Think Tank

Print Edition: Aug 19, 2012

Celebrating audacity
The Joana Vasconcelos exhibit at the Palace of Versailles infuses decadence with creativity.

The French Palace of Versailles is hosting a series of contemporary art exhibitions on its premises with the work of Portuguese contemporary art painter Joana Vasconcelos, who will be displaying her works inside and outside the Chateau until the end of September.

The artist compares the world to an opera, and her work furthers the theme by dressing mundane objects into flamboyant, eye-catching installations. Versailles embodies the aesthetic of her inspiration. Merging as one with the artist's theatrics, each work of art has been developed to blend seamlessly into its environment.

The vibe of the palace gravitates between reality and dreams, and artist Joana Vasconcelos bridges the lapse in time between then and now, transferring the exuberance and grandiose of the palace to the current century.

Vasconcelos is the first woman and the youngest artist to exhibit her work at Versailles. Her installations include Royal Valkyrie, a handmade woolen crochet work; Gardes, made with Port Laurent marble; Lilicoptere, a Bell 47 helicopter with ostrich feathers; Marilyn, made using stainless steel pans; Pavillon é, made with wrought iron and Blue Champagne, a soaring structure made with Pommery POP Champagne bottles. Fascinating, audacious and beautiful all at once, the exhibit adds an element of theatre through still life. A must visit for all.

Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs
An Island All Your Own
No man is an island, but some can now own one. An Austrian firm owned by Hungarian-born Gabor Orsos has come up with a similar albeit innovative concept to owning a yacht - owning an island. Orsos Island as it will be called, will not have an engine, but can be towed and anchored at different spots depending on the owner's prerogative. Spanning a spacious 1,000 square metres of living space, the island has been designed to combine the best of landbased real estate and the mechanism of a super yacht at reduced costs. Now the mega-rich can own a home that is a portable, man-made floating island, all for the price of $6.5 million. Slated for completion in another two years, it definitely sounds like the next big investment for those with the mega bucks. Anchors aweigh.

Dublin Horse Show
Dublin Horse Show
For fans of the animated series South Park, this product will make for the perfect little addition to your collection of the series' memorabilia. One of fashion's biggest names, US designer Marc Jacobs, has crafted a special Muscle Man Marc doll based on a character that appeared in an episode of the long-running show.

Measuring 30cm high, the doll made a first appearance in the episode titled '1%' during the 15th season of the show. The shirtless doll character made an appearance to console the character of Eric Cartman when he is being mocked by his classmates for scoring low in a national fitness test. An unlikely collaboration between fashion kingpin Marc Jacobs and the creators of the series, it is a testament to the success and influence of the show over the years. The doll is available in Marc Jacobs boutiques and on the brand's website as a limited edition piece for $125.

One Good Apple
Think twice before disposing of your gizmos, they might be worth a fortune in a decade or so. A rare first model of the Apple 1 computer-a clunky device bearing no resemblance to the sleek Macs today-sold for $374,000 at a Sotheby's auction in New York. The winning bid was more than twice the presale estimate, the result of a two-way bidding war won by an anonymous telephone bidder. Created in 1976 by Apple co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the Apple 1 was the first of genius Steve Jobs' commercial career. It is believed to be one of 50 surviving models, of which only six machines are still functional.


Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival
The Dublin Horse Show is an institution in itself. It is a celebration of the best show horses and international show jumpers competing for top honours. A highlight each summer, thousands of people gather to enjoy the races and a wide range of activities including live music, food, drink and more.
Website DublinHorseShow.com

The streets of West London come alive every August bank holiday weekend with Europe's biggest street festival-the Notting Hill Carnival. The Caribbean theme of the event sees the streets packed with bands, Calypso music and tempting food stalls, pulling everyone into this huge party. Held on August 26 and 27.
Website TheNottingHillCarnival.com

This long-lived festival favourite will take place between August 24 and 26 in both Reading and Leeds. featuring both veteran and modern acts such as Foster The People, The Cure, Paramore, Florence and The Machine and Foo Fighters amongst others, it remains a music-focused rock festival.
Website ReadingFestival.co.uk

The Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival in Sydney will be held from August 22 to 27 will showcase the latest fashion from all around the world. This glamorous event is held at the Sydney Town Hall where patrons can enjoy designer collections and their shows, cultural and celebrity events, VIP entertainment, launches, parties and exhibitions.
Website MbffSydney.com.au/

Living in a savage world

Don Winslow's 2010 novel, Savages was so vivid, you could almost picture the movie in your head while reading it. And that's what director Oliver Stone (of Natural Born Killers fame) has done with his all-star cast. Combining a wholesome mash of gore, suspense, violence, money, greed and sex, the story starts out fairly lighthearted with the depiction of an unusual threeway romance between two independent pot dealers and their free-spirited girlfriend.

Their blissful open relationship, however, is waylaid by a Mexican drug cartel that plans to take over their business. Enraged by the Californians' refusal, the Mexicans teach them a lesson by kidnapping the girl. A definite mustwatch. Starring Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively, Johm Travolta, Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson.

Acclaimed artist Damien Hirst, known for his affinity for all things morbid, has decided to challenge the tastebuds of restaurant goers. His creation for the London eatery Tramshed, is a piece from his Natural History collection. Titled Cock and Bull, the artwork presents a whole Hereford cow and cockerel preserved in formaldehyde within a steel and glass tank, and is suspended four metres above the ground at the centre of the restaurant. If you're wondering about the relevance of his subjects, here it is: the classical British menu designed by chef and restaurateur Mark Hix, offers diners a choice between roasted, free-range chickens and marbled sirloin steaks. There's no denying, what you see is what you get.

After a very long 11 years, Aerosmith will release an album of original material with Music From Another Dimension. Produced by Jack Douglas who has previously worked with the band, this album is said to be closer in sound to their 70's style of music as opposed to the slick material they've been chuirning out over the last couple of decades. The record has a lot more band-written lyrics than in the recent past, and the first single, Legendary Child has already received high praise.


In his bestselling and critically acclaimed novel The Passage, Justin Cronin constructed a memorable plot transformed by a government experiment gone wrong. With The Twelve, he takes the story further

Scheduled for an August release, Bourne legacy opens to mounting expectations from fans who are skeptical about the replacement of Matt Damon with Jeremy Renner. A promising watch.

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