Sunday, 11 December 2011
Sunday, 4 December 2011
I Don’t Remember When it Happened
Oranges, apples, strawberries and pineapples are not the only fruit, you know. On paper, this show shouldn’t work – anotheralcoholic chef? Happily, Katy Baird crushes clichés under her kitten heels: the woman’s a maniac.
Exploring the tangy relationship between food and sex in a way that would surely make Almodovar blush, Baird’s nympho lesbian chef is a steely-eyed presence, peppering her recipes with random bursts of psychotic violence. A plate of peanuts is the first to get it (with a rolling pin) as she calmly explains that peanuts are often used in the production of dynamite…CRASH!
After making a whisky sour with apples, which she then of course proceeds to down in one with a triumphant thump, we are treated to confessions of her carnal adventures in the catering trade, a highlight of which is, “Me and my boss did it everywhere, in the sea… his car… in a walk-in fridge at the hotel kitchen, with a face full of Calamari…”
This intimate fruity slice of theatre unpeels its layers gradually, making for an hilarious, if uneasy, experience. Saucy, voluptuous and part of your five a day.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
I have been spending a lot of time down in the occupy London protest camp at St Pauls this week. It has been amazing to be part of a truly global community that is genuinely passionate about the world around them. Somebody said that it doesn't matter that we don’t have the answers, what matters is that we start the conversation and there is certainly a lot of conversations happening down there. Every night at 7pm there is the General Assembly (GA) in which logistics of the camp are discussed as well as important political and ideological questions and ideas. Over the weeks the topic each night has ranged from the media, the environment, Palestine, internet and technology, violence and of course many different discussions about capitalism. Each group’s idea is then fed back into the main GA meeting in order to be explored further by the entire group.
The camp also provides an entirely free cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for every person every day and a tearoom where you can drink tea and have a game of chess. This micro direct democracy in action is far from perfect but is without doubt a timely and inspiring alternative which proves that it is possible to work together without the need for hierarchy and unequal power relations. The fact that it is happening in the city centre of London deep in the heart of the financial district makes it even more moving
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Ok lets start with Tottenham. Tottenham is a district of north London, England and is in the Borough of Haringey. It is situated 6.6 miles (10.6 km) north-northeast of Charing Cross. Tottenham is famous for its football club Tottenham Hotspurs. It is thought to be the most ethnically diverse area in London, and possibly Europe, with 113 ethnic groups speaking around 193 languages. Unemployment is still London's highest and of course most recently Tottenham has become synonymous with the riots and looting which took place during the summer. Tottenham is also where I live:
So needless to say I have been feeling a little bit despondent and jaded with the whole love thing. That’s when the facebook message came. Now its not the message that is important it is what it made me think of that matters:
This was an advert placed in the Scottish metro about 5 years ago by the artist Nic Green and as I thought about this advert again I had an idea. Can see where I am going here ? yes, that is right, I thought I could place the advert here in London and where better to do it than Tottenham, my home for the last 2 years.
Friday, 9 September 2011
Monday, 5 September 2011
Yes, that is right it is non other than Rutherglen Main Street. The place that I was born and raised and now apparently an internet sensation. This still is from a live 24 hour camera feed which recently hit the 1 million viewers mark ! here is the link: http://nairb1.camstreams.com/
Monday, 29 August 2011
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
The emergence of medical registration records during this period would seem to suggest that there was a concerted effort by both Maud and Molly to integrate fully with the Glaswegian way of life.
It is often claimed that the status of illegal alien radicalised the MUFF and ultimately led to their now infamous emergence at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland:
The Monkey United Freedom Force - Gone but not forgotten.
Friday, 3 June 2011
Monday, 30 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Monday, 2 May 2011
Monday, 11 April 2011
Another fantastic performance evening at I'm with you (and everything is happening) on Saturday night. I was totally blown away by the artist Jonny Liron. A beautiful, fragile and intimate performance that will stay with me for quite a while.
here is his blog, well worth a read: http://whateverall.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
"If Keith Floyd was a horny Scottish lesbian, obsessed with fruit, his shows might have been a bit like this." Jack Davies, Bellyflop Magazine
Thursday, 24 March 2011
The national front marched up New Cross High Street in South London and fought the local community
The Scottish Minorities Group opened the first Gay Centre in the UK on Sauchiehall St, Glasgow
Egyptians took to the streets in anti-government riots demonstrating their disillusionment at the nepotism and corruption of their government
Muunamr Gadafi proclaimed that Libya was to be a state of the masses, a direct democracy governed by the people through local popular councils and communes
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
20th - 23rd April 2011
Temporary Autonomous Art Events and Exhibitions were born in London in 2001 to the Random Artists collective. Taking influence from Temporary Autonomous Zones and the belief in building fleeting pirate utopias, TAA utilises DIY culture tactics to create space for art and expression outside of the established art-world elites. Reclaiming and reusing derelict urban spaces, TAAs are a hotbed for emerging artists crossing all disciplines, encouraging fusion and collaboration between traditional and contemporary media. Artists are invited to be their own curators, and the combined effect of their diverse works is one of hope and beauty, unified through the use of free space.
Random Artists invite creative practitioners and activists working in all media to get involved by:
- contributing artworks (visual, sound, film, performance, spoken word, new media, etc.);
- leading workshops and skill-sharing sessions;
- sharing critical ideas about art and politics as part of our discussion forum;
- or just offering some hands-on help as we create a social space out of a derelict site.
TAA seeks to generate critical debate about aesthetic and political issues, and will include a series of talks and discussions reflecting on our own practice as artists and activists, and what place it has in the contemporary social/political environment. We aim to bring together voices from both grass-roots and academic backgrounds in order to map where we are now, and propagate ideas for future action.
The content of these debates will be participant-lead. Contributions may take the form of talks, films, zines, visual artworks etc. which will feed into group discussions throughout the event.
Topics for discussion might include, but are in no way limited to:
Re-examining the relations between art and politics in the “now” – Does the idea of an “avant-garde,” with its revolutionary implications, have any relevance in a postmodern cultural/political environment? What would constitute a “political art” for the 21th century?
Exploring concept of “autonomy” – what political and ethical issues are raised when spaces are organised according to autonomous principles? Are self-organised spaces ends in themselves, or can they also be the means to a more strategic social change?
Relations between underground and overground culture – how do we understand what's inside/outside the hegemonic system? Counter-culture or sub-culture? When do alternative economies end up reinforcing the values they try to resist?
Politics and pleasure – what is the role of desire in bringing about political change? Is the development of pleasure (sexual, chemical, aesthetic) an aim in itself? Can the pursuit of pleasure lead towards wider political emancipation, or does hedonism serve to nullify cultures of resistance?
Tactical approaches to activism in a time of surveillance culture, and the role of media and social networking technology in grass-roots organisation – how has the rise of social networking platforms in mainstream culture changed approaches to activism? Who's listening – is there any privacy on the internet? How do we generate networks beyond the horizon of facebook, twitter etc?
Diversity in alternative cultural spaces – Are our social spaces as welcoming to different communities as we would like them to be? Is it possible for an autonomous group to be internally diverse, or are the aims of autonomy and diversity antagonistic? What can we do to recognise and resist the creeping prejudices that end up fragmenting underground movements (including our own?) along lines of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class etc.?
But again, this is by no means set in stone and we are open to new ideas and suggestions so if you are interested in getting involved and have ideas to present, whether as an individual or a group, please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, 7 March 2011
Managed to finally make it down to High Society last week, it is an interesting exhibition at the welcome centre charting changing societal relationships with drugs along with visual art inspired by drugs and drug culture. Some highlights included the webs of spiders created when the spider was under the influence of certain drugs:
and a small drawing of a star chart by the superb artist Fred Tomaselli. Tomaselli often embeds pills, capsules, tablets, weed and cannabis stalks into his art work before glazing the entire piece in resin. One of my favourites of his is the expulsion:
High Society is definitely an appealing premise but disappointingly there was very little exploration of contemporary drug culture. Surely the rave culture of the late eighties and early nineties and the explosion of the use of the ‘love drug’ ecstasy demands more attention as well as the current constantly evolving internet legal highs such as mephedrone and all its re-incarnations continuously created to avoid illegality. Unfortunately these glaring omissions leave the spectator with many unanswered questions.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Monday, 14 February 2011
“I love walking in London,” said Mrs. Dalloway. “Really it's better than walking in the country.”
Last week I re-traced the walk undertaken by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. Below are some of the signs i saw on my journey:
Bikes chained to this balustrade will be removed.
Traditional, historic, timeless, exclusive
Do not congregate in this area.
This is a protected site under section 128 of the serious organised crime and police act
Health hope love the glorious virtues of Queen Alexandra
Not maintained for public access.
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Recently I have been thinking a lot about saying thank you. Sometimes it feels like all we do is complain and moan about everything. I have decided that it is time for me to start saying thank you so I wanted to write to you and say thank you....
For the sad songs i listened to during my break ups
For the inspirational songs I listened to after my break ups
For the jumping up and down in a line with my friends when they played Twisted as the last song every Tuesday night in Popstastic
For being a strong queer woman
For giving me my first real mosh pit at Glastonbury
For still tearing it up on stage at Brighton last year even though you are 8 years older than me I and I had to stop for 2 songs cause I had a stitch.
For being political
For being a feminist
For demonstrating alternative ideas of femininity
For inspiring me to put together a folk/punk band – classic tunes included ‘rough sex’ and ‘xie xie ’
For being angry
For empowering me
For never compromising
For being punk as fuck
Monday, 7 February 2011
For the last 2 months the physical center has been running stripped down, no-holds barred performance evenings in a studio space in Hackney. The artists taking part in these events have been exploring ideas of physicality and the body within performance. MPA’s performance entitled Capture/Release/Release/Capture was a beautifully touching piece which placed the female body in the role of active agent by highlighting physically its subjugation. What I found most lifting was the notion of solidarity placed within her work. As she said herself ‘ patriarchy is a triangle’. it is important to remember that only the very few are privileged and what we need is for everyone who is oppressed by patriarchy (and this list includes many men) not to be divided but united together in our common struggle to resist prejudice and inequality.
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Wow, it is a lovely spring day here in London and it has really made me think about the start of summer. Having just graduated in January it feels like this spring day is a reminder of the new journey I am about to embark on. One chapter has ended and one is about to begin and whilst the role of job hunter has been tough it is still exciting to think that I am embarking on a totally new part of my life. I hope all my London friends are out enjoying this sharp fresh day and that my poor Canadian cousins have managed to shovel the snow from their pathways and made it outside – don’t worry your summer will be coming soon.
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Blair Gibbs article The Underclass and Crime:How to Deal With an Economic, Political, and Cultural Disaster? really got me irate.
Gibbs maintains that the ‘underclass’ (who are in his words ‘a type of poverty and a type of behaviour, whose members are defined by the values they hold’) have no sense of what is right due to the collapse in core values such as marriage, religion and self-responsibility
He fails to discuss completely or even acknowledge the main societal factors, which include lack of social mobility and a feeling of being disenfranchised with a society that fails to understand you or indeed represent you any way (note the fact that 75% of the cabinet are privately educated). The problem is not an issue of morals it is one of poverty and social ostracisation.
The reason that many children from single parent families may have “lower educational achievement; lower job attainment; increased behaviour and emotional problems” is not because it is morally or emotionally problematic but it is most likely because single parent families live in more urban and deprived areas. It is a societal problem that needs to be addressed here. How can the so called ‘underclass’ be made to feel self-worth and part of society if they have never seen their parents work or their grandparents work. How can you apply for a job if you lack confidence, communication skills and feel like an outsider. Stigmatisation and stereotyping is also a major problem. I am from Glasgow and if someone from the ‘infamous’ and much publicised Easterhouse estate and someone from the affluent West End went for the same job it is my opinion that the person from the West End would be viewed more favourably. Faith schools are not a solution as Gibbs suggests as they only serve to condemn behaviour as morally right and wrong - when we all know there is no such thing as right or wrong (buts that another story or another blog post!)
If morals are to be discussed then I find the idea to ‘shame and blame the underclass for its behaviour and attitudes, and construct a system that will punish them financially when they transgress’ itself morally dubious. But then again this only reflects my moral guidelines.
This will teach me to read the Spectator !!!!
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
We went to the bloomberg new contemporaries exhibition last week at the ICA and without a doubt the two stand out artists for me were: Greta Alfaro and Pablo Wendel.
Alfaro’s short video piece In Ictu Oculi was mesmerising and can be viewed here:
Wendel's Terracotta warrior was a video of an intervention in which he disguised himself as one of the famous Terracotta Warriors in China. The piece moves from funny to confrontational in an instant and i really loved it. Unfortunately the video does not seem to be available online but here are some images