline.

My other favorite was the twisted metal sculptures. They were made of solid metal pieces crushed as one would a piece of unwanted paper. They sit on the floor as if tossed there. The in-congruence here exists in the sturdy nature of metal and the form into which it has been molded. It is treated as if it was a flimsy notepaper.

And on to Yvonne Rainer‘s dance ….um….. (I’m not sure what to call it)


Crazy as it may sound, the most amusing part of the performance was the third “act” in which the initial performer, Patricia Hoffbauer, throws a temper tantrum replete with strangled screams and a wrestling match with a coat-covered lump of gauzy material. Everyone has a moment when s/he wants to scream like a banshee and throw a real two-year old temper tantrum. I don’t know if this was the response Rainer hoped to elicit, but I found it hysterical. Startling, granted, but then, I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for a temper tantrum.

I also found Hoffbauer’s overall performance to be very emotional and expressive. When she drags herself across the “stage” in a way that suggests she is being pulled by strings or is otherwise made of rubber, she is depicting lethargy in an explicitly tangible way. She is enacting typical ballet “moves”, butchering the exaggeratedly precise and subtly energetic nature of ballet dancing in the process.

To be honest, the silent, slow motion “dancing” (or, more accurately, movement) was interesting but far too long.

To backtrack, the stage itself was fascinating because it wasn’t actually a stage. The performance was on level ground. In fact, the only elevated object was the stands on which the viewers sat. In a funny way, that makes the viewers the viewed. They are raised on a stage, not the dancers. I cannot guess what Yvonne Rainer meant by this, nor do I think I am qualified to understand her piece in its entirety.

October 24, 2011   No Comments

ICP Visit

The International Center of Photography

The building itself was really quiet; the employees dressed in black added to the somber and serious feel of the place.

The 9/11 exhibit was incredibly powerful, more so than the actual 9/11 memorial. It exists in the same somber arena as the rest of the photography center, an ambiance perfectly matched by the artwork being displayed. The photos of Hangar 17 and its artifacts are raw. They’re not meant to be pretty or aesthetically pleasing; they just are.





The images capture the absolute wreckage of 9/11. The piles of wood, totaled cars, warped beams, and the myriad of empty and crumbling shells that are displayed here are real. The video footage taken by Elena del Rivero of the massive machinery shifting rubble at ground zero is disturbing because it is unmistakably something that happened. The rubble was real. I got this feeling much more in this exhibit than I did at ground zero itself.

This exhibit also showcased the human element of 9/11: The foggy picture in which the tower is barely discernible. The dark black smudge halfway down the building. It looks like a person falling (jumping?) It’s clearer than the building itself. It says something about the loss of a life.

The most powerful aspect of the exhibit, however, was the folded paper boat that someone had made inside one of the PATH trains that was trapped underground when the towers fell. It is a stark reminder that the people in the towers were humans. They got bored on trains and made origami boats. They didn’t wake up thinking their day would end early.

Sorry about that dark writing. The exhibit struck me as sad so I responded in like.

October 23, 2011   1 Comment

9/11 Memorial- My feelings

Hey Guys!

I know this has been a long time coming, but I needed to gather my thoughts and I felt that I needed to let my thoughts settle.

While first walking into the memorial, I felt excited. It was an interesting feeling because memorials are usually somber and beautiful, not fun and adventurous. That feeling was probably due to the fact that it was my first memorial visited. Nevertheless, as I went inside, I found that I felt guilty. I felt an overwhelming sense of disrespect, stemming from myself. I realized that it was because I was talking, laughing, and joking, something that these victims could not do with their families and friends. From that moment till the end, I tried to only speak when necessary, and no more.

While wandering around, I took note of the people walking around, specifically the people who seemed to be relatives and/or friends of the victims. I felt a powerful sense of anguish and pain, and my heart wanted me to reach out to these people, and to console them to the best of my ability. I walked around, watching these people in sorrow and thanking G-d that it didn’t happen to a relative or friend of mine. And, as if I didn’t feel their pain enough, I took note of two very painful yet powerful actions that happened onsite. The first one was a man who stood next to two of the names (from the same group of firefighters) and tried to clean them as best he could. This really struck me deeply as I could not bring myself to truly absorb this till later. That man loved those two people with all his heart, and they probably loved him back. And yet, they were struck by this shameless act of terrorism and lost for lives for a meaningless cause. Their agenda might have been completed, but we still stand strong. They might fight for one cause, but our freedom is what gives us the strength to fight on against them. The second action was the placing of a rose in the name of Douglas D. Ketcham, as depicted in the photo shown below. That act spoke books to me. It told me that even though he dies, his family, friends, and all who love him still live on.

As shown on their website, the memorial is made to be extremely sustainable. That means that the memorial is caught in a cycle of renewing the resources within it. We see from the memorial an amazing and (hopefully) intentional lesson. With life comes death. With death comes more life. It is an endless circle. And even though those victims died, we live on, and so does their spirit. We will never forget 9/11.

Joey Kabariti

October 10, 2011   No Comments

9/11 Memorial

While I was traveling to get to the 9/11 Memorial, I felt really excited. I really wanted to see what the Memorial would look like since I’ve never seen pictures or videos of it. When I stepped out of the subway the atmosphere seemed kind of grim. Like usual I was surrounded by towering buildings and construction. I looked ahead and wondered where the Memorial was. Once we got to the area, the security didn’t surprise me considering the place we were visiting. The atmosphere changed once I stepped inside. It felt as if the air was more clear and they sky was brighter. I walked into a nice open space filled with greenery. I found the Memorial refreshing and interesting. The atmosphere there was very soothing. Everyone there was respectful and took in their surroundings. I could hear the flow of the water and the sound of wind hitting the trees. What I loved the most were the two waterfalls. It was nice just to stand in front of it and watch the water slowly fall. Occasionally you could feel water on you from the wind.

The tree that was the only thing that survived from the attack was also quite interesting. It was so small yet so strong. I feel like it was an important symbol in the Memorial as the small pear tree stood there struggling to survive. They had cords around it to make sure it would stay standing. It’s hard to believe that its been 10 years since 9/11. I remember being in 3rd grade and the original panic everyone had. Being only 8 at the time I only remember being picked up from school in the middle of the day. I found the Memorial meaningful and it reminded me of how people will always remember those that have been lost.

October 5, 2011   No Comments