WHAT I SAW LAST WEEK: 7th Aug
baby, i’m BACK!
it has been a big fat month since i last did a WISLW – apologies to the fans (literally who is reading these), but we have a lot to cover! I’ve been here there & everywhere!
- i went to TURIN!
my bf booked a surprise holiday and wouldn’t tell me where we were going, which was VERY FUN bc i LOVE SURPRISES!!!! he had me guessing all the way until we got to the gate – v good, well done, top bf 10/10 no complaints from me.
& Turin was really cool! saw the shroud (or at least, the box they keep the shroud in)
((this is not the real shroud apparently))
ate loads of fancy nice pasta n gelato, drank 3euro aperols in a piazza, stomped around – lovely lil holiday!
art highlights were:
went to the fancy old turin royal palace and they had a bonkers crazy armoury with HORSE armour and taxidermied horses. macabre, grotesque!! apparently they are wooden sculptures with horse skin stretched over it. apparently the horses died of natural causes. i don’t know!
went to the fancy lil pinoteca and it was only a couple rooms but they had a sweet collection! a lil lippi painting (i love! Lippi!) and some dutch bois.
misc fancy italian paintings
anyway. all that now means the holiday was also a tax deductible business expense hehehehe
- GDLP in LDN!
gab was in london and we did some work together irl! always a treat. always lovely to see my friend. we always sort out our entire lives when we’re in the same room. it makes me laugh bc imagine how powerful we’d be if we lived and worked in the same city all the time? ur all so lucky we are in a long distance business relationship.
we went to the reading room in Tate Britain and – have u ever been in there? it’s an insane library system imo. i want a more spontaneous art library experience. lmk if there’s anywhere in london that ticks that box! i know the stuart hall library is nice but idk if u can j walk into the new space same as u could w the one in rivington place? lmk lmk answers in on a postcard pls
- ZM in LVPL
i also was in Liverpool! to chat to Polly Barton at Dead Ink, about her book PORN: AN ORAL HISTORY.
it was a really fun & really interesting conversation – i think the book is like non-fiction beyond non-fiction, vernacular documentary history. it resists the urge non-fiction suffers (imo) to always speak with authority. i rly struggle w non-fiction most of the time, bc i think it never really travels very far – it always ends almost exactly in the position it began in, people write non-fiction with all the knowledge in their head already and they’re just telling you to catch you up to speed. i guess i’ve kinda always wondered where doubt and the nuance of not knowing something comes into it. i think polly holds onto that really really well in her book – it’s a really intellectually honest enquiry, and i think on that count alone, it’s a book i really respect just bc of the position and formal decisions. non-fiction that goes on a sincere emotional journey! i think that’s p cool.
while i was in Liverpool, i picked up the michael lacey painting i happily & finally purchased (and ML threw in this freebie). love it. excited to hang it up nicely once my landlord gets back to me about putting yet another nail in her precious wall.
- Liverpool Biennial
i don’t know what i think, mostly nothing at all bc this was only one little thing and – at least from the website, which is kinda really vague, there’s loads else on so it doesn’t feel like enough to form a solid opinion.
i wonder if biennials only ever make sense on a zoomed out scale, and actually up close they’re not quite legible. like you’ve probably got to stand back and see the wider perspective. i would like to read a review from a liverpool based critic (as a fan, i don’t think gdlp will write about it but i wish she would! – but as a fan, i GET it).
- Herzog & de Meuron @ the Royal Academy
i stg im not being funny, i think it should be illegal to charge money to go see some art. i think it’s SICK! charging actual money!? are they CRAZY!! are they out of their MINDS>???!?!? nearly bankrupted myself at the ticket desk. i felt genuinely ILL!!! it was the price of like, a medium fancy family dinner. royal academy, mark my words, i will have my revenge. that aside, architecture exhibitions are so INTERESTING! it’s kinda like performance: beyond witnessing the thing itself, you’re working at proxy and anything you present ends up being a New Thing of its Own. so it’s like, there’s a bunch of interesting choices you can make around display itself, before you even get to the thing you’re trying to actually display.
herzog and de meuron are apprently v famous, they did the new tate modern and the prada store in tokyo and a bunch of like famous stadiums etc. v famous! it was interesting too – i know literally nothing about architecture beyond the brief 2 week stint on spatial design as part of my #artfoundation. i don’t think i actually learned anything about achitecture as a discipline. but i don’t think people learn much about like… painting as a discipline from like a painting show. it’s interesting. i wonder how one would even go about getting into architecture in like, an amateur way, without having to go to architect school. how do you become an architecture hobbyist? how do you develop an above average interest in something that really does (imo!) feel like a really closed loop, closed set of insider logics, with its own value judgements and markers of good taste etceteraaa.
beyond that, my boyfriend said something interesting (not unusual, j making sure i am correctly citing this Clever Thought),, because this was an exhibition about a current functional and working architecture firm, this show was good ok – but it was also kinda a little bit like a massive advert for the firm? again, painting shows are massive adverts for a painter. but i guess bc its design rather than fine art, the commerce or the transaction part of it is more visible, less subliminally coded (in the fact of the art-object as a commodity class), the architecture firm is literally readily set up as a (successful!) commercial entity (artists are freelance sole traders, maybe also not really widely conceived of as workers but hobbyists or zealots idk). it’s an interesting thought! i felt myself nodding enthusiastically after he said it and i also wonder why i never think that about fine art exhibitions.
- while we were in the RA
this lil paintings from the RA’s collection. didn’t even know they had a collection in the first place.
- the Young Artists' Summer Exhibition
i think every year i try make an effort to go to the RA summer exhibtion (bc they have a kind press officer who is willing to give us press comps) but every year i half whinge that it looks the same every year. it does and it doesn’t – the point of the summer exhibition isn’t to impress whingey critics like me, in search of novelty and delight. the point is kinda to take a representative survey of what’s good round the country, both within and without established fashion, stuff people are actually making. mostly paintings. mostly nice. it’s a pleasant thing and i shouldn’t be so fucking rude about it bc people love it! i respect that. people who don’t go to any other exhibtions go to the RA, or at least know about the summer exhibition bc it’s got name brand credentials. imo, that matters.
but! i am still left knocking about the RA in search of novelty and delight, critic as Bad Vibes Tourist seeking AMUSEMENT! like a tyrannical child king! i was waiting for bf to wee and somehow found myself wander into the young artists summer show. good he was weeing, good i was waiting. i found DELIGHT after DELIGHT! everything delighted me! i wanted to tell all of these weird child prodigies how much i liked their art, enthusiastically and sincerely! my favourite artist of all time is my 12 year old cousin. i’m unironically her biggest fan, i think she is soooo talented and if i am not allowed to write her catalogue essay in 30 years i will kick off BIG TIME.
here are my young summer ex highlights, inc this poster of all the diff tubes!!!
- spotted, Shenece Oretha on art on the underground
i fucking love art on the underground!!! love poetry on the underground too. the tube can be such a drab liminal space. they do really fun things with really cool artists, j jazzing things up so it’s more than just ads ads ads tube map ads. i think that’s so valuable! i wish they did more, bigger, wish they had more space and more budget, tube platform as perfect exhibition space. like remember when heather phillipson did an installation on the platform at gloucester road? I DO. it was GREAT! i know there’s lots to be said about the density of cultural institutions in london compared to other cities in the uk, but i’m aware that the density is kinda part of the fallacy of income and expenses in this unreal city. everything costs so much, all the public space is actually private space and it costs millions of pounds sterling. the culture on offer is only really on offer if you’ve got the money and time to experience it. but everyone ends up on the tube somehow. this is actually a love letter for art on the underground, i wish there were new different paintings in every tube billboard hole. i wish art was everywhere! but not in an annoying way, in a lovely way!
- got my wisdom teeth out
i have been banging on about this, non-stop. but that’s ONLY BC it was a truly life changing event. if u know me, u know that i hate my wisdom teeth. they always hurt! they’re always giving me agg! i’ve been waiting to get these bad bois out since i was like 17! i’ve been waiting for literal surgery since 2018 – NOT JOKING the waiting list was 5 years long for me. but also, life changing bc i am in PAIN! my GUMS have HOLES! GUMHOLES!!! i have STITCHES >:( they had to knock me out! i had to take an ill-timed and much-resented week off work (from a job i LOVE!) so now i never want to have another part of my body voluntarily removed ever again. i want to maintain personal posession over my appendix, tonsils and gallbladder for all eternity now. i didn’t even get to keep the teeth bc they all BROKE on the way out >:( i am so CROSS!!! i spent a week in a fugue state reading about dry socket and the history of painkillers.
anyway, u get one funny surgery story from me, and it’s that apparently i woke up from general and immediately turned to the poor nurse next to me and said ‘thank u so much! ok i have to go now, goodbye!’ and tried to walk off bc i had places to be! hahjhfkashf and he had to give me a little oxygen mask to play with to keep me occupied and horizontal. i also cried loads? like, i cried bc they didn’t have chocolate mousse. i cried bc when my chocolate mousse arrived, it tasted bad. i cried bc my face swelled up and made my head look like a peanut. i cried bc i saw a picture of snoopy and snoopy is sooooo small! the biggest cry i cried was a hysterical cry that lasted all the way home bc i found out the guy that came out before me had been given a sticker and no one had given me a sticker. which is understandable tbh. the only sensible cry i cried.
- went to backyard comedy
to see people testing out new material. it’s funny, comedy is literally just trial, error, editing. sometimes the editing process is excruciating. it was interesting to see that intellectual pain play out in person, in front of a crowd. if i had to edit a text live on stage, i’d cry. but it’s also like… vibes. sometimes u laugh encouragingly for someone you think is nice or charismatic,,like sometimes it’s just about a comedian’s demeanour (that seems kindly, likeable, affable etc) or delivery rather than the joke itself. i think that must be so complicated to parse through in the editing process. so interesting too.
- popped back in to the bakery in islington
i j love the buns from home buns, ok!
ok that’s all haha that’s so much. this is like a whole million weeks worth of stuff i saw – nice to get it all done n dusted! ok bye!