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October 31, 2006


This is what all the chairs are for:


They aren't for the audience, as most people seem to think at the moment, they'll form part of an installation. Bit of a diversion for me you might think, but chairs go back all the way to my college days as I mentioned in an earlier post.

I"ve booked 8,000 sq ft for the first Huddersfield Fringe Festival event. Fringe Festivals have to start somehow and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is a big international affair that needs a fringe I feel.

Wayne and I have been talking for some time about doing a big multi-media show, so here it is. More about it here.

Posted by john at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2006

Reality grows

After a long search looking for some chairs for an installation piece concerning reality and its consequences, I ended up in Ikea.

Not that I would normally frequent the place, but the budget is tight and so with judicious use of "STAFF ONLY" doors and a blatent disregard for the one way system I was in and out before the engine had cooled in the car park, with 19 chairs, all called IVAR [who thinks of these names?] and spent four hours tonight screwing them together.


Posted by john at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2006

The competition

Drifting aimlessly through cyberspace, in an idle moment, the way you do, I found myself on eBay looking at contemporary art and before I could stop it I was hooked up to some Chinese site selling: “Fine Art contemporary nudes girl oil Painting” and that’s the title of the picture not the search query.

They sell “Real High Quality 100% Hand Oil Painting on canvas” indeed they go further: “This painting contemporary Absolutely stunning handmade painted by our artist -W Meiyan. every brush stroke can be clearly seen. This oil painting is an artwork. It is not a print or transfer.” The painting mentioned was particularly lacking in merit and it would be generous to call it an artwork let alone stunning.

They also sell famous paintings. Much improved too, it has to be said. Here’s one they have up for sale entitled: “Fine Art gorgeous The night watch oil Painting.”


As you can see it’s a great improvement on Rembrandt’s original:


Finally, their strap line is something I shall incorporate into all my future marketing:

“Come on, please do not ruin your own mood by bad or no hand painting. Let's take a fresh breath, and share the beauty of paintings.enjoying art ,enjoying living!!!”

Posted by john at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2006

More on what's real

So bearing in mind the sickening reality of the chair flying through the air, I am now embarking on a short film about reality [and flying chairs] to be shown at the first Narrative Expressionist exhibition: MAXIMALISM.


Posted by john at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2006

On to new things now

Where is reality? What is real?

Here in the Art World, where we make things up unashamedly, it’s not always clear.

I remember wrestling this problem when I was at college, along with many other universal concepts – that’s what art college was for [sadly no more, but that’s another story for another time]. This reality thing seemed tenuous at the best of times and it struck me as a puzzle so I wrote it large on the wall of my basement flat on Falkner Street, Liverpool 8:

It was in this chair I used to sit, every night, listening to the late John Peel, wrestling reality.

Well I soon discovered a certain kind of reality as a mug flew across the room in a moment of heightened excitement. The mug smashed into the wall with a satisfying crash. Later, in bigger studios, I would sometimes fling a chair.

I’m not proud of it, and I’ve lost a few good chairs along the way, but it is a kind of reality. A chair flying through the air is like a book or a film, the ending is all wrapped up in there.


The chair in the air, in mid-flight, is real. That’s where reality lies, for me anyway, I don’t know about you.

Posted by john at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2006

Gjakova film completed

The showing in Huddersfield was a great success, everyone was very positive about the film which always feels good.


Posted by john at 09:21 PM | Comments (1)

October 09, 2006

Erotic or Exotic?

N’er mind pornographic. It’s the age old debate about Sex and the Artist. What’s the difference between erotic and pornographic? [Erotic is using a feather, pornographic is using the whole chicken].

Germaine Greer writes in the Guardian about Rodin’s sculpture and does a good job of debunking the pornographic debate, and has an interesting slant on the plausibility erotic sculpture: “Explicit and erotic are not at all the same thing, and "erotic sculpture" is an oxymoron. Sculpture is monumental, immobile and, in our necropolitan museum system, out of reach.”

As a sometime painter and photographer of naked women it’s a debate I am forced to revisit with tedious regularity.

August Rodin, Iris, bronze

Posted by john at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2006

Walk like an Egyptian


Posted by john at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2006

Film Premier

consider yourselves invited:


Posted by john at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2006

The Firegarden

Went to the Firegarden last night. Manchester's answer to Burning Man, well not quite. But a group of French welders and musicians put together a lot of metal sculptures and set fire to them in the gung-ho fashion popular on mainland Europe.


Quite spectacular, and the more so as you were allowed to walk amongst the red hot exhibits. I can't help feeling this sort of thing won't be able to happen in a few year's time, at least not without streams of safety wardens and barriers set at such a distance that the whole thing would be like looking at a bunch of candles. It was exciting precisely because you could walk round in and amongst it.


This particular piece roared and hissed for a while, then the man [French, welder and musican] turned the big wheel which must have tripped a baffle in the chimney for a huge ball of flame erupted from the top.
The man turned the wheel a bit more and let the fire roar up the chimney, rather like a rocket engine, for a while before turning it some more and shutting the whole thing down to brew up another fireball.

I tried to get the fireball on camera but what with it being somewhat unpredictable [Gallic Whim I suspect] dark, raining and muddy with dozens of people lurching about, I missed it.

Posted by john at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)