ICA Darkness

Not so much an institute as a British art world institution, London’s ICA was once the capital’s premier clubhouse-cum-exhibtion/performance space and a hub for the creatively innovative and artistically subversive, located in the heart of the establishment, just a stone’s throw from Whitehall and Buckingham Palace. Now, thanks to the recession, the pulling power of…

Michael Landy Art Bin

South London Gallery From 29 January-14 March, Michael Landy decided to pay tribute to artistic failure by transforming the South London Gallery into (what he called) ‘Art Bin’, creating an enormous structural container built specifically for the disposal of works of art. The plan being that, over the course of the show, the receptacle would…

Speak For Yourself

Speak For Yourself is platform for artists and musicians to discuss what inspires and influences their work. Texan Craig Clouse is the force behind the furious, original energy of London-based bands Shit And Shine and Todd, both of whom release records on the noisy Riot Season label. Only a limited number of CDS are pressed…

The Durutti Column

Leicester Square Theatre, London 31 January 2010 “I don’t want you to think that just because we’re playing a theatre you can’t enjoy yourself tonight,” announces The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly by way of introduction. “This isn’t a drama, it’s …” “Comedy!” heckles an audience member. “Yes!” agrees Vini, “It’s a farce!” As the group…

Dirty Hints

We asked a cross-section of contemporary artists and musicians: What makes a dirty hit? DAVID LOCK ARTIST The Vaselines: I love The Vaselines, most of the time you don’t know if they’re taking it seriously, most probably not; tightness is hardly what springs to mind. The songs are wonderfully shambolic. My favourite is ‘Son Of…

Cobra Killer

The Lexington, 15 October 2009 Cobra Killer are two women in total control. Annika Trost and Gina V. D’Orio play industrial, electro-hardcore and their live shows resembles a dose of Weimar cabaret mixed with debauched digital chaos. Their music has been quite aptly described as Dreck Elecktro- ‘dirt electro’. It’s 21st century expressionist-feminist performance for…

Venus Envy

From the titillating seraphim and cherubim of early church frescoes through the whole contentious history of nude painting, up to Allen Jones’s sculptures of women as objectified sex objects, and Manet’s Olympia, male artists have never fought shy of expressing their fantasies as visual art. In the 21st century, 40 years after feminism first attempted…

Nowhere Boy

There’s a scene in Nowhere Boy, possibly the pivotal scene, where a three-way argument takes place between John Lennon, his mum and his aunt. This is reminiscent of a ten-minute film made in 1996, Travesty of a Mockery, in which a couple have a heated argument across two separate scenes. Both films are the work of Sam…

We Fell To Earth

The Relentless Garage, Highbury, London (9/10/09) Electric Ballroom, Camden, London (22/10/09) If they really have fallen to earth, I imagine the Icarus-esque We Fell To Earth hoped they’d land somewhere other than the (Relentless) Garage on a Friday night as support to lumpen US desert rockers, Masters Of Reality. The inglorious mismatch isn’t helped by…