February 28th: Two weeks and already we are comfortable at the Art club 44

Art Club 44 was especially convenient because there was a meeting afterwards in the same place on the topic of — art. We paid special attention to our schedules so we ended the meeting precisely at 12:30 so we could drift over to where the discussion.


Katya Mezentseva delivered her speech number two entitled “time management” using a couple of very graphic images. The first is of a large bowl. You can put a lot into it if you fill up first with large stones, then with pebbles, then with sand and lastly with water, each filling the space that was left empty by the last. But if you start with the sand, you will never get the big stones in. This is the metaphor: if you do not put your top priorities first, you will never achieve them. Her second was from a book entitled “Eat That Frog.” Its message is similar. When you lay out all of the things that have to be accomplished within a day, it is not a bad idea to start with the most distasteful one first. Otherwise you can procrastinate forever.


Roman Isakov asked two questions of a total of five impromptu speakers for table topics. They were unusually successful, and that everybody was able to take about two minutes putting together an entertaining and original answer. His theme was stereotypes and preconditioned responses. The first concerned money. Do you have to choose between money and happiness, beauty and utility or can you have it all? Do we fight false dichotomies?


Igor jumped right in and said why not have it all? Olga Pogorelova, well-informed on most subjects, cited a literary source: Louisa Haig. Her advice was to imagine yourself, or even more strongly, tell yourself that you are what you want to be. “I am rich.” Do not cast it in a negative, as in “I am not poor,” or in some other tense such as “I will be rich.” Our president Tania took the discussion off on another direction, noting how differently children of a new generation perceived beauty. Stereotypes do not serve us at all.


Igor second question concerned art. His contention was that art is subjective, the experiences in the viewer and not in the piece itself. Mark agreed, citing one of Goya’s portraits of the royal family of Spain. He was such a masterful painter that he created a work in which one could see what they wanted. The royal family saw themselves as looking — majestic. Other viewers could look at the painting and say that they looked like vapid fools.  Kostya put a psychological spin on Mark’s comment saying that art is a way of cognition. Everybody perceives it worked differently if you wanted to find the reality of the work, you would have to compose something like a hologram, a three-dimensional assemblage of each viewers individual two-dimensional perception.


We will meet at the Art Club 44 again next week.



Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment