Francis Alÿs

I went to see A story of Deception at the Tate last Friday. I've never been a member of the Tate, but this one show is going to change that. I have to go back and spend more time with it. Probably more than once... Alÿs is a truly great artist – there is so much to think about, such beauty in his movements of thought and foot, such poetry and such anguish and such triumph and such poignancy. I've just read this piece by Edward Platt – he contends that Alÿs is a maker of rumors, a master storyteller whose work is continued, its life extended, by the articles and reviews and other instances of people retelling one of his stories. I've thinking a lot about artists whose practice lies in writing perfect sentences – pieces (installations, performances, videos) that can be uttered in one whole complete, sometimes beautiful, sentence – and wondering what then makes their works, beyond the sentences, important or vital. If the sentence works, what makes the piece necessary? Alÿs's pieces are stories and they can be retold. But they are so much more than the stories they embody. And his presence fills them to overflowing. There is so much loss in the retelling of them. I imagine being a part of, or a witness to, any one of his actual actions being much, much more powerful than the rumor that they become.
Anyway, the show simply can't be taken in in one visit, Platt's piece is wonderfully written, and you should defintely explore Alÿs's work if you don't know it yet.



Today's front page of The Times has a deep 2-column width photo illustrating the Love Parade catastrophe. As soon as I can scan in the front to show you I'll post it up. It has the movement, the dynamic composition, the extreme emotion, the inter-relationships, the hands, the feet, the faces – the narrative of a Rogier van der Weyden. Whoever is the picture editor working on the front page of the Times is really very good, so good that I often want to buy the paper just so I can keep that front. There was that landscape shot during the Obama campaign of the future president and a blurred US flag, shot from the back – one of the most abstract and compelling photos I've ever seen in a newspaper. Often they'll use a really deep portrait image over two columns, like today – a tight crop, difficult to make work, and they stick in my mind for weeks and months.


la blogothèque #perfect: Yo La Tengo

Just listen.

Yo La tengo - A Take Away Show - Part 1 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Yo La Tengo - A Take Away Show - Part 2 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

la blogothèque #2 Scout Niblett

Nevada, another concert à emporter with fierce raging, fire in her veins. I admire Scout Niblett's utterly stripped down strength. She's like copper wire. I love the sound - always raw, always essential, she kind of says it all without an ounce of overmatter.

Magic Music Take-Aways … La Blogothèque #1: Tenniscoats

I've been stealthing at work, watching as many of these Concerts à emporter by La Blogothèque as I can, and have just discovered they did one with Tenniscoats. Madness. I'm not paying attention...
Saya's approach to music and singing is one of the freest and most beautiful to behold for me. She radiates a boundless intensity in the lightest of ways. She's calm. She laughs. And then she sings one note, or three, plays a simple two-note harmonic phrase on one of her old keyboards and I can't see for tears, the whole world melts in a depth of feeling I ache to hold on to, just for a moment longer, just one. Her voice is peach skin and milk and grating stone and baking sun and she always knows exactly where to go next, even when there's palpable fragility, a wavering in the tones. She is sunlight and the moon and as rock hard as any clenched fist. Umeda once told me she's a genius. Sometimes I think that might be true.

les gars de la blogothèque, you rule. merci, mille fois, pour ce que vous faites.

Tenniscoats - Baibaba Bimba | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


things to come and see

I'll be performing with Mildred Rambaud at BHVU on Sunday July 18, and then at the end of the month, on July 30 at the Serpentine's Sleep Over event, to be held in Jean Nouvel's big red 3D exclamation mark in the park.

Come come come

joy part 5

My Shelley's choice here:

joy part 4

Happy End - Nastu nan desu
A song about summer and sunshine. Their sound is warm and wide like a river and never fails to make me smile

joy part 3

Katie my friend from Volume Magazine said i should add these:

joy part 2

Tavi just posted the above goodness, a fittingly bright image for the tune I'm listening to – Beirut's The Flying Club Cup. Yesterday it was The Rebirth Brass Band. I was spinning in my seat, bouncing with boundless joy... What tunes make you happiest? like you might just explode with all the force of an exploding star happy? Here are some of mine...


Le Deuil in Marseille

Le Deuil, a group show curated by Iff, opens this week at Atelier National in Marseille. Gavin Morrison is doing excellent things with Iff, and if I could get to Marseille this Thursday I would be happy...

My friend Franck Lesbros is part of Atelier National, a new collective of artists predominantly from the south of France, which aims to host artist residencies and exhibitions. I think this Iff/AN collaboration is promising.


Sleep Over...

I'm taking part in the Sleep Over at the Serpentine Gallery, on July 30. Insomniacs, dreams, starry skies and lullabies and FOOD! Come on down …