Come, Been and Gone

THEA LENARDUZZI:  Punk choreographer, Michael Clark is perhaps best known for high-profile work with artists, fashion designers and musicians including Trojan, BodyMap, and Wire. My first encounter with Clark was his collaboration with Mark E. Smith and the deciduous 2001 line-up in Before and After: The Fall. There began a fertile and wonderfully febrile artistic relationship with Sarah Lucas, whose verbally and visually salacious humour deliciously complements Clark’s own. Unfortunately, my introduction to this fiery world was dampened by its being viewed through a computer screen courtesy of a well-known internet service provider.

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Antony Gormley – ‘Test Sites’, 4 June-10 July 2010, White Cube Masons Yard, London, SW1Y 6BU www.whitecube.com

(See related article: "Antony Gormley — Test Sites: Science blurs with art to move your body through space in a very particular way.”)

Image credits: ‘Antony Gormley — Test Sites’ by Konrad Wyrebek and Matthew Miles, 2010.

Matthew Miles is a freelance writer, art director and artist. His writes about arts and culture – high to gutter – and photographs and interviews celebrities and real people. He also writes fiction, creates visual digital visual art and shoots fashion with artist Konrad Wyrebek. www.matthewmilescreative.blogspot.com | www.mileswyrebek.com

Konrad Wyrebek: Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Konrad is a young, London-based artist working across various mediums – primarily in painting and 3D installation. His work blurs the edges of art and fashion, and he photographs the latter as one half of the team MilesWyrebek. www.konradwyrebek.blogspot.com | www.mileswyrebek.com

Antony Gormley – Test Sites

Science blurs with art to move your body through space in a very particular way.

Words: MATTHEW MILES. Photography: KONRAD WYREBEK and MATTHEW MILES

Anthony Gormley has become known as a creator of landmarks, the artist behind – or often cast and repeated – in high-profile 3D pieces such as ‘Angel of the North’ and ‘Event Horizon’, where sentinel figures jutted from the city skylines of London, and later New York. Embracing both art and science as he inquires into the connections between architecture, geometry and the body, Gormley’s works are nonetheless brushed off as ‘accessible’ or ‘fairground’ by some. Guess they’ll be among the very few not to be energised by ‘Test Sites’ – the artist’s latest exhibition in London is among his most interactive to date, and takes his career interrogation of our relationship with space and objects to the next level. 

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Cafes, Art and Hair

RACHEL CATTLE: I have come to the Barbican to write. I was trying to think of where I wanted to be and realised that I wanted somewhere soulless, somewhere spacious. Fit for anyone. Not Shoreditch for example. So I am here and there is an old woman knitting at a furious pace at a table near me…and people on laptops. I don’t have a laptop. I have a sketchbook and a pen. I feel comfortable here. Anonymous. I also came here partly because I felt melancholy and wanted somewhere that matched my mood. I read an Alain de Botton piece once about going to motorway service stations when you feel lonely, and today, for my mood, this is kind of equivalent. I can be anybody here. I can breathe. 

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Pandora: the first woman; the first scapegoat

[Contains spoilers!]

WILLIAM McBRIDE: Allusions to the Pandora mythology in the new play “Pandora” by Jennie Buckman, showing at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston until 12th June 2010, aren’t always obvious, (apart from when Pandora herself appears to Cleo – a bright, partially-deaf school girl, whose real name is Cleopatra, who wets the bed and whose awful father is flirting with full-blown domestic violence – and gives her the lowdown in a zesty retelling, in which, for example, Epimetheus was “hung like a Titan”).

The four or five stories that make up this production do deal with women in trouble, sometimes women wrongly blamed, or women misguided or ‘tragically’ fated: ‘I had cold ditch water in my veins,’ a grandmother offers, posthumously, as explanation for her suicide; another woman roams Jamaica for decades – anguished; near mad – searching for a lost daughter, all the while neglecting her never-lost son.

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Those Who Contemplate and Those Who Accumulate: The Limits of Control

PETER WIX: A film for artists to celebrate, scientists too, or just for those who prize the use of imagination over the dull, prosaic, number-crunching, suited fundamentalism of the business, financial, and industrial set who run this place.

Jim Jarmusch has filled some great movies with his photography of fascinating urban textures and his understanding of the depth and colour of the intelligent sides of popular cultures, rock music for example. He lingers on details and delves into the meaning of the everyday in a way that is not habitual in mainstream US directors, and all this makes him not only a cult film maker, but a man of his time. His movies are documents, valuable keys to analysing and enjoying what is around us.

What further sets him apart - and occasionally throws one off the scent - is his tone, which some would say was insouciant, and others dead cool. The fact is he is not a lofty director; he is earthy but with a very finely tuned aesthetic sensitivity. In gems like “Stranger Than Paradise” (1984) and “Permanent Vacation” (1980) he is right down there on the ground in short sleeves and dusty sneakers. And if you want to catch the rich humour of these films, you have to get down there with him and muck in.

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Soundtracks (for an) Exhibition

MARK SHEERIN: Art is getting noisier. Galleries echo with moving image installations. The quieter ones provide you with audio-guides. Sound is now such a vital dimension of art, some artists are making art about that very phenomenon.

In a boxlike construction at Ikon in Birmingham, you can pull up a beanbag and enjoy some music. On a giant screen ahead a retro turntable plays a selection of vinyl LPs. It reconstructs the type of experience you might have at home, yet you are sat in a sculpture.

This is Soundtrack for an Exhibition (2000-) by conceptual artist Ron Terada. It features a selection of his favourite tunes from the last ten years and celebrates his first major show in Europe. Pavement, The Magnetic Fields and The Walkmen are among the bands included.

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Continental Film Night…

PETER WIX:  I have, by some fat chance, been sat upon my posterior in front of a batch of American movies. A little pain, but much joy too. Read on…

A Serious Man - Ethan and Joel Cohen 2009

And a serious film. As with many Cohen bros flicks, this is one you will need to see again to be able to fully enjoy the exquisite situation humour. Dark and deceptive - the brothers are supreme in this territory. The story comes, I have read, from the biblical book of Job. Unless they make any deeper forrays into the Hebrew world, this is going to be the brothers’ ‘Jewish movie’. Indeed, the concepts and terminology of Jewish ritual needed to follow the religious dynamic of the central character’s life as it falls apart are beyond the knowledge of most gentiles so, for most of us, following the plot involves a little bit of faith that the Cohens have some more universal message to explore.

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Grace is everywhere

WILLIAM McBRIDE: Outside the Vinyl Factory in Soho a little pantomime of practical necessity is being staged: bollards, red carpets, a smoking section, half-a-dozen security guards, an obligatory line up, and three lithe young women dressed all in black, armed with clipboards and enormous smiles; each is playing their part, all quietly thrilled by their involvement in this particularly bling Private View.

I have plans tonight, so I hadn’t rsvp’d to: “GRACE JONES by Chris Levine: Stillness at the Speed of Light,” but on realising it was 100m from my day job, I’ve decided to cruise by, and though be-back-packed, sweaty and shabbily dressed, at my brazen ‘Saatchi-mag’ name-dropping one of the smiling women on the door lets me through ahead of the line.

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River Sounding

GEMMA DE CRUZ: The presence of ‘sound art’ in contemporary museums has always felt thin on the ground. It’s not visual and it’s definitely not intended to be ‘music’ in any conventional sense. But, considering such a contemporary genre is moving along steadily, it’s pretty surprising how few exhibitions have been devoted to sound art, or sound artists, in London. The first major show was “Sonic Boom”, at the Hayward, back in 2000, while Oxford’s Modern Art put on “Audible Light” and the best recent offering was Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s finches interacting with electric guitars, at the Barbican’s Curve Gallery.

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