Monday, 17 May 2010

Long overdue

Michael Clark by Michael Bracewell and Suzanne Cotter

Violette Editions
7th June, 2010

Notorious for his continually subversive takes on classical dance, Michael Clark is without doubt one of the most important dancers and choreographers of our time. He has created some of contemporary dances finest productions, often using leftfield rock music (most famously in his fantastic collaboration with The Fall, I Am Kurious, Oranj). Situated at the heart of the British post-punk art scene, Clark is much admired for his judicious choice of collaborators, such as designers Bodymap and Hussein Chalayan, artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Leigh Bowery, Charles Atlas and Sarah Lucas, film director Peter Greenaway (Clark played Caliban in Prosperos Books) and bands The Fall, Laibach and Wire. This monograph, the first on this major artist, celebrates the whole of Michael Clark's career to date, from the late 1970s to the present. Rich in visual and archival material, it contains new essays on Clark's work, reprints of key texts and journalism, photography by Nick Knight, David LaChappelle and others, plus interviews with many of Clark's collaborators from the worlds of dance, art, fashion and music. A protege of Richard Alston and Karol Armitage, Michael Clark set up his own dance company in 1984, at the age of 22. He immediately won the admiration of Rudolf Nureyev, who commissioned ballets from Clark for the repertoire at the Paris Opera. Clark has also been the subject of numerous films and documentaries, including the fictional biography Hail the New Puritans by Charles Atlas and The Late Michael Clark, directed by Sophie Fiennes. Michael Clark's new ballet opens in June at the Biennale in Venice, and travels to Edinburgh, Stockholm, Paris and, in late October, to the Barbican in London.

Michael Clark in collaboration with Leigh Bowery

Now playing: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - More News From Nowhere

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Little Glory

The World of Gloria Vanderbilt
By Wendy Goodman with foreword by Anderson Cooper

Out in November. If this is anything akin to Tony Duquette, which Goodman coauthored, this is indeed something to look forward to.

Now playing: Laura Branigan - Gloria

Thursday, 13 May 2010

More tales from the road

Word of the day: Schadenfreude

Schaden meaning adversity or harm, and Freude meaning joy. More specifically, it means finding joy in another's adversity.

A while back I recounted the tale of the Norwegian tourist who confused us with a different dealer at Portobello. Irksome. Not because the dealer was competition but because the dealer lowered the tone both visually and intellectually. Today I saw that very dealer pack and move all his wares. Not an easy task. Why? Because the Fire Officer finally noticed that he was blocking the fire exit.

Tisk, tisk, tisk.

Now, how does this differ from just being a cold hearted bitch you may ask? A cold hearted bitch would have actually called the Fire Officer. I, on the other hand, am merely enjoying the serendipity of it all.

Now playing: The Ohio Players - Fire

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

When a chair is more than just a seat

An early 20th century heavily carved and black stained Japanese dragon armchair.

An 18th century Italian carved and gilt Rococo armchair.

An English George III carved giltwood armchair, circa 1790.

An American pair of birch root chairs, circa 1900.

Breathing Pneumatic Armchair by Salvador Dali
Signed etching and collage, circa 1975.

Now playing: Luther Vandross - Never Too Much

Monday, 10 May 2010

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it...

So said Miss Lena Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010). And the lady certainly did carry it well.

Blackglama advertisement 1969

Miss Horne singing the title song of the 1943 film classic Stormy Weather

Friday, 7 May 2010

Something for the weekend

Bouquet de mimosas

Works by the French naïve painter Séraphine Louis (1864-1942), known as Séraphine de Senlis, set to Brian Eno and Harold Budd's Lost in the Humming Air.


Séraphine (2008)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Once lost, now found

Pink Flowers, Water Colors, (Jay Garvin) by James Bidgood

Necessity was the mother of invention for Bidgood, who created elaborate photographic tableaux in his small midtown Manhattan studio apartment. His first erotic series was an underwater epic called Water Colors, made in the early 1960s, in which he used a dancer from Club 82 named Jay Garvin as his subject. The underwater atmosphere is completely fabricated; the bottom of the ocean was created with silver lame spread across the floor of Bidgood's apartment; he made the arch of a cave out of waxed paper, and fashioned red lame into the shape of a lobster. He coated Garvin with mineral oil and pasted glitter and sequins to his skin so the silver fabric under photographic lights would reflect on his body like water. For weeks at a time, Bigood would eat and sleep within the sets he constructed in his apartment. - Off to Camp: The Photographs of James Bidgood, Aperture

James Bidgood by Bruce Benderson

James Bidgood is represented by CLAMPART

Now playing: Etta James - At Last