Thursday, 24 April 2014

Mixcloud: Yuck 'n Yum autumn 2010 launch

Today I happened upon an old Yuck 'n Yum launch mix that I've posted on Mixcloud:

Ben 'Jack Your Body' Robinson soundtracks the Yuck 'n Yum autumn 2010 launch, with a playlist that includes doo-wop, horror soundtrack and acid.


Chris & Cosey - Exotika
Dzeltenie Pastnieki - Kapec Tu Mani Negri
Legowelt - Haunted Arp
Juanita Rodgers - Teenager’s Letter Of Promises
Riz Ortolani - Adulteress' Punishment
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Wild Ambitions
Linear Movement - Way Out Of Living
Led Er Est - Port Isabel
Eurythmics - Sing, Sing
Adolf Stern - More... I Like It
Circuit 7 - The Force
Change - The End
Alan Vega - Wipeout Beat
James T Cotton Feat Ellis Monk - The Second Night Cycle
SPK - Metal Dance (12" Mix)
Linear Movement - The Game

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nico - Desertshore

Desertshore is the third studio album by Nico. It was released in December 1970, through record label Reprise.

Desertshore was co-produced by John Cale and Joe Boyd. Like its predecessor The Marble Index, it is an avant-garde album with neoclassical elements. The back and front covers feature stills from the film La cicatrice interieure by Philippe Garrel, which starred Nico, Garrel and her son Ari Boulogne.

Friends of Nico played "Mütterlein", a song from the album, at Nico's funeral in Berlin in July 1988.

As a title, Desertshore speaks to the liminality of Nico’s life, and of her work. Her father was Yugoslavian while she was born in Budapest, and from Cologne to Paris and on to New York and London, she was an early global citizen – yet always also a forlorn wanderer, a nomad. This is apparent in her music. Continuing from the pattern she laid down on The Marble Index, Desertshore featured harmonium drones prominently, bringing an Indian sensibility to her Nordic roots. Marble Index had been named for Wordsworth; Desertshore was named, perhaps, for William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion:

At entrance Theotormon sits, wearing the threshold hard
With secret tears; beneath him sound like waves on a desert shore
The voice of slaves beneath the sun, and children bought with money,
That shiver in religious caves beneath the burning fires
Of lust, that belch incessant from the summits of the earth.

The album was produced in a traumatic milieu. Nico’s long-estranged mother Grete had recently died, Ari had been sent away, and, alongside then-partner Philippe Garrel (whom many blamed for her decline), she had begun mainlining heroin. With John Cale at the helm, Nico chose to construct the album in allied keys, moving toward the relative minor as in a traditional German song cycle, while Cale’s instrumentation echoed Mahler and German romanticism. Rolling Stone described it as ‘Gothick’ and referenced H. P. Lovecraft, while the NME’s reviewer called it “one of the most miserable records I’ve ever heard.”

But they had missed the centre of the music; neither purple-prosaic nor schlocky, Desertshore hinted at bottomless depths of angst beneath cool surfaces which gave nothing away. Nico’s evocation of the past was not for the sake of Sturm und Drang pastiche, but in itself created the distance, the quality of being a mask, which her music paradoxically needed in order to operate at a visceral level. As Jean Baudrillard put it, “Nico seemed so beautiful only because her femininity appeared so completely put on… that perfection that belongs to artifice alone. Seduction is always more singular and sublime than sex, and it commands the higher price.” The price paid by Nico, and by others around her, would be all too high.
Guy Frowny

While Nico was the member of the Velvet Underground who had had the least experience in music prior to joining the group (while she had recorded a pop single in England, she'd never been a member of a working band before Andy Warhol introduced her to the Velvets), she was also the one who strayed farthest from traditional rock & roll after her brief tenure with the band, and by the time she recorded Desertshore, her work had little (if anything) to do with traditional Western pop. John Cale, who produced and arranged Desertshore, once described the music as having more to do with 20th century classical music than anything else, and while that may be going a bit far to make a point, even compared to the avant-rock frenzy of the Velvet Underground's early material, Desertshore is challenging stuff. Nico's dour Teutonic monotone is a compelling but hardly welcoming vocal presence, and the songs, centered around the steady drone of her harmonium, are often grim meditations on fate that are crafted and performed with inarguable skill and intelligence, but are also a bit samey, and the album's downbeat tone gets to be rough sledding by the end of side two. Cale's arrangements are superb throughout, and "My Only Child," "Afraid," and "The Falconer" are quite beautiful in their own ascetic way, but like the bulk of Nico's repertoire, Desertshore is an album practically designed to polarize its listeners; you'll either embrace it's darkness or give up on it before the end of side one. Then again, given the thoroughly uncompromising nature of her career as a musician, that's probably just what Nico had in mind.
Mark Deming

As the other European member of The Velvet Underground, Cale had a closer cultural resonance with Nico although the pair’s artistic expressions were worlds apart. But a working relationship continued throughout a variety of situations that ran up until nearly the end of Nico’s life: from her first two solo albums (“Chelsea Girl” and “The Marble Index”) to the 1972 Velvet Underground Paris reunion concert, two albums for Island Records in the mid-1970s and her final studio album, “Camera Obscura.” Nico’s third album, “Desertshore” saw her bleakly personal images and ever-droning harmonium once more framed exquisitely by John Cale’s unobtrusive arrangements that succeeded in bringing a greater sense of organisation and expansiveness to her performances. As with his background stagings on her album of the previous year, “The Marble Index” Cale’s arrangements maintain the same marvelous sense of depth and shade although on “Desertshore” they cast a different leaning over the proceedings by replacing the former chill of “The Marble Index” with a climate more arid and at points lightening many of the tracks’ woefulness with glimmering luminescence. Also present is an uncharacteristically sense of compassion, with many of Nico’s songs speaking of both family and parenthood.

At the time of this album, Nico had already moved from New York to Rome where she became romantically involved with French director Philippe Garrel. The sleeve design of “Desertshore” featured blurred colour stills from his film, “La Cicatrice Interieure.” The title translated as ‘The Inner Scar,’ relating to Garrel’s own reflections on his horrific experiences with electro shock treatment and its aftermath. It is unknown whether any tracks from “Desertshore” appeared in the film but if it was predominately set in the dusty desert plains pictured on the album’s sleeve, then it would have made for a very appropriate soundtrack.

“Desertshore” is a work that for all its inner complexity flows ceaselessly with simplicity and purpose. After its release, nearly four years would pass until Nico resurfaced with her next album “The End” on Island Records, backed once more by Cale and a cast of rolling musical cohorts from the label that included Eno and Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera. But never again would her music receive the effusive, European classical embellishments as it did so beautifully on “Desertshore.”
Julian Cope

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Lucy McKenzie - TinTin

 Tin Tin I, 2004

Lucy McKenzie (born 1977, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist based in Brussels, Belgium.

McKenzie studied for her BA at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee from 1995–1999 and at Karlsruhe Kunstakademie in Germany in 1998.

She is currently a professor of painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

 TinTin 1, 2005

Strongly evoking the illustrational style of Hergé, the Belgian creator of the Tintin cartoons, on the one hand, and Mondrian et al on the other, McKenzie seems to be on the hunt for old-world and European ghosts, which are somehow embedded in the architectural and illustrational spaces that her lanky characters wander through. From her location scouting to her actual rubbing of concrete slabs and stones, this immersion in surface and space takes on a latently visceral tone.
Sari Care

 "Untitled" for Parkett 76, 2006

At her recent exhibition at Metro Pictures, New York, McKenzie exhibited large canvases influenced by Hergé’s Tintin comics. In some of the works on paper Tintin’s cartoon body is ‘naturalised’, with his flat pink skin tones softened and given a more recognisable Caucasian hue. Elsewhere, characters form the artist’s life are translated into Hergé-like caricatures. Again, styles and histories are re-appropriated and made to temporarily and awkwardly sit in the present. This demonstrates not only that art history is ‘made’, but that subjectivity and personal history are also myths that we generate after the fact.
Alexander Kennedy

Cheyney and Eileen Disturb a Historian at Pompeii, 2005

Created in 1929 by Belgian artist Herge, Tintin-preposterously cowlicked journo-adventurer who moved, Zelig-like, through most of the midtwentieth century`s geopolitical hotspotsis, of course, a cartoon. But there he was in McKenzie`s show, fleshed out with eerie naturalism in a group of colored-pencil portraits that depict him posing rakishly in plus fours and trench coat. In fact, McKenzie`s subject in these works was her boyfriend, dressed up in Tintin costume but substituting a brooding intensity for the original character`s perpetually callow mien, as if the dismal and antiheroic trajectory of modern history had finally sunk in.

A trio of giant, colorful ink-and-acrylic works on paper-Lucy and Paulina in the Moscow Metro (Ploschad Revolutsii), Cheyney and Eileen Disturb a Historian at Pompeii, and Simon in Fort Greene (all 2005)-neatly invert the modus operandi of the Tintin portraits: Instead of depicting a cartoon made flesh, they show McKenzie`s friends reimagined as cartoons. Rendered with a graphic flatness that recalls ligne claire, the influential illustrational style that Herge pioneered, Paulina whistles (or rather, emits a musical note in a speech bubble) as she strolls beneath the Stalinistbaroque vaults of the metro station; a professorial type in a brown suit does a double take as he spies Cheyney and Eileen behind him in a fresco-filled interior; and Simon gazes moodily at the sidewalk on a nocturnal Brooklyn street. Also on view were a group of droll black-and-white illustrations McKenzie contributed to a self-consciously twee Edinburgh broadsheet called The One O`Clock Gun, matted and framed with pages from the paper; a number of languid, seminude pencil studies of the artist`s female friends; and big chalk-and-charcoal abstractions that transform rubbings taken from urban pavements into grisaille de Stijl grids.
Elizabeth Schambelan 


Friday, 18 April 2014

Massimo Cellino

Massimo Cellino (born 1956) is an Italian entrepreneur, football club owner, and convicted fraudster. Cellino is the chairman of the Italian club Cagliari Calcio, and the majority shareholder of the English club Leeds United A.F.C.

Cellino has a deep suspicion of the number 17, a number he considers unlucky. At Cagliari's stadium Cellino had the number 17 removed from seats and replaced with 16b. Cellino has a dislike for the colour purple. He also plays guitar in the cover band Maurillos.

Cellino has properties in Leeds and in Miami, Florida.

"We are not sick, we are not in the hospital, we can survive. We can heal, it's a cold," says Cellino of Leeds' current plight, in abysmal form and with accounts for the 2012-13 financial year reporting annual losses of £9.5m. "Now I'm driving the bus. Now the bus is ours and we have to run the bus. The other driver [before] is not my problem – he can sit on the bench, he can go fishing."

Cellino, whichever way you look at him, is one of the more maverick characters to have entered the English game for years. Now living in a city-centre Leeds apartment as well as in Miami, he has a suspicion of the number 17, like many in Italy, and the colour purple – at the IS Arena in Sardinia there is no seat 17, only 16 and 16b.

On Tuesday he asked a member of the press, sincerely, if he would like to play with him in his rock band Maurilios in front of 25,000 people. On Wednesday he was chatting with supporters at a pub near Elland Road and later in the evening was spotted strolling around town talking jovially with passers-by. What next?

 "I am an unusual owner. I look after everything: the grass, the cooking. I want to know what they [the players] eat, they drink, where they go on their night out, I want to know everything about the players and employees. If they need something, if they need help, I must be there."

"It has the potential, like a Ferrari," Cellino says of Leeds. "They got really pissed in Sardinia because I said we [Cagliari] had a beautiful Cinquecento, big wheels and everything. Leeds is potentially a Ferrari, now it's a Cinquecento. I want to transform Leeds from Highway to Hell to Stairway to Heaven. You are not going to be bored with me."
James Riach

The debacle surrounding Leeds United plummeted even further into the abyss after the owner of the Leeds United internet radio station called White Leeds Radio managed to cold call Massimo Cellino, and the pair talked for 22 minutes about various aspects of the club.

The call will be cited a further evidence of the complete shambles that is engulfing Leeds United at the moment as Massimo Cellino, who recently had his takeover bid for the Whites rejected, gav ea no-holds-barred interview with the Leeds fan. Cellino is appealling that decision.

During the conversation, prospective Leeds owner Cellino labelled Whites’ managing director David Haigh “a son of a bitchh, dangerous, a fucking devil.”

Cellino also described the current Leeds United side as the worst football team he’s ever seen and criticised Brian McDermott for spending too much time moaning and not enough time coaching.

The only people who were praised by Cellino were the Leeds fans. The Italian remarked “Fans are not for sale, they have feeling and you don’t buy feeling. You can buy a bitch for one night, but you don’t buy the love my friend.”

His culling of coaches at Cagliari is a notorious trademark and he was at it again this week, firing Diego Lopez after Cagliari lost at home to Roma. There was sympathy in a severance statement which said the sacking was “extremely painful” and described Lopez as “a professional man” but he has gone – the 36th coach dismissed by Cellino in 22 years.

Lopez was lucky to survive in February when to all intents and purposes he was on his way out. Cagliari’s players complained, the sand shifted behind the scenes and when the music stopped, Cellino sacked assistant Ivo Pulga instead, accusing him of disloyalty. Pulga is back at Cagliari now, named as Lopez’s replacement.

Is English football ready for this? And is English football any better? The cuts are usually cleaner here but Leeds United, Cellino’s new project, have no track record for managerial survival.

“The coach gets a chance because he has a job,” Cellino says. “If I give the coach a job, he has a chance with me. If he doesn’t do it then what? What should I do? Come on!”

“I was raised as a manager, not as a bulls**t president who puts his tie on, eats some roast beef and f***s off home. I look after everything.” He runs his fingers along the steel girder above the doors to the Harewood Suite in Elland Road’s East Stand. It’s filthy, though you hardly notice until he unsettles the dust. “Who cleans this? No-one. What are you doing here? I don’t work this way and everybody has to be like me. Everybody."
Phil Hay 

Massimo Cellino Interview Sky Sports News #LUFC... by WeAreLeedsMOT

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Salvador Dalí - Mae West Lips Sofa

The Mae West Lips Sofa (1937) is a surrealist sofa by Salvador Dalí. The wood-and-satin sofa was shaped after the lips of actress Mae West, whom Dalí apparently found fascinating. It measures 86.5 x 183 x 81.5 cm (34 x 72 x 32 in).

Edward James, a rich British patron of the Surrealists in the 1930s, commissioned this piece from Dalí.

It is probably every patron's dream to collaborate with an artist on a great work of art. For Edward James, the wealthy and eccentric poet and collector, the dream came true when, together with Salvador Dali, he produced the "Mae West" lip sofa, one of the 20th century's most sensuous and iconic pieces of furniture.

The design was conceived in 1936 when Dali was in London for the International Surrealist Exhibition. Experiencing some financial difficulties, he signed an agreement with James whereby he would receive a wage in exchange for his total output for a year. The two also set about creating designs for surreal furniture. James was, at that time, redecorating Monkton House, a Lutyens dower house on his family's West Dean estate in Sussex, which he transformed into a mauve-walled extravaganza of surreal fantasy.

The lip sofa relates to Dali's paintings and drawings that were inspired by the Hollywood actress, Mae West. Face of Mae West, for instance, depicts her features as objects in a surrealist room, with her eyes as paintings, her nose as a fireplace and her lips as a sofa. Production took place in 1938, with James closely involved, choosing the fabrics and colours.

Only five sofas are known to have been made and he kept them all. Three are still owned by the Edward James Foundation in West Dean, and two were sold shortly before James's death in 1984. The Brighton Art Gallery and Museum bought one, while the other, which is to be sold by Christie's on Wednesday, was acquired by a private collector. 

  • The Lips Sofa was obviously inspired by Mae West designed from the inspiration of Dali’s paintings and drawings of the actress.
  • Edward James, the wealthy and eccentric poet and collector,  together with Salvador Dali, produced the “Mae West” lip sofa, one of the 20th century’s most sensuous and iconic pieces of furniture. In 1936 Dali was in London for the  International Surrealist Exhibition and it was then he conceived the idea for the Sofas. Dali like many artists experienced financial difficulties and hence he actually signed an agreement with Edward to exchange a years output for a wage. James with his considerable family wealth became a great benefactor to the arts and crafts movement and was a creative soul himself.
  • Production of the Sofa took place in 1938 with James deeply involved in specifying and choosing the fabrics and colours. This resonated with his passion and interest which survives to this day post the world war he witnessed in the Henry James Foundation and West Dean College, a charitable foundation for ensuring the survival of the skills and artisan trades which he feared might be erradicated and wiped out by the outcome of the war.
  • The two extreme individuals set about designing a series of pieces of  surreal furniture, and hence the connection to Monkton House a Lutyens (the architect) designed Dower House on the Jame’s family estate in West Dean  in West Susex. Bizarrely this English country house was transformed into a mauve-walled extravaganza of surreal fantasy.
  • Possibly such a creative relationship was less than likely to yield a profitable ongoing concern, just 5 sofas were produced, with 3 remaining in the ownership of the Henry Foundation. What an intriguing connection to art history in the 20th century!
Amanda Moore

Monday, 14 April 2014

Marlene McCarty - Murder Girls


Barbara and Jennaleigh Mullens - September 26, 1992., 1995-1998

Marlene McCarty has worked across various media since the 1980s. She was a member of the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury and was the co-founder of the transdisciplinary design studio Bureau along with Donald Moffett. Using everyday materials such as graphite, ballpoint pen, and highlighter, McCarty probes issues ranging from sexual and social formation to parricide and infanticide. A major survey exhibition of her work, organized by Michael Cohen, was presented in 2010 at New York University's 80WSE galley. Her work is in the collection of major institutions including MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum and MoCA Los Angles.

Sylvia Likens -- October 26, 1965, 1995-97

I first saw Marlene McCarty’s artwork in the late 90s. She made a series of huge portraits of teenage girls who had killed their mothers, accompanied by captions describing the murders in grisly detail. The girls were drawn painstakingly with no. 2 pencils and cheap ballpoint pens—the tools of a kid doodling in a notebook in class—and their clothing was see-through, which made them look ghostly and simultaneously menacing and vulnerable. They were tragic monsters.

Marlene’s drawings have since evolved to include a whole bevy of murderers: teen girls who killed their whole families, groups of girls who killed a friend, Christian evangelists who killed their children (because God told them to), as well as a creepily sexual series of children and families praying and, most recently, a series about the bonding between female scientists and the apes they study (also sexual).
Amy Kellner

Melinda Loveless, Toni Lawrence, Hope Rippey, Laurie Tackett And Shanda Sharer - January 11, 1992

In the late 1990s artist Marlene McCarty made a series of drawings entitled "Murder Girls." The drawings were of young women who figured in terrible crimes and showed their sexual parts exposed and emphasized, to suggest a link between their budding sexuality and the crimes. In this series, McCarty drew females who had committed murder, with one exception: Sylvia Likens. In her case, she drew Sylvia, not Gertrude or Paula or any other female involved in harming Sylvia.

McCarty's drawing of Sylvia did not portray her malnourished but looking healthy and pretty, her hair long and wavy, a smile on her face. She was depicted in only a short blouse tied between her breasts and has her hands on her hips. Naked below the shirt, the words "I'M A PROSTITUTE AND PROUD OF IT!" are written on her stomach. The combination of happy expression, jaunty posture and stigmatizing words make the drawing extremely disturbing.

Writer Cathy Lebowitz extensively interviewed psychoanalyst and writer Josefina Ayerza about McCarty's "Murder Girls." After noting that Sylvia is the only victim drawn in the collection, Ayerza speculates, "There could be sexual frustration in Gertrude. And now she projects this frustration on the girl, while accusing her of being a prostitute. Gertrude hated the girl, still she could have been sexually aroused by her. What she certainly was is aroused to kill."

Lebowitz asks the psychoanalyst if she believes Gertrude was psychotic. "Not necessarily," Ayerza replies. "Just envy can draw someone into delusion. Say Gertrude was attracted to Sylvia and didn't really know it. Every time she looks at the girl her gaze is ready to bring up the sexual features from underneath the clothes. That is already a reason to panic. Thus, it affects her to a point that she has to kill her, and then torture the dead body ... possess it."
Denise Noe 

Ana Finel Honigman: Your choice of Bic pens as the medium for "Murder Girls" is reminiscent of school supplies. A few critics have noted that these drawings resemble adolescents' painstaking classroom doodles. Were you creating them as an alter-ego? When making them, were you imagining yourself as an adolescent girl – maybe heroizing her deviant peers and making a self portrait?

MMC: Here’s how it happened: my choice of materials was informed by my fantasy of how I thought the girls themselves would like to draw and/or see themselves drawn. I started researching the project before I ever suspected that I would do drawings. I had been doing a lot of artwork by creating large decals and then ironing them onto canvas. I just assumed I’d take the pictures I found and iron them onto canvas as well. I did in fact do a couple like that of the first case that I worked on. That was about Marlene Olive. But then, I realized that the medium was completely inappropriate for the subject matter. The iron-ons made the work about media, mechanical reproduction, Warhol, anything and everything but about the girls themselves. I struggled a great deal with how to best articulate the project. Then, in the middle of trying to solve all of this, I went home to visit my parents. My mother asked me to clean some stuff out of a closet and I found a drawing. It was a portrait I had done of myself when I was seventeen. It was graphite and terribly tightly rendered with all the teenage angst of hoping to make it look like a pretty version of me. I knew at that moment that I had to do drawings of all the girls. I needed to create tight, repressed, unexpressive and stylized drawings. I had not drawn anything for ten years.

AFH: Can you summarize their stories or the common themes in their stories?

MMC: They all killed their mothers, sometimes including the father and, in a couple of cases, the whole family. The girls were all adolescents, all in that grey zone between childhood and adulthood. The girls were blossoming sexual beings while their mothers could see their own sexuality waning. In all cases there was an extreme (though often unacknowledged) power struggle between the girls and their mothers. I tried to the best of my ability to find cases where the crime committed grew out of this identity struggle. I tried to stay away from cases that were fueled by insanity (sociopathic behavior), drugs, or self-defense. In other words if a girl was being abused by someone then rose up to kill that person, I wouldn't use that case.

Self defense is too rational. I was interested in the murkier tension. A sort of undefinable field where that resonated with me personally.

I do have some portraits like Sylvia Likens or Suesan Marline Knorr where the girl was murdered by her mother or caretaker. I used these portraits because I believe the mitigating factors came from the same internal girl/mom friction but in these cases the parent managed to get the upper hand.

AFH: When you speak with viewers about "Murder Girls" are most of them empathizing with the girls or their families? Do you think that the series inspires parents to confront anxieties about children potentially hiding secret selves? 

MMC: There are a lot of layers within the work and people tend to connect to different combinations of things within the pieces. I am not generally privy to those experiences, although comments that I have heard run the gamut from fear, empathy, sexual attraction, voyerism, moral ambiguity, beauty, ugliness, tragedy, fashion illustration, heroism, guilt to awe. That said, I don’t do surveys to specifically see what people are thinking but at talks women often approach me and say they find the work extremely resonant. It makes them recall their own teen years and difficulties they had with their own mothers.

AFH: Were you a rebellious teenager? 

MMC: I take the fifth.

Friday, 11 April 2014

DEFINITE MOTION @ Generator Projects 11.04.14 - pictures

To the Generator this evening for the opening of DEFINITE MOTION, a show bringing together practices from Scotland, mainland Europe and The Americas to model and resist forms of capitalist exchange. I took a few photos and here they are:

The name of the show is DEFINITE MOTION

Ellie Harrison - Anti-Capitalist Aerobics

Danilo Correale - The Warp and the Weft

Kosta Tonev - The Heavenly Bodies, Once Thrown Into A Certain Definite Motion, Always Repeat

Toril Johannessen - Non-Conservation of Energy (and of Spirits)

Anna Moreno - Read the Newspapers