Via the ever-wonderful Jón Gnarr in Reykjavik. #liveandletlove indeed
We were talking to a leading (and very family-friendly) museum the other day, like you do, about their 2014 blockbuster exhibition. At one point we mused on how we’d bring the kids (9 & 12) to the show, a suggestion met with no small surprise.
The exhibition subject – while undoubtedly populist – does have aspects of the unsavoury, and there would we were told, be a “different offering” for children. They wouldn’t be banned exactly — but we got the distinct feeling that they wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms.
We caught the tail-end of the Hayward’s The Great Refusal the other week.
It’s a strange space, the upstairs gallery – feels a little like the place for curators to nod to inclusivity for the undesirables. Punks and protestors; DIY and counter-culturalists – existing at the periphery of the higher-art catered for in the rest of the Southbank’s Rest Is Noise fest.
Not that we’re complaining, like. Any opportunity to see this kind of stuff is always welcome. It’s just that the compact nature of the setting always leaves you wanting more.
There’s an accompanying journal from exhibition organisers the Archive of Modern Conflict with a selection of the images. Buy it here.
Our Christmas campaign for The View From The Shard breaks today, so here’s a sneak peek of the hero image.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, we did wrap The Shard. All 306 metres of it. No CGI. Eat your heart out Christo!
We headed to the last day of Virgin Records’ 40 Years of Disruption exhibition yesterday, at Victoria House in Holborn. And a weird mixed bag it was.
The staging was splendidly DIY, all bulldog clips, temporary wooden structures and post-industrial (or post-something anyway) space.
But as refreshing as it was to see a pragmatic approach to the build of the exhibition, we couldn’t help but feel that a similarly efficient approach had been taken to the curation.
It started off perfectly. Video projections, early history and archive, and an extended riff on the Pistols – and then just as the Virgin story arguably gets really important (ie beyond the tabloid headlines and into the diverse post-punk roster) the archive petered out a bit.
Call us miserable old traditionalists, but we’d wanted to see actual stuff from the time, not just large format run-outs. A copy of Muriel Spark’s Public Image was a nice touch, and the Spice Girls’ merch tie-ins (in all their looking-really-dated-now datedness) were ace – but where was the real Frontline archive, or the Soul II Soul stuff? And the two Boy George outfits looked like the kind of clobber he’d take down to the charity shop to make room for the proper stuff.
But perhaps we pick too much – after all, there was a hell of a span to cover (and it was quite nice to see the Stones relegated to an easy-to-miss corner).
From Neneh Cherry to Polystyrene, OMD to the Chemical Brothers, it’s hard to overstate the importance of the part played by Virgin. Or not be saddened by how generic the current industry feels these days.
Them 80s especially were great weren’t they? With the evil Tories in the blue corner – and the blacks, the youth, the gays, the punks et al in the other. Tribes were important then.
Fuck knows how our kids’ll cope now that everything’s branded and sponsored and leveraged and tweeted.
The exhibition ended pretty much where it began, with a recreation of the original Virgin store, packed with Never Mind The Bollocks lps – a quaintly Frieze-like art installation, and perfect punctuation. For all its flaws (and perhaps those were really more to do with our desire for more more more), it was a cracking thing to behold.
We’re still not sure about Richard though. His teeth are far too white.
The abject misery brought on by the realisation that it’s getting colder and darker was lightened considerably by the ever-wonderful RHS London Harvest Festival Late on Tuesday. The London Vegetable Orchestra, folk from Robin Grey, Wisley cider and Midnight Apothecary cocktails. And those splendid splendid displays of fruit and veg…