WHAT I SAW LAST WEEK: 20th November
long time no see. if you’re a TWP regular, you will know that we have spent the better part of 18 months writing a book! For the past month or so we’ve been limbering up to get a full final draft tidy and presentable before the end of the year (tbc tbc). i think if we don’t set a deadline we will just edit and edit and faff away forever. everytime i look at the manuscript my brain feels like one of those stones that’s been polished smooth by the sea and all the erosion. not a single thought, only smooooooooth seaglass baby. i have also been ILL. i feel like i’ve had the same lurgy for like 2 months now, and i think it’s time for me to admit that it’s either: terrible weather and i’m a delicate flower OR i’m literally just so vitamin d deficient my vitamin d levels are probably NEGATIVE, and it’s making me feel like a sick dog. it’s maybe both. uniqlo heattech weather. big coat that makes me look like a football manager weather. had enough n wana fuck off back to where i came from weather. ok.
DID 2 LIL CHIT CHATS!
love my job! earlier this month i was on a panel about crits, organised by CSM SU – lovely lovely, thankyouuu for having me! always a trip being back and even though i was ON the panel, i learned a lot about crits and different art school tools that exist to make them better & more useful! such an interesting and particular part of arts education!
then i was down in Bristol for a lil visiting lecture at UWE to talk about TWP and what we do, how we do it, the whole shebang! haven’t done one of these lectures in a while so it was v interesting to throw my mind back and remember what we actually do and how – it’s changed a bit since we last did this!
after these 2 talks it really hit me properly, not for the first time but for a real big time: the more i think about it the more i’m convinced that our careers are wild flukes because the way we work feels so impossible and unsustainable, like how is anyone meant to do the same thing and expect any kind of living? in this economy??? idk how to talk about what we do without thinking about how we’d break wide open if we were starting TWP in 2023 instead of 2015. god bless all you art students out there atm, my heart really goes out to all our youngers because it’s so tough, so bleak for all art students trying to do or make anything in any kind of way. all the little windows of hope are so small in comparison to the wider tide lines of The Culture At Large. it’s such a shit era.
not to change the subject at breakneck speed but
WENT TO ONE OF THOSE WINE AND PAINTING THINGS W MY MUM FOR HER BIRTHDAY!!!
YES, Sangita, Scorpio queen! it was her birthday! my lovely lil mum! god love her, shout out to all the single mums etc. me n my sister took her out for a fancy lady day and we went to this wine and painting class in spitalfields where you like… have a glass of wine and paint along with an instructor at the front doing bob ross style walkthroughs.
it was really fun. icl. i haven’t painted in a while, even longer since i’ve painted PROPERLY. but every time i do a silly lil painting for fun as a shared activity, i have such a nice time! i should start painting for fun again. i actually should! w no expectations or outcomes, just paint ugly bowls and knobbly vegetables. wish my landlord would be cool about me getting oil paint on her precious floorboards.
WENT TO THE OPERA
i can’t say much about this because i actually want to write a sunday text about this — as soon as the book draft is tidy and i can boot it out of my brain queue, i will get my thoughts down on (digital) paper. the plan is that’ll be this sunday? (EDIT: here’s the link to the text!!! i did write about it on time!) probably! but the opera was INCREDIBLE. went to see Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House and the tickets were VERY KINDLY given to me for free by the Royal Opera House Press Team after i was super cheeky and emailed them on the off chance. real lesson there for me in don’t ask don’t get, because it was a really generous offer and i feel very lucky to have experienced this!!!!!!! anyway anyway, thoughts tbc, coming soon to a sunday near u
WENT TO KV
like the day after the opera lmao. weird week for my extracurricular schedule! i don’t actually think i can say anything about this either? like officially i think not writing about it online is one of their rules. and, fine bc i wasn’t here as a critic. but still, it’s hard to turn that part of my brain off. so wish i could write about it j to get those thought out my head and into the world! i think this was so interesting, as a kind of cultural phenomenon. wish KV had a critic in residence. i volunteer!
JAMES BALDWIN IN PARIS
v sweet cute sleepy weekend activity! ate gozleme in bed & watched james baldwin being a beautiful loving human, so smart it probably hurt. directed by terence dixon!
not to be a beg friend, but this is on mubi & i know they have a lil invite a friend link so if u use my link we both get a month free, and that’d be nice wouldn’t it??? here’s my link but honestly take it or leave it, i imagine ur all signed up already and that’s FINE.
but this was such an interesting film, the way the director and crew could not actually see or hear Baldwin, the way Baldwin HAD to refuse to explain or bend for them, the way that felt confrontational or maybe difficult to them but actually, looking at it, the way it was an act of love and generosity because it opened up space for him to really talk, on his own terms. and also actually, even though they all edited and made the film, i am still not sure the filmmakers really heard him or saw him even though they were using his words as material and subject and arranging them – isn’t that funny? isn’t that strange?
there was a beautiful bit where James Baldwin is in his friend’s studio with a bunch of students and they’re all looking at his friend’s paintings (it was a hazy saturday morning a couple weeks ago now, i have forgotten the artists' name, apologies) and drinking wine and eating lil snacks and being ~convivial~. one of the students says that they read his work when they were a teenager, they love it, have loved it for such a long time, it’s so surreal to be in a room with him now drinking wine and eating snacks because they love his work. and james baldwin smiles so enormously it’s like his face is a source of light, it is literally beaming it is so fully of love. and he says something along the lines of ‘i love you, my youngers, so much and i write for you as a token of my love, as a gesture of that love and with that love in mind, so it is beautiful that i am alive to hear you say that you love me back’ – except he says that in a far more beautiful way because he is james baldwin. and it made me cry! because i remember reading his work when i was a teenager, or maybe 20. i remember reading it and thinking ‘i love this man! this is beautiful, special work, i want to hold it so dear and close to me!’ and it is so strange to hear someone say that exact same thing to him, to his face, and see his beaming reaction. i am glad he knew how loved he was in his lifetime, that moment feels so important. what a beautiful man, so full of love and life. cannot think of a better person to hold dear and close to my heart always. rly rly recommend watching it for that bit alone bc it is so special and rare and good, and the filmmakers were so lucky to get to document that moment!
THIS PUBLICATION BY ROSALIE SCHWEIKER
i was on a hunt for something specific, and often when i’m looking for something, i come across a bunch of things that aren’t the thing i’m looking for, but that i’m really glad to come across? it’s like hunting for one thing leads me to a treasure trove of other things that the universe is rewarding me with. love it. but this publication by Rosalie Schweiker, London Art Economies < < < you can buy it on rosalie’s website/shop or download it for free as a pdf
i know data visualisation is quite a dry term, but it’s very important, as a way to conceptualise information that probably otherwise feels incomprehensible. even if it’s just a list of things that are related, rather than like solid numbers. i found myself really appreciating the way this laid out information, made it Of Interest to me, or made it clearer by literally illustrating it. thank god for artists! for giving us new ways of seeing things, and new things to see.
I LOVE STICKERS!!!
a friend of ours in Glasgow sent me some ~exclusive free palestine stickers~ and they’re very cool! very cute! already on my laptop, absolutely. i don’t think they’re available online, but a bunch of other fun cool cute bits and bobs are, and they make very cute xmas gifts for people u like, who like fun cool tshirts etc. here’s the shop link! sneeshirts!!!
FREE PALESTINE @ TATE!
i didn’t manage to make it over to the tate for the sit-in last weekend (i’m/was ill! i saw it on ig from bed tho and i was like YEAH! go youse lot!!! wish i was there ah etc) but one of the organisers gave me one of these maps – they made alternative maps for the Tate Modern, highlighting the Tate’s complicity in their choice to be silent rn, raising awareness about the [PACBI boycott] & also spotlighting th work of 6 artists from Gaza (3 of whom were killed by Israel this year). i’m not sure if there are digital copies if you want to print your own version/erad for yourself, but pics below & if you see them out and about at the Tate Modern, let us know!!!
STRIKE ON WEDNESDAY!
popped along to Southbank to join a bunch of other artists and cultural workers who were on strike for an hour on Wednesday midday.
i j think it’s really weird that so many artists and cultural workers have been hugely vocal and bold in their support for Palestine, but the institutions around us are so silent? like, everytime i’ve gone to a protest i’ve seen a bunch of art people i know – in a huge crowd that size?? every time??? compare that to the actual institutional statement level of things, like — have you seen Iniva’s waffly and vague ~statement on silence~ ?? like, that’s INIVA, what the fuck is that??? what’s going on and why are they mincing words??? what the fuck does any of that even mean?? like, way to sit on the fence in a very academic and thoughtful way, way to spend several slides sayign absolutely jack shit — imo i think that’s so wasteful! incredible! the artists that work with Iniva deserve better from them tbh, they’re being failed by them. artists continue to be brave in speaking out and are being put on literal blacklists for doing so. – these institutions forget that they are literally entirely reliant on the underpaid labour of artists and their goodwill in giving their labour for less than it deserves
imo i think that institutional silence is very careless. not just morally, but artists will (and should!) remember who spoke out and who waffled and who said nothing at all. especially when they’ve let artists take heat in their place rather than protecting them. i think that is professionally careless because they should be a bit more scared of artists and the power artists have.
ok i actually share a spotify account with my little sister. i love her but we are in the top 0.5% of worldwide BTS listeners, and that is not a statistic i personally was contributing to, so… the stats are skewed. by apparently i did listen to Jai Paul most in May, i don’t want to be the person posting their spotify wrapped because i don’t care if u do or don’t care, i personally don’t get the whole hype bc i find this information HORRIFYING. what do you mean i spent 230095892375 minutes from my one and only human life listening to UK HIP HOP what the fuck is UK HIP HOP i find this garish and that is my most boomer opinion on the matter (i also am not willing to discuss this opinion and i don’t want to find out if it’s unpopular or not so, that’s why i’m hiding it at the bottom of a WISLW – bc i know only like, my boyfriend reads this far thru it all.)
ok. that’s all! goodbye have a nice rest of ur week mwah mwah bye!