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Showing posts from 2019


King’s Theatre Four stars
“We’re going to make some history tonight, I think,” says the popular political leader to his first lady in waiting as he awaits the result of an epoch-changing election in Robert Icke’s radical reworking of Sophocles’ Greek classic. Opening with a TV news mock-up of Oedipus on the street promising the world to the cameras, Icke sets out his store in a slick and straight-lined open-plan office that is Oedipus’ campaign base. Here he comes to let off steam, dress down and catch up with his wife Jocasta and his kids away from the crowds. If Europe is lost, Oedipus is its off-message saviour from everything that is sick. Or he would be if he manages to save himself from his own past.
With flat-screen TV monitors relaying a rolling news feed, and an LED clock counting down the play’s just shy of two-hour duration on Hildegard Bechtler’s set, Icke has created a slow-burning peek into the very private world of public figures, which pokes, prods and picks at the sore o…

Cindy Sherman: Early Works, 1975-80 / Hanna Tuulikki: Deer Dancer / Julie Cope’s Grand Tour

Cindy Sherman: Early Works, 1975-80 - Stills until October 6th Hanna Tuulikki: Deer Dancer - Edinburgh Printmakers until October 5 Grayson Perry: Julie Cope’s Grand Tour - Dovecot Studios until November 2
When Cindy Sherman made Doll Clothes (1975), the near two-and-a half minute silent film that helps frame Stills Gallery’s show of the iconic American photographer’s early work, it provided a playful insight into Sherman’s plundering of the dressing up box to try on different identities for size. It also set out Sherman’s store for her Untitled (Murder Mystery People) (1976) series before her first success with Untitled Film Stills (1978-1980), both shown here either in part or full.
Barely into her twenties when she made Doll Clothes, and still a student, Sherman’s Super 8 stop-motion animated vignette casts the artist as the sort of cut-out paper doll found in the fashion sections of a particular type of young women’s magazines. Here, the usually cartoonified cut-out doll effectively b…

Will Gompertz: Double Art History

Arty Bollocks is everywhere in Edinburgh just now. Just ask Will Gompertz, whose remade and remodelled version of his show, Double Art History, sees the BBC’s erstwhile arts editor and talking head return to the stage after a decade to explore the assorted isms of the world he occupies. These are terms propagated by the self-righteous likes of, well, us, in order to try and make sense of things. Either that, or else maybe just to sound like some pseudo-intellectual smartarse while proceeding to baffle, confuse and alienate those not already well-versed in such guff.
This was something Gompertz addressed when he booked himself in for a few lessons in stand-up comedy for an article in the Guardian somewhat magnificently titled How to Talk About Art Without Talking Bollocks. The original show spawned from the exercise was a bullshit-free whizz through the history of modern art which arrived perfectly on point with its assorted auteurs and enfant terribles’ increasing penchant for performa…