Follow by Email

Friday, 27 February 2015

David Bowie is - @ PHILHARMONIE DE PARIS du 3 mars au 31 mai 2015, Paris XIX

David Bowie, 1973. 
Photographie de Masayoshi Sukita
© Sukita / The David Bowie Archive

English version, click here

Le retour en Europe après quelques années passées sur la Corne de l'Afrique fut un choc culturel. Là-bas, notre petite inquiétude était de savoir quand nous irions à nouveau plonger dans la Mer Rouge ou manger du poisson sauce miel servi sur un journal local Afro-Indien dans quelque endroit malfamé pendant qu’Imagination, Tainted Love ou Kim Wilde passaient en boucle.

Voilà donc l'ado que j'étais projetée dans un monde "civilisé", perdue dans un super marché aux rayons infinis vendant et ventant des milliers de pâtes aux formes et noms de marques exotiques... Un luxe et une fatigue intense  nécessitaient une sieste méritée ensuite.
Et puis, c'était au tour de la radio et de la TV à être fatigants: la juxtaposition quasi permanente de Let’s Dance de David Bowie et Too Shy de Kajagoogoo. La recherche d'un truc plus Mer Rouge se faisait pressante et bientôt Bowie devenait une plaisanterie en face d'un Robert Smith de The Cure ou de feu Joy Division. Visuellement, avec un effort d'imagination extraordinaire qui m'est encore attribué, je comparais les coiffures crépues afro aux cheveux crêpés. Boy George et Demis Roussos (RIP) étaient les furieux rivaux de David Bowie ou Robert Smith.

Photographie pour la couverture de l’album Aladdin Sane, 1973.
Photographie de Brian Duffy
Photo Duffy © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive.

Années après années, l’Anglais David Bowie ne se présentait pas comme une option musicale potentielle jusqu'à ce qu’il disparaisse des tubes cathodiques et ondes hertziennes. L’intérêt envers cet alien androgyne s’imposait. Non pas de par sa « retraite forcée », mais il apparaissait impromptu à la manière du génie Aladin dans les bacs à CD, dans les rayons musique des bibliothèques ou dans les collections vinyles chez mes amis : je pêchais un Bowie… L’intrigue d’une pochette inconnue due à mon implacable niveau d’ignorance ! J’écoutais et étonnamment j’aimais plutôt bien « Tiens, c’est du Bowie ça ? C’est plutôt pas mal pour du Bowie ». Mes amis anglais se pinçaient les lèvres tragiquement. Après tant de présence commerciale, cet homme n’était pas si banal.

L’expo David Bowie Is se déroulait à la Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) de Londres de mars à août 2013. Je n’avais pu me rendre à l’ouverture presse, alors la V&A m’invitait le 9 avril : jour où on apprenait officiellement le départ (tant) attendu et définitif de la Dame de Fer !

L’exposition au succès retentissant à Londres a sillonné depuis les grandes capitales du monde pendant deux ans et fait enfin escale à la Philharmonie de Paris. Elle est minutieusement et précieusement conçue par les conservateurs de la V&AGeoffrey Marsh et Victoria Broackes (elle-même responsable de la fantastique expo sur Annie Lennox également à la V&A).
Pour les personnes malentendantes, soulignons le partenariat avec les spécialistes de l’électroacoustique Sennheiser: ceux qui comme moi ont l’oreille plutôt capricieuse apprécieront l’incroyable effort quant au son (voix, interviews, musique). Il a fallu des heures de balayage d’interférences sonores indésirables pour quelques minutes d’écoutes confortables. N’hésitez pas à vous promener avec votre guidePORT audio aux deux simulations sonores 3D immersives! Il y a en plus un petit côté ludique d’un objet à l’autre.

Costume de scène dessiné par Kansai Yamamoto pour le Aladdin Sane tour, 1973.
Photographie de Masayoshi Sukita 
© Sukita / The David Bowie Archive

« Tout art est instable. Son sens n’est pas forcément insinué par son auteur. Sa voix n’est pas autoritaire. Son interprétation est multiple ». David Bowie.

La ballade non chronologique se penche sur le processus créatif du « maitre chanteur » et créateur depuis cinq décennies. Bowie sous toutes ses coutures et personnalités ravira les aficionados comme les plus novices. Les enfants qui se plongeront dans l’univers de David Bowie grâce à cette exposition diront peut-être un jour qu’ils ont été marqués, influencés par cet homme aux multiples facettes. Un E.T chétif qui se plonge dans la culture populaire terrienne et en change la donne. Lui, qui en 1972 « traumatise » les téléspectateurs de Top Of The Pops avec son subliminal « soyez libre d’être qui vous êtes » lors de sa prestation Starman. David Bowie Is une comète interstellaire.

Photographie originale pour la couverture de l’album Earthling, 1997.
Manteau Union Jack conçu par Alexander McQueen
Photographie de Frank W Ockenfels 3 © Frank W Ockenfels 3

Un voyage au cœur de la création vestimentaire puisqu’on y retrouve ses costumes de scènes ou de pochettes d’album au travers de couturiers renommés ou émergents - Kansai Yamamoto pour la tournée de Aladdin Sane ou encore le manteau Union Jack de Alexander McQueen pour l’album Earthling. Parmi les 300 accessoires puisés dans les archives de cet icône culturel international, les conservateurs du V&A offrent un étalage éblouissant de  textes de chansons manuscrits, des photographies, des films, clips vidéo et décors de scène, ses peintures faites pendant sa période berlinoise ainsi que des instruments de musique et des illustrations déclinées de ses albums, sans oublier des objets personnels tels son trousseau de clé de son appartement à Berlin ou ses livres de chevet.

Cut-up pour la chanson « Blackout » issue de l’album Heroes, 1977
Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 
© Victoria and Albert Museum

Sur le panneau « Influences créatives », on peut y lire (ma version traduite du panneau londonien) « Tous les artistes se servent d’idées du monde qui les entourent ; peu propagent leur filet sur une longue distance, ou arrivent à créer des choses si nouvelles à partir de ce qu’ils trouvent initialement. Bowie visite les galeries d’art, lit beaucoup, visionne des films ou va au théâtre. Il s’implique dans l’avant-garde et parle aux gens. Il n’aime pas que sa musique, il aime la musique… l’énergie de Bowie s’épanouit dans sa recherche constante d’idées pour devenir un maitre du filtrage. Il extrait l’essence de ce dont il a besoin. C’est ce qui fait son succès. Il est toujours en avant… ».

Bottes de scène pour le Aladdin Sane tour, 1973.
Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 
© Victoria and Albert Museum

Bowie n’est pas seulement un utilisateur précurseur des nouvelles technologies (marketing viral), il continue d’être une inspiration pour les jeunes créateurs. Pourtant, ses débuts dans les années 60 n’étaient pas très remarqués. Puis, en 1968, il s’inspire du film de Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey pour sortir en 1969 son 45T Space Oddity qui coïncide pile poil avec les premiers pas sur la lune. Ce calcul scientifique lui vaudra un succès de la critique et du public.
Peut-on véritablement penser que la sortie de l’album Next Day en mars 2013 (après 10 ans de silence) était une pure coïncidence ? Bowie n’est pas un naïf et aucun artiste ne prend vraiment sa retraite, même pas un Cat Stevens ou un Johnny Halliday.

Pendant cette traversée Bowie-esque, un panneau indique « Bowie se sert des moments offerts. Il contrôle sa musique, ses pochettes d’albums, ses costumes, son merchandising en tournée… Pour mettre en œuvre ses visions, il s’entoure de chorégraphes, de créateurs de mode, de photographes, qu’ils soient émergents ou de grande notoriété. », A part Björk ou peut-être Madonna, peu d’artistes aussi connus que David Bowie donnent une chance aux jeunes artistes talentueux ou ont réussi à créer des tendances sans suivre celles des autres.

La fin de ce voyage « initiatique » démontre que David Bowie Is est autant acteur que musicien, calculateur, archiviste, alien et… peintre. Ne ratez pas la pièce Berlin où ses peintures sont exposées, si proches d’Egon Schiele. Cette période berlinoise qu’il a vécue avec Iggy Pop et Brian Eno pour y vivre loin de ses dépendances stupéfiantes étatsuniennes.
Bowie, c’est aussi l’être généreux qui avait autorisé Chris Petit à utiliser Heroes pour son film Radio On (produit par Wim Wenders) sans jamais demander de royalties.

Costume dessiné par Freddie Burretti pour le vidéo clip de « Life on Mars? », 1972.
Courtesy of The David Bowie Archive 
© Victoria and Albert Museum

Faites vous plaisir… chaussez vos chaussures les plus confortables, munissez vous d’une bouteille d’eau… trois heures ne seront peut-être pas suffisantes pour s’immerger dans les pas de géant de l’homme qui continue de marquer l’Histoire, les histoires. Il s’agit d’une escalade dans l’esprit et l’âme de Monsieur Bowie himself !

DAVID BOWIE IS - 3 March – 31 May 2015
PHILHARMONIE DE PARIS : 221, avenue Jean-Jaurès 75019 Paris. Métro : Porte de Pantin
Ouvertures : MARDI 12H-18H ; MERCREDI ET JEUDI  12H-20H ; VENDREDI ET SAMEDI  10H-22H ; DIMANCHE  10H-20H - VACANCES SCOLAIRES DE PRINTEMPS (DU 21 AVRIL AU 3 MAI) 10H-20H - L’EXPOSITION EST FERMÉE LE LUNDI.
ESPACE D’EXPOSITION TEMPORAIRE - PHILHARMONIE 1
TARIF PLEIN 12€ - DONNANT ÉGALEMENT ACCÈS À LA COLLECTION PERMANENTE DU MUSÉE DE LA MUSIQUE ET À L’EXPOSITION PIERRE BOULEZ (17 MARS AU 28 JUIN)
TARIF RÉDUIT 6€ POUR LES JEUNES DE MOINS DE 26 ANS, LES DEMANDEURS D’EMPLOI, LES BÉNÉFICIAIRES DU RSA… GRATUIT POUR LES ENFANTS DE MOINS DE 6 ANS, LES PERSONNES HANDICAPÉES ET ACCOMPAGNATEURS.


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Depeche Mode – Violator is 25 – Come celebrate with Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy with special guest Kevin May on 1 March @ Brilliant Corners, E8 – Classic Album Sunday.



Born out of Punk’s ashes, Orchestral Manoeuvre in the DarkElectricity and David BowieHeroes, Depeche Mode signed on legendary Daniel Miller’s Mute record in 1980.
A love-hate, but mostly hate relationship from the Brit media, and an on-going public infatuation, our four tête-b-boys / electronic “boys band” / Goth Gods crossed a Thatcher decade pinning down danceable tunes mixed with social political hints.

Comes 1990, Depeche Mode went for a radical sound surgery for their seventh opus Violator: a sober album spitting some serious venom... religious blaspheme, dark moods, mysterious rituals, mechanical techno, sexual explorations, all mixed by French-Armenian François Kevorkian aka François K (Kraftwerk, The Smiths, King Crimson, Jean-Michel Jarre etc.)
Violator is the band's first album to reach the top ten on the Billboard 200 and the UK Album Charts, and their first album to sell a million copies in the United States, flirting then with stardom.

Personal Jesus, Enjoy the Silence, Policy of Truth, World in My Eyes were the singles released from Violator with a crusty story on the video making for Enjoy The Silence by Anton Corbijn... Dave Gahan leaving the set at some point...

This March, Classic Album Sunday (CAS) celebrates the 25th anniversary of the world’s most popular electronic band’s biggest selling album. Violator catapulted Depeche Mode into international success and sees them at the height of their powers.

RECOMMENDED LISTENING
                                  
Depeche Mode ‘Violator’ Musical Lead-Up Playlist is now available featuring their influences such as Human League, The Normal and OMD and production work by their producer Flood and engineer François Kevorkian with an ace remix of a track on ‘Violator’. It's available on CAS website here.

Pics of Depeche Mode circa 1990 on Pinterest Board here.

RECOMMENDED READING

Colleen's breakdown of our album of the month Depeche Mode 'Violator' is essential reading ahead of CAS events, check it out here.

The man who signed Depeche Mode to Mute, Daniel Miller, reveals his Top Five Krautrock Albums here.

Like CAS on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for advance notice of all events, cool stories, crazy sound system pics and exclusive content on website.

CAS London Sunday 1st March 5 - 8pm
Brilliant Corners, 470 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AE
Tickets £10 in advance here, £12 on the door if still available (we may sell out so suggest buying in advance)
Presenter: Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy and special guest Kevin May, author of the forthcoming book ‘Halo – The Violator Story


Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Charlie Hebdo #1179: business as usual. Out Wednesday 25 February



The first striking thing on the front cover is its loss of “Journal Irresponsable” underneath its main Charlie Hebdo title. Is the weekly magazine becoming responsible?

According to the blood-red front cover, it doesn’t look like it. Cartoonist Luz has got a dog (“irresponsible and submitted” – ask Luz, he said it before adding “Charlie Hebdo is irresponsible, those behind are submitted”) escaping a crowd with its Charlie Hebdo in its mouth. And what a crowd! Front National’s Marine Le Pen and Nicolas Sarkozy at the forefront of the march and a horde of “hors la loi” (outlaws) somehow representing the population and dogmas of France. Or, let’s put it right: those that France can live without!
If you wonder about the BFM mike... while people were hiding in the small supermarket on the 9 January high jacked by one of the terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, TV station revealed on-air about the hiding. Coulibaly who was listening to the news had just missed it thankfully.

Six weeks on hold. The team had to readjust from the carnage that happened on the 7 January and their last issue published on the 14 Jan. Sort of... How do you readjust in such a short time? Riss is now replacing Charb as the director of publication. Riss was also hit by a bullet that went through his right shoulder and was lying down next to Charb. When Riss is not spending time at hospital, he is at Charlie Hebdo on constant high protection due to a fatwa against him. But, as he says, life goes on and this is what the front cover new issue is all about: criticising the bullshitters! Two cartoonists have joined the team: the Algerian Dilem and Pétillon from the Canard Enchaîné. So, what’s inside the issue? Dominique Strauss-Khan trial, an interview with Yanis Varoufakis, the killing in Copenhagen, five teens held after vandalising over 300 Jewish tombs in Alsace, etc.
2, 5 millions copies are being printed.

Merde à l’équipe. Oops, excuse my French!
Charlie Hebdo is back to its weekly outings, business as usual! Et vogue le navire...


Related posts


Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com

Monday, 23 February 2015

Spectres - album 'Dying' out today + gig dates



Chronicle of a band that got signed to our fav shoe gaze label, el Sonic Cathedral itself, the label that celebrates itself = SPECTRES in dates

Sept 2014: Spectres are the latest addition to the Sonic Cathedral congregation. They combine 'Psychocandy', first album My Bloody Valentine, 'Sister'-era Sonic Youth, Swervedriver’s Creation days desert-gaze... dizzying, deafening effect.
 They are also the driving force behind Bristol's notorious Howling Owl label and clubnights.

Oct 2014: Spectres have released the first song from their eagerly awaited debut album, which is due out early in 2015.
'Sea Of Trees' is a nine-minute epic... for at least four minutes of the pure white noise that the Bristol-based four-piece are becoming well known for... accompanied by visuals from artist Sophie Hoyle.

Dec 2014: Spectres release their debut album, ‘Dying’, via Sonic Cathedral on 23 February 2015. It will be available on limited-edition translucent grey vinyl in a gatefold sleeve, CD and as a digital download.
The Bristol-based band are the loudest, most abrasive band on Sonic Cathedral to date, and one who make a mockery of those articles that crop up every now and again asking if guitar music is dead. “If guitars are supposed to be dead” wrote Drowned In Sound in their review of 2013’s ‘Hunger’ EP, “it’s probably because Spectres have killed them.
'Dying' opens with the ominous and unsettling white noise and dark found sounds of ‘Drag’ and is unrelenting for the next 50 minutes, taking in new single ‘Where Flies Sleep’, a re-recorded version of ‘The Sky Of All Places’, originally released early in 2014 as part of the Too Pure Singles Club.
Spectres were formed in Barnstaple, North Devon about four years ago, but after a few months of playing to people who wanted white reggae rather than white noise, they decided to move to Bristol. “Forming in Barnstaple was integral to what we are today,” explains singer/guitarist Joe Hatt. “When people hated us we just played harder. We want to snap people out of their comfort zones. We want our noise to smack the spoon out of their mouths that is feeding them the warm diarrhoea that is served by start-up PR companies. We want people to have to notice and have to react, not look at their phones or talk their friend who is looking at their phone.
Once they arrived in Bristol, they didn’t feel part of any particular scene – so they started their own. Through their Howling Owl label, Joe and fellow guitarist Adrian Dutt promote live shows, publish zines and release records for the likes of Oliver Wilde (who provides backing vocals on ‘Family’), Velcro Hooks (whose Dominic Mitchison produces)...
From its morbid title to the unsettling illustrations on the sleeve, it’s clear that ‘Dying’ is a record that concerns itself with the darker side of the human condition. “It’s not a concept album, but there’s a theme running through it that is summed up in the title” explains Joe. “The majority of the songs are pretty literal to my life and the scenarios of people close to me. I wouldn’t say it’s depressing, though. Lyrically, it was really cathartic to write.”
“‘This Purgatory’ is the centrepiece. Like most of the music we write, it came after about an hour of the four of us staring at the floor playing separate horrible things and then suddenly something locked in. On record there are parts of it that actually sound strangely beautiful. A brooding, unnerving lullaby. ‘Lump’ is our favourite track to play live, and if ever there was an example needed of just how vital Darren [Frost, bass] and Andy [Came, drums] are then this is it; the guitars are in their own two separate dimensions of brutal horror, and without the rhythm section it would sound like metallic cats being run over by a lawnmower. I have been told there is actually a hook in there, though, which is frustrating. You can hear me almost throw up in the middle due to an evening of Tesco Value vodka beforehand.
So that’s Spectres, then, vomiting up their debut album of visceral noise early next year. “It’s going to lure you into a false sense of security, and you won’t be able to get out again,” threatens Joe. Good, because after one listen you won’t want to leave anyway.
 The full tracklisting of 'Dying' is:
1. Drag
2. Where Flies Sleep
3. The Sky Of All Places
4. Family
5. This Purgatory
6. Mirror
7. Blood In The Cups
8. Sink
9. Lump
10. Sea Of Trees



Jan 2015: Spectres have released the incredible video for their song 'Where Flies Sleep'. The clip, directed by James Hankins and features the band being tormented by a gang of kids who are seen DJing in a club, working behind a bar, dragging dead bodies and eating a rat out of the bins at Asda.

23 Feb 2014: release day of 'Dying'
As I was all set up to do the washing-up with environmental friendly washing-up liquid, the door bell strangely rang (back in December). My pink sexy mappa gloves on, postman smiled at me and handed over an envelope: Spectres had arrived impromptu and joined me for the washing-up festive. I did ask the postman if he wanted to do the dishes too, but “no” he said. Someone has to do it and there is penury when one lives on its own... It’s always a good time to break glasses!

So, Spectres is on and decidedly not to calm me down. Melodic noise they manage through their furious tunes. While my dishes are immersed in soapy water, my mind is bathing in Giallo mental awareness. It is not just noise, it’s aesthetical trance noise!

A weapon of aural destruction dissecting carefully each slide of disturbed interference. Lullabies for babies it is not, rather an immersion of dark glory that prevents to reach out for a switch... when you can’t switch the dark off and the light remains through those thick strokes of sound painting... as if Pierre Soulages was the spectre of their sounds “Light comes from dark, it is the original colour in painting”: a sweet tension threatening delicately a pulsing and minimal rhythm...

A glowing “doomed” album that viciously keeps the CD player on even when you have switched off the machine: disobedient, rude and... atmospheric. There are times in life when washing the dishes is not so cruel!

Spectres' UK tour has begun and they are on their way to unsettle your inner ears:
Friday, February 20 - Redruth - Charlies Bar - Free
Wednesday, February 25 - Sunderland - Pop Recs Ltd - Free
Wednesday, February 25 - Gateshead - The Central
Thursday, February 26 - Leeds - Wharf Chambers
Friday, February 27 - Nottingham - The Chameleon
Saturday, February 28 - Manchester - Gullivers
Wednesday, March 4 - London - The Lexington on stage @ 9.45pm. Support comes from Our Girl and Giant Swan, with guest DJ Richard Fearless
Thursday, March 5 - Brighton - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar
Friday, March 6 - Leicester - Soundhouse
Saturday, March 7 - Bristol - Secret Location

Selection of videos


Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com


Monday, 16 February 2015

#TheVacantLots: #NewSingle #LondonDates #EuropeanDates #DontMiss from March!



In June last year (see link below), I was talking about some guys who had just released their Departure debut album on Sonic Cathedral (yep, that shoe gazer guy again): a 38 minutes of hypnotico-nonchalant sounds sprinkled with an energetic (nasty) vibe soundtrack for the film you will be playing in your own mind... (am quoting meself). The Vacant Lots took some time off from their US base and played a few gigs in London (and some other cities I seem to remember) with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Happy to have the mighty Anthony Ausgang (see link below) design the artwork for one of their singles, our fav Vermont psych duo have also hooked up with their musical heroes Alan Vega from Suicide and Anton Newcombe from The Brian Jonestown Massacre: release a new single on 16 March, a limited-edition 7" featuring two remixes of songs from last year's acclaimed debut album Departure.

Alan Vega takes the already Suicide referencing sound of 6 AM and turns it into something a whole lot more powerful – like Primal Scream circa Xtrmntr, while Anton Newcombe welds a massive bassline onto ‘NeverSatisfied and turns it into a fuzzed-up, Spiritualized-style anthem.

The Vacant Lots play as special guests of Suicide at Webster Hall in New York on 7 March, before heading over the Atlantic for the following UK and European dates, that includes a date at the Bad Vibe Fest (how cool is that?):



March 10 – Portsmouth – UK – The Fat Fox
March 11 – Bristol – UK – The Exchange
March 13 – Brighton – UK – The Joker
March 14 – Manchester – UK – Cosmosis Festival
March 15 – Rugby – UK – West Indian Club
March 16 – London – UK – Birthdays
March 18 – Thessaloniki – GR – Rover Bar
March 19 – Larisa – GR – Hobo Bar
March 20 – Arta – GR – Kourdisto Portokali Bar
March 21 – Athens – GR – Six D.o.g.s
March 24 – Vilnius – LT – Kablys
March 25 – Stockholm – SE – Lilla Hotellbaren
March 26 – Copenhagen – DK – Drone
March 27 – Berlin – DE – Bang Bang
March 28 – London – UK – Bad Vibes Festival
March 30 – Tubingen – DE – Epplehaus
March 31 – Lugano – CH – Li
April 3 – Brescia – IT – Lio
April 4 – Ravenna – IT – Bronson
April 5 – Padova – IT – Osteria Al Majo
April 8 – Paris – FR – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
April 10 – Domodossola – IT – Oste

April 11 – Lisbon – PT – Lisbon Psych Fest

New single The Vacant Lots - 6 AM (Alan Vega Remix) (Official Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC__-cNDVcQ




Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

UK premiere + Q&A of Phillip Warnell’s Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air @ TATE Modern - 18 February

Phillip Warnell, Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air, 
Film Still. © Big Other Films, 2014

Director: Phillip Warnell
Screenwriters: Phillip Warnell, Jean-Luc Nancy, Hildur Gudnadottir
Producers: Madeleine Molyneaux, Phillip Warnell
Editors: Phillip Warnell, Chiara Armentano
No Rating, 71 minutes

Georges Beauregard International Prize at the International Film Festival Marseille

Man gave names to all the animals; In the beginning, in the beginning; Man gave names to all the animals; In the beginning, long time ago; He saw an animal that liked to growl, Big furry paws and he liked to howl, Great big furry back and furry hair; "Ah, think I'll call it a bear."
Reggae-infused biblical-inspired song by Maestro Bob Dylan was one of the first single I bought when I was 10. As a child growing in Africa, I dreamt of sheltering some of these big beasts, wild furry cats at home. But as my parents put it, it wouldn’t have been quite practical since we already had dogs and cats and birds and margouillats and other unwelcomed creatures that didn’t pay any rent. I never ever even saw any of these furry beasts in Africa...

Once, I was meeting a friend in Barranco, Peru, and she wanted to pay a visit to her boyfriend. He lived in a bohemian antigua house with a beautiful sea view. As we walked around the labyrinth, the owner of the house showed us a rescued tiger’s cub. Her father was a scientific and wildlife protector. His people were saving animals from circuses and while we all waited for tiger mum to make her entrance in the house... many existential issues evolved as we were breathing in and out, because it was mainly illegal, money was not flowing and the other inhabitants were cocaine addicts on detox!
But, the mission was worth it.  

Morally speaking, it is wrong to own a wild animal (says me with my upper French arrogance). You can take the animal out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the animal... as Calvin would say about his pet tiger Hobbes. Recently, I was reading the story of Pierre Jouventin (Kamala, une louve dans ma famille, Flammarion-NBS), an ethologist who, by complete mistake, lived with a she-wolf in a small flat in Montpellier, France. Dogs and cats were chosen because they could be easily tamed and obedient, but a wolf on your bed... you can’t just tell her to f-c- off your bed as she might respond by a casual bite.
 Phillip Warnell, Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air, 
Film Still. © Big Other Films, 2014

So, I am getting ready for this unconventional story:

Tate Film will present the UK premiere of Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air as part of a new programme, Artist Cinema. The first in a new strand of monthly artists’ film premieres at Tate Modern, this fascinating debut feature-length film by British director Phillip Warnell tells the real-life story of Antoine Yates, who kept a tiger called Ming and a large alligator in his high-rise New York apartment for several years.

Warnell’s film investigates the philosophical questions posed by co-habitation with animals. In order to recreate Yates’s absurdly cramped living conditions, much of the film was shot under controlled conditions in a British zoo. Philip Warnell is a filmmaker, artist and academic based in London. Warnell’s cinematic work explores a range of philosophical ideas, such as human-animal relations and the poetics of the body and its dimensionality. Ming of Harlem is Warnell’s second collaboration with philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. The work explores the interplay between film, politics and notions of sense as theorised by Nancy in his voiceover.

Andrea Lissoni, Curator of Film and International Art, Tate Modern, said: ‘Perfectly incarnating the typology of an artist’s film, Ming of Harlem opens the new strand of Artist Cinema at Tate Modern. Ming of Harlem bridges the fields of philosophy, ethology and sociology, producing knowledge across several disciplinary areas and questioning the status of reality and fiction. In doing so, it anticipates the kind of films that Tate Film will be presenting throughout the upcoming years.

Phillip Warnell, Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air, 
Film Still. © Big Other Films, 2014

Ming of Harlem has garnered much critical acclaim, having won the Georges Beauregard International Prize at the International Film Festival Marseille earlier this year. The evening will begin with a screening of Warnell’s first collaboration with Nancy, the short film Outlandish: Strange and Foreign Bodies (2009). The UK premiere of Ming of Harlem will be followed by a live Q&A with Phillip Warnell and Jean-Pierre Rehm, Director of the FIDMarseille-International Film Festival Marseille.


Details:
Phillip Warnell: Ming of Harlem
Tate Modern, Starr Auditorium
Wednesday 18 February 2015, 18.30 – 21.00

What the critics say:
Ashley Clark for Sight & Sound: “Another British filmmaker, Philip Warnell, provided one of the surprises... with Ming of Harlem... It’s based on the weird-but-true story of Harlem resident Antoine Yates who, until 2003, kept a tiger in the fifth floor of his spacious tower-block apartment.
Any notions that Warnell would play the material for tabloid yucks evaporated along with an opening epigram from Jacques Derrida meditating on the nature of man and beast. The film itself is a curiously haunting blend of observational documentary (Yates, whom Warnell interviews while driving around Harlem, is a sensitive, complex character) and reconstruction: Warnell actually built a replica of the apartment for a tiger to prowl around in a hypnotic, if lengthy, digressional sequence.”

Man gave names to all the animals; In the beginning, in the beginning; Man gave names to all the animals; In the beginning, long time ago; He saw an animal as smooth as glass; Slithering his way through the grass; Saw him disappear by a tree near a lake . . .


Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Anthony Ausgang / Lowbrow Art / Psychedelic cats master on how not to get ripped off online

 Mouse on a Stick
© Anthony Ausgang, 2015

He thinks dogs are idiotic enthusiasts and I should hate him for this! He prefers cats though because they use a litter and they don’t need their shits to be picked up in a middle of a walk... They just don’t need to be held on a lead and that makes our grandfather of lowbrow art stay home! And what does Anthony Ausgang do at home? He paints psychedelic cats who are always on to something a bit naughty...
In 2010, his front cover for MGMT’s Congratulation album was nominated by NME for Best Art Vinyl. He has done work for David Lee Roth, MTV and more recently for La Rinascente Department Store in Milan and he has an impressive list of collectors such as Nicholas Cage (yes... nephew of Francis Ford Coppola... accidentally a well known actor) or David Arquette to name but a few.
Anthony Ausgang for The Vacant Lot' sleeve

I’ve been FB friend with Anthony for years; I mentioned his work recently for the release of Fuxa’s Photon single and one of Vacant Lot sleeves (see links below) and I always love his sense of humour and the way he promotes the new cats that need adoption. Anthony loves cats, but we are not here to talk about cats.
A few days ago, cat lover mighty Anthony gave some heads up to artists who could be ripped off online and this is his post:

Anthony Ausgang
29 January at 20:00 ·
Hey Fellow Artists, listen up!
I received an email from a woman very interested in buying a print; she knew all about me, my work and she wanted a specific image. This indicated to me that she had visited my website or knew about me already. We agreed on a price and she sent a check but it was for $1600 more than the price. When I asked her what to do she said to deposit it and then send her a reimbursement check for the overage. That seemed funny to me so I refused and, of course, never heard from her again. Not sure how the con would have progressed had I been dumb enough to do that.
ANYWAY, I'm looking for other artists who have been approached (or ripped off) with a similar swindle (or any swindle) involving their art. I am not interested in any ripoff that doesn't revolve around an art con; no Nigerian princes or shit like like JUST ART...
Thanks, please send me a message if you've experienced this...

Me: Do you think the scammers study their prey or is it total random?
Anthony Ausgang: I was approached by a woman who wanted to buy a print of a particular painting so she obviously surfed my website (I don’t know if she read any of my manifesto since she didn’t refer to it); but I suppose she checks out every targeted website to determine what to “buy”. When all is said and done, it could have been widget gizmos as much as paintings. Even so, she kept writing how my painting would be on her wall for life, the kids would inherit it, blah, blah, blah… She kept asking how long it would take for her to get it which pissed me off because I move at MY speed, not hers…

Me: Do you have an idea on how many artists, perhaps desperate to sell their art, fall into this trap?
AA:  Weirdly enough a good artist friend of mine just got ripped off for 950 dollars because he fell for a similar con. What hooked him wasn’t his desperation; it was the urge to comply. That particular swindle took place around Christmas so they were really on his ass to get the paintings by the 25th and he just went along with their demands.

Me: That sort of scam is obviously not about art, some artist could lose money and a piece of art, what advice would you give to a (young) artist?
AA: Get an art dealer and send all the sales requests through them. If this “young artist” is an Anarchist or something and doesn’t want a dealer, well, make sure to get paid with cash or a money order and cash the fucking thing before sending out the art.

Me: What would be the most ideal position to sell a piece of art?
AA: All paintings are not created equal; some are winners and some are stinkers. The best position to be in is to have a painting or image that EVERYONE seems to like and sell it to the highest bidder. But truly, the best position to be in is to not need the sale. I asked an art dealer how he sold a painting for 750,000 dollars and he said, “Don’t let them have it”.

Me: What are you on at present?
AA: I am working on paintings for my solo show at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, CA in May…

Me: You say that Art is meant to address the fundamental injustices of life, not the manufactured inequities. Do you have something to say about Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris?
AASuppressing free expression has always been the most efficient way to enforce one's will over another's because it restricts information. Artists and writers have always suffered this tyranny and the massacre at Charlie Hebdo is the latest example. Unfortunately it is most sinister because it comes, not from the national government, but an outfit that is against that government, effectively putting the artists in an impossible position. But what is worse to me is that this conflict revolves around an abstract issue; my god versus your god... 
Similar stories / statements:

Patricia:I have been an approached by someone in New York to do this and I had a bad feeling and called the bank they said some people will do this than something will happen to the bank account and if you've already done it you will lose your art the cash you send and the check amount. Have then write the correct amount, there is no reason for this. Cash the check first and when you know the money is OK, then and only then do you release your art.”

Randy: “I think the bank account info is a different scam. did this checking account actually exist?
AA The banks are the crooks too since they should be able to tell if a check is good or not with the internet and computers and all. One person who got burned told me that the swindlers STOPPED PAYMENT AFTER THE CHECK WAS CASHED... HUH????

Sara:i had the same thing happen - they picked a painting i had for sale and asked me specific questions about it. It was the " my husband will write the check im moving the house right now" they mailed it for 3000 more than what we agreed on-when i said i couldnt accept a check for more that the specific amount i never heard from them again - they used the return address of the art center as well - if they were stupid enough to use us mail take it to the postmaster and they can go after them for mail fraud amongst other charges”

AW:I had repeated exchanges with someone like that, but cut it off after it started smelling funny to me. They kept asking questions phrased in these weird business-bulk terms like "inventory" and "units" like I had a warehouse of paintings on hand.”

Greg: “had the same experience...the appalling grammar was my first clue. Bank said they had seen at least a half dozen faux checks when I called to inquire.”

Jeff:The way it works- the check is not legit- it is either stolen or fake (you can print these at home easily). After you received the check and asked them why it's the wrong amount, they will say it was a mistake and ask you to wire them the extra money. The wire will go through instantaneous but the check will take a few days to clear (which it won't). They disappear as soon as they get the money. They have no intention to get any art or merchandise and whatever address they want you to send to is just randomly selected by the scammers. They receive the wire transfer with a stolen ID card or have an accomplice who works at the neighborhood check cashing place. It's not just artists they are trying to scam, but so many artists are desperate so they make for easy pickings. They'll send out hundreds/thousands of these in hopes a few people will fall for it.”



Steven: You used to be able to have your bank look up an account to make sure that a check is good but I'm not sure if you can do that anymore. You would think that if your bank cashes a check then it becomes their responsibility but they put all the responsibility on you which doesn't seem fair.
 After seeing your post I looked up PNC Bank which does have locations in New Jersey but not in Los Angeles so you wouldn't have been able to go into a branch here and cash the check directly. Probably a dead giveaway that something is fishy is they have PNC Bank as one word on the check they sent you. And for what it worth, I also looked up Diversified Aero Services Inc. and the only one I could find is located in Miami, Florida.
I get numerous inquiries about my personal work through my website or Facebook and because of scams like this I always state that my pieces need to be paid for by cash or certified check only. Of course certified checks can be forged but it is a lot more difficult than simply picking up payroll checks from Staples and running them through a laser printer.
Anyway, I'm glad you nipped this in the bud my friend. As if an artists life isn't hard enough, now we have to worry about being preyed upon by these type of nefarious scoundrels.”

David:I had the same thing happen to me as a massage therapist. A series of massages booked in advance, and then getting a check for about 1500.00 over...took the check to my bank to look at, it was from a totally fake source. ..!
Just because a check 'clears' does not mean it's really cleared. The bank can return it for NSF after many weeks or months. PayPal and only accept credit cards. Much better protection assuming you follow the guidelines (e.g. confirmed shipping address and only sending goods to confirmed address.)”

Pete: “A couple of years ago someone try doing the same scam with me I was selling a watch. They wanted to give me like $1000 more than I wanted and then have me send the difference to some address, The problem is the check or money order usually ends up being fake and now you're on the hook with your bank for the amount that you sent to the address! Motherfuckers are always coming up with some scam! can't be too careful these days...


Anthony Ausgang website: http://ausgangart.com/




Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com

Charlie Hebdo out 25 February 2015

Dessin de Coco d'après le chat de Charb dans "Maurice et Patapon" (capture de l'émission "28 minutes")

The next issue will be out on the 25 of Feb

Le prochain numéro de Charlie sortira le 25 février

Proximo numero salira el 25 de febrero

Fuck Yeah !


Sybille Castelain for babylondonorbital@gmail.com