Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Since a temporary move out from my favoured East End, I have to admit that I have struggled to get back there as often as I had initially hoped. There was a brief visit that involved various local bars… but that’s another story.

Whitechapel Gallery however proved too tempting to dismiss. Gillian Wearing’s film and photography exhibition has been available for view since March so I had little excuse.

The exhibitions underlining theme is the exploration of public personas and private lives. After walking into Gallery 1, you are presented with a small screen video of Wearing dancing in the centre of a shopping centre with no music and unaware of the public reactions around her.

I then caught the last few moments of 2010’s video ‘Bully’. An extremely powerful piece where a group of actors are directed to replay a scenario from the directors past. The line between acting and experience blur as the director ends the video aggressively berating the bullies and showing his disgust for the group that just stood and watched as he was victimised. The piece closes with the director in genuine tears, in which might have been his first release since the experience happened.

There are also lighter, but equally engaging pieces to view. 1992’s photography piece entitled ‘Signs that say what you want them to say, and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say’, provides a blank page and marker for strangers to write their thoughts and views. A simple piece that offers an insight into how people’s focus and concerns at the time haven’t changed dramatically compared to today, financial worries, war, racism and governments all included.

There are several other pieces, sharing the theme of public/private perception. Confess All On Video. Don’t Worry, You Will Be In Disguise. Intrigue? Is another darker piece that provides the volunteers the opportunity to confess their secrets of their past behind the safety of a mask. Although I read most of the transcripts rather than watched the videos they will equally moving.

Overall, although not always easy to sit through, the exhibition is powerful and one that I would recommend.

The KK Outlet in Hoxton Square is currently running two exhibitions that close on 28th January. I haven’t been to KK Outlet previously, however alongside being a gallery it also serves as a bookshop and a communication agency.

Ewen Spencer met a little known band in 2001 called the White Stripes. Ewen spent the following five years capturing their gigs from small clubs to their rise in fame. Ewen is exhibiting his striking, meditative and quietly chaotic images.

These particular images cover 2005 when the band had played to the biggest crowd of their career. There is a clear intimacy between Spencer and the band, and that respect can be felt within the pictures he has taken.

MVRG

This small exhibition highlights three photographs of two full rotations of the grooves within three different musical genres of vinyl records. The images have had their original sizes increased by 100, to highlight how music is translated when pressed into a vinyl record.

Classical – The grooves are quite straight and static in movement. The audio is mainly built on strings and orchestral instruments that have a low dynamic range and smooth transitions when developing.

Rock – The sudden radical movements in the direction of the grooves are clearly visible. These large changes within the audio eg drum fills or vocal volume increase.

Drum and Bass – The constant, frequent large movements can be seen clearly within each groove. This forms due to the audio containing significant amounts of dynamics including hard-hitting bass tones and snare drums.

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What a treat to come into the office after a long weekend, and be presented with three unopened hard boarded envelopes. At last, week two of DC’s ‘New 52’ alongside my other pre-subscribed comics.

This might be longer than my previous comic rambles, however I wanted to run through and review my recent arrivals. Due to the number of comics received, I will split these into four more manageable parts (a,b,c,d), with the first two purely a DC focus and the second pair focussing on IDW and independants. Baring any feedback, I think I will change the structure moving forward to include a sole review of my favourite comic from each dispatch.

First up,

Swamp Thing #2 – Where do I start? Scott Synder alongside Yanick Paquettes exquisite art, have created one of the most intriguing comics of the relaunch. I had no connection with the character leading into this series as I had not read any Swamp Thing previous. However I have immediately been drawn into Alec Hollands anguish of fighting his memories of a time he was infact the creature in question, controlled by the Green. The second comic of the series starts more text heavy than the first, however this is essential and seamless as we are informed of Alec’s almost pre-determined destiny alongside the pending danger that awaits. 
Once the double spread is reached, Paquettes art has more room to shine, while the pace of the comic dramatically shifts as Alec’s foreseen danger is seen with the disturbing and zombie like attackers (who’s heads have been twisted to face backwards), before a clinical teaser at the finale leaves you looking at the calendar for the next release. Rating a strong 4/5

Animal Man #2 – If Snyder is the ‘man of the moment’, the AM’s Jeff Lemire can’t be far behind. Lemire wastes no time in throwing the reader into Buddy Bakers conflict of being a super hero with animal powers, and being a loving husband and father of two. We are immediately shown that his daughter Maxine not only has a stronger power than his, but she is still to understand or control them. Meanwhile, Buddy has also started his own frightening transformation, which he and Maxine use as a guide to find and emerge themselves in ‘The Red’. Our final pages serve as an introduction to ‘The Hunters Three’ who after transforming back into human form are gruesomely  ready ‘to hunt’. 
Animal Man wouldn’t be the same without Travel Foreman’s art. As you might be able to see in the picture at the top, Foreman’s style is a lot more raw and challenging to view compared to some of the other comics reviewed, however demanding the readers full attention suits Lemire’s writing style. Personally, I can wait to see what direction this story moves towards. Rating 5/5

Wow… is the only word I can use to describe the recent 2.8hours London event. A zombie apocalypse has hit London and our group of six have to scour the streets looking for fellow survivors who provide co-ordinates for the next location and a step closer to safety.
Sounds simple I know, however I forgot to mention that meanwhile we are being hunted down by zombies (and fast ones at that!!). Final co-ordinates sent us sent us to the bar where the infected are made up and taunted by the living. The evening is a complete adrenaline rush, hiding in car parks, abandoned pubs to dodging zombies under railway arches. Most definitely a date in next years diary.

From a speed rush, to a quieter alternative.

It’s not the norm that I feel under dressed, however, queuing to get into Comic Con isn’t the norm. The range of costumes is really something you need to see to believe.There is a mix of classic characters (Batman’s & Star Wars to the more modern anime and Dr Who’s.)
I Was a little late and didn’t make it until Sunday morning, however I still managed to pick up a few little bargains including some backdated editions of Chew. The Con is more than just comic books, they have the latest computer games, memorabilia and artists ready for questions and to provide sketches if you are willing to pay. 
Although I didn’t have as much time as I had hoped, I recommend going for the atmosphere and the variety of costumes. As with above, I will be back next year and giving it the time it deserves.

It has been a quiet week, however I did manage to make the most of a sunny Monday and head down to Tower Bridge & the Tower of London.

Living and working so close the pair, it’s easy to take them for granted and forget how stunning they both are. However, the real bonus was the All Hallows by the Tower Church, with a crypt containing the remains of an original Roman flooring and underground chambers.

I apologise for the picture quality as they were taken on a BlackBerry, I hope however you can still enjoy.

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A few pics from the crypt

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Posted: September 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

I haven’t been to the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) for a while, however I always leave wondering why I take so long between visits.

The ICA is under threat which is a real shame as it provides a platform for contemporary artists to promote their work. An example of this would be the Ford brothers who premiered their zombie movie ‘The Dead’. The movie follows a standard format of zombies looking for victims etc. What made this film a little different was that is was set in South Africa, and the writers made sure that they filmed in locations not seen on film before.

The villages and villagers were all real and I think that helped elevate the performances. I am a real fan of the genre, however the movie didn’t really stand out, took itself a little to serious and the ending seemed a little too Americanised. However the opportunity of watching the movie in a 40 seat cinema with the two brothers ready for a Q&A added to the experience.

The night finished with one of their burgers, which is only £9 with a beer if you keep your ticket. The bar itself is really chilled, although there was one or two too many trying to hard to look ‘chic’.

I now have them on my Twitter feed so I don’t miss anymore upcoming events, I recommend you do the same.

How a Sunday should be

Posted: August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

The day didn’t start that well due to what can only be described as the now obligatory ‘Sunday hangover’

I was presented with two options, fester in my self-pity or make the most of a beautiful day… Fortunately I decided to go with the latter, got on my bike and out I went.

The first stop was to the Supplement Gallery in Bethnal Green, which was a converted apartment that you would not even notice passing by it. The work itself was a video installation, focusing on light dynamics. 

Once the viewing was finished, I cut through Broadway Market and then down to the river. It’s a great ride when the weather is good, watching the locks in use as the ducks & ducklings swim by. I carried along until I got to Angel, after all that riding it was time for some food.

I found a bar called The Duke of Cambridge which specialises in organic food and drink. I could see lots of bikes outside so I locked mine up and went in. I decided to go for the Roast Chicken, and a glass of organic lemonade. It is a little pricey, but its well worth the money. It was really refreshing to find a new bar outside of my usual route and definitely one that I will go back to soon.

I hope the weather keeps up as there are plenty more routes and bars to discover.