In Atoms, Immix Ensemble and Ex-Easter Island Head @ The Bluecoat
Gabrielle de la Puente
about me waking up to a Leave vote and wanting to go back to bed. I sat on the bathroom floor/floored, anddd party, while I was moping there I also discovered I hadn’t got the mark I wanted to graduate with. Whatever, the perspective of the EU referendum helped me get over that v. quickly. BUtttt I couldn’t swallow the comments that explained the grading. My marker wrote that I had ‘commendable doubt about the value and purpose of art.’ And yeah, I almost-almost agree - this skittish relationship with art is what I have learnt to articulate with The White Pube. BUtttt the fact my doubt had lowered my grade felt obvious and defensive, and I worried it had made the past four years (and £54,000 of debt) redundant, ironic, and empty. *Upside down face emoji ninety times.*
My Friday was framed by ‘go back to bed,’ and I couldn’t because, lol, I had to go and do art. I’m in Liverpool this week to install our new exhibition, 💧🌚👼🏾, at A Small View in Gostins on Hanover St, opening July 9th, and / that first day of install I basically did go back to bed. I found a long leather seat in the scrap behind the building, pulled it into the exhibition space, and sulked all over it. I spent too long on twitter, I ate some cake. At one point I stood up and painted a shape/ torn between ‘I’ll prove them wrong’ and ‘I am wrong,’ sad and sad - - - until the universe gave me a grip, gestured a chin up, and I somehow ended up at lunch with a boy I like. The sun was hot even as the floors were wet, we ate little chocolate umbrellas together, and I felt better. Before I left he invited me to a show happening that night at The Bluecoat, and I felt excited. And later, after some wine, I sat with him, enjoyed the music, and in spite of it all, I felt good.
Thank you for the recovery. Thank you In Atoms, this guy (Adam Cooper) up there on his own, his music like an electric heater for the room. He made the space in his own altitude - and I mean that, almost like someone would make something in their own image - but altitude, I was breathing differently. His music was anti-inflammatory, and present like physical ambience. * There were projections behind him while he performed, of Super 8 clips he’d worked on, of beaches and light and cable cars, over-exposed and slow. The words ‘shirtless I lay down in the quiet street and let the moon piss light upon my back’ stuck behind him for a moment, and I liked how it all became architectured poetry and tone - that’s when I knew I could write about it - the way you go to see music, I knew I could write about his sound *
Immix Ensemble with Ex-Easter Island Head followed and I liked them, but maybe I’d have loved them if it wasn’t Weird Friday. In Atoms had me away and okay (but/and) now I was focused, enjoying the main act for their skill. Tense, impressed. Tbh something about their competence interested me - even now it makes writing about this performance difficult, because I feel like I’m writing after them rather than alongside, as above. There is distance because of professionalism and skill, because these musicians are working at a level that makes their performances safe - and it takes away room for embarrassment. Yes, obviously, it is nice to see people doing the thing they do really really well - but that day I wanted to be before work that could make itself vulnerable. Not their problem at all/ all mine. I was appreciating and respecting,,, I do think their set ended 20 minutes too soon though, it hadn’t finished with itself yet/ but thank you for the recovery; thank you music; thank you company. I know I wasn’t sitting there doubting the purpose and value of art. I was happy.