ISSUE 4 18 NOVEMBER - 8 DECEMBER
LONDON’S BEST ARTS AND CULTURE: CURATED
ART ON THE UNDERGROUND LONDON’S FASHION ICONS OUR FAVOURITE LIBRARIES THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS UoL’S CINEMATIC LOCATIONS MEGAN BEECH, POET BEN LLOYD-HUGHES PARKOUR PROS
R E T WIT
T N O W NO e h t @
s l e k smo
the smoke FROM THE EDITORS What did you think of the cover? This issue, we went for vivid graphics that give you a sneak peek of the articles to come. The background is from one of Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth pieces, which you may have noticed at your local station. Turn to the Arts section (page 8) to learn about Art on the Underground, just in time for the Tube’s 150th birthday. Sartorially minded students amongst us may notice the iconic Londoners Isabella Blow, Stephen Tennant and David Bowie on our cover – check out the Fashion section’s special on style icons (page 12) and perhaps take some cues for the new season. Gigantic hats, anyone? Bowie isn’t the only big name musician in Issue IV: we asked John Linnell of They Might Be Giants about their brilliantly innovative new album Nanobots. Have a read (page 6) before you catch their gig at Shepherd’s Bush on the 19th. Another interview we’re excited about: this issue’s The Eye features the performance poet Megan Beech, a second-year King’s student and the 2011 winner of SLAMbassadors UK. Her debut anthology When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary
Beard (set to be published December 2013) is full of feminist prowess, as is our interview – read it on page 4. If you’re intrigued by the hoodie-sporting figure hiding out on our cover, turn to our feature on page 5 to read about parkour classes across the city. Parkour athletes dare to jump between slippery ledges in the rain, which sounds terrifying and exciting. Why walk around a wall when you can jump over it? We like to follow exercise sessions with copious amounts of eating. We debuted our own 5-minute noodle soup recipe on page 16 – you can only eat so much microwaved pizza before keeling over from misery and homesickness. If you can’t be bothered to cook, we’ve reviewed The Diner – essay consultations and expensive travel costs call for burger therapy. Of course, there’s plenty more in this issue for you to enjoy, and as always we’re on the lookout for talented new contributors to join our team – give us an email if you want to get involved. EMMA & RENA
WHAT’S INSIDE 4 FEATURES
LONDON’S BEST ARTS AND CULTURE: CURATED
The Eye: Megan Beech, a performance poet at KCL
Living on the Edge: London’s parkour craze
Emma Hope Allwood Rena Minegishi firstname.lastname@example.org
6 MUSIC interview with John Linnell of They Might Be Giants
gigs & albums: Colin Stetson, Laurel Halo and more
Emma Hope Allwood
8 ARTS Art Outside the Gallery: Art on the Underground / The Young Dürer
Art Under Attack / Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art
Elizabeth Metcalfe email@example.com
Bryony Bowie firstname.lastname@example.org
UoL on screen / Duke Mitchell Film Club
reviews: Locke / Sixteen
11 FILM James Hodge email@example.com
Urban Icons: Isabella Blow, David Bowie, Kate Moss & more
Sarah Fortescue firstname.lastname@example.org
our favourite libraries / London by Chapter: Lamb’s Conduit Street with Virginia Woolf
George McVicar email@example.com
15 THEATRE Ben Lloyd-Hughes / Deafinitely Theatre’s TWO
Kit Harwood firstname.lastname@example.org
Costanza Beltrami Liza Weber email@example.com
Emma Hope Allwood firstname.lastname@example.org
pak choi noodle soup recipe / The Diner review
17 TRAVEL How to travel: trains / Paris doesn’t have to be pricey
18 DAYS & NIGHTS London’s best events, 18 November - 8 December
19 FROM THE ARCHIVES London Pollution, February 1995
megan beech: PERFORMANCE POET
For the fourth issue of The Smoke, we managed to steal Megan Beech, second year English student at KCL, from the depths of the library and looming essay deadlines. Megan is a performance poet, and her first collection of poems, When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard, is coming out in December. Described by Joelle Taylor (SLAMbassador UK Artistic Director) as an “artist, poetic activist and musician”, we chatted to Megan about her inspirations, feminism and the importance of role models. How did it all begin? I have written poetry from a really early age, but it was more page-based. I was quite a shy and introverted child – not that it’s that different now – but I would never stand up in front of my peers and say, “I am going to say my poem now.” Then when I was 11, I won a competition called the Threshold Prize which was judged by Philip Pullman; then I thought, “okay, maybe this is something to pursue.” So I got into actual performance poetry at about the age of 16, and started going to open mic nights in Bristol, which was the closest city to where I lived. It was an hour and a half from my actual house, but I found the scene there and built upon that. What was your first performance like? It was an open mic, a slam. And I won the slam and a bottle of wine, which I was too young to drink! I drank it afterwards, obviously… I sense that there is a real community, which must be pretty reassuring when you are first starting out. Yes, definitely. In the world of performance poetry, there are 2 degrees of separation between anyone that you meet, so there are a lot of people that are out there to help you. They will introduce you to someone else who will introduce you to someone else. I feel like it is a grassroots movement, where everyone helps each other out and there isn’t too much ego. You’ve performed at various festivals like Latitude (2013), Glastonbury (2011 & 2013) and Larmer Tree (2012) – what is it like performing at them? Great. Latitude was amazing – they have a whole poetry arena. Being on the same stage just a few hours before Carol Ann Duffy and casually seeing her backstage was incredible. You’ve clearly had lots of wonderful experiences, but what would you say has been your greatest achievement so far? I suppose winning the Poetry Society’s national youth slam, SLAMbassadors, was a big deal for me: it gave me such a platform. It’s incredible to work with an organisation like the Poetry Society
and have a continued relationship with all the people that I’ve met through it. We did a gig at the 100 Club, which was amazing. Just to be on the same stage that Mick Jagger had been on; it hopefully preempts what’s to come! And the Poetry Society is supporting your upcoming book? Yeah! I’ve got a book coming out with Burning Eye Books called When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beard. The Poetry Society have been integral in getting me to the position where I could even get a book deal, so I am very grateful for that. Mary Beard has also been very supportive and very much liked the piece. How long has the book been cooking for? A while. I signed the actual book deal in January this year. Since then it has been about getting stuff up to scratch, editing and deleting and rewriting. It’s been a really interesting process. Normally it’s like I am writing on air, but because of the book I have had to write down poems that have never been written down before. It’s been a lot of fun seeing how they look on the page and working out how to punctuate them. Yes. I am interested in seeing how your performance poetry transfers to the page. As a performance poet you are projecting words, so by the poems being published in written form they will take on a new dimension. Yeah, I am interested to see how people respond to reading it. But the whole ethos of Burning Eye Books is to take performance poets and put them on the page – for them, there is no difference. As a performance poet, it is a bit intimidating to give your work over to someone else and say “read it in your head how you like.” I am used to putting the stresses and internal rhymes in a certain rhythm so that people respond to it. But I think it will be nice to see how people interpret it differently. I hope it translates well to the page. But I don’t think you can beat the experience of a live performance though; your performance changes when you’re live, because when there’s someone responding to what you’re saying you become more energetic and enthusiastic. Yes, completely. But I do think your videos online of your poems work really for those who can’t see you live. Yes, they’re good for widening your audience. Social media and the use of YouTube have been really helpful. Mary Beard retweeted my poem and it got 1000 views in 2 days, which for me is a lot. In terms of the themes of your poetry,
I won the slam and a bottle of wine, which I was too young to drink! I drank it afterwards, obviously…
you seem to be interested in gender equality and feminism. I think feminism is the key one. I don’t think you can call your book that and have it not be [about feminism]! I am really interested in the idea of role models for young women today: it really distresses me to think that, as some surveys show, 80% of children want to be famous for doing nothing. So at the book launch we are getting people to hold up signs that say, “when I grow up I want to be...” and then fill in their own answers. I really hope to promote aspirations and encourage diversity of aspiration. Yes. In your poem “99 Problems” you talk of how less than 25% of MPs are women and how women are often still dismissed as the “insignificant other” – it’s so good that you’re challenging that. Thanks. Through SLAMbassadors, I have worked with such a range of people – hip hop MCs, page poets, rappers – and the things they are saying are so progressive, pertinent and meaningful. A lot of people look at hip-hop as Jay-Z saying women are bitches, but I am not down with that. It definitely isn’t just hip-hop, and to be fair the sexualisation of women in music in general is just disgusting. But for me, my piece is not only using that form to say something nice about women, but it also seeks to promote the work of the other people that I work with who are doing stuff that is not anti-feminist. On that note, who would you say most influences you? I think from a poetry level, definitely
Joelle Taylor, the co-ordinator of SLAMbassadors. On a feminism side, someone like Laura Bates doing the Everyday Sexism Project – she has also been really supportive of the book and has written a blurb that is going on the front, which is nice. It might seem a bit silly asking this question, because you are achieving so much, but where next? I feel that with the book coming out, it is an opportunity to write and write new stuff. And the old stuff can be promoted through the book, but laid to rest at the same time. A lot of spoken word artists go on to do spoken word shows, but I don’t really think I’m there yet. So maybe I will take a couple of years to work on the actual writing itself. Oh and graduate, try and get a degree, that sort of thing. Then again, I do actually want to be Mary Beard; I want to be an academic. I am hoping to do an MA and PhD, so if the Arts & Humanities Research Council are reading... if you could help me out that would be amazing!
Megan can be found on Twitter (@ MegBeechPoetry) and Facebook (Megan Beech - Performance Poet). Her book launch is on 11 December at 7pm in the Virginia Woolf Building at King’s College. More information about the event can be found on her Facebook page. / INTERVIEWED BY ELIZABETH METCALFE / KCL / BOOKS EDITOR
LIVI N G O N TH E ED GE WE HANG OUT WITH THE LONDON YOUTH EXPLORING THE CITY IN AN UNCONVENTIONAL WAY Would you do a double-take if, while walking around London, you saw someone leap across a 6-foot gap to land on a 6-inch ledge? I frequently see groups of teens and young adults practicing parkour around King’s College’s Waterloo campus, and I still haven’t stopped gaping at them. This curiosity led me to follow this extreme sport around London. I have been aware of parkour since Casino Royale (2006) where Bond (Daniel Craig) chases Mollaka (Sébastien Foucan) through urban Madagascar. Parkour developed throughout the 1980s and 90s, becoming massively popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s due to online streaming. From its inception in a Parisian suburb, the sport has come a long way. But Casino Royale is not parkour’s only international platform. London, with its iconic cityscape, is a popular parkour locale, featured in Channel 4’s 2003 documentary London Jump, following three French traceurs (one of them being the Bond ﬁlm’s Sébastien Foucan). In 2005, it was followed up with Jump Britain. Yet, despite its popularity and international recognition, parkour remains a fairly underground activity. The task of identifying and following a parkour group was especially daunting; luckily, however, I found Parkour Generations, a professional organization offering weekly classes all over London. I connected with one of their coaches, James, who invited me along to his Saturday morning class. Though classes meet weekly, their locations change throughout the month, consistent with the impromptu and underground nature of the sport. I met up with the class outside the Vauxhall tube station. It was about to rain; James smiled at my visible concern and told me “if we never practice in the rain, then we’d never practice in London. We have to adapt what we do.” I would later come to see that adaptability is essential to parkour athletics and mindset. I met the other coach, Kevin, and students. Among them was Charlotte. I had never seen a girl practice parkour around Waterloo; however, in this class, two out of the ﬁve students were girls. Charlotte didn’t pay much heed to the subject, saying “it’s all a perception,” when I asked her what barred more girls from participating.
After the group had convened, I, in converse and jeans, was informed that they would be jogging to their practice locations. At least I wore trainers. They set off at a light jog while I fumbled to get a grip on my camera bag, and it started to rain. The jog segued into a balance exercise where we walked along a rectangular steel railing. The railings, slippery with rain, became progressively higher: a foot, then 5 ft, and higher. Everyone took on the railings at their own pace, and some mustered the nerve to walk backwards. I stayed at Level One, less for my own safety than that of my camera. On a dry wall adjacent to an apartment complex, the students built their precision by repeating cat leaps, “sauts de chat”. Cat leaps are common parkour practice for traversing obstacles. Feline references are prevalent in parkour, and many groups even derive their name from the family Felidae. The felineparkour analogy is also something of a lucky charm, due to its suggestion that the athletes will always land on their feet. As a whole, the athletes were more composed and less chaotic than I had anticipated of the action-packed sport. Also, the teachers placed a strong emphasis on technique. In the YouTube videos and interviews I’ve watched online, parkour pioneers emphasise precision as being immensely important to the sports’ physical and mental conditioning. However, the emphasis on precision in no way translates to uniformity. I spoke with Kevin about parkour as a noncompetitive activity. He offered me an example from class where one student was taking too few steps to reach the wall for his cat leap. Explaining further, Kevin explained that he suspected that the student was taking fewer steps because this was the number that everyone else was taking. “He needs to choose what’s best for him. It’s not about what everyone else is doing.” I liked talking to Kevin because he offered a lot of insight into the philosophy that guides parkour. His uptake was equally interesting: from Réunion Island, a small French island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, Kevin accidentally started practicing parkour 9 years ago. “I started climbing walls and jumping with my friends. I didn’t know it was parkour until later.” Parkour, as I’ve observed it around London, is frequently groups of friends
jumping around and having a laugh, and during the class too, there was a strong sense of jovial community. But parkour is more than a casual pastime; it’s an online sensation. I asked Kevin about his impression of parkour’s online popularity. As an experienced athlete, he admitted to having made a few videos of his own, but he contended that the videos also fostered various misconceptions. “People think parkour is so much bigger than it is. They think it is about jumping between buildings. It really starts much smaller. You can do so much with this wall.” I asked James about the dangers of partaking in an extreme sport like parkour. His answer echoed what Kevin had told me about parkour and the media, comparing the sport to Formula One driving: “sure, it can be dangerous; but these dangers are mitigated with skill. Serious accidents occur when a novice decides to copy what they see online.” When I asked him why he started, he answered, “to get out of the gym.” He added that parkour, in addition to being an excellent source of exercise, also changes the way you view the environment around you. “I don’t need to walk around the wall,” he said, “when I can go over it. And jumping over a wall is the one the most liberating things I’ve experienced.” When I asked if he’d jump over a wall in a suit, he conceded, “sure! I might move a bit differently in smart clothing, but I still would jump a smaller obstacle.” It has been done before: Google ”Business Ninjas”, and suddenly you’ll feel that the possibilities are endless. There are a lot of metaphors that can be drawn between parkour and the expression/realization of freedom. I won’t go into this heady matter, but there’s plenty of room for interested minds to contribute to the philosophical discourse. Along this line of liberation, I can only suggest that next time you see a lonely wall, don’t tag it, just jump over it. Although, whilst for adrenaline junkies the idea of balancing atop some buildings might sound like fun, The Smoke advises that you learn the correct techniques before attempting to parkour like a pro. Special thanks to Parkour Generations for their kindness and accommodation. www.parkourgenerations.com UCLU also has a class on Wednesday evening for interested students.
/ HELEN DRIFTMIER / KCL / CONTRIBUTOR
They Might Be Giants are arguably one of the most wellrespected and successful bands ever to emerge from alternative rock. Their quirky yet sincere songwriting is oneof-a-kind, and it’s this that has earned them such widespread critical acclaim. TMBG’s latest album, Nanobots, showed us that the band is far from running out of steam. On the contrary, songs such as “You’re On Fire”, “Lost My Mind” and “Circular Karate Chop” retain the same wide-eyed childlike curiosity and charm as their celebrated 1990 platinum record, Flood. Earlier this month, we caught up with John Linnell from the band to talk about science, Disney and the music industry. I understand you’re playing a show in London later this month. Do you have a particular history with the city? When we first came in 1986, the sheer amount of stuff going on was amazing and still is now. London is one of our favourite places on the planet.
get your idea completely straight in a short space of time, and there’s a very liberating aspect to it because if it doesn’t work, it’s not such a big deal. Your songs appear to have a big focus on science & technology. Not only have you devoted a whole album (Here Comes Science) to it, you’ve also partially dedicated Nanobots to Nicola Tesla, and you recently launched your own iPhone app! Do you consciously express your love for science? The app is just a way of delivering music, appropriating new technology to do what we did before with dial-a-song. When we put the science record out, we felt a strong sense of being pro-science. Not to say that we’re educators or experts, but there’s a lot of people in the States who think that science is incompatible with certain other belief systems, so we were kind of showing that we identify as part of the science-team in that regard.
We have sixteen albums to our name, and yet we’re still playing stuff from the ﬁrst two
What can we expect to hear from your set? Some more stage theatrics, I hope! Yes, absolutely – we will be bringing the puppets for starters. We have lots of different arrangements, including a melodica, bass clarinet, and my accordion. It’s a very active show; it involves a lot of running around for us. Part of the entertainment is watching the old guys run from one edge of the stage to the other. Your first ever show was over 30 years ago – how different does it feel to play now compared to then? What were those early shows like? We were just a duo back then. I remember we had a tape deck for the backing track and at one point we had a whole bunch of metronomes that we played along with. Now we have a full 5-piece band. Weirdly, we’re still playing a lot of the same material now as we were then. We have sixteen albums to our name, and yet we’re still playing stuff from the first two. Your new album Nanobots has been a great success – how do you usually approach the song writing for an album like that? The main thing about Nanobots was that we didn’t really have a thematic approach to it. We don’t generally plan in advance what the flavour of an album is going to be – we take stock of all the material that we’ve cooked up, pick the best bits, weed out the songs that sound too similar and try to get the album to convey exactly where we’re at. I guess the exception would be our children’s albums – for that, Disney asked us to write some educational music, but I must stress that that was only the cover story. Children don’t need They Might Be Giants to learn the alphabet; they’re going to learn it anyway. The music is really just meant to be fun. Nanobots is littered with short “nano-songs” under a minute long. What draws you to this format? I initially wrote a song that was around 20 seconds - it was a fun experience and I thought, “well, we could do with more of those…” I think short songs are a kind of discipline, you have to
Technology is particularly interesting with regards to music at the moment. Do you think that the Internet is causing the decline of the music industry? Well, with music, everything changes on a technological level, but on another level everything stays the same. These days, it’s not enough to simply put your cultural product out into the world, as easy as that is with the internet. You still require some level of promotional machinery to get noticed. I say that not because I like the promotional institutions, but I think they are kind of necessary. There’s a notion that it is somehow democratized by the technology, and it’s true that the mechanics of the industry has changed, but unfortunately we are all still reliant on the money. Catch They Might Be Giants at Shepherds Bush Empire on November 19th.
/ INTERVIEWED BY GEORGE MCVICAR / QUEEN MARY / MUSIC EDITOR
Warpaint, Brixton Academy, 30.10.13
Colin Stetson, Café OTO, 28.10.13 horror movie-style noises from their instruments. The setting couldn’t have been better for Stetson’s set; a tightly packed group of people huddled away from the storm outside, listening intently to the enchanting music coming from his saxophone.
Even in a venue as large as Brixton Academy, and even from the very back, Warpaint are an utterly involving live act. On tracks like “Composure”, their harmonies are overwhelming. Warpaint’s singers share a vocal quality that’s both gentle and piercing; they’re sweet when they should be, harsh when they shouldn’t.
The night at Brixton Academy opened with support from Martina Topley Bird with a loop-based, whimsical set, and Pins’s 70’s-style girl punk. On paper, this sounds like a pretty odd pairing, but it made perfect sense when Warpaint came on stage. Intense and introspective as Bird, energetic as Pins, Warpaint’s set had the audience pretty much in awe. Warpaint’s most impressive quality is their ability to engross.
A solo encore of “Baby” was incredibly tender, whilst “Undertow” sped to a fever pitch, led by crisp, technical drums. As delightful as the music was the band’s funny and sweet stage manner, as they paused to thank an audience member for the themed pumpkin they had brought. New material such as “High” is in their usual style, and all the better for it. Their upcoming album (expected January 2014) is definitely something to get excited about.
/ RUBY CLYDE / UCL / CONTRIBUTOR
Colin Stetson is a virtuoso saxophonist, famous not only for playing on records with the likes of Tom Waits and David Byrne, but also for his incredibly imaginative and boundary-pushing playing style. Following his latest album, New History Warfare, Vol.3, Stetson played two consecutive nights at the enigmatic Café OTO earlier this month. The supporting act was Guillaume Viltard – an experimental double bass duo who created creepy and disturbing
BIG WHEEL AND OTHERS
/ NEELIYA DE SILVA / UCL / CONTRIBUTOR
/ GEORGE MCVICAR / QUEEN MARY / MUSIC EDITOR
Cass McCombs’s latest double album Big Wheel and Others shows an adventurous side to the often enigmatic singer-songwriter. With 19 new tracks and running at 85 minutes, McCombs’s languidly drawn portrait of America in all its sprawling expansiveness encapsulates its lonesome dreamers, drifters and castaways. It is haphazard and jangled, maybe it’s just too damn big, but there’s something enthralling about it anyway. Incorporating genres from country folk to jazzy blues, the pleasingly rhythmic “Morning Star” showcases this glimmering landscape. “Angel Blood” dreamily lifts you into its lulling melody: “immortality belongs to the poor”, he sings. But mortal joy is preferred in McCombs’s eyes: from the heartbreakingly wishful optimism in the “There Can Be Only One”, to the sincerity in the wistful love song “Aeon of Aquarius Blues”, there’s something candid and vulnerable coming out here, an unwavering belief in love in all its fragility and delusion. The recently deceased Karen Black, who featured in 2009’s Catacombs highlight “Dreams-Come-True Girl”, and to whom the album is dedicated, shines in single “Brighter!”, where her weary croon complements the lyrics. She knew that there’s an element of absurdity to all this cheerful optimism, yet we still want to believe her words anyway.
Indeed, it was often hard to believe that so much noise could come from one man – using a microphone strapped to his throat, he sang harrowing harmonies through the beefy baritone basslines, and the rhythmic clacking of the keys was a charming by-product of his playing. “Among the Sef” was particularly beautiful, managing to fill every crack of the room with enormous expanses of swelling Phillip Glassinspired arpeggios. “This song is about fear”, he announced before launching into his masterpiece, “Judges”.
(FANTASY SOUND) After a series of singles and mixes, Daniel Avery has finally released a full-length album on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label. Generally, it strikes a nice balance between deep and dark tracks and those that keep their heads above the surface. Take the opening track “Water Jump”: it could have easily meandered off to the dance floors of Fabric, which often favour beefy textures and power-driven dynamics. However, his samples of delicate vocals contrast with the harsher repetitive melody, pulling it back to a place that’s altogether more refined. The aptly named “These Nights Never End” then cuts – some of the noises sound like knives being sharpened – into something stronger and more forceful. The midway switch of “Platform Zero” from delicate piano notes to industrial white noise sums up the album pretty well: a kind of harsh delicacy, not jarring, but not dulcet either. It’s the kind of album that could be played quietly in your room but could also work a club to rapturous response. The reason for this must have something to do with Avery’s musical background: before producing, he was a DJ through and through. The album’s tendency to jump around is reminiscent of a perfectly formed DJ set, varied and hard-hitting, then gentle in all the right places, setting up contrasts that emphasise each individual track.
/ TOM MOUNA / COURTAULD / CONTRIBUTOR
CHANCE OF RAIN
Laurel Halo’s new album came swiftly after her debut Quarantine, which can rightfully be considered a modern classic. Deeply conceptual and haunting, it was awarded Album of the Year by The Wire. And now, after only a few months, she has brought us a new album, just as strange and bewitching as her last. Stylistically, this album is very different. Where Quarantine played with Oneohtrix-style synthesizers and loops, Chance of Rain has some more organic sounds cropping up, including some piano and woodwind which work wonderfully well. One significant (and perhaps unfortunate) departure for Laurel Halo has been a step away from the microphone, shifting her focus instead towards a more rhythmic and percussive sound. At times, this can even feel like listening to a Shackleton album, with its raw energy and manic cross-rhythms. While her instrumental work is still brilliant, I wonder why someone with such an incredible voice wouldn’t flaunt it. A personal highlight for me is “Ainnome”, which marries an incredibly bold and grandiose song structure with James Blakestyle chords and intricate drum-machine patterns. It’s rare for someone with only two albums to cultivate a genuinely unique sound, but in this regard, Laurel Halo has truly triumphed.
/ GEORGE MCVICAR / QUEEN MARY / MUSIC EDITOR
Montreal-based experimental musician Tim Hecker returns with Virgins, his first effort since 2011’s unforgettable Ravedeath, 1972. Mostly recorded with orchestral music collective Bedroom Community, Virgins uses a natural live-room environment that offsets Hecker’s talent for crafting ghostly, ambient electronica. Virgins sees Hecker opting for a darker and more foreboding vision. Lead single “Virginal II” showcases a build-up of seesawing horror movie-like tension that leads to a dazzling burst of noise. Hecker’s seamless blending of his digital drones with organic sound works well in his favour: we hear emotions, fear and desire, filtered through a distorted, mechanical soundsccape. The album frequently grows sparse, where repetitive motifs attempts to develop into something grander, but we hear them eventually failing, dissolving into silence. “Amps, Drugs, Harmonium” presents this distressing anticlimax, and “Radiance” highlights a lonesome clarinet sound fading fast into the gloom. Virgins sees Hecker at his most affecting and best, full of insistent urgency that dissipates unfulfilled into a form of bleak oblivion.
/ NEELIYA DE SILVA / UCL / CONTRIBUTOR
ART E D I S OUTTHE
# 3 - ART ON THE UNDERGROUND The relationship between the art world and the London Underground is long and established. In 1908, publicity officer of the Underground, Frank Pick, commissioned leading contemporary artists to work on a poster campaign, setting a precedent for an artistic future. Recently, the drive to create “world class art for a world class Tube” has grown due to the involvement of artists such as Barbara Kruger, Yinka Shonibare and Tracy Emin, adding a dash of controversy and celebrity to the campaign. The latest installment of this tradition comes in the form of a celebration: as the Underground celebrates its 150-year history, several artistic initiatives have been commissioned. Poster Art 150, an exhibition at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden commemorates this artistic history by exhibiting a series of posters from TFL’s life. Open until January 2014, it’s a must-see for any design enthusiast. But perhaps the most fascinating is Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth. A journey on the Tube bombards us with visual culture: station walls and corridors are lined with advertisements warning us, encouraging us, and persuading us. With three and a half million people parading onto its carriages
each day, the tube is itself a massive viewing platform.
community, and particularly young people, with the Underground.
Amongst all of this, Wallinger’s mazes pasted to the walls are often so discreet they go unnoticed. This is perhaps intentional. Wallinger’s work visually discusses his relationship with the Tube in candid terms. Although each labyrinth contains a subtle variation in composition, one common theme holds fast: there is only one route in.
Whilst the sci-fi inspired Transporter works (available to see in Bethnal Green, Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove stations) are credited both to artist Harold Offeh and the young people of the Baraka Youth Association and Canalside Activity Centre, the Labyrinth Schools Poster Competition saw school children across London vie for the chance to have their designs become an Underground poster.
This visual analogy is one that Londoners can identify with. From the outside, the Underground system appears complex and alien, but for many of us this fades with familiarity. Our routes are set, programmed into our heads as we routinely travel from home to study or work. Even in cases of variation, knowledge of the tube often leads the Londoner to take the preferred route, already previously tried and tested. Running alongside Labyrinth, the 15 for 150 project is another Art on the Underground scheme designed to celebrate the Tube’s birthday. Whereas Wallinger’s labyrinths will grace each and every London Underground station, this is a scheme focused on fifteen of our larger interchanges. There seems to be a concerted effort here to engage the London
THE YOUNG DÜRER Guardian reviewer Jonathan Jones awarded the Courtauld Gallery’s current exhibition a single star. The display having left me suitably impressed, I thought an alternative perspective was necessary. I’m not exactly sure what Jones was anticipating when he went into an exhibition entitled The Young Dürer: Drawing the Figure, the stated aim of which is an exploration of the artist’s formative influences through the medium of – you guessed it – drawing. You’d have thought such an exhibition was right up Jones’s street after his praise in 2010 of the Courtauld’s “intelligent” exhibition programme, in particular its “erudite exhibition of Old Master drawings”. He could easily have been referring to The Young Dürer, but oddly enough, his review of this latest exhibition laments its scholarly appeal, accusing the gallery of “academic introspection”.
Wallinger’s mazes pasted to the walls are often so discreet they go unnoticed
This may be just a veneer, posing the project as government-funded art for social good.
Yet the release of posters and prints of these projects seems to be more of a moneymaking exercise than an altruistic gesture for those in need. Only the quirky rarity of additional projects, such as the BFI’s Canary Wharf Underground themed film broadcasts, lets TFL off the hook. There is something quite thrilling about Art on the Underground, whether it be stumbling across one of Wallinger’s prints, or suddenly noticing that the escalators at your local station are guiding you into some sort of spaceship. Discovering something new on the mundane commute gives a little kick to the Underground experience. But this project seems to lack any ultimate sense of direction. It asks no questions, doesn’t challenge the commuter’s perceptions or make any real revolutionary points. We know the Tube is a maze. We know that traveling this way has a slight feel of retro science fiction. Art on the Underground is a great concept, but shouldn’t it be, well, a little more… underground?
/ MOLLIE WITCOMBE / COURTAULD / CONTRIBUTOR
A NEW EXHIBITION AT THE COURTAULD OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO THE MATURATION OF ONE OF ART’S BEST KNOWN FIGURES. BUT IS THE GUARDIAN’S NEGATIVITY WARRANTED?
From ad-lib observations and preparatory drawings to finished prints, the exhibition traces not only Dürer’s development from apprentice to journeyman but also the evolution of the Renaissance print from conception to finished product. Highlights include the large woodcuts The Men’s Bath House (c. 1496) and The Flagellation (1496-7). The former demonstrates a mastery of the male nude to rival that of Michelangelo; together they tell of a confidence in engraving that within ten years would secure the artist’s place in history. Quick observations – a melancholy selfportrait, the artist’s left leg, a sleeping Michael Wolgemut – are equally fascinating in their immediacy. A touchingly human side to this art history giant is afforded through an intimate pen and ink portrait of his wife from 1494, the year of their marriage, tenderly inscribed “Meine Agnes”.
Other objects on display – some fifty-one works by Dürer’s idol Martin Schöngauer and a number of unnamed German and Italian masters and assistants of the fifteenth century – illustrate the artistic context within which Dürer developed his characteristic style, and are just as important as his own formative creations in informing an understanding of the artist’s mature works. Dürer was a visionary – one of the first Western artists to practice self-portraiture, an early explorer of the possibilities of an international art market, and a learned intellectual to boot – rightly deserving his place in the textbooks. A thorough and stimulating introduction to this master of the Northern Renaissance awaits all those who visit the Courtauld Gallery this winter.
/ OLIVER MITCHELL / COURTAULD / CONTRIBUTOR
ALBRECHT DÜRER (1471-1528) MEIN AGNES (MY AGNES), C. 1494 PEN AND INK
art under attack FROM SAINTS TO SUFFRAGETTES
Today the avant-garde artist is praised. The more original (and sometimes visceral) the work of art, the more interest it generates both inside and outside the gallery. “Image-breaking” is nothing new. Since the nineteenth century, the progression of an art movement has always depended on a dialogue between artists and protesters, both rebelling against the status quo. Tate Britain’s Art Under Attack is the first exhibition to survey Britain’s original image-breakers, iconoclasts, and contemporary risk-takers. Whilst iconoclasm usually refers to the violent destruction of images in religious art, the exhibition also alludes to contemporary art, creating a bridge between various movements in which art has faced intense public scrutiny. Art Under Attack chronologically displays a host of media that demonstrates an encyclopaedic understanding of iconoclasm in Britain. The museum’s exhibition is divided into nine rooms engaging with the motives behind iconoclasm, be they religious, political or aesthetic. The first room reveals the power of Henry VIII. As the Supreme Head of the Church of England, he refused images that were “superstitiously abused”, meaning that any shrine or reference to the Pope was banned. Whilst the state ruled for the destruction of references to the Pope, no one ruled for the conservation and restoration of these artworks. Similarly, in response to the biblical commandment “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above” (Exodus 20:4-6), images of saints were purposefully removed from
canvases. In an iconoclastic Photoshopesque manner, the saints were simply cut out, never to be pasted back into the picture. Why were these pictures not restored? Throughout the exhibition, chosen vandalized artworks have been restored, partially if not completely. Yet, when the purpose of the exhibition is to teach the viewers about the destruction of images, should such art be restored?
of their country: London’s public art museums. In 1914 at the National Gallery, Mary Richardson slashed Diego Velazquez’s The Toilet of Venus (16471651) with a meat cleaver [centre]. This Suffragette attacked the nude because of its idealisation of women within the safe confines of an exhibit, a stark opposition to the reality of women’s daily treatment. Her act was an avant-garde confrontation of the politics of the early 20th century. As a result, museums closed for two weeks, promising a bittersweet taste of reform.
When the purpose of the exhibition is to teach the viewers about the destruction of images, should such art be restored?
THE SLASHED NUDE: AN IMAGE OF EARLY FEMINIST PROTEST - NOW GLOSSED OVER?
The attacks on art were scandalous, and in its preservation of these works, the museum fails to document this fraught history. The Suffragettes room, with its surveillance photographs and warrants of arrest, shows the real dangers surrounding iconoclasm. These “imagebreakers” demanded political change, and they struck at the cultural core
Richardson, amongst other Suffragettes, joined the Women’s Social and Political Union, founded in 1903. Such figures are surely precursors to the Guerilla Girls, a group of anonymous, gorillamask-wearing feminist women who use humour and sobering statistics to expose sexism and racism in today’s politics and art. But Tate Britain’s exhibition does not give voice to the Guerilla Girls.
Rather, the Suffragette room is filled, yet again, with repaired work. We witness not the slashed canvas of Velazquez’s The Toilet of Venus, but rather a photograph. The fact that the original artwork was completely restored sheds light on the value that is embedded in art and its function in a museum. The exhibition lacks a real discussion of the interrelation of art’s creation, destruction and restoration. Furthermore, defacing art has continued with contemporary art. The Tate’s purchase of Carl Andre’s Equivalent VIII (1966), which is literally a pile of bricks, brought about public controversy. In 1976, a visitor threw a bucket of blue liquid onto the minimal exhibit. Soon thereafter, the dye was completely removed, and Andre’s piece re-exhibited multiple times. However, restoring this piece of art avoids its true history. The scandal and celebrity is part of the work of art and, arguably, should not be merely washed off. Its pristine display in the current exhibition reminds the viewer that no matter how much they may disagree with a piece of art, or artistic statement, the museum functions as the institution with the most power. Art is Britain’s unbreakable thread that, no matter how many times it is tried, weaves the country’s rich cultural tapestry. The term ‘avant-garde’, first adopted from French into late Middle English, connotes the foremost troops of an advancing army. Art is prepared for the battle. Bring on the war.
/ AIMEE RUBENSTEEN / COURTAULD / CONTRIBUTOR
SHUNGA: SEX AND PLEASURE IN JAPANESE ART Three rooms, spilling with awkward gasps and giggles, exhibit the British Museum’s current show Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art. Curated by Tim Clark, the exhibition presents a collection of the sexually explicit Japanese art of Shunga, which dates from 1600 to 1900. Shunga, an intimate and often perhaps comical form of erotic artwork, was used as a guide to lovemaking for married couples or as titillating images for the pleasure-seeker. The viewer is thereby challenged to question the line between art and pornography: does Shunga occupy a strange middle ground? The exhibition is one of clever and often amusing juxtaposition. Opening with a relatively tame image from Kitagawa Utamaro’s Poem of the Pillow sequence, it slowly familiarizes the viewer with the style of Shunga. The patterned, fluid fabric covering the copulating pair in the image mutes the sexual activity that forms the subject matter of the majority of the featured artworks. The lovers’ faces turn in towards each other,
the female with her back to the viewer, and the outlines of their bodies merge into one in an image of beautiful intimacy, thus introducing the voyeuristic dimension of the exhibition. Are these representations of sex we are permitted to gaze upon, or should we avert our eyes out of some sense of prudish propriety? The viewer is soon met with a flood of explicit sexual activity. A woman is pleasured by an octopus. An array of enlarged penises become visible. Scores of legs open to reveal nothing-barred depictions of the vulva. Yet their ecstasy bridges the gap between public and private, as eyes are closed and backs turn away from their viewer-voyeurs. The artists’ focus on rich fabric and the fluidity of lines create striking images of sexual harmony. Whereas our notion of modern pornography is crude and fleshy, Shunga shows the beauty of sex. Whilst the images are essentially pornographic in their subject matter, their depiction places them simultaneously in the realm of art. It must be remembered that the definitions
of both art and pornography are far from concrete, and thus our reaction to the works is put under scrutiny as a result. Does the label make all the difference? Britain has always had a reputation as something of a prudish nation. Our hesitancy towards sex is paradoxical: any public showcasing of sexual content is instantly subjected to a barrage of gender politics and moral censorship, yet despite this, all forms of media present sex as a spectacle. The British Museum perhaps plays up to the latter, using it as a selling point. However, curator Tim Clark seems to go beyond this in creating a pertinent critique of how we feel about looking at these images in a public environment. The exhibition presents sex as both a subject worthy of art and an activity in its own right in a culture entirely isolated from modern Britain – though it’s just off Great Russell Street.
/ HANNAH ROKE / COURTAULD / CONTRIBUTOR
1. UCL UCL most commonly appears on screen as a university, such as in Inception (2010). However, it seems to have a knack for impersonation. It has appeared as The British Museum (in The Mummy Returns (2001), pictured), St. Thomas’s Hospital (in Atonement, 2007) and the Bank of London (in Thunderbirds, 2004).
2. KCL & THE COURTAULD
3. BIRKBECK & SOAS
4. QUEEN MARY
Students at King’s or the Courtauld share an iconic spot: Somerset House. The courtyard shows an enormous versatility, from the streets of New York in Sleepy Hollow (1999, pictured), to the MI6 headquarters in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Other films include The Duchess (2008) and Sherlock Holmes (2009).
An air of darkness lies over Senate House, perhaps cast by rumours of it being handpicked by Hitler to be his English headquarters. From the corridors of the Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) to the gothic courtroom in Batman Begins (2005, pictured), authority and control are key themes. Good luck with those essays.
Bethnal Green Town Hall is the most popular location in the area, especially with Guy Ritchie. He used the location both as Hatchet-Harry’s office in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and as the tailor’s shop in Snatch (2000). Other films include Atonement (2007, pictured).
/ KIT HARWOOD / KCL / FILM EDITOR
THE DUKE MITCHELL FILM CLUB
The Duke Mitchell Film Club is set in the back room of a delightful underground bar, the Phoenix Artist Club on Charing Cross Road. If you fancy a night consisting of relaxing with a pint, having a laugh, and feeling completely at home in a room full of strangers, then this one’s for you. The theme for October was (unsurprisingly) “Halloween”, and the screenings started with a 20-minute amalgamation of hilariously terrible 80s horror movie trailers. The compilation was brilliantly archived footage of yesteryear’s horror movie tomfoolery. There is a lot to learn about our dark collective fears from the trailer of Cannibal, in which a young and tormented George Michael lookalike’s only means of selfexpression is to eat everyone he meets. The movie trailer mash-up was followed by a short 70s skit called Flesh Eating Film Reels. Sorry to spoil the ending, but despite crafty
attempts to waylay the reel’s tape with a magnet, the protagonist does end up getting eaten alive. I cannot claim to have seen a better (or more obvious) visualisation of the terrifyingly violent possibilities of cinema. I’d also like to give a shout-out to the mustachioed host, Evrim, whose chaperoning of the evening made it a genuine blast. The highlight of the night was surely The Event directed by Julia Pott – a frighteningly visceral teddy-bear apocalypse cartoon alongside a brilliant poem by Tom Chivers. I’m pleased to say that the Duke Mitchell Film Club officially comes with the Smoke seal of approval. To check it out for yourself, visit next month’s “Early Christmas” themed film night on 25 November.
/ ALFRED CLARKE / GOLDSMITHS / CONTRIBUTOR
EVERY YEAR, THE UK’S LARGEST PUBLIC FILM EVENT - THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL - TAKES THE CITY BY STORM, OFFERING OVER 300 SCREENINGS. NOW IN ITS 57TH YEAR, IT’S A STAPLE IN THE CALENDAR OF ANY FILM FAN. TWO OF OUR TRUSTY CONTRIBUTORS HEADED TO THE FESTIVAL, BUT WHAT DID THEY MAKE OF THE OFFERINGS?
dir. Steven Knight
In Locke, writer-director Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) seems to be asking himself the question: “Could you set a 90 minute feature inside a car with only one visible actor who spends most of his time on the phone? And, more importantly, would the film actually be enjoyable?” Knight’s answer is a resounding “yes”. The film takes its name from lead Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy, below left), a construction site manager who has the biggest job of his career commencing in less than 12 hours. Getting into his car, he begins both a physical crosscountry journey and a personal emotional journey, keeping the audience completely captivated from start to finish as we watch his life slowly fall apart around
him. It is difficult to explain just how incredible the film is without spoilers, but what can be said is that there is not one moment where the story lags or the narrative blunders. Instead, plot devices, narrative events, and character motivations are carefully woven together to create effortless dialogue and completely believable human situations. Knight’s writing and directing are all about nuance. Not one piece of dialogue felt superfluous or staged, in part also due to Hardy’s phenomenal acting. Throughout the journey, Ivan has telephone conversations with various friends and family (Olivia Coleman, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson) via the Bluetooth setup in his car, conversations which blend smoothly from agonizing confessions to familial secrets then to hilarious drunken banter. To have such a vast range of tense and moving
moments all within the setting of a car clearly shows the merit of both Hardy’s performance and Knight’s flawless script. Visually, the viewer rarely gets bored of the same motorway that Locke drives down. Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos does an impressive job of turning the M1 into a mirage of shallow focus headlights, suggestive lorry signs and hazy orange lampposts that merge into a mesmerizing homage to a solitary nighttime drive. Locke is a film that breaks boundaries through its innovative concept and artistic execution, creating a feature so extraordinary and unprecedented in its style that one hopes it marks a new beginning for British filmmaking. It is sensational. Go watch it. / EMMA SMITH / KCL / CONTRIBUTOR
SIXTEEN dir. Rob Brown
Sixteen, the directorial debut of Rob Brown, was filmed in London with £60,000. Fortunately, the relatively low budget doesn’t detract from the feel, production or the finish of the film.
genuine empathy that grants him some leeway in his questionable actions. It’s almost as if Jumah can’t do right for doing wrong.
Its storyline is fresh and enjoyable, covering a span of a few days during which main character Jumah (above right) – soon to turn 16 and living in London with his adoptive mother – witnesses a crime. Ultimately we see that even when you take someone from the atrocity-filled surroundings of their younger years, there will be latent consequences.
As a viewer, it is understandable as to why he has acted – or reacted – to the situation he is in, but only because we are privileged with knowing both sides of the story. He’s not a bad guy, nor is he a good guy: he’s a guy who has lived through real trauma. The way he responds to the events to which he is exposed to during the film is a matter of cause and effect, nurture rather than nature.
We’re told that Jumah is from the Congo, and in various scenes, hints are dropped as to what may have happened in his past, allowing us to feel
Part of what makes the film so effective is the naturalistic performances. During the Q&A it was revealed that as part of the prep for the film, Roger
Jean Nsengiyumva (Jumah), himself a survivor of genocide in Rwanda, lived with Rachael Stirling (who plays his adoptive mother) for a week before filming started. Through this process they were able to get to know each other and form a better on-screen bond, which certainly pays off. The film is a nominee for the Sutherland Trophy, which is awarded annually by the British Film Institute to the maker of the most original and imaginative first feature film screened during London Film Festival. It’s certainly a worthy entry.
/ NIGEL PACQUETTE / BIRKBECK / CONTRIBUTOR
ELEANOR DOUGHTY LOOKS BACK ON SOME OF LONDON’S FINEST STYLE ICONS STEPHEN TENNANT, 1906-1987 Stephen Tennant, son of Lord Glenconner, 1920s Bright Young Thing and second cousin of Lord Alfred Douglas, was one of the twentieth century’s first fashion eccentrics. A poster boy for the new youth movement, Tennant couldn’t care less what people thought of his Charles James leopard pyjamas, full face of makeup and dyed gold-dusted hair. “The Honourable Stephen Tennant arrived in an electric brougham wearing a football jersey and earrings,” wrote The Daily Express in 1927. Whilst his days were spent dressing up and reading tales of himself in the gossip columns, his great love was poet Siegfriend Sasson, the pacifist old enough to have fathered him. Serving as literary inspiration for fellow Bright Young Things – Sebastian Flyte in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited and Cedric Hampton in Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate – the dandyish beauty rubbed noses with the glittering stars of the time, from Tallulah Bankhead to Greta Garbo and Jean Cocteau. One of his many beauty tips included “an absolute ban on facial grimacing or harsh, wrinkle-forming laughter”; he was, as Osbert Sitwell described after World War II, “the last professional beauty”. Following the war, Tennant spent the subsequent seventeen years in “decorative reclusion”, but still “reeking of perfume” and “covered with foundation”. Despite his growing obesity – he would reason “but I’m beautiful… the more of me there is, the better I like it” – he continued to recreate the sensational picture of his youth until his death in 1987.
MARY QUANT, B.1934 In 1955, out of the post-war fog, smog and darkness, Londoner Mary Quant opened Bazaar, a boutique for young people on the
King’s Road. Leading light of the Swinging Sixties, she is often cited as the inventor of the miniskirt, and it was with this garment and the later hotpants that she became most widely associated, as well as her trademark black and white flower logo. She considered these developments practical and liberating, allowing women to run for a bus. One look at Quant’s trademark bob evokes vividly the Sixties mod subculture, which she was instrumental in developing. As her business became successful, a second store was opened in Knightsbridge, stocking unique pieces that appealed to the freespirited youth of the city. Plastic knee-high boots, boxy shift dresses and ribbed polo necks all found their place at Bazaar. Remaining true to her mod roots, Quant expanded her wares to include makeup and accessories including the patterned tights she designed to match her micro miniskirts. Now constantly popular in stores worldwide, the miniskirt lives on, as does the legacy of Mary Quant.
DAVID BOWIE, B.1947 Ziggy Stardust started with a haircut on Beckenham High Street and some red hair dye, inspired by Marie Helvin. A cultural mash up of everything the young Bowie was inspired by – the makeup à la Alice Cooper, the outfit Clockwork Orange-esque – Ziggy Stardust was to become David Bowie’s most visually memorable persona. But glam rock was just one chapter of his encyclopaedia of style; the ultimate early adopter began a trend for tapered-leg trousers at his school in Bromley, and dyed his hair with food colouring. Undoubtedly a piece of London, Bowie was honoured earlier this year at the V&A in their David Bowie Is… exhibition, the infamously long queues a testament to his legendary status.
Slaughtering Ziggy for new soul influences, 1976 saw the arrival of Bowie’s Thin White Duke. Part inspired by Judi Dench in Cabaret and life in Los Angeles, he adopted dandyish tailoring, often favouring an Yves Saint Laurent suit in powder-blue and monochrome Ola Hudson ensembles. By 1980, following some time on the Continent, Bowie’s theatricality was back, care of the New Romantics. Think cyberclowns and London’s own Blitz club, duets with Queen and the Goblin King in Labyrinth. All pretty freaky, but all in a day’s work for David Bowie, the icon of style icons.
ISABELLA BLOW, 1958-2007 The outlandish former assistant to Anna Wintour turned fashion editor, mentor and muse, Isabella Blow truly captured the scene of London. Driven by unrivalled creativity, she is recognised for having inspired a generation of designers, and discovering models Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant. The first champion of late design maestro Alexander McQueen, she famously bought his entire graduate collection upfront and there began her continued support. She never dressed down: discovering milliner Phillip Treacy in 1988, she wore his designs at her wedding and henceforth throughout her life, having them made in duplicate. A true fashion maven, she delighted in shocking. One of her favourite outfits was a McQueen tulle and hide dress with a visible hole where the dagger had killed the animal; she was married in a dark purple medieval robe and wore a crystalstudded lobster headpiece for a fashion show. Her dear friend Daphne Guinness, in the year Blow took her own life, recalled to
the Financial Times the “laser-cut black leather dress Alexander McQueen had made her”, and the “shocking pink Jun Takahashi burka she had insisted on wearing to a show in Paris”. A lover of red lips, and later collaborator with MAC, Blow described her lipstick habit as necessary: “if I put my lips on, it just makes me feel alive.” This winter, Isabella Blow is honoured in a major fashion exhibition celebrating her extraordinary life and wardrobe. Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! is open 20 November 2013 – March 2014 at Somerset House. Visit somersethouse.org.uk for more information.
KATE MOSS, B.1974 Love her or loathe her, mega-model and nineties teen star Kate Moss is often the first named as London’s style icon. Dubbed “London’s most-copied girl” by American Vogue in the millennium, her personal style credentials have skyrocketed her to eternal paparazzi fame. Like any high style priestess, her off-duty looks have launched a thousand fads, from denim cut-offs to mismatched bikinis, Ugg boots, ballet flats and all things leopard print. As if being captured on film by photographic greats Mario Testino, Bruce Weber and Irving Penn wasn’t enough, Ms Moss has produced a whopping fourteen Topshop collaboration collections and launched four perfumes. The high street brand have recently announced that the next Kate Moss x Topshop collaboration will hit stores for summer 2014, bringing her total up to fifteen. And as if her schedule wasn’t packed enough, this season British Vogue have named her as contributing fashion editor, meaning she’ll spend some time on the other side of the camera too.
/ ELEANOR DOUGHTY / QUEEN MARY / CONTRIBUTOR
At last month’s Bloomsbury Festival, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion and Professor Mark Ford discussed the role libraries played in their lives during their talk “Poets in the Library”. They bring inspiration and enchantment, with Ford describing them as “sites of scholarship and of erotic excitement.” Inspired by Motion and Ford, we decided to share our favourite London libraries. THE BRITISH LIBRARY, EUSTON ROAD The BL, the UK’s national library, is the most reliable and informative of the bunch, containing a copy of every single book published in the UK and Ireland (giving it a staggering 150 million titles in total). My first trip to the BL was somewhat intimidating: rows and rows of academics were poring over crinkled manuscripts and leather-bound periodicals, and there seemed to be an unspoken rule as to who sits where. But there is certainly room for the student. Order books online, and as long as they are on-site, they will be in your reading room of choice within 70 minutes. Reading rooms are bright white with cavernous ceilings, and desks benefit from individual lamps. There is a marvellous (if a tad pricey) café, selling hearty lunches and gooey afternoon treats. The coffee and walnut cake is just scrumptious.
SENATE HOUSE LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON, MALET STREET Senate House dominates the Bloomsbury skyline, towering over a square of neatly-kept Georgian townhouses. Housed within its whitewashed stone walls is part of the University of London library. It is a daunting experience climbing the iron staircases, searching for that one book amongst the thousands spread over five floors. But it means that Senate House’s huge collection
of arts, humanities and social science titles may just save you when essay deadlines are imminent and you’ve got to get a copy of that rare book! The wooden bookshelves and quaint desks make the Goldsmith’s Reading Room a splendid study space, and the Periodicals room has just been reinvented into a gorgeously lush room with rows of leather-bound sofas.
WELLCOME LIBRARY, EUSTON ROAD The Wellcome Library is only a few minutes’ walk from Senate House Library, but so very different. I found the library last year while taking a course on the history of medicine. It is not that useful for those not studying a medical-related topic, but it stands in stark contrast to the other libraries in this guide. You are not lost within its walls, overwhelmed by the rows and rows of shelves or fighting with fellow students for a seat: it’s quiet and small, separate from university baggage, and this is why I go. I don’t even have to use its books, I just sit, distraction-free, knowing I won’t bump into anyone, and I write.
COURTAULD INSTITUTE OF ART LIBRARY, SOMERSET HOUSE Unless you are a Courtauld student, it can be a bit of a rigmarole to gain entry to this library: you must be
able to prove that there is a title that you require in this specialist art library which is unavailable elsewhere. But if you do manage to blag your way in or sneak over the barrier, you will find yourself in the dreamy depths of Somerset House, amidst red-brick vaulted ceilings and steel spiral staircases. Packed with over 190,000 art titles, the library is home to a spectacular collection of rare books, periodicals, exhibition catalogues and pamphlets. I have heard that rats have been spotted scurrying along the shelves; I guess in a strange way this just adds to its charm.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE LIBRARY, WIMPOLE STREET Nestled just behind Oxford Street, this is one of the largest postgraduate biomedical research centres in Europe. The collection exceeds half a million volumes and promotes the interdisciplinary nature of medicine by housing countless portraits, memoirs and historical case reports alongside the most cutting-edge journals in biomedicine. The interior, with its floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and cascades of balconies is breathtaking and offers a tranquil, special space to study. There are several public exhibitions throughout the year, which feature an aspect of the history of medicine, illness, or the medical profession.
/ ELIZABETH METCALFE / KCL / BOOKS EDITOR // NATHAN LADD / KCL / CONTRIBUTOR // HARRIET WILLIAMS / UCL / CONTRIBUTOR
LONDON BY CHAPTER, #2 In this issue, Flora Neville explores Virginia Woolf’s review of E.V Lucas’ book London Revisited and takes a trip down Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. It’s a foggy Friday when I look up into the stony face of “one of the few pieces of sculpture in the streets of London that is pleasing to the eye” – or so said Virginia Woolf in a review of London Revisited. The review was published in The Times Literary Supplement in November 1916, and to reflect on her view of the street almost a century ago, I thought I’d review Woolf’s review.
gaze. She holds an upturned urn from which trickles no stream of water into a basin, long dry, below her. Pigeons perch on the rim forlornly. She governs a small traffic island that “fronts the gates of the Foundling Hospital”, her throne above the entrance to public lavatories built in 1837. I wonder if perhaps this lady was situated there as a sort of matron – checking whether children have washed their hands.
Woolf’s opinion of Lucas is initially ambivalent, and his neglect to mention the Frances Whiting Fountain, the aforementioned sculpture deemed by Woolf to be “pleasing to the eye”, does him no favours. Woolf, in her rather tart manner, opines that “in future editions of this book we hope Mr Lucas will spare her a word of praise.” Trusting in Woolf’s judgement, I ventured down Lamb’s Conduit Street to pay homage. She is a marmoreal-looking lady in every sense, sitting at a haughty height, draped in stone cloth with a stern
LAMB’S CONDUIT STREET: NORTHWARD VIEW FROM GREAT ORMOND STREET TOWARDS CORAM’S FIELDS, 1949, BY BEN BROOKSBANK
The heritage explorer website promises much about these listed lavatories – apparently “they have yellow tiles, mahogany doors, decorative grills and original fittings.” The imagination whirls in to a Victorian bathroom interior, with leaky taps and melodic echoes resounding off mustard-coloured tiles. The imagination is all we have to rely on. The decorative grills are now locked and chained, and the staircase spirals downwards into a threatening abyss of soggy brown leaves, coke cans and condoms. What would the matron say? Above the geometric letters spelling LADIES is a scratched “All the Single” which doesn’t quite go with the waste matter littering the steps. For Woolf, and for me, this inconsequential tableau is representative of the unique charm of London, which is that “the whole story is fascinating and the material endless.” We live in a city in which even a traffic island conjures up imagined histories. London is literally and literarily fabulous, reincarnated through real and imagined fables. / FLORA NEVILLE / KCL / CONTRIBUTOR
BEN LLOYD-HUGHES, ACTOR Since graduating from Guildhall two years ago, Ben Lloyd-Hughes has been keeping busy. He’s just ﬁnished working on Divergent with Kate Winslet, and he’s starring in Michael Grandage’s Henry V. He spoke to us about his love/ hate relationship with Jude Law, his villainous face, and playing Ed Miliband. So, Henry V – how are rehearsals going? They were great today. Lots of ﬁght stuff, so lots of swords! In general, rehearsals are going pretty well. Have you spoken to anyone else from the show or am I...? You are the ﬁrst, last, and only person that I’m talking about this to, so please don’t lie. [Laughs] You’re getting the scoop from me? Some might say the ‘Scroop’! Oh god. Anyway… you’re doubling up the characters of Scroop and Dauphin. What’s it like to be the man who hates Jude Law [Henry V] the most? [Laughs] Very good! It’s hard, because I love Jude. Not just since rehearsals started, but for a long time. When I was at school, I had a bit of a crush on him, so it’s quite hard to play someone who… hey, screw you! Scroop doesn’t hate him! He’s a traitor, but that doesn’t mean he hates… …Scroop is a bit of a shit though. Yes. He’s a traitor! But they were very good friends… I think that’s why Henry is so upset that they [betray him]. There’s this amazing scene, quite early on with Jude, and I was literally crying my eyes out about how much I’d let him down because of how close we were.
But Dauphin? Dauphin you could deﬁnitely say detests him. I like it, as a double. There is some really interesting doubling up in the play. I think doubling up Chorus and the Boy was really good… Hang on, how much am I allowed to talk about..? Anything. You did actually let something else slip. I’m guessing from the word ‘swords’ we aren’t to expect a Hytner-style modern adaptation? Oh my god…There are swords, but that isn’t to say there isn’t anything else. It might still be modern…it has a bit of everything. So, something like Edward II at the National? Has Grandage gone all out and thrown everything in? Now I don’t know how much to say. I don’t think I’d be giving too much away by saying that it’s not like Edward II – that was pretty crazy. It was excellent, and mad. I loved it. Agreed. So, what is it about playing villains? Is that something that appeals, or do people just think “evil” when they see you? Haha! Yes, when they see my face. I hope not. It does come up though, because I have played some villainous roles. There is a certain fear in the casting world that you may become that person who has a certain look, or a certain aura. As a young actor, you can’t complain because you’ve actually got roles. I was lucky because I’d been getting work before I went to drama school. I did Skins and stuff like that. I was prepared for lots of waiting around – but I’ve been very lucky, getting to work
with directors like Michael Grandage. I just enjoy every minute of working with him. I’ve seen some amazing productions of Michael’s: Othello at the Donmar… Aha! The next villain? Ben LloydHughes to play Iago? That would be nice – I’d be very surprised! It’s a great idea… If you ever decide to put it on and you’re casting it, you know who to call. You have played some interesting people, though. I couldn’t help but notice a certain Miliband on your credits. Ah, yes. I did that with my brother. It was a ﬁlm called Miliband of Brothers. I was Ed, and he was David. We did actually work together before, in Grease, while we were at school. I was Danny, and he was Kenicke. Oh wow. Just like the Milibands! The younger brother swoops in and takes centre stage. I hope not! I love working with my brother; he’s much funnier than me, I often ﬁnd it hard to keep a straight face. We’ve a project coming up together soon, which I’m really looking forward to. I probably shouldn’t have told you that, either. I’m not going to tell you anything else, actually – you’re going to have to come and see the show. Henry V is showing at the Noel Coward Theatre from 23rd November. £10 day tickets are available. / INTERVIEWED BY SARAH FORTESCUE / CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH AND DRAMA / THEATRE EDITOR
REVIEW: two at southwark playhouse 115,000 people in England and Wales use British Sign Language (BSL). BSL is visual-spatial language whereas spoken English is vocal-auditory. Each has different grammatical rules: “When is your birthday?” becomes YOU BIRTHDAY WHEN. Some BSL signs, such as BURGER, are obvious to anyone who knows what a burger looks like, but many more are completely opaque to non-signers. Historically, the Deaf and BSL communities have been treated horrendously. Deaf children were punished for using sign language at school, isolation from the outside world was prevalent, and BSL was seen as primitive and inferior to spoken English. Starting in the late 20th century, however, individuals and organisations began to challenge these attitudes. Deaﬁnitely Theatre is one such organisation. They aim “to correct the misconceptions about the Deaf world – as well as correcting Deaf peoples’ misconception of the hearing world” while creating something beautiful, as they have
done with their production of Jim Cartwright’s TWO. The central characters, the Landlord and Landlady (Matthew Gurney and Paula Garﬁeld) take the audience down memory lane, using BSL to philosophise and to bicker, to parody and become their own customers (Sophie Stone and Jim Fish). As Fish and Stone switch between characters, they narrate the Landlord and Landlady’s exchanges, while the Landlord and Landlady provide sign interpretations of customers’ dialogues. There are, however, no word-for-word or sign-for-sign translations, giving free reign to poetic expression in both mediums and showcasing some fantastic acting. TWO’s staging meant that speech would sometimes go un-signed and interludes of signing would sometimes go un-narrated. I am sure that Deaf signers, hearing signers and audience members with no signing knowledge consequently came away with different perspectives of TWO, and part of the joy of watching the play was
discussing it afterwards with people from all three groups. Nonetheless, it was hard to suppress the worry that you were missing some details of the plot. Signs alone often communicated more than words, though. Gurney’s excellent comic timing cracked up Deaf and hearing alike, and when the something unsaid (unsigned?) that had been simmering in the background ﬁnally exploded, I am sure I wasn’t the only person watching with a lump in my throat. Deaﬁnitely Theatre aim to encourage audiences to “look beyond the deafness of the actors” and pass judgement only on the “quality of the arts experience”. TWO appears to have surpassed this brief. You will leave wowed by the acting, set and staging, and eager to learn BSL, if only to make your words look just as beautiful, crude and impassioned as they seemed on stage.
/ CAMILA GARCES-BOVETT / UCL / CONTRIBUTOR
the smoke IMAGES: THE DINER ON FACEBOOK
FOOD FOR THE RUSH HOUR: PAK CHOI NOODLE SOUP IN FIVE MINUTES I’m always amazed by how Chinese food – as conflating as this term is – is considered to be a kind of unhealthy, greasy fast food that comes in a paper box: “we’re pressed for time, so let’s get Chinese food.” OK. I follow your logic. Then you order some General Tso’s chicken, and I’m like, who is General Tso? By the time I see the unfortunate poultry bits in a pool of red grease, I am completely lost. “This doesn’t even begin to cover Chinese food,” I protest, “you can get healthy Chinese food really quickly and cheaply.” You blink. There’s a good reason why Chinese food should be considered “fast” food: most East Asian noodles cook much quicker than pasta, and if you’re making noodle soup, it means you can cook all the ingredients in a single pot. Pak choi is great for this: also called Chinese cabbage, it’s a leafy green with a subtle, refreshing taste that’s easy to take to, even for those unfamiliar with Chinese vegetables. It cooks in a couple of minutes and wonderfully accentuates the soy sauce seasoned broth. All these ingredients can be found for a bargain in many Chinatown grocers. Forget the pasta and try making the quick, cheap and healthy pak choi noodle soup your staple term-time meal. Let General Tso rest in his grave – I looked him up on Wikipedia: he died in 1885 and has nothing to do with chickens. / RENA MINEGISHI / KCL / CO-EDITOR
PAK CHOI NOODLE SOUP - SERVES 1 INGREDIENTS - a bundle of dried noodles (egg noodles, wheat-flour noodles... it’s up to you!) - a handful of pak choi, chopped in half width-wise - a tablespoon of soy sauce - a teaspoon of sesame oil 1. Bring a pot of water to boil and throw in the noodles. When the water returns to boiling point, turn down the heat and let it simmer. Set a timer for five minutes. 2. After three minutes, add the pak choi. 3. When the timer goes off, reserve several ladles of the cooking water (this will be the soup – I like to fill a full bowl) and drain. Combine the cooking water, noodle and pak choi in a bowl. 4. Add the soy sauce and stir. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Drizzle sesame oil. 6. Clap at yourself for having produced Chinese deliciousness in five minutes. If you don’t have a bottle of sesame oil, get one! It makes everything super appetising, and because it’s so fragrant you only need a little bit of it for drizzling; a bottle will last a long time. I also like to top the dish with minced spring onions or toasted sesame seeds, and throw a piece of ginger in the cooking water during winter months – it gives the soup an extra kick that keeps you warm for hours.
T BEST BURGERS IN TOWN The Big Smoke is going bonkers about burgers. Burger bars are springing up ten to the dozen in all of London’s nooks and crannies, each professing their dedication to providing customers with the juiciest of meat, the bounciest of buns and the sauciest of sauces (yes folks, there really is such a thing as food porn). Five Guys has set up shop in Covent Garden, Meat Liquor is battling it out with Patty & Bun for supreme burger dominance in Mayfair and Flesh & Buns has completely upended the burger boat by replacing the traditional beef patty with anything from fried sole to crispy piglet belly! With so much choice, making the right decision on how to quell that burger craving is imperative, and if it’s a heartstopping menu that you’re looking for, The Diner is a restaurant that won’t disappoint. By heart-stopping, I don’t mean that The Diner’s wide variety of burgers, toppings and sides turns me into a love-struck sap, although it is the kind of menu that will tickle the affections of any true burger fanatic. What I mean is that a trip to The Diner is one massive, messy, calorific foodfest, where the juice from your burger will drip down your hands and into the huge tray of chilli cheese fries that waiting below. This is not fine dining. It is burgers and cheese, sweet glazes and deep-fried shrimp, hot wings and beer – a heart attack waiting to happen. It is classic American dining at its finest and it is bloody brilliant. I stumbled across the Soho branch of The Diner when the queue for Meat Liquor looked as though it extended as far as Surrey. While I was a little miffed that Meat Liquor had once again evaded me, The Diner’s “Juicy Lucy” quickly brought me around. As erotic as its name, the Juicy Lucy is a St Louis pulled pork patty, filled (by some feat of culinary magic) with cheese sauce,
IMAGE: EMMA HOPE ALLWOOD
topped with spicy coleslaw and BBQ sauce, and encased in a glazed bun. It is a truly winning combination: the pork is succulent and sweet, the cheese sauce oozes out of the crispy casing of the patty and the coleslaw creates a satisfying crunch. What’s more, despite everything that is going on inside it, the glazed bun holds up pretty damn well – an immense relief, as there is nothing so tragic as a soggy burger bun. Personally, I’m a “sides” kinda gal – a burger is nothing without chips, chips are nothing without dip, and when fried shrimp is on the menu it must be ordered at any cost. The sheer number of guises in which your chips can come at The Diner is undeniably impressive: fat, thin, with or without the mysterious “Diner Gravy”, smothered in cheese, or chilli, or both – the choice is yours. I opted for the “Hanger Fries”: crispy chips covered in cheese, smoky onions and burger sauce. This monstrosity should be a meal in itself by rights so I’d recommend sharing with a friend (but I certainly wouldn’t judge if you chose otherwise). If you’re feeling particularly ravenous, pop the fried shrimp onto your list as well, if only to provide brief intervals whilst you’re attempting to finish your burger. Dip it in tartar sauce, take a bite, savour, swallow and repeat. Could there be anything more satisfying? I have returned to The Diner a number of times (I am loath to say just how many), and every time I have left with a wonderful feeling of over-indulgence, which you can only fully appreciate a few hours later once you’ve stopped feeling nauseous. If that’s the sort of gratification you’re looking for in your hunt for the perfect burger, then look no further. / AMANDEEP BAINS / KCL / CONTRIBUTOR
travel BUDGET CHALLENGE
to be pricey BUDGET - £120 FRIDAY Return ticket for an overnight trip on the Megabus (booked in advance) - £36
SATURDAY 2 day Metro pass – £15 Breakfast: a cup of coffee and a croissant – £5 A trip up the Notre Dame Cathedral – FREE Lunch: ﬁlled crêpe available on most street corners – £3 Walking tour of Paris (including the Eiffel Tower and the exterior of the Louvre) www.newparistours.com – FREE Wander the back streets of Montmartre – FREE A photo by the Arc de Triomphe – FREE Dinner: eat at a bistro – £15 A night at a hostel, with advanced online booking – from £15
SUNDAY Lunch: Banh Mi from Banh Mi in Marais Nord – £5 Admire the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions in Centre Pompidou – £9 Dinner: Falafel at L’As du Fallafel, “the falafel destination of Europe” – £4 Explore the Père Lachaise cemetery – FREE Stroll through the Place des Vosges – FREE Read in the historic, famous bookstore Shakespeare & Company – FREE Ticket to the Louvre, advance booking – £10 Take a night walk along Seine – FREE
DO THE LOCOMOTION OUR GUIDE TO TRAVELLING BY TRAIN
To me, there is no better mode of transport than train travel: cheaper than driving, quicker than walking, and not as cramped as a coach (although the people on the 7:32am commuter train from Brighton to London Bridge may beg to differ). I have always loved watching the countryside swoop by, as well as the gamble of booking seats – will 26A be far enough from the toilets to avoid that disinfectant smell? Train journeys are an adventure, from the snacks you buy at the station to the discarded magazine you ﬁnd on your seat at Crewe. Using the tools available to us, including thetrainline.com and 16-25 rail cards, there are ways to save on rail travel, not just within the UK but Europe as well. The InterRail Global Pass provides one of the most budget-friendly and ﬂexible ways to travel Europe. It has different price ranges depending on the amount of time you wish to travel: a Youth ticket (25 or under) for 15 days of continuous travel costs £273, and for 1 month it’s £387. From Podgorica to Bratislava, Ljubljana to Sarajevo, the possibilities are endless, and not only in terms of an Eastern European adventure. Your ability to name the capital of Montenegro at the next pub quiz, complete with a witty anecdote, will deﬁnitely not go amiss!
From Podgorica to Bratislava, Ljubljana to Sarajevo, the possibilities are endless...
Living in London allows us easy access to the international rail terminal of St Pancras. Via the Eurostar you can travel to Paris, Antwerp, Lille and Geneva, naming just a few. With advance prices starting at £66 for a Youth return ticket (12-25 years old) to Paris or Brussels, it’s about the same price as a train ticket to Edinburgh. Though the toilet is grisly, the seats look luxurious and are perfect for settling into for the 2 hour 15 minute journey to Paris with your seminar reading, or maybe even your French phrase book. Before you can learn to ask for “a
IMAGES: EMMA HOPE ALLWOOD
large glass of red wine please”, you ﬁnd yourself drawing into the slightly underwhelming Gare du Nord. The busiest train station in Europe is Londoners’ key to ‘La Ville-Lumière’, and a great place for people-watching. If you needed any added inspiration to take the quick Eurostar over to Paris (or maybe some sartorial advice before packing), the blog Paris in Four Months is ﬁlled with photos that would make even the biggest homebody fall in love with the City of Love. Thetrainline.com has become the ultimate money-saving travel tool for students. I recently tried to book tickets from there to visit my friend in Newcastle: apparently for just £16.85 one way, I could arrive at Newcastle, 02.17am. After toying with the idea of saving £30 (tickets for more appropriate times cost £47 upwards), and trying to ﬁgure out the schedule of dropping bags off, doing make up on trains and going straight out to clubs, I decided it probably wasn’t worth the hassle. The money I could save on a fare for an early morning train would only ensure I spent more on drinks. Whilst I couldn’t brave the outrageous train time, if you’re up for dropping your bags off at the dead of night to head straight to club, thetrainline.com is at your service. There are also a multitude of historical railways that will ﬁll you with that locomotive feeling without the need to travel far and wide. Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway in North Devon is short and sweet, but just as thrilling as a trip to Thorpe Park. It delivers on its name, pulling you rollercoaster style up the 500-foot cliff that spans these two southwesterly coastal towns. Ecofuelled by water since 1888, each car holds 40 people and weighs 10 tons when fully packed, so as I said, not one for the faint-hearted. The Bluebell Railway in East Sussex is deﬁnitely worth the trip for avid steam-engine fans. With the second largest collection of steam locomotives in the UK, at over 30 trains, it will carry you from Shefﬁeld Park to East Grinstead and back in style. For geographers it provides the added excitement of crossing the Greenwich Meridian, passing from the eastern to the western hemisphere. They run various offers throughout the year which can be found on their website. With East Grinstead just an hour’s train ride from Victoria, the Bluebell Railway is another great way of escaping looming deadlines and London smog.
www.interrail.eu www.eurostar.com www.thetrainline.com
/ INDIGO ELLIS / KCL / CONTRIBUTOR
days and nights THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
THURSTON MOORE + JOHN RUSSELL
QUENTIN TARANTINO MARATHON
Shepherd’s Bush Empire 19 November £28
Café OTO 20 November £8
Prince Charles Cinema 23 November, 6:40pm £25
SKATE AT SOMERSET HOUSE
TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE
Ice skating on one of London’s best outdoor rinks Somerset House Courtyard Until 5 January 2014 £8.50
OUR CURATED PICK OF LONDON’S BEST EVENTS OVER THE NEXT THREE WEEKS SHORTS ON TAP: MEASURE OF THE SENSES A showcase of short films based on perception, feeling and experience. Juno Shoreditch 18 November, 8:30pm Free
GNOD The improv Noise/Psychedelia band is bringing tripped-out jams to Stoke Newington. The Waiting Room 21 November £8
ARTIST FILM CLUB: JON RAFMAN + Q&A World premiere of Rafman’s latest film I dig, you dig, and it, the worm, digs too. ICA 21 November, 7pm £5
IAIN SINCLAIR: AMERICAN SMOKE Sinclair discusses writers of the American Beat generation. London Review Bookshop 21 November, 7pm £10
National Portrait Gallery Until 9 February 2014 £2
ADELLE WALDMAN TALKS TO ALAIN DE BOTTON Waldman discusses her debut novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. with Alain de Botton. Book signings afterwards. London Jewish Cultural Centre 21 November, 8pm £10
FOUND AT THE RA An evening of sculpture Workshops, drinks, music and talks organised by University of the Arts students. Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy 6.30-9.30pm 22 November Free
JOHN FREEMAN IN CONVERSATION WITH KAMILA SHAMSIE ON ‘HOW TO READ A NOVELIST’ Freeman, former editor of Granta will be discussing his book and what makes a good novel. Daunt Books, Marylebone. 26 November, 7pm £8, including wine
MARCEL FENGLER/RYAN ELLIOT TBA East London Warehouse 29 November £15
ISABELLA BLOW: FASHION GALORE! Somerset House Until 2 March 2014 £10, £6.25 on Mondays
WOLFGANG VOIGT PRESENTS RÜCKVERZAUBERUNG Church of St John-at-Hackney 5 December £14
FABRICLIVE: HESSLE AUDIO Fabric 6 December £15
THE OLD MUMBAI STREET FOOD FESTIVAL Chor Bizarre, Mayfair Until 30 November Admission free, menu prices apply
DENTALFLUX WINTER VINTAGE WONDERLAND FAIR Old Finsbury Town Hall 24 November Free
SCRIPT READ EAST Live script reads from films and shorts in development. Rich Mix - Bethnal Green Road 24 November, 3pm £4
THE DUKE MITCHELL FILM CLUB: EARLY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Phoenix Artist Club 25 November, 7pm Free
An evening exploring the performed word, with performances from Patrick Coyle, Rebecca Lennon and Daniel Oliver. Poetry Library, Southbank Centre 4 December, 8pm Free, booking essential
RICHARD PRINCE: PROTEST PAINTINGS
SHERLOCK HOLMES MURDER MYSTERY CHRISTMAS PARTY
Estorick Collection Until 22 December £3.50
Drama, mystery, dancing and a three-course meal. Radisson Blu Kenilworth Hotel, Great Russell Street Mondays-Fridays from 5 December £30
Skarstedt Gallery Until 20 December Free
EMILIO GRECO: SACRED AND PROFANE
ELMGREEN AND DRAGSET: TOMORROW Victoria and Albert Museum Until 15 January 2014 Free
MOJO Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, starring Ben Whishaw and Rupert Grint. Harold Pinter Theatre Until 25 January 2014 Day tickets from £10
HENRY V Starring Jude Law and Ben LloydHughes. Noel Coward Theatre Until 15 February 2014 Day tickets from £10
PAUL KLEE: MAKING VISIBLE Tate Modern Until 9 March 2014 £13.10 for students
NIGHT TALES Combination of food, experimental bar culture and nightlife in a car park and underground bunker. Abbott Street Car Park, Dalston £3 donation Thursdays - Saturdays
FISH MARKET’S FESTIVE FUNFAIR TERRACE A playful menu inspired by the classic British funfair, including alcoholic snow cones. New Street Admission free, menu prices apply Monday – Saturday
© ANTHONY CULLEN
FROM THE ARCHIVES
EVERY ISSUE, THE SMOKE FEATURES AN IMAGE FROM LONDON STUDENT’S PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE, SOMETIMES EVEN TRACKING DOWN THE PERSON BEHIND IT. FOR THIS ISSUE, WE SPOKE TO ANTHONY CULLEN, WHO WAS THE PICTURE EDITOR IN THE 1990S AND NOW RESIDES IN SUSSEX. Firstly, what did you study and where? I studied Film, Photography and Video at University of Westminster. Could you give us any background to this photograph, which is labelled “London pollution, Feb 1995”? That was a picture I’d taken earlier: by 1995 I wasn’t working for London Student any more. They used my photo, which was then in the archive. I worked at London Student for two years, ‘91-‘93. I left university in ‘94. The picture was shot for London Student while I worked there, but was used in ‘95 for an article about pollution. What was it like working on London Student? I think it’s fair to say that alongside my degree – learning about photography – it was one of the most important experiences of my career. I used to do talks in Senate House to American students on study abroad, and I would tell them, “if you want to get in the business, you have to work for your student paper.” You’d go out to cover events with the National, or you’d be running around London taking pictures next to the broadsheet photographers. And occasionally I would shoot pictures and send them to the Independent or the Guardian, and they’d get published. It’s
a fantastic way of just throwing yourself into the business. My closest friends now are from the London Student days – in fact, one of them, Louise Clarke, is my wife! I met her through working there because she was the Editor in ‘91’92. The Picture Editor at the time was a guy called Kevin, and I was his photographer. The year after that, when I became Picture Editor, I became friends with Mike, another editor. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at London Student; these people are my best friends. A lot of other people from the paper I still keep in touch with. What are your memories of being a student in London at the time? Fantastic – I mean, it’s the capital city: great student life and nightlife, but also for contacts and everything. I worked for Magnum Photos for a bit, and I worked for broadsheets – it was a great place to be able to work in, because it’s where everything is. The work I did for my final year project won the Observer Hodge Young Photojournalist of the Year award. A lot of that was to do with the London Student experience, which gave me the confidence, abilities, and the dark room skills; it was just great to have all these facilities. Occasionally, I would just stay there until really late working… it’s a great little hub for students , a great feeling to be working with with your friends to put out something – a raw sense of achievement. WWW.ANTHONYCULLEN.COM / INTERVIEWED BY RENA MINEGISHI / KCL / CO-EDITOR
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For Issue IV, The Smoke brings you exclusive interviews with They Might Be Giants and actor Ben Lloyd-Hughes, a round up of London's fashion...