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Issue 14

(December 2016)

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Issue 15

(February 2017)


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Issue 1

(December 2012)


My week with ORLAN

Image: ORLAN (right), Author's own photograph ORLAN was recently in London, and myself and Clara Krzentowski were assigned to look after her for the week. ORLAN (she writes everything in capitals, even texts) is a feminist body and perfor-mance artist most widely known for her surgery performance art, in which she had various cos-metic surgery operations to disrupt the ideas and ideals of beauty. We picked her up from the Eurostar terminal, completely recognisable with her half white, half black hair and glitter-clad temple implants. She is in London for press conferences and the opening of the new blockbuster exhibition Botticelli Reimagined at the V&A, as well as meeting Chicks on Speed to

Are celebrities becoming our new political idols?

“Okay ladies now let’s get in formation” Illustration: Laura Costard Beyoncé recently released a song called Formation (it is locked on Youtube, which means it can only be viewed if someone gives you the link, so here I am, gracing you with it: The song is an upbeat, trap anthem in which Beyonce tells ladies to get in formation, that is, to get on her boss level. An independent musician, feminist, mother, human rights activist, Beyoncé has an enormous following and is admired for her music and videos in which she reclaims her body and art from the white male music industry. Dur-ing the Ferguson demonstrations, Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z quietly

Review: ‘The Elephant’s Journey’ by José Saramago

Illustration: Tomiris The Elephant’s Journey was first published as A Viagem do Elefante in 2008, translated and published in English in 2010. It is the second-to-last novel published during Saramago’s lifetime. Saramago was born in Portugal in 1922, and published his first text in 1947, and his body of work includes novels, poems and plays. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998, and is considered to be one of the most important European writers of the last century. Saramago died in 2010, having published over twenty-five works during his lifetime. The Elephant’s Journey is the second novel I’ve read by Portuguese writer José Saramago, and he is fast becoming a favourite of mi

Death of the Author: Birth of the Museum

Death and Memory: Soane and the Architecture of Legacy is the current exhibition at The Sir John Soane’s Museum. I visited last term for a private view and curator’s talk during a Friday Late event. The Museum at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a testament to the legacy of nineteenth-century British architect Sir John Soane. After his death on 20th January 1837, the doors of the building that once served as his family home and architectural office were opened to the public as it assumed its new museum function. It was Soane’s express will that the contents of the museum remain intact as far as possible. The resultant museum whose collection display has remained relatively unchanged throughout the

‘Creation from Catastrophe: How Architecture Rebuilds Communities’, RIBA, London

Image: Makoko Floating School, Nigeria 2013, NLE architects, Author's own photo An architectural exhibition is undoubtedly a curatorial challenge. Most exhibitions address artists and sculptors, focusing on paintings, installations, prints or photographs. The presence of genuine artworks is generally taken for granted. As absent buildings, distant projects and unexecuted plans are more difficult to visualise, so architectural exhibitions are more rarely realised; however their potential for impact, structured through powerful spatial experience, is arguably much greater. ‘Creation from Catastrophe’ unearths optimism and opportunity in the devastation of natural and man-made disasters, docume

Join the Search Party

Illustration by Ellen Charlesworth The 24 year old Londoner George Mpanga, better known as George the Poet, is a socially motivated poet, spoken word and recording artist. After attending a state grammar school in Barnet, George went on to study sociology, psychology and politics at Cambridge university. Mpanga adapts his rhyming in his raps, into poetry. Being signed to Island Records in 2013, he has released an EP, and numerous singles through 2014. Additionally, he had his first book of poetry published 'Search Party' in February 2015. Recognising that getting a break into the music industry is rare, he uses his platform to speak up about issues affecting everyday people and his lyrics ar


Illustration by Claire Mead Hello, welcome to my cliché-ridden review of Adele’s new tune. The queen of breakup songs, and generic despair, has returned with a sizzling new cover of Lionel Richie’s classic. Only joking. The emotional roller coaster that is Hello has smashed all records, and left us weeping into tubs of discount Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. Hello has obliterated any resemblance of emotional appropriateness so that I feel total at ease weeping on the bus and I love her for it. But, let’s get real. If we think about it Hello isn’t anything spectacular; at best its an average Adele track on a below average album. 25 lacks the innovation of a white woman singing pop/soul that her p

Desert Island Disks: Thomas Bodinetz

This weeks Desert Islander, and head editor of The Courtauldian, is Thomas Bodinetz. Top 3 Albums? BB King, Live at the Regal, 1965 The greatest blues player at his best. He only played about five different notes yet said more through them than any other musician. Bahamas, Bahamas is Afie, 2014 Simply the best album of 2014. Paul Simon, Graceland, 1986 Eighties pop meets Sun Records meets Isicathamiya singing. And Chevy Chase is in the video for You Can Call Me Al. What more could you want? Favorite song? Sidney Bechet’s Si tu vois ma mere. The most timeless of New Orleans jazz. Top 3 books? Perspective as Symbolic Form by Erwin Panofsky Yes I'm a nerd but this is still one of

Subverting The Avant-Garde: Nudity and Inferiority in Hussein Chalayan’s Spring/Summer 1998 Collecti

Hussein Chalayan’s Spring/Summer line was met with critical acclaim during London’s Fashion Week in the autumn of 1998. The Guardian, a traditionally left leaning newspaper, commented on the ambitious theatricality of the show; the honesty and progressive viewpoint that permeated Chalayan’s sartorial subject matter. Interviews with members of the audience recall the visually lingering contrast of eerie, attenuated kohl silhouettes – European models dressed in Yashmaks - against nude ivory bodies brushing past each other up and down the catwalk. Archive footage from the unveiling of Chalayan’s incendiary collection features a fashion journalist praising the show to have not just been a statem

Kanye, Juergen & Kim: A Review

‘Kanye, Juergen & Kim, Château d’Ambleville’ on display at Phillips Auction House For ten days in mid-November, Phillips Auction House exhibited a controversial photo series ‘Kanye, Juergen & Kim, Château d’Ambleville’, which allowed the curious eyes of London’s in-the-know to view the voyeuristic photos firsthand. Kanye acts as both stylist and subject in this addictive yet somewhat grotesque series that was taken for System magazine, while platinum-haired Kim passes her time relentlessly posing among the ruins of the 16th century château. Interspersed between Kim’s fleshiness and Kanye’s flashiness (diamond grillz, anyone?), the viewer can find Teller struggling across the French terrain

Yeezy 2.0

Illustration by Tomiris Shyngyssova Not content with dominating the spheres of hip-hop and award show rants, New York Fashion Week saw Kanye West debut his new Yeezy Season 2 collection. This is far from the self appointed Louis Vuitton don's first venture into fashion, he has collaborated with Nike, APC and most recently adidas. Unlike Yeezy Season 1, the collection is not part of West's ongoing partnership with the iconic German sportswear brand but did feature the Yeezy boost trainers first seen at February's launch. Stylistically, the new collection is very similar to the previous one, distressed and oversized sweatshirts and jackets with raw hemlines still dominate. In addition, Kanye d

Thatcher: A Style Icon?

Illustration by Tennessee Williams Margaret Thatcher's (1925-2013) are due to be sold as a collection in an auction held by Christie's. Allegedly, the Victoria and Albert Museum was offered the collection first and rejected it. Despite the museum denying these rumours, stating that they may take pieces in the future, they have received a lot of media backlash for their supposed decision. Writers have been arguing that Thatcher “invented power dressing” and that she should be heralded as a “style icon.” Previous fashion exhibitions held by the V&A include the recent blockbuster retrospective of the work of the late Alexander McQueen, “Wedding Dresses 1775-2014” and display of outfits worn by

Quantum of Boredom: Does Spectre mark the end for Bond?

This article is rated S for spoilers. Going into a Bond film, one has to expect a certain level of retro chauvinism, post war masculinity and 'pussy galore'. As a 60s product there will always be Bond girls, flash cars and exotic locales. But seeing as Bond must be pushing 90, to me he's beginning to seem like that slightly racist grandad its probably best just to ignore. Yet ignore him we don't. Spectre became the 9th most expensive film ever made, the second highest grossing Bond film and the UK record holder for highest first-week opening. We keep throwing time and money into these movies and yet as I sat in the cinema through Spectre's whopping 148 minutes, of which I felt every one, the

'Isis Threaten Sylvania': A Response to the Censored Work By Mimsy

Illustration by Tennessee Williams On the 10th December, 1945 the United Nations granted a generation of people ‘the highest aspiration of the common people…Freedom of speech and belief’, under the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights. British citizens, born into a democratic, liberal country take full advantage of these rights. In late September, London SW1, a satirical work of art by the female artist, Mimsy, was banned from the ironically named Passion for Freedom exhibition at the Mall Galleries. The police stated that the image contained ‘inflammatory content’ and threatened a fine of £36,000 to the gallery if they chose to continue displaying the work. The censored work, Isis Threate

Humanity > Eurocentrism

Illustration by Lottie Handley After receiving the BBC News notification informing me of the Paris Attacks, November 13th, I naively looked to social media for further information. I felt compelled to join in with posting the translucent tricolour version of my profile picture. I first thought my decision to pay my respects in a visual way was based upon the shock factor that a city I am so fond of and have often visited could suffer unimaginable horror. The rest of Friday night consisted of following the live streams on BBC news and watching the French flag flood social media. In the meantime, news of Thursday's suicide bombings in Beirut killing 43 people and wounding a further 239 was for

Insight of “A” Critic; Book Review on ‘A is a Critic’ writings from The Spectator by Andrew Lambirth

“I have never invented anything. I have only, perhaps more than others, shown or brought forward that which is already there.” Anselm Kiefer, 16 November 1990 Cited from the first page of an RA booklet on Kiefer’s exhibition, words summarize my first impression of art critics. What does it mean to be an art critic rather than a mere journalist, producing some articles for weekend newspapers read by the pretentious and elite art enthusiasts? Well, much to my surprise, whilst roaming through a bookstore in Marylebone this book caught my eye. The book ‘A is a Critic’ is like a bag of assorted sweets; a collection of interviews with artists and opinions on art related issues and exhibition revie

Ms. Marvel: The Hero I've Been Waiting For

Photograph from author Avengers; Guardians of the Galaxy; X-Men. I’ve seen and enjoyed most of them. I began and continued to watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and cannot wait for the brilliant Agent Carter and Daredevil to return. I have consumed superhero stories in their television and film formats, but it wasn’t until this year that I decided to read the comic books that inspired these bold, colourful, and thrilling cinematic adventures. What previously seemed to be an unnecessarily complicated world with multiple superheroes of the same incarnation with story arcs that I could not follow or comprehend became less scary and increasingly intriguing when I found out about Ms. Marvel. The Ms. Mar

Nice Is Just A Place In France - The Betches

Photograph from author I have yet to meet a fellow Courtauldian who has even heard of (formerly, my go-to for the latest news, life advice and relatable think pieces. Or at least, I haven’t dared to bring it up for fear of judgement - recent articles at the time of writing include: ‘How To Fall Asleep With Your Makeup On’, ‘Should I Make a Move On My Married Coworker?’, ‘Zayn Malik And Gigi Hadid Are Dating’ and ‘How To Be Late Like A Betch’ (any BA2s will know I’m killing it with the last one...). It’s not exactly the Guardian. Whatever. People are missing out on this groundbreaking journalism and The Betches’ 2013 classic ‘Nice is Just a Place in France - H

Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink, The Wellcome Collection

Waiting in an hour-long entry queue is no hindrance to the success of yellowbluepink as an exhibition. It engages, challenges, uplifts and unsettles. In the interactive piece at the Welcome collection Ann Veronica Janssens explores the process of perception and questions human consciousness through her medium of fog and light. After walking through a set of airtight double doors you are entirely submerged in an ever-changing spectrum of colours and smoke similar to that of a squat rave, this term is fitting as the atmosphere you are surrounded in is entirely mind-altering. The mist that envelopes you prevents you from seeing no further than roughly two meters ahead or below, whilst the eerie

Contemporary Art Society Announces New Intiative

On the 23rd of November this year the Contemporary Art Society awarded its annual 60 000 pound prize for the acquisition of contemporary works to Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. This occasion is, sadly, the last time that this prize is to be awarded. It is not however the end of this sort of initiative on the part of the Contemporary Art Society. Launched on the 11th of December, the Society’s new initiative to aid in the acquisition of contemporary art in the regions will allow 69 different museums throughout the country to each make the case for the acquisition of a particular work. One of these appeals will be selected and the work purchased for the museum directly from the artist or

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