REPORTING ON ART AND FOOD from Troubled Places

Warning : This is a modern-primitive writing website, of impressionist rather than informative character.

New on LAAF : The 20/20 English Breakfast under La Bouf or Here http://www.londonartandfood.com/437711259

Criterion Theatre in January

The Comedy about a Bank Robbery

By Caroline Fakhri

Criterion Theatre 218-223 Piccadilly London W1V 9LB

This is the most I have ever laughed in one evening!

From the minute the curtain goes up until it comes down at the end of ‘The Comedy about a Bank Robbery’ I can guarantee that you will find it hard to stop laughing at the quick wit and perfect timing of the side splitting gags and the ludicrous antics of all of the cast in this fabulous West End play.

Even at two hours and fifteen minutes long, the story of a bungled jewel heist in a sleepy Minneapolis bank branch, the play manages to stay hilarious right to the end, which is no mean feat. Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayar are the standouts of the show as bank manager Robin Freeboys and eternal intern Warren Slax, that is not to say the rest of the cast are any less marvellous in their own roles. There is a laugh in every line of the play from the opening scene to the closing curtain.

January is the perfect month for the theatre; the days are still short and everyone feels in need of a bit of cheer.

This play is an excellent antidote to the January blues. Don’t take my word for it. Mosey on down to the Criterion for a joyfully mad night out. As well as the play, enjoy the splendour of this beautiful theatre; in the words of Steven Fry ‘One of the absolute jewels of London’s West End,’ I couldn’t agree more; glorious in its Victorian splendour, the Criterion is a grade two listed building in Piccadilly Circus in the City of Westminster; a stone’s throw from Piccadilly underground station, right there in the shadow of Eros.

11 January


Coppelia, curtains fall on Saturday 4th January performance.

Winter Loves Coppelia, Aisha and Abhaya

Apart from reading Russian novels and drinking vodka, what else does Winter love? (Particularly when one, unlike Winter, doesn't want to drink vodka, nor martinis for the matter.)

Winter loves opera and ballet. Further more at the Royal Opera House there is only one season - the Good Season! It is where ladies ware long dresses and short dresses and gentlemen are more elegant or less. Where staff salutes one with "Good evening madam" when one's tickets are for the ground level; and welcomes with "Hello falkes" when madam's tickets are with the angels on level 6. Also there,a particular, extremely delicious ice cream with various unbelievable flavours is sold during intervals. The only thing one coyldn't do at the Royal Opera House is to get suddenly hungry. They don't have spare meals there - unless pre ordered, no meal is served.

Coppelia shines with beautiful music, costumes and decors. And is a funny and pleasant thing to watch. A show made to glow in a dark winter evening.

Coming from Eastern Europe though, where still national operas feature Russian- school-disciplined primas and cordeballetes, I won't comment on the performance. After all, thought I yesterday, who said that dance is about perfection, precision and synchrony? Maybe dance should be whatever it happens to be without pain nor suffering ? Be them pirouettes unfinished. Be them figures performed in various times. Be them ha7nds shaking and them movements smudged. Sod perfection, unless it is inborn and comes naturall as  with Sylvie Guillem's.

Coppelia's last performance is tomorrow, 7th January; but plenty of opera comes on the horizon. And I am sure Winter will love Aisha and Abhaya on the 1st of February. 

PS. I am merely trying to distract my thoughts from the newly formed Bermuda triangle Iran-America-Iraq.

Winter loves distraction.

6 January 2020

 


Yuletide events at the Barbican Continued - New Year’s Eve 2019

Raymond Gubbay presents: The Magic of Vienna

By Caroline Fakhri

On New Year’s Eve, I attended the second of two events that I had booked at the beginning of December; two treats for the festive season both equally amazing. The Magic of Vienna was just perfect for the end of 2019. The Barbican with its large auditorium is the ideal venue for Christmas and New Year’s Eve performances. Included in the ticket price was a glass of Prosecco, a nice welcoming gesture. There was plenty of space to sit and enjoy our drinks before the performance. We found a table on one of the balconies with a birds eye view of the large ground floor area, where we could watch all the comings and goings; cosy lighting completed the ambience, preparing us for the wonderful Magic of Vienna that awaited.

The Johann Strauss Orchestra conducted by John Rigby brought the “giddy romance and gilded ballrooms of Vienna back to life with the music of the King of Waltz,” featuring pieces such as The Blue Danube, The Skaters Waltz and Radetzky March. The Johann Strauss Dancers added grace and beauty, wearing fairytale costumes, they floated across the stage to the strains of the music. Lizzie Holmes sang soprano, her beautiful voice touching the hearts of the audience, she touched our hearts again when left with nobody to dance with the conductor left his post to waltz across the stage with her while the orchestra were left to fend for themselves. In was a lovely scene with a touch of humour, made magical by the setting and it being New Year’s Eve.

As I couldn’t possible attend all the events I had a hard time deciding which ones to choose but there is always next Christmas so until then I will cherish the memories of A Very Merry Christmas and The Magic of Vienna.

The Barbican has a comprehensive calendar of events for 2020, so make sure you take a look at the website: www.barbican.org.uk maybe there is something you fancy.


New on LAAF : 'What Iraqis Post on Facebook - 3 January 2020' under Little East or here http://www.londonartandfood.com/441696977 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Wish you all 20/20

20/20 Completely seeing the truth of a situation.

"I see the 20/20 but I don't know why?' by Kenneth H. October 05, 2005 - Urban Dictionary 

 

'The split second between past and present' by Vasiliy Slonov

LAAF's and Other 2020 Wishes

"I wish we made an exhibition of Slonov in London*" said Svetlana Kuznetsova, LAAF's Expert on Russian Art, at our Christmas lunch in December.

"I wish we made an exhibition of Slonov", I caught myself thinking today, 1st of January 2020, while dreamingly chewing on an olive from my lunch salad at the work canteen.

Why Slonov?

For enlightenment's sake - the absolute significance of Slonov's body of work makes of him an Artist to Know. Of Slonov's mighty and tremendous oeuvre London, and the UK indeed, knows only... one, or was it two? pieces ...shown two years ago in the frame of Saatchi's Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism.

For resistance's sake - Slonov's brave opposition and mockery of Putin, Kremlin and Moscow's state thuggery could bring ideas and inspiration in parts of the world where Art has longtime been confused: was it having its shoes polished, was it going for a tea or was it falling asleep with the newspaper on the sofa.

For Art's sake - in case someone has forgotten what a universal language Art is: Siberianit Slonov speaks visual boxing-Cockney to me. The only place more distant (4000 miles) from White Chapel Gallery than Siberia, where Slonov lives, is Vladivostook (7400 miles) and hometown of Svetlana Expertovna Kuznetsova. But then she is here, while he isn't. Hence, bringing Slonov to London is the largest art-stride I can think of for the time being.

So the benefits are clear.

Now the problems: ... which is basically one PROBLEM is... I don't have any of the numbers one dials when one wishes to organise an exhibition. And this even without being able to say "Sh*t, I dropped my phone in the toilet and now all the handy contacts are gone! All the art-loving sponsors, well-connected curators, know-how to make miracles with peanuts organizers, volunteering friends-owners of huge galleries ... all gone! And with the contacts, gone are also the people behind those contacts, like...gone to a parallel reality... gone to another universe " ....

The silver lining : my contact is still the same. So when you, all art loving, Slonov-fascinated people come back from your holiday to the other galaxy, can find me at Editor@londonartandfood.com

In the meantime shall I make a hashtag? Like #slonovinlondon or #eleohant-son_in_london ?

As you know Slonov basically means Elephantson. Wired for a Siberianite, isn't it?

Shall I call Elephant and Castle Community Hub and see if they would host Elephantson? Questions questions...

More from Vasiliy @vasiliyslonov

Other than that, I met this year only at 0630 this morning, when I woke, fresh, reposed and sober to go to work. So these are my second third and forth wish for 2020 and beyond: I wish to be sober, working and thinking of art while eating all through allthrough.

* Reminder: SLonov's last exhibition in Moscow, was destroyed by activists of the nationalistic political group SERB (South East Radical Block). At the time Moscow police did not only fail to protect the artist, guests and oeuvre, but also took in custody some of the exponates. Do you 20/20?

1st January 2020 


Longsock Caitlin Elizabeth Moran aka Funny Skunk and also Bella Badger lifting the quality of life in the UK

2019 Bests

It Wasn't 2016 The very best thing about 2019 was that it wasn't 2016. As the best thing about a reality in which each of us is made in one only rendition is that even the best of us die only once (scientologists excluded). Hurray for 2019 and the solo human non-scientologic rendition.

Women Women in general and Pippis in particular were the big thing about 2019. All of them. Everywhere and at all level. Named and nameless. Thanks to them LAAF invented LAAFPLSA, LAAF's Pippi Longsock Award. Or ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ See further below.

Harringay Education Harringay Education does the possible and the impossible to educate all children in the frame of Harringay Municipality. Including massive amounts of Bulgarian children, as there is in Harringay a huge Bulgarian Community. Thus, Harringay Education takes on its shoulders what Bulgarian Government and Bulgarian Education don't in the last thirty years - educate little Bulgarian children and especially the children of minority groups. Here, Harringay Education is successfully dealing with Bulgarian-born illiteracy and inalphabetism. As it is very hard indeed to educate children, whose parents can't read or write in any language. And in some cases don't properly speak whatsoever language at all. In addition to the children of inalphabet Bulgarians, Harringay also educates the children of Bulgarians with learning difficulties, who were never diagnosed as such in their mother (This mother seems depressed) country. Thanks to Harringay education I have seen Bulgarian Travellers' (цигани/romani/gypsy) girls studying law; doing their practises in international companies around King's X. And Travellers' boys having their musical education sponsored etc etc etc. Bulgarian and plenty of African and Asian children too.

Women Socks' Unity. One-size female socks fit all women with standard feet sizes : 3 - 8 UK. Which basically means that every single woman's feet are supple enough as to cover this spectrum. Men feet on the other hand seem to lack suppleness, as one-size male socks never fit my English manfriend's feet. I know this from experience - for a second year I try to give him socks for Christmas and for some reason his size 9 feet don't fit into the one-size (7 - 12 UK) men's socks. As the one-size men's socks look sized to fit well when worn over and not in the shoes.

Healthy Art. Here there was plenty from both sides:

From Art Side: 1. The National Gallery with its 'Mental Health Audio Tour', which gives the visitor new perspective - an exercise always invigorating - towards some of the oeuvre of its permanent exhibition, while also providing important knowledge about mental health conditions. 2. The National Gallery with its 'Leonardo Experience a Masterpiece' exhibition and its healthy approach to reality combining love, self-confidence and ambition. Love as in: Oh, well, unlike the Louvre and the 11 (out of 15) paintings of Leonardo it succeeded to gather; we only have one painting but we love it. We make a queen of our ' The Virgin of the Rocks ' and not merely a Leonardo amidst other Leonardos. Self-confidence like in : We might have only one painting, but we will make a whole show out of it. A bit Jesus feeding the crowds with one fish sort of thing. Ambition like in : Do you know what Louvre? You might have amassed a 100 works, you might have assembled 11 paintings in your old, dusty rooms; but we are taking Leonardo to the future with an immersive, and of this century type of exhibition. 3. The National Gallery with its 'Young Blumberg and the Old Masters' exhibition for its healthy diversity effort mixing young and old. And taking East London art to West End.

From Health Side: NHS wins over private health providers. While in the private sectir random pieces of art might be seen in the waiting areas and seldom paintings, often from the consultant's private collection, in the consultation rooms (here fantastic exception are Harley Street urology consultants with a huge amount of paintings in reception); NHS hospitals overflow with beautiful, healthy art of all description: visual, music, dance, you name it. Many could be mentioned, but this year's winner is Saint Pancras Hospital with its presentation of 25 sewing masters in the Sewing Circle Exhibition. 20% of the proceedings of this exhibition go to the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund.

Tasty Hospital Food: Despite of it being vital for all involved, tasty food in hospitals is a seldom phenomenon. Let alone healthy and beautifully presented one. This year, the unpleasant rull was broken by Great Portland Street Hospital French chef and his a la Lenny Kravitz , but taller and more attractive sous-chef, who wares golden-framed 70s Ray Ban on his nose and a silver tasting spoon on his arm at all times. This tandem provides at least four salads of fresh veg and four cooked salads at every lunch. The presentation and flavours of the main courses is unimaginable for this scale of industrial cooking. And their vegan options exciting (say today it was poppadom with mango chutney followed by dahl and naan. Every thing cooked from scratches. Yesterday's vegetable pizza was outwardly crispy at the ends and with fantastic roasted red peppers. And I won't even start mentioning what is there on the vegetarian, fish or meet menues). What surprises me everytime I eat there is the bold use of spices and fresh herbs like mint and coriander.

Last but not least is the invention of LAAF's Pippi Longsock Award or LAAFPLSA ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. This innovative award combines 2019 Best 2, Women and 2019 Best 4, Women Socks' Unity and is awarded for heavy-social-lifting contribution.

LAAF's Pippi Longsock Award ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for heavy-social-lifting contributions

2019 laureates are as follows :

Longsock Caitlin Elizabeth Moran, for her writing which a) lifts up the quality of life in the UK through humour and imagination. b) lifts up the physiognomy of Englishness so that it looks cheerfully smiling rather than greedily grinning.

Longsock Caroline Elizabeth Teacup Fakhri, for lifting the weight of lonely senselessness away of my shoulders and stepping in with good (and correctly written!) articles on all subjects whenever I am away, hanged-over or disheartened.

Longsock Fiona Zossimova, for the whole Graig City Academy, for lifting the level of literacy and alphabetism of children of Bulgarian descendants. Hence, indirectly lifting the level of literacy and alphabetism in a country on the other end of the European continent. "Мамо, доволна ли си?" "Мum, are you happy?" , asks Dani her mother after we've learned that Dani's results from the mock GCSE in English are the best for her year. Dani's mother doesn't speak English. But her shining face tells it all.

Longsock Bridget Louise Riley for lifting the level of philosophical thinking of British Artists. And lifting the level of spots, dots and waves of British reality. Else to speak for embellishing it.

An encouragement LAAF Shortsock Award or LAAFShSA, still with nondisceiminatory ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, is accorded to: Shortsock Emily Anne Thornberry for lifting up one end of the veil of mystery on why I didn't receive nationality, hence voting rights in 2019. Her sock lacks in longness because she did not pursue with the Home Office as why, I was initially accorded the wrong residential status a year earlier, in 2018 (despite an application based on five years tax return). This shortness of sock will forever leave unanswered questions like: After Brexit, how many EU nationals saw their permanent residential status (leading to obtaining nationality and voting) messed up? Was there any premeditation in mixing up EU nationals' residential status or was it pure incompetence? And if it was pure incompetence why I should be paying for it?

In order for this sock to be lengthened these questions should be asked and answered. And hopefully my sudden and unexpected vision of a money-grabbing documents-non-delivering Home Office will be banished and dispersed; and my long term vue on English institutions as rational and just restored.

Long live longsocks,  God bless all other socks and happy new year everybody.

31 December 2019


Teatime at Dukes with Agent Zig Zag and Tiger Tanaga

Genius Loci or It All Started With Agent Zig Zag

The book by Ben Macintyre dedicated on the life and deeds of Englishman Eddie Chapman. A crook turned small criminal turned big criminal turned agent turned double agent turned hero/anti-hero. The book is as old as 2007.

2007 a year when Bowie was still alive, my son still a teenager and Bulgaria - a bucket full of good expectations and just tiny, innocent, pre-EU-scale corruption being just admitted into the union. Anyway 2007, the publishing year, has nothing to do with the subject.

The subject being: I am reading this pertinent book. It is well written and well documented. But it also has drinking landmarks - important for me. LAAF's initial aspiration being art combined with food/drink. I want to write about the drinks described in a novel (this books is not a novel). I would write to review the food depicted in a film.

But the drinking landmarks in this book are already...cold.Else to say : dead/ non existent. No Cold Corps nor Silent Witness. What I mean is: the book being full of cold landmarks made me search in the closest alive once to replace them As this is what usually happens, doesn't it? Nothing really dies. It gets replaced by something else. Other but similar. Which we call Reserction (Nevermind that we are closely after Christmas)

Based on the book, I was looking for Quaglino's. Google said it existed but I could 't find it. I was looking for it as according to the book it was where Chapman and Terence Young (who would go on to direct the first James Bond film) were often seen "surrounded by bottles and girls" .

And while I was not finding Quaglino's on Christmas Eve, I found... DUKES. DUKES like in "Legendary cocktail bar, said to have inspired Ian Fleming for James Bond's signature martini". ....

... You know I am half Bulgarian - big rakia and whisky drinkg nation; and half Iraqi - big arrak and whisky drinking nation (forget Captagon and Ecstasy Caliphate -  heresies) Well, I think I've never been as drunk before. Honestly.

They will serve you only two martinis, it's the Duke's policy. Yet, "only" would be something like....... WW2? Stalin? I mean total annihilation Would you need more than two Martinis? No, thank you.

It was Christmas Eve about teatime, I was surrounded by American tourists and it was just excellent to observe everybody getting... I would say STUPENDO,  the Italian for WONDERFUL. Wonderfully and briskly stupefied by good alcohol. Grownups with beautifully blushed cheeks and incredulous look in the eyes "I can't believe this is happening to me", "I can't believe how quickly and unexpectedly I was rendered quasi helples". This under the loving and all forgiving glance of well trained hyper polite waiters, with a lot of sense of humor.

Tow days later when R and I undertook a second expedition in search of Quaglino's and its new location 16 Bury Str; we both agreed that at the price of £21 the Martinis at Dukes are not expensive at all. If not even very cheap for what they are. What makes them slightly costly though is the Black Cab that I had to use to get home. Me, the big town hiker and public-transport rider, it was impossible for me, both times, to go home using the usual ways of travelling. I say both times, as after Quagluno's, R and I ended up in Dukes, for the drinks at Quaglino's were not bad, but also were not remarkable.

And then at Dukes after the first sip of Odd Job 1646 all became a large, colourful smudge.

Warning: forget the rest, but a drunken night out is very very bad for your face.

29 December

PS What about the book? Well, with two visits at Dukes in a week, I am still on page 26. Instead, a good book review of Frank Gardner's 'Ultimatum' by Caroline Fakhri is available under Books or here: http://www.londonartandfood.com/437220133

Le Chifre, Dukes, Christmas Eve about teatime


Celebrate the Yuletide Season at the Barbican.

Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival 2019

By Caroline Fakhri

Superstar composer, arranger and conductor Andre Cottee brought glamour and seasonal swing to the Barbican yesterday evening with his show of universally popular swinging Christmas songs and music including; Let it Snow, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, and White Christmas.

Christmas song hits made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald were featured as well as the glittering orchestral sequences of favourite Christmas music and the UK premiere of Andrew’s setting of The Night before Christmas.

The show was the perfect beginning to my very own festivities, leaving me thirsty for more so I made sure to book my tickets for the New Year’s Eve Gala, an evening of music from the Strauss family, the perfect end to 2019 and the perfect beginning to 2020, with a glass of complimentary Prosecco included in the ticket price.

For details of remaining Yuletide events go to www.barbican.org.uk

24 December

*************

Also by Caroline Fakhri 'Tavazo or What to give at Christmas to an Iranian friend' under Little East or here http://www.londonartandfood.com/441696977


Northern Lights aka Champagne Martini at Café Boheme

Northern Lights

Is what they used to call it in the good old 'Havana Club Bar' on Vitosha Bulevard, years ago, back in dark communist times Sofia, Bulgaria.

Nowadays, they call it 'Champagne Martini' in Café Boheme in Soho, London - pretty much to the same cheerful effect.

Yet, "Northern Lights" expresses better the brightening of the dark afternoon effect that follows a quick consummation of a vodka/champagne cheeky mixture, doesn't it?

17 December


All things Bridget Riley - dansing waves, bent seas, pulsating stripes, runny dots

After Bridget Riley's exhibitions I see her paterns everywhere. Here is a la Bridget Riely fence at Bowers Park, North London.

In the bleak, rainy autumn when all galleries compete to allure with sublime shows, Hayward Gallery shines with a mighty and vibrant exhibition of Bridget Riley.

Bridget Riley, well known to you, brand new to me - the curves of reality having thrown me, a pebble, on the sands of this perfect beach - the major retrospective exhibition of a celebrated British artist. And what a full on pleasure it is to discover an artist when all rounded and accomplished!

“200 works tracing her creativity from the 60s onwards, including 50 key paintings and the iconic black-and-white works of the 1960s” says the gallery’s press release. To me they all the paintings look iconic with ingenious simplicity, boldness and verve.

Unsurprisingly Bridget Riley is also a mighty thinker, as I had the privilege to realise at her question time. The reflections on her works are pieces of art in their own merit. I would love to have recordings of her voice talking about the process of creation:  thinking, perception and work. Hearing her voice and her thoughts amidst the exhibition this morning added … well, at least as many dimensions as those unfolding from the works on the walls. 

At first I thought that her narrative has a strong impact because it comes from another time. I thought that Bridget Riley is from “the old times” much closer to the times of coloses like the wise Pissaro and the generous Renoir. Until I realise that it is not a different time that she is talking to us from, but a different space - the special, untouchable space of the masters. 

From another perspective, purely visually Hayward Gallery suits  Bridget Riley’s work perfectly. As if the gallery was made especially to host her works. Which I guess is the great contribution of the curators. Or is it that Riley bends not only seas but also concrete? 

Bridget Riley is at the Hayward Gallery for a third time (in a praiseworthy continuation from 1971 and 1992) until 26 January 2020. The program accompagnying the exhibition includes music, which I imagine will be awsome (in the original sense of the word and not as merely 'terrific'). Check events here : hayward-gallery

Bridget Riely at Hayward Gallery, 22 October about 1100


Extinction Rebelion visiting Antony Gormley

Fly now Pay Later - Extinction Rebellion at Antony Gormley

An endearing, lonely extinction rebellionist was a live female sculpture amidst Gormley's Iron Men.


Into the Night. Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art, Barbican Art Gallery. Photo @Caroline Fakhri

Into the Night. Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art, Barbican Art Gallery by Caroline Fakhri

This review is slightly late coming off the press due to the birth of my first grandson on the same day as the media viewing 3rd Oct.

The inclusion of Tehran in this exhibition was of particular interest to me as I lived in Tehran for six ye ars post Revolution and have known the city for the last forty years travelling back and fourth at intervals, the most recent visit being this September. Despite my knowledge of the City and the places which existed pre 1979 Revolution, I had never heard of Rasht 29 until I went to Into the Night Exhibition. I was pulled in immediately, excited to see what the nightlife of Tehran had once had to offer.

So not to only focus on Tehran but to use it as an introduction to the exhibition as a whole which explores the ‘social and artistic roles of cabarets, cafes and clubs around the world’ The exhibition is arranged by city making navigation very easy. I was of course tempted to skip straight to Tehran but was patient and gave each city a fair share of my attention.

The exhibition focuses on global locations from New York to London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Tehran, Mexico City and Ibadan, bringing together over 300 works, including paintings, drawings, prints,films and archival material. These places, which were somehow free from the social and political norms of the day, no longer connected to ordinary everyday life, gave artists and the audiences that frequented them an opportunity to escape from the mundane and explore ideas that might otherwise have been frowned upon.

Into the Night begins its journey in Paris, a fitting start, on the ‘eve of the 20th century, in the Chat Noir (ground floor) and Cabaret Fledermaus in Vienna, where experimental cabaret productions were staged. Upstairs meanwhile, I ventured into Berlin’s nightlife probably immortalised in most peoples minds of my generation by the film Cabaret starring Liza Minelli. Germany was left scarred by the horrors of WW1 and the Weimar Republic was marked by unemployment and disillusionment alongside rapid social change.’ Night clubs, cabarets and variety theatre took advantage of the relaxed censorship nurturing a thriving entertainment industry.’ Critiques of militarism and patriotism manifested in satirical cabaret songs and alternative identities thrived as depicted in female artists’ work such as Jeanne Mammen and Elfride Lohse-Wachtler who documented the flamboyance and diversity ‘with a focus on marginalised communities.’ It was a time of experiment and change.

The full scale recreation of some of the spaces such as Cabaret Fledermaus in Vienna 1907, give a real feel of what this venue was like. Cabaret Feldermaus is impressive with its multi coloured ceramic tiled bar. The colours and the business of the place made me dizzy, contrast this with the black and white chequered flooring guaranteed to induce a feeling of nausea for even the most seasoned of drinkers after a couple of alcoholic beverages.

Much later on in the century, 1966, the night club Rasht 29 emerged in Tehran as a creative space for painters poets musicians and film makers. The works of artists such as Parviz Tanavoli and Faramaz Pilaram hung in the lounge of Rasht 29. Amid rapid economic development and social change Iranian traditions as well as the aesthetics of modernism and pop art created new visual languages. Other venues such as ‘Mari Artists and Writers Club’ are also celebrated, founded in the early 1960s in Nigeria. ‘The exhibition looks at how these places were founded as laboratories for post colonial artistic practices providing a platform for a range of dance, operas and jazz as well as poetry and literature readings’.

Until 19th January 2020


Trevor Paglen: From “Apple” to “Anomaly”, at The Curve, Barbican, Until 16 February 2020

Not sure about sober in October, but this show is an absolute must!

Trevor Paglen: From “Apple” to “Anomaly”, The Curve, Barbican

تريفور باغلن -" من التفاح إلى الانحراف" في "ذي كرف"، باربيكان

يفتتح اليوم عرض عظيم للفنان تريفور باغلن تحت عنوان " من التفاح إلى الانحراف"  وقبل التطرق الى العرض اود ان اضعه في إطار مكان العرض.

وهو ممر "ذي كرف" في حي باربيكان السكني العجيب الغريب والذي لا مثيل له. فهو حي سكني وثقافي شبه مغلق - فيه مساحات عامة كممرات وساحات وحدائق ومساحات اخرى خاصة - مفتوحة للعين لكن ممنوعة للدخول. تم بناء باربيكان في هذه المنطقة التي تعرضت لقصف شديد من قبل القوات الجوية الألمانية خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية، مما سمح ببناء حي جديد بأكمله

الخاص بالباربيكان هو ان الحي كله مرفوع فوق مستوى الشوارع المحيطة به ومداخله مخفية من عين وبصفاته هذه يشبه قلعة عامرة - وهو كذلك مغلق للسيارات والأعلانات والنشاطات التجارية ولهذه "النظافة" آثر مريح على نفس الأنسان الخدمات المتوفرة فيه متعلقة بالضيافة كالمقاهي والمطاعم المرتبطة بمركز باربيكان الثقافي الواقع في قلب المجموعة السكنية وقدامه بحيرة اصطناعية مستطيلة طويلة يكثر فيها النيلوفر و تحيط بها النخيل وفي احد اطرافها شلالة وفي طرفها الثاني حديقة. والمجموعة كلها مصنوعة من أجود أنواع الأسمنت المشغول يدويا، أما إطارات النوافذ والشرفات فهي مصنوعة من خشب الأبنوس

هناك قاعتين عرض في قلب مركز باربيكان الثقافي، ونشاطهن المتزامن مكرس هذه السنة لإعادة النظرة إلى الحياة من وجهة نظر العلاقة بين الإنسان والذكاء الأصطناعي

سمي عرض "تريفور باغلن" "من التفاح إلى الانحراف " ويمثل عمل فني - قطعة عمل عملاقة مكونة من 30.000 صورة فوتوغرافية - فريد، من خلاله يأخذ الفنان الزائر، حسب رأي ، في رحلة إنسانية من الجنة إلى الجحيم . ينطلق الفنان في عمله من طريقة "تعليم" أو " تطعيم " الذكاء الاصطناعي بمعرفة ومعلومات عن طريق تمويله بأعداد لا تعاد من نماذج شيء معين - وها يفتتح المعرض بصورة تفاحة وثم تليها صورة تفاحة ثانية، وبعدها صور اشكال وانواع والوان من التفاحات ، وبعدها تفاحات في حالات لاتحصى وهكذا تتكون "غيمة التفاح" وتليها غيمة أشجار التفاح وبعدها غيمة النباتات بصورة عامة والتي تتصل من جانبها بغيمتي السماء من جهة والأرض من جهة ثانية وهي على دورها تتصل بغيوم أخرى مثل غيوم الإنسان بنشاطاته الغير معدودة من طرف والحيوانات والكواكب والأشياء المادية من طرف آخر

وهكذا الى ما نصل اصناف ك: متخلف، محرض، أيديولوجي ، عنصري ، شاذ الخ وهذا العمل الفني عريض كالحياة نفسها ومضحك ومرعب وساخر وغامض مثلها

وهو عرض يجب ان لا يفوتكم للباربيكان مطعمان ومقهى وتتمتع كلا القاعتان الفنية بمخزن فني

٢٦ ايلول


Sea of Tranquility Sea of Plastic by Polite Extinction, @politeextinction

Sea of Tranquility Sea of Plastic

Mare Tranquilitatis is a lunar mare that sits within the Tranquilitatis Basin on the Moon.

Polite Extinction, went to Goldsmiths BA, MA, Museology in Ed, PGCE university of Brighton and is currently in artistic residence at Budapest.


Here We Go Again or Screaming Brexit

Credit @art_decoded. Follow @art_decoded on Instagram

Screaming Johnson, an ahead of its time image of Boris as captured in September 2020 by Francis Bacon

"Oh, Theresa May...you tried so hard but in the end you couldn't make Brexit happen. We just hope that you are not taking it as badly as this painting is making you out to be." @art_decoded

"If this seems familiar, it is because it is based on Francis Bacon's 'Study of Velasquez's Portrait of Pop Innocent X' or The Screaming Pope as it is otherwise known.", @art_decoded continues its strict analysis.

Yet, Laaf just discovered an apocryphal edition of Nostradamus' Chronicles in which it is revealed that Bacon's inspiration for The Screaming Pope wasn't his tumultuous relationship with Peter Lacy as largely thought, but a vision of Britain's Prime Minister in September 2020.

The apocryphal chronicles reveal that the vision came to Bacon at about 0710 at the junction of Greek Street and Old Compton Street, Soho on 25th of May 1967, after a drinking night with Lucien Freud, Frank Auerbach, Henrietta Moraes and Lady Caroline Blackwood.

"You will paint a Prime Minister caught in a scary stuff called Brexit, ne cherche pas a comprendre, and you will call it Screaming Pope" a mighty voice whispered in Bacon's ear the chronicles further unveil.

Inspiration courtesy @art_decoded.

Follow @art_decoded on Instagram

It's one of Laaf's favourites

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