Thursday, 29 December 2011

"Sweetie, darling"


Oh how i've missed having Patsy and Eddie on the tv. The 90s styled,  drug taking, constantantly drunk, money spending, head-in-the-clouds couple provided such good tv and in a strange way i kind of aspired to be like them because they just had so much fun.

Well, a couple of months ago I watched a programme about 90s comedy presented by Saunders, and she hinted about another episode of Ab Fab.

So finally they returned to our screens on Christmas day, Eddie head-to-toe in denim and Patsy pulling spliffs out of her chignon. How nice to have them back...



Watch now on iPlayer!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b018wybj/Absolutely_Fabulous_Identity/

The Future is Virtual

So as part of the Imagine series of BBC there was an episode called Books- The Last Chaper?



http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01871m9 (this is just a long to some info about the programme, i don't think it's online to watch anymore?)

Yes, the end is near for printed books. Book shops are already shutting down as people buy online mostly, and soon printers will no longer be needed as all of our books will be able to be bought online and read on a machine.

They predict that only in 10 years’ time, out of a group of 200 people reading, only 10 (I think that’s what they said- maybe 20) people will be reading printed books and everyone else will be reading e-books.

Although I can see the practicality of the e-book, I just cannot imagine a world without paper books; to hold in my hand, carry around with me and yes- smell. Which is something mentioned on the programme, until Alan Yentob cleverly suggests there will be an app for the smell of a book…

(Also, won’t lots of people lose their jobs if we stop printing books? Isn’t the government trying to increase growth in employment?)

What I dislike about e-books is that it just doesn’t feel real. If technology stopped working, and we only had e-books, we’d be left with no books (I realise this is unlikely but still). And I love magazines! But digital publishing is becoming more common. What about CD’s? Records? Will we only recognise music as a format on a computer in the future? Some twat on the programme talks about people who like printed books being the same kind of people who still like vinyl- “does anyone actually like the scratchy sound of a record anyway?” YES! YES THEY DO!

“Technology broadens our mind but shrinks our world.”

How many things can we compress into virtual nothingness until there is nothing left to actually touch, hold, smell?

Charlie Brookers’ Black Mirror covers very cleverly issues surrounding the development of technology and the internet. As if one day it will be too much and become self-destructive. 

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/4od#3264068 (episode 2)

In the second episode 15 Million Merits everything in the characters world is virtual, and the main guy (Posh Kennith from Skins who is so good!!!) is desperate for something real. Will we reach a stage where we yearn for something physical and real as everything around us is virtual? 

                                                         Virtual food in 15 Million Merits

Please not in my life time. Even if it means I am the crazy, old lady with a library of books and a dusty collection of CDs, I’m not letting this one go…

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

"NOWNESS"


"NOWNESS previews the latest in fashion, art, cinema, entertainment, culture, music, gastronomy, design, travel, and the world of luxury."


Through a friend, I was introduced to an artist called Christine Sun Kim
. On the website (nowness.com) is a video of her working and experimenting to produce her artwork. Film made by made by Todd Selby (see link below)...



As a deaf person, Sun Kim is concerned with sound and ownership of sound, exploring issues she has experienced throughout life. Here is a still from the video;





I am completely in awe of sign language and could watch her sign for hours! I really like the idea of making sound that you can't physically hear but that you can feel and therefore develop your own interpretation of sound.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

20:50

Bit of a late entry...

                              Over the summer I went to the Saatchi Gallery, and as usual rolled my eyes at most of the art except one, my new favourite piece of art...

Richard Wilson, 20:50 

Down in the depths of the Saatchi lies a big room full of oil and yes- it's art! But i love it! The first time i went to the gallery i didn't walk down to the bottom floor so actually missed this piece (a mistaken i often make in large galleries) but after hearing about its existence from friends i saw it for the first time a few months ago.

The piece made in 1987 and has been exhibited in every Saatchi gallery since 91', it is the only permanent piece in the gallery and has looked incredible in each different space. 
I'm not usually drawn to pieces like this; large, installation, not a huge amount of concept. However, there is something so simplistic and visually beautiful about it that contradicts the medium used (oil), i could stare at it for hours. 

Wilson is concerned with aesthetics, perception, form and this piece requires architectural concerns such as volume, illusionary spaces and auditory perception. The oil is recycled engine oil and the name of the piece of supposedly about the viscosity (resistance of fluid) of the oil. Quite a straight-forward, obvious name for a piece which, I like.
The piece poses beautiful aesthetics against hazardous materials which I feel is quite a relevant juxtaposition in art, often explored in a tacky way such as using litter to make sculptures (a common topic on Foundation- recycling bla bla bla).
The piece is viewed from a little balcony type-thing and it is hard to tell where the wall stops and the oil begins as it is so still, but if you blow very carefully you can see the ripples in the oil. Reflection is a beautiful thing to explore within art and Wilsons done it perfectly.



 I took a picture of my reflection in the oil- not sure who's waving...


Richard Wilson 20:50 is at the Saatchi- forever! (Well for a while anyway...)

The man on the train back from Brighton...


Me and Sophie met a man on a train coming back from Brighton and he told us four stories;

(As much as i could recollect and interpret...)
 
Prison With The Mirrors
There is a prison for criminals, where every wall has a mirror so you can always see who is behind you. Mirrors, reflections for protection. But the mirrors and constant reflections start to make the prisoners and workers insane, until eventually the prison with mirrors, meant for protection, becomes a prison of insanity. 

Don't Forget The Chocolate
A man travels over to England from Ireland during a war. He needs a place to stay, and knocks on a woman’s door asking for help. Before he says anything she presumes he needs a bed, somewhere to rest, and decides he can stay if he does some housework. She puts him up in the shed, and he helps around the house with different jobs. Slowly, they fall in love. As Christmas arrives, supplies are sparse due to rationing, but he gives her some chocolate. It isn't much, but the woman is overwhelmed with happiness by how special the present is considering the current times. 

The Saturday Robberies
There was a man who lived in a normal house with a dog, and worked at Sainsbury’s. (Not sure why he specified Sainsbury’s...) Every Saturday he would go out and rob rich people. He stole so much money, one day he realised he didn't need it. What did he need material things for? So he gave it all away to people who needed it. He stopped his Saturday robberies and continued his job like normal, which he found funny. No one knew it was him, no one knew what he did, or who he is.
(Note how the character is suspiciously like Robin Hood...) 


Until this next story he had told us that none of them were about his life. That he had written them and travelled around on trains telling them to people. But he did not want to get them published, he saw no reason why he should...

The Dodgy Fortune-teller
There was a fortune-teller who used tarot cards to tell peoples future. But many times he lied, and many times he upset people and did wrong. He felt guilty and went to Jesus; "help me Jesus" he said, dropping his cards to the floor. So Jesus told the fortune-teller to pick up his cards, and live life through him "I come first". From then on he continued to make up for his mistakes, making corrections and living life for Jesus.

It then became apparent to us, and the man revealed that all these stories were parts of his life and he had made mistakes, and turned to Jesus who had helped him, showing me his copy of the New Testament which he has in his coat pocket.

He described life as pictures, some of them funny, some strange or sad and some very beautiful. But he only showed us the pictures he wanted to, the stories weren't his whole life, only what's on the surface is what he chose to "show" us. 

Then as it was getting to his stop off the train, he said actually- life is a bit like a train. You wait for your stop to come, and when it does, someone says "excuse me, it's your turn to get off". Then he shook our hands and left.

Although it was kind of hard to understand him because i think he was drunk (holding a Special Brew can), he didn't invade our space or say anything offensive or even annoying really. He was articulate and interesting and even though I’m not sure that these stories aren't already existent it was an interesting encounter for a train journey...

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Confession. I have 'apps'.

A strong believer in human interaction instead of staring at a screen, real books instead of 'fake' books, and using your brain instead of a stupid machine whatever mechanical bla you wanna call it (phone or whatever...) having mentioned it in my first post; I have now got what my brother called a 'smart' phone with apps and facebook and internet and the possibility of a kindle........................

So my old Sony Ericson S500i with minimal extras broke (accident occured during a night of 'rolling' which Pat from We Can Be Heroes would be proud of) and i had to get a new one. Well for the same price i was paying before i could get an "android" phone so i thought why not. But i promised myself..."do not get too absorbed in the phone, there are other things in life."

And what have I done for the last day? Sit on my phone, downloading apps and going on facebook!! It's addictive!!

However!! Sitting in the car and instead of looking out the window i'm looking at my phone, sat with friends and instead of chatting i'm looking at my phone, its a spiralling circle into phone reliance and forgettance of real world. Maybe i'll 'accidentally' break it. Too far?
As long as i dont download the kindle I know i'm still in touch with material things...

ANTI- EXTINCTION OF BOOKS. lol.



Pat. Rolling.

Tracey, Tracey, Tracey...

Is it..?

Tracey Emin, "Love Is What I Want" Hayward Gallery.

Emin quite heavily influenced most of my 'work' throughout my foundation, and if I’d continued to study art there's a likelihood I’d have just become a less good version of her. So probably for the best I’m doing curation...

But that doesn't mean i forgot about her- purchasing her book One Thousand Drawings, recently reading Strangeland and attending an exhibition of hers and Louise Bourgeois at the Hausier and Wirth gallery called Do Not Abandon Me. All of which I LOVED, so I was really excited to hear about her upcoming exhibition at the Hayward.

My love for Emin is not something I talk about too loudly as I’m aware of how heavily criticised she is...A LOT. When looking at some of her monoprints online, one critic wrote: "I wish Emin would stop banging on about her abortion." Oh my, how rude...Clearly a male critic with no comprehension of what pregnancy or abortion feels like. I think she may 'bang on' about it as much as she desires...Anyway, I feel like one of her biggest criticisms is how self-indulgent her work is so I wasn't sure how 6 (or so) rooms of the stuff was going to go down with me or the critics.

But yes, mistakenly making friends with Vice Magazine on facebook, someone posted a huge article slagging off her new exhibition. I say 'slagging off' because it wasn't a review or anything constructive despite being written by someone who stated at the very beginning how knowledgeable they are in art having studied it loads bla bla bla. Then the papers weren’t kind either, and soon I began to think maybe I would agree with the critics this time. However, an article in Vogue made a really nice change as all of Emin’s acquaintances had something lovely to say about her as a person and her work, making me think “okay maybe I’m not insane for liking her…”

So the exhibition opened and I was going to attend it on the first day, then the next day, okay a week later. And after leaving it a couple of weeks I started weirdly savouring the trip as if the anticipation would make it better, and then one cloudy day, while very hungover, I went to see it with a couple of friends…

When walking in you are instantly immersed in her words and her troubles, woes and life experiences are forced before your eyes in a way that the messy bits are unavoidable. THIS IS MY LIFE!! She says. Never have I experienced an artist make themselves so vulnerable to the public and I admire her for this. We spent at least an hour in there, seeing pieces I have always loved, been sceptical of, and never realised how much I actually like. But seriously, I could talk about the exhibition for a horribly long time…So I won’t.

It’s how I’m left feeling after that confuses me. So much negativity around her as an artist, the exhibition, even Emin as a person but I still just…love it. I’m not sure what it is about her, maybe because she is a bit of a feminist or maybe because she’s so brutally honest about her actions and feelings that I’m left with a greater appreciation and admiration for Emin than before. Although she’s self indulgent, being so open about your problems and experiences makes others who can relate to it think, “yeah I get this, and I felt the same! So it’s okay…” Which is a positive thing I’d say?

Well anyway, perhaps it’s good that there are so many contrasting opinions about her and essentially, art is subjective, but there’s something for nearly everyone. And if you’ve managed to get to the end of this text you’ll realise that I can’t be objective about Emin, her work has given me too much.

Unlike others, I don’t get bored. I just want more.

 "Sometimes I Feel Beautiful" 2000


(And if you go, make sure you watch the videos, they're fucking brilliant!!)


Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want
Wednesday 18 May 2011 - Monday 29 August 2011 Hayward Gallery, London.
 

Friday, 27 May 2011

'To whom this may concern...'



READ ME 

Students, ‘artists’, anyone who likes to get creative:

We are a group of curation students from CSM hoping to present a body of artwork at 198 Gallery, Brixton.

Our stimulus for the project is “Master of Reality” so we are focusing on the idea that ‘you’ are your own master of your reality. The theme we will explore within the exhibition is ‘a sense of belonging, identity and how this constitutes to your reality’.

We are interested in students/artists of any position whether in education or not. We would like to exhibit any medium of art but particularly film/video and photography.

For further information or questions or ANYTHING contact (me) at:





This is the poster, flyer, informational thing i'll be putting up around but for now i'm posting on my lovely blog so the world wide web can read it. Contact me if you're interested!!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

When The Sky Fell Down




Some how i've only just heard that there is a documentory being made about Guy Bourdin fashion photagrapher who i've always loved! There has so far been a lot of hype about it including this video from YouTube but the release date hasn't even been revealed yet. 






I couldn't pick a favourite as his images are consistently incredible being a perfectionist, his use of colour pioneered aspects of colour [fashion] photography, playing with eroticism and using wit and humour in much of his work clearly influencing more recent fashion photographers such as Rankin. Cannot wait to see the documentory- one to watch...


Sunday, 3 April 2011

In The Mood For Love

Recently at film club (cool) we watched In The Mood For Love by director Wong Kawai.

For weeks after i couldn't think about anything else but the film and its soundtrack, quotations, visuals...The one song that kept going round in my head and that i've recently used as a way of getting to sleep is this: 






The film is in Cantonese with subtitles and although it requires concentration throughout there's something so beautiful about the language and watching a film in subtitles means at times you concentrate more on the visuals than the dialogue. Kawai uses specific cinimatography that creates emotive images sometimes slowing down the shots and focusing on something visually beautiful. I guess it classes as an arthouse film but the plot is still so poignant as it's about how closely people live in Hong Kong but how different their lives are, two people whom are more a lie than they initially realise fall slowly in love but their circumstances are complicated.


Definately worth watching it's just stunning, so different to any film i've seen before...















  

"Chow Mo-wan: In the old days, if someone had a secret they didn't want to share... you know what they did?
Ah Ping: Have no idea.
Chow Mo-wan: They went up a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it, and whispered the secret into the hole. Then they covered it with mud. And leave the secret there forever..."


Tube Life

Art On The Underground is an on-going project that wants to "Provide a world-class programme of contemporary art that enriches the Tube environment and our customers’ journey experience; and continues the long-standing tradition that excellent art and design is at the core of London Underground's identity and services."

So many times i went past this image on the bys on my way into Elephant at Southwark station;
This piece is called Linear by Dryden Goodwin and consists on 60 portraits of staff on the jubilee line. Each drawing is quite intricate and i find the piece itself such a great idea.

Once, i was on the district line sat opposite a woman who was completely absorbed in her sketch. As i was coming to my stop i stood up and looked at what she was sketching and realised it was the bloke who i'd been sat next to. At first it looked like scribbles and she was not at all embrassed that people were looking at her and as she carried on it turned into this perfect portrait of this man. I can't stop wondering why she was doing it. Was she actually an artist or just..practising?

Although there's many negative things about using the tubes (sweaty people, stuffy air, a very u nispiring view) there's one thing i love about it. As no one has signal on the tubes no one can use their phones. And there seems to be this unwritten rule not to speak too loudly or indulge too much in conversation on the tubes. For that small period of time that i'm on the train i can sit surrounded by people but without any contact or communication. People might listen to music or read their books/newspaper but everythings feels extremely calm and to be honest- it's really nice. Then followed by the chaos of changing tubes and leaving the station it seems like a strange juxtaposition but one that i'll continue to do occassionally while i live in London.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Watch ME: Culture Bollocks

Culture Bollocks
 

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-art-show/4od#2931383

Of everything I’ve thought about recently to do with art, fashion, the world we live in and of the few things I’ve mentioned so far on my blog; this programme basically covers it all! Editor of Dazed and Confused magazine ‘presents’ The A-Z of Now “a journey through the land of contemporary culture.” The programme if filmed and directed in a highly stylish way emphasising further the merge between art and, well…nearly everything. (Artists designing bus stops- cool.)

Count your ‘cool’ points; the mark scheme will have changed by tomorrow.

Note the ‘isms’ and latch onto the most popular one. Or the least popular one?

I can’t work out if this is a negative view on modern society/culture, however I definitely cannot comprehend why Madonna presented the Turner Prize…?!

“Instead of movements we’ve got markets. That means we’ve got nothing left to stand for. And if you stand for nothing, that means you’ll fall for anything.

Do we fall for anything? If so when? In the search for what’s popular…is this what constitutes as pretentiousness or oblivious…ness?

And why this constant nostalgia for the past? I know I feel it. Longing to have lived when my father was younger as he saw the world change. But did he see it change while it did or only in retrospect? Am I too busy looking back that I’m blind to what’s in front?

Lols at the Bingo and Knitting comment- two current crazes in my group of friends. So with the times.

I hope we move back. Even if that means we’re standing still.

Perhaps everything is not to be agreed with but it’s definitely worth a watch, thanks to Lucy for suggesting it to me.
 

Friday, 4 March 2011

"Art Can Be Anything"?

The quest for originality within fashion is more competetive then arguably...ever.

Coming from a small town in South Devon i can wear anything slightly kookie from Topshop and get looks in the street, and god forbid you wear lipstick in the day especially any colour other than red. However, now living in London (and studying at an art uni) the diverse fashion styles and hard to keep up with. Shopping on the high street is risky incase someone has the same clothes as you, vintage has in my opion become fraud as really any vintage that isn't from a charity shop, has been taken from a charity shop and been disgustingly over priced.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/nathan-barley/4od
Nathan Barley is a great example of how originality has gone too far and well, people just look like dickheads. Shoreditch dickheads? Lady Ga Ga is also a good example of how people are progressing into a fashion movement of 'Fashion can be anything'. Meat dress? Really? (Can't say i'm not a fan though...)

(Just incase you havn't seen it!)

Recently on my course we've learnt about subcultures and countercultures. How music can influence fashion and how political movements/social movements interlink with it all. So in this generation is it art that is influencing our fashion? Take a walk into the Tate Modern and it soon crosses your mind- "do these people think art can be anthything?" Duchamps Fountain 1917 was arguably the start of conceptual art and part of the genre 'Readymades' where inanimate objects were signed and put forward as art.

I've been wondering if the modern art attitude of 'art can be anything' and conceptual art being predominent in the industry, has influenced today's fashion and in the quest for originality people are turning 'anything' into fashion.

(See Nathan Barley for flip-flops as headwear...mental.)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Material World

As much as i am for technology, there are aspects of it that i reject.

iPads. Fundamentally they are larger iPhones which seems silly but what i really have an issue with is books on iPads (or anything else techno..logic?). WHY?!

I have always loved books, yep, and i know others do too. In my first house in Amsterdam we practically had a library, even now in my home we have a fire place but with bookshelves in it. I love the smell of a new (or old) book. Finding a book in an old book/charity shop that's signed and dated from the 40s! And carrying a book around with me for weeks as i read it on the bus, train, in coffee shops and its mine. Why anyone would want to effectively begin the extinction of books is beyond me and actually sort of frightens me. Hypothetically, imagine a world without books where everyone just reads on their electronic devices and downloads a book 'app' for the same price it costs to buy one in the shops.

Okay, okay, so are we saving trees by eventually publishing less books? Will it even make a difference?

Although i appreciate (and almost need) the internet- laptops, my phone, iPods etc etc i think there is a limit where we could potentially just start living through technology and closing our eyes to the 'real world'.

I like to think, actually, believe- that as humans we are too nostalgic to allow a world like this. It doesn't make us old fashioned or traditional, it's just accepting a balance.

I for one will never download a book...



Currently reading Tracey Emin "Strangeland"- so far disturbed, moved, enlightened and addicted to the way she writes.