'Espresso with a lemon twist'*

Wednesday October 6, Catalogue magazine is celebrating its first anniversary at South London Gallery. There will be a talk with Tatiana Trouvé and screenings of works by Ivan Argote, Neil Beloufa, Julien Crépieux, Colin Guillemet, Raphaël Julliard, Barbara Kruger, Charlotte Moth, Open Music Archive, Hiraki Sawa.
Coline Millard and Florence Ostende are doing great work on this new publication. Check it out.
Other good online places that actually draw you in with their design and focus, making you WANt to read what they have to say about art/design/fashion/whatever, I've found recently are:
we make money not art
feeling listless
things magazine
amelia's magazine
art sleuth

I keep thinking about Axel Foley walking into the art gallery where his friend works in Beverly Hills, looking at the installation and freaking out – with a line I love – when he meets *Serge and the latter tells him how much said installation just sold for. It's a classic film, a great bit of dialogue and a nice poke at the 80s artworld going mental. Why am I thinking about this? Because it always makes me laugh and because, having just read a comment thread on Jonathan Jone's guardian art blog, I feel swamped in heavy, wordy, painfully dull stuff about what art is and what it isn't and why this prize/gallery/artist sucks etc etc etc ad nauseum. I often don't agree with JJ's views, but he does write engagingly – and he does love art. You can feel it. OK, so maybe comment threads are often boring. But they don't have to be – there can be a real buzz... I'm wondering if there'll ever be a place where people will find as much brightness and energy – and discord, from time to time – in thinking and talking about art as they do on, say, StyleBubble or StyleRookie – with a light, deft touch and the immediacy of a gasp, as well as well argumented critical discourse. Those are blogs that make you want to go and eat clothes, swim in fashion – get drunk on new ideas. I read a lot of stuff about art and I just want to stuff my head under a pillow to crowd out the boredom. Exhibitions like the recent Francis Alÿs or like Tacita Dean's Craneway Event at Frith Street Gallery make me A just want to go to the studio and make more work and B talk about them, loudly. They remind me that I'm still alive and that art has a lot to do with that. The above blogs are new to me, but I'm hoping to find good things there – online space with a bit of magic...


'Tavi says'

Tavi is on the front page of newyorker.com today. The slide show is worth a browse, even though if you read her site, you'll remember every one of those particular posts. Damn paywall though – I can't read the full article without subscribing. This might just be the shove that pushes me over into subscribing full stop. I spend so much time on the site, and every time I can get a hold of a copy I read it from cover to cover. So. Last fashion week there was all sorts of bad feeling and backlash in the press, mostly from fashion insiders, against Tavi – for being young and out there and doing stuff. "When other people are trying to make a living." A flood of the most badly dissimulated jealousy and ire, prompted mostly by her wearing That Pink Bow. I just felt so depressed at that display of mean-spiritedness. Reading her blog is a highlight of my day, she is bright and sparkling and funny and candid and her heart is right there on her spotted sleeves. Everyone is trying to make a living, trying to make it in whichever world they chose to live in, and it's never easy, even when success rains on you. It's all as fragile and as transient as sunlight in winter. This kid IS like sunshine and it's thrilling to see her filter into all these different places, be it style.com or the new yorker, because she wears magnificently unexpected shapes, she laughs out loud and she casts weird shadows.


'They bow shyly as wet swans'

Auto Retrato en el Espejo de Frida, 2008

I met Jodie Vicenta Jacobson when I was at the Slade in 2002. She was taking these mesmerising photos of her daily surroundings, bathed in a soft and gentle light that came as much from inside her mind as it did from lampshades and window sills. They weren't shocking, they weren't brash, they weren't even always new – but they were other, and they stayed with me. They embedded themselves in my brain, welding their otherness to memories and fragments of poems or novels read, places dreamt of, people loved. Jacobson looks at the world with the same generosity of heart and indomitable curiosity with which she greets each new person who crosses her path. And her photographs are infused with this spirit – they are stills from a film you don't want to end, because it is alive and restless and utterly engaging. They make me think of Ozu – Tokyo Story, The Flavour of Green Tea on Rice, The Record of a Tenement Gentleman. Or William Eggleston's photo of Lesa and Karen. Or James Wright – The Blessing. Or Low's (That's How You Sing) Amazing Grace.

Jodie Vicenta Jacobson is based in New York. She is represented by Yancey Richardson and Foil.


Shock the monkey

Thinking about various things today. Fever Ray and her cover of Peter Gabriel's Mercy Street. Which I haven't yet listened to, because reading about that made me listen to a bunch of old PG tracks: Solisbury Hill, Sledgehammer, Shock the Monkey. And that's leading to Eddie Grant - Electric Avenue, Robert Palmer - Woke Up Laughing, Brenda Fassi - Matsidiso, DJ Mujava - Township Funk, Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa and Joan Jett - Bad Reputation. So they're all here in my Twin Pines Mall playlist. 

(Lone Pine Mall. Twin Pines Mall. 
Had you ever noticed that??


And is that Eddie Grant video not amazing? The black helmets, the beach, the kids, the interiors, the way he's killing the camera with that intense and sincere and determined glare, while chilling, awkwardly, on that lounge chair. The colours. The motorbikes. I find it addictive. And of course, the track itself immediately brings Dale Denton to mind, which makes me happy. His being my namesake is irrelevant – Dale Denton and Saul and Red and the random, unhappy extras just sitting around in the background, the two bad-ass gansters, Budlofski and Matheson, the fact that most of the guys in Pineapple Express secretely have the same hair-do, Bill Hader's entire cameo, oh just about everything in there makes me happy. My plan is to watch everything David Gordon Green has done. 


Tunes #1

Today is starting with Califone - The Orchids

And continuing with Black Star. Definition. One of my favourite hip hop tracks ever.


Funny Face

I watched Funny Face for the first time last night. Actually, I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time on Saturday. And then Funny Face the following day, and Sabrina last night. I can't quite believe I'm admitting to this. But then again, the amount of things I've not seen/listened to/read is just depressingly HUGE. Anyway, I can't really handle musicals, and this was no exception. I fastforwarded through every song. But the visuals – dancing, the clothes, the colours, the rhythms and textures, and Hepburn's eyes – were too good to be true.
I've also been watching Arrested Development, which I find myself almost addicted to – because of Jason Bateman's voice. That voice. And the general surreal feel. On Friday I saw Scott Pilgrim vs the World, really want to see it again and own it on DVD. Throughout I've been reading about Mesopotamian legends, cuneiform writing and Babylonian deities. And I recently read Amer Béton (Tekkonkinkreet - 鉄コン筋クリート).
So right now the images populating my brain are Audrey Hepburn in black with white socks, Michael in the Bluth Staircar chasing Gob on a Segway, Gilgamesh and Enkidu fighting Humbaba in the forest, Kuro and Shiro flying above the most spectacular jumblesale of a decaying urban dump and Jesse Eisenberg as Nega-Cera.