Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The New Decor

Also on at the Hayward Gallery along with Ernesto Neto, the New Decor is a lovely bright show of objects where I guess art and furniture intersect. Our favourites included 1/2 Life by Jin Shi, which reproduces a Chinese migrant workers living quarters at, of course, half size; Doris Salcedo's Untitled room piece,; Martin Boyce's suspended fluorescent sculpture; Jim Lambie's optical tape ramp (you had to be there); and Django Hernandez's revolving chair leg. The main room of the gallery looks especially great with all the light works in it - really bright and not like it usually does with subdued gallery lighting.

Jin Shi

Django Hernandez

Martin Boyce

Monday, 28 June 2010

Ernesto Neto at the Hayward Gallery

We went on a quiet weekday to Ernesto Neto's show in the upper gallery of the Hayward (also on downstairs - The New Decor - more on that later) but could easily imagine it gets rammed at the weekend. A really fun space with lots to do, looks fun for kids, and topped off with a free swimming pool! You have to book in advance and its not included in your exhibition ticket but we were there on a hot and sunny Friday afternoon about 4 and it was dead - maybe everyone was watching the Brazil match. Walking through all the stretchy fabric installations you just wanted to get into your swimming costume and get in the water. Summery! PS apologies for the last photo, I like a nice detail and this little barrier that was up in front on on of the wall installations was really cute, obviously made to tie in with the rest of the exhibition.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Margiela ella ella hey hey

Well I for one wasn't expecting to like the Margiela show at Somerset House nearly as much as I did. As it turns out my reservations, as usual, were completely unfounded. But, leaving it after a nice little Friday afternoon jaunt, we were slightly confounded by the fact that we actually felt really good for having seen it. Maybe it has something to do with what seems to be the Margiela philosophy - heavy on wit and uncompromising conceptually, and yet completely practical. Taking itself seriously and yet not. Even now I'm feeling impressed. See it.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


We like a bit of heavy metal of an evening; so on Saturday night we donned head to toe black to take in few of Soho's finest filthy rock bars (Intrepid Fox and Crobar).Imbibing fine whiskey and red stripe straight from the can while cocking our ears to the exquisite sounds of hard rock. One of our number had just spent to the weekend at the mighty Download festival and regaled us with tales of the filth and fury that goes with spending three days in the company of ACDC, Rage Against the Machine, Them Crooked Vultures, Megadeath and the like. The night of metal reached it's head banging crescendo at The Macbeth (according to our cab driver the site of Amy Winehouse's ex's skuffle which resulted in his incarceration) on Hoxton St where Motorkill, the joyously excellent Motorhead tribute band played a blinding set. With pints of warm beer raised in homage we moshed with the cool kids of Shoreditch. We chatted with the band afterwards and being friendly Brummie's they had plenty of craic. We'd advise you check them out next time they're in town.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

CSM Graphic Design 2010 part 2

More things we liked from the CSM 2010 Graphics show.

CSM Graphic Design 2010

Seen at the CSM 2010 Graphic Design Degree Show at Nicholls and Clarke on Shoreditch High St this weekend. Lots of lovely lovely work.

Magdalena Sobczynska

Shin Park

Dias Murzabekov

Liana Kesenci

Monday, 21 June 2010

We like colour, and unsurprisingly so does Dulux.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Stephen Gill

From old junk for sale at a market in Hackney Wick to deserted half-cleared spaces destined to become London 2012 Olympic sites, Stephen Gill is there with his camera to record it all. One of our favourites, A Series of Disappointments, is a collection of photos of discarded betting slips, each one twisted, folded or screwed up in different ways by frustrated punters at the William Hill. In his photos the essence of life is to be found in what we have left behind. Stephen Gill self-publishes collections of his own work, the latest of which, Coming Up for Air, of photos taken in 2008 and 2009 while in Japan, will be launching at Photographers Gallery with a signing on 1 July from 6pm. We are officially excited.

From Hackney Flowers

From Hackney Wick

From A Series of Disappointments

All photos Stephen Gill

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Chorus at Wapping Project

Three words: Lovely, spiritual and unexpected. It's hard to describe this work by UVA. We were expecting it to be quite a techy affair but in fact the combination of the space - the beautiful back room of the Wapping Project, the incredible sound design, and the seamless movement of the 8 pendulums which comprise this piece, make it a surprisingly emotional experience. The sound was great in fact - maybe that was the element we weren't expecting. Then a super quick journey home on the new overground! 10 Minutes to Dalston - yes love.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Antony Gormley at White Cube

We like this new-ish installation by Antony Gormley at White Cube in Mason's Yard. Entering the pitch black basement, your eyes adjust to a mass of ghostly white cubes that seem to float in space. You're encouraged to walk through the installation, even though it messes with your depth perception so you think you're going to put your foot through it. After a couple of minutes, floodlights switch on, almost blinding everyone. We all stood around blinking for a little bit, and then the lights went off. The formerly ghostly structure is now glowing at full strength, the phosphorescent paint covering it having re-charged. It reminded us a little of Martin Creed, who we love. Abstract cubist sculpture self portraits in rusted metal populate the room upstairs.
Test Sites continues until July 10.

Electric Hotel

The weather has been a bit strange lately so it was a lovely surprise to have a nice evening for the outdoor production of Electric Hotel put on by Sadlers Wells. I keep saying it was David Lynch-esque to everyone who would care to listen, and I stand by it. Film noir-ish plot devices, filthy hotel rooms, unexplained screams and impromptu mass dance routines kept us all enthralled, sat in our seats with headphones on to hear all the action going on inside a convincingly old-looking but in fact purpose built hotel building. The setting of the whole piece - one of the last few un-re-developed areas of kings cross, behind a disused gas tower - helped suspend our disbelief that perfect extra bit.