Ida : A Film Review


Directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. Black and White. 12a
Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Paweł Pawlikowski
Filmed in Denmark, Poland Released 2013, Language Polish.

Music by Kristian Eidnes Andersen
Cinematography Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Agata Trzebuchowska as Ida Lebenstein / Siostra Anna
Agata Kulesza as Wanda Gruz / (ciotka) Aunt Anny
Joanna Kulig as a singer
Dawid Ogrodnik as saksofonista Lis
Adam Szyszkowski as Feliks Skiba
Jerzy Trela as Szymon Skiba
Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she is advised to visit her Aunt Wanda an odd fish, who is a Magistrate formerly of higher office who is us widowed and seeks uncomplicated friendship but who has been or wasn’t up to adopting her sisters child and now she responds to a call by the Covenant as Ida is about to decide on her future.
Meeting her Aunt comes with a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

This is a journey from child to woman as a rite of passage of an orphan whose childhood began in war torn Poland and her growth into the woman whose character is internalized and is full of history never opened to her. The journey is archaic and modern with a clash of intrinsic values occupying the new Poland and Ida alike.
The step back both in time and to another form of Cinema has many moments of brilliance and other times mild censure. The censure is mostly the sometimes over reliance on image when for example close ups are taken with another course having been as a viewer immersed in the sparseness of the space filled voids of interiors and exteriors.
It is simply a beautiful film despite the minor irritations and perhaps because the subject is a face of Polish history without the complexities of managed versions of history as has been prevalent ever since the Holocaust emerged.
Single stories are well delivered as here are so fundamentally important as an antidote to the propaganda.
A journey ‘Through the Narrow Gate’.
This was the title of a Karen Armstrong book as she proceeded to take her vows and enter a convent aged seventeen She came from a Worcestershire family full of life. For a calling that takes as a requirement of giving up hope in their body for Christ. To remove their own feelings and we sit watching these Nuns as they eat and commune in the dining hall at the start of the film; these Nuns who have sacrificed for God another life.
Their austere surroundings and daily rituals and consumption of the fruits of the earth at the table provide this film with the Levantine societal structure, like an extraordinary behemoth animal living among the other human beings and residing in the plain Convent while worshiping in the idolatry of the public spaces of the Churches.
Vermeer Beauty
There is little wonder this film, Ida, has enormous beauty. It has the revered beauty of Ida herself. A young spare thin girl with a magnetic countenance of beauty. Pawel found Anna in a cafe. He found the story in reflecting on his childhood. the period when Poland was recovering from Stalinism. To Poland the world was now a newly opened book and the imagination stretched in all directions not least in all the art forms. He directs as though he cannot get away from the Vermeer paintings of mirrored rooms, real earrings, draped beds and florid glass.
Bewitching, displacing, functional, beguiling, it is all those and more.
This was the pared simplicity of the Convent life. It has the skill of a master film maker assuredly, in his first embarkation of a narrative set in his homeland, a depiction of that society, that intercourse with life following the war and the preparedness to be shocked while carrying on with the visceral life at their fingertips. He avoids a lesson in history. The film despite this outlines this expertly and acutely takes us there.
For us unknowing of the minutiae we are given memory held in the body of this generation.
I use the metaphors of Levantine and Behemoth as the clumps of Churches in Eastern Europe, Russia and modern Europe sit in the landscape as huge regarding animalistic symbols. Even in Northern Ireland and throughout rural Ireland the presence of Religion is not only the invisible cloak of ancestors but the large dominant presence in flat landscapes and hills of Churches. The Convant is a feature you would not miss.
Ida cuts into this reality. The shock is also it is so modern and commanding being as is set in a seldom apparent Poland of the sixties and perhaps the absence of colour enhances this.
Of its very austere tableau it creates the light and air of the breathing living space with the form of the Covent like a regal moth with folded wings as the roof over their life’s. The only acceptance Ida will require is the acceptance of these Nuns and as her future companions.
That journey is the the same here as Ida is sent from an orphanage where she has grown up to find her last remaining relative, an Aunt Wanda who is a former Communist Prosecutor and was disregarding initially of the dilemma faced by Ida. Choices are self made. The purpose of consulting with her is to place her own life in context and it appears quickly we can understand she has a Jewish background and the Holocaust features prominently in her family life.
The theme of the film is the basis of choice in following the eyes of the startlingly filmatic, thin features of the aqua line face and stillness of character which Agata Trzebuchowska portrays vivaciously. Her sexuality is escaping her body in stray invisible sensual gestures and with an adult gravitas she knowing her duty within is to allow this element of self to surface to propagate amongst the people of this new world she encounters it surfaces, emerging.
This discovery of for us through the visual and body language of Ida in this life and when the road trip happens upon the rhythms of a dance, on the road a hitchhiker is picked up, turn trance like with a trio of the Aunt, the hitchhiker, and Ida all conscious of her beauty and entrancing bloom.
All life which seems so much full to the top with strange interactions and the happenstance, perchance radial whirlwind which heads of in unexpected directions and is the normal life of all outside the Convent.
4:3 Top heavy Lower burden
4:3 is the Art house boxed like screen compact used. It is the frame which draws you into a room like observance and claustrophobic presence even in the Polish forest.
The frame very seldom moves. This is not intrusive as we tend to accept the story as if we are looking through Pawels eyes into album of pictures which he them animates for us, shaking the pages, the leaves to reveal another part of the story. The implement the profound simplicity of a film well made and of gathering wisdom.
The black and white is not only the religious contrast of God of the light and the human of the darkness, it assembles contrasts and pronounces the fabric of the buildings, furniture, landscape and the air sitting over tables and drawn through windows, through trees and along cloisters. Very deliberately the repetitive theme of a person occupying, on many occasions, only the lower third of a frame builds a heaviness laden with the Poland under their feet.
This land so wonderful yet hiding destruction of lives and pushing the past into the faces and memories with relentless haste.
When Pawel decides to place a character in the top of a frame and talk down to another lower and whose face is close conveying the reaction to the spare dialogue he equips you with an imagined heightened realism. The top of stairs in the Hotel where they take time to discover the past is often used.
Of the significance of these little moments we/I may dwell too much. Inwardly the film may be looking for answers but on the surface it plays out the harsh wider reality of connivance, of treacherous endeavor and the ultimate failures of humankind into which Ida is craning her beautiful delicate neck to discern where her future lies and how this, that, all, everything becomes.
War and Hurt
In war everyone gets hurt. The victim and the victor and never the same are they afterwards with reconciliation happening in each and every cell. Agata Kulesza is a harrowing beauty with a evert tragedy of her own which is immeasurable.
The fact her Aunt is embroiled in the litany of the vulgarities of war presiding over a conquest seeking righteousness after the new dawn when fresh souls are born to become new victims of war. Truth is the elders choice, to find it where before it never was clear. The mustiness of John Newman lifts the veil which kept our fear of others less apparent than was actually the case.
The violence an ever present being.
Film Cuttings
There is a lovely old cinema; the film has me thinking of earlier times. I never was a light blue no matter how much a difference that might have made of me but I spent many a weekend in Cambridge and loved the old cinema which I hope is still there and relatively unchanged.
Apparently Wiggenstien had a habit of going to the Cinema a lot when he was in Cambridge and he took with him buttered toast to eat during the film. That must have been interesting for him and those around him. Consumables never really caught on with me and the cinema but it apparently is a requirement even in the esteemed echelons of philosophical critique or was he hopeful not to be taken by the escapism Cinema provides.
If you want a great depiction of Cambridge in a time post Darwin then look out for Period Piece by Gwen Raverat if you haven’t come across it. She illustrates it showing the house in Cambridge the Darwin’s of whom she is but one grew up. It not only tells the story of her family and her own life and relationship with Cambridge growing up but it puts neatly into context another viewpoint on Darwinism and its progenitor if that is the right plume.
####+ 4+
This is a very human tale and it posits the mystery of God alongside our mysterious world and the sacrifices made. The events are seemingly random and immense yet the fragile human appears as strong as a stalk of living growing corn in the field. As the corn it is cut down and rendered into something other.
The beautiful playing by all involved, the principles never fail to give the best of the story gdves this film an almighty puch. It is vivid and surreal watching this near history and the viewer is left with another film which will last long in the memory.

John Graham

1 October 2014


On at QFT from Friday 10th of October and through to Thursday 16th October 2014


The History Makers


Not in My Name

The rejection of Liberal Democracy has taken decades. It has been seen unable to infiltrate Ancient Civilisations. Advanced nations hinge progress on Hegel cloaked in the enlightenment. The restoration is fought for in lands destroyed by science. Irrational causes weaken human nature twisting contorting God. In the present you can choose between the orthodox theories leaning towards the Hegel – Kojeve pole suggested by Fukayama oft revised for the new revolution of synthesis of natural products, a legacy of recognition if ever there was one or the lottery of the notion of the last man in the box of Nietzsche or if you prefer the lyrics of Alice in Chains their song man in a box has unorthodox meaning.

Man in the Box

I’m the man in the box
Buried in my shit
Won’t you come and save me
Save me

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

I’m the dog who gets beat
Shove my nose in shit
Won’t you come and save me
Save me

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker

He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut

Some claim it is an anti-cruelty to animals (the specific desire of United Irishman and Minister William Drummond) which the song has been interpreted being about with those taking that meaning believing us to be born in a box fed basics.

“Read the lyrics. It’s not new territory. It’s not a political thing, like railing against the church or a faith. It’s just “What the fuck? Really?” There
are some things that don’t work here anymore. Can we incorporate some facts into our belief system? Can we be nicer to each other? Can we accept somebody that believes something different than you, and we can try not to hurt them if they do?”
These are the bands Jerry Cantrells words.

Then there is - “We went out to dinner with some Columbia Records people who were vegetarians. They told me how veal was made from calves raised in these small boxes, and the image stuck in my head. So I went home and wrote “Man In The Box” about government censorship and eating meat as seen though the eyes of a doomed calf” – Layne Staley words.

The song is also interpreted as an shout out for the homeless and a homeless man related he thought it was about his life living in a box.

They wrote of the denial of Christ which is as close as any philosopher got and is a surreal vision from another generation trying to understand the world they live in.


Ax an instrument of axis inflicting arbitration congress on the world by denial. Splinter time into history and revolution. The periodic table collected dispersed into minds reaching the central processing unit and replicated in theoretical programmes of its nature.
Harvest out of and into degradation are the components of infinite displacement. The nano challenge to the macro intensively depicting the history of reason undercast by futile liberal ideas reflecting humanities soul.

As Hegel preceded Darwin, Hawking has preceded infinite distillation. In his era conflict has become democracised and restraint has no border or boundary. The soul cries out on behalf of the dead who know the nature rejecting the biotech advance and its indulgences. Instead they know not how similar and reflected their imagery is as they use the ax to destroy their fellow humans. Hawking has seen a glimpse of God leaving his mind intact as he compensates for time encroaching on life unmet by the return.
Given to the man of Luciana, given to mankind, given by the grace of God.
Luke 11: 2>4
The Lords Prayer



TdyYrLove wrote on songmeanings

Now let’s look at the chorus. Feed my eyes is a reference to the Book of Genesis Chapter 3.

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

This parallels the “feed my eyes”. Adam and Eve ATE from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and they’re EYES WERE OPENED.

But now they know good and evil and this is a very troubling fact. They immediately realize they have disobeyed God and “denied their maker”. The chorus begs to reverse the clock and “sew them [opened eyes] shut”.

“Jesus Christ” – blatently brings about the belief in which God is True. “Deny your maker, he who tries, will be wasted”. The “wasted” is a reference to Hell. This sentence is a warning, for those who deny their maker.

“Feed my eyes now you’ve sewn them shut”. This goes back to Genesis Chapter 3. After man has eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God banishes them from the Garden and closes off their way to the Tree of Life.
By TyrYrLove

It may seem ridiculous to be analyzing song lyrics but art is an expression of things we cannot explain by other means. But even more meanings are apparent.  It applies to the Prisoner and the Prison and the waste of as Lord Denman had it of human life, sacrificed to show a societies disdain/disgust at a crime.

And in the languages of Russia who had their access to religion made common interpretation in the 15 th C the following are their versions of the Lords Prayer which seems to transcend boundaries as you would expect if you were paying attention.

Russian Lords Prayer versions


Source: “BASHORATI KHUDOVANDI MO ISOI MASEKH. Injil Akhdi Jadid.” Noviy savet na tadjikskom yazykye.
The New Testament in the Tajiki language. (1983)
Contributed by Wolfgang Kuhl – E-mail
Another version


Contributed by Libor Sztemon – E-mail
Another version


Contributed by Libor Sztemon – E-mail
Another version


Contributed by Libor Sztemon – E-mail
Another version


Source: “Das Gebet des Herrn in den Sprachen Russlands” (“The Lord’s Prayer in the languages of Russia”), St. Petersburg, 1870.
Contributed by Harri Mürk – E-mail




John Graham

1 October 2014


The garden of Eden is here unseen by the many whose eyes are shut.


In Order of Disappearance : A Film Review


Director Hans Petter Moland Norway 2014 1hr 57mins

Cast : Stellan Skarsgard, Pal Sverre Hagen, Bruno Ganz, Hildegun Riise, Peter Andersson, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Jakob Oftebro, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Jon Oigarden, Gard B. Eidsvold, Goran Navojec, Jack Sodahl Moland. (Norwegian, Danish, Serbian, English dialogue) Cert 15.

Think Shakespeare. Comic/Tragedy Lear, Macbeth, Titus?  and add more Gore.

In a white landscape of the plains which cover with snow and a routine develops to clear the open roads for conveys of cars to tail the snow sweeper we add some more white dust in the form of Cocaine and the whole film lights up in technicolor jaundiced portrayal of dark violent people.

Nils Desparandum

The central character leaning over the steering shell of his elevated cabin, this immigrant, Swede? , paradoxically turns into a violent man as is the context of most of the genre of revenge crime thrillers. Here Nils, Stellan Skarsgard, characters second name the unfortunate Dickman.
His family was his wife and son, Ingvar is a young guy working as an airport runway baggage collector and this being the hub of the incoming trade, never troubled by local police or customs, he comes close and closer still to the illicit trade.


This matter of fact place with its matter of fact underground drug traffic and distribution network – the cities are divided up between the blow in East Europeans, the Son of the last local dealer King who is the prepostrestly vain, acidic, juvenile, psychopath, vegan, ponytailed neat bearded tall thin Duke who goes by the name of Count.  What a character we are going to have before us?  Absolute lunatic.                       This is the awesome performance of Pal Sverre Valhheim Hagen playing Greven based no doubt on Scandanavian nightclub pseudes who hover with malevolence and drugs and he rakes up their idea of control a million times. If you look like a Dane and their Swedes Finns whatever and vice versa they beat the crap out of them. Giving tem guns is an entirely different matter.

The comedy is his mantra and all the dark, black, sardonic idiotic irony filled screen filled lunacy is generated from him as a lunatic cyclone once the trades are broken and certain revenge is up large and central course sty of the revenging Father.

It is obvious from a third of the film on their is comedic drenching with the absurdities built on formulaic responses of the moody gangsters. Each time someone goes missing it is down to Nils whose disposal method is unique and Sopranos’ish and Godfather sleeping with the fishes.

The white Norwegian’s including the pale Count are racist in the extreme and behave themselves as misfits in a country with natural and socially developed ideas.

How does it set up?

Nils has a very routine job when snow falls in his part of Norway. He is responsible for making the roads passable and keeping them that way all through winter. The yellow snow plough, the cabin and the monotonous white landscape are for most expectations a whiteout which the director will have to clear and turn the monotony into a thriller. A crime occurs and it is Nils extent of grief which the familiar Stellan Skarsgard an elder statesman of Scandanavian cinema has all the skills to express the great loss his son affects has on him. The world is in his mind cruel to the Everyman character, a familiar trope explored in many a film. Coping is the thrust of the initial timeline of the film.

Nils is not framed with any particular interests, we see him in the gloomy winter, he probably has a few fun moments!  Like fishing, walking climbing or painting, we just don’t know.  His wife is almost forgotten in this but clearly she is just as distraught as he and she fails to recognise the massive change in Nils while accepting his odd behaviour.  It could have done with a bit if more development but this is not a TV series and this is the Genre it most relates too in our precepts about Scandanavian thrillers and odd ball crime. They got it from our Telly! So did The Sopranos! The best RV used to happen in The British Isles.


The Foreign Bastards

Certain things begin to happen and not in the expected order while this film blasts on violently and at a ferocious pace.  It is absorbing and shocking in a bizarre way and would have been  good box office in the USA as well as other dominions as there is an appetite maybe due to the absence of real investigative journalism – the wars are the focus quite rightly of the more penetrative journalists and we hear of their tragic experiences daily.  It is a point though as we depend sometimes on fiction for the exposed truth.

Our appreciation of drug wars are meagre and at a distance but under world crime is right beside us in the everyday with the daily reports of heinous crimes becoming hard to conceal and a raft of consciousness has reached the surface concerning us all.

Into the fray comes a great performance, Stellans is superb I forgot to acclaim, with Bruno Ganz as the Serbian Godfather Mobster known as Papa.  The observation regarding the homey names is raised. BThe crew he has working for him are performed according to racist tropes and his craziness is a gem of macabre filmic criminality and psychopathy. Lots of deaths shooting and jeopardy in case you hadn’t gathered from the above. All delivered in truly good cinematic form.

Conclusion. ####4

This is a highly developed; far from the precepts of Nordic Cinema, replete with an excellent cast.  It has lots of small asides and comedic reflections on the state of things. They are basically out of hand and no-one has a clue how destructive they are in the local context which this film shapes up to.  It is beautifully photographed and snow ploughs always make a god throw directing our eyes wider and we have them opened in a strange if slightly, well far out tale of human calamitous failure to control our basic flaws.  Go see but take it with a large glass full of Nordic snaps.

Tak. Tak. Tak.


On at QFT From this Friday 12 September to 18 September 2014


Art : Water the Obverse Land


Land the Obverse Water
Nights draw in as we pass through giant sky’s.
There are immense spaces and water stretches that fall on an eight mile horizon. Sand dunes picked up by winds knitted and made solid forms by maram grass and man made groynes. They nestle people and birds. Swimmers walking long stretches of sand to reach the sea. Our rugged coastline on West and Northern shores cut into bays of rocks with strands of open space for large waves to descend and run along sand.

Human scale is refigured in the water and on land of uninterrupted horizontal view. Some of the local independent galleries have between them happened upon art which configures the interaction had in outlying experienced land and water.

Golden Thread Gallery shows a collection of Gary Shaws Semaphore flags redressed and displayed after an earlier appearance during last years Belfast Culture Night. That night were it, Culture, all comes out to play and is tucked up to hibernate in the wider publics imagination until the next years event. Events are often overlooked and undernourished in Belfast. Only around thirty turned up at The Strand in east belfast to see one of Ireland’s finest contemporary traditionally nurtured musicians Donal Lunny. How come?



The legacy of Egon Schiele in Cesky Krumlov and at the top a filched image but I’m sure they will understand!

Little Kingdoms – Part One : Cesky Krumlov : Catalyst Arts
We come to the fringes of East European Cities as a marker of the their neighbouring conurbations cut off from them as identities of a different kind. This is the area of narrative for imagination to take over and diversify through remnants of art. There are three parts to this little Kingdom Series carrying works by members of Catalyst themselves, none of whom it would possibly be, that ever visited the location of the header. Translates? Pesky Crumbs Lovebed.
So each is attempting to plot a course of relation using the tiniest of fragments of the behaviours, objects, topography, built environment, legacy, flora, fauna, you would expect to see or have referenced and advanced some human observations

Models by Elaine Leader is the Imagined collection of 1:200? scale architectural style models of built objects and screened spaces. Each having a function, an observation post, a lifeguard type tower, a funnel, a pit, transportable screens, portals, stairs, all recognisable and fabric of many formless towns and these are spread randomly as an act of impermanence and fragility. Being a lovers of the interrelation, codes, complexities and design of built environments particularly their reluctance to be universally appealing or intrinsically local the ‘movements’ of architecture abate and disintegrate once they embark – and China’s obsession with derivative movements as extrapolations of their own wishful future – on journeys beyond the authorial origin. It is a very well conceived work which lends credibility immensely to the ambitions of the project by nailing the other of art in one part.
Could a piece of paper make that imagined.
Two years ago by Michaela Butler Imagines it as black and white A4 sheets of undistinguished graphic images overplayed, inverted and positive, negative shapes. Is is possibly an expression of comparison of a history. That would fit and is purposely vague but shapes are defined and present perhaps then and now.
A fucking good poem is like a bomb by Vicky Smyth Imagines it as a poetical kingdom with a poetic population on the outside concerned with the focus of medieval cities. At least that became my interpretation. The bard of Castleblaney used poetry as bomblets. The little clusters dropped worldwide to cause collateral damage everywhere and anywhere.
In a country once populated by shepherds weaving words while sheep grazed to grow weave and industrialised poets laid against the hulk of ships in a cathedral of echoing riveting workers few words baulked the revolution of blood letting making the fuck word as idiotic as Johnny Rotten using the noun as an interjection unpolished as this non-functional title. It seldom is true and intensively a personal fucktional word delivering no addition to the alluded too truth that good poetry is actual literal truth.

IMG_3440The broad cast of the bap man
Bap Breakdown by Mike Harvey Imagines an artist exploding. His work is inhabiting the space within the Little Kingdom with video of gestural hooded confined person, ironic in the evidence of grievances executed in the back lands, civilian inhabited badlands which know no limitations. Another video gestures pony behaviour. The spoilt kid with two fingered arm and self mocking pratfalls which alludes to giving us nothing to learn if viewing continues. More productive than the counterpoint of negative seen in video is the very good line drawn portrait paintings and on a shelf – another plywood enthrallment? Is irony continuing in this school of artists?!. – is centrally a leaping body which is is an expression of confinement and exuberance as well as apathy in subdued black and white roughly executed. It is effective as are the numerous paintings. Mike Harvey has constructed on the floor against the wall of the exhibit again centrally a rack, three racks to library some of his assorted images. They require looking at but the racks obscure. This is quite act that like a library requires you to have a ticket, but like pictures defy being handled. They are also in real form very beautiful tender portraits of evident personality which offers the prospect of further advances as intimated by glimpses of his work in again muted colour. The colour works could be In themselves a catalogue of human observation of faces as understood by all artists as being the idiom of conversing with the other. I thought this work was the show stand out piece so far and is on many levels effective and has assured presence withstanding the t-shirt marketing outreach.
@jacquelinewylie twitter followers 30.09.14 by Jacqueline Wylie Imagines the out there unknowns. The identities of her twitter followers are listed in what appears to be Gill Sans font replete with the large @ symbol. I suggest unknowns as most people are not entirely aware of their twitter followers or facebook followers by dint of the preoccupancy of simply facilitating connections across wide platforms. Twitter is that dark stalking horse that cultivates avarice and quick soundbites and gingersnap raw words. Writing a tweet can be so tiresome I’m sure it is widely agreed and for writers the words have to be King. There it is then, Jacqueline Wylie has it, on an AO size white 180gsm ish sheet hung with a galvanised bulldog clip free at the bottom a Little Kingdom defined as many in the chosen location may the self same have encountered the syntax plainly in b/w.

IMG_3449A contemplation of where to begin climbing

Rubberneck by Martin Boyle Imagined and challenged many adults.
It is physically a set of very small wall climbing grips to encourage you to climb a small height to ascertain what is on the ubiquitous plywood shelf. This one no larger than a postcard. is there a postcard on it?
On the floor in front lay what looked like a Primark receipt for £9.99 but I take it it was an inadvertent decoy! A very tall man had the ability to peer down on the shelf and passed it suitable for his children to ascend and discern. Having asked what they saw it was evident it was a figure of derivative kind. They knew of Elvis I imagined (I made that up) all 42 years of living and it is clear he was not in this building and with 100% certainty never had been.
Only by accepting the challenge is it ever possible to find out something.
Never rely on other people only yourself can be discerning.

IMG_3537Instagram collection this place and others.
Transfigure by John Robinson Imagined a portal constructed from softwood 2x100x50mm framing of an aperture about 2.4 x 2.0 metres tall.
Sandwiched between the frames as a shapeless plastic opaque curtain was a couple of sheets of billowed plastic membrane. Where does the transfigurement take place? On which side of the portal? It has a few random strokes of blue paint internally. It also is grounded and escapes beyond the frame as an overflow. My interpretation, hardly enlightening was of a Tsunami effect of a flood through a doorway. It was not what John Robinson had in mind. The irregularity and frozen character of the work could have many interpretations.
Cause and Effect by Katrina Sheena Smyth Imagines Memorialising the statis of the person in loci. That statism being the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. It all involves the loci of the Catalyst Arts Store room that emporium of capitalism hidden in the bowels of the building never seen by the free paying public narcissists blind to the I provirus of the Arts Council inflicted Values.
Of course that is probably not what Katrina Sheena Smyth but you never can have any certainty were she is concerned because she is a very concerning young lady in of course the very best sense.


If only I looked as good in a sweat suit. I last wore one at Helston Regatta w/skiing and scared the children with my thin form. The folk of Cornwall fill themselves with Cornish Pasties.

Platform Arts Top Floor

Nothing Great Is Easy by Lisa Stansbie  


Amphibious Amorphic Antthropologies Ambiguously Atrophied

When you have been to Mount Olympus and known the dimensions mankind can traverse in around three hours, apparently 26 miles or thereabouts and put it to practice you ascertain a value scope for the land mass on which we live. It then follows what is the other the sea all about. The tide alone is not it. The surge of the Bristol Channel in height and as a race inland and out again is a mere bauble when there are oceans that out rank the land. Ships, boats, planes have all perished taking with them a body of people so one goes to water off shore with respect and plenty of uncertainty.

The lithe luxuriant artist Lisa Stansbie has been both a marathon runner and latterly an open water swimmer. Fragility is not I suppose a familiar word that endurance athletes worry too much about. They measure potential hazards, predict patterns of nature and plan meticulously for a performance of human endurance in exemplary self challenging mystique. Like a boxer stepping up the purges of self encapsulated talents and energy willed into battle against another force known to have an element of torturous behaviour that may go beyond ones own if not respected and correctly defended against. It is a substitute for a multitude of levels of sports and like taking flight on an animal, galloping a horse over obstacles or in a caravanseri up a hill or along a trail it is elemental.


the crown ofr King or Queen

The top floor of Platform Arts is a space filled by Lisa Stansbie of Objects, Video, Photographs and Print material all referencing the art of Swimming and in particular open water Swimming. I would love to swim properly but the last time was a lido in Newmarket which was dosy dosy on a summers day. Before that in open water i got a shock and nearly taken out to sea near Deauville in Normandy and the shock was enough to remove all water confidence overnight. Next day i could not go in the water.

No such trepidation from this very accomplished endurance athlete who is equally adept at producing all kinds of communicative narratives and art installations to emphasise a point.  Also Lisa Stansbie wishes it seems to celebrate things through art and narrative to such a degree she passes it on by the medium of teaching at Huddersfield University.


AT SWIM ONE BIRD. The composite drawings – symbols of swimming and invention of machines for waterborne propulsion.  Superb set which also appear on the stairs and  in the escape route stairs of the gallery so the artist is frothing with ideas!

AT SWIM TWO BIRDSegon at swim

This room or large Gallery space is neatly laid out with the articles telling a story of the very specialised sport of endurance swimming in open water.  Whether it is a river or an estuary, lake or the open sea it is a sport i imagine can quickly change elementally. One large trade photograph or stock image of wet suited male swimmers with flippers, cap and goggles dominates the mid gallery.  It is surrounded in the rest of the gallery by layouts of water bottles and floats.  There is a neon yellow crown which attracted like moths people to be photographed in a halo pose, the here representing here the king of the water in a water community somewhere far distant and memorialising the person overcoming the strength and control of the water.


Waterborne is a book by Diana Gleadhill, a woman based in County Down who is also very very keen on open swimming.

If I leave the writing about the exhibition which is very well conceived as a set of confrontations with our humanity and the things we bring to engage in challenging natures forces, well this is a glorious starting point and will take you a long distance and be with you for a long time if you appreciate the context setting and the wide cast and generous disposition of the artist.

Waterborne carries a few poems and written material which fits here in context.

Ever drifting down the stream -

Lingering in the golden gleam -

Life, what is it but a dream?

Lewis Carroll    (After Edgar Alan Poe and ‘All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream?)


Full Fathom five thy Father lies;

Of his bones are coral made,;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that doth fade

But suffer a suffer a sea-change,

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell;


Hark!  now I hear them — ding-dong,  bell.

William Shakespeare.

this one I like best

Boats sail on the seas;

But clouds that sail across the skyAre prettier far than these.

Christina  Rosetti



John Graham

9 September 2014



Bounce: Expression on Life


Disability is only the Introduction
In seeking to describe the phenomenon that is the Arts and Disability Forum Belfast week long events I thought of the glass ceiling. Instead the forum has the capacity to have everyone engage with disability issues and reflect on very ones disability of one kind an another. So I came up with the concept of us walking uncomfortably on our own eggshells. No-one is immune from a disability and health issues encroach into everyone’s daily existence. Disability rights have meant there has been an annexing of disability into categories and a spectrum of mis-functions. There arises a collective of the separation on each form of disability which is summoned to lobby and integrate with the medical and emotional practices that need to be confronted.
Experience Expressed
Expression in this pieces title is Experience mostly recited through the vast array of arts medium seen, heard, signaled, felt, spoken, tasted is of all the sensations acting on us.
It gives each a sense of understanding, appreciation, acuteness, a things worth, security, isolation from the world and nature which is our space.

Bounce happen to collect a body of people whose disabilities have given them insights and factors to contend with others have only partial awareness of. By expressing their life and using it as an abundant well of emotional penetrating intelligence the life we live in is greatly enhanced and appreciation while understanding is only part of the interplay all enjoy the fact complexities of being are infinite.

I for one cannot imagine the millisecond upon millisecond of a severely disabled persons life, building those evaporating moments together into billions and trillion billions of time it is hard to imagine but it is traveling along every bit as linear as anyone’s. The split seconds alter when bodies behaviours are interrupted, disconnected from the signals of a mind whose life has been managing another story than the one we are used too. Inexplicably so, uncontrollably signals are pushed along damage of the creation of God to persist in exacting all that is good.


If these spasms could speak by Robert Softley A Creative Scotland with The Arches production. Producer Bruce Strachan Director Sam Rowe.
In performance the capsule that Robert Softley has put together as an active one hour play is astonishing in its connectivity and guidance. Where ignorance and unknowing are challenged; the audience in the first instance want to be informed and share collectively and internally the feelings washing through the space Robert occupies and envelops. He packages up from other disabled persons individual stories drawing them into his own story.
Characteristic of a pragmatic Scotsman he self deprecatingly takes the piss out of his different set of issues in contrast to most of the audience by starting out with the fact his speech is imparted and on a backdrop screen methodically and incrementally his words are scattered as text up on the screen. We notice later on that this is replaced as we learn quickly Roberts mode of speech irregular as it may seem.
Cerebal palsy is not a word or disability it is easy to get your tongue around he points out and he builds a picture of food and drink parameters that he needs to fuel his very very active body spasms which are un programmable and as a consequence proteins are burnt to deal with the amount of convulsions no matter how small or insignificant they are at different times.

Robert asks the audience to consider his body this way and to note how muscle toned it makes him as he surveys the arrival of some additional fat or paunch like middle age spread. Explaining his sexual desires and his hitting it of with partners of the same and different sex, the dialogue satiates our desire to know how his sex life differs. His life he says is of being continually horn but with some random nods and sex organ dis behaviours to cope with which only enlighten and displace the daily routine and the puts in place a rationality that this is like all urges of the kind pleasure filled and satiating. He gulps with delight and spits out, not literally you fool! his diatribe on the ups and downs and sideways and back enjoyments and pains of sexual pairing. Everyone is filling the room with laughter and feeding back to Robert our own heartfelt anxieties and our stumbling onto unexpected locations of pleasure with sparks and flames burning and going out when something pisses on the love from our immutable senses.
A love found by looking is his message.
Everyone shares this connection and the boundaries and eggshells are forgotten as we throw our vocalized laughter and cheers as a prove life of encounter with Robert. Our feelings and consequently our appreciation has been taken to another level in this seemingly minor act of theatre. It is immense and will long remain with everyone in the room.
Medical Know How
Expressed and implicit in Robert Softleys story is to educate us all and to share with individuals coping with variations of mis-function how important for them to have a voice and use it. A proposal by Doctors to have him fitted with calipers to stretch his legs as a teenager told of the reaction this had from Robert. Strongly he refused this treatment allying it to pain and pointlessness completely misunderstood by health care professionals.
You could feel the grief in the room of folk considering what those who have not been able to assess and voice their views must have suffered not simply endured. Such was the graphic means and theatrical sharpness this and other basic acts of mindless physicians trying to make corrections – and Robert compared their approach to fixing cars – were driven like nails fixing us under the impressed gravity of the facts conveyed succinctly and admirably by Robert. It was more than observational humour or light touch statement making. It was multi-coloured content, beneath the flesh irascible contagious warmth for humans and our multitude of cords and nerves were ironically fixed and furiously delivering in rapid superenergised rapid sequence to our minds, the Cerebal cortex it elevated the continuum of the evolving panoply of emotions building and building in fre spaces of our minds new information linked God knows how between us amongst us and in us.

In line with the collective who run TenX9 once a month in Belfast, check website of the same name, they joined ADF to put together a TenX5 co rising five people from the disability community and create an audience for them to tell a story elation g to their lives and let us know moe about them.
As with the ethos of TenX9 what is said in the room stays in the room as some stories are very personal and those bold enough to get up can rely on their being privacy for the story which is used to educate the audience and fill the person involved with a level of confidence and in an intimate surrounding. Like a large dinner party without the after gossip and back over the shoulder asides and I think I’ll leave it at that.
The individuals needless to say were very very thought provoking and had highly personal tales to get across with an audience in the Lyric Naughton Studio supportive and receptive of every word. I will remember the people long after and met some again at other events.

Let me Stay by Julie McNamara
Julie is a one-woman whirlwind who has a story to tel of her mother Shirley, Queen of the Mersey’s journey into Alzheimer’s disease.
The Naughton Studio again came into effective use, this time with the bleachers pulled out, providing a conventional stage, raked seating setting.
Now Julie began immediately throwing herself into her mothers part, indeed shoes came up as frequent personality quotients from slippers to high heels to shiny gold specked show stoppers. Shirley came from Co. Down and found herself in Liverpool and a husband who was a dandy spotted the very attractive youthful Shirley and that was that. Her singing and theatrical drive found her in clubs and on the Liverpool social circuit. Shirley’s songs were played and a texts screen captured every word on the circular set.
The set had a semi circle of layered boxes which served as a projection screen and Julie waltzed us through the life and times of this still perky woman who is now a woman of closed inner sacrum recognising another set of parameters so different from the past. Memory has locked things away never to be brought out again but music is a constant pleasure for Shirley as she recalls all the best songs from the glory days.

This is a tender loving biography for Shirley which is adored by wide audiences as it fits into so many people’s own struggles with Alzheimer’s in their family. None the same and everyone as complex a set of issues to deal with.

Julie McNamara has sat down with the idea and talked over the stories Shirley would want to have in the Play we now see. From Song choices to the very beautiful montages and visuals we are hearing it from Shirley through Julie. The boxes break up the images sufficiently enough not to make it intrusive and the dignity despite the newest tendency of Shirley to speak her mind using the F word as a gobstopper, and why wouldn’t she be entitled to pour out a few expletives if they polished out a few home truths about the world seen through her eyes.

It is a very effective piece of theatre and drama of social disability and coping. I certainly hope it reaches a wider audience and we have a lot to thank Julie McNamara for shining the light on the subject.

Borderline Project by Shiro Masuyama
This was an installation within a two bed caravan parked alongside the Lyric which Shiro adds to and has been adding to since about this time last year. It comprises a caravan of two distinct nationalities expressed in each side, by half, through everyday domestic bric a brac and memorabilia. It is kitchen without the kindness and as an artist obviously very insightfully observant about how Britishness and Irishness are expressed through the design of food wrappers, Tayto v Cadburys, from Tea Canisters, Lyons v Barry’s there is a proliferation of shock candid evaluation going on which is end idly taking all of us to task in the accumulations of our lives.
It is dizzingly daft and at the same time profoundly good subjective art.

If you want to know more another daft project had Shiro Sheep shearing and the photos of the result and his reversal of fortune for the piebald sheep is another piece of originality he lays claim to.


One of us must Die by Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell
Enabled by The Disability Arts Touring Network and DaDa Fest.
I didn’t get to see this couples play unfortunately but I add a note or two.
Kiruna who has dwarfism met the sardonic abnormally funny comedian Gareth and they connected. Married and living in London, Gareths British,
Kirunas Australian, and no they don’t live on the Earls Court Road or anywhere close, they create stories which relate to our latent body fascism with a special place for a gun.
Whether its deliberate for a Belfast audience I can assure you that’s not the case but they have it in for ignorance and there is no better shout out needed.

ADF don’t stop there, the year has many outreach and on site events from the headquarters in 109-113 Royal Avenue which once was Hercules Street.

A very pleasurable feast of from people who’s life’s are without question very different and more challenging than the majority. It was an honor to be given the opportunity to be a part of the collective good atmosphere and vibe of incomparable people and every success is wished for continued Expression on life by these folk and all who are similarly energised to reach out.

John Graham

3 September 2014


Obvious Child : A Film Review


Director Gillian Robespierre, USA, 1hr 25mins, Cert 15

Cast: Jenny Slate as Donna, Jake Lacy as Max the one night stand, Gaby Hoffman as Nellie the roommate and BF, David Cross as Sam another comic friend, Gabe Liedman as a comic and gay friend, Richard Kind as Jacob Stern Donnas father, Polly Draper as Donnas Mum, Paul Briganti as Ryan, Cindy Cheung as Dr Bernard the Planned parenthood clinician, and where would you be without a bookstore in Brooklyn, Stephen Singer as Gene.

Intensely Absorbing
Viewing this film went in a flash. It is such an absorbing portrayal of a subject which has every community and ever woman and man who have personally been confronted with an aborted pregnancy and those that haven’t drawn closely into the central issue. It consumes ever emotion delivered by the quality of Gillian Robespierres penned story. It happens when she also has found an unguarded uncompromising new romance that is unsettled from the outset.
It illuminates and conspicuously puts the issue of abortion front and central in this compelling film.

Never simple never more real.

If anyone thought every woman who became pregnant from whatever circumstances believed she did not carry a possible life and that the egg carried is fertilised is plainly not in possession of reason.
Reason has it that the body of the woman can carry or physically abort that fertilised egg. It stands to reason that choice exists. It is a choice only one person can make and one no one should make for her.

Maybe it has been without question; never a concern or a possibility.
Which judgement is the previous line about?

It seems the power of control and oppressive treatment of the woman is behind the anti-abortion mind. The time in which that decision is made is often when loud voices and lobby groups lay siege on other people’s bodies.  They are less inclined to go to war one suspects as it too can define a bodies value.  Nevertheless perversely they trust their judged ownership over others lives.
How does that feel? Not knowing on which side even the question above falls.
Of the woman finding out what is required for her. Of what the fertilised egg which she has is as a consequence to her future. Only the woman is privy.
It is possible to abort in a very short time and it is clear the proximity of health care providers to the newly pregnant will make the decision more enabled in the event it is wanted. Being impregnated and fertilised is a sexual eventuality which happens in a millisecond. The sperm swings into action and like a thought arriving jointly in consent of intercourse the possibility it takes on a life of its own as a sacrificial match igniting a fire, is transformative. Wanted suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, without the drawbacks.
No other thing is determined. Sex makes children but children are not always the aim or the intention and we are privileged as humans to enjoy sex without the premeditative state of child making being the purpose of sexual intercourse. Intercourse is provocative, unprocreative, erotic, a sensual course of actions motivated in all manner of couplings and is a means of creating connections of our senses with another’s.



The Donna Dilemma

The place Donna performs is a fairly regular Brooklyn Bar. It has a pre-graffitied unisex toilet with the comedy in the curtained off back room enroute to the loo. This is where, if your senses are numb enough after or before a few beers you can expect humour droll and troll shaped with comedy so dry you think you have been stalked.
Is there a sub-genre in comedy foe female comedians to tkalk about men and women’s pants, the inside ones used for filtering fart jokes and cheesy wot’sits masquarading as hooky discharge. Next up variations on bake-off for snooker players who despise FGM and outrageous homophobic jokes.
Yes there’s not a lot of it about but Donna aka Jenny Slate has a better comedic breath than this film and Edinburgh Fest Daggers portray.

Pro Choice Brooklyn

One good choice Donna has made is the living in Brooklyn which hopefully is as friendly as the vibe of direction, that even on a cold day the parks have a slick black safe path to walk along and with the legend that is – not the idiosyncratic Bookstore she works at from which she is is to lose her day job through a rental hike or lease termination of this engaged bookstore building – the Brooklyn Book Fair which draws thousands each year.  There is a playful semi disregard of the future for this twenty year old and it all gets very conspirator when er boyfriend of late at the comedy club confesses to having paired off with a confidant of Donna’s making one bad judgement turn into two.  This summons the wine fuzzing scene.  The scenes are approached in a very old fashioned way as are the face and wide shots and convention seems an intrinsic device to put a context to the morality tale which unfolds.

Max played by Jake Lacy is the straight guy who walks into the bar one night and strokes up a fairly routine conversation and after awhile she bonds enough to do an outdoor bodily function before they move onto smarter bodily functions and it wasn’t farting earlier, that is dancing.  It goes up a gear and there’s your story.

Mr Max as an easy going pleasant, no sides personality which is not sufficiently complex for Donna we figure.  It so happens he can’t do too many wrong things without apologizing and making amends somehow.  How would her life cope with that we are asked to consider as each step unfolds.  We also are neatly put in the position of having no gripe with Max making us unable to off load a guilt trip abortion exit on him.  No it is straight down to Donna and Jenny Slate puts us through the ringer as well as constructing a possibility of last minute withdrawal, at least I had it thus and I must also admit I did not cover the predicament mentally by laughing about it.  There was not the comedy Fest a lot of reviews have alluded to but a thoughtful appreciative audience engaging with this monumental decision being taken inside this vulnerable twenty something’s head.

Intensely moving Drama

The timeline is believable with over two weeks of intense self reflection and questioning this point in her life where career isn’t a word she needs lock too, it will be sometime before she gets one and the part time comedy just got way too close and vulnerability shakes her core.

Paper Mountains

On Friday last a 2014 award winning newspaper carried on its National page 10 a film review (shoving as it sometimes does with Venice, into a different arena, that of Political incisiveness?) which had 5 stars, for the film The Look of Silence. This film OC featured in its Friday review section received 3 stars in text failing to carry paragraphs. A feature writer had a week or so previously written incisively on Obvious Child with some emphasis on how in the past, ’80s etc the issue central to this film was part of a sub-text, never prominent and the time we are in is newly ‘Hollywood Conservatism’. It also is taken as a very funny independant film which thankfully drops the ridiculous message of romantic comedy.

The writer obviously, in line with her forthcoming book on Hollywood Conservatism, touched on an aspect of the film which indeed shows the full focus of this lead Jenny Slate playing in an film narrated environment which is an unhindered pro-choice, un-hectoring society except for the straining Health care Clinician who; and a neat inter-racial, the only one evident, puts across the truth she, Donna, has to consider the options available. Donna has brought the decision to the clinician already made on the basis of her options and loudly asserts “I want an abortion” without volume but with fully fetched directness.

That actually is the message of the film. The woman choosing what happens within her body. As only for a quick rejection replacing fuck bitten condoms and double vision eyes whacked on JD as opposed to the earlier crying session of wine drunk from a jam jar after her break up the condition would not exist. Not all on the same day you understand.

Conclusion #### 4

This is a far reaching film which will find audiences of many nations and of different cultural, economic circumstance meet the film at the heart of the issue of aborting an embryo at an early stage of pregnancy.  It is not complicated by many variables hence a late abortion, a mis-function based abortion, or a mental breakdown, level of immaturity or other pressing reasons.  It is a film constructed around a simple message. That alone it is the woman whose body carries the egg who must decide.

It does carry its load lightly knowingly with the device of laughter but it is a film which carries with it social realism and provides and carries wisdom.

To be found at nationwide cinemas and at

QFT Belfast from Friday 5 September to Thursday 11 September 2014

Well worth seeing.


John Graham

3 September 2014


All this Mayhem : A Film Review

imageBrothers Beyond
This is the story of skateboarding brothers Tas and Ben Pappas who reached the pinnacle of their sport in the nineties.
There never hold back testing themselves and their own endurance.
From an early age the sons of a Greek father – Australian mother, parents who frequently rowed and hit each other, frying pans et al passed on the franchise of violent behaviour. Dad Pappas also taught martial art classes and took them, learning Aikido amongst others where the pressure points can be used to snuff out a life. They became experts in the more block violence aspects strands of Martial Arts by putting opponents six levels above them on the floor so often they were banned.
Getting Wood
So they turned to an oblong of wood with twin castors either end and found it also was so much fun they scorched every opponent and skateboarder they encountered in the suburbs of their home city Melbourne through sheer natural ability and darker who gives a ….. attitude.
Off their Heads
The place was full of energy and escapism through unconventional sports and border like punk meets rock star hedonism. Not much is detailed about the treatment of the women around their early days and from what we see it was almost a practically male bondage motive that led to the dangerous behavior especially around readily available drugs, first cannabis then Cocaine in what seemed like very pure form unadulterated by headache tablets or other digestion powders etc.
Teenage Nirvana
Two years separate Tas and Ben. Ben is two years younger born 02/09/75.
The rise and record of their supremacy was all put down on the camcorder VHS tapes, mini tapes of the day. The footage was the prime source of their sporting bravado and the ultimate proof of the moves practiced day after day and the collective self worship of this fringe freelancer sport.
Seeing themselves in these visual acrobatics off of the half pipe came up extraordinarily Frank and honest when seen on tape.
That was the pure side of the tape. On the other side of the tape was the hard knocks and intensity of competition but with it at least in the domestic Australian scene everyone looked out for each other’s backs and the more ounces of illegitimate and let’s face it body destroying herbs and narcotics inflicted and deepened addictions and connections between the highs of the skateboarding and the after glow effects of partying with stacks of drugs blurred their ability to distinguish which was responsible for which high.
I will repeat that one another way – doing drugs and sports adrenaline where each delivering especially inconceivable unrealities.
Half Stoked
It was a low and a basement they would find it very hard to climb out of.
From the bottom of the half pipe if off your board and off your mind you have to climb those steps again to reach the adrenaline peaks craved.
The push was the adulation and validation they got.
Videos wold show their intense liberating skill set and it was and seemed real and a pure buzz. Wicked, Stoked, all mannerisms and actions had what we now call tags. One which cropped up a lot was ‘Barnes it’ a totem for not giving a …. when push came to shove when confronted with a challenge and going for it regardless.
America Calls
Lots of money could be made from the marketing and sales of merchandise so it was one brother followed by the other who decided to rock up in America with little other than a dream.
The Pappas brothers went on acid trips and lived in a skateboard park in a room that would trip out a celibate monk or temperance loving priest.
Either way they became junkies of the highest order. High being the witless word they described as. The aim was to topple the top skateboarder in the world, Tony Hawk represented in the cauldron of the US and skate city San Diego. Hawk was the apogee of the sport and dominated to such an extent he wisely bought into ESPNs franchise of the rights and it all became a very serious set of propositions and the circuit of skateboard lifted off with its high octane freedom of expression and obvious skill set easily followed and stupendously in keeping with the superficiality of the era.
A nightmare of addictions, business fault lines and personal challenged all kicked off.
As Tas says near mid point in the documentary ‘That’s the day it all kicked off’. The pipe was bored out to churn them up and deliver things neither could imagine. Also very early on Tas says regarding looking back, ‘Theres my side, there’s your side and there’s the truth.’ Simple as.
For a man looking back on things his brain is capable of remarkable things given what he’s been through.
You watch this documentary and you will see what he and Ben went through
There are times when it just seems so stupid and ultimately screaming don’t do it momements. Their gauges are way off the meter with the cocktail of indulgences they gather in however and this cocktail overflows with disastrous results.

Australia and St Albans
When they cover each other’s backs each has a personal life rarely spoken of until it enters into and screws up alongside the choices made in business as well as drugs which is always, always their biggest liability.
The return to Australia happens frequently with the return becoming more bringing back their home St Albans up front again. The memories are their but this too has change since they’ve been away and they return individually with one making a bad call which ensnares him.

Eighties still the Seventies
The early days were a kind of backdraft of the seventies kitsch and pomp with a poorly expressed hard rock/punk invention that was feed on a diet of Australian self preposterous framed identities. It was the embodiment of Who we are – This is the ……. who we are! The country basing itself on its sports as an identity to wear. Into the bargain a Marsupial gets to be used as a play thing. It looks like a Wombat which is bigger than a badger does not eat meat apparently but don’t tell the boys that. It is by a small margin and the vegan tendencies of the Wombat that their knackers don’t get caught between its front teeth. It still need s to chew and it chews on something less fragile.

Conclusion ###3
Who knows what cans of videotape, reels of mini video camcorder recent history of people’s lives are stashed away. Rock music? WaterSports? Climbing? Drugs, Sex and Rock and Roll lives? Or endless footage of building Garden sheds or landscaping the field out the back? Some have emerged to small acclaim but this will interest youth and those of the era alike.
It is a harrowing story which needed to be told and was there for the telling.
Ably edited and drawing on practically all resources available to illustrate it we see a never before shown unadulterated record of the lives of these two brothers spanning from their elastic youth up to their mid twenties and just beyond.


Australian Crawl

James Reyne
I remember an Australian band; I for one who found INXS too Australian and derivative. I heard them once while at a party a mile away while they performed at Wembley and it sounded like a concert definitely only for folk who liked their pop rock simple. The Australian band I remember, and who were better in my mind, was fronted by a singer called James Reyne, an Irish surname, who you would cheerfully throttle as he had the looks you knew would draw a crowd of very attractive and no doubt smart Sheila’s. It only became tolerable as he had a tendency to wear a mullet at one point.
The songs good songs I remember were songs that could be written for skateboarders at a stretch.
There is an anthem about 5 minutes long called Reckless which I won’t forget easily and another celebratory song called The Boys light Up. Very typically Australian and of the time, the eighties and the band summed up their Homeland better than INXS with James Reyne more typically, if that is not to pejorative a word, a truer son of Australian than most. Some of the output was pretty ordinary though. It may have been James Reyne got caught up in the hedonism of his fame, I don’t know the story.

Two Days, One Night : A Film Review

imageDeux Jours, Une Nuit. Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne -Belgium/Italy/France, 2014. 1hr 35mins. Drama. Cert. 15.
Cast. Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne. Simon Caudry, Catherine Salée, Baptiste Sornin, Olivier Gourmet.

French Blue Collar Cotillard
Here is the European Community giving everyone a nervous breakdown to meet the targets set by the technocrats and consumer narratives made plain by the ethics and (im)morality of the likes of Germany and GDP GB.

In order to bail out bond holders each of the contributing countries listed above, workers have faced austerity and a collapse in living standards which is so diverse and indiscriminate it makes vultures, hedgehogs, moles, wolves and peacocks plus out of the populus churning out the next thing needed.
Societies Malaise
This is apparently shot mostly in Belguim. Marion Cotillard as Sandra is in practically every scene. She is the everywoman whose shoes you have to walk a mile in and take the walk she does, catches buses, and goes all round this everytown – it is a mix of urban suburban environments with life and the everyday happening all around her. This invisible secret we encounter everyday. How is that person or this person coping and caring in their lives that you pass and know only by sight? What sorrows and what happiness is carried unbeknown to you? That is a powerful strategy of the film. For no outside contact to take place and the the story to walk through the seemingly ordinary but extraordinary counterpoints is surely part of the orbit of the vision.
She may stop a stranger to ask directions but then is is done in such a mannerly way as to fit those anonymous people right beside Sandra in terms of their own narratives and ongoing concerns and focus. A shared existence.

She has to reverse the ballot which went against her return over one weekend so setting in train a gamut of different levels of dignity.
She as we learn has been thwarted from going back to her old job in a vote that precedes were we arrive.
She must also retain her own recovery from depression which saw her absence over a stretched period from work.
This is a strong social narrative entirely believable and very well constructed and delivered through realistic dialogue (subtitled) and a superbly executed performance of vulnerability and stream of emotions by Marion Cotillard.
It is wrong to rave above acting when the point of the film is to expose the social matrix which is at play in contemporary France/Belguim.
Nevertheless she gives a bravado engrossing performance making a viewer immerse in her complex dilemma. If she returns how would she be treated having made those she works alongside forego their ‘bonus’ sweetener? One of many thoughts to arise.
Vision and Bite
The Dardenne brothers open the film as Sandra rests. She has taken an afternoon nap and it appears she relies on anti-depressants which slow her down and cut out the rawness of the life in front of her.
The hand held camera in the house she lives in with her husband Manu, Fabrizio Rongione, and preteen daughter and son reveals a nice home with an economic dilemma and desire not to succumb to the prospect of not returning to her job.
Manu also reveals in his support and driving her to some of the addresses the support Sandra has needed and he has given unquestioningly.
In the workplace labour relations and unionised personnel were jobs are clearly defined sits the small business at the heart of the story – Solwal – solar panel production, which like manufacturing throughout Europe is dependant on the structures in place throughout the union now weakened and which also protect the CAP of the farming communities which amounts to the bulk of EU expenditure to put cheap food on each’s plate.
Conditions of Labour
Sandra has overcome her latent depression and ventured to return to work only to find the work environment changed. That change is the factory can now operate as 15 not 16 meaning she is no longer able to be accommodated unless the additional ‘bonus’ to those covering for her absence and making those remaining, work with ‘recalibrated’ attitude and with fear of falling into a place like Sandra agree to forfeit the bonus.

Workplace representation in these countries still hold sway but is extremely localised, there is an arrogant foreman who tends to take the figures of production as a small token of the workers capability so pushes their work into strictly controlled roles with little latitude.
This is workplace stress of a kind the brothers Dardenne wish to point the arrow at and unleash the drama of the effect on people’s lives the routine work coupled to austerity in the scheme of things affects almost everything they do. So perverse, it is treating the product ‘Solar Panels’ as a life force which must not fail at the cost of diminishing lives meaning.
Faith in People
Sandra has a hunch circumstances conspired against her and she is encouraged by a colleague who agrees a fresh ballot is possible, so they seek out the factory manager Mr Dumont, Baptiste Sornin, to ask for a new vote. He takes the concerns of earlier possible influence outside accepted practices used by the foreman as plausible and he agrees.

The priori am of the film is the real form of humankind when placed in a position to, and it occasionally is made reference to, to love thy neighbour so in their hour of need can you deny any help you can give the,?
The boundaries are different for each individual on which we given clear evidence as this is the engagement of the film.
Obduracy and Insight
We also are given an insight to our obduracy and fickleness in degrees. What happens though is that through it all Sandra finds for us deeper meaning. She carries on whatever the outcome forgiving and loving without question every single one of her fellow workers. The intensity of the overwhelming love she, everywoman, has for ordinary people and their lives is striking and godlike. She hears them and takes away their sin. It is the cost her own resurrection and vital for her well being that she is willing to pay the price for giving that love.

Sandra chooses with total loving support of Manu, to put the supposition to her former workmates of either relinquishing their bonus to let her be able to return to her job or for them to hold onto it thereby voting against her return. Manu has held things together for her and the children and Sandra has that to adjust too as well as the reversal confronted.

How would you feel if something which has arrived in your hand, through it would appear, your good work, not through the disposal of a former employee and it is a mere reward not incentive? It incentivised each to feel valued and to not be liable for redundancy presumably so being much more productive.

This is a strong depiction of human dignity under pressure. It is replete with tales of conflict at each employee reached and constantly challenges your line of thinking will creating a precipice looming and the prospect of failure always coloring the encounters. Drama comes in spades with the purpose of living questioned in a modern fable. We are beyond conditioning ourselves or is that a lie we construct to protect ourselves from the ever near strike of fate.

The film comes with advanced modern invective of our present 21st century sense of European purpose. It reinvents the social model and is a mirror back on society and the limits of ethics, morality and origins of expectations.

Conclusion ####4+
A living harrowing question about our modern lives is luminous in the screen we look up to and we engage through the ever present spiraling roller coaster of emotions brilliantly expressed and it is the single most important element in delivering its complex twists, by the imaginative way Marion Cotillard takes on board this role.
The complete cast are in tow with this in a story of a team collective.
There are lessons to be learnt through this purposeful film and it will offer different outcomes in keeping with the expressed individuality which shines vividly. The Dardeene brothers have actually made our understanding by the gifted handling of a subject which in other hands could have bombed without producing context and meaning.
Do not let the brightness lure you into thinking a shining brilliant tale is to be laid before you. For all the light darkness provides a contrast.

Art : Object with Image

Here are a selection of photographs from a Gallery trawl described in the previous blog Art :Object.

beginning with Graham Gingles work

The construction attains an experimental form of evolution during and after the work is realised.




Between the rooms



On Terra Firma once more


The piece as ‘ground.’




More baggage


The impossibility of  recovery from loss


Inside the spirit lives



False  society



Oil narrative


Sean Guinan    Image from Platform Arts website.


John Graham

15 August. 2014





Art : Object

We are the object. Nandos or Art.

Lots of Art to see One Night Only
except for some of the lesser works.
The currency of the Platform Arts exhibition Keyframe suggests we take a journey or pathway separately and Sontag like we also cross into other realities.
Susan Sontag ‘when crossing spatial borders, the photographer becomes “a tourist in other people’s reality” and eventually in his own.’
quoted in Colin Martin’s leaflet where the writer attempts to introduce us to this and asks further how reliant a capture of the time and place it actually is? How repeatable it is? Both these questions entirely subjective but for the individual normally answered negatively – another unexplored film meaning. Then axiomatic.
These key topics in the installation are enticed out on 5 floor mounted screens with sequenced cycle of the same film are according to the above reading of the leaflet, its own little film synopsis page, complete with actors, the room, subject , the Irish Film archive, the jeopardy, the unknown behaviour of you the viewer, the money shot, the key frame. As a film show the leaflet is meandering on the content and does little other than outline objectives. Not the artists fault but the editorial of the film is very narrow and unchallenging.
Why chose 5? 100 +- is theoretical as are worn images the archive presumably obtain.
It might even have worked in a supermarket. Or even Rita Duffys pop up shop an archive of experience packaged and all for sale POA.
Do you think any other significant variables are missing from your consumption equation according to standard consumption theory?
Estimate using what you consider to be a more corehensive formulation of the consumption function.
Give reasons for the inclusion of additional variables and discuss the economic and econometric results.

Piled dated goods. Content labeled, commodity presumed, entirely disposable and incomplete and removed from the marketing effect the label induces. Recycling. Packaging. Semantics?
Supermarket as archive, not so strange. Our consumption is cultural, produce is repeated and reinvented, contains such laden baggage dating back to its invention. Labels are King. Experience.
The installation is extremely dull and un reaching towards the supposed goal.
It was minimalist art at a minimum.
Posed as being derivative of the Michael Snow Wavelength, given the gravestone token of seminality, from the vesicle sak, as if any one has a clue what that actually is – highly original? Influential certainly hence the laboured reproductions and mis treatments, very much this a case in point.. So it shall rest. It is untechtonic, unexpressive, unmachineness, pure rolling – and most likely as Wavelength, planned to be shot un chronologically. When did anyone perceive the eye cannot be duplicated even in watching film?
You might draw a distinction through this being ‘film’ of ‘film’ but that is a lame derivative adventure.
The film is itself an archival work without a reach into the organic processes of the room. Taking and making a film into another technology unseen, unsaid, its at the rooms most inert functionless time, when it is without the archivists, time locked, it merely depicts the room, dimensions though partially, the wall and door furniture, it’s shelving, nostalgic nods to library of reels, names of series adored in CinemaScope once again.
Of course reactions and memorial will be different and Keyframe lacks that acceptance everyone of us has when they lift a camera point and shot. Unlike Sontag who never made films but participated in others as an act of disturbing her own biography by performing within, you have got to believe it entirely within her own set limits for the filmmaker who however appears in these works on Sontag to have enabled freedoms. Like hell she has, it is impeccably orchestrated by the photographer who knows what the lens pointed towards her produces. Sontag gorgeously commits this part of herself, her own skill, knowledge and mercurial image onto the film big time.

Sontag was aware and Colin Martin presumably endorses the leaflet writers take on it – uses the word ‘parlance’ implying reading the huge difference instructing the course of ‘transition.’ Film is of course transitory. The frames shown could also been retaken on different days, where are the rough cuts, the trial runs, the debris of EDITORIAL on the floor?, instead we get the lifeless materials of the front and back – meaningless, perhaps that is an out, – keyframes. The film or leaflet is titled Thousandfold it seems.

by Sean Guinan also at Platform Arts is a small display of paintings gathered under this title.
They are intensely worked oil both texturally and conceptually. Sean Guinan begins his painting without a motive but placing a mark as artists will assert begins the unfolding of motive, direction, intent, time, statis, act, turmoil and then that word again employed here as a jolt, transition.
Everything changes as the cliche tells. The Mac exhibitions also going off at the same annoying time are time referenced with transition dealt with hugely. More on the Mac later.
Sean Guinan has produced art intentionally bordering the figurative.
Nature, that then – it has since altered – complete evolution , is stuck to the canvas (some appear canvas I assume all are) in developing spiraling only occasionally dots and in the process what emerges is a graceful very calming set of works.
The sleeping giant without being aware of the title did evoke in me a conscious of religious repose. It is an ‘element’ at rest, animal or spiritual with a skin of many colours.
Spiritual Presence
I had a sideline conversation on the place of spirituality which in the frame of God, does not go down in artistic circles, except for the binding relation with patronage through the progress of art. It didn’t strike accord.
Ruskin put it better than I ‘dramatic circumstances‘ that covers many art ventures, ‘…place of art in the discovery of God.’ Meaning of course the art is the route but is it not also the search of a discovery. Not plain representation mistaken hugely as art. It is a vector to separate and make seem un reachable and beyond mankind. Therefore I maintain, it is the discovery of the artist being conscious of the limitations, only reaching a certain and often ultimately that ceiling, cathedral like?, which signals the end of that artworks mark physically. Transition as Sean Guinan ‘Signals’ to me a viewer that stretched moment. A fixity in time.
This work is certainly worth seeing in its confined space.
Had a bit more imagination been shown the risk could have been taken in giving the larger space to Sean Guinan. He may have formulated a connection with the room. Keynote discards this and uses only a quarter of the space which in my mind is not an artistic or curation choice but bad choice or a lack of communication. Sean Guinan has the challenges of his occupation and is very, very, commissionable. Many Platform works are responsive to the space, the main gallery, Top level I call it. The art therefore grows and the space adds its proportional strengths and proprietorial genus loci – its exhibitions always seem to have something to say of the ethos of the gallery.
The work produced by Sean Guinan is heavy on the medium used and unless the work of artists – the ability to write off large chunks of materials in their tax breaks – given that proprietorial extension for the work is advanced it will be increasingly difficult here in Ireland to develop the talent that is seen expressed in spiritually maquette form.
This is essential for the advancement of the society we live in.
Understanding art leads to so many levels of understanding which are not simple accumulation of theory, electronic or otherwise but world affirming.


The Mac has an ill considered space, the sunken gallery which attendance is for fit persons or those prepared to once again deign to the discrimination of a elevator especially tee for them.
If you go there thence forth you will see the very surreal piece of commemoration in the work by Graham Dingles. His work also features in the constrained Art of the Troubles (as if we hadn’t the capacity as natives to digest our own lives) and in the sunken space a building of memory is elegantly provocative of the sense of touch, materiality, amber cast
He generously filled in gaps in my reading of the work which were considerably given Graham’s ability to explain the intellectual theory and to offer its expression of limits of the subject and it’s here obituary.

Where I got to was the vase or chamber in which the lilies were decaying and emblematic. The amber context I got from the whites, pale yellows and browns. The amber is the amber of corn fields in which the wind blows and symbolised the dying raked from straw. The smell is intoxicating as the lilies give up their life as cut flowers do. The amber again is the aspic sign of plant forms in behind a glass framed cabinet elongated or in other places more formal with again memorial content. The lily is a relative to the aspidistra of many wartime communal front sitting room gathering to remember a family member whose life was taken and no body sent for burial. The aspidistra almost taking the place as it seems to suggest in Graham Dingles piece the already cut and now decaying person of whom this whole is for.
A tribute it suggests can be made after the style of the deceased or as an excursion of emotions surrounded by artifacts. On further thinking and continued consideration and I wish to go and revisit it, I find it extremely evocative of the crime of war, the irregularity, the disconnection, the disfiguring of the soul, the body rent of life. It is composed to build this formulation as an antidote to war.
When the flowers are – Eurydice – Edith Sitwell (I referred to it before in my last film review) says
‘Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost and all in the end is harvest.’
They will be replaced. Everyday a child, woman and man is killed by war.
There are three. No exception likely ever until we return ourselves to God replacing hate with love.
The exhibit should be toured and placed in the joins between all wars and it has a derivation arising locally and in particular reference but that is the strength of the personal that it carries remarkably poignantly.
It seldom seems fitting to be holden to a memorial as in most cases they are less fragile and more direct in their delivery. When it becomes a cause for our concern through its immediacy or it’s greater and greater obscenity of human depravity it is necessary to, in lieu of reflecting through the God given emotions and life’s instinctive ness from the one source, these pieces are an act of courage and exclamation against lies and myths creating such wars.

The main gallery at the Mac , again an Upper level gallery, is below the children’s section. The children’s area and sometimes corporate recruitment hot housing days in the space is in a badly designed location.
It has no apparent staircase and no apparent means of escape in case of fire. It instead looks out from the ivory tower into the courtyard below with its gaudy po-regency fronts. Its rear backs onto the dual carriageway of Victoria Street, all car park and no design giving away its preposterous facsimile architectural conceit.
If ever two new buildings were juxtaposed opposites this would feature highly.
The upper gallery is an immense space with generous ceiling heights and well lit. It is evening when the opening of the exhibition of and sunlight has passed light is softly caught in the roof glazing openings set in the west side of the room.


That theory is contained in text is a theory; that it can be made pretty by transposing it on a medium that intensifies or subverts its meaning is superficial. The he superficiality of this work is that relation.
Possibly that is an avenue to be explored in this very large and handwritten version of Marx’s treatise, a small book on Bonepartes Revolutionary ideals.

So Colin Darke takes the bourgeois artifacts of the everyday. Fine China, White Fashion boots, highlighter pens, cutlery of the finest quality and de seminaries the books across the variety of objects into or is it out of, well in reads inward but you can never be certain. Rather tedious to read the book in this manner even if it is pretty and the handwriting is carefully and meticulously imprinted.
It struck me as having the ‘hallmarks’ of a Turner Prize wannabe exhibit.
Marx’s own middle class background affected his own outlook and the academic in him thought through theorizing on historical materialism.
The book in its beginning chapters and even from the outset call the 1848 revolution a recasting and playing out of Bonapartes revolution.
We are without any other context.
The subsequent revolutions which saw the end of monarchy and the Church’s hold over France is another story. In
Centripetal and Centrifugal
So why this one and told in such a way? I have no idea. It is another exercise in mortality. The centre is a disintegrating set of we are told 666 apples. He forgets the tragedy of the the first and that Engels said of the second revolution it was a farce the line appears on the first tiles but the meaning is unresolved through this piece. The mould of a spiral is always the centre.
What Colin Darke is creating is in fact the idiom of centrifugal politics. The Marxist theory, never expressed by him or subsequently through the so called Marxists is that it seeks a model of centripetal politic reform.
The prognosis of the book is that it again highlights the people are vexed with the economics and factors of that time the revolutionary instinct for radical change sets in is in fact Parker’s practical needs.

The liberal set we know today are in charge or so they believe though essentially they are in concert with the capitalist few in order to maintain a live above the proletariate.
Revolution Stall Holders
Under the socialist fusion of democracy and Marxist theory came a Jewish Socialist Leader, Leon Blum, who refused to join the Left Governments in 1924 and 1932, on the intellectual basis of denouncing any Communist led revolution for its failure to recognise the necessity to educate the people politically without which a dictatorship would arise.
An all important clear message that under the Claude Peguy expression, ‘socialism will be moral or it will not be at all‘.

He also perhaps recognised that the ‘imagination‘ of the people was a fantasy climaxing in the theatre of what in many countries are myth shaped marches and commemorations, the habit forming of attacking the Chamber.
The Veterans (nationalists and ‘Great War’ veterans) March of 6 February against the Third Republic was highly significant and marked the beginning of 10 years of instability. On Bastille day 1935 ‘Revolutionaries’ linked arms and marched in an orderly way down the Champs Élysées then were joined by a vast crowd from all parts of Paris. When it came to Government though the Communists they declined being a part of it preferring to (and destabilising progress) criticise and avoid any responsibility. Their position was strong enough to have the ‘ruling class’ – the Freemasons, propertied people, Factory owners become concerned and strikes ensued.
The reforms these obtained did nothing for the economy of France however and the German rearmament was to prove even more concerning.
The causes of Marxism and a new phase were subsequently hoisted by election into the programme. The ‘Popular Front’ with the communists having taken over the unions were seeking : Defence of Liberty, Defence of Peace, Economic Demands, these incorporating a forty hour working week, an employment fund with extensive investment in public works. International relations were a divisive element with the German rearmament under Hitler threatening all of the above.
Colin Darke is expressing in a grotesque form that theory which Marx’s cuts down his own revolutionary concept that need not ideas drive mankind.
Or something to that order. In Marx’s search for a system for all he takes the element of exchangeas the key ingredient.
What followed was a massive uplift in the capacity of mankind to produce through incredible advances in design and engineering; the location where ideas where the currency every capability was pushed culminating in a political act of landing on the moon.

What happens on this floor is pure grotesque bourgeois art canonised.
For it to be of an inconsequential book, even in Marxism is a poor outcome.
Marx and Newman
Francois Mauriac and others politicised France and led it collectively into the twentieth century which was also actually the cut off point for the pre-held grand order of art.
He said of Marxists that they forego the rendering of consciousness as dealt with, for example, by Newman in Apologia pro vita sua?
He even relates the most important thing of all which Newman famously raises, and raising it is, …’confirming me in my mistrust of the reality of material phenomena, and of making me rest in the thought of the two, and two only, absolute and luminously self-evident beings, myself and my Creator.’ Francois Mauriac uses this to show a large part of society has this philosophy or faith ‘fetichism’ which largely Markism extirpates is ever here. He realises the complexity that is ‘The Kingdom of God is within us’ and indestructible. Francois Mauriac despairs of the – (he says nothing of the other religions Sufism, Muslim, Judaism, others which constricts his thesis) – Protestant and Catholic ‘impossibility of communication between the two spiritual families.’ but he is fundamentally ‘prophetic’ as his time defined it.
Then he follows this immediately with the sentence which has for me summed up Marx and Newman.
‘I imagine Marx reading the Apologia, Newman reading Das Capital, and each heaving a sigh, amazed that any man should be so blind and so absurd.’

The projection being Marxists have refused to confront the that which every man born with and which Newman summed up in four words – ‘myself and my Creator.’
At that time the art world and creative talent of France became inward and self analytical to the extent new wave cinema and some elements of jazz – Einstein’s theory – became the principle higher means of expression. ‘I often think in terms of music’ and
‘As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.’
Prettiness and Picasso
Prettiness with persistence only goes so far and in France it is signified along with the Marxist failures in perhaps one element. Picasso escaping fascist Spain brought his sense of art to Paris at a time when it had foregone the stimulus and direction as a centre of significance.
The Guernica piece being that recognition of all war. No artifice there.

This Upper Gallery is to have this work until October and it is not by any stretch anywhere near the attached hype surrounding it mainly postulated by the Gallery and not the Artist. It is a case of SO WHAT Miles once sowed.
Bicarbonate of Soda should remove the text and the letters can be reassembled to form a mist to then become part of another element.


The Ps2 space is a counterbalance to art that is a triviality and of inconsequential ideas presented with hubristic intent.
This time Rachel Campbell-Palmer has location and the perception reached through process that is repetitive, creating that place for each of us to inscribe in our minds, the effectiveness of the formulation conceived.
It is extremely and significantly embedded in the ‘construction’ task and the architectural outcome is the choice allowed by the constraints of site.
It is the same process undertaken to achieve all ‘good’ architecture.
As landscape architecture is dependent and this is both realised independently – inside/Ps2 – outside/people.
The fact is it is protected by the gallery walls and its containment which will bring little elemental damage.
Only the people will alter it.
It turns out – the methaphor of a cast mould – as a beautiful work. Never are each piece alike with the – in architecture and construction they are known as tolerances – specification of material and its method of casting being intuitive in the first instance, based on research and then in the act of using a cement mixer and creating each via, a mould. Terra Firma is a horizontal concept withstanding mountains which are adverse to buildings. It does not readily support human life forms.
The scale of the each element is perfect for the human to handle and the place. It is perfect in its engineering limits being neither over massed or slim to be in-durable. The diamond is capable of expressing width or length.
It is straight out of the move away from the orchard of design that dwelt in nature and of the machine contemporaneous structural forms which knocks influences, F.L.Wright Japanese, C.R.Mackintosh, Art Noveau, V.Horta, Naturalism, and previous decorative motifs into a consigned historical narrative with no value in repeating.
Those were of their time yet we continually see mediocrity emerge with all the collected misunderstood elements of the decorative age. I once worked on a project which was a lasting reminder of the Post-modern period which I dislike and like in equal measure. It was conceived in a global context with work concerns remodeling cities. Not a bit like The Titanic Building which I destest and detest in equal measure. Likewise there is an awful foot bridge in Omagh which defies beauty and design. It is a metalworkers dream.
I saw about twelve hard hats watch the ugly bow bridge being set in lace.
Beauty Fusion
F.Leger ‘Purist’ once said ‘ when Renaissance artists began to paint their mistresses because they are beautiful, art was betrayed.
An argument of sorts but without free expression of those artists, patronized or not, we would without the beauty of those paintings.
It does not explain either how it relates to the prolific works of homosexual artists whose work more or less would not have been as involved in that arena and it is trivial to make that as a point for art to suffer.
Where Dadaists could not build they captured shapes and technology combining the place and people within their art.
Forms and Formula
The works of architects such Walter Gropius made connections of forms which were poetic and beautiful. Le Corbusier as well saw nothing new in art merely that machines could extend the composition of beauty poetical and rhythmically, a thing also recognised by Leger.
Vers une architecture by Le Corbusier collects a fusion of influential buildings and objects to produce his narrative of thought for the evolution of the forthcoming Modern Movement. More readily he would have used the analogy of DNA had that organisation of organisms been as prominent.
In my mind it, design and architecture, need be associated in this mathmatical way (health is a great element in his thinking) with the combination of geometric shapes always conscious of their visual appearance and foremost their functionality – the justified means.
Justified and Ancient!

That it seems, is the realm of Rachel Campbell-Palmers piece operates, in that it again uncovers that collective of beauty – the scale as I mentioned above being human, liftable, – plain and regular is beautiful and the act of that theory is measurable in people reacting to it warmly and delightedly.

The texture is variable! the constraints not pushed into it or by the factory process of production is also illuminating.
The bubbles of trapped air on some fully filled blockswhen cured appear as the Italian specialist plaster Marmorina.
The Venetian plaster Marmorina (the word derived I think from of or like marble: skin of marmoreal smoothness.) is a beautiful grained finish which again is seen by the artist as an expression of the process. I love the finish and its variations are very something sought over in many an interior.

This work is very well accomplished and is combining the relations sought imaginatively and almost as importantly, as well as any sculptor may have worked on a similar piece in a Smithsonian way.
I loved the work and it will prove up to the exposure to people as it welcomes and invites you to walk on it.


Catalyst Arts. Jonah King, Frank Wasserstein, Ian studio director.
The words spoken are below noted. They have others in between but for reasons of uncertainty, intended, I write those which appeal most.
One word was added. Rehearse. It replaces the actions of the third component The Gallery.
In order to use space created by the list I have written alongside some.

I have also not stayed on the discussion, taking each word as it comes outside of discussion to form my own narrative.  This will also allow the artists an artist to use the   Words as I give them for their own point of departure.  It seems a natural way to act

REALM       There I was in the room with an expectation of hearing of the work
REACT            of Frank Wasser and Jonah King. The talk was begun by Frank.
WATER    Font is needed by the writer of tales in text. A5 notebooks
QUEUW   were never mentioned. Especially Fjall.
COMPLIANCE     I wonder if I have complied. I have I believe.
VERB    I have remained silent listened to every word. Johan has a
SEARCH ME    subtext in mind.
OUTFIT    Later a security detail will be deployed in the Gallery.
PALPABLY           actors act the part. No one is suspected or targeted.
SEMBIOTIC    I don’t remember the context. Maybe semiotic, signs.
UNIFORM                Sembiotic is unreal but it comes from the
INVISIBLE    vesicouterine pouch which is where semen is lubed
LONDON    This is late rain is falling
MARINA                        Oh what happened
ABROMOVITCH                        lights the night sky which illuminates the
RAIN                            carpet of cut grass making up the soft spaces between
SERPENTINE    lake the buildings cafe restaurant and paths
WAVESECURITY       Bob. B.   water spills and breaches are security on hand
INACCURATE           Words cannot describe what just went on.
CURATE         I take home a leaflet EX. It is white A5. 4no. A4 120gsm.
CRITICAL                          It appraises the work without becoming the main
EXHIBITION.                words to be spoken of the collection.
PROJECTS.       I hate the fact I miss the Nothing Happens. The
OPPOSITE                         Is true for some. Google your life to see if you have a
SLIM           chance of survival without scrutiny by someone.
TEXT                              Definitely. I caress text. I adore words. They must have
REASONS    to exist. Communication without the body is word based.
RATIONAL                  Sublimity overcomes subtlety sublimely.
UNDERLINED     It simply does no need to underline.
FULL             Happens.
STOP             You notice a change from a dot telling you to finish
KURT                              Reading his dairies.
SANDYCOVE                     The walk is over past Nora and green snot. O’Casey.
COBAIN                                         Is lost on an island
SLICE                    of torture fills inside veins
CUT                                knowledge comes with deaths release is only a song turn
OFF                                           start
NOT.         writing but singing inside your head Einstein thinks in music.
COLLUSION              Of the garden of Gods angels overcoming Marx.
ATTEMPT             Thought, allow it in as truth
STATIC                             Lives do not exist. A Security detail has seen you standing.
INTERDEPENDENT                 Is the rule which must be satisfied so sex is
UTOPIAN          Narcissism encroaching outside the body onto another.
EXCLUDES.                    hate and crushes complacency. All else is
ANTAGONIST                       born. Settlement will take an age.
EDGINESS          Is a fear of the negative Jonah library of angst.
TENSION        Is essential our bodies are elastic our buildings plastic.
RECONVIGURATION              Happens to each individual and is sucked in to
REEVALUAAE        ‘ted so much by others they say, lie its every generation.
CAPITALISM                Is harmful. do no harm.
IDEAOLOGIES      are a cornucopia of Utopias underestimated.
PUNK     Is remastered rebellion in sonicses with copious drugs
JUBILEE.                              2012 Is gone.
POP                        art never became mainstream so how is it popular art.
CHARTS      of colour are handed out like chits giving access to emotion.
HOW.                            To acquaint your neighbours with Farrow and Ball
DIY                is bricolage and cant.
MANTLE.                                                              Is a lintel in a wall over a fire
VOCABULARIES                 can explain things more clearly but use poetry.
JOY.       begins with the wonder of children knowing nothing of our ways
DIVISION.                                     Is a lane between the fields.
BEATLES                            negate the need for hardback books that
OVER.              writers in exaggerated respect for the subject they wrote on.
TIME         Is uncoupled from the past and future.
WORK                                         happening without planning becomes waste.
BIG.         Is not good an invention for self manipulation of Edmund Burke
SOCIETY                                which he thought empty.
FEED                the hungry of all races and denounce war done in your name
STATE.              meant truth but gave us lies
FASHION.         A room into a domicile to escape the rain of frogs and
ULTRA.                           swings in climate and live close to soil that richness of earth.
ANARCIST                     Is really Anarchist but it is so like Antichrist I must
ARGUE.             Christ is that anarchist we need believe.
WITHIN            The word is the word. The word is like jazz the music of life.
RELIGIOUS.    Apathy brings sectarianism and looses out on loving God.
MYTH                           replaces truth see F.Ni.Mh piece hanging at St Mary’s right now.
CHICAGO            Is full of northern bigots despising southern bigots              TOTALITARIANIBM     Alister Cooke said much the same of  this

ESCAPE      From hype and rely on your own

POSITIVITY           and when you learn to distrust
NEGATIVITY                  turns to a positive and a critical mass
TOOTHPASTE         Only enhances the smile of realisation.
CHRONOLOGY               is realising words have as numbers set relation only visible
WEALTH     through reading will enumerate the
BUSINESS                   of communication while prose contains poetry in
ODD.      inexhaustable fresh recognition making it a place of
FACT      belonging outside reality with a mind to envision
RECREATE     first in your mind
INTERUPTING    societies reliance on regularity replacing
NOSTALGIC                     notions of culture. Culture is
BLACK                                              without art.  The
FLAG        of the White Star hangs over our arrogance.
CONTEMPORARY     art is full of resolutions on this
ART     as distinct from that
MARKET                           which is our
NOTHING exists without God.

EX on Thursday 7 August opened with the escalating security piece Nothing Happens by Jonah King and I missed the experience entirely. It was to be the orderly of controlled space with the response of the viewer bearing the surveillance and tension of the presence of ‘protection’ of the almost empty space. It was intended to stir emotions of self infringement and the growing authoritarian elevation of security as an everyday fact. I am very disappointed not to have experienced this valued piece.

The above is opinion only it has limitations of access and monitors a reaction that is a personal reflection.
If it happens to fit aspects of your own views, literal and experienced it is very welcome. I hope you are inspired in some way.
The writing follows a night of consumption which was as a day full of unsettled weather. Elmore Leonard has a rule. Never start a book with the weather. It is impossible to avoid it as words are as amorphous as clouds.

The sun provides the light be it from the elements captured in the earth.
For ever and ever we gather light.

As the work of Graham Gingles reflects on the War Diaries of Robert McGookin from Larne his chosen title speaks of and is the strongest perceptive art seen to breach the minds boundaries. It is indescribable ultimately.

At times like these men where wishing they were all kinds of insects.


John Graham

11 August 2014