I would heartily recommend ‘The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns’ exhibition at the Barbican. Particularly on Thursday evenings and over the weekend as thats when you have the opportunity to see The Merce Cunningham Dance Company perform.
Duchamp’s championing of ‘readymades’ everyday objects as art has had a deep effect on the culture we now live in. In music, for example, sampling (using previously composed beats and rhythms if not melodies) helped shape hip hop and modern pop tunes. In the 1920s many felt that this was the end of art, however it has freed up the artist. If done well it can be smart and fresh, changing our perception of something we had grown used to, giving it a new narrative and allow for new ideas about its meaning, while its common form is a reference for us to base these high flung thoughts from.
These ideas where taken on my the other artist in the exhibition. Cage presented sounds from the street as music, used everyday objects to compose and developed a Prepared Piano, which by inserting bolts and other objects between the piano strings changed how we view a piano and helped expand what we conceive as music. Today we wouldn’t even blink if we heard a police siren or a car engine in a song.
Maybe the critics were right, its a bit disturbing to think that the culture we live in was inspired by a urinal! There are a variety of different shows celebrating Duchamp at the Barbican till June, so go and check it out.
I recently came across the work of this director but more specifically his film Vampyros Lesbos. I warn you now, this film is a little sexy. But it has an absolutely killer soundtrack.If you’re into sound track stuff, especially stuff that makes you think of jazz, sleaze, psychedelia, 70′s funk grooves then check it out.
If you are interested in hearing it you should head over here………..
And the whole film with English subtitles below! If the subtitles aren’t in English you can change them with option just below the film.
Really worth checking out more of his stuff around late 60′s and 70′s. Later on he gets a little dirtier apparently and we don’t really talk about that sort of thing here! Also, some of his work stars Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski which is another great reason to check it out.
About 2 years ago a friend gave me the DVD box set of Jonathan Meades. In the chaos caused by moving house the collection was lost and only 2 weeks ago found. A sad tale but happily this means that our recent bus trips around Europe have been that little bit more entertaining.
Meades has a background as a food critic for the Times during which time he reportedly got rather chunky round the edges. But he’s also reasonably well know for his documentaries which include the series Abroad in Britain and the sequels Further Abroad with Jonathan Meades, Even Further Abroad With Jonathan Meades, Abroad Again in Britain and Abroad Again.
His documentaries mainly focus upon the subject of architecture but they offer so much more than any other documentary on any subject. His bizarre narration, fondness for bizarre camera angles and eccentric appearances on camera ensure these are very watchable and entertaining shows. Plus, these shows are not just about architecture alone. Meades never shys aways from commentating on modern social progress and development and often questions what society accepts as uniform beauty. He celebrates the strange and the forgotten and in doing so pulls some very strange people out of the woodwork. He is a fountain of knowledge and a true stalwart supporter of all things weird and wonderful.
A friend recently introduced me to the Seduce Me and Green Porno series which were directed, written by and star Isabella Rossellini. These little clips are beautifully strange, incredibly funny and scientifically correct. Stereolab’s One Note Samba featuring the legendary Herbie Mann on Flute works very nicely as accompanied listening…
In SEDUCE ME the five two-minute portraits explore the unconventional seduction rituals of creatures ranging from bugs to cuttle fish. Seduce Me offers an entertaining yet informative look into the bizarre seduction rituals that often precede the mating process.
GREEN PORNO covers both land and sea! The series features Rossellini as she acts out the reproductive habits of marine animals and insects, both scientifically accurate yet extremely entertaining.
So as some of you may know we’ve recently returned from America, while I was there I took lots of pictures on my very basic ‘point and press’ camera. Unfortunately all the shots from New York have been lost apart from these 3 below, above is the explanation from Boots regarding the other shots.
They’re pretty distorted, however I think there’s something quite nice about them.
The thing is, was it merely my camera or is this how New York actually looks, is this an accurate representation of the city, is this how it will stay in my mind’s eye? Probably just my camera.
This is the original kinetic sculpture, Its long but I think its worth it, made in 87′ it is the influence for OKGO’s vid and the honda advert. I came across this whilst writing my dissertation on collaborative art.
It explores state change and repetition, there are a few edits but nobody is perfect. I like the way you can see the energy being passed on and morphing from a liquid to a gas to a solid and even fire. It serves as a reminder of the ever changing world, the monotony of life and that really, when it comes down to it, everything is the same we are all part of a big wheel, blah blah blah.
Anyway its pretty much the best game of dominos ever!
I stumbled across this video on Bradford Cox’s excellent blog, and like him became ever so slightly enthralled by it.
>Been flicking through ‘The Artist’s Body’ by Tracey Warr, which collects several images and short essays on how Artists have used their bodies. Lots of intriguing subjects tackled and far too many disturbing images to show here, including the infamous self portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe and Marina Abramovic’s ‘Rhythm 0′ where she stood by a table and offered herself passively to spectators with the simple instruction: ‘There are seventy-two objects on the table that can be used on me as desired. I am the object.’ The objects included a bullet and a gun. Anyhow lots of cool stuff which will make you question your perception of the body and art but also far too much mutilation!
Below is ‘Plank Piece I & II’ by Charles Ray. Making sculpture an activity rather than an object. I sometimes feel a bit like this piece!
What’s this about? Freedom, Anarchy, Women’s position in the world, life under a dictatorship… god knows but it’s a visual delight and a lot of fun!