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NOT THE OTHER

Tag: london

One and Only

But is it Art?

One & Other was a public art project by Antony Gormley, in which 2,400 members of the public occupied the usually vacant fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, for an hour each for 100 days. The project began at 9 am on Monday 6 July 2009, and ran until 14 October. The first person to officially occupy the plinth was Rachel Wardell from Lincolnshire. A documentary art book by Gormley, entitled One and Other, was published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on 14 October 2010. The Wellcome Trust has posted online at its website its series of oral-history interviews of the 2400 plinthers.

Passing by

The project was opened by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Minutes before the official launch Stuart Holmes, an anti-smoking protester, managed to clamber onto the plinth and displayed a banner calling for a ban on tobacco. Gormley urged him to do the “gentlemanly thing” and give up his place to the first official “plinther”, Rachel Wardell. He did so and descended in the cherry picker used to carry participants to and from the plinth.

Change of the guard

Members of the public could apply for an hour on the plinth via the project’s website. Gormley himself applied but didn’t get a place. Reviewing the event afterwards, the Guardian’s top ten “plinthers” were:

Name Performance
Gerald Chong Demolished a cardboard replica of the London skyline, dressed as Godzilla.
Amanda Hall Constructed a full-size Gormley-style human figure from bread products.
Ollie Campbell Pitched a tent, from which a live chicken and two blow-up dolls emerged.
Steve Cousins (The Balloonatic) Performed in a red catsuit with a large, red balloon.
Sam Martin Dressed as a football referee, Martin challenged members of the public and announced half-time.
Jonathan May-Bowles (Jonnie Marbles) Invited members of the public to text their secrets to him, which were then read aloud.
Neil Studd Dressed as a living statue of Lord Nelson, in an echo of Nelson’s Column.
Liz Crow Sat in a wheelchair wearing a Nazi military uniform, as a political statement on the rights of disabled people.
Susanna Meese-Simpson Posed naked as if for a life study.
Paul Speller Performed a succession of scientific experiments submitted by the public, including an experiment with a tin can telephone.

Plinth Concept

On 14 July at 8.00 pm, poet R. N. Taber read a selection of his poems, while photographer Alex Boyd collaborated with Scottish Makar (Poet Laureate) Edwin Morgan for his time on the plinth. On 12 August at 1 am, a naked plinther was asked to cover up by the police.

Monique-Speksnyderon-on-t-002

Streamed live online by SkyArts, the exhibit quickly developed a cadre of regular Twitter followers who provided a running commentary of events on the plinth.

Balloon Man

 

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Kunstakademie Dusseldorf

KF

The Kunstakademie Düsseldorf is the Arts Academy of the city of Düsseldorf. Notable artists who attended the academy include Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Thomas Demand and Andreas Gursky. In the stairway of its main entrance, are engraved the Words: “Für unsere Studenten nur das Beste” (“For our Students only the Best”).

'Betty' by Gerhard Richter.

The school was founded by Lambert Krahe in 1762 as a school of drawing. In 1773, it became the “Kurfürstlich-Pfälzische Academie der Maler, Bildhauer- und Baukunst” (Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the Electorate of the Palatinate).

JBThomas DemandT. S.

It has been amongst Europe’s foremost art schools for more than two centuries.

Trinity College Dublin, Candida Hofer

The German photographic movement commonly known as the Düsseldorf School of Photography, began in the mid 1970s at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under the instruction of the influential photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, known for their comparative grids of mundane industrial buildings captured with an objective and clinical eye.

Bernd and Hilla Becher

This school has not only birthed some of today’s most important and successful photographers, but has also had a fundamental and lasting influence on the history of the medium.

da16

Atta Kim

In Buddhism, all objects, or in other words, color and matter are another word for space and space is another word for color. All objects can become one according to the concept of “all matter is emptiness” and the process of breaking down is called “emptiness is form.” In particular, Hua-yen Buddhism’s teachings of “one is all, all is one” is a physical analysis of how points build to space and space breaks down to a point. Buddhism’s “all matter is emptiness” does not mean a lack. I will use my work as an example.

New York

New York (2008) Indala Series  A photographic portrait of New York using 10,000 images.

My ON-AIR Project’s Indala Series (Indala is another word for Indra’s net, which refers to the concept of the interconnectedness of all things in the universe. New York, Washington, Moscow, Tokyo, Paris, London, Venice, Berlin, Athens, Seoul, Delhi, and others, comprise the 14 cities that are a part of this project). For the project, I took 10,000 photographs of New York and superimposed them to create one final picture.

The completed picture appears to be nothing but a blurry, gray image, but there are physically 10,000 photographs within it. Those 10,000 photographs of New York streets, buildings, people, and events were vividly captured over the course of several years, lovingly, with proper photographic technique. I’m not Buddhist and I didn’t do this project with the intention of explaining the concept of “all is emptiness,” but this is similar to that concept of emptiness. If one penetrates into the gray image (as in Heidegger’s concept of entwurf, or the mental process of absorption in something), one is able to meet again the countless events and identities melted into the 10,000 cuts. This process of disassembly is “emptiness is everything.” If one physically dismantles an analog picture, one is left with the particles that make up analog film; in a digital process, only the pixels are left. In the final gray image of the Indala project, those 10,000 photographs have become one and each has lost its function but their identity is not gone. Just like how my DNA contains all of humanity’s genes, identity does not disappear. This is similar to how the point’s identity is inherent in space. Ironically though, the final gray picture of one city composed of 10,000 different superimposed photographs is digitized and has no mass or volume; it only has form when it comes out.

Atta Kim

Levi Van Veluw

Levi Van Veluw

Guinness Ad

Hamlet

Hamlet

“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar?”

(Hamlet, V.i)

Godley & Creme – ‘Cry’

Sherlock

Benedict as Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A London-based “consulting detective” whose abilities border on the fantastic, Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve difficult cases.

Robert as Sherlock

Holmes, who first appeared in publication in 1887, was featured in four novels and 56 short stories. The first novel, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887 and the second, The Sign of the Four, in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with A Scandal in Bohemia in 1891; further series of short stories and two novels published in serial form appeared between then and 1927. The stories cover a period from around 1880 up to 1914.

Jeremy as Sherlock

All but four stories are narrated by Holmes’s friend and biographer, Dr. John H. Watson; two are narrated by Holmes himself (“The Blanched Soldier” and “The Lion’s Mane”) and two others are written in the third person (“The Mazarin Stone” and “His Last Bow”). In two stories (“The Musgrave Ritual” and “The Gloria Scott“), Holmes tells Watson the main story from his memories, while Watson becomes the narrator of the frame story. The first and fourth novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Valley of Fear, each include a long interval of omniscient narration recounting events unknown to either Holmes or Watson.

Basil as Sherlock

J&H

SkyFall

 

Hardacre

 

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

ZAG

 

The Kray Twins

 

WEST

West is about courage: the courage to live according to your spirit and not the guidelines laid down for you by others, to be true to yourself, which may involve alienating others, but your truth is worth pursuing since it defines who you are. It shapes, forges and hones you into something that is not vague but clear-cut and definite. Mike’s truth is to live for simple principles and to put his courage where his mouth is. He defeats the Hoxton monster and will continue to fight monsters so that others can rest safe in their beds. While the play is an allegory about demons we must defeat, it is also about an area of time and space called London and, specifically, Stamford Hill or Hackney, N16. You wore tailored suits and strutted your gear at the Lyceum, Strand, on Sunday nights. Movements were short, percussive and cool – Oscar Rabin led the band, Lita Rosa sang and the Kray twins would stand and survey their domain. I never saw them dance. Stamford Hill stood at the crossroads of Tottenham, Dalston and Hoxton and was subject to attacking forays from many directions. Such skirmishes were few, but I remember when, instead of sending a gang each time, Tottenham would send, symbolically, one of their toughest fighters to come and spread terror and challenge our leader. There was one young man from Stamford Hill who somehow elected himself to take on each one, and he did in fact beat them all. He was a frightening cur who actually put his fist through doors for practice. His name was Harry Lee. Mike is not based on a hero but is an amalgam of feelings that I had at the time and my observations of the environment.

Steven Berkoff, 1994

Screen Shot

 

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

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A Clockwork Ora…

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A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. A satire portraying a future and dystopian Western society with (based on contemporary trends) a culture of extreme youth rebellion and violence: it explores the violent nature of humans, human free will to choose between good or evil, and the desolation of free will as a solution to evil. Teenage gangs, enraged by the docile, clockwork society that they find themselves living in, are constantly on the rampage. The main character, Alex, is a fifteen year old boy who revels in Beethoven as much as he loves his nightly episodes of violence and rape. Burgess experiments with language, writing in a Russian-influenced argot called “Nadsat” used by the younger characters and the anti-hero in his first-person narration. According to Burgess, the novel was a jeu d’esprit written in just three weeks. He bemoaned the fact that the book had been taken as the source material for a 1971 film that was perceived to glorify sex and violence.

The brutality and gang violence of A Clockwork Orange was inspired by a terrible incident during a blackout in London at the height of the Second World War, where Burgess’ pregnant wife Lynne (Llewela Jones), was assaulted, raped and robbed by a group of American soldiers. Subsequently she suffered a miscarriage and the couple lost their first child.

The book was written as a form of catharsis and a severe warning about a future where the state controls the way we think, and everyone is turned into good, little citizens . . . without the power of choice.

Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp

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 Opening from …

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Opening from J.G.Ballards 1977 short story, ‘The Intensive Care Unit’.

Within a few minutes the next attack will begin. Now that I am surrounded for the first time by all the members of my family it seems only fitting that a complete record should be made of this unique event. As I lie here – barely able to breathe, my mouth filled with blood and every tremor of my hands reflected in the attentive eye of the camera six feet away – I realize that there are many who will think my choice of subject a curious one. In all senses, this film will be the ultimate homemovie, and I only hope that whoever watches it will gain some idea of the immense affection I feel for my wife, and for my son and daughter, and of the affection that they, in their unique way, feel for me.

It is now half an hour since the explosion, and everything in this once elegant sitting room is silent. I am lying on the floor by the settee, looking at the camera mounted safely out of reach on the ceiling above my head. In this uneasy stillness, broken only by my wife’s faint breathing and the irregular movement of my son across the carpet, I can see that almost everything I have assembled so lovingly during the past years has been destroyed. My Svres lies in a thousand fragments in the fireplace, the Hokusai scrolls are punctured in a dozen places. Yet despite the extensive damage this is still recognizably the scene of a family reunion, though of a rather special kind.

Continue the rest of this warning about a future where everyone lives in isolation and only communicate through cameras.

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THE ELEPHANT MA…

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THE ELEPHANT MAN

A film by David Lynch

Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), a surgeon at the London Hospital, discovers John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show in London’s East End, where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones). Merrick is so deformed that he must wear a hood and cap when in public, and Bytes claims he is an imbecile. Treves is professionally intrigued by Merrick’s condition and pays Bytes to bring him to the Hospital so that he can examine him. There, Treves presents Merrick to his colleagues in a lecture theatre, displaying him as a physiological curiosity. Treves draws attention to Merrick’s most life-threatening deformity, his oversized skull, which compels him to sleep with his head resting upon his knees, as the weight of his skull would asphyxiate him if he were to ever lie down. On Merrick’s return, Bytes beats him so severely that a sympathetic apprentice (Dexter Fletcher) alerts Treves, who returns him to the hospital. Bytes accuses Treves of likewise exploiting Merrick for his own ends, leading the surgeon to resolve to do what he can to help the unfortunate man.

'London' by David Tennant. (March 2012)

'London' by David Tennant. (March 2012)