ON DIRECTING ONE OF 2013’S BREAKOUT HITS.
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14 REGULARS OPENERS SEX HOMEGROWN FACES CALENDAR THE END PIECE
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FEATURES CLASSIC MORRISSEY DIRECTOR’S DEBUT FAIREST OF THEM ALL LONE STAR OF TEXAS DEAD BEAUTIFUL THE OUTSIDERS
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REVIEWS ART FOOD // FASHION MUSIC FILM TV LITERATURE // STAGE
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Editor Henry Longden Creative Director Atalanta Copeman-Papas Deputy Editor Meadhbh McGrath Copy Editor Lola Boorman Editorial Staff Gabija Purlytė // Isobel Thompson // Aoife Leonard // Eoin McCague //Sarah Lennon Galavan // Cian Clynes // Leonore Garnier Chris Rooke // Patrick Cremen // Lily Ní Dhomhnaill // Lola Boorman // Tara Joshi // Liam Maher Katherine Murphy // Cailan O’Connell // Alex Ball Photo Editor Molly Rowan-Hamilton Photographers Suzie Bennett Illustrators Alice Wilson & Graham Haught Special Thanks PJ Moloney, Jennifer McCahill and the Trinity Publications Committee // Elaine McCahill & the Staff of Trinity News // Mark Grehan and all at Grehans Printers // Aaron Devine // Stanton J. Stephens // Lily Ní Dhomhnaill // Graham Haught // Matthew Mulligan // Claudio Sansone // Ramy Nadji // Rosalind Comyn ISSUE THREE // 3
ART Reflections Michael Bulfin’s steel sculpture Reflections stands in the plaza of the former Bank of Ireland headquarters on Baggot street. Erected in 1978 after the project had won a public competition, it looks like the perfect finishing touch to Scott Tallon Walker’s building, completed just a few years previously. The sculpture interacts beautifully with the architecture – it echoes its straight lines and crisp corners, but its oblique angles offer a counterpoint to the strict rectangular grid MOLLY ROWAN-HAMILTON of the towering rows of windows. While the office block projects stability and solidity through its display of a classical post-and-lintel system, Bulfin’s leaning segments are an essay in the strength of steel under tension; to the dark, serious colours of the green bronze patina and the tinted brown windows, the sculpture adds a burst of bright sunshine (or banana?) yellow. The title Reflections provides an additional hint for interpreting this abstract work – which is otherwise strongly in the tradition of 1960s’ minimalism – as a cartoonish, angular representation of a ray of sunlight in an office window, perhaps in the spirit of Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic Brushstrokes series. In its curious situation now, often finding itself the sole occupant of the deserted site, the sculpture gains a strangely human character. It also has a very practical use today – with a bit of luck, you can observe it in when it serves as a ramp for local skateboarders. n.
GAMES At a top secret location in Dublin (slightly betrayed by the gigantic green Xbox One banners all over it), we went hands-on with the Xbox One, Microsoft’s biggest gaming release of the year. The scale of the launch is matched only by the size of the box: The console itself is massive, and will require purchasers to clear a whole shelf below their TV before it will fit in. The new controller certainly looks better than its predecessor. The trigger buttons are improved, curving around so that your finger won’t slide off. The most noticeable change however is the material: the plastic on the new controller is very slippery, as if the whole thing is covered in sweat, which led to a slightly odd and discomforting sensation when playing. Despite the bundling of Kinect with the console (a distinct differentiation from the PS4), only three games we saw were making use of it, and it quickly became very clear why. Battlefield senses when the player leans to the left or right, and adjusts the camera in-game to replicate that movement. The implementation was jerky however: you’d need to be leaning fairly severely before the camera would sense it. The Kinect Sports Rivals wake-boarding was available to us as well, although proved to be too unresponsive to be able to enjoy. A disappointment, given what the Kinect is technically capable of, although Microsoft’s dark gamer-mood lighting couldn’t have been helping the camera pick up our movements. But is that enough to warrant a €500 spend on a new console? From what we’ve seen, not at the moment. There’s nothing to encourage an immediate purchase, or that really sells the console: it’s very much iterative rather than innovative. With another console launching in a couple of weeks, it might be worth hanging on and seeing how that one plays too.
HOLLYWOOD: GOLDEN AGE FILM When “the talkies” exploded onto the cinematic screen in the late 1920s, the Hollywood machine geared up for a decade of money-making. Synchronizing sound on film had, for the first time, become commercially viable due to the recent technological progress as well as the booming stock market. After the Great Depression Hollywood identified a need and want for entertainment that would inspire hope in the American consciousness. With new resources like the “sound film” or “talkie” available, Hollywood began making uplifting romantic comedies in which a utopic world was restored through heroic justice, love and dreams coming true. Believed to have begun in 1927 with Alan Crosland made Hollywood’s first feature-length “talking picture” The Jazz Singer, the Golden Age of Cinema stretched into the 1940s giving us classics like Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca. Spearheaded by the “Big Five” production companies — MGM, Paramount, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, and RKO — Hollywood sought out young, good looking, charismatic actors to drive the industry forward. Not only were stars like Cary Grant, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart talented actors, they also had box office appeal that insured the film from failure. Profits reached record highs, characterizing the time as the Golden Age of cinema. In the 40s however, encroaching regulations on labour and the introduction of television finally brought the Golden Age to a close. CAROL DAVEY 4 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
FRONT SQUARE FASHION
LITERARY MILESTONES LITERATURE 26th November 1864 Lewis Carroll sends Alice the story of her adventures. On the 26 November 1864, Alice Pleasance Liddell received a handwritten and illustrated manuscript entitled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground as an early Christmas present. The manuscript was sent by her father’s friend, Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a mathematics student at Christ Church (of which Liddell was Dean). Dodgson had taken Alice and her sisters on a boating trip in July earlier that year and, during the journey (at the request of Alice) told them a story about a girl who fell down a rabbit hole and into a strange and fantastical world of talking creatures, riddles and skewed logic. As he was preparing the manuscript for Alice, Dodgson was writing a more commercial version of the tale, sent off for publication under the pen name Lewis Carroll. Alice Liddell (later Hargreaves), kept the original manuscript with her until 1926 when she was required to sell it at auction facing financial troubles after her husband’s death. It was bought by American Eldridge R. Johnson and, upon his death, a body of American collectors presented the manuscript to the British people in recognition of Britain’s bravery in facing Hitler alone preceding US entry to WWII. LOLA BOORMAN
Sorry all, but it is most definitely time to give in and start wrapping up. Luckily, this doesn’t have to mean sartorial sacrifice, as illustrated here by Aoife McCarthy. The streamlined lower half balances out the bulkier coat, allowing for practicality (and cosiness) while maintaining shape. The white base of the shirt pattern adds a crisp touch to the outfit, and reminds us that winter palettes need not be limited to the dark shades that may be tempting at this time of year. AOIFE LEONARD
BRUNCH OF THE WEEK WUFF FOOD Situated on the corner of Stoneybatter’s Benburb Street, Wuff offers up honest brunch favourites to a predominantly local clientele. Don’t be put off by the iron bars that line the windows, what lies inside is a warm, welcoming atmosphere — the perfect place to spend a few hours going over the Sunday papers, whether in a group or by oneself. The highlight of this brunch menu is the light avocado salad
WHITE ROSE COCKTAIL DRINKS The White Rose is described as a post-prohibition cocktail to “suit any palate”. Despite its rich array of ingredients, first impressions are uncomplicated — freshly squeezed oranges and lemons — but then other ingredients arrive, gin and maraschino delivering a gentle kick at the back of the throat. Whilst the drink is served cold, its underlying colour is a sunny warm orange, set off by a sprig of mint. Do not be put off by the centimetre of silky froth above from whipped egg whites. It adds a creamy yet subtle veneer to balance the bitterness of the citrus fruit. The orange segment on the edge of the tall chic glass implies the drink is nothing but good for you — and indeed you finish revitalised. I would happily take one with breakfast. VINTAGE COCKTAIL CLUB // €11.95
with cherry tomatoes on the vine, shaved red onion and citrus dressing (€7.50). This plate really stands out by adding the option of steak for an extra €2, improving the dish with a wonderful series of contrasting flavours and textures. The filled croissant of bacon, cheese and relish (€5) also deserve attention, while the Full Irish (€9) is worth a try for the pork and leek sausage alone. While some may be left disappointed by the very limited cocktail menu (only two choices), one cannot fault a brunch menu that offers a collection of quality plates all under the €10 mark. CIAN CLYNES
ISSUE THREE // 5
SOUNDS OF THE CITY
MUSIC Though its founding fathers can be linked with many cities, it is only right to trace the development of Afrobeat back to Lagos, Nigeria. In 1963, after several years in London studying music and playing jazz and highlife, Fela Kuti returned to his native Nigeria seeking to form a band. Kuti asked drummer Tony Allen to join his new band Koola Lobitos, having previously played with him around the Lagos gig circuit. Allen was unusually talented, effortlessly playing an eclectic blend of traditional Nigerian yoruba rhythms and Western jazz, an unprecedented mix which, along with Kuti’s musical fusions of soulful Western funk and African grooves topped with pidgin English, would form Afrobeat. The band returned from a stateside tour with the name Afrika ‘70. Throughout the 1970s they would live and record in a communal compound in Lagos they named “the Kalakuta Republic,” highlighting its independence from the corrupt government. Indeed, the music of Afrika ‘70 took a distinctly political turn, which marked a significant break from their previous focus on love songs. Zombie, their 1976 album, was perhaps the most important release recorded in the compound, lyrically attacking the Nigerian military whilst retaining the band’s renowned style of exotic, polyrhythmic jazz. The album was hugely successful although, unsurprisingly, less so with the military, who retaliated by sacking the Kalakuta Republic and burning it to the ground. The loss of their home and recording studio was not the only problem for Afrika ‘70, as arguments over royalties fractured the relationship between Allen and Kuti. Allen left the band in 1979, taking many members with him; it is said that Kuti hired four drummers in an attempt to recreate Allen’s signature sound. Fela Kuti remained politically active both through his personal life and his music, while Tony Allen would further his musical explorations, going on to develop the Afrofunk genre. Afrobeat Proper had been established, influencing local and international musicians alike: Joni Haastrup and Ginger Baker amongst them. Ultimately, the legacy of Kuti and Allen can be traced back to that Lagos circuit and the ashes of the Kalakuta Republic, where Afrobeat truly came to life. TARA JOSHI
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UPPERS AND DOWNERS MALEFICENT // The teaser trailer shows a menacing Angelina Jolie in the title role in this stunning prequel to Sleeping Beauty. A collaboration with MAC is also in the works. LADY GAGA // ARTPOP is fab, her appearance on Graham Norton was fantastic and whatever she’s doing with that dreads wig is fine with us. LOOKING // HBO’s upcoming dramedy about three gay friends living in San Francisco. Although we’re anxious about the whitewashing of the LGBT community, it’s exciting to see more diversity with sexuality on TV. WHISTLES MENSWEAR // The British high street retailer have announced their move into menswear, launching their first collection in Autumn/Winter 2014.
WES ANDERSON X PRADA // Fans waiting impatiently for The Grand Budapest Hotel can get their fix with this marvelous eight-minute short, set in 1950s Italy and starring frequent collaborator Jason Schwartzman. KATE MOSS FOR PLAYBOY // The global icon celebrates her 40th birthday with a nude shoot for Playboy, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. HOW I MET YOUR DAD // CBS confirms that they’re moving ahead with a spin-off of the horrendously over-stretched sitcom. POWDER PINK COATS // The season’s biggest color trend has become gratingly ubiquitous. We suggest lavender, baby blue or mint instead.
LYRIC VIDEOS // Watching them feels like watching that lazy asshole in your seminar who makes Powerpoint presentation and reads every word off the screen. ADAM LEVINE // Tipped to be People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2013. Jezebel quite accurately describes him as “the human equivalent of a leather cuff”. ANCHORMAN 2 MARKETING // Our newsfeeds are over-saturated with images of Ron Burgundy selling a Chrysler, Ron Burgundy selling Ben & Jerry’s, Ron Burgundy selling Jockey briefs in colours like “Beard of Zeus Blue”... ALEXANDER MCQUEEN // A former employee at the brand’s Manhattan flagship store has filed a discrimination lawsuit, alleging that her bosses told her that she had “greasy hands like a Mexican” and called her names such as “burrito face” for over a decade. MEADHBH MCGRATH
6 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING.
“MEN, IT MAY SHOCK YOU TO KNOW, DON’T HAVE HYMENS. SO IF A WOMAN IS A VIRGIN TILL HERS IS BROKEN, WHEN DOES A GAY MAN STOP BEING ONE?” I don’t know when I “lost” my virginity. I don’t know whether it was during my first kiss in the rain, my first blowjob in a park or my first frantic fuck that definitely didn’t feel like sex. If I’d had sex with girls before having sex with guys, would my virginity have gone before I got close to a dick? Perhaps, as a gay man, that would have been the perfect definition of losing my virginity; brought to orgasm for the first time by a person I’m never going to be sexually attracted to. So many peoples’ first experiences are met with a jarring realisation that the only thing they’ve lost is a romanticised fiction. In ye olde Ireland, a fair maiden was only considered as such if she had stayed away from the ballroom of romance and the wiles of men. Thus if her hymen wasn’t broken, she’d be considered untainted and “virginal”. As a man I have to ask myself whether I ever had those virginal qualities about me in the first place. Men were never dressed up in white and presented as debutantes. The hysteria surrounding keeping women virgins until their wedding night was never something that applied to men, and as an extension of that,
never applied to gay men either. Up until the late 20th century, gay men were used to living a secret life, engaging in what society considered to be sordid acts of sodomy. In today’s world, freed by the constraints of up-tight sexual expectations, straight couples are free to engage in anal sex, oral sex and any freaky shit they want to do. Gay men and women however are being brought more into a heteronormative fold, with the rise of marriage equality and the ability to live mostly open lives. With that comes a search for equivalence to heterosexual life, and indeed, notions of “virginity”. I don’t think virginity has ever been a real concept in homosexual sex, because the notion is wholly centred on that age-old fascination with dicks in holes. In a typical lesbian relationship, neither woman has a dick. Their sex isn’t based around penetration. In a typical gay male relationship, fucking isn’t the centrepiece of every sexual interaction. The majority of gay men engage only in oral sex or masturbation. Even if penetration happens occasionally, if someone is able to bring another person to
orgasm or be brought to orgasm by oral sex or masturbation, is that not sex? If the first time you engaged in sexual activity you just got a very good handjob and it made you orgasm, are you outside your rights to think of that as the moment you lost your “virginity”? Men, it may shock you to know, don’t have hymens. So if a woman is a virgin till her’s is broken, when does a gay man stop being one? In the UK, an art student is planning to let art school “steal his virginity”, by engaging in sex in public for a performance art project. He hasn’t said whether he will or not, but because he’s openly gay, most people automatically assume that means he’ll be having anal sex in public. If he really wants to make a statement on virginity I’m hoping he gets a limp handjob, cums in two minutes and declares himself gloriously deflowered. If that’s not a beautifully human coming of age moment, I don’t know what is.
WORDS BY MATTHEW MULLIGAN ILLUSTRATION BY GRAHAM HAUGHT MORE AT WWW.GRAHAMHAUGHT.COM
ISSUE THREE // 7
BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN. The most startling revelation of Morrissey’s Autobiography appears on the front cover. It is the white band that bears the inscription “Penguin Classics,” the quasi-sacred imprint that has published only the greatest literary texts since its inception in 1946. With the publication of Autobiography, Penguin has offered Morrissey an unlikely invitation to dine at literature’s top table, alongside such luminaries as Homer, Virgil and Aristotle. Steven Patrick Morrissey may well be the co-founder of The Smiths, a respected solo artist, lyricist par excellence and, according to popular consensus, a British national treasure; but a giant of literature he is not. By issuing Autobiography as a Classic, Penguin have delivered an impossibility: an instant classic — and the publishing industry, for the most part, have reacted with hostility. For some, Penguin have pandered to the ridiculous demands of an egotistical celebrity. For others, the publication of Autobiography as a Classic amounts to little more than a crude and cynical marketing ploy. One thing is for sure: the reputation of the revered Penguin Classics brand hangs in the balance. Morrissey’s much-anticipated memoir is a Classic, but only according to Penguin. The publishing saga began as far back as 2011, when Morrissey made the admission on Radio 4’s Front Row programme that “I’d like to go to Penguin… but only if they published it [Autobiography] as a Classic.” This set in motion a sequence of events that ended with the publication of the Autobiography on October 17 of this year. The negotiations were kept secret; in January 2013, Rosie Glaisher of Penguin UK stated that “Nothing [is] on the schedule at this time.” The air of mystique surrounding the publication only served to heighten the anticipation of the book’s release. No copies of the book were sent to reviewers prior to its publication, nor did the author himself engage in its promotion. Penguin refused to comment on the book and continue to remain silent despite the controversy. Autobiography had been turned into
the “literary event” that its author had so desired. Fintan O’Toole, chief literary critic at The Irish Times, believes that Penguin can only blame themselves for the furore: “Really good publishers don’t pander to the author.” For O’Toole, Penguin was a willing participant in Morrissey’s “ironic” in-joke, undertaken for the amusement of the man himself and his fans. Yet O’Toole forgets that Penguin saw this “pandering” as mutually beneficial; Penguin Classics have had their marketing position challenged by Wordsworth Classics, a company that essentially supplies the same product as Penguin Classics but often at a reduced price. Penguin struck the deal with Moz in an effort to boost sales. Granted, an autobiog- r a phy by someone of Morrissey’s magnitude was always going to sell well, but it surely surpassed Penguin’s expectations, selling thirty five thousand copies in Britain in its first week. It seems that Morrissey’s “literary event” amounted to no more than a rather clever PR stunt. Though Waterstones’s PR Manager, Jon Howells, called on publishers to celebrate Penguin’s “playful arrogance”, Anthony Farrell of Dublin’s Lilliput Press labelled the affair a “cynical marketing ploy”. Roger Taholm of the industry website publishingperspectives. com added his voice to the growing band of critics, chastising Penguin for selling “its most cherished brand down the river”. The question remains however: Are we really to believe those who consider Penguin Classics to be the “gatekeeper of human knowledge”, as Brendan O’Neil of The Telegraph puts it? Is Penguin Classics anything more than a brand? Well, yes, quite frankly. The imprint has become an important factor in the making of a Western canon, and however elitist this may be, it exercises considerable power. The political implications of the publication of Morrissey’s Autobiography cannot be underestimated. By setting Morrissey alongside Homer, Penguin have surrendered to a cul-
tural relativism that eschews judgement in favour of a skewed conception of equality. As Fintan O’Toole stated bluntly: “Some stuff is better than other stuff. Homer is more important than Morrissey.” Penguin have deprived the public the chance to decide whether the book deserves to be considered a classic, and its meek explanation that “it [Autobiography] is a classic in the making” is anything but egalitarian. Penguin have adopted the same misguided sentiment that saw Bob Dylan included in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English many years ago. This year’s edition of the same anthology has removed Bob Dylan without a trace. Penguin brashly reminds us in the book’s blurb that this is the autobiography of the “second-greatest living British icon”, and the “greatest northern male, of past or present,” as voted by the public. A national treasure Morrissey may well be, but it is his book that is under scrutiny here; and unfortunately, reviews of Autobiography have been tepid. For The Independent, Morrissey’s narrative begins brightly but descends into “droning narcissism”, while The Guardian review declares that although Autobiography “comes close to being a triumph”, it focuses unduly on Morrissey’s legal battles with ex-Smiths drummer Mike Joyce. Morrissey, it seems, won’t be jostling for a place in the pantheon of great writers any time soon. Penguin’s low attempt at a “literary event”, meanwhile, has attracted the scorn of its fellow publishers. For the publishing industry, that joke isn’t funny any more. WORDS BY TOM ROSEINGRAVE ILLUSTRATION BY ALICE WILSON
ISSUE THREE // 9
AHEAD OF THE TRINITY DIRECTORS DEBUT FESTIVAL, THE SIX STUDENT DIRECTORS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AND ANXIETIES ABOUT OPENING NIGHT WITH tn2. You can feel it in the air. The Directors Debut Festival in Trinity’s own Drama Department has a particular kind of nervous energy attached to it. Student directors, student actors and a student team mount six fully professional pieces of work across three weeks. If you think it sounds nerve-racking, you’re right. It’s an introduction to the life and work of working theatre in Dublin, but according to the directors it’s a baptism of fire. This year the TCD Drama Department introduces Aaron Devine with The Lesson, Oonagh O’Donovan with pool (no water), Doireann Coady with Phaedra’s Love, Orla Keenan with Animal Farm, Patrick Sturgess with The New Tenant, and Laura Bowler with On Rafferty’s Hill. But there’s no easy route in; each year there is stiff competition within the entire department. “People were getting the news one by one,” said O’Donovan, “Others had found out they hadn’t gotten it. It was filtering in and out, so it turned into a process of elimination.” Coady and Devine then discussed “the massive group of people who could be here” and the difficulty in obtaining the “validation of the department”. With a quiet Northern lilt Devine pondered on this topic longer. “Some people didn’t get the marks they should have gotten,” he continued, “Sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud.” Fraud or not, there’s an air of anxiety that pervades the room. But having been in Trinity for three years, had they learnt anything from working on shows previously? O’Donovan’s answer came swift and hard, saying “It taught me how to not treat people. I know on my first day in first year I was strolling into see someone’s play, and it was a brilliant play, but she [the director] was an absolute bitch.” Coady became vocal again, as she explained “the pressure and the difficulty in being the ‘mentor person’. They’re almost like little interns. You’re trying to
guide them on how to run a room, you’re always trying to be sound to them. But at the same time you’re trying to be a hundred different things to a hundred different people.” O’Donovan picked up on this thread, adding “a director does everything. I never realised that, running every meeting”. Bowler responded quickly, recounting an experience where her team physically sat her down and told her to “stop doing their job. I had been sourcing materials, taking measurements. They told me to fucking leave them alone.” Our line of questioning drew back to the start: the tough job of choosing a play text. Sturgess described his approach in simplistic terms, saying “I just picked something that I kind-of enjoyed and hoped it worked out. I chose it because it’s small and easily doable. But I discovered more about it throughout the process. I really like it now.” Similarly Devine stated that he had “a fairly insular concept from the beginning”. However, Keenan and Bowler described their texts as “labours of love”. And although there is love, they were quick to admit their shortsightedness. Bowler went so far as to say his choice was pretty stupid: “My play is 56 pages long and naturally runs to an hour and forty minutes. So it will run over, but sure, that’s great craic.” Keenan’s concern is less length and more size; with a cast of ten she worried that “it’s hard to focus on one actor as well, to give direction to one at a time while others stand idle.” Coady’s approach seemed a little simpler again. “I just picked a play I had read,” she stated, “But obviously, you need to read the play again because you’ve forgotten everything that happens in it. I mean, it’s just blowjobs and rape and people being dismembered. It’s madness.” O’Donovan also challenged herself with a play in which “there were no stage directions, no characters, just words
on a page”. But to allow these words to come to life the casting process had to begin. Devine’s view on casting was wonderfully open. “I like it,” he said, “It’s interesting and it’s good seeing different people respond to what you give them.” This comment spurned on Bowler who spoke of her intense dislike of the process. “I think it’s awful. I never take notes and then they all leave and I never know who’s who. After posting it online I saw sixty people back to back in five hours, [I was] crying because there were still more to come”. Adding to this Coady intervened in this argument, saying “looking at people through that lens is extremely tiring. And you’re also on display, and they are judging you.” But then for the big questions: After competing in a class atmosphere, after choosing a text, after casting, are their shows ready to go up? O’Donovan firmly believed that she was “ready for the show to happen. I’m ready to let go of it, and let it be.” Sturgess voiced the ever-looming concern that “maybe they took on too much…” but Devine claimed that they all “have a lot of plates spinning”. Keenan came across as a little divided, saying “in one sense I feel like I need more time, but I also kind of just want to let it go. I have no idea what’s going to happen with it.” Devine finished by speaking of opening night. “As soon as the show goes up I’ll be like…[exhales]” and this simple action calmed the group a little. As stressed and as strung out as each of them were, you could sense the anticipation; the fact that a four year degree had built to this point. The pressure had certainly revealed points of friction, but nobody was cracking. And like Coady said, at the end of the day “it’s a fucking play. It’s only a fucking play.” WORDS BY KATHERINE MURPHY PHOTOGRAPHS BY SUZIE BENNETT
ISSUE THREE // 11
THE FA S H I O N
FAIREST OF THEM ALL. In September, Rick Owens created a stampede at Paris Fashion Week. Literally. He enlisted the help of dancers from four University step teams, and asked them to model his wares, whilst performing their powerful dance. Instructed to adopt fierce facial expressions, the models entered from the top of a metal scaffold. They were of all shapes, sizes and race, and proceeded to shock and enthrall the audience in their spirited defiance of the conventional catwalk. Owens expressed the sentiment at the heart of the performance, asking, “How do I make it accessible to everybody instead of making it an exclusive fashion world?” The show was so powerful because it directly engaged with an issue that has been haunting the fashion industry. Kanye West recently launched an attack against the prejudices of culture, describing his experience of hitting a “glass ceiling” as a black musician, fashion designer and businessman. Earlier this year, Naomi Campbell, alongside activist Bethann Hardison and model 12 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
Iman, set up The Diversity Coalition, which aims to draw attention to the lack of diversity in the fashion world. Reacting to the striking lack of black models at New York Fashion Week’s Fall and Winter shows, The Diversity Coalition named and shamed designers who used only white models, accusing them of perpetrating racist attitudes. A study on Jezebel revealed that in these shows, 82.7% of the models used were white. The response to this campaign has been enormous. Designers such as Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani have included unprecedentedly high numbers of black models in their runway shows, with Armani using a black model to open this year’s show at Paris Fashion Week. Prada was praised in July when 19 year old Kenyan Malaika Firth became the first black model to front the brand’s campaign since Campbell in 1994. However, the significance of this 20 year gap is enormous, and serves to remind the industry that its supposed progress is moving too slowly, for it is not reflecting the reality of
globalization. Therefore, although Firth’s cover of UK Vogue’s shopping supplement this November caused ripples of excitement, comparisons between her and Campbell sorely remind us that in the 70s and 80s black models were given infinitely more work than they are today. In the wake of the civil rights movement, black models were praised and glorified, flooding catwalks and magazines alike, culminating in Italian Vogue’s “all black” edition. But as soon as people stopped raising their voices, whiter, blonder models resumed predominance in the industry. It is tempting to view the increase in black models as indicative of a move towards sustainable diversity in the fashion industry, but the fact remains, that there is a possibility that this current flux might be a trend, rather than a change.
FA S H I O N
“SO LONG AS FASHION FAVOURS WHITE MODELS, THE INDUSTRY PERPETRATES A STANDARD OF INTERNATIONAL BEAUTY THAT IS WHITE.” This could be an example of the fashion industry doing what it does best — capitalizing on topical issues for commercial gain. Lagos is tipped to become a new fashion hot spot, and it is becoming renowned for its handcrafted garments, made with locally sourced fabrics that take inspiration from Nigerian tribal wear. Simon Burnstein, chief executive at Browns London explained, “These labels clearly have a tribal inspiration but don’t shriek Africa, so they fit into the Western wardrobe.” Evidently, catering for a Western wardrobe means the aesthetics need to resonate with Western culture at the expense of another tradition. So long as fashion favours white models, the industry perpetrates a standard of international beauty that is white. The Diversity Coalition has called on the industry to recognize its profound ability and responsibility to “shape our young girls”, explaining that the inclusion of models of all skin
colors is imperative, because “to see otherwise makes [young girls] feel like they can be ‘in or out’ of fashion”. But this exclusivity is a problem that resides in all aspects of the aesthetic ideals fashion creates. In a similar vein, so long as fashion favours size six models, it dictates an international beauty paradigm, which is a size six. Fashion is an integral part of our society and culture and it is encouraging that recent fashion weeks have been a fairer reflection of the multi-cultural demographic of their host cities. If the surge in black models is a trend, perhaps we should just embrace it, because at least it is raising awareness, which should lead to definitive change. Let’s hope the industry giants use their staying power and have the will to keep raising their voices. This needs to be more than just another case of fast fashion, so the industry can set an example, and move towards racial equality. WORDS BY KATIE MACFADDEN & ISSY THOMPSON
ISSUE THREE // 13
THE LONE STAR OF TEXAS. tn2 SPEAKS TO DAVID LOWERY, DIRECTOR OF THIS YEAR’S SUNDANCE BREAKOUT AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS.
David Lowery is in a strange place. “It’s been a joy. A gut wrenching, turbulent joy,” the Dallas-based filmmaker admitted. “There’s no way to pretend that going to Sundance and then Cannes isn’t a dream come true.” Unless you’ve been travelling the US film festival circuit in recent years, chances are you hadn’t heard the 32-year-old Texan’s name until a few weeks ago. Cinephiles and critics alike seem determined to change that after September saw his second feature, the astonishingly confident Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, open to rave reviews. Critics stumbled over themselves praising all aspects of the production, from the meandering hand-held cinematography, to the sublime poetic pacing of the story. Meanwhile, film fans have held Lowery up to be the next shining beacon of American cinema, the natural heir to Jonathan Demme and Robert Altman. While the backlash has yet to hit, there is one problem: an elephant in the room that even the most committed of his fans couldn’t fail to ignore. “I didn’t expect the Malick comparisons to be quite so profuse,” Lowery noted. Ah yes, that elephant. “I think we talked about him exactly once while we were shooting the movie. Altman, on the other hand, I will own up to entirely.” Since Saints’ debut in Sundance (where it picked up the Special Jury Prize in Cinematography) Lowery’s effective use of lingering shots at dusk, minimal dialogue and inspired sound design has prompted many lazy comparisons with a certain other Texan auteur. These analogies are unfounded. Unlike Terrence Malick’s recent output, Lowery’s is a subtle work that utilises three-dimensional, identifiable characters whose problems allow the viewer an emotional core to latch onto. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is certainly a
slow burner of a film, detailing the aftermath faced by outlaw couple Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) and Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara) who find themselves trapped in a shootout with the authorities after a botched job. Apprehended and separated, Ruth mothers their newborn daughter and waits patiently while Bob executes a jailbreak, believing faith will protect him from harm. Their reunion is threatened as the forces of the law and jilted ex-partners emerge from the darkness and intervene. Alongside Affleck and Mara, Ben Foster delivers a career-best performance as a conflicted sheriff injured in the initial shootout, who clearly harbours deep feelings for Mara’s character. Lowery’s success may seem meteoritic, or even premature to some. In fact, the writer-director has been paying his industry dues for more than a decade, working alongside contemporaries (including Adam Wingard, Joe Swanberg and the Duplass brothers) to form a collective of artistic expression that calls to mind the New Hollywood of the 1970s. On paper it is quite difficult to pair Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with the works of the aforementioned mumblecore masters, however Lowery was quick to highlight that “my first film, St. Nick, was my version of a mumblecore film. Technically speaking it’s right on par with those films, and in fact Joe Swanberg shot a great deal of it — but on the other hand, it doesn’t have much dialogue. And it’s set in a different sort of world, and that’s just my style coming through.” When quizzed about whether any healthy competition has arisen due to the group’s newfound commercial viability Lowery replied, “I love seeing my friends staying busy, and seeing their work reach audiences. It’s inspiring to me. I don’t think there is any competition 15
healthy or otherwise.” Lowery’s film is one of the most rare of beasts now found in our multiplexes: a film for thinking adults shot on film. “Once we started talking about making this movie for more than 50 thousand dollars, 35mm became a regular part of the conversation,” Lowery explained. “I love digital and am comfortable with it, but certain stories demand certain things, and one of the things this movie needed was all the abstract qualities that only celluloid can provide.” Lowery’s affection for the Old School is apparent when he discusses how he and lenser Bradford Young achieved the startling darkness that pervades many scenes, calling to mind the works of Gordon Willis. “We had to fight to use 35mm on this film. We didn’t take it lightly either — a great deal of time and testing and experimentation and then even more time went into creating the look for the film, especially that sense of darkness,” he clarified, before going on to reveal an unlikely source of inspiration. “The characters have had their heyday when the movie begins, and so it made sense for the look of the film to begin at twilight and then taper off into darkness, until it finally reaches full blown night, I think about the lyrics of that Bob Dylan song — ‘it’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there,’ that’s what we were after, thematically speaking.” Indeed, music plays a large part in the film. When questioned about his collaboration with composer Daniel Hart, Lowery wasted no time in displaying his affection. “Daniel is one of those collaborators who understands what I want without me having to tell him. I remember talking to him about the overall feel of the movie, and some of the instruments that I thought would work well. And then he went off and just started writing music.” Hart, like Jonny Greenwood before him, has successfully made the difficult jump from band member to film composer. When asked about the iconic handclapping that permeates through certain sections of the film, Lowery was quick to heap praise on his colleague,
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“The first time I heard that handclapping was the first time I truly understood the movie’s tone. It became the backbone to the movie in a way I had never anticipated.” The director was also quick to praise his extraordinary cast. While Affleck and Mara are appropriately believable and touching as doomed lovers, when asked about the criminally underrated Ben Foster, Lowery had nothing but plaudits. “Ben brought a great deal to the role. As written ... he was a much more straightforward character. A nice guy, a pacifist. Ben took umbrage with the last part, and confronted me on it. He felt the sheriff could still be a gentleman and a sweetheart but he didn’t have to be a pushover. I disagreed at first but gradually came to see that he was right. That was a wonderful discovery – it helped me grow not just as a director and a writer but also as a person. It taught me a great lesson about empathy.” More so than the influences of Altman or Malick, it is Lowery’s home state that makes its presence felt in his second feature. All the more remarkable, as Saints was shot in Louisiana. The film is rooted in Americana, at times playing like an American fairy tale, and Lowery makes it abundantly clear that the Lone Star State impacted heavily on the finished product. “Texas was always meant to be a character in the movie. I still live there and it’s a part of my identity. There’s a particular spirit to Texas, a rebellious ideology, that is appealing to both outlaws and filmmakers alike,” he pointed out, “and while we shot most of the interiors and such in Louisiana for budgetary reasons, we packed up a van of equipment and actors and drove across the border to make sure those epic exteriors were honest-to-goodness Texas. Nothing else looks quite like it, and I’d have hung my head low if we hadn’t been able to capture that specific look.” When asked if he has found any spare time at the festivals to appreciate other films, Lowery replied, “My two favourite films this year are, I think, Post Tenebras Lux by Carlos Reygadas and The World’s
End by Edgar Wright. I definitely make time to see as many films as possible, especially at film festivals.” As for what’s on his horizon, Lowery shot back immediately, “I could spend hours talking about Paul Thomas Anderson[‘s projects]. I just love them. I am extremely excited about Inherent Vice. I love the book, love the cast, love thinking about what PTA will do with that material. I can’t wait.” Speaking of multi-award winning filmmakers, surely with all the buzz surrounding his own film, Lowery must be feeling pressured to dust off the tux and prepare some cue cards? “Awards are nice but I’m too uncompetitive to really care — the experience is reward enough. And buzz is strange — it’s greatly helpful on the one hand and completely counterproductive on the other — it’s wonderful that people are excited about the movie and a little less so when expectations are pushed through the roof.” Expectations have been raised however, with the internet left waiting with bated breath for news of this innovative director’s next project. Lowery, in keeping with his use of 35mm and preference for archaic music, pays no heed to these new-age critics, with their affinity for split second reactions. “Two weeks ago, I stopped reading reviews, stopped Google searching the title, stopped thinking about the movie in general.” Really? “Good reviews would go in one ear and out the other but the bad ones worm their way into your skull and keep you awake at night,” he explained. “I think most filmmakers experience this, and probably most artists in general.” David Lowery is indeed in a strange place, almost trapped in the wrong era, and only time will tell if this Texan’s spectacularly purist approach to cinema can find its place in the hearts of those looking for a return to the intelligent, non-compromising films that lit up our screens in the late 70s. WORDS BY EOIN MCCAGUE PHOTOGRAPHS BY STANTON J. STEPHENS
Terriers are a new presence on the Irish music scene and are quickly making a name for themselves with their low-key, sultry productions — a sound that the band describe themselves as ‘afterhours haus’. This is an apt description of their music as the duo tend to focus on atmospherics, instead of crowding their productions with too many elements. Musically, they tend to be “more influenced by what is going on around us at the time when making a song,” said Peter Ward. The task the two set themselves is to “capture the feelings around those situations and show them musically, or at least our version of it,” something that is illustrated well by their latest single 13/13 which was recently featured on the XLR8R website. Having come together after meeting in college at a stage when the two were both getting into production, Ward and Ronan Downing decided after a night out to form Terriers. A week later they convened in Ward’s shed and made Truant, a haunting production that features vocal samples flitting on top of an oscillating synth line and some atmospheric pads. A steady 4/4 drum and snare pattern anchor the song and help to achieve its hypnotic quality. Downing
!"# $%& "'( admitted that “it just came together so easily that we knew that we would work really well together. We decided to make an E.P. and that was it.” From such an easy beginning the band have expanded their sound and incorporated some new ideas into their respective musical palettes. The two prefer to work together and jam out ideas rather than working on things individually; and focus more on using hardware and analogue forms of recording in order to achieve the warmth and “hiss” of the old recordings from the 80s. They have admitted to “turning into synth nerds over the past two years,” incorporating “old Korg bits and bobs and some junkie old Roland synths which are nearly broken but suit our sound down to a tee”. They revealed to me that the Terriers synth is the Korg Polly 800, a keytar from the 80s that has recently become their “new favourite toy”. On top of this, the two have been focusing on recording onto VHS and cassette tapes. It is obvi-
ous that the hardware utilised is an important element of not only the Terriers sound, but also their composition process. Downing elaborated, “we feel that the hardware gives off a more ‘real’ vibe than the ‘in the box’ stuff. You can feel it a lot more when you’re playing the stuff in and using real filters, it’s just really nice.” Their sound, Downing admitted “came from nothing” in that rather than sitting down with any musical style in mind, they just started to jam. From then on their music evolved naturally, stemming from the sounds they like and the equipment they utilise in order to achieve these sounds, which seem “to do their own thing”. Unlike a lot of Irish producers at the minute, Terriers prefer doing live shows rather than DJing as “they represent us a lot better”. They admit to not coming from a DJing background but rather one of performance, some of their formative musical influences being guitar bands such as The Pixies, Tears For Fears and Barbara Mason. Readers can expect to witness this live show more regularly in the New Year when the two release a new E.P., currently in progress. WORDS BY LIAM MAHER
ART & DESIGN
DEAD BEAUTIFUL tn2 INTERVIEWED DUBLIN-BASED NORWEGIAN ARTIST, MAGNHILD OPDØL, IN THE RUN-UP TO HER EXHIBITION THREE DAYS LATER IN WEST CORK ARTS CENTRE. Animals and nature feature heavily in Opdøl’s practice, which ranges from extremely detailed pencil drawings and photographs, to sculpture, taxidermy, film and installations. But her nature is not an idealised romantic one — beauty and death are present simultaneously. Death, of course, is the more intriguing word here. As Opdøl noted, an interest in death and making dead things look alive runs throughout the history of art. After finishing her B.A. in painting at NCAD, she started drawing using parts of old paintings as a base. “Then it became... different heads and stuff, death came into the picture. I started using 18 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
all these symbols from art history. They say something about our lives today — about commercialisation, how we just spend, and maybe don’t look under the surface.” During her masters studies, she did some training in taxidermy. “I used live animals at the beginning, mice… And then, the first piece I did was one of those mice I had had as a pet, and I… stuffed it! You know, they don’t live that long.” It was also when she began doing more personal things that related to where she was from. “I grew up on a farm, and I guess there, death is a part of your life, you see the whole circle of it. And I have always been interested in how people react to it. People find it offensive, they are very upset about it. I think it’s because they don’t want to think or talk about it, but it is just a part of everything, and you should maybe just see it as that — it’s not so upsetting, it’s natural.” Commercialisation is an important part of this — people don’t want to see the lead-up from the animal to the steak, or the nice leather gloves. The cult of youth is also involved. “It is the same everywhere –
as an artist, you need to be young and break through very quickly, if you’re old, you’re not that interesting anymore. It shouldn’t really be like that when it’s something intellectual – you hope to develop your work, and become better, the older you get.” Opdøl’s drawings do much more than expose the viewers to images of death. “I also think there is a beauty in dead things, rotting things,” she explained. “It doesn’t all have to be new and perfect. When I work on something that is dead, I try to draw it with tenderness. It’s like lifting up something that’s ugly, or trash, or starting to rot, and keeping it.” Popular culture often comes into Opdøl’s work. In one pair of drawings, a cartoon Bambi is juxtaposed with the head of a real, dead deer. On Wikipedia, Bambi is an “American animated drama film”, which for a fan of the original novel by Austrian Felix Salton is rather sad. It is characteristic of a culture which deprives children of the reality of death — after all, in an anaesthetised world, Bambi is much less alive to begin with. But this was
ART & DESIGN
not exactly what prompted Opdøl’s work. “The first one I did was a picture of a dead deer. I think I called it Deer for Felix Salton. I just thought to bring it back to reality. The deer was shot by my brother, on our land in Norway — it’s all part of cultivating the whole group, because if they become too many, they start to die from spreading diseases. That’s the only reason my brother would go hunting. I also thought it was interesting that Salter was a Jew, and Walt Disney supported the Nazis. As an underlying theme, that was interesting for me — of taking just the pieces you want, as Walt Disney did, from someone he didn’t like. All the layers don’t have to be visible in the art.” Another film that has attracted the artist’s attention is the cult TV series Twin Peaks. Sunndalsøra, near which Opdøl grew up, is the friendship town of Snoqualmie, where the series was filmed. “But that’s just a coincidence which I thought was really fun. I love the way [filmmaker David Lynch] creates stories and picks his actors. In Twin Peaks I find
a lot of things which connect to my past, or funny things which connect to Norway — like in the first episode, a group of Norwegians come to visit Twin Peaks to buy timber, and it’s just a joke, because Norway is full of timber.” Opdøl’s taste for crime novels, which have long been very popular in Scandinavia, shows in her art. “In my own work, I don’t think it’s necessary at all to solve the mystery — I don’t want to explain everything.” It often starts with a visual image. Suggestive, intriguing titles add new dimensions, playfully twisting the meanings. The installation of doughnut boxes and bronze doughnuts, a staple food of the detectives in Twin Peaks, also began as a fascinating mental image. It makes fun of people’s love for the worst possible food, but it is also making something beautiful and durable out of rubbish. “For me, taxidermy is like that. I take something that is thrown out — I only use what is left over from hunters, like the legs and the head, and the skin — and I make it into
art.” Negative reactions usually result from misunderstandings. “There was a comment in the book — ‘OMG, I can’t believe you killed a lamb just to make a piece of art!’ ... Well, of course I didn’t go and kill a lamb. Every year on my parents’ farm there’s lambing, and there are always a few lambs that die. It happens. So I’ve asked my parents, ‘can you please take that and put it in the freezer?’ I’m making it alive forever, rather than it just being dug down.” “Some people think my drawings are icky, but I want them to try to think beyond that. It isn’t all pretty and good-looking, we’re not going to smile and be happy all the time. You have to try and see everything, and try to understand, maybe, a bit of the bigger picture.” Opdøl’s newest exhibition is mostly about emptiness, stillness, and quiet, and about the artist’s thinking process during forest walks in Norway. WORDS BY GABIJA PURLYTĖ THREE DAYS LATER CONTINUES UNTIL 11 JANUARY.
ISSUE THREE // 19
“Whether you are Islamic, Christian, Algerian or a foreigner, the Algerian people will invite you into their homes to celebrate the break of fast,” our host told us, “It is inherent to our cultural and religious traditions to warmly welcome guests and foreigners.” We were being entertained outside his mud-built house which had acted as a respite from the 48C Saharan heat for the past 13 hours. We were situated in the middle of an oasis, in a city called Ghardaia, where palm trees shoot up from the endless expanse of desert that spreads for hundreds of miles around. The city’s existence is a miraculous thousand year tale of Arab-Berber culture, fearsome climate and stunning geography. A mirage to the European influenced culture of the North. A walled city constantly fighting external influence. We had been travelling around Algeria during Ramadan for the previous two weeks and had encountered a generosity that is incomparable to the lifestyles of Europe and North America. Visiting Algeria has not been easy since the civil war in the 90s. Troubles in Mali and terrorism in Eastern
Algeria has perpetuated a sense of fear for tourists. Visas are (reciprocally) expensive and applications are made difficult. Yet the country is a one hour and €70 flight from Barcelona. When we arrived it was clear that people were delighted to have us in their country. People we met took days off work, organised rooftop parties and drove us wherever we wished to go. The presence of a dictatorship was clear on the streets, but there was a notable joy and freedom among the individuals we met. Using Couchsurfing as a way to understand the country’s customs when we first arrived, we ended up being informally introduced to a far reaching friendship circle of hosts all around the country — we never felt alone in Africa’s largest country. The night before we left our host in Algiers we expressed our regret in leaving to see a city called Constantine, further along the Mediterranean coast. We awoke to find our host had asked a friend to drive us the 400km trip and another to host us for the duration of our stay. One host told us, “Tourism is not a very developed industry in Algeria, and so people are eager to share their
culture and showcase their country to strangers.” A sense of pride underlaid the generosity that was extended to us — people jumped at the opportunity to bring outsiders into their culture. We spent our first day wandering around the quiet streets of Algiers, few shops were open, the twisting streets of the Casbah (old city) seemed to be abandoned, and we soon realised that we would be unwittingly enduring Ramadan’s no food, drink or smoking due to the city’s opening hours. Suddenly, from the beaches to the mountainous outskirts of the city, speakerphones erupted with the call to prayer (adhan), signalling the breaking of the fast. An excitement took over as people scrambled to the bakers, then to street food stalls and finally home to feast with their friends and family. Our host was being “welcomed” by another family for his meal, leaving us in an internet cafe to go and find some food for ourselves. Before leaving, a man and his group of friends ushered us across the road and into one of their houses, they managed to explain to us that it was their responsibility to take people
ESPAGNE QU’ES-TU DONC JEAN SÉNAC
高村 光太郎｢あ どけない話｣
So what are you Spain to the crime of my stone a name I dared speak the dry mist of my father’s breath and his song like a rain of amorous crows
In those times of wariness a black child washed his tongue three times a day Europe had loosened her neon lewissons resting on the windowsills the entrepreneurs were picking-off doves the nude soldiers struck horses on the head From under so many blacklists a woman a figure noble and the figure of patience Cried “Honour to all camps!” Misery stronger than her threw the night into her hair There remained nothing for the tan-skinned children But pebbles to suck on And I what am I then Spain If not the scourge if not the unending summer If not you who opens fire when I discover the voice TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY CLAUDIO SANSONE
in who were breaking the fast alone. As with most Algerians, our hosts spoke very little English and at first we felt embarrassed with the little we could offer while they lavished us with food. However, international language soon began with conversations consisting of naming footballers, impersonating Zidane’s infamous red card and wailing “Rooney” and pointing to the ugliest person in the room. We sat on the floor as delicious deep fried parcels of goat’s cheese and spinach were served on earthenware plates alongside bowls of soup, couscous and stewed vegetables. After the meal, with all language barriers forgotten, the men bundled us into their cars and started climbing the winding streets of Algiers. Eventually we arrived at the gates to the city’s highest park, a stately garden whose boundaries fall away
stantine in the East of Algeria, our host Ramy defended a new attitude for Algerians; “The new generation is strikingly more open: women tend to undertake long studies with the aim of obtaining ambitious jobs when they finish.” He told us that women made up a majority in his University, and that it was unfair to see Algeria as “somewhere like Saudi Arabia”. Constantine is a dizzying city which seems to have fallen onto the edges of two mountains. We were shown around by two members of Couchsurfing who patiently walked us across eight bridges that straddle rapids and forests 150 metres below. One night our hosts took us to a traditional Arabic music concert in the city’s theatre, walking from the bustling square into the soft carpeted stalls, the French architectural influence was handsomely present.
women wore long white garments which covered all their body, face, and left exposed a single eye. It had been one of the factors that drew us to the city, but when I walked past the cloaked women, and saw stiletto heels and plimsolls poking out from underneath their enveloped bodies, it was difficult to get outside of our socially conditioned perspectives and understand why and how this was accepted. To us it was difficult to embrace the culture we had sought without projecting our own understanding of freedom. This had been an aim when we first chose to visit a North African country during Ramadan, before it had seemed alien, now we were confronted with it as a lived experience. So as we sat for hours under the clarity of the Saharan night, the thought of tourism in Algeria was an ambiguity. Here we were the
down the mountain that overlooks the sea and old town below. We scaled a wall and crawled between sparse barbed wire, and finally perched ourselves on a balcony, sitting above the city that was finally coming to life. We played dominoes, smoked shisha and drank mint tea for the rest of the night. During the meal they had competed for our attention equally; but as everyone got used to each other, it now became clear that the female in our group was ignored. This was especially strange after they had been so inclusive of us previously. What was most concerning was the sense that it was so ordinary for them to act in this way. They were clearly very generous, and were concerned for our wellbeing, but this didn’t seem to extend to all interactions. Algerian women are not integrated into the same roles as men, so it was in fact habitual, but it was strange due to our expectations. When we moved onto Con-
There is a proud resistance to change in parts of the South. Our next and final stop, Ghardaia, is situated in the Saharan M’Zab valley and is one of five cities that UNESCO has seen to exemplify the Berber culture, which has been overwhelmed by a growing Arab majority. This of course is what makes the area so interesting for tourists, both the customs on show and its shelter from Western influence. A 10 hour taxi gently eased us into the desert landscape and climate. Just as the call to prayer started we were passing through the walls that stand between the city and the outside world. We were taken around the protected sites’ white washed streets and randomly protracted square buildings by a tour guide who strictly instructed us to resist taking pictures of anyone. What we found inside the walls was a tradition far more peculiar than the geography or architecture. Married
outsiders. We were the outsiders not needed in a country rich in natural resources, yet we were welcomed with a generosity and pride that we had never witnessed before. We had come seeking rich tradition and uninfluenced culture. But when we found it in its richest form, I had struggled not to criticise it from a Western perspective. It was only through challenging this construct through a greater understanding of Islamic customs that I could see the two cultures in tandem rather than tension. Tourism often progresses liberal attitudes in dictatorships, and we found this among the Couchsurfing community. Yet we felt that if the country was to fully open its borders then a haven from Western bias would be lost; and the country’s cultural and religious traditions may no longer be so warm and welcoming. WORDS BY HENRY LONGDEN
F A C E S
BARRY MOLUMBY INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY INSTRUCTOR
BY MOLLY ROWANHAMILTON
T V // F I L M // FO O D & D R I N K // STAG E M US IC // L IT E R AT U R E // FA S H I O N
FEATURING TURNER PRIZE BY GABIJA PURLYTĖ
TURNER PRIZE 2013
DERRY~LONDONDERRY ART & DESIGN The Turner Prize, without doubt one of the most important contemporary art awards today, is hosting its shortlist exhibition outside of England for the first time. For Derry~Londonderry, the current UK City of Culture, this is definitely a big deal. Notorious for shocking and outraging the public, this year's exhibition contains nothing truly controversial (although particularly sensitive visitors might be discomforted by a certain degree of “male nudity”). What we have, however, is a very well put together show that is certainly worth visiting.First is David Shrigley's “life drawing class”. The model is not exactly live, however — it is a sculptural caricature which blinks and occasionally pees into a bucket. Visitors are invited to grab a clipboard with paper, a set of pastels, and draw a portrait to be displayed, at some point, on the gallery walls. The catch is that the sculpture itself is very badly proportioned, so that even a very well executed drawing will look “wrong”. This makes any fears about “lack of talent” redundant, and brings back the sheer joy of art-making. One of the favourites for the main prize, Laure Prouvost, gives us two related video-installations, which, depending on the day, you will need to queue for. But they are well worth the wait. The first, set in a dark atmospheric space which echoes that shown in the video, introduces viewers into the life of Prouvost's fictional grandfather — an unsuccessful conceptual artist of tragic fate. The second room, claustrophobic and sickeningly pink, is a foray into the grandmother’s dream world, where her husband admits that “he is not interested in conceptual art at all, he is just interested in painting bottoms”. Prouvost's skill at telling the story by adding up fragments is
remarkable, making the viewer go through various stages of misunderstanding until the full picture emerges. Lynette Yiadom-Boakye's oil portraits — a medium and genre steeped in tradition – might at first appear unexpected in a show of leading contemporary art. Their complexity is more subtle. The images of fictional people, with hints of never revealed narratives, are displayed in a darkened room, illuminated with spotlights. The glares on the paint are annoying at first — until you realise that they are unlikely to be a mishap in such a highbrow exhibition. Walking from one side of the painting to the other, light plays on the textured surface, transforming the picture entirely. Finally, Tino Sehgal, a second serious contender according to experts, asks the visitors to become the work themselves by engaging in a discussion with one of his “interpreters” in an otherwise empty gallery. Drawing on a solid tradition of activism-as-art, which goes against the commercialisation of the art object, Sehgal goes to the heart of the matter and asks you to share your views on the market economy in exchange for a pound. Though not the most exciting experience for this writer, it is nevertheless a useful (at the very least profitable) exercise. On the whole, the slogan of this year's Turner Prize — "How will you react?" — expresses the character of the exhibition perfectly. Devoid of anything to be outraged by, this show has nothing to do with the stereotype of alienating and impenetrable contemporary art. It welcomes you with open arms and does its best to give you something positive to take away.
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WORDS BY GABIJA PURLYTĖ
ETTO 18 MERRION ROW FOOD & DRINK Caught in between the numerous pubs of Merrion Row, only a discreet white panel indicates the entrance to this new Italian-inspired restaurant. Head chef Barry Fitzgerald, who has recently returned from London after a stint at the helm of the Michelin starred Harwood Arms, has put together an inspiring menu that offers an innovative take on Italian cuisine. While Etto has received much attention for its dinner menu, I was eager to see if the restaurant maintains such high standards for lunch service. Etto's lunch menu is limited, offering a single lunch special, a selection of soups and sandwiches as well as a small choice of salads and cold plates. The waitress explained to us that the menu varies daily depending on what ingredients can be sourced, with a commitment to using locally sourced fresh ingredients. Whilst waiting for our food, we familiarized ourselves with the interiors: white walls, rustic wooden tables and chairs, a blackboard on the wall; nothing new and exciting here by way of design. The absence of background music was somewhat refreshing, helping to establish a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere throughout the restaurant. I chose the €10 soup and sandwich deal, served on a sturdy wooden board. One sip of my butternut squash soup dredged with chanterelles was enough for me to appreciate the mild flavours melted with the soft crunch of mushroom. The soup was creamy and perfectly seasoned in harmony with the spicy salami-parmesan-tomato sandwich. The toasted baguette bread, from the
ISABEL MARANT FOR H&M
well-esteemed Le Levain, had nothing to learn from my native France, and set off perfectly the thin slices of spicy salami lightly seasoned with basil vinaigrette. The highlight of the show was the sweet ending note: plump red wine prunes fusing with understated vanilla extract in the velvety mascarpone. Squisito! Etto is also an acclaimed wine bar with a varied selection of cosmopolitan wines from Italy, but also from Spain, Austria, Slovenia or New Zealand. However, my appropriate choice of drink would have to be the crispy prosecco on tap, kept in an unusual cask allowing storage for up to sixty days. Unlike many of Dublin’s most popular restaurants, Etto doesn’t rely on trend, fad or gimmick to attract its customers. Quality flavoursome food is at the forefront of this eatery. While Etto’s lunch menu is incredibly good value for the quality that is produced, my only criticism of this menu would be its overly restricted selection. However, with the promise of a menu continuously shaped by the freshest seasonal ingredients, I look forward to returning soon. WORDS BY LEONORE GARNIER
street-meets-designer collection. When some of the pieces were leaked onto eBay, consumers paid over triple the retail price for certain items. The coveted fringed boots are currently online for €489, whilst in store they retail at €199 — provided you can get your hands on them; they sold out in twenty minutes. Despite the complications of actually buying an item from the collection, Marant has created a few items that are deservedly coveted. The long sleeved white lace top is one of the most beautiful items in the collection. The laced leather trousers embody the edgier side of Marant — they are unique, but wearable. For those who cannot stomach laced leather, Marant offers some cropped red leather trousers; their boldness comes from their colour rather than their design. There are some underwhelming pieces masquerading underneath the media frenzy. The jewellery looks as if it has been thrown in as an afterthought, whilst the menswear is simply too droopy. It is a brave man who wears white tribal jeans, with a knitted polo neck so chunky that it sprouts clumps of wool from the elbows, wrist and waist. The same pattern recurs in the children’s collection — the girls are offered a black denim jacket and a pair of suede boots that put the aforementioned boots to shame. In contrast, the boys are destined to remain far behind in the style stakes, unless they want to turn up to school sporting a navy woollen cap and pink high-top sneakers. Marant and H&M must be applauded for their efforts to bring high fashion to the high street. The problem is the exclusivity. To enter a store that stocks the collection, you are given a coloured wristband and allowed a five-minute browse until you are kicked out again. It is the best possible marketing ploy, and the worst possible shopping experience. Undoubtedly, the queues will be longer WORDS BY ISSY THOMPSON next time.
FASHION The night before the release of Isabel Marant’s eagerly anticipated collection for H&M, the streets were lined with shoppers eager to buy into the lifestyle that has become synonymous with Marant and her perfect fusion of bohemian ease and chic. “I am creating something real,” Marant explained, “Everything can be mixed following one’s own instincts: My take on fashion is about personality.” Buy into this collection, and you have bought into an attitude. What is more, it is at high street prices. Never before has there been such a frenzied hype about a high-
ISSUE THREE // 27
ACT I O N B RO N S O N BLUE CHIPS 2 ATLANTIC / VICE MUSIC With his latest mixtape, Blue Chips 2, Action Bronson somehow manages to improve upon his usual standards of verbal dexterity, versatile flow and his unique penchant for outlandish punch lines. Party Supplies has also upped his production standards significantly, sampling everything from 80s synth pop, bossa jazz and samba, providing a strong base for Bronson to weave his rhymes around. He also nods to old-school favourites on cuts like Through The Eyes of A G, which features a sample from Quincy Jones’ Summer in the City, used to best effect by The Pharcyde on Passin’ Me By. Name-checking a multitude of professional wrestlers, Bronson’s rhymes
mentals of some 80s classics such as Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel and Sussidio by Phil Collins. Contemporary Man, more than any other songs, brings the good-humoured nature of the mixtape to the fore. On other Bronson releases, such as his collaboration with Harry Fraud (and major label debut) Saab Stories, Bronson tended to indulge in darker lyrics to the point of the grotesque in order to suit the darker beats that Fraud was producing. There are no such excesses present here, and while the lyrics may verge on absurdity, they never make the listener uncomfortable. Many of the songs on Blue Chips 2 act as a tribute to the original party spirit of the hip-hop scene; and it
DEATH GRIPS // GOVERNMENT PLATES Nobody can hold a candle to Death Grips. Government Plates; their third LP released in 19 months makes this clear. While The Money Store was an industrial maelstrom and No Love Deep Web ventured into alienating musical wastelands, this is an all-out assault of found sounds and terrifying vocals. Ironically, their volatile, schizophrenic music is now so unpredictable that one is prepared for anything. However, this does not make for dull listening. In fact, Plates is likely to be the most thrilling album of 2013. From the abrasive psychedelic lead single Birds, to the aggravated drum‘n’bass of Feels Like A Wheel, they have pushed the envelope for punk, rap and industrial music by miles. No mean feat, considering their past two albums set the previous records for innovation. It is not for the faint hearted, but those willing to brave the monstrous decibels are in for a treat. MICHAEL LANIGAN
EMINEM // THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP II centre on his status as a heavyweight (literally) in the rap game. Practice, one of the mixtapes highlights, encapsulates everything that was great on the first instalment of Blue Chips: smooth horns float around a pocket-groove beat that wouldn’t sound out of place in a blaxploitation film. Bronson is on his finest form here, talking about wrestling hippos, gators and going to drug dealing anonymous. Contemporary Man was the first song that Bronson and Party Supplies collaborated on and serves as an embodiment of what the whole Blue Chips project is about. A four minute once off, the song is a homage to 80s freestyle culture but with the instru28 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
is in a party atmosphere that this album is most at home. The beats run through samples that any listener familiar with the 80s would recognise and appreciate while some of the punchlines (that come hard and thick) are among the funniest to have come out New York in the past few years. Blue Chips 2 offers further proof that Bronson works best with Party Supplies, who curbs some of his tendencies towards lyrical excess and brings out his humourous side, which is where Bronson excels. The mixtape will please fans of the previous collaboration, as well as Bronson fans in general, who will no doubt appreciate his trademark wit. WORDS BY LIAM MAHER
For the past decade or so Eminem has held a strange position in the hip-hop world. Coming from his confessional release Relapse to the renewed venom and vigour of Recovery and finally to his latest album, The Marshall Mathers LP II has been a tenuous trajectory. What is most noticeable about his latest release is of course its title, which calls to mind his seminal and work, The Marshall Mathers LP. Part II falls short of this classic on nearly every front but shows that Eminem can still rap to a phenomenally high degree, as evidenced by the first single, Rap God, which would make any hip-hop aficionado’s head spin. Most of the album is sub-par production wise. Eminem has yet to produce a cohesive album this decade, and one can’t help but think that this may be due to his separation from Dre, the Bass Brothers and Mel-Man who were vital components to the Marshall Mathers sound. LIAM MAHER
DON JON JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT FILM In his feature debut as director, writer and star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Jon Martello, a Jersey boy whose rigid GTL routine includes an addiction to online porn. All Jon cares about, as he frequently reminds us in voice-over, are “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, my porn”. Jon’s routine is shaken up when he meets the ultimate “dime”, Barbara Sugarman (a spectacular Scarlett Johansson). Barbara has her own version of porn: she is looking for her Prince Charming, a man she can mould and manipulate into becoming exactly what she has come to expect from romantic Hollywood movies. By juxtaposing and equating their competing sexual and romantic fantasies, Gordon-Levitt effectively highlights the problems associated with media representations of intimacy. Throughout the film, Gordon-Levitt attempts to deconstruct society’s strict notions of masculinity and femininity. Jon’s muscled-up father (Tony Danza) is held up as the ultimate man’s man, sitting at the head of the dinner table and leering approvingly when Jon brings home “a piece of ass”. However, in the course of his relationship with Barbara, and his new friendship with eccentric, troubled classmate Esther (Julianne Moore), Jon begins to challenge his strictly gendered worldview, coming into conflict with both his father and his new girlfriend. This clash of ideals becomes painfully apparent when Barbara is embarrassed by Jon’s insistence on cleaning his own flat — the antithesis of traditional masculinity. Gordon-Levitt has described Don Jon as a platform for exploring how societal expectations of our gendered behaviours can have a harmful impact on personal sexuality. For Jon, his relationship with porn hinders his attempts to connect (emotionally and sexu-
BLUE IS THE WA R M E S T C O L O R
ally) with another person. For Barbara, her fixation with on-screen romances provides her with an unrealistic understanding of human relationships. Gordon-Levitt plays around with this idea, as we see Jon and Barbara at the cinema watching an archetypal romance, Special Someone. It becomes clear that Barbara is as addicted to fantasy as Jon, but unfortunately her fantasy is left undeveloped past a joke. Julianne Moore emerges as an unconventional catalyst in the story. First seen by Jon sobbing outside their night class, she later apologises and catches him watching porn on his phone, resulting in an unexpected friendship and an unexpected change in the film’s direction. While Gordon-Levitt is admirably eager to avoid playing it safe, the sudden shift in focus is accompanied by an abrupt change in tone — an ambitious move which the film fails in convincingly pulling off. Although Don Jon ends on a rather saccharine note, Gordon-Levitt has succeeded in subverting the rom-com genre with this bruisingly funny and thought-provoking film, raising questions about sexuality, masculinity, porn, gender roles and objectification — no small feat for a directorial debut. WORDS BY MEADHBH MCGRATH
FILM At three hours long, sitting through all of Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or winning Blue is the Warmest Colour may sound like a challenge. The myth surrounding the film's sex scenes and alleged mistreatment of its lead actors may add intrigue for some, but perhaps not enough to justify such a duration; yet the time melts away. Far more than just a product of controversy, this film is a dynamic portrayal of a romance that spans over ten years, gracefully charting the ups and downs of a passionate relationship and how time plays a part in its development and eventual breakdown. Adel (Adèle Exarchopoulous) is a teenager with a "voracious appetite," seen frequently eating ravenously and asking for seconds. So when blue-haired Emma (Léa Seydoux), an older art student, meets eyes with her across a crowded street, Adel's appetite is only whetted even more. The use of the colour blue, which looms constantly in any scene where Adele is present, artfully builds up a tension that leads to an explosive yet understated first encounter with Emma. Amazingly, it is the sex scenes which threaten this incredible ambiance — the scenes are drawn out, uncomfortable sexual paroxysms that elicit a combination of cringing and scoffing. It is the one black mark on an otherwise eminently worthwhile feature. While the film's description may inspire expectations of long, uber-French artistic masturbation (and maybe some literal, too), it is in fact a beautifully acted, written and directed piece that is deserving of the prestigious award it was bestowed.
FILM Television director Jeremy Lovering (behind the first episode of Sherlock’s third season) makes his feature film debut with this gripping horror film about a date gone horribly wrong. Iain De Caestecker (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures) play Tom and Lucy, who have just started seeing each other. On their way to a remote hotel in rural Ireland before a music festival, they follow sign after sign, but keep coming back to the same spot. As night begins to fall, fuel runs low and the couple get increasingly paranoid in the unwelcoming countryside. The intense, booming score and jagged cinematography give rise to a sense of nagging claustrophobia as it becomes alarmingly clear that someone is following them. In the style of The Blair Witch Project, the film is entirely improvised — neither of the young actors were given a script and each scene was shot chronologically so that the actors had no idea what was coming next. The two leads give terrific performances, although the film could have benefitted from more of a backstory on Tom and Lucy. Lovering expertly handles the suspense in the early parts, but after a nerve-racking build-up, the film reveals its hand too early on. The plot turns begin to feel forced and the tension subsides, resulting in the film arriving at a rather limp conclusion.
WORDS BY EVA SHORT
WORDS BY MEADHBH MCGRATH
ISSUE THREE // 29
D R AC U L A
TV I Given the plethora of bad Dracula adaptations and the ubiquity of the sparkly vampire in recent media culture, you’d be forgiven for expecting this addition to the genre to be a dreadful let-down. However, this ten-part miniseries is surprisingly compelling, from the title character’s smouldering charisma to the opulent fashions and thrilling fight scenes. Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been the subject of a seemingly infinite number of adaptations, yet this latest permutation almost entirely subverts the story. About all the series shares with the novel is a few characters’ names and the fact that the titular character drinks people’s blood. While Dracula purists may be outraged by this retelling of the classic, it allows the new production the creative license to tell completely new stories. The pilot begins in Dracula’s Romanian crypt, where a figure (who we later discover is Professor Van Helsing, re-imagined here as Dracula’s ally) slashes the throat of a vampire hunter and lets the outpouring of blood revive Dracula’s corpse. In the series, Van Helsing and Dracula are connected by their common hatred of the Order of the Dragon, an Illuminati-esque secret organisation who slaughtered their respective families several centuries ago and now have a lucrative grasp on London’s oil market. The Order is established as quite a threatening adversary, as we learn they are familiar with both vampires and methods to counteract them. Rhys Meyers is superbly cast as Dracula,
who arrives in London posing as business tycoon Alexander Grayson, “as American as God, guns and bourbon”. Dracula has been reformulated in the series as a fairly sensitive, civilised, Gatsby-esque figure who aims to destroy the Order’s financial base by creating free electricity. Dracula’s plans to exact revenge on the Order are disrupted when he falls in love with Mina (Jessica de Gouw), a medical student who bears an uncanny resemblance to his deceased wife. The series raises interesting questions about gender roles when Mina’s fiancé, mopey journalist Jonathan Harker, complains that she refuses to submit to a position of subordination as his obedient wife, instead pursuing an independent career as a physician. Irish actress Victoria Smurfit dazzles as glamorous vampire hunter Lady Jayne, who, unaware of his true identity, is seduced by Grayson, resulting in a torrid love affair. The series also features a re-imagined Renfield (a great Nonso Anozie) — no longer the inmate of an insane asylum, he appears as Dracula’s clever and loyal confidante. The most striking aspect of this new show is its dark, brooding Gothic look and ornate period trappings. Filmed in Budapest, the production is sumptuous, with stunning costumes (designed by Emmy Award winner Annie Symons) and lavish sets. It will be interesting to see if Dracula can maintain this level of luxurious fun in the seven remaining episodes.
30 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
MONDAYS // SKY LIVING WORDS BY MEADHBH MCGRATH
DRIFTERS Having sniffed out a successful formula, the creators of infamous and awkward teen sitcom The Inbetweeners have reunited and attempted to further milk this success in the form of new female-led E4 comedy Drifters. The show centres on three young women in Leeds clumsily trying to get their lives started after finishing university. They spend their time trying to eke out a living through menial work and internships, looking for a place to live and bemoaning their relationship faux-pas and general poverty. The subject matter is fertile breeding ground for laughs and sharp humour akin to its predecessor, and yet fails spectacularly. Far from the female answer to The Inbetweeners, this show is a catalogue of adventures in ineptitude, of three obnoxious buffoons newly ejected from the parental nest and floundering as a result.
The women are vastly different in their personalities and hence we are exposed to three flavours of unlikeable. There's Lauren, the crass "slut" of the group; Bunny, whose vanity is only matched by her idiocy; and Meg, the one with her head relatively screwed on yet still irritatingly self-centred and petulant. The characters are not entertaining in their repugnance; their delivery is lazy and uninspired, and the plot lines they deal with are so extreme in their absurdity that they lose all art. Overall, the only reason anyone would want to watch this show is if they were looking for a half hour of derivative, dullard antics to subject themselves to in an act of masochism. THURSDAYS // E4 WORDS BY EVA SHORT
T H E E M BAS SY O F CAMBODIA ZADIE SMITH LITERATURE Many were surprised to see reputable imprint of Penguin, Hamish Hamilton, publish Zadie Smith’s 69-page long The Embassy of Cambodia. The author is better known for her weighty novels, White Teeth and NW, than her shorter fiction or essays. The Embassy of Cambodia, however, began life as a short story in the New Yorker and has subsequently been published individually in pocket-sized hardback. Too fleeting to be considered a novella and yet too rounded and complete to be a short story, Smith’s new work hovers between forms. Divided into 21 chapters — which represent no more than one or two paragraphs and yet which seem wholly sufficient and infinitely revealing — the reader is forced into the heart-breaking and hopeful life of Fatou. Emigrating from the Ivory Coast at age 18, eventually finds herself in North West London housekeeping for a wealthy Arabic family with no passport or wages; her only escape is her morning swims at the local health centre and her church outings with friend and tentative love interest, Andrew. Fatou’s story is rendered through an eerie and ambiguous “we”: the ethereal and disconnected voice of an old lady looking out the window of an old folk’s home, across the road from the embassy of Cambodia. Fatou’s story is both elliptical yet complete. It suggests volumes to the reader; never has a character been so vividly or effectively portrayed in so few words. Her story is not finished, there is still so much unsaid about her, and yet the reader will turn that 69th page
SILENT THE ABBEY PEACOCK STAGE
STAGE The question of a production’s “relevance” is usually at the forefront of theatrical discussion, particularly when it comes to the National Theatre. The relevance of Silent is undeniable, giving voice to the hundreds of faceless sleeping bags we pass on the street every day. Written and performed by Pat Kinevane, this one-man show is a powerful piece of theatre, embracing the less shiny parts of our society that we would sometimes rather not see or acknowledge. Directed by Jim Culleton of Fishamble, this production has been touring both nationally and internationally since 2011, currently making a return to the Peacock Theatre. The piece follows the lifepath of Tino McGoldrig, a homeless man engulfed by depression and alcoholism. The play bounces effortlessly between humour and anguish but ultimately forces us to look deep within ourselves as members of society, questioning the prejudices regarding mental health, suicide and homelessness in this country. Kinevane’s performance is majestically effortless, incapable of being justified by words alone. It is the experience of being present with a single body in space that infiltrates the soul of the audience member. Skilfully fusing poignancy with moments of heightened drama — such as expressive and seductive movement pieces or caricatures of the monsters of his past — McGoldrig reconstructs significant events of his life: the suicide of his brother who was branded “a faggot”, his marriage, the birth of his son and his spiral into depression. It is the reliving of such moments and the embodiment of characters from his past that further remind us of the isola-
and feel they have just read a 300-page novel. It is in this sense that Smith’s command of style and language is truly remarkable. Her crafting of the short story in this way recalls and defines Hemingway’s much quoted “Iceberg theory”. It is refreshing to see the short story being exercised with such mastery and anyone who asserts that this form is purely for writers who are too lazy to write a novel will surely marvel at the skill and precision which was required in the construction of this work. Reading this story in isolation is slightly jarring, however. The reader wants more, and after paying €9.99 for one short story we may as well have bought the New Yorker and glanced at a few other contributions along the way. The fact that The Embassy of Cambodia will undoubtedly sell is testament to Smith’s renown and her irrefutably mastery, however, one can’t help think of a popular, acclaimed novelist resting on her laurels while other writers struggle to pull together collections of stories that present a unified body of work, and not simply an evolving one. WORDS BY LOLA BOORMAN tion and loneliness surrounding homelessness. While such moments are harrowing, the production never depends on these to emotionally manipulate its audience and Kinevane’s comedic capabilities are equally significant throughout the performance to deliver an important message. Denis Clohessy’s clever sound composition conjures distinct images of space and time, flitting between memories of the past but always plummeting us back to the present through the piercing sound of coins hitting the bottom of the jar. It is nothing less than a privilege to spend an evening with Kinevane in the National Theatre, watching such an important issue being dealtt with the utmost delicacy. Informing us that the main cause of homelessness in Ireland is mental health issues, Silent plants in us a seed of social awareness. McGoldrig is a man who once had “splendid things”, who might have even gone to the theatre to watch a play. In the programme, Kinevane states, “It could be you whose own mind torments itself. It could be you who was born into neglect and cruelty. It could be us… at the toss of a coi WORDS BY FIONNUALA GYGAX n.”
ISSUE THREE // 31
7 DAYS FRI 2 2 N D
IRISH CRIME FICTION FESTIVAL If you like yellow tape and red herrings, hang around campus this weekend for the Irish Crime Fiction Festival. With speakers such as Michael Connolly and Declan Burke, and a free mystery movie to be shown on Saturday, it looks to be an intriguing weekend. The event kicks off on Friday with a talk in the Long Room Hub at 7pm: “A Short Introduction to Crime Fiction: Why We Write it, How We Write It, And How We Read It.” The panel includes John Connolly, Jane Casey, Alan Glynn, Declan Hughes and Eoin McNamee, who should make for an insightful discussion of the workings of a genre that is becoming more and more popular. LND
S U N 2 4TH
SAT 1 9TH
SAT THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR
From modest beginnings in 1963 to 3D spectacle in 2013, BBC’s Doctor Who — the world’s longest science-fiction show — marks its fiftieth anniversary in style with a 75-minute celebration of things past, as well as a preview of things to come. Expectations are high following the release of the mini-episode prequel The Night of the Doctor which allows the audience to bear witness to the last moments of the eighth doctor prior to his regeneration into the War Doctor (John Hurt), a regeneration directly influenced by the proceedings of The Last Great Time War. The struggle between the Time Lords and the Daleks is fully brought to light in this episode, with action juxtaposed between modern day
London, Elizabethan England and space. Whether the doctor’s regeneration into the War Doctor was a necessary evil to restore peace will be an issue of debate amongst fans. The episode also sees the return of familiar faces such as former doctor David Tennant and his companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and the well-loved fan favourites, the zygons, whose appearance will mark their return to screen after a thirty-eight year absence. This episode is not mere fanfare, but rather a testament to the continuing legacy and innovation of a series that continues to defy both time and its critics. CF. DOCTOR WHO: THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR WILL BE BROADCAST ON BBC ONE ON 23 NOVEMBER AT 19.50 AS WELL AS IN A NUMBER OF CINEMAS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING CINEWORLD, THE SAVOY AND ALL ODEON CINEMAS.
FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE CHRISTMAS SHOW This three day food festival, curated by the experts at Food and Wine Magazine, will feature a variety of exhibitions, master classes and food stalls designed to inspire foodies for the festive period. The Chef ’s Kitchen will be the main attraction, featuring demonstrations from some of Ireland’s leading chefs such as Derry Clarke (L’Ecrivain) and Graham Neville (Restaurant Forty One). Attendants can also expect wine and champagne tastings, cocktail-making classes as well as a host of free samples in the Artisan Village from some of Irelands best gourmet food producers. CC.
IN DUBLIN M O N 2 5TH
TU E 2 6TH
WE D 2 7 TH
TH U R 2 8TH
BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB, THE ACADEMY
DU FILM, STOP MAKING SENSE
THE RISEN PEOPLE, ABBEY THEATRE
Perhaps best known for the baggy, uplifting guitar rock of their last album A Different Kind of Fix, London four-piece Bombay Bicycle Club will be playing The Academy this week, in the midst of their first ever full Irish tour. With an impressive body of work behind them, their live show is always incredibly tight and energetic, and this is bound to be a lot of fun. Additionally, their exquisite newly released track Carry Me sees the band delving further still into the surprising but exciting interest in propulsive dance music, subtly hinted at on earlier releases. The gig promises to be an intriguing insight into more of this new material ahead of their fourth album, interspersed with plenty of their well known hits. TJ.
Trinity Film Soc and Fashion Soc are joining forces, taking over the Sugar Club and partying like it’s 1983. With projections of Talking Heads' exquisite concert film Stop Making Sense filling the screen and the likes of Prince and INXS blasting out of the speakers, this 80s-themed night looks set to be an incredible evening of dancing like you’re in the cast of a John Hughes movie. This blast from the past costs just €5 euro for members and €6 euro for everyone else. With live music to be announced and prizes for best dressed, it seems as good a time as any to bust out the shoulder pads and questionable hairstyles and pretend you’re in the Brat Pack. TJ.
Pictiúr, a touring exhibition of creations by 21 of Ireland's leading children's book illustrators, has just arrived at IMMA. This is a wonderful chance to enjoy a collection of some of the most engaging, touching, imaginative and visually appealing contemporary artwork which often escapes the view of audiences that have "outgrown" children's literature. The display includes not only the illustrations which have ended up in recently published books in English and Irish, but also sketchbooks, three-dimensional works, and videos, offering an invaluable insight into the practice of illustrators. On view in the basement and Itsa... cafe at IMMA until 12 January 2014. GP.
On the anniversary of the 1913 Lockout the Abbey Theatre is memorialising the occasion with a new version of James Plunkett’s The Risen People. Abbey regular Jimmy Fay is teaming up with movement director Colin Dunne and composer and musical director Conor Linehan to create a show worthy of Ireland’s history in the national theatre. After ANU Productions honoured the Lock Out during the Dublin Fringe Festival it will be interesting to see how the Abbey’s foremost director takes on the struggling Fitzpatrick family, and the daily fight for survival during the this nation-forming event. With a cast that boasts the likes of Hilda Fay and Joe Hanley this production is sure to get hearts racing and memories flowing. KM. TICKETS FROM €13
THE END PIECE
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“I CAN CREATE HERE, AND THAT MAKES ME FEEL LIBERATED. BEING HERE HAS GIVEN ME THE SPIRIT OF CONTINUITY AND CENTRALITY, AND THAT’S BETTER THAN ANY SALARY.” Tato Laviera’s first poem was written, unsurprisingly, in his beloved Lower East Side after an encounter with a barefoot Puerto Rican boy sitting on the street. “I went and sat on the stairs and wrote my poem about that kid… That was the calling. It was a concrete calling and there it emerged. This happened in July, 1966.’‘ For the next 40-odd years his creativity was motivated by his people, the Puerto Ricans of New York, and their struggles and celebrations. In his own words: “I am nothing but the historian / who took your actions / and jotted them on paper / therefore making you / the source, the strength, / the base of my inspirations.” Author of 5 volumes of poetry and over a dozen plays, musician, performance-poet, youth worker and social activist, Tato Laviera was a protagonist of the “Nuyorican” culture movement. Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in 1951, he was brought to New York when he was 6 years old, where he lived for the rest of his life. His work, pulsing with the bomba and plena rhythms of the Caribbean and scattered with slang of the city, paid homage to the hybrid identity of his community. He wrote with equal mastery in English and Spanish, and often 34 // TN2MAGAZINE.IE
combined the two in a nod, both playful and brilliant, to contemporary speech. For example, the title of his second collection, Enclave, is a pun on “en clave”, which means both “in code” and “in key.” His passion for his own enclave did not take away from his appreciation of other minority cultures. He believed in a synchronous celebration of the hybrid ethnicities that made up the United States, calling for a negation of the so-called melting pot, and an inclusion of all cultures: “why is america confused? / why does she adopt foreign modes / to escape her present reality? / why am I left alone as if I were / a token outside a telephone booth?” He was among the founders of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a live poetry venue in the East Village that, despite the name, promotes work from all ethnicities and is still a buzzing multi-cultural performance centre today. Allen Ginsberg described it as “the most integrated place on the planet”. In later life Laviera suffered from increasing health problems, going blind as a result of diabetes. In 2010 he underwent emergency brain surgery, which saved his life but left him homeless. He spent two weeks in a nursing home, but couldn’t bear
to be around people who were, he thought, disengaged with life and the outside world. He preferred to stay at a shelter, where he held poetry readings with the other lodgers. While he was there he said, “I can create here, and that makes me feel liberated. Being here has given me the spirit of continuity and centrality, and that’s better than any salary.” When word got out about his predicament (via an article titled “Poet Spans Two Worlds, but has a Home in Neither”) the community response was overwhelming. Thanks to the campaigns of local community workers and lawyers, he was given an apartment in East Harlem, the biggest Puerto Rican barrio in NY. Lawyer Gloria Quinones saw it as their duty to help Laviera: “It’s not just about giving to Tato… it’s about giving to ourselves and taking care of a cultural value. A man who gave so much, so much love, giving that back to him means we give it back to ourselves.” Tato Laviera, who went into a diabetes-related coma earlier this year, died on November 1 at the age of 63. He is survived by daughter Ella, sister Ruth and, evidently, a multitude of grateful and reverent admirers. WORDS BY LILY Nĺ DHOMHNAILL
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