(1) Is it possible to paint wind and air? Take a paintbrush or pencil and have a try.
(2) Have a look at the Marilyn Monroe ’s picture. Which film is it from? Can you describe this scene? You could start: “The pictures features….”
3. Denis Echeverria, Coup de vent à Trouville,
Describe the following beach scene. What is going on? What colour is the sky? What colour is the sea? What are the people on the beach doing?
(4) Have a look at the poster of an exhibition about climate phenomena in the museum Andre Malraux in Le Havre. Why is this girl on the beach and in the wind? Describe the picture: “ In the front, in the background, in the centre there is…”
If you are a visually impaired person, you can ask your neighbour additional questions.
If you are a deaf person, can you describe this picture in sign language?
Now, you can see a statue of a woman. We do not know how old she is. The woman is shouting with her hands next to her head. In this way she is causing vibrations (an echo) in the air. The bronze statue has Cubist elements (e.g., cut-off surfaces), so it is difficult to tell if the sculpture really represents a woman.
The sculptor Karel Putrih, the creator of this bronze statue, was born in 1910 in Ljubljana (Slovenia) where he finished his secondary studies in sculpting. Putrih became a famous member of the Independent Group of Slovenian Artists which was active before the Second World War. His works of art, as well as those of his colleagues, are important representatives of the Slovenian fine art of the 20th century. He continued his studies in Prague (Czech Republic). There he came up with a simplified plastic figure inspired by the work of the French sculpturer Aristide Maillole. This was the first version of “Odmev” or “Echo”. The final version of the statue is located in the square in front of the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana.
Cultural Heritage Background
General information that helps to understand the role of cultural heritage and the four elements:
(1) Wind is “what you can’t paint”, argued Pliny senior in Roman times. Wind was not understood and could not be explained for a very long time. Therefore, in antiquity it was represented by images, mostly of goddesses, like the Greek goddess Flora (the goddess of flowers). In the 19th century electricity was introduced and replaced the light of candles. At the same time the phenomena related to wind (wind, breeze, storms, lightning, etc.) were understood and were not attributed to gods any more.
(2) Air is one of the four elements and is perceived as wind, breeze and storm, but also echo. Wind impacts and bends laundry, trees, roofs, etc. Wind is the movement of air caused by the uneven heating of the earth by the sun.
(3) What does wind do? It lifts papers, planes, but wind in itself cannot be seen. Leonardo de Vinci said that you cannot see the movement of air. Wind is what you cannot paint but you can feel it, and you can see storm and lightning. You can hear echoes, you can experience them because of their vibrations of air. Although they can be heard, echoes cannot be seen.
Modern representations of wind and its effects.
»Sauver la nature« (Engl. Rescuing nature), a photo by Gilbert Garcin. Gilbert Garcin Gallery Camera Obscura.
(1) Air/wind in cinema bends laundry, etc. Look at the photograph at the top of the review of “A Special Day”, with Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren. Can you describe your what is happening in this scene? How do you think the two characters are feeling?
(2) Watch Chantal Ackerman’s “No Home” movie trailer.
AT 0:29 and 1:11 there is footage of a windy landscape. If you are visually impaired, describe how you imagine the windy landscape. Why do you think it has been included?
Listening Comprehension (optional)
Read the story
While reading, stop and think about the text or words before you continue.
Reread the text of the story.
Put sentences from the story in the right order.
Links to grammar reference books, etc.
Grammar exercises related to the grammar used in the text:
Discourse connectives, such as
- conjunctions (but, and, because)
- adverbials (then, however, instead), and
- prepositional phrases (as a result)
are the most well-known discourse markers. They provide information about the relation between connected clauses or sentences.
The following discourse connectives tell us that something is the consequence or conclusion of what came before:
- as a result
Learn more about Cubism:
Picasso (great art explained)
A summary of Cubism, Encyclopaedia Britannica
“Georges Braque: Within reach of the hand.” A lecture by George Shackleton about the Cubist artist and how he discovered Cubism.
Extra resources for learners
Watch the film “Una giornata particolare” (A Special Day):
Look at the beautiful photograph “Sauver la nature” (Rescuing Nature) by Gilbert Garcin (scroll to the second photograph):