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Showing posts from May, 2021

‘Yeah! Yeah! (Post) Industrial ESTATE!’– Jimmy Cauty In Transit

A Grand Scheme   When Jimmy Cauty’s new installation is offloaded from the back of a lorry beside an Edinburgh community based arts centre over the next month, one might arguably see its arrival as a tale of two cities. This is the case even before it does something similar in Glasgow the following month, when worlds might collide some more.    ESTATE is Cauty’s high-rise based dystopian model village housed in a 40-foot shipping container. The construction consists of four 2-metre high tower blocks built at 1:24 scale, each containing what its website blurb describes as ‘amusing scenes of mass social, economic and environmental devastation.’    Built by Cauty over two years, each of ESTATE’s tower blocks serves a different function. Tower Block 1, Iceni Heights, contains ‘residential Live-Work-Die units’; Tower Block 2, HM Prison Camp Delta-Zulu, is a multi-storey high security children’s prison; Tower Block 3, Roman Point, houses a high-rise care home ‘for the old, the dying and the

Norman Lloyd - An Obituary

Norman Lloyd – Actor, director, producer   Born November 8, 1914; died May 11, 2021      Norman Lloyd, who has died in his sleep aged 106, had an eighty-year career on stage, screen and radio that saw him at the forefront of some of theatre and film’s most maverick moments. Possessed with a commanding presence that belied his alight stature, he worked with Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, and came into contact with other groundbreaking artists, including Bertolt Brecht, and composers Arnold Schoenberg and Hanns Eisler.     In the 1930s, Lloyd worked on the cutting edge of what was then described as social theatre. With the Theatre of Action collective, he was directed by Elia Kazan. It was with the company he also met his wife, actress Peggy Craven. They were together for 75 years. Director Joseph Losey brought Lloyd into the Federal Theatre Project, who devised living newspapers of contemporary events. Other members included Orson Welles and John Houseman, who broke

Anita Lane - An Obituary

Anita Lane – Singer, songwriter Born March 18,1960; died April 2021   Anita Lane, who has died aged 61, was a singer and songwriter whose mercurial talent explored emotional extremes with a black humoured candour. She did this over two albums of her own, Dirty Pearl (1993), and Sex O’Clock (2001), and on numerous collaborations with assorted fellow travellers.   Possessed with a voice that sounded sired somewhere between No Wave era New York and the Parisian Left Bank rather than the Australian suburbs she was actually from, Lane’s precious few recordings revealed a fearless and unique creative force.    As a teenager, Lane had fallen in with a post-punk community that crawled out of Melbourne to explore a darker vision than their sunny surroundings offered, and helped carve out a ferocious form of antipodean gothic that marked out her future artistic path. Aged seventeen, Lane formed a creative and romantic alliance with nineteen-year-old Nick Cave after her classmate Roland S. Howard

Monte Hellman - An Obituary

Monte Hellman – Film director   Born July 12, 1929; died April 20, 2021      Monte Hellman, who has died aged 91, was a film director who became the ultimate outsider. One of a generation of auteurs to have come of artistic age on the back of the post World War Two American counter culture, his work was equally in tune with European philosophical sensibilities. The fusion of the two made for a brooding and ennui-laden canon that chimed with the times. This was seen best in Two-Lane Blacktop, (1971), an existential road movie starring singer-songwriter James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson alongside Laurie Bird and semi regular Hellman collaborator, Warren Oates.   With a trailer voguishly hailing it as ‘The Far-Out World of the High Speed Scene’, it was hoped Two-Lane Blacktop would catch fire with disaffected youth, and become a crossover hit in the mould of Easy Rider. Dennis Hopper’s era defining opus had been released two years earlier, and featured a cast that included Jack Nic

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture

V&A Dundee      Open Up   Now is an interesting time for V&A Dundee to be opening its doors for the first time in months for this superclub size celebration of life after dark, and the designs that have become key signifiers of club culture’s evolution. With venues still unable to open because of social distancing regulations caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, plague year lockdowns have achieved what even encroaching inner-city gentrification couldn’t manage.   This gives Night Fever an extra frisson that reflects some of the illegal rave rebellion that has grown throughout the last year prior to this access-all-areas exhibition. Seen in this context, Night Fever’s half-century display of collective memory is itself enough to set assorted synapses twitching with a mix of nostalgic solidarity and yearning.    A version of the show was first seen at the Vitra Design Museum in 2018 in association with ADAM Design Museum Brussels (and, interestingly, Hugo Boss) This makes for