Protest and Deride

In recent years there has been a decline in the numbers of artists wearing strongly held political views on their sleeves. At the same time there has been an increase in the amount of ‘collaborative’ protests from gallery visitors – protest about, not with, art. What happens when the audience wants in on the picture, asks Harry…

Conflict of Interest

From the Bayeux Tapestrey to ‘Guernica’ and Mark Wallinger’s ‘State Britain’, political art and armed conflict have long enjoyed a potent synergy. Art’s ability to mock warmongering in all its forms was one of its defining twentieth century characteristics – and that propensity for channeling and expressing political defiance and grassroots protest still has a…

No More Heroe?

Keiron Phelan takes a trip down Memory Lane to quiz artist-author Harland Miller about the iconic, Gatsby-esque hero of his novel Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty, and asks: “Will the real Ziggy Heroe please stand up?” Say there were two versions of the year 1980. In one, DI Gene Hunt has just re-located to the…

Manchester, so much to answer for

Twenty years ago it was British music’s humming nexus; the drugs were ecstatic, the trousers baggy and the business sense dubious. Karen Frost ruminates on the legacy of the scene they christened Madchester and finds much to be positive about. On the 23rd November 1989 The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays both appeared on…

Phonic Youth

A perpetuum mobile of a band, the ever-prolific Sonic Youth leave in their wake one of rock’s most dense, challenging and thrilling back catalogues. Daniel Tapper navigates two decades worth of vertiginous electric guitar assaults and coruscating art rock epiphanies. Originally released in 1983, Confusion Is Sex is Sonic Youth’s first full length album. Included…

Resonance : '74/'80

Perhaps surprisingly, Thurston Moore, flannel shirted avant grunge god, has emerged as a lifelong David Bowie freak; he recently introduced ‘Early Music Videos by David Bowie’ – part of MoMA’s Looking at Music exhibition. This fictional text by Pete Astor imagines his early encounters and interactions with Bowie’s work. Initially we find the teenage Moore…

Intimate Strangers

Chris Parkinson and Jimmy McGee (lead singer of the Bobby McGee’s) first met in 2005 whilst heckling at poetry nights. Together they set up the world’s first Poetry Brothel, which caused a furore as part of the 2007 Brighton Festival and went on to beat Gordon Brown to a Best Literature Award. The Bobby McGee’s’…

Jim Lambie

Television, Sadie Coles HQ When you’ve hit your fourth solo show with your London gallery and have one of the most envied CVs in the art world, there is a giant spotlight on whatever you do next. But Jim Lambie seldom fails to impress, recycling ideas and materials to full effect. In fact along with…

David Byrne

Royal Festival Hall, London 13th April 2009 David Byrne is currently on something close to a world tour to promote the album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today – his collaboration with producer supremo (and sporter of the most fabulous hairdo of the ’70s) Brian Eno. New York art rock enfant excentrique, David Byrne first…