"Chaos is not the opposite of rhythm but the milieu of all milieus"
Deleuze & Guattari



Friday, 29 October 2010

CARSON MCCOLL


Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, Princess Julia and Carson's boyfriend Gareth Pugh came out to experience this softly spoken Scot's debut gig tonight, in the Haggerston's tiny basement space.


Besides providing the audience with some perfectly-formed fashion-goth eye-candy, Carson played five songs, going from rousing wild country to moody rock-poetry via a dedication to Gareth, an onstage smoke and the occasional mince.

Intense and personal, Carson's music ramps up the heartstrings but is roughened by his jagged vocals and the sparse accompaniment. The violinist who played with him was outstanding.

The two musicians each side of Carson softened the whole scene but also set him off, allowing him to blaze black and blond in the centre, as he will no doubt do each time he takes to the stage, until the whole world falls for his emotional honesty and sweet spirit.

Happy Birthday Carson.


Monday, 18 October 2010

GENESIS P-ORRIDGE


This ceaseless boundary-breaker, shocker-extraordinaire and subversive artistic presence, formerly of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, was the final 'speaker' on the Saturday of the Serpentine's Map Marathon.


Sporting the usual lumberjack shirt, jeans, tattoos and blond bob, Genesis delivered interwoven poetic theories on the teeny tiny topics of identity construction, the struggle to surpass normative pressures, genetics, the self and the other, the fundamental preeminence of love and the future of humanity (!).


In a low, hypnotic register somewhere between speaking and singing, s/he gently paced the stage beneath a screen of spinning double-helixes and self-portraits. It was a little bit new age and very post-structuralist but also moving, grounding and mesmerizing.


LUIGI ONTANI

This weekend I had the pleasure of working on Luigi Ontani's performance in the Serpentine's latest Marathon session - this time on maps.


Luigi's piece opened the weekend on Saturday at noon; a tableau vivant of artistic historical figures were represented, including Blake, Bacon, Byron/Shelley/Keats, Turner, Hogarth, Woolf, Defoe, Kipling, Wilde, Reynolds/Gainsborough, Beardsley, the Pre-Raphaelites and Handel.


The performers paraded from the Serpentine gallery through Hyde Park to the garden of the Royal Geographic Society, where they took their places in an artist's pallet that had been made on the lawn out of coloured flower petals.


Led by Luigi, wearing a Vatican-magenta hood and gloves with a gold caped suit and carrying a cryptic little sculpture with a pointing finger on a stick coming out of a camera, the performers wore exaggerated, super colourful costumes that we picked with Luigi, topped off with immense papier mache masks.

The Pre-Raffaelite character's headpiece was a pyramid, the design taken from a pyramid at the cemetary in Rome where three of them are buried. Hogarth's was a barrel... Woolf's was a lighthouse... Bacon's was a carcass... Beardsley's was a giant phallus that the actor had trouble keeping steady during the performance thanks to the breeze, and the fact that he was wearing a corseted dress and heels, which he miraculously bore without any whinging.

Once in place on the petal pallet, three short pieces of music were played by the oboist, dressed as Handel, before the group processed back across the park to the Serpentine.

'I tried to create a mirage,' explained Luigi afterwards. 'I wanted to make something very simple - it's always more complicated when the final result needs to be something simple.'