PLEASURE TO BE INVITED TO THE VIP PREVIEW OF ART 14 – LONDON BY AVENUE 32, c/o British Vogue. Thanks so much to Claudia & Guga. x
A few snap happys:
PLEASURE TO BE INVITED TO THE VIP PREVIEW OF ART 14 – LONDON BY AVENUE 32, c/o British Vogue. Thanks so much to Claudia & Guga. x
A few snap happys:
I’ve been places.
Many of my cuts have been left in the 20th century – on the pre-digital slow train – alongside Lacroix dresses, a record box or two and a few empty bottles…
A fellow professor was interested in some of my old travel writing – in about ’95-’96 I worked as a travel ed for Dan Kahuna. Anywhere I could get to with other people paying for it. With Lee Bullman as my wingman, we toured Europe, did Paris Fashion Week (our first date), the next issue was maybe Munich (doubling up on my TV presenting duties), later gigs included a sex tour of Amsterdam, staying in the John & Yoko Hilton. Neither Lee or I died, surprisingly.
These are a few travel cuts from the digital age:
Prompted by the invitation to write something for Windmill’s round-up, with authors, agents and other folk: WHICH IS HERE>>> http://www.windmill-books.co.uk/index.php/books-of-the-year-3/ -
A lil more:
13. Started the year with a black eye. The American border people still allowed me into their land of roadtrips, and we took the wheel from San Fran to Mexico. In an RV – sleep n ride, baby. I rolled in the rocking chair at City Lights – the Poet’s Chair. Stopped at Henry Miller’s Memorial Library before some rocks in the road turned us back up the Big Sur to take the wine route into LA. In the desert, we weirdly homed into the place where Gram Parsons died. Other pitstops included the Integratron, Noah Purvifoy’s scrap-art graveyard, the Grand Canyon, and Arcosanti - Paolo Soleri’s commune. Came back via Vegas. Epic.
In addition to the Windmill mentions…
At the Miller Library I picked up Crazy Cock – post-humously published, a brilliant and terrible debut. Reassuring to read ill-kempt, overwrought drafts. Armistead Maupin’s taking his 92-year old transgender superstar on an American roadtrip in 2014, The Days of Anna Madrigal in 2014. Also good to hear DBC Pierre’s got a new one coming out.
I love discovering new writers: Ben Lerner was my American darling of 2013, like Sam Lypsyte was in 2012. Lerner’s Leaving Atocha Station is exactly the self-conscious, post-terrorism era that I’m stoked to leave behind. He’s very minimal, like Paul Auster, although a little less parred down, unfortunately. I’d had connections with Madrid whilst reading the British edition, and loved the ballsy biographical flavour.
I scan John and Irvine blattering about on Twitter, makes me feel like I’m at the quiet end of the pub table, but I met Niven recently – and he’s a classic. I forget titles if they’re not on my reallife #shelfies or stacked up by the bed – yet, upon a beach in Serifos this summer, I consumed his Straight White Male on an iPad. I used to write A LOT about music, so the books for much of my twenties were rock biogs. I’ve since consumed far fewer, but caught up on the staggeringly honest Anthony Kiedis’ Scar Tissue. Also loved John Waters’ Role Models. Also got through a graveyard of dead writers (my favourites this year being Sylvia Plath – I knew of her life than her work, so got into Ariel et al. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s reading of The Bell Jar is magical.)
Over Christmas I’ll switch my iPad on for Damien Barr’s memoir Maggie & Me. Next year’s salonniere’s memoir that I’ve pitched into, is by Salena Godden. She lived with us in Old Street in the 90s for a short while, and started the Book Club Boutique, where I first read poetry. At the Book Club Boutique’s summer party, I met Lemn Sissay and subsequently sought out his witty poem collection. He’s working on a biog which’ll perhaps open new audiences up to some of the realities of migrancy, not that I believe his route to British shores was traditional in any way, but what journeys are? Rebel Cities by David Harvey was one of my most interesting academic reads. My pal Robert Pereno turned me onto Platform by Michel Houellebecq. Geoff Nicholson has a new book out for pavement pounders, like me, Walking In Ruins.
Photobook-wise, Nick Waplington’s Alexander McQueen Working Process features several friends, and captures the genius of a life left too early. Next year, I’m looking forward to Dougie Wallace’s book on the Hoxton Mini Press.
And also, I’m super-excited to have a book I’ve done for the culturally progressive, RED Gallery in Shoreditch, out early next year. Designed by Tomato, with images from Jason McGlade of Freestyle. It uses conversations with creative innovators to explore the effect of subcultural commodification, and how cultural environments can be reproduced for pluralistic societies.
Listening to The Fall – hearing more online now than I’d ever heard at 20 or 21 when we put this together for Scene- the style magazine I used to edit on in the grunge days.
Mark E Smith had a girl with him (not Brix), I pinned up her drooping hem after he’d sunk about 9 pints in Finch’s on Portobello Road. They’d taken an early train down from Manchester. We had to get Smith drunk to get him into Jocelyn Bain-Hogg, the photographer’s studio- he’d dealt speed from the doorway years before and it brought back bad memories.
Already that day he’d thrown a window cleaner around atop a crane from the base control in Canelot Studios and bitten Gary Numan’s hand.
The PR, Bernard MacMahon told me Mark paid his band members a weekly wage. Few lasted long.
I’d like to see him play soon, and meet him again, having understood his music better.
“There were random walks through the town, along dark streets on sleepless nights. He would stop to look through windows at gilded interiors, through lacework illustrated with elaborate designs: flowers, acanthus leaves, cupids with bows and arrows, lace deer; and the interiors, hollowed out in massive and shadowy altars, seemed to him veiled tabernacles.” Jean Genet, Our Lady Of The Flowers – he also likes to write about cock. And it’s more hardcore than William Burroughs shooting his own wife.
The narrative in this film is clearer than the book.
I could feel my arms arms wrapping across my chest, saving myself from the horrors of interactive dance as I climbed several flights of stairs above the Chisenhale Gallery, ’round the back of the Roman Road, currently showing beautiful fabric canvases by Nick Relph – but the Chisenhale Dance Space was new to me (probably because my perceptions of DANCE THE GENRE are that it is more elitist and less accessible than theatre or opera – WHICH IS A BIT WEIRD considering the amount of time I’ve spent around DANCEFLOORS). But I was invited by Anna Goodman, the chick with the Louise Brooks bob behind Eleanor Sikorski - the glitter lobbing, marshmallow chucking, gifter of birthday condoms to all the guests gathered to celebrate 30 years of the Chisenhale Dance Space. It was perhaps the most shocking art-thing I’ve experienced in a while - avant-garde party troupes like Sink The Pink (who played at the launch for my Kelli Ali film) show up at parties and become the party, as do Art Which Is Also A Disco - but this is a different kind of interaction - Sikorski’s performance is like watching someone have a very public breakdown, beautiful, emotional, and playfully skipping beside comfort zones – it’s almost exaggerated as a public performance because of the bright, institutional lighting, which tragically, is exactly what Chisenhale’s against. Jacky Lansley, one of the founders of the space, helped me see DANCE as a free medium that can challenge and invent. It is the space devoted to exploring the gentleness of an art form and peripheral arts spaces are essential to challenge and progress culture. Hail the New Puritan was originally shot here (more info below). I just really hope they get more funding, and invest in some dimmers.
Key events over the next month are below:
Sunday October 20
X6, the artist collective who started Chisenhale Dance Space presents Now & Then – X6 & Friends: A Round Table discussion Fergus Early, Mary Prestidge, Jacky Lansley and Emilyn Claid discuss topics relevant to arts and politics, now and then. This is the first time in many years that these original members will perform together – A one-off opportunity to listen to pioneers of the new British dance movement talk about what really matters to artists.
Thursday October 31
Dance and the Homemade: – Triple bill with brave new work from Neil Callaghan, Rachel Champion and Tim Spooner. Champion presents Roses and Narcissus, an evolving journey loosely based around the darker side of fairytales (a limited number of 1-on-1 performances are available for this work). A Certain Shaft of Light from Neil Callaghan examines loneliness and solitude whilst Subliming Furiously from Tim Spooner delivers a story cast in the mouth and respiratory system and released into the studio.
Saturday November 9
Original X6 member Mary Prestidge presents Disturbing The Dust at 3pm, followed by An Archive Performance at 7pm from X6’s Jacky Lansley & Fergus Early.
Chisenhale Dance Space hosted the original filming of HAIL THE NEW PURITAN, starring Michael Clark and all manner of 80s extras. It was directed by Charles Atlas (yup, the triangular-shaped bodybuilder).
The copy below is lifted from Wikipedia but basically, Michael Clark is Britain’s radical ballet guy loved by fashion folk and started before my time.
Hail the New Puritan is a fictionalized documentary about the Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark. It was directed by Charles Atlas. Production design is by Leigh Bowery, who also appears. Much of the music is by The Fall, and Mark E. Smith and Brix Smith appear in a mock interview with Clark. Additional music is provided by Glenn Branca, Bruce Gilbert (of Wire), and Jeffrey Hinton.
Using a faux-cinéma vérité style, Atlas depicts a day in Clark’s life as he and his Company prepare for a performance of New Puritans (1984). The Company at that time included Gaby Agis, Leslie Bryant, Matthew Hawkins, Julie Hood, and Ellen van Schuylenburch.
The film was broadcast on 21 May 1986 on Channel 4′s “Dance on 4″ program (on Channel 4). It is distributed on DVD and VHS by Electronic Arts Intermix.
The film opens with a strange dance number that continually gets interrupted by Leigh Bowery and his friends (Sue Tilley and Nicola Bateman, later Nicola Bowery), who keep walking over to a table of fruit. Michael Clark wakes up and begins rehearsing. Other members of the Company gradually arrive. A reporter calls, then drops by to interview Clark; they discuss how he started dancing and came to London, as well as his interest in traditional Scottish dance. Clark appears on a TV program with Mark E. Smith and Brix Smith. Gaby Agis walks by the river, musing about how she should find her own apartment (she’s been staying with Clark). The Company performs scenes from New Puritans. Julie Hood’s boyfriend, meanwhile, is shown wandering London. Clark and Agis shoot a scene in a film. Clark visits Bowery, who along with his friends Trojan and Rachel, are “getting ready” (dressing up) for the clubs. Clark leaves for a rendezvous with “a date,” then heads out to a clubs himself, where he dance. Finally, at pre-dawn, he heads home, where Agis is already in bed. Clark strips and dances to Elvis‘s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?“
HOT IN THE CITY, HOT IN THE CITY – it was, when Jason McGlade, editor and publisher of Freestyle, parked up in my mate’s gallery, RED, blogged me with this picture, and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, awwwww….
Producing an entire issue of a magazine which is ROUND and comes in a FRISBEE – from the back of their converted van – FREESTYLE needed a journalist for a feature about RED and this is what we made:
I’ve done a LOT of sit-ups since seeing that picture…
THE AMAZING ARTWORK is by LE GUN‘s Chris Bianchi and Robert Rubbish.
FREESTYLE IS AVAILABLE FROM GOOD STORES & ONLINE, get in touch with them to find out more.
This is issue 4, and was crowdfunded. Previous collectable frizbees designed by Paul Smith, Eley Kishimoto, Matthew Williamson – this edition is all Berlin black vinyl and has a super-fly, augented reality app – showcased in the video above…
Okay, he’s my mate, but go see FILTH, the best thing Irvine’s done on film since Trainspotting.
You may have enjoyed The Acid House but it’s not got Jim Broadbent looking like he’s mainlined LSD on the set of Clockwork Orange, nor James McAvoy flitting seamlessly between the polars of evil and compassion – a performance that has wowed even the most ugly of critics. It’s got that music-hall-nuttiness, so typical of us Brits, with some spectacularly Shakespearean-lighting – all that’s missing from the book is the nylon trousers…
As my first and most formative editor, James Brown says: “You wanna know why I don’t drink, WATCH FILTH…”
Cheers to that – x
ATHENS: beautiful day philosophising with Vassilis Haralambidis who runs Bios – soon opening a new space, in an edgier area, continuing his natural propagation of cultural agendas.
We first met when I was writing about the Design Walk for Dazed.
He’s creating workspaces and a union of designers from all fields. They also have a great bar and club for performances etc.
It all fits with the whole Something Out Of Nothing concept that we’re articulating at Red Gallery in Shoreditch, London.
On the plane to Belgrade after, I found these in the airport magazine, which I adore:
These geezers bonded over Fasolada westerns – Greek bean soupers – spaghetti for Olympians – high quality Greek productions with classic soundtracks by Vangelis and Yiannos Spanos.
I was in Berlin last week, Danielle De Picciotto was in a group show that led me to a gallery behind a graphic shop, in one of the yards behind Starbucks in Mitte…
In Berlin they often show video art on ancient TVs with headphones on top – the squat legacy…
Dana Schechter‘s Ocular Eye was on the loop…
I came back to see The Band of Holy Joy play at the South Place Hotel in London- Johny Brown, the singer, always refreshes me in his sincerity towards performance. His girlfriend, Inga Tillere has made a heap of cool films – they’re lo-fi dark. She also showed in the Tate shows I was in last year with Tracey Moberly.
Sturtevant’s retrospective at the Serpentine soars in originality, but some pieces remind me of what my husband, a filmmaker always says about artists playing with film – that it shouldn’t be allowed, because they don’t understand the medium – for example, her howling dogs, it’s supposed to be a dog that runs forever, and if they’d cut the loop slightly earlier, it would have looked like that – however, I’m sure she was aware of this glitch, and it was part of the process, right…
Anat Ben-David performed at the Red Gallery in the summer – I wrote about Chicks on Speed, her band, years ago – she’s always hardcore, and is keeping the 90s vibe alive. I love that she doesn’t give a monkey’s codpiece about singing in tune…
Laure Prouvost’s work made me really think about the need to finesse work – I’m in the process of finishing a project I’ve been working on for years – it’s great to just bash collage together like she did for the Maxmara prize – oh, for the innocence of times before I worked creatively in the cruelities of commerce…
AND WHERE WOULD ANY OF US GIRLS BE WITHOUT MRS. LOU REED, Laurie Anderson?
HERE ARE SOME COOL DIGITAL ARTISTS:
And if you want to experience super-cool tech wonderment, get the App that comes with Freestyle magazine’s fourth issue…or come to the party on Sunday. x
It’s the magazine that’s circular and comes inside a frizbeeeee : FREESTYLE
Previous frizbees designed by Paul Smith, Eley Kishimoto, Matthew Williamson – this one is all Berlin black vinyl
I have a big, phat feature in the sexy, nu crowd-funded edition – it features artwork by Le Gun and pictures by Jason McGlade -
#LFW parteeeeeeee this SUNDAY – tweet me if you’d like to come x
80 words for the 80th birthday of legendary founder and retiring editor of literary quarterly, Ambit (est. 1959)
He’s published many, including: JG Ballard, Burroughs, Peter Blake and Ralph Steadman.
His own writing’s not shabby either.
BUY TIME: DIRECT http://www.lazygramophone.com/shop/time
The following interview is from: http://www.beigeuk.com/2013/06/beige-exclusive-with-munroe-bergdorf/
DJ, model and trendsetter, Munroe Bergdorf is the one of the biggest personalities on the London scene. We caught up with her as she prepares to DJ at the launch party for Beige’s summer issue in conjunction with Kiss Me Cleopatra.
How did you get into DJing?
I first gave it a go when I was at university in Brighton but I was awful, I mean… seriously bad. I had no idea what I was doing whatsoever… I then started to take DJ lessons when I moved to London about four years ago. I then entered a few DJ contests and it built up from there really… There hasn’t been a master plan as such, it started off as just a bit of fun, but then people kept on booking me, so I assumed I was doing something right…
What sort of music do you play and what can we expect from your set at the Beige party on Wednesday?
My sets are really varied depending on the venue I’m playing at. I love spinning Old Skool Hip Hop and RnB – the stuff that I was raised on… It always gets such a great crowd reaction and people really get in to it. Generally though, the music I play is a mix current RnB, Pop and Dance, with the occasional ‘OMG THEY DIDN’T JUST PLAY THAT’ old skool jam thrown in to keep people on their toes… So yeah, you can expect pretty much just that…
You also work as a model, most recently creating some stunning images with Ayesha Hussain. What sort of modelling assignment inspires you and why?
I love working with people who have their own individual style – I hate repeating myself when it comes to shoots or visuals. I think it’s important to always try and bring something new to the table, or what’s the point, right? I love shooting with Ayesha, she’s a good friend of mine and one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. She’s actually disgustingly gifted at everything she does and horrendously gorgeous – it’s actually quite gross…
You’re going to be appearing in Kelli Ali’s video ‘Kiss Me Cleopatra’. How did you get to know Kelli and why do you enjoy working with her?
I am indeed! I actually met Kelli for the first time after we had shot the music video. I was initially approached by the director of the clip, Kirsty Allison, who talked me through the video treatment and played me the track. I’ve been a huge Liz Taylor fan all my life, so I kind of jumped at the chance to play Cleopatra. Kelli and I have been in touch ever since we filmed the video. We met up recently for some afternoon tea which was lovely, she’s an amazing lady.
You’re playing Cleopatra in the video – a truly iconic figure. What’s your approach to the part and who has inspired your interpretation? Can we expect a bit of Elizabeth Taylor going on or something fabulously new and different?
The video actually includes some archive imagery of Ms Taylor, which I’m so glad Kirsty was able to include in the final cut. I’m playing a bit more of a modern take on Cleopatra. I don’t want to give too much away though, you’ll have to wait and see…
You also work as a club host, and host the now legendary night Room Service with Jodie Harsh. What makes the perfect club host?
Basically it mainly boils down to knowing a lot of people who like to have fun and making sure that they attend the best events in town. It’s not actually as easy as it sounds, trust me on that one. What makes the perfect host? Someone who can instantly walk into a room and get the party started; someone with a very extensive little black book, and someone with charm, uniqueness, nerve and talent, of course.
You’ve created clothing lines alongside such major labels as BOY LONDON. Where do you get your ideas from and what is your creative vision?
To be honest I just try to create items that I would wear myself or that I think like minded people would like to wear. BOY LONDON was a great platform for me and opened a lot of doors, but I’m definitely only just getting started, so I wouldn’t call myself a designer. I do however have a very sharp eye for what does and doesn’t work when it comes to fashion.
What’s next in the wonderful world of Munroe Bergdorf…?
This summer is looking a bit crazy. I just got back from hosting a party in Tel Aviv for Room Service, which was bananas. Next month I’m going to be spinning in Berlin and Italy, then New York around September time. I like to take each day as it comes to be honest. There’s lots in the pipeline. I’m just making sure I enjoy it all and learn as much as I can along the way.
PRESS RELEASE, 11th June 2013
KISS ME CLEOPATRA
A film for Kelli Ali by Kirsty Allison starring Munroe Bergdorf
You are cordially invited to attend the launch party at W Hotel, 19th June, 2013 RSVP essential
Hosted by Munroe Bergdorf
Drinks reception from 8pm. PA by Kelli Ali x Kindle 9pm. Premiere at 9.30pm
With DJs: Sink the Pink,
Sarah Blackwood (Dubstar/Client), Andy Fraser & Villota
Kirsty Allison’s Automonika Demonika Ego Erotika and Family Is A Night Out Across Starlit Glades played pop-ups at Tate Modern & Tate Britain last year. Kelli Ali (Sneaker Pimps/Satoshi Tomiie/Paul Oakenfold) loved the political poetry/iPad collages and she approached Allison to make a film for Kiss Me Cleopatra, the first single from her new Band of Angels album. Released on 19th June at 9.30pm, the Warhol-esque video stars rising femme-fatale, Munroe Bergdorf (host & DJ at London’s hippest gay club, Room Service):
“Being a huge Liz Taylor fan, it is an absolute honour to play Cleopatra – especially for somebody as iconic as Kelli. I’m in love with the final project, Kirsty’s made an amazingly fresh product.”
Kirsty Allison, a multi-media artist who’s explored many arenas of expression from styling for Boy George to DJ goddess of Ibiza, paint & collage, literature & poetry, film, radio & media production says:
“My vision for KISS ME CLEOPATRA was to bring frenetic fragments of 20th century culture into the 21st century. The song’s concept brings parallels to Mapplethorpe, Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret & Lou Reed’s Street Hassle. Casting Munroe as Cleopatra made it possible to reach a fierce new Egypt. Munroe epitomises progressive society & post-modern beauty. Ada Zanditon’s AW13 pieces are perfect for the acid-goth diaspora-vibe.
I love how Alexander Villota shot it.”
Cutting between the simple look dictated by the original ‘selfies’-style footage supplied by Kelli Ali, shot on a mobile phone by her collaborator & muse, Léigh@BitPhlanx, and an editorial-influenced process, the video reflects the DIY method of Band of Angels (so-called as it was 150% funded by fans via the crowd-sourcing platform, Pledge Music).
“DIY is where it’s at. The world has suddenly woken up & remembered that art not only ‘can’ exist outside the humdrum drone of mass mainstream culture but ‘must’ exist outside of it. Kirsty Allison & Munroe Bergdorf are hanging out at Warhol’s Factory right NOW…they’re both modern icons of beauty & feminine POW in their own right.”
Ali first shot to fame as front-woman for trip-hoppers, Sneaker Pimps. In the midst of grunge, the Spin Spin Sugar remix by Armand Van Helden gave birth to speed garage. Kelli later went solo, releasing two albums with Bjork’s label, One Little Indian before independently releasing her critically acclaimed, Rocking Horse (produced by composer Max Richter). This was followed by A Paradise Inhabited by Devils (with pianist Ozymandias) & now, the self-produced Band of Angels album. Kelli has collaborated with top producers & artists including Marilyn Manson, Marc Almond, Bryan Ferry, Linkin Park & Paul Oakenfold. Exploring genres & identity within an idiosyncratic musical framework, Kelli Ali is becoming the Cindy Sherman of pop music.
Band of Angels available on iTunes / http://www.kelliali.com/ & Amazon worldwide. Kiss Me Cleopatra Remix EP features Peter O, Killaflaw, Coloquix , Terminal 11 & more…coming soon to iTunes & Amazon
I’m part of the LAZY GRAMOPHONE collective – misfits of the modern world.
A few years ago, founder and editor, Sam Rawlings approached us with an ambitious project that catalogues TIME - Childhood, Adolescence, Wisdom.
I got to write a poem about ADOLESCENCE…all the pieces interlink and it’s a spectacle of book, immaculately conceived – I am super-proud to be included alongside some excellent poets, writers and illustrators.
You can read my poem and see the beautiful illustration by super-cool artist, Lola Dupre by purchasing the book – leave a comment with your email and I’ll send you 20% discount code.
Contributors’ Five Things Journal Posts:
- Adam Green
- Bryn Hall
- Inua Ellams
- Zoe Catherine Kendall
- Andrew Walter
- Laura Dockrill
- Mat Lloyd
- Sorana Santos
- Will Conway
- Hannah Stephenson
- Matt Black
- Claire Fletcher
- Carl Laurence
- Zophiel Webb
- Jude Melling
- Stacie Withers
- Tom Hirons
- Megan Leonie Hall
- Vincent J Prince
- Kaitlin Beckett
- Guy J Jackson
- Eliza Gregory
- Jeannie Paske
- Jo Tedds
- Maria Drummey
- Tom Harris
- Liz Adams
- Lola Dupre
- Kirsty Allison
Time is a vast collaborative book project containing short stories, poems and artwork by fifty-five contributors. Ever since the project’s inception, the idea has been to create an environment where independent writers and artists could come together in order to share their work. The result of this endeavour is a collection of stories, images and poems based around the theme of time, its pages placing particular focus upon the relationship between words and pictures. By sharing in this way we hope to inspire each other as well as those around us, to draw a diverse audience and so help to illuminate the work of alternative artists and writers everywhere.