WHAT I SAW LAST WEEK: 9th October
okok catching up to speed. straight into it: week beginning 9th October was fuckign HECTIC. but good – i love being a critic on the GO! i love being a gal with somewhere to be people to see! love it when the art world has Something Going ON
big week that i’m actually ridiculously late talking about. tbh i really enjoyed Spittle’s Frieze coverage – icl, mostly bc i love gossip. i’m too stoosh and uncool (simultaneously) to actually go to art parties, but i wana hear about the raucous behaviour that goes down in my absence. luvly.
art newspaper bin ^^^
in short tho, my frieze favs were:
Harlesden High Street: Mattia Guarnera-MacCarthy, Hamed Maiye, & David Liebe Hart
Sunday Painter: Nicholas Pope & Tyra Tingleff
Adam Farah-Saad @ Public Gallery
Larry Achiampong @ Copperfield, love this cowboy out for justice, feels powerful!
Lubaina Himid on the go @ Hollybush Gardens
(i’ve just realised, while publishing this, is that Helen Nisbet having a chat in front? hello helen, sorry 2 have missed u!!!)
Mohammed Z Rahman & Joanna Piotrowska @ Phillida Reid
Abi Palmer’s beautiful slugs
obligatory frieze mirror art selfie
i posted my thoughts on stories, if u missed them, here they are pasted over a pic of me in bed w my blackout eye mask on me head sjsdbsdg
also! spotted this horse in a window of a house on the side of regents park on my way into the tent. hehe funny.
we did a lil jobby w Nandos!!!!!! tbh all my thoughts are well documented on the actual podcast, so listen in if you haven’t already. but i i’m here rounding up the stuff i saw this week i saw a LOT OF ART in MULTIPLE NANDOS LOCATIONS. what a blessing!
BLUE MIST @ ROYAL COURT THEATRE
official friend of the white pube (even if he doesn’t know he is an official FoTWP, he is!) Zain Dada has a play on @ royal court! called Blue Mist! it’s on till 18th Nov, i think it’s v good.
the official blurb: Chunkyz Shisha Lounge is a home away from home for Jihad, Rashid and Asif, a space where community whispers are heard, jokes are told and new hustles are born. But its future is under threat, having become a target for local politicians. Aspiring journalist, Jihad wants to fight back. After winning a competition to produce his own documentary, he sets out to create something that gives a voice to his community and challenges the usual stereotypes that fill the airwaves. Will Jihad be able to create something that makes his boys proud? Or will his dreams of becoming a journalist come at a cost too high to bear?
my mini-review is: this was funnier than i was expecting it to be. the jokes were tight, fast, like little punches. it was also more political than i thought it’d be – even though i know and love shisha bars as political spaces. the politics was really complicated and gratifying though, a kind of politics you don’t really see played out in art, where art is often political at a price (the price is: never beign able to ecape the spectacular shadow of the political, art’s inabiity to e/affect anything beyond itself, the gestural, the blunt tool that is art in comparison to other politicla tools.)
but the spectacular was a tool here too, and a political tool at that! careful, spoiler: there were sparklers, the ceiling came down, the smoke and mist and — like it was so many lil things that were actually really engaging for me, as Not A Theatre Person. like i felt rly WOWED hahshjd. the ending is bittersweet bc i did wonder about the journo guy, Jihad and if he could ever be redeemed. lowkey, i was so confused at the end. i was like ‘there’s no way that’s it, that it’s over. there must be more!’ and i felt soooo, like it was such a minor key to end on, i almost expected some resolution. but it felt right, better in terms of like.. honesty or narrative truth for it to end that way? felt like !scathing! criticism of the whole dynamic (between minority, institution, native informant) & imo made me rly think about like, how powerless actually was Jihad in the face of institutional authority, did he have to trade things in, did he rly have no choice in the way he told the story? idk idk — it j felt very new, i have never seen art being made about the way HEGEMONY! and THE SYSTEM! asks u to turn in ur own in order to access power — that felt rly chewy and satisfying to see played out in actual art!!!
^^ mini-review taken & adapted from the fun discussion on this very play in TWP’s discord theatre channel :)
all in all – i’d say go see it. i think it’s great. even if it’s j for the sparklers and the spectacular, but mostly bc i think it’s rare to see politics w a backbone in art, an arena where gesture and image take precedence over actual chewy discourse.
ROSA-JOHAN UDDOH @ SOMERSET HOUSE AGM
icl when i joined somerset house’s lil co-working space, i thought the AGM was a boring meeting where an executive in a suit would point at pie charts and tell me about cost-cutting measures and carbon footprint reductions (worthy! but dull). it was not that. it was FUN! so i swung by and caught Rosa-Johan Uddoh’s performance about YE OLDE TIMES.
now listen, i love medieval times. i love medieval stuff, people, art, vibes. i am trying to figure out why, but i don’t know. i’m just really into it. they’re cool. medieval times are fuckinnnnng so cool. so when i saw that Rosa was making bits about YE OLDE TIMES i lost my nut. as an art critic and amateur historian (emphasis on amateur), this touched me on a personal and professional level.
i really love rosa’s work! i think it’s a crying shame i’ve enevr had a chance to write a review where i wax lyrical about her performances bc i find them fascinating, compelling, funny and good. this ye olde one spoke in the aesthetic and performative register of a primary school play, with all the props and stif movement. it was great! the best kind of performance art bc it’s already in a lexicon that you’ve got a reference for, an established relationship with, already keyed in as familiar and funny. god, she’s a genius! rosa, you’re so good i can’t believe no one else is doing this!!!! it made me think: i should go see more performance art (i shouldn’t) but i WOULD if it was all like this!!!! i want to see everything: frp, Boccaccio’s the Decameron to like the Da Vinci code acted out by Rosa & her theatrical company.
aren’t these nice!
I WAS ON A PANEL AT THE BFI FOR LONDON FILM FESTIVAL!
which sounds very official and important, but i was just interviewing actual official important people. it was THIS panel about food in film. i was chatting to Dominique Lecchi (a filmmaker, her short film Balsa Wood is on Nowness), Jenny Lau (aka Celestial Peach) and Kannan Arunasalam (a documentary filmmaker, find him here). it was really interesting. i was a bit emotionally frazzled to be perfectly honest with you – but i felt like i was in good company and i felt better at the end of the conversation than i did before. what a weird tense time, what a weird moment to be chatting about things like everything is normal! but thank u to my panellists of expert food filmmakers for putting up with me in my frazzled state :)
WENT TO PHAT PHUC AFTER FOR NOODLES
very good. wasn’t even too freezing cold bc we walked all the way along the thames from the BFI. terrific. love 2 stomp!