New Post: Something you should see… Man Ray Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
Something you should see… Man Ray Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery
The great, the good and the beautiful are all on display at the National Portrait Gallery as part of a major exhibition on the photographer Man Ray. Best known for his avant-garde images, the American artist also took portraits throughout his career and it’s these photographs that are the subject of the show. The images, which were taken between 1916 and 1968 journey through Ray’s early days in New York, his spell in Paris during the twenties and thirties, the decade spent in Hollywood and his late years in Paris until his death.
Artists and writers captured by the photographer include Picasso, Salvador Dali, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Marcel Duchamp. Also featured in the exhibition are fashion icon Coco Chanel and film siren Catherine Deneuve. With more than 150 vintage prints on view, these photographs really are a list of who’s who. However, there is more to this exhibition than just famous faces. Alongside these pictures of Man Ray’s contemporaries and cultural figures are the more personal portraits of friends and lovers. Included in the exhibition is one of his most famous images of lover Kiki de Montparnasse. In Le Violon d’Ingres (1924), the French cabaret performer and actress sits with her naked decorated back to the camera. The US model-turned photographer Lee Miller also makes an appearance in several prints. Miller was not only in a relationship with him, she also collaborated with him professionally.
For an artist for whom photography was never his principal artistic medium, Man Ray certainly made innovate strides with this form. He was instrumental in developing a type of photogram or what he called ‘Rayographs’ which were made by putting the image directly onto the photographic paper and is also credited along with muse Miller for inventing the process of solarisation. The use of solarisation can be seen in the portraits of Miller and of the French singer and actress Suzy Solidor. Rare examples of Man Ray’s early experiments with colour photography are also on show,
There are probably very few people who haven’t heard of the name Man Ray or seen any of his images, but as a comprehensive survey of his photographic career this exhibition is definitely worth a visit. (Words: Eri Otite)
Man Ray Portraits is on at the National Portrait Gallery until May 27th. For more info, visit www.npg.org.uk
11:00 am • 19 February 2013
New Post: What we’ve been up to… Elk in the Woods
What we’ve been up to… Elk in the Woods
London is awesome for its nightlife but sometimes a long, lazy Sunday lunch with friends is the best thing in the world which was how I was introduced to the Elk in the Woods.
Angel already boasts so many great restaurants, but I was excited at the prospect of somewhere new and delicious – and Elk offers both a quirky menu with the Scandinavian-style decor to match. When we sat down to see we had the table facing out onto the street, providing the perfect people watching view as we munched.
My friends and I split three of the small plates between us - crispy pheasant with spring onion, parsnip and pancakes with homemade plum sauce, halloumi with homemade preserved lemons and salt and pepper calamari. It was my first time trying pheasant so I was pleasantly surprised by the rich taste and the different take serving it in Chinese style. The calamari was good with a nice freshness to it and the halloumi, hard to go wrong with my favourite cheese, was simple but delicious.
My main course of char-grilled lamb cutlets with seasalt savoy cabbage mash, crispy kale and a rosemary and wild berry gravy was wonderful hearty food. This is definitely a place for meat eaters with few vegetarian options on the menu but with the meat they cook it well. Just remember to save room for dessert – luckily I was joined by a friend as indecisive as me so we ordered the chocolate fondant with mint ice-cream and the popcorn ice cream sandwich with salted caramel to split between us.
But food aside, the service was a bit slow – so I’m grateful we got a table with a view as it gave us something to do. Granted, it was busy and the weekend but three hours in there was too long. Still, the sheer delicious joy of the puddings could warrant a return. (Words: Lucy Palmer)
For more info about Elk In The Woods visit: www.the-elk-in-the-woods.co.uk
11:00 am • 18 February 2013
New Post: Something You Should See….Susan Hiller: Channels at Matt’s Gallery
Something You Should See….Susan Hiller: Channels at Matt’s Gallery
“I was vacuumed upwards at a great velocity…I couldn’t feel my weight at all…I could see the horizon clearly as if some curtain were lifted…We don’t have the vocabulary to describe what I felt.”
Curious? Who wouldn’t be? At East London’s Matt’s Gallery this month, these otherworldly accounts are the material for Channels, a new audio-sculptural installation by Susan Hiller. From a large wall of flickering television sets-on-standby, various disembodied voices describe – or try to describe –their encounters with the Other, in their accounts of Near Death Experiences (NDEs).
In between these short narratives, there are relatively long periods of quiet in the concrete space, with only the familiar crackling hiss of white noise coming from each of the television sets. Visitors sit and watch the blank screens expectedly, as if waiting for a technical fault to be resolved. When a single voice does speak out, it punctures the toneless white noise with bright clarity. But it is joined by other voices, which, rising together, begin to babble over one another. We find ourselves struggling to hear, grasping after the individual voices and wanting to understand the significance of what it is exactly that they are describing.
There is no harmonious scientific explanation for NDEs. Although the speakers featured in Hiller’s work come from locations across the globe, they are united in their faltering attempts to express the definitively ineffable. The imagery they use contains certain recurring motifs: bright lights getting brighter, a sudden warmth, a sense of floating, a draining away of any feelings of pain or fear. This repetition is not entirely unexpected, as this kind of imagery has seeped sideways into our cultural language, in spite of the mixed reception of NDEs. Hiller is interested in the marginal, things we consider trivial or don’t take seriously, and she is fascinated by unexplained phenomena.
This is a piece as much about everyday earthly life as it is about anything in the ether. Hiller’s piece doesn’t offer any judgement as to the level of ‘truth’ behind the NDEs but simply presents us with them as an aspect of human experience. They are for Hiller cultural artefacts, or ‘social facts’. Are they visions of truth, bewildering misperceptions or straight out delusional? It doesn’t matter. Channels is a portrait of a rare phenomenon which depends upon personal testimony and eschews empirical investigation. Indulge your imagination and open your mind. (Words: Florence Ritter)
11:00 am • 15 February 2013
New Post: Something you should seee… Robert Lepage’s Playing Cards 1: Spades
Something you should seee… Robert Lepage’s Playing Cards 1: Spades
Robert Lepage has been an international name in the arts since the 1980s. Primarily he is a theatre director, but having also gained critical acclaim through cinema, opera and live production for rock shows and exhibitions, Lepage is also one of the most prolific creatives going today. He started his theatre studies in Quebec at the age of 17 and has gone on to be a driving force in theatre, run his own multidiscipline production company Ex Machina (that brought the traditional performing arts into the digital age) and win countless awards. So tickets for his new production at the Roundhouse could be hot property then?
Playing Cards is a 12 hour marathon production, but luckily it’s broken down into each card suit, making it into easier to swallow 3 hour pieces. Spades, the first instalment, is designed for a very particular kind of theatre, the 360-degree stage. And where else could it tour to other than Camden’s amazing space?
Running for less than a month, the play is already gaining an incredible amount of attention. It began its international tour in Madrid May 2012 and has gained momentum since. Spades begins its story in Las Vegas at the beginning of the Iraq – and weaves a web of sex, corruption and violence. Lepage is bringing his usual blend of “theatre wizardry” – but with no Paul Daniels in sight. Peter Gabriel once described Lepage as a theatre director for people who don’t like theatre – someone who converts the none-believers? We’re already sold on this one Peter. (words: Laura Thornley)
Playing Cards 1: Spades runs until March 2nd. For more info visit: www.roundhouse.org.uk/cards
11:00 am • 14 February 2013
New Post: Somewhere you should go… Pop –Up Screening at the Paradise: Back to the Future
Somewhere you should go… Pop –Up Screening at the Paradise: Back to the Future
February is traditionally a very busy month for cinema goers. With the awards season reaching its climax on both sides of the Atlantic, the nominated films usually dominate the list of choices for a night out at the movies. So during such a period the upcoming pop–up screening of the classic 80s sci-fi adventure Back to the Future may seem like the last of your priorities – but there are a couple of reasons why we believe it deserves your attention.
To begin with, Back to the Future could make a great double-bill with Oscar-nominated Flight, since both are directed by the award-winning director Robert Zemeckis. Furthermore, Flight marks the return of the visionary director to live-action films after eight years of experimentation with 3D motion capture techniques in films such as The Polar Express and Beowulf. So what a better way to celebrate this occasion than by watching his first truly great film?
Secondly, this pop-up screening will take place at the restaurant Paradise at Kensal Green where you can watch the film while enjoying some delicious food. Isn’t this a more appealing option than say eating a popcorn box while watching the realistic scenes of torture in Zero Dark Thirty?
But seriously, the fact that the term ‘classic’ is justifiably applied to Back to the Future should be enough of a reason to go re-watch the film. Taking the premise of time-travelling to thrilling, entertaining as well as intriguing places and offering us two characters that have secured their place in the pop pantheon (Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Dr Emmett Brown) it is one of those films that you will always get back to and lingers in your memory much longer than each year’s Oscar favourite. (Words: Apostolos Kostoulas)
The pop-up screening of Back to the Future will take place on Sunday 17 February at 2:30 pm as part of the Paradise by way of the Silver Screen series co- produced by Paradise and Lexi Cinema. For more information go to: www.thelexicinema.co.uk
11:00 am • 13 February 2013
New Post: Somewhere You Should Go: Teen Dreams Prom at The Book Club
Somewhere You Should Go: Teen Dreams Prom at The Book Club
I’m one of those people that retailers love – give me a holiday or event and I will buy decorations, bunting, cards and decorate cakes accordingly, but Valentine’s Day I have never got into. As someone who celebrated National Hugging Day and Christmas Jumper Day, even for me it never quite worked. But whether I like it or not February 14th is fast approaching – so here’s you chance to embrace the soppiness of it all by heading to The Book Club for their very first Teen Dreams Prom.
Having been to previous Book Club events, it’s their attention to details that makes their nights so amazing – so here, you can come dressed up as your favourite teen movie stereotype to spend ‘seven minutes in heaven’, tell your ‘one time at band camp’ stories to win prizes and play beer pong in true American film fashion. There is even the chance to vote for Prom King and Queen (maybe it will be you?) So get your tiara on and indulge in the Mac N Cheese and Chicken Wings and grab one of their specially created cocktails. For all you singletons out there, the My Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard (a strawberry variety with creme de framboise, vodka and whipped cream) sounds like it might just do the trick! (Words: Lucy Palmer)
Teen Dream Prom takes place on February 14th. For more info, visit: www.facebook.com/events/314012568718689/
11:00 am • 12 February 2013
New Post: Something you should see… BBKP: D Eye Y at Pump House Gallery
Something you should see… BBKP: D Eye Y at Pump House Gallery
It’s an oft-quoted statistic that more photographs were taken in the twelve months of the year 2011 than in the entire history of photography put together. Inevitably our delight and amazement at being able to by capture, fix and keep an image on paper has diminished since the invention of the photograph. Four-man artist collaborative BBKP create work that resurrects those feelings. D Eye Y, their new exhibition at Pump House Gallery, showcases some of their off-the-wall approaches to image making.
BBKP comprises four artist-inventors: Nathan Birchenough, whose previous projects have included making a cardboard Viking boat (which he rode triumphantly down a canal for a full five minutes), Nicholas Brown, a natural-born carpenter of scrap and found materials, Craig Koa, who looks to process and learning and Savvas Papasavva, the techno-whizz of the group who is interested in the mechanics of film-making. Together with brilliantly boyish excitement they spend their days spraying, sticking, stapling and sawing any materials they find, converting them into bespoke cameras which record the world in new and different ways.
The projects on show at D Eye Y were developed with input from members of the local public, who were invited to partake in a series of workshops held in Battersea Park, commissioned by the Pump House Gallery. Participants were taught how to make cameras out of objects as unexpected as peanut shells, and how to take fantastically warped portraits of their surroundings with their own bespoke SlitScan cameras – which they themselves made from scratch. Holding an image of the world in your hands, with the knowledge that you have Done It Yourself without any digital input, suddenly seems impossibly far-fetched and incredible.
BBKP’s projects are about innovation, problem-solving and the practical exploration of materials. Their inventive approach to their apparatus creates a new kind of camera vision and lends a real physicality to the photographic print which comes to be valued as an object in itself, not just one of hundreds of images. Take your time over this show –there’s a lot to see. (Words: Florence Ritter)
D Eye Y is on at the Pump House Gallery until April 7th. For more info, visit: www.pumphousegallery.org.uk
11:00 am • 11 February 2013
New Post: Something you should see… Carl Andre: Mass & Matter at the Turner Contemporary
Something you should see… Carl Andre: Mass & Matter at the Turner Contemporary
Before Tracey and her unmade bed, there was Carl and his pile of bricks. The artist behind the notorious 1970s sculpture of ordinary bricks stacked on a gallery floor, otherwise known as Equivalent VIII, is the subject of a new exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Kent. Mass and Matter is Carl Andre’s first major show in Britain for over 10 years and features sculptures made between 1967 and 1983, as well as poems from the same period.
A leading member of the 1960s Minimalist movement, Carl is famous for his sculptures of raw building materials arranged in linear or geometric patterns directly on the floor. Several examples of Andre’s floor sculptures are on show, including Weathering Piece (1970) – a giant chessboard formed from weather-beaten and oxidized metal plates. Many of the floor pieces were also conceived by Andre to be experienced by the spectator, as well as looked at – so, visitors to the Turner can walk across the metal sheets that make up 4 x 25 Altstadt Rectangle (1967). Andre has experimented with brick configurations throughout his career and a number of these works are on view. The piece 60 x 1 Range Work (1983) which has been described, as resembling ‘an enormous Toblerone’, is one of his more recent. Alas, the ‘controversial’ Equivalent VIII is not being exhibited which is a shame, as it would’ve been nice to see what all that fuss was about!
The re-ordered individual words and phrases that characterise the poetry at the show reference Andre’s approach to constructing his sculptural forms. Words in Andre’s poems (just like a wood block or a brick) are used as solitary units to be repeated, stacked or boxed. For the generation of artists who followed, Carl Andre redefined the nature of sculpture – it could consist of ordinary materials, didn’t have to be carved and could be set straight on the floor. Even though, he’s mostly known in Britain for the stir he caused back in the seventies, there is more to Carl Andre and his pile of bricks – and it’s worth leaving the capital to see. (Words: Eri Otite)
Carl Andre: Mass & Matter is on at the Turner Contemporary until May 6th. For more info, visit www.turnercontemporary.org
11:13 am • 8 February 2013
New Post: Something you should see… Marfa Girl at The Book Club
Something you should see… Marfa Girl at The Book Club
Remember Kids – the film that launched Chloe Sevigny, and gave a warts n’ all account of tainted morality in teens? Ready for some more? Now’s your chance! The director Larry Clark is back with another offering, Marfa Girl – a film where themes of teenage sexuality, confusion and desire are writ large in this tense collision of artistic urges and small town America. And being Clark, that most independent of independent filmmakers, he has his own way of doing things. For starters, there will be no cinematic release and the film is only available on his website. But happily The Book Club is putting on not one but TWO FREE viewings of his meisterwerk. “I wanted to make a movie for the internet,” he told Filmmaker Magazine last year. “These days everyone’s on it – emails, social networks and all that. Kids are constantly connected to it. People make a video and it gets a million hits, so f**k it, let’s do it.”
Well quite, dear boy, on you go. And exhibiting his own brand of disaffected youth, Clark slated all producers as crooks in that interview, stating “I never got paid for my movies.” Even so, you might wonder why this man in his 60s is so interested in teens getting busy? Well, what is clear is that his young actors trust him. Drake Burnette, an art school graduate, has turned actor on account of Clark’s interest in her to be the Marfa Girl in question. “I think his work is so brave and beautiful”, she tells Dazed & Confused. “He’s been able to capture so many subgenres of American youth culture”. Marfa Girl promises to add that pantheon. (Words: Ed Spencer)
Marfa Girl is screened on Tuesday 12th February, 6.30pm – 9pm, 9.30pm – 12am. To be added to the free guestlist send your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info visit: www.facebook.com/events/403426089744522
11:00 am • 7 February 2013 • 3 notes
New Post: Something you should see… David Breuer-Weil: Project 4
Something you should see… David Breuer-Weil: Project 4
Whether you know David Breuer-Weil for his monumental paintings, or for his equally oversized sculptural work that ‘emerges’ from the lawns of Hanover Square, he’s an artist who is beginning to receive significant attention. The fourth instalment of his ‘project’ series goes on view at The Vaults under Waterloo Station from February 7th and if the other three projects are anything to go by, it’s going to be epic.
Made up of around 70 paintings plus a few sculptures, Breuer-Weil falls firmly in the ‘prolific’ category. His previous ‘projects were similarly packed to the rafters. The first project in 2001 was in the crypt of the Roundhouse. The second came shortly after in 2003, taking place in the Bargehouse on the South Bankand, and in 2007, Project 3 was held in a disused multi-storey car park in central London. As the projects have progressed so have their themes and styles. The use of unorthodox spaces fits well with his style and the enormity of each individual canvas. A sense of place, cause and a hint of spirituality have permeated his work since the mid-1990s. Explosions of colour and repetition feature heavily while hints of realism mix with his iconic dreamscapes to weave a complex political history – one he often draws on his own personal Jewish background for. It may not surprise the viewer to hear that Breuer-Weil spent of his working years tucked away in the Impressionist and Modern Art section of Sothebys.
Project 4 is to be housed in the atmospheric vaults of Leake Street and will serve to add to the theatre and eerie feel of the show. The venue is a perfect backdrop in which to explore our very human preoccupations with territory, belonging and politics. So as an eccentric and cinematic exhibition, it will be sure to impress. (Words: Laura Thornley)
Project 4 is showing from 7th February – 1st March. For more info visit: http://www.davidbreuerweil.com/project4/about.html
11:00 am • 6 February 2013