The Haçienda must be built…

Fac 51, The Hacienda c.1982. Copyright Ben Kelly Design/Peter Saville.

This month I touch on what may be a unique, but equally momentary opportunity to forge new partnerships as old orthodoxies are ravaged by the Virus, Climate Change, Brexit, Woke/Gammon, Cancel Culture and all points East. The titular reference is a tribute to both Ivan Vladimirovitch Shcheglov’s Formulary for a New Urbanism (1953), and an idea that one could be applied to create something out of nothing: Enter Fac 51 The Hacienda – and part a Mancunian legend to boot. Read HERE.

Do the Standing Still

For my title reference I would refer you to a punk classic by the Welsh band The Table from 1977. I also thought this captured a certain zeitgeist of the moment. Read the full article for Wall Street International HERE.

Yo-yo Kusama with Installation courtesy of the artist, photo copyright Hans G. Anderson

Id | Ego | Super-Ego

Subsequent to the recent ‘Beast from the East II’ storm last week I hereby claim this dislodged fragment of sea defences as a fitting structuralist metaphor for the current state of the ‘self’: a true concrete poem.

Image credit Ⓒthe author 2021

Sighs trapped by liars: Art thinking and non-art thinking

Sighs trapped by liars ©Art & Language/Lisson Gallery, 2007

Thanks to the titular genius of an Art & Language/Red Krayola malapropism1, my poetic license this month allows me to muse once more on art thinking against the current political frontage of what might best be described as “non-art thinking”. As we enter what is almost the seventh month of virus-driven global control, it is fair to say that the novelty of the provisionally-titled pathogen, Novel Corona Virus (nCoV), has well and truly worn off, and our patience worn thin. Read the full article here.

Art as art as philosophy

Joseph Kosuth, Untitled, Courtesy of the artist

Before you ask, no I haven’t been reading R.D. Laing’s Knots. Here I make more than passing reference to in the title is conceptualism, à la Reinhardt, Kosuth, Weiner, LeWitt et al. (and forgive me for taking these references1 as a shorthand for a myriad of significant moments, but I really don’t have time here to explain). I alighted on the title in the current milieu of sense and nonsense that we have foisted on ourselves in trying to wrestle down our global viral load and the tragic personal consequences for thousands, if not millions, of families in terms of bereavement and other less tallied suffering. Having, like many of us, been relatively confined for almost half a year now, my own suffering thus far has been insignificant, but relative sensory deprivation is perhaps the best way to describe my experience of Covid anti-culture. I am missing looking at, smelling, touching (don’t tell!) and navigating art, its spaces, its people, and perhaps more unexpectedly, its emotional draw and retinal imprint. Read all about it in the full article.

Hans-Peter Feldmann. Pictures at an Exhibition

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Untitled, Oil on Canvas, Diptych, each: 55 x 49 cm © Courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery

Whilst my title may imply some shallow meaning, it is intended to echo the deadpan and non-egotistical approach to the titular taken by the artist, on which more later. Worth mentioning of course that this masterpiece by Modest Mussorgsky was based on a largely lost series of watercolour sketches in an exhibition by the artist and architect Viktor-Edouard Hartmann (1834-1873), who had died a year previous to the suite’s production. This in itself is curious fact in that we understand the inspirational impact of the work by proxy, but not by the works themselves.

In a similarly disembodied vein, there are few things weirder than writing a thought piece based on remote viewing an online gallery exhibition, the hazard being of course that we play out, in public, a game of critical Chinese Whispers based on Photoshop phantoms. In fact, I have no idea if this exhibition is ‘real’, other than it is as real and unreal as any other screen-based entity or object in my current, screen-bounded world. see full article here.

The Past is a Foreign Country

Yayoi Kusama, The spirits of the pumpkins descended into heavens (2015) Installation view at Museum MACAN © Yayoi Kusama

“The Past is a Foreign Country; they do things differently there”, so stated L.P. Hartley in his award-winning novel the Go-Between (1953). Beyond the mainstream critique of that text and accusations of its culturally narrow reference base, I would argue that before long we will have need to revisit textbook diagrammatic representations of the human timeline, and perhaps even the dendrochronological carbon record as we traverse this momentous watershed called Coronavirus. We may also need to rethink our Julian definition of BC (I am hereby christening ‘Before COVID’ BC2 here for the purposes of this article) and the rest (I am compelled to say I am already weary of the term ‘the new normal’ btw). see here