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LESS COMMON

ISSN 2051-9400 ISSUE 3

the archive and activism issue


EDITOR’S LETTER

CONTENTS

01 EDITORIAL 02 MANIFESTO OF THE MILITANT ART GROUP 04 THE WORLD’S NEW CLOTHES 08 LGBTQ MANIFESTO 10 IN CONVERSATION: MARTINE ROSE 12 THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL 18 ALTERNATIVE JOURNAL FOR GIRLS 20 ARCHIPELAGOS 24 THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

Archives discriminate. Choosing what is worthy of being archived, thus memorised, is not creating a neutral collection of data but a status that is reflecting the archivist’s convictions. To paraphrase Derrida: There is no archive without the outside. While archiving establishes systems of categorisation that present their user with a seemingly total history, questions of whose history is represented and how have always carried political importance. A rather recent example is the case of Tchaikovsky. While an archive of 247 letters leaves very little doubt about his sexual preferences, the Russian government kept them locked away until 1995 and is now sponsoring the production of a movie portraying Tchaikovsky as a loving, heterosexual husband. Just for the record - this is the same man who referred to his marriage as a “miserable wasting away, an insufferably heavy comedy” (Neshitov, 2013). In this context it is understandable that archives have frequently been in the focus of anti-governmental activity. Activity that often expresses itself not just as protest but also as a physical act against the repositories, like the ripping of pages and throwing of files into the streets during the storming of the Stasi archives in 1989 (Lindenberger, 2008). The archive as a ‘system of statements’ (Foucault, 1969) and its political dimension have fascinated and inspired many artistic works such as Ilya Kabakov’s The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away and ‘visual activist’ Zanele Muholi’s photographic archive of persecuted black lesbian South Africans.

Unlike our previous issues, Archive and Activism is intended not so much as an exploratory journey into a topic (although Nick Scammell’s Archipelagos (p.18)) does explore the meaning of archive), nor as an illustration (although Doralice Yukai Du’s are pretty amazing (p. 4.)) but as a kind of manual to activism around our university. This issue is especially dedicated to everybody new to UAL – we’ve all been there and know how daunting your first weeks at uni can be. Use the disorientation as a chance to reflect and question everything because – trust us – you’ll be back to routines sooner than you think. Enjoy, Xenia Schuermann Editor

References: Derrida, J., (1997), Dem Archiv Verschrieben: Eine Freudsche Impression, Berlin, Brinkmann + Bose, p.25, (translation by myself). Foucault, M., (1969) The historical a priori and the Archive, in: Merewether, C., (2006) The Archive, Cambridge, Whitechapel/MIT Press, p.26. Hamilton et al., (2002), Refiguring the Archive, London, Kluwer Academic Publishers Lindenberger, T., (2008) Interview with the author, Des dossiers de police à l’histoire sociale de l’Allemagne, in: Combe, S., Archives et histoire dans les sociétés post-communistes, Paris, LA DECOUVERTE/BDIC, p. 277. Neshitov, T., (2013), Hier werdet ihr nicht glücklich, Jungs, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 5. September, p.11, (translation by myself). 01


MANIFESTO OF THE MILITANT ART GROUP

MANIFESTO OF THE MILITANT ART GROUP TEXT BY NICHOLAS BALDION, (BA FINE ARTS GRADUATE, CHELSEA)

Capitalism is decay. Capitalism has become a fetter on human progress and a chain around the neck of art. Man has become separated from nature, from his fellow man and from himself. True art feels this, true art feeds that yearning for things to be otherwise. It illuminates feelings and relationships that we are not aware of, it makes us conscious of ourselves. True art makes us more human by providing a language where before there was just silence and by calling to restore ‘the lost unity of man’ (Fischer, 1963). Capitalism however has created a large tendency of decadence in art. It reduces art to frivolous spectacle and commercial entertainment leaving us with a barrage of clichés presented as reality. Against this assault on culture we wish to put up a fresh view of the world. We wish to express human relationships in all their complexity; the misery and the moments of joy. We wish to expose the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie, the politicians and the media. Above all else we wish to expose this capitalist world that is decay and suggest that it is changeable. Throughout the world thousands upon thousands of isolated artists, students and intellectuals are dissatisfied with 02

the current state of affairs. We call on those who wish to defend art against the blind destructive forces of the market to make themselves heard. To those who are tired with the decadent art that today is presented as the avant-garde, to shout aloud our right to exist, to organise locally and internationally a federation for a revolutionary art. This we must do if only to defend ourselves against all those who deny art’s ability to say anything, who wish to disarm art and deny it an influence on the fate of society. Capitalism tries to hide the revolutionary aspects of art behind commercialism, even the great artist and communist Pablo Picasso has become a brand, a Renault hatchback. People can be said to go a bit ‘Picasso’. Let Picasso speak for himself: “What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only eyes if he is a painter, or ears if he is a musician, or a lyre in every chamber of his heart if he is a poet, or even, if he is a boxer, just his muscles? Far, far from it: at the same time, he is also a political being, constantly aware of the heartbreaking, passionate or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. How could it be possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference to detach

yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.” (1945) Let us never forget that Picasso like many great artists was a revolutionary. There is little to wonder. In their manifesto Towards a Free Revolutionary Art, Trotsky, Breton and Rivera explained that: “True art is unable not to be revolutionary, not to aspire to a complete and radical reconstruction of society… were it only to deliver intellectual creation from the chains that bind it.” (1938)

References: Breton, A., Trotsky, L., (1938), Towards a Free Revolutionary Art, available from: http:// generation-online.org/c/fcsurrealism1.htm Fischer, E., (1963) The Necessity of Art: A Marxist Approach, Vero reprint 2010 Martin, R., (2003), Picasso’s War, Scribner, p.1

Unless we are to fall into clichés and vulgar kitsch we must inherit this legacy, find new forms and ways of expressing that idea which is most fundamental to this manifesto: that this world is decay but another world is possible. By exploring and expressing this idea we shall open up new experiences to humanity. We shall not only reflect reality but shape it. We shall feed that longing for wholeness that humanity is yearning for. We fight for socialism. The victory of socialism will assure art its rightful place at the centre of life and let human kind become truly human. In short our aims are modest… To Turn the World Upside Down!

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THE WORLD’S NEW CLOTHES

ARTWORK BY DORALICE YUKAI DU (MA VISULAL COMMUNICATION, CSM)

books

travel

family day

education

intimacy

confidant

companion

privacy

reality

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ocean

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THE WORLD’S NEW CLOTHES

THE WORLD’S NEW CLOTHES

forest

rules

stars

wild world

ideal life

fresh air

food

news

what’s more?

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UAL LGBTQ MANIFESTO

UAL LGBTQ MANIFESTO TEXT BY FILIP BIGOS (FDA PRODUCTION FOR LIVE EVENTS AND TV, LCC)

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We pursue happiness. We all do. We all deserve it. We deserve to be free. Free and to be ourselves. Without fear. Fear of being mocked, bullied or hurt. We promote tolerance. We promote openness. We promote support. Support of every individual. Because an individual is what matters. Because individuals make up society. The society we live in. The society that is so varied. So flourish, be free and do not be afraid. Because it is you, the individual, that matters.

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IN CONVERSATION: MARTINE ROSE

IN CONVERSATION: MARTINE ROSE INTERVIEW BY TARO REY (BA MENSWEAR GRADUATE, CSM) PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTOPHER DADEY

Martine Rose’s Autumn Winter 2013 Collection is an exercise in function and functionality – engineering a new uniform that is both streetwise and idiosyncratic. Stepping into her dramatically staged presentation at the recently erected London Collections: Men a world of masculinity unfolds to unveil an elusive clan of urban warriors or “Ghetto Kings”. Triggered by the designer’s observations of the Rasta and Punk movements - from which the show derives its effortless-ease - it is by no doubt a love letter to cultural rebellion. In the same collection, the riches of portraiture done in Northern renaissance style are illustrated by Rose’s layering of separates – in the same manner favored by Holbein’s aristocratic subjects. The collection’s raw detail, characterized by a militaristic flair, is the product of collaboration with footwear Brand Bates. These welcomed oddities perfectly underpin the designer’s groundbreaking formula of rigorous utilitarianism and a playful-devil-may-care dandyism. Taro Rey discusses with Rose, the challenge of presenting and representing masculinity. TR: Do you have someone in mind or does the design grow from an idea that takes its own course? Do you find having a woman’s perspective alters how you design clothes for men? MR: Sort of, but it’s nothing so defined as a muse. I’m inspired by clothing and style mainly, but of course I also have lots of different men around me whose attitude, style and taste inspire me also. In regards to having a woman’s perspective, it’s the only thing I know and the only point I can design from. Men have said that they can see that they can see a women’s perspective in my clothes, but the specific impact that that has on
the design is subjective.

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TR: The collection played upon spaces of masculinity, such as pubs. Places where the social stereotypes of masculinity are present. Do you have personal memories of these masculine places? What inspired you to focus on this? MR: Actually the beer towels came about from my research into Holbein paintings and the Tudor depictions of sovereignty and status. The link to pubs was by looking at Tudor architecture that is still heavily referenced in pubs today. In addition to this was the huge influence of the Rasta community in Jamaica, who’s style and attitude is less about riches and fine fabrics and more about recycling, using what you have available and relying on your attitude for the rest, in the same way the punks emulated in the 70’s. It’s an eccentric and extremely individual approach to style and fashion, which I found the most inspiring. In essence I suppose the Rasta community in Jamaica, the Punk style of the 70’s, and traditional pub culture here to a degree are all linked by a masculine undertone. TR: I feel in the past we had these established engendered spaces, such as the pub that have become cemented in our minds as places for men to exhibit masculine traits. These have now become relics from a past civilization of the archetypal man, which we observe with a certain amount of nostalgic but distanced sentiment. In a sense, like watching a period drama. What do you think? MR: I think that it’s culture specific. Certainly in English culture there were and still are to a degree environments in which men still dominate and at times assert old notions of masculinity although a shift in taste and the presence of more women has contributed to changing attitudes.

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THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL TEXT BY LARS WERNER (BA SCULPTURE, CAMBERWELL)

“As I cannot write I put this down simply and freely as I might speak to a person to whose intimacy and tenderness I can fully entrust myself and who I know will bear with all my weaknesses.” Elizabeth Parker, 1830, first sentence on the towel

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The personal is political1 The personal2 is political3 The personal4 is political5 The personal6 is political7 The personal8 is political9 The personal10 is political11 The personal12 is political13 The personal14 is political15 The personal16 is political17 The personal18 is political19 The personal20 is political21 The personal22 is political23 The personal24 is political25 The personal26 is political27 personal28 is political29 The personal30 is political31 The personal32 is political33 The personal34 is political35personal36 The personal37 is political38 The personal39 is political40 The personal41

1 Carol Hanisch, 1969, “The Personal is Political”, Notes From the Second Year: Women’s Liberation: Major Writings of the Radical Feminists, New York 2 Family 3 Family 4 Hierarchy 5 Power 6 Power 7 Hierarchy 8 Anger 9 Minority 10 Stupidity 11 Majority 12 School 13 Fear 14 Women 15 Anger 16 Love 17 School 18 Lost 19 Hierarchy

20 Fear 21 Gender 22 Anger 23 Power 24 Will 25 Cleverness 26 Chances 27 Stupidity 28 Opinion 29 Fear 30 Brightness 31 Outstanding 32 Stupidity 33 Availability 34 Effects 35 Connections 36 Life 37 Ideas 38 Drugs 39 Writing 40 Music 41 Language

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THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

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42 Drugs 43 Loving 44 Party 45 Sex 46 Hate 47 Anger 48 Distance 49 Fear 50 Opinion 51 Lust 52 Freedom 53 Distance 54 Prisons 55 Disruptions 56 Grieving 57 Art 58 Language 59 Sex 60 Writing 61 Anger 62 Connection

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63 Fear 64 Art 65 Lust 66 Sex 67 Distance 68 Gender 69 Disruptions 70 Changes 71 Art 72 Development 73 Sex 74 Stupidity 75 Cold 76 Rationalism 77 Hierarchy 78 Egoism 79 Development 80 Sociality 81 Conformism 82 Party 83 Fear

84 Sex 85 Writing 86 Lost 87 Art 88 Anger 89 Distances 90 Distance 91 Love 92 Development 93 Fear 94 Thoughts 95 Changes 96 Moving 97 Lust 98 News 99 Words 100 Beginning 101 Thoughts 102 Routine 103 Fights 104 Failure

105 Looses 106 Lies 107 Wins 108 Knowledge 109 Strategies 110 Skills 111 Options 112 Self-Esteem 113 Relationships 114 Stupidity 115 Power 116 Luck 117 Relationships 118 Luck 119 Body 120 Luck 121 Identifications 122 Luck 123 Experience 124 Failure 125 Control

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THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

THE PERSONAL IS POLITICAL

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It is. But I still don’t want to talk about it.

126 Directions 127 Power 128 Anger 129 Body 130 Nowhere 131 Self-Esteem 132 Relationships 133 Fear 134 Body 135 Knowledge 136 Identification 137 Opinion 138 Experience 139 Support 140 Control 141 Identification 142 Power 143 Love 144 Body 145 Distance 146 Looks 147 Success 148 Ism 149 Failure

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150 Feelings 151 Gay 152 Emotions 153 Straight 154 Distance 155 Fetish 156 Closer 157 Porn 158 Beginnings 159 Closer 160 Stop 161 Support 162 Gay 163 Commitment 164 Straight 165 Art 166 Fetish 167 Writing 168 Porn 169 Language 170 Distance 171 Power 172 Control

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ALTERNATIVE JOURNAL TO GIRLS ARTWORK BY Gabriele Grigorjevaite (BA Criticism, Communication, Curation, CSM)


ARCHIPELAGOS

and places of this passing world.

ARCHIPELAGOS

Put simply, the Ex-Libris Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the ongoing collation of memorable memorials to the independent secondhand bookshops of London.

Artist: Guenther Lause Medium: dye-destruction print Dimensions:14in x 11in

Date: 08/13 Ref: ELF 0017GL

TEXT AND IMAGES BY Nick Scammell (MA Photography, LCF)

Title: ob […] let(e)

FROM: SUBJECT: DATE: TO:

BRIAN SCHWARTZ <BRIAN@SIB.ORG> RE: ARCHIPELAGOES QUESTIONS MAY 6, 2013 10.34.45 AM GMT MICHELLE RODGERS <M.RODGERS@LEVETTSVA.AC.UK>

Dear Ms Rogers, Thank you for your interest in our archive. Further to your request, please find below a brief recapitulation of the events that comprised the birth of our project, entitled Archipelagoes.

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In response to the prevailing economic uncertainties, the Society of Independent Booksellers elected in 2011 to establish the Ex-Libris Foundation, entrusting it with the mission of documenting both members’ premises and the memories of members themselves. The principal aim was to create an archive of the people

Under the aegis of the foundation, the society commissioned Nick Scammell to produce photographic documents of premises and proprietors. Accordingly, Scammell thus produced a body of photographic works (incomplete), conducted interviews (incomplete), and built a small collection of second-hand books and other related (and apparently unrelated) ephemera. Scammell initially provided monthly updates for the Foundation, advising it of his photographic and creative progress, until communications became erratic in early 2012, ceasing entirely by the autumn. In late 2012, the Society advised the Foundation to cut its losses and pursue a new strategy. The society suggested

FROM: SUBJECT: DATE: TO:

that the Foundation make an open call to artists interested in responding to or researching the partially completed archive. It is the foundation’s intention to display the resulting work in ‘awareness-raising’ exhibitions. I shall leave the last work to our chairman, Chris Capstick: The demise of the independent bookshop is the demise of a certain way of learning about the world, the demise of a certain way of understanding the world, of navigating the world; the demise of a way of knowing. Serendipity suffers. I trust that the above will suffice as sufficient to your needs. Sincerely, Brian Gen. Sec.  Brian Schwartz OBE […] EX-LIBRIS FOUNDATION […] 7b Remnant Street, London, WC2B 6EL. Web: www.ex-lib.org Email: ex-lib@sib.org

NICK SCAMMELL <NICK@NICKSCAMMELL.COM> URGENT! - PLEASE READ!!! MAY 12, 2013 12.50.09 PM GMT MICHELLE RODGERS <M.RODGERS@LEVETTSVA.AC.UK>

Dear Ms Rogers, I am only too happy to provide a precise explanation of the circuitous events that formed the childhood of my bastard(ized) project, apparently now entitled ‘Archipelagoes.’

At the outset, the Society - through its mouthpiece - commissioned me to produce photographic documents of premises and proprietors. Unsurprisingly, I quickly realised that such a dust and bones project would say little to nothing about the true nature of these establishments. 21


It was my plan to circumvent the Foundation’s strictures and develop a body of work whose resonance would be impossible to ignore: closer to the permissiveness of literary artifice, free from documentary strictures. I have since heard that the Foundation has made an open call to artists interested in ‘responding’ to my work.

your institution, I will have no recourse other than to seek legal injunction, blocking such a personally injurious and defamatory course of events.

In light of the above, my lawyers will shortly be in touch with you. Should any other artists abuse my work, and should those abuses be exhibited or in any way supported or publicised by

Sincerely, Nick

Date: 08/13 Ref: ELF 0015GL

ARCHIPELAGOS

Artist: Guenther Lause Medium: dye-destruction print Dimensions: 14in x 11in

I trust that the above will go some way toward rectifying what would otherwise be a great wrong, and that you will consider your position with the utmost care.

Nick Scammell Photo/Poetry

Dimensions: 40cm x 34cm Date: 08/13 Ref: ELF 0041PM

Title: die Schrift

Title: Asteroid Forma or, Sudden Glory Artist: mariamaria Medium: digital c-type print Dimensions: 24in x 19in Date: 06/13 Ref: ELF 0023MM

Artist: Pierre Monard Medium: giclee print on aluminium

Title: Alice in Wonderland Artist: Pierre Monard Medium: giclee print on aluminium Dimensions: 22cm x 30cm Date: 07/13 Ref: ELF 0032PM

Title: The Colour of Pomegranates 22

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THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM DESIGNS BY SARAH LEVAY (BA FASHION DESIGN MENSWEAR GRADUATE, CSM) PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJAMIN MALLEK STYLING BY ANDREW JAMES CECILIATO MODELED BY SANG KIM, SELECT MODELS PRODUCTION BY XENIA SCHUERMANN

TROUSERS Sarah Levay Great Britain High-waisted, straight leg wool/ felt trousers with ankle cut. 24

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SHIRT, TROUSERS AND SANDALS Sarah Levay Great Britain Triple layered smock jacket in wool felt and wool/cashmere blend felt with raw seams and hems. Lowrise wide leg trousers made from nylon with raw hem. Sandals feature red wool and cashmere-blend felt upper and synthetic sole. 26

JACKET, TROUSERS AND SHIRT Sarah Levay Great Britain Triple layered smock jacket made from wool felt with raw seams and hems and red wool/cashmere blend felt bottom layer. Low-rise wide leg trousers made from nylon with raw hem.

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TROUSERS Sarah Levay Great Britain High-waisted, straight leg wool/ felt trousers with ankle cut.

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COAT Sarah Levay Great Britain A-line triple layered smock coat made from wool/cashmere blend felt with raw seams and hems.

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JACKET, TROUSERS AND SHIRT Sarah Levay Great Britain Coated cotton triple layered smock jacket with red cashmere/wool felt bottom layer and red pocket detail. Low-rise wide leg trousers made from nylon with raw hem.

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SHIRT Sarah Levay Great Britain Cotton, short-sleeve Hawaiian shirt with gathered sleeve detail.

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CONTACT EMAIL lesscommon@su.arts.ac.uk WEB www.lesscommonmagazine.com FACEBOOK /lesscommonmagazine TWITTER @lesscommonmag THE TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF / XENIA-MARIA SCHÜRMANN EDITOR AT LARGE / OSEI BONSU CREATIVE DIRECTOR / ALICE YELENA PALMER COPY EDITOR / FI ANDERSON MARKETING DIRECTOR / FILIP BIGOS

UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON’S CURATION AND EXHIBITIONS SOCIETY Cover artwork by Gabriele Grigorjevaite (BA Criticism, Communication, Curation, CSM)

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permisson of the editor. The views expressed in Less Common are those of the respective contributors and not necessary those of the magazine or its publishers. The magazine welcomes ideas and new contributors but cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited submissions.

Publisher: SUARTS Union (Contact: Benedict Butterworth) University of the Arts London 272 High Holborn WC1V 7EY London Printer: Stephens & George Print Group

University of the Arts London’s Curation and Exhibitions Society presents students from across colleges and disciplines with an opportunity to discover, explore and engage with London’s vibrant contemporary art scene. Since 2006, members have gained curatorial experience through self-initiated projects, exhibitions, external collaborations and commercial projects. Students have access to private gallery visits, art fairs, and take part in a range of activities including academic symposia, exhibition making and discussions. Funding and Supporting Student Projects Gallery Visits and Curator-led Tours Discussion Groups and Forums Seminars and Cross-Disciplinary ‘Crits’ Twitter @UAL_Curation Facebook /UalCurationandExhibitionSociety Email curation@su.arts.ac.uk Membership Fee: £8.00. For further information please contact curation@su.arts.ac.uk. Address: SUARTS, 1st Floor, 272 High Holborn, London. Call +44 7715 2695 66.

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Less Common Issue 3