Items of note

David Bowie is The Man Who Fell to Earth (2017)

A smashing Davidfest by Nacho’s Productions. Sigh. David Bowie is the Man Who Fell to Earth.


I See You Man @ Celine

I need to get back sharpish to see the rest of I See You Man at Celine, featuring favs. such as Sophie Macpherson and Clare Stephenson…

From Celine’s site is this great introductory text by Nadia Hebson – Plus reading group/events on March 31st…

I See You Man 25.02.2018 – 31.03.2018

Celine is happy to present an exhibition organised by Nadia Hebson and Sophie Macpherson:

In summer of 2016 Sophie Macpherson and I (Nadia Hebson) worked on a text which explored our shared interests in apparel, physicality, female subjectivity and friendship. Drawing on skype and email conversations the text took an epistolary form and ranged through personal perspectives on women artists’ practices and international events such as the ‘migrant crisis’ and the EU Referendum, alongside descriptions of sports clothing and club wear, and reflections on Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the paintings of Christina Ramberg. An unguarded but none the less edited script, the text became a short hand for the creative space of female friendship.

Writing about Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels which detail the lifetime relationship of two women from an impoverished Neapolitan neighbourhood the writer Natasha Soobramanien likens the women’s friendship to an act of translation. Soobramanien writes ‘Lila and Lenù are translated beings, translating one another, shifting continually between the Neapolitan dialect of their childhood and the standard form of Italian both have a talent for expressing themselves in. And it is in this more rarefied linguistic sphere that Lenù finds success, and her professional voice as a writer (a voice modelled on Lila’s writerly voice)’. Lila and Lenu steel themselves through the confines of 60’s, 70s’ and 80’s femininity through the persistence of their complex friendship, which Ferrante so carefully atomises. They see one another and at times offer each a template for being, Ferrante’s writing of their friendship is closely analogous to the experience of creative friendship. And to understand female friendship as a form of translation is to recalibrate its constituents, becoming a space of attention, mirroring, testing, exchange, admiration and productive envy, a space of agency.

In taking the complexities of female friendship and the communicative possibilities of dress as a starting point we have invited artists and writers who are friends and potential friends to contribute work to I See You Man. These artists and writers work explore ideas of mentorship, resonance as described by Italian Feminist Carla Lonzi, feminist activism, translation, biography, fictional autobiography and the agency of dress.

Exhibiting artists: Phoebe Blatton and Annika Hüttmann, August Fröhls, Nadia Hebson, Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge, Ellen Lesperance, Sophie Macpherson, Julia Schmidt, Clemence Seilles, Clare Stephenson

The title of the show ‘I See You Man’ is taken from work by Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge.

Exhibition will then be open by appointment only: or 07500 343764 or 017827252941

On Saturday 31st March Celine will host an afternoon of performance, readings, talks and a reading group where the following texts and related material will be discussed. The below books and texts will be available throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Ingeborg Bachman, Three Paths to the Lake
Lucia Berlin, Manual for Cleaning Women
Kate Briggs, This Little Art
Daniela Cascella, Singed
Elfriede Jellinek, Jackie
Carla Lonzi, Autoritratto
Dorothy Richardson, Painted Roofs
Natasha Soobramanien Five Notes on Smarginature
Christa Wolf, The Quest for Christa T



Alchemists and alchemical-like types…

…seem to spring up everywhere when you start looking – all part of its symbolic mutability and what not. This week I have mostly been watching & reading, with Eggs and Aliens for The Curios Society as the excuse…

The Holy Mountain, The Colour of Pomegranates, El Topo, Picnic at Hanging Rock, A Dream Within A Dream, Get Out, Possession, Arrival, The Story of Your Life, Memoirs of a Spacewoman, Blade Runner 2049 (again) & The Exterminating Angel. A mixed bag, I think you can agree. What can I say? I’m a nibbler and a picker at the black, white and red buffet…


We Are All Completely Free – Women Artists and Surrealism, Museo Picasso, Malaga

Oh boy. It’s been weeks, weeks hasn’t it?

Still in my brain is this incredible show that I caught between cake, anchovy and rioja at the MUSEO PICASSO in MÁLAGA. Carrington, Oppenheim, Cahun…

More on the show here.

Here’s the PR:



Transgressive and controversial, the women artists in the Surrealist circle only gained complete freedom and protagonism as artists when they rebelled against the social and moral impositions of their time. Museo Picasso Málaga presents a new exhibition in Spain that provides a vast and international overview of the new creative horizons these artists opened up within the context of Surrealism.

From 10th October, 2017 until 28th January, 2018 We are Completely Free. Women Artists and Surrealism brings together 124 works by eighteen artists from different countries: Eileen Agar, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Germaine Dulac, Leonor Fini, Valentine Hugo, Frida Kahlo, Dora Maar, Maruja Mallo, Lee Miller, Nadja, Meret Oppenheim, Kay Sage, Ángeles Santos, Dorothea Tanning, Toyen, Remedios Varo and Unica Zürn.
Once again, Museo Picasso Málaga has produced an exhibition that showcases art by the women in art history. It is only very recently that their work has begun to be viewed with the same attention and respect as that of their male Surrealist colleagues.
We are Completely Free. Women Artists and Surrealism presents the work of a group of women artists who, from the 1920s onwards, became involved to a greater or lesser degree in Surrealism, a movement historically associated with men. Museo Picasso Málaga has brought together for the occasion works by eighteen spirited and rebellious female artists who were, in several cases, overshadowed by their male partners. The exhibition aims to give back the focus they deserve to a group of women artists whose work stood out on the Surrealist landscape and some of whom have perhaps had to wait too long to gain major international recognition: Eileen Agar, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Germaine Dulac, Leonor Fini, Valentine Hugo, Frida Kahlo, Dora Maar, Maruja Mallo, Lee Miller, Nadja, Meret Oppenheim, Kay Sage, Ángeles Santos, Dorothea Tanning Toyen, Remedios Varo and Unica Zürn.
The exhibition curator, José Jiménez, professor of aesthetics and art theory at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, tells us that the choice of artists “is not a separatist option, but rather a recovery task” and also that “it is not a closed list; it is open to new considerations and inclusions. The selection is aimed at giving consistency to the construction of the exhibition narrative, with the focus on the artistic quality of the works and on the fact that these women exercised active independence as creative, thinking beings, in a quest for complete freedom”. Their individuality and personality is conveyed in the more than 124 works brought together for the show, which include paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages, photographs and films.
Men’s Surrealism
Art history has been biased in favour of the male artist, and women artists have been systematically excluded from the main Western art movements. Women have been considered, first and foremost, as sources of inspiration and only secondarily as creative artists. Their works, generally overshadowed by that of their male colleagues, have often been associated with domestic life, and were undervalued.
Officially founded in 1924, when André Breton penned the First Surrealist Manifesto, the artistic output of the Surrealist movement was primarily literary and visual. Mainly developed in Paris, it soon spread to other countries such as Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Mexico and the USA. The Manifesto defined Surrealism as: “Pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express either verbally, in writing, or by any other means, the true functioning of thought. It is dictated by thought alone, in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside any aesthetic or moral preoccupations”.
It was an influential, transgressive and anti-academic ideology which, while supporting women’s equality and their artistic options, considered them more as an artistic object than a creative subject. Surrealist artists saw women on an idealistic, passive level, as an eternal woman-child, a muse, an object of sexual desire; an enigma that had to be deciphered to suit their own imagination and desires. But the movement also featured important female proponents who deserve to be valued and remembered, as they played a large but underacknowledged part in it. It is only recently that these women’s work has started to be regarded with the same attention and respect as that of their male colleagues.
Women’s Surrealism
Although male Surrealist artists explored the unconscious through dreams, automatism and induced trances, their artworks did not necessarily express their own personal experience. For the women, however, Surrealism was a way to develop their self-awareness, to explore their deepest thoughts and feelings and to construct their own identity by depicting past and present experiences, fears, hopes and desires.
Unlike their male counterparts, these female artists delved into the unconscious as a means of gaining self-knowledge, in a way that was more introspective than playful: it was the tool they employed to explore their womanhood vis-à -vis the world and to exorcise their demons. Several of them suffered from illnesses, tragic events and abuse during their lifetimes. At a time when psychoanalytical theories were widespread, their art visualised the female psyche as it had never been shown before, initiating a dialogue that was gradually to transform gender relations.
Many of their works are therefore self-referential, and portraits feature prominently. They felt the need to represent themselves in order to express who they were and what they felt. It could be said that the Surrealism produced by these artists was in fact their own inner realism, and they expressed it in a wide variety of techniques.
Identity and freedom
To women, Surrealism was the most appealing of the avant-garde movements, as it was refreshing and provocative and it demanded total freedom for human beings. It was art that ascribed importance to personal reality and which fostered the union of eroticism and poetic emotion as a means of expression, encouraging duality and ambiguity in response to the dictates of reason. This process of liberation was painful and dramatic, and it occasionally led to tragic ends which, paradoxically, helped women to achieve artistic independence and throw off a yoke that was both theoretical and ideological.
At some point in their career, all the artists whose work is shown in the exhibition turned up in 1920s Paris, where, in the intellectual circles of the inter-war period, there was little room for female artists with a voice of their own. Therefore, when they crossed the Atlantic to the US and Mexico a decade later after the Second World War, it was there that they found liberation and revolution as Surrealists, far away from the orbit that had formed around Breton back in the City of Light. Exile provided many of these women with an environment of freedom they had not enjoyed in Europe and, thus, the chance to reinvent themselves as far as their independence and imagination was concerned.
These women sought their identity and freedom through art and this, in a sense, led them to become revolutionaries who prepared the cultural arena necessary for the emergence of the future feminist movement, with art that challenged not only social and institutional conventions, but also the boundaries of gender.
The works in this exhibition come from leading European institutions such as Moderna Museet, the Tate, Centre Pompidou, the Lee Miller Archives, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and from US museums such as Museo de Arte Moderno de México and Yale University Art Gallery, as well as from private collections.
After Sophie Tauber-Arp. Avant-garde Pathways (October 2009 – January 2010), Hilma af Klint. Pioneer of Abstract (October 2013 – February 2014) and Louise Bourgeois. I have been to Hell and back (June – September 2015), Museo Picasso Málaga has once again set up an exhibition that showcases artworks by the women in art history. As usual, the exhibition will be accompanied by an associated programme of cultural activities, enabling visitors to discover the main artistic and historical features of the exhibition.

Blade Runner 2049 – propsummit stirs…

Yes, there are lots of ways to capture the new BR, particularly from a home-wear and footwear p.o.v. Propsummit is the place to be, as ever, on a lazy Sunday morning. Your daily grind and grungy glamour interlinked…

Joe K’s boots can be bought here.

While the future of bento boxes is now – buy them here.

Oresteia: This Restless House @ the Citz

Now this is more like it. Four and a half hours of angst and bloody violence. Some of row B didn’t know where to look. Utterly jaw dropping, kinda unbelievable was the energy of this thing. Actors must be off their trollies at times, it seems impossible to climb down from this level of commitment and get your bus hame. Thank you to CS for a brutal birthday present! More on the production here.

Nudes Never Wear Glasses – Kate Davis

And still in Edinburgh, Stills made the brilliant decision to show Kate’s new work, alongside her video Charity. Get along to see Kate’s show and read the accompianing text by Lauren Dyer Amazeen… more on the show here.

French Windows – Ian Emes 1972

This is pretty incredible – 1972, Ian Emes. After French Windows was shown on the Whistle Test, Pink Floyd picked up the phone…

French Windows

Sedmikrasky (Daisies) 1966

After a morning of psychedelic drifting, mask learning/making, killing fruit flies, I’m watching Věra Chytilová‘s Daisies today.

Watch it too!


The Human Voice

Ever had a bad break-up? Well, at least you didn’t hang on the phone, calling them darling and agreeing to keep the dog (although, you should always keep the dog).

Watch this (made-for-tv 1967) version of Cocteau’s 1930 play La Voix humaine, The Human Voice right here, with the wonderful Bergman. One of the great one- person gigs… Go Ingrid!