Monday, 27 February 2012

Barbican Hurrah

My favourite London arts centre, the Barbican, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. And some pretty special events are lined up for the occasion:

- In April, Cate Blanchett will be starring in Botho Strauss' "delicately surreal" Gross und Klein (Big and Small). Apparently the 1978 play is like Alice in Wonderland for grown-ups, and Blanchett already gained accolades for performing it with the Sydney Theatre Company last year.

Photo from here.
My tickets are booked. Und du?

- As if one ueber-actrice wasn't enough, Juliette Binoche will be gracing the Barbican Theatre in a contemporary version of Strindberg's Mademoiselle Julie. The play, already peformed at the Avignon Festival last year, is a naturalistic exploration love, lust and class, with Binoche as its fatalistic heroine. Intrigued? Le Monde called it "une catastrophe", but I'm not discarding Juliette (nor Julie) that easily. Not least because Lanvin is doing the costumes.

Photo: Gerard Julien/Scanpix

A propos superlatives, the Barbican Gallery will soon be hosting the UK's biggest Bauhaus exhibition in 40 years. After the excellent though technical OMA/Progress show, Bauhaus: Art as Life promises to be a wide-angled take on the movement, including architecture, art and politics.

I happen to be visiting the world's largest collection of Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv next month. I'll compare and report back!

Gross und Klein: 13 - 29 April 2012
Bauhaus: Art as Life: 3 May 2012 - 12 August 2012
Mademoiselle Julie: 20-29 September 2012

Thank you Barbican. Who needs the Olympics?

Thursday, 23 February 2012


 I've been under the radar. Discharge trickling through soon...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Disposable too

Another batch.

Pennies in vain



Sunday, 12 February 2012

Theatre of Seasons

I just took some photos of my garden full of frost and snow.
Then I found this - from last May.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Shards' Digest

This week was a whirlwind of impressions - a light digest seems like the proper thing.

First, Poland's heroine Wisława Szymborska died on Wednesday aged 88. The Nobel Prize Laureate of 1996 wrote wonderfully simple and powerful poems which inspired people who weren't even into poetry (ex. me). I did my end of school English project on the translation of her poem "Nothing Twice" and loved it.

Here a fantastic interview with the "Greta Garbo of World Poetry", and the NY Times obituary including some of her work.


Next, I am back in awe of M.I.A.

The video for her new single "Bad Girls" is like a racey fête of Arab empowerment, filtered through Arulpragasam's (occasionally overbearing) coolness. Unglamorized shots of a rural village in Marocco, neck-breaking stunts with a shattered Peugot, and veiled Muslim girls who run the world.

As fierce as it gets.

                             "Bad Girls" - M.I.A.

Lastly, I went to the cinema last night and saw a French film called "Il n'y a pas de rapport sexuel" ("There are no sexual relations"). It's a sexomentary made from 10 years of "making of" material by a French porn actor/producer.

I am not sure if and when it will be released in the UK, but this is a pretty flabbergasting piece of work. Hysterical laughter and embarassed silences alternated in the half-empty cinema; two teenage boys left halfway through.  The film's deadpan style reveals unexpected perspectives on our obsession with porn -addictive, pathetic, and at times profound.

Just don't watch this on a date.