After leaving my brain aside for the wonderfully unnecessary and increasingly ridiculous Fast and furious 7 and the absurdly odd sponge bob square pants (although the tv show is better) I reattached my brain and watched some interesting, intelligent and sometimes challenging theatre. Watch out for Pulse winners this theatre’s police cops – very knowingly funny, taking the audience with them but how will it be developed? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1677467423/police-cops Also some fabulous first 5 minutes – Eden by displace yourself theatre http://displaceyourselftheatre.co.uk/ and 1.9 by Jackagbritton http://jackagbritton.tumblr.com/ it will be great to see what happens next. The deaf and hearing ensemble’s People of the eye http://www.thedeafandhearingensemble.com/projects/ , shit theatre’s woman’s hour, http://www.shittheatre.co.uk/sht-reviews.html the man from fukushima by kazuko hohki http://www.kazukohohki.com/kazuko/performance.html and annie siddon’s how (not) to live in suburbia were really enjoyable 20 minutes. But the brutalising 70 minutes that was Christopher Brett Bailey http://christopherbrettbailey.com/ was the highlight – how does he do that? – a dark truly alternative to the mundane life around us and yet in some way timeless – channelling so much of beat-poet-80s-anger – this is a good thing – I felt at home. He really is a must see – this is how we die is near the end of its tour but go see if you can your brain will be given a through workout.
Sunday, 31 May 2015
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Another wonderful day of teaching at Camberwell – Symposium 2 is always a transitional moment within the students time on the Book Art Course – a time of reflection – to explore where they have come from, where they are going – their presentation is a bookmark - demonstrating the gap between symposium 1 it exposes the teaching and learning that has taken place and where they are now. Within the group the work and thinking behind the work (the research) is wide ranging and formed from rich thinking – I’m looking forward to the final show – there will be some good work.
The weekend starts on Friday – I’m spending the weekend at Pulse festival in Ipswich http://www.wolseytheatre.co.uk/pulse-festival/ the suitcase day – where performers perform with a stage set that can only be encompassed within a suitcase. It’ll hopefully be a number of short and sharp performances that pull you cleverly in a number of ways. I’m also looking forward to attending a discussion about world factory in the afternoon – an idea I saw both in its initial research phase and as a show at the Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich where I ran a clothes factory with 3 strangers!
Working on the PALs course at Norwich – it’s a supportive structure where year 2 students volunteer to help new students get through their first year. It’s an attempt to create a sense of community within the University - the students are the best of young people giving of their time willingly to support others.
Meanwhile some more images from the trip to New York of the Serra show – it really was an extraordinary experience communing with the giant blocks of steel.
Monday, 25 May 2015
Two shows in London close together - speaking parts at Raven Row http://www.ravenrow.org/ explores Bob Cobbing's legacy of exploring visual sound, Untitled (you fuck) the work of Michael Dean is a stunner and then there’s this is because the internet http://thisisbecausetheinternet.tumblr.com/ at the Rag Factory which has a piece by Jim and Sid which celebrates the presence of dysfunctional online tools using the tools themselves. http://jimandsid.tumblr.com/
Meanwhile ‘we’ have won an award – well our house has – well the architects Kirkham Sheidow have won the RIBA Suffolk Design Award. - https://vimeo.com/127948977 a film of the winning house – everyone should have a film made of their house!
Saturday, 23 May 2015
So New York - so much in such a short time - lots of walking between so many shows and then there are so many excellent pieces within the shows - but heres a few choice highlights of what i would recommend...
The triennial at New contemporary art museum - lisa tan - waves, oliver laric - transition, casey jane ellison - its so important to seem wonderful, antonie catala - distant feel, geumhyung jeong - fitness guide. The whole show is fairly challenging with artists tackling some big subjects of the day in very personal ways.
The American museum of folk art has a show that celebrates the very individual world of very individual people - highlights - jean loubressanes - miniature carved stones, marie lieb's - floor textile pieces, gustav mesmer's flying machines, giuseppe versino's clothing monument. fernando oreste nannetti's statement - i am an astronautic mining engineer in the mental system says it all.
The new Whitney at the bottom of the high line is a bit of a dogs dinner of a design with lots of narrow passages that gum up with visitors and messy walkways all over its many roofs (which face the wrong way!) but the work inside is really good examples of American art - the show created from the collection had some excellent pieces candy jernigan's - found dope, hans haacke - shapolskyetal, luis camnitzer's - the value of art, carl andre's - essayonsculptureforcgossen, paul pfeifer - fragment of a crucifixion, glen ligon's - insular neon america but it was really good to be with matthew barneys cadillac piece without the crowds!!!!
Moma is always excellent - lots of old favourites and as ever its great to just be in the same room as rothko, pollock and beuys (i so love the vitrines) but i spent a lot of time with gordon matta clark's bingo - just fabulous - the two main shows were okayish - Yoko Ono was a great overview, Bjork was a little like a great promo, although the new video/sound piece was very amazing with lots of references back to earlier work where she connects with landscape. The smaller exhibition Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection was composed of people exploring the darker aspects of our world the contemplative and stark Alfredo Jaar’s landmark project Lament of the Images is so bleak - the contemplative yet oppressive space he created, contextualised by the initial text is a must for every thinking person - its a pity everybody is in the pop art area taking selfies and saying my 5 year old can do this!!!
The Museum of Art and Design has an excellent show focusing on the role of women in the arts and design world called pathmakers. The weaving was particularly beautiful and expertly presented, as ever with great lighting The work of Annie Albers was stunning and the work of the jewellery designer Janna Syvanoja was splendid.
A day in the galleries around Chelsea is always special - the experience is a bit like the best degree show ever as you move from one space to another - if what your looking at doesn't grab you - you just move on. I went to around 20 shows in between breakfast and lunch at the stunningly beautiful empire diner on the corner of 22nd and10th http://empire-diner.comsome work that has stayed with me......
Ellsworth Kelly at Matthew Marks has a number of stunning large scale structured paintings that only just have the hand of the maker visible. Pretzel Gallery has deeply researched site connected with many hidden and meanings work by Keith Edimer - the recreation of hybrid flowers created for the first lady life cast in dental algenan bbbbbb on pink Tennessee marble arranged to mirror a painting by Martin Johnson Heade were extraordinary. Christopher Wool's large layered text pieces are complimented by tangled sculptural pieces at Luring Augustine. The narrative constructions of Nina Beier's crushed clothes are initially dull but the creases are all talk. More stories made by rivane nauenschwander in a show titled the fever, the sewing box and a ghost at the Tanya Bonakdar gallery had a hole in the wall from which the smell of sump oil extrudes. Mike Weiss Gallery has very clever wooden constructions by Michael Zelehoski that you have to remake in your brain as they are all flat but look 3D. Angela Bullock's light boxes at Mary Boone were really beautiful illuminating the huge space. Ming Wong's four malay stories in the show your bright future at Tina Kim gallery recreates and then deconstructs an imaginary film. Carlos Estrada-Vega's riot of coloured blocks at Margaret thatcher projects was fun. The text piece money is no object by Ricci Albenda at Andrew Kreps Gallery made me think and it's still doing that - the gramma is messing with me. I love Erin Sherreff's work especially the prints in box frames but here the huge cyanotypes along with the looped video were the highlights at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Alberto De Michele's hazy blurred film of a group of thieves titled the wolves was very dark and intriguing at Andrew Kreps Gallery. Michael Heizer at the Gagosian has the huge metal 'text like' pieces but there were also two totally insane rock pieces that were built into the walls - so huge that I just stood and laughed at the bizarreness of them. David Zwirner's two spaces has the oddness and slightly oppressive work of Yayoi Kusama in one where you get to obliterate the inside of a small shed! But the other space has my true highlight of the whole trip Richard Serra. The work Equal was mesmerising - consisting of 8 huge/ginormous cubes that fill the space. four balanced on four, their oppressive 'bigness' fills the brain - you know this is the important element of the work whilst the patina of the core-ten tricks you into being interesting or important even it might be but you mustn't get involved in this frivolous activity - balance, weight, space, form and loss are the focus here. The process of their making is overwhelming, I left feeling elated and at one with both New York in general and the world I live in.
Meanwhile I have lots of follow up searching to undertake after my morning at SURTEXT - walking through three football pitched sized rooms of a trade fair that celebrates the dark arts of surface design, materials, textile design, contemporary furniture companies and stationary. The stands whose work caught my eye were Fredricks & Mae who make darts and arrows, the watermarked paper created by Norrbe, paper punk's folded animals, jhj design's of photographically woven socks, the lighting at tokiotokio and the acoustic wall covering by Anne Kyyro Quinn's.
Friday, 22 May 2015
later ...a day in London on route to Heathrow - first up ...Whitechapel Gallery - The Production Line of Happiness - an exhibition concerned with image making and the deconstruction of image presentation - quite marvellous whilst upstairs a piece by Jan Toomick moved me to tears - dancing with dad a video work, has the artist dancing manically to voodoo childe by Jimmy Hendrix on the grave of his father. Beautifully sad. http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/christopher-williams/
Theaster Gates at white cube is just stunning - extraordinary work, made from the everyday, sublime in its understanding and the art references come thick and fast, the most knowing show i've seen in a while - a joy. http://whitecube.com/exhibitions/theaster_gates_bermondsey_2015/
The Vinyl Factory at Brewer Street has supersymmetry by Ryoji Ikeda its a little impenetrable but a great spectacle. The first room has a number of receptacles that hold hundreds of small ball bearings, it is titled just enough to get them moving and the patterns they create you would not believe - random magic! The second room is a documentation of what has happened in the first room (i think). http://www.thevinylfactory.com/vinyl-factory-news/ryoji-ikeda-and-the-vinyl-factory-present-supersymmetry-at-brewer-street-car-park/
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
I’ve been playing another couple of beautiful games on the PS3 – the unfinished swan and Hohokum - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unfinished_Swan is quite stunning dynamically – the way you create and navigate the world you exist within by ‘painting’ the seemingly blank white space with paint, water, light and vines which you ‘grow’. The idea itself is just so beautifully clever and it also works well enabling great fluidity of engagement with the game. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohokum has majestic game play which is also incredibly intuitive – a feeling of knowing what to do. This combined with some funky aquatic biomorphic graphic shapes just makes you smile.
Meanwhile this is a link to the film made for the Parallel Practices project by the Crafts Council – my element of the project kicks in at 2.40 http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/parallel-practices
Monday, 11 May 2015
off to New York with Textiles students from NUA at the end of the week – planning the itinerary on the internet and playing with Google Earth makes it feel real....!!!!!......looking forward to some most excellent highlights including – The new Whitney down by the highline, Serra at David zwiner’s, Bjork and Yoko Ono at MOMA - and then there’s the American Folk Art Museum which I’ve never been to. Meanwhile working on the folding iterative films about folding within and about folding.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
looking at the idea of editioning some of the folded folding modular structures so focusing on methodology and materials to make some finished pieces – but also there is still the idea of making objects with a view to filming them eventually. Some more versions -
also a show coming up that will be good - http://thisisbecausetheinternet.tumblr.com/about I shall of been and returned from New York by then – the itinerary of which is getting very full with the New Witney to check out, the Serra at David Zwirner, of Modern Art has the triennial, Bjork and Yoko Ono at MOMA. I’ve never been to the American Folk Art Museum so looking forward to that.
Saturday, 2 May 2015
Aldeburgh Lookout http://www.aldeburghbeachlookout.com/ has the wonderful Altea Grau Vidal working in residence – see some of her work here http://alteagrau.com/ and http://alteagrau.blogspot.co.uk/ Altea is a MA Book Art Alumni who explores the space of text on and in the page, looking at our relationship to it and in the process creating exquisite work. The Private views at the lookout are on Saturdays at 11-4pm, drinks 12-2pm – I was looking forward to seeing how she worked with a seascape space that is part of my life and the work was even better than I imagined. The site specific nature of the installation meant that the inclusion of the towers surrounds became part of the piece. The duality of the book was much in evidence and layers upon layers explored through and within the moving image projecting onto the double page spread. Really quite sublime.
Friday afternoon was spent with Adam Collier www.BeautyandTheBear.co.uk filming the house for a RIBA award the house is up for. There are to be a series of short films presented as part of the awards evening. I was also interviewed for a film that RIBA Suffolk are making to encourage people to become clients of architects – why is design important to me? What did you learn from working with an architect? – killer questions but good.