One of the most notable visual effects of the international economic crash in 2008 on the western landscape was the sudden closure of hundreds of small and large businesses, and the emergence of idle business premises in urban centres. From factories to fashion boutiques, empty spaces corrupted the urban landscape and spread like a pandemic through cities and towns in Europe and America from 2008 onward.
In town and city centres the effect was most visible as large chain stores began to go into receivership and their commercial outlet units began to shut up shop. Usually located in prime areas, these vacated properties created trails of desolate spaces in urban areas. The result was for these spaces to lie idle, in some cases for the past four years. Continue reading “Filling The Void: Art in disused urban spaces in Ireland”
The towns of Buda and Pest were amalgamated into one city in 1873. The monumental castle of Buda became the focal point for the new city; it sits enormous on the west bank of the Danube. It is the latest in a long line of castles to be raised and razed in this spot, the current castle is a Frankenstein’s monster consisting of parts of the 18th Century upgrade and reconstructed areas of the medieval castle amongst others after the castle was heavily damaged in World War II.
For any who have ever experienced caving, you will remember unsure footing, tight squeezes and low-hanging rocks and the claustrophobic feeling that can come in the moist earthy air. You will be aware of how extraordinarily dark it can be in the gloomy underground. It can be stifling and unsettling in the depths of a cave, but with light to guide the way, the experience can instead be extremely fulfilling. Continue reading “Illuminating the Grotesque: Crawling into political satire”
The future is coming, or so they say. And as it approaches us head-on, we can do little to avoid collision with its impending certainty. I for one am looking forward to the invention of hoverboards in 2015, but am still nervous every time I turn on my computer of the day when robots rule the earth.
1640s, “evergreen,” formed in English from L. perennis “lasting through the year (or years),”
adjective lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring • (of a plant) living for several years
Some things last a long time. Others are over in an instant, as they pass from the near future into the recent past. This piece concerns the former. Some occurrences seem to become mainstays overnight. Although certainly nothing lasts forever, some events can span lifetimes or generations. Continue reading “Blink and You’ll Miss It: Events on the Internet”
Caribou are an enigma. The band perform with an elaborate amount of gusto live but seem to lack impact on recording. Caribou is Canadian multi-instrumentalist David Snaith and his live stage crew (i.e. Ryan Smith, Brad Webel and John Schmersal).
The most recent album, Swim, was a catchy electronic mish-mash, but does not withstand extended listens and seems to get lost in it’s own tame mixing and recording. However, live Caribou hit hard. The full band create a wash of energy and vitality that contradicts the album completely. They played a relatively intimate show in NASA, Reykjavik in June 2011.
Halves are one of the emerging scene of outstanding Irish music acts. Alongside a host of other swirling-noisemakers, Halves stand out from the crowd with their infectious melodies and brooding compositions.
After travelling to Montreal to record their first full release a full two years after the band first broke onto the Irish music scene, Halves departed on a brief tour of Ireland. Known to the country’s music aficionados but still something of a mystery to those outside of it, they have grown in reputation thanks to a host of laudable live performances and gained notice at festival dates in recent years.
Anna Calvi has exploded onto the UK music scene over the last few years. She has seen her work nominated for the Mercury Music Awards and the Brit Awards in 2011 and 2012. Her self-titled debut album featured collaboration from Brian Eno and Dave Okumo from The Invisible, and was produced by renowned producer Rob Ellis. She had previously worked with the recent folk revival’s golden boy Johnny Flynn, and has played support to major acts Interpol and Grinderman.
In 2010 James Elkins, Art Critic and Historian of the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, wrote a piece entitled How Long Does it Take To Look at a Painting? for The Huffington Post. In this piece the author describes an encounter with an elderly lady who he estimates, over decades of visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, spent at least 3,000 hours looking at Rembrandt’s painting Young Woman at an Open Half-Door (below).
The basic premise of the Daily Mail’s piece was to prove via observation that viewers spend an average of as little as 5 seconds looking at works by important contemporary artists such as Rachel Whiteread or Tracy Emin in the TATE Modern. Their conclusion was that viewers do not like looking at modern art.