These last weeks are being pretty intense but unfortunately the bad side of the coin is that I don’t really have much time left for writing. Seems that everything happens in Spring-Summer, and with the arrival of good weather and longer days, everybody is planning activities, feeling like socializing and including me in those plans, which is great.
Last weekend was a crazy one. I attended two events completely different from each other, but very pleasant and funny all the same.
Since Norma Jean Magazine is getting quite popular and apparently influential on social networks, we’ve started receiving invitations for events such as art exhibitions, movie premieres, book presentations, fashion shows…We cannot attend most of them because these are held in different cities, or just because the event is not something we might be interested in.
I went to my first event as one of the Norma Jean girls last Friday, and I enjoyed lots. There was a party held by Quicksilver which consisted on an opening cocktail, with lots of wine and great food, to warm up, and then the projection of an audiovisual experiment directed by Thomas Campbell, a quite established name in the skate universe.
I think I already explained here skateboarding is one of my main frustrations as I’ve never learned nor found anyone who was willing to teach me, and now I think it could be a bit risky to start doing it, even though I’d try something easy and calm. I’ve also been fascinated with the skate universe, photography, exhibitions, aesthetics, and this punk-metal 90s side of this way of life. Truth is that if I was asked I could only name about 5 famous skaters, Peralta, Alva and Adams, Tony Hawk and Burnquist. I’m an ignorant.
Thomas Campbell, the director, is a multidisciplinary artist: painter, sculpture, photographer and now filmmaker, and his relationship with the skateboarding world is really tight. For many, this California guy is an important and established reference.
His last project, is an audiovisual experiment named Four Small Dreams. A piece of 22 minute length, shot analog on 16mm film, featuring Basque skater Javier Mendizabal and young Madars Apse. The sequences, shot in different Spanish cities, Canary Islands, Mallorca and California, are excellent, and the lysergic soundtrack provided by an unknown band named Chiwoks, who were playing simultaneously, created a great atmosphere with real epic moments.
Analog shooting is very expensive, much more than digital even though the equipment might be more modest, so think of the limited possibilities of something as unpredictable as skate boarding. The way Javier Mendizabal put it, you had to be very careful, very concerned, and achieve a decent level of skating to provide footage worth enough editing for the project. It sounded like hard work, many hours and money invested.
Another curious aspect related to Four Small Dreams was all the promo and the support from Quicksilver. I was explained that big skate/surf brands which have become too mainstream getting away from the original philosophy, are starting to recruit established and independent pro skaters and artists related, support their projects and in that way attract that community left behind at some point in the past targeting more mainstream.
The party was held at a very cool place, the Chapel at MACBA. We were around 200 guests, bloggers, skaters, hipsters and other personalities. Catering was excellent and there was lots of booze. Sound was perfect, projection outstanding. And at the end of the party we received a t-shirt of the film as a gift. Think of this party repeated in several cool cities. Make calculations. Promo budget is scary. And the question which comes to mind, regardless the quality of the product (which is good and I recommend it), is obvious: is it really worth it? How could success be measured in this case? Will Quicksilver recover their committed to skate image? Will they stop being regarded as a mainstream non exclusive brand?
I have no idea, but what I can tell is that personally it was a great experience, and I enjoyed talking to the director (we ended up discussing about QOTSA discography)and adorable Javier Mendizabal. Both were extremely friendly and accessible and I really liked it. I really wish Four Small Dreams reaches more recipients than the 200 people at the chapel.
** Yep, I was wearing my vintage Nashville Pussy t-shirt reading LET THEM EAT PUSSY. I was acting on behalf of Norma Jean Magazine, and really it couldn’t be more appropriate considering Michael Douglas’ last week statement blaming his throat cancer on cunnilingus (bastard!).