Immediately following an appearance at Tate Modern – in conversation with Dawn Ades, Professor of Art History and Theory at Essex University, noted for her publications on Dada, Surrealism and photography – the Mexico-based artist Melanie Smith made a first visit to West Dean in late June. During an evening presentation and discussion, Melanie screened Xilitla: Dismantled 1 (2010), an alternate version of the film recently purchased and displayed by Tate.
Cloud Gate Taiwan http://wp.me/p1mhB2-6N
Shadow Dancing: http://wp.me/p1mhB2-d
Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauchenberg collaborations http://wp.me/p1mhB2-i
Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Hertzog) http://wp.me/p1mhB2-o
Square Dance (Bruce Nauman) http://wp.me/p1mhB2-t
Drip Dancing (Jackson Pollock) http://wp.me/p1mhB2-C
Electronic Arts Intermix : Dance, Albert Fine http://wp.me/p1mhB2-C
Lois Foller Serpentine Danse 1896 http://wp.me/p1mhB2-H
Anselm Kiefer Opera Bastille Paris Au commencement http://wp.me/p1mhB2-N
Picasso Dancing, Nevin Dancing, Bathing Beauties! http://wp.me/p1mhB2-1n
If you haven't already subscribed to this Abroad Blog of the Week, you'll want to. I came across Lottie Nevin when I first started blogging about six months ago. I was hooked by Lottie's blunt honesty but humorous take on the difficulties of being a Brit new to Jakarta. She is also a fabulous story-teller and frequently weaves previous life experiences into her present day predicaments.
“Is Ai Wei Wei a political artist or an artful politician?” wondered Peter Schjeldahl in the pages of The New Yorker – he released an extremely silly video of himself mugging and dancing to the Korean pop juggernaut “Gangnam Style.” It’s not exactly the comportment one expects of the world’s foremost political artist and dissident.
I was reminded today of a time past, a Facebook post of a photograph taken in 1969 of The Beatles, it started me thinking about that era of English culture. I had always wanted to be an artist, well not sure I knew exactly what an artist was at 4 or 5 but certainly had decided that apart from being centre foward for England as a day job, my full time job would be to make pictures all my life.
We lived on the side of a mountain, my parents were early hippies, although the term had not yet been defined. My father worked in the forest and we kept a menagerie of animals and grew our own food (which included said animals). I used to sit at the edge of the forest and day dream for hours, captivated by the red and white mushrooms that grew around (then I had little idea of their true potential). Fast forward a few years and I am living in the market town of Stafford, boring and mundane a place as one could ever live. I was always thirsty for learning but never quite found what to do with it.
It was Sgt Peppers that changed all that, suddenly I realised there was a word, a pursuit that transcended everything, changed everything, made everything make sense. The word was “creativity’, to be creative, to create, a symbiosis of rational thought and the imagination, making ideas real. Creativity was transforming everyone, it was shared. Creativity became something that everyone was part of, and that was ‘Sgt Peppers’. Here was a vehicle of cultural change that everyone was talking about, so different but people got it, not the reactionary denial so often following change but an embracing, at least with my peers. So for the benefit of Mr Kite I want to share some Peppers.
Lottie wheres Wally?
I remember being on a coach to Plymouth for some school outing, a charabanc to exotic places! It was must have been an upmarket coach because it had a radio and during the journey ‘Penny Lane’ and then Strawberry Fields’ were played. You have no idea (as Lottie would say) how profound and world changing that moment was. If one can say a moment changed your life I can truly say this did. I could imagine these places as if they were mine and yet all the kids on the bus were also part of this imagined world. The discussion last the whole journey, never had I seen this company so energised by something creative, they usually wanted to pull legs off things.
There was a guy across the street from me used to carry a copy of ‘Peppers’ wherever he went, this became something of a fad at our school and showed you were where it was at man. My neighbour Steve Clewlow became a close friend over the following year and we used to sit and discuss this album for hours. It opened up doors of perception that never closed, art, music, philosophy you name it it was all encapsulated in that glossy cover by Peter Blake (I went on to be taught by him at the Royal College of Art), the hidden messages in the vinyl, the Eastern thoughts of George, the political and society challenging John, we thought Paul a hanger on and Ringo there for god knows what reason. Paul of course was a driving force but hey we were radicals, fanatics for this cultural shift. If you want to hear the creative process in action watch these video clips from the 1992 South Bank show on You Tube.
Pete Nevin 1969
Chris Marker: Geezer
29/7/12: Chris Marker, an influential French film-maker, writer and intellectual, has died at the age of 91.
I can’t say enough about how this guy influenced my thinking. ‘La Jettee’ (take yer 12 Monkeys and well you know) was a turning point for me when I started to think about moving image and how still image a moving collage could be as expressive as a piece of normal footage. Then that bit where there is a wink, wow what genius.
I started using After Effects for a big project and the whole time I kept referring Marker to the team, don’t think about the surface get into the deeper content by whatever means don’t follow the rule book, invent.
AK was another great piece of work about one of the greats of cinema as was his loving piece on Tarkovsky. When I went to Tallinn for the first time to work I couldn’t ignore the presence of ‘Stalker’ and a Marker film again influenced the Museum Project I did at the Saltstorage not more than a spit away from Tarkovsky’s location.
Thanks Chris you inspired me, hope the interview with Peter at the gates goes well!