REPORTING ON ART AND FOOD from Troubled Places

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

👑 Marcel Proust, LAAF's bedkeeping, selfisolating patron-saint. Or how good, creative and beautiful can we be while selfisolating? That is the question! 💕

Laaf - 4 April Surreal

Religiously following the Prime Minister's advice, I have been out only three times since the 11 of March when my personal quarantine, due to exposure and symptoms, started. 

Exercise - physical : ropeskipping, hulahooping, lightdumbbelljuggling & mental : lonely tours through the darkened halls and passage of the National Gallery, where in the unusual gallery dusk I squint to figure the details of the paintings - I do at home.

Most certainly I will stay at home this weekend because during the last few days, as I am witnessing from my window, people outside are behaving rather irresponsibly. Or as Jul put it "There is a significant minority behaving idiotically".

And while at my last outing I was more veiled than ever, asking myself “Are we now all muslim women, men included?” and wondering whether I should order online some proper Arabian Peninsula style facial-cover gear - I am thinking of old-tribal metal decorations that some of the older generations put over the veil. It looks like something between noose and ancient warrior's head decoration. I first saw it in London, of all places.  I was just leaving V&A's Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design exhibition, 2007, still dreamy and smitten by all the Dali bijoux, Russian ballet costumes, Elsa Schiaparelli's accessories and many others, just having gone out in the bright summer light, I saw these woman, probably Emirati, floating by, adorned with this facial gear a continuation of the Surreal Thing exhibition - P's hunting sessions remind me the good-old-communist times when after long queuing one would: one day bring four oranges, another day bananas and a week later some radishes, and all the familly would chear the hunter up as if a bunch of nanas were a bare-hands-killed-deer.... Nothing new under the sun...

On PM's tweet, under Digestions 2020 or here

And remember: Back at the homefront we are all peacekeepers. 

Scarf over a mask under a cap or Last Time I Went Out. There is a pantyliner stuck inside my mask, as my mask is old and reused. Not sure how much rationnel is in that, but it makes me feel like I've done my best facial-protection wise. The idea of the pantyliner is coppied from a Russian "Home-made PPE gear", which is dodgy enough as a mood, so I am not advising anybody to do the same. Mind you my nose is a good silk-scarf-support. It is not perchance that Semitic people have a hilly nose. Hopefully, UK Lawyers for Israel will let me to say whatever I wish about my face. COVID no COVID never forger UKLFI whenever you've said Sem...

3 April - Kettle Cattle Social-Care

"The kettle almost boiling ....The cattle slowly grazing"

Thick as a Brick, Jethro Tull


Dieu merci I knew only this little - " The speed of sound is 330 m/s at 0°c" - English as a teenager, otherwise I don't know how I would have dealt with my favourite band -Jethro Tull -'s lyrics.

This is a luxury that an English speaker would never have - all the suspense of "What are they saying? It must be something brilliant and ingenious." and the oceans of music on which one can project whatever widsom and marvelous images*, one wishes.

Not that there is something wrong with the kettle boiling and the cattle grazing - I've played this album as a teenager at Vrah Snejanka/Snowwhite Peack, 1926m latitude, in Rhodopi Mountains, where there has certainly been a kettle boiling in the chalet and cattle grazing some 1000m lower down the mountain slops... but this precisely is my point.

Just registered with Islington Council to be Social Care-giver. They said they will short - list me. Hurrah. I hope there will be some training. Dieu merci I haven't foreseen this episode as a teenager either.

* Mostly sound penetrated the Iron Curtain, not images. No videos, no interviews, no news, just the occasional album cover, but randomly.

This day will be remembered as the day when I discovered what they actually say, the lyrics of Thick as a Brick, some...35 years later... hmmmhmmm Thick as a what?

1 April - Fools' Day, Jokes' Time

31 March and other days - Peacemakers

Why do it when you could do ìt not?

At the home front, we are all Peacemakers and Buddhists.

Do it not!

30 March - Peacemakers

Not useful, just peaceful. At the home front, we are all peacemakers.

New on Laaf: 'Берлин и аз', in Bulgarian, no brain tone for foreign languages. Under Laaf on Tour here  

29 March - PEACE

It is not necessary to make sense. It suffice to make peace. Homeisolation is peace. Even if you fight at home you give the world a rest.

As a teenager, with my nose always in the books, my mother used to tell me "Излез да видиш свят и светът да види звяр" "Go out, so you may see the World and the World may see a Beast".

There, no World for the Beast and no Beast for the World.

28 March - Paradise

- Are we in paradise? I ask P

- What do you mean?

- We might have already died and this might be our afterlife.

I look around : Sunday lunch on a Saturday. An open sunny window. Cool breeze. Flattened mussel and brain tones. Fabrice Luchini on France culture talking about Proust et Celine, Jean Cau et Foucault. In the emptiness of days and weeks images of youth and childhood pop up like light soap bubbles then dissapear. Pictures of times long gone reflecting times even older. Faces and voices of people long forgotten.

For all that I know, it might well be ...paradise.

To Sandra Jordan and her '100 words challenge'. Well, as an Arabian, my words had to be 101.

And Prime Minister, get well soon. We need you ⭐

Sunday roast on a Saturday, with veggie kebab in case you wonder.... cooked by P

26 March - Canary Jones and 8 pm Applauses

Putin who strikes bravado poses whenever possible appearing torso naked riding a horse here, tucked in wolf furs riding worships there, and petting bloodthirsty puppies in between struck a sudden cowardly pose last Tuesday while visiting coronavirus patients in Moscow.

Thus, Canary Cowardly and Superstitious* Putin showed us that:

1. Fear is stronger than image. I could bet Canary Cowardly and Superstitious Putin will be nowhere to be found in Kremlin in the coming months and I can only start to imagine the draconian temperature checks of his close circle.

2. Canary Cowardly and Superstitious Putin also demonstrates the difference between an adequate and an inadequate equipment when dealing with COVID19 patients. So that we all might be well aware how well equipped are our medical professionals.

3. Just like in a Russian fairytale where Ivanushka, the village boy, outbraves the Tzar, thus our more common PMs Boris and Boiko outbraved Canary Putin previously compared to Indiana Jones (honestly not sure why, to me he looks mote like strange archeological artefact rather than an adventurous archeological scientist) by still walking like normal human beings, nearly as naked as at the timespace spot their mothers gave births to them, amongst their co-citizens.

4 and * Canary Cowardly Putin has't postponed "a vote on constitutional change that would allow him to stay in power, because of coronavirus concerns"; but out of pure superstition. He is afraid that the winged angels of heaven may envy him winning the vote and as he, age 67, is in the high risk group of the seniors.... it might be better not to attract too much celestial attention risking to unleash celestial sense of humour of the type O, you've just been accorded eternal presidency by a populus vote but then fell victim to a populus virus. This is what we call S U P E R S T I T I O N. No, this is not superpower it is a simple cowardly superstition.

Conclusion :

1. Canary yellow suits Cowardly Putin well as it distracts the eye of his usual pale-yellowish and quite unpleasant to observe undead tan.

2. Indeed, in troubled times true natures shine, thus the braves will show and the cowards will .... well, will put on a canary yellow costume.

3. Tonight we are applauding our braver than any Indiana Johns NHS carers, key workers and volunteers at 8 pm #ClapForOurCarers

Inspired by BBC's article 'Coronavirus delays Russian vote on Putin staying in power, 25 March

On Canary Putin's facial "beauty" work wich ten years ago rivaled Berlusconi's, while nowadays makes him weirdly look like a bold South Kensington Russian housewife, I would leave to the beauticians to write.

The facial mask used by Canary Putin looks like a Devtac Japan made. This, of course, is an assumption. But it looks pretty much like theirs.

"A tactical advantage, beyond the status quo."

PS Devtac just denied supplying Canary Putin with protection masks, answering my question with "Lol no" on Instagram...well tant pis for Canary Putin.... anyway Devtac are too good for him.



Canary Cowardly and Superstitious Putin

25 March - Second Birthday

At a some point yesterday afternoon I felt my soul glad and light. Few minutes later came the call. I won't have to go to work anymore. All my shifts have been cancelled. Relief. Joy. Money worry will kick in later in this household of two self-employed, but for now happiness is king.

Thank you Prime Minister, for my Second Birthday.

In love with two PMs and a President in a week? Who would have thought, who would have thought... not entirely unpleasant these Times of COVID19.

Weapon of Vice, by Bambi, Pickerying Street or how the symbolism of a piece of art might change from one day to another.


"Monday 16 March 2020 Immediate closure of the Royal Opera House

The safety and security of the Royal Opera House staff, audiences and artists is of paramount importance and we take this responsibility very seriously. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision with a heavy heart to close the building to the public and cancel all performances in Covent Garden with immediate effect.

The staff and artists of the ROH are vital to the lifeblood of our art forms, without them we would simply not exist. This suspension of performances will impact not only our loyal audience but also our committed and talented workforce. We will work within the government guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and artists during this difficult time.

Our employees, permanent and casual, are reliant on the income which we derive through ticket purchases. Without performances it is inevitable that we will become more reliant on philanthropic support and charitable donations.

Where possible, we ask that audiences consider donating the value of their tickets to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation rather than requesting a credit note or refund." received by email at 18:24

Don't wory dear Royal Opera House - I am happy to become an immediate ROH donor with all my tickets set. I am sad though I have to admit, not for the donation but for the rest... 

My donation - tickets for Scotish Ballet, Live Fire Exercise and The Dante Project

Shamsia the Clairvoyant, Women By Women exhibition, see bellow

In the Times of COVID19

I wonder what France does with its ban on face covering...?

"The bill prohibits the wearing of face-coverings in public places and also applies to foreign tourists visiting France. The law imposes a fine of up to €150, and/or participation in citizenship education, for those who violate the law." Wiki

Other contemporary practice that in the Times of COVID19 strikes a particularly rotten pose is the one of the Admin*-Abattoirs as I call them.

Think of the new Camden Municipality building, the one next to Google at the otherwise so luring new Pancras Square, with the exciting postcode N1C. Or also think of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation HR, the one at Chelsea Harbour (this shamelessly boggling expression of greed that hadn't allowed the growth of a single tree amongst the sardinesquashed buildings...posh? mon queue). I am saying these admin-abbatoirs where up to hundred people are jammed desk to desk with not as much as a cubicle, like the ones in American films, to separate them; and where staff 'meets clients' in massive equally unpersonalized lobbies (overheated or hipper cold respectively), I mean these monstrosities are as a pure health hazard as a chemical attack.

And before my Lady of Elevation, the Starry Badger ** nags me for sueshoutingattea***, which is the contemporary English for unconstructive criticism, I will say : Nay, I am not sueshoutingattea and here is my sconeandclottedcream which is the contemporary English for "having a positive idea nearly solution":

Whenever you've created a workplace for humans - step back, squint your eyes and examine the creation. If it looks like admin-abattoir, start again thinking aesthetics and respect. If aesthetic and respect are incorporated health conditions would be bettered too.

Admin Life Matters.

*By Admin I mean all working for public institutions.

**Caitlin Moran aka CW

*** For contemporary English entry 'sueshoutingattea' follow the link and read N1 ' Yorkshire Tea' here


Shield! by Shamsia and Shamsia by Tahmina, at Women By Women exhibition, by ActionAid at OXO Tower, until 8 March

Women By Women and Niqab for Men

An example of strongly talented clairvoyance : Shamsia wears a mask before everybody else. Unfortunately the photos on this exhibition are not dated, so we don't know how much before everybody else exactly.

Shamsia was born as Afghan refugee in Tehran, where the Women-Fearing regime did not allow her to study art (as in addition to Women-Fearing the regime in Tehran is also a Muslim-slaying one - not only it slays Syrians but it also deprives from all rights and dignity the Afghan refugees seeking shelter on its lands).

Today, Shamsia is a street artist, fine arts lecturer and professor in sculpture at the University of Kabul. And hopefully for many a year to come despite all manmade wars and batmade viruses. Else to speak despite all Batmen.


By the way, suddenly, in the eternal match Iran vs Saudi Arabia, SA scores yet another goal - Saudi women's gear more en vogue with the last virus fighting trends. Lately, I am thinking shouldn't we all, women and men, start wearing full niqab?... for couple of months at least. 

Women By Women exhibition, by ActionAid is at OXO Tower, until 8 March

Magnefic! An extraordinary  PechaKucha 20x20* journey into  Art Karlsruhe with Elizabeth Thallauer, LAAF's Special Correspondent in Berlin. Under Berlin ruft here 

*PechaKucha 20x20 is LAAF's March word. 

Katharina Gierlach „Flower Power“

My Parents with Trolley and Mirror, David Hockney 1974, and the Woman Who Was there

Hockney's ' Drawing from Life' Pocket Exhibition and the Iconoclast Tea

Is at the National Portrait Gallery until 28 June

Yet the perfect time to see this exhibition is now-

The rooms were half-empty even on Sunday afternoon.

The perfect time to see any exhibition is the Time of COVID19.

And even though I liked much the portraits of Gregory (with Gym Socks) and Maurice (with Flowers), if I die tomorrow, I would have rather seen 'The Splash'

Don't be quick to say that the Splash is not a portrait, therefore it can't be a part of a Hockney exhibition at a Portrait Gallery,

It is a portrait, an Antigonish* portrait, a perfect Time of COVID19 portrait, as in:

"Yesterday, upon the  stair, I met a man who wasn't there! He wasn't there again today, Oh how I wish he'd go away!

When I came home last night at three, The man was waiting there for me But when I looked around the hall, I couldn't see him there at all!

Go away, go away, don't you come back any more! Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door... Last night I saw upon the stair, A little man who wasn't there, He wasn't there again today Oh, how I wish he'd go away...  "

Just like the lobby at Apex Temple Hotel... where the man wasn't there ... all men weren't there... which, obviously, is the perfect time to be in any hotel and any lobby. 

02 March 2020

* William Hughes Mearns

Tea at Apex Temple with the CW that Wasn't there, also known as the Iconoclast Tea.

' Voyeurism', by LAAF depicting a random male visitor observed through a handy hole in the gallery's wall between between two works by Sunil Gupta from the series '"Pretended" Family, 24 February 2020 about 1500

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography


Last Monday, I visited this exhibition on the gallery's kind invitation. There was plenty to see.

Men - loved, fetishized, objectified, adored, empathized with, hated - all the spectrum.Yet, when I went out through the exit end, I was thinking "More, more. It could have been much more" and indeed, I needed much more loving, fetishization, objectification , adoration , empathization, hatred. As everything that comes late, when needed, this exhibition is a good, yet insufficient beginning of the big, long rethinking and reconsideration of ... Masculinities, with plenty of beautiful work exhibited.

My favorite series are:

'Taliban portraits' by Thomas Dwarzak to which I laughed at the top of my voice. I absolutely adored those.

A very beautiful and tender series of family portraits taken upon twenty years, by a Japanese photographer whose name I have forgotten to note.

And the two narrative series : 'Exiles' 1987/2015 by Sunil Gupta telling of the photographer's many and lengthy strolls through his hometown New Delhi; and 'Fully Automated Nikon' 1973 by Laurie Anderson telling of the photographer's strolls through New York.

And many many more.

Later that evening, Facebook, the one that "cares about you and the memories that you share" reminded me that nine years ago, I have shared a picture of four naked rugby players. As a proof that, after all, nothing in this world changes.

We the least. 

26 February

Random picture, from (most probably) anold Rugby players calendar, posted on "my Facebook wall" nine years ago. Otherwise called 'Who cares about author's rights, when there are naked men?'

I am just further realizing that I have made "my profile photo" of this picture....Well, well, well.... I am thinking whilst posting this "profile photo" and arranging an all female outing next Friday to a lesbian club on the occasion of 8 March...Among all the things that I have heard about being pre-menopausal, sexual confusion wasn't one.  Yet, I am more confused about it now, than at any previous period in my life. Note this: pre-menopausal gender and sexual confusion! Now you have not only heard about it, you have even seen it written. 

Standing ovations Acosta Danza Up Close, 22. 02. 2020 Linbury Theatre

Linbury Theatre is the Address

Today, if you are not in LInbury Theatre at 1945, and if you haven't been by the same time at the same address in the last few days, you are about to miss the most existing thing that London has seen this February - Acosta Danza Experience Up Close.

I have never seen such an exciting accumulation of male dancers.

Saturday evening, the female spectators of my age was literary going nuts at the sight of the bodies - histerical laughters, sighs, o-my-goddings, goshings and others were to be heard from the first to the last minute of the show; for big offence of the male and younger female part of the audience.

The dancer that created the biggest frenzy was Carlos Louis Blanco - with his spectacular body.

My favourite though was Alejandro Silva - what an extraordinary dancer!

Raul Reinoso was also perfect.

All the male dancers were absolute stars.

Of the women most interesting was Zeleidi Crespo.

My favourte choreography was 'Mundo Interpretado' by Juliano Nunes, but if you have asked me, I would have said "It is the Wave by Camille Claudel".

Carlos Acosta himself does Malephant's Two in a rather spectacular way.

As tonight is the last show and the tickets are sold out, just go there at about 1900 and start begging for a ticket waving a thik bundle of banknotes around hoping that somebody might be stupid enough as to sell their tickets at double its price.

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.

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 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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