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(Summer 2019)

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Issue 14

(December 2016)

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Issue 15

(February 2017)


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Issue 1

(December 2012)


Is the art gallery the last non-judgmental public place?

We live in a world in which we judge and discourage one another to act ‘differently’. This human habit is complex and broad, so I won't try to define it. However, what I would like to explore is how the contemporary art space veils its visitors with an all accepting attitude, which is seen in few other places. I decided to try out this theory, by lying on the floor in one of the permanent exhibitions in the Switch House. I received a few strange looks, however, generally people looked upon me with soft, non-judgemental eyes. It was as if the contemporary space allowed almost anything to become normal. Perhaps this is the ultimate purpose of a gallery today and fundamentally its successes in

Student Insights: ‘Taking Shape – Young Choreographers in Rehearsal’

To all the direct and indirect victims of terrorist attacks over the past year. May the arts and our humble writings inspire you to live and shape a positive future for yourself and people around you. ‘VIVEZ JOYEUX’ François Rabelais (1483-1553) Nicole McDowall, Kloé Dean and Jazmyn Alicia Raikes in rehearsal during Student Insight 'Young Choreographers in Rehearsal' © ROH Brian Slater 2016 As traditional as it may sound, the Royal Opera House (ROH) hosts state-of-the-art initiatives at the heart of Covent Garden to create an intimate environment for young dance-lovers. As a lifelong adept of ballet, urban and popular dances, the Student Insight event which took place on Monday 7 November ca

Calais: Welcome to the Jungle

Image: Film still from ‘Calais: Welcome to the Jungle’ (2016) dir: Teun Voeten and Maaike Engels Film Review: 'Calais: Welcome to the Jungle' (2016) In ‘Calais: Welcome to the Jungle’, the Dutch anthropologist and war photographer Teun Voeten and the cinematographer Maaike Engels present a compelling, and at times provocative, visual ethnography of the "Jungle," a refugee camp in Calais, France. Until recently it was occupied by Middle Eastern and African migrants seeking to travel to, and establish residence in the UK. Filmed over the course of more than a year, Teun and Maaike repeatedly visit the "Jungle" to document the physical and social conditions, conduct interviews with the inhabit

The Art of Activism: Histories of Art strikes

Bread and Puppet theatre piece on Fifth Avenue, New York. Part of the Angry Arts Week, 1967 'In the meantime, Occupy Everything and see what happens.' – Lucy Lippard (2013) In 1967, artists in New York organised an anti-war effort that protested against the American War in Vietnam. Held in various venues around the city on 26th January to 5th February, the Angry Arts week included public happenings showing artists’ dissent of war in various venues through the mediums of performance, film, dance, painting, posters and flyers. Today, fifty years later, artists (some of whom took part in the first organised anti-war efforts) have proposed a general strike, called the J20 Art Strike, to close ar

Abstract Expressionism

Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943. (Image Courtesy of The University of Iowa Museum of Art, Gift of Peggy Guggenheim. © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation ARS, NY and DACS, London 2016.) Abstract Expressionism - Review at the Royal Academy For the first time in over fifty years the Royal Academy has exhibited a show on Abstract Expressionism. The sheer amount of works on display, amounting to 163 in total, is compelling and an impressive display of art that are infrequently exhibited this side of the pond. However, the show is packaged in a widely uninspiring way, which lacks variation of race, and sex. Instead the show re-enforces an already exhausted account of a the heavily white male dominated na

Under Siege

Yang Liping's vision of the climactic battle between Chu and Han armies. Image courtesy of Sadler's Wells. REVIEW: Yang Liping Contemporary Dance — Under Siege Much like ancient Rome, story has it that China was founded on fratricide and betrayal. The foundation myth focused on two great personalities – Xiang Yu of the Chu faction and Liu Bang of the Han. Once brothers in arms, they overthrew the tyrannical and short-lived Qin dynasty in 206 BC. Yet soon after their success they found themselves embroiled in a four year-long war of domination. Liu Bang won the struggle through deceit and trickery and became the first emperor of Han China. This is a tale that has been retold and reinterpreted

TEF: what's it all about?

You’ve probably already come across the Courtauld SU statement that was circulated last Monday. The Students’ Union is holding an all-student referendum on the 20th of January on our position as a student body regarding the NSS (National Students’ Survey) boycott on TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework). The NUS (National Union of Students) have encouraged all university bodies to boycott the yearly NSS. What is TEF and NSS? TEF stands for Teaching Excellence Framework. The TEF is a government scheme proposed to measure the quality of teaching at Higher Education Institutions in England. The Green Paper was introduced in November 2015 by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and aft

Twenty Years Later, ‘Princess Mononoke’ Is Still My Number One

To my sister Céleste, Last time I watched ‘Princess Mononoke’ on a big screen, I was seven. It was in the independent arts cinema called studio Galande, in one of the medieval streets of Paris. I remember very well that screening because it was in Japanese with French subtitles. I had just started learning how to read and I could not follow the subtitles! Nevertheless, the images, the music and the plot were so wondrously good that it soon became our favourite film in the family. We even managed to get a free poster of the film afterwards and it has been pinned up above my sister’s bed ever since. So when my Taiwanese friend posted on Facebook about a screening of ‘Princess Mononoke’ at Prin

Paul Nash Review: Mysterious Places

Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World, 1918. Image Source: Imperial War Museum/Tate 'There are places, just as there are people and objects and works of art, whose relationship of parts creates a mystery, an enchantment, which cannot be analysed.' – Paul Nash, Outline (1949) Paul Nash needs almost no introduction; a renowned war artist and painter of surreal landscapes, he is arguably one of Britain’s most well-known twentieth century artists. However, there is a tendency to see Nash as somewhat separate from the development of modern art in the twentieth century. Perhaps this is due to the way we historicise painting traditions - associating landscape with the parochialism of an island menta

Interview: Professor Joanna Woodall, or how to be in the world as an academic

Joanna Woodall is a leading expert on Early Modern Netherlandish Art, with a strong commitment to teaching students about methodologies and the theoretical foundations of art history. Joanna read History and Art History at the University of York and The Courtauld Institute, and held research fellowships at the Universities of Cambridge and Leiden during her PhD. She also worked as a curator for three years at Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford before becoming a Lecturer in Netherlandish Art at The Courtauld Institute in 1986, where she completed her PhD. Since her student years, Joanna has tried to be ‘in the world’ as she says, and so she has been. This piece is based on two long discu

The Nose by Nikolai Gogol

Enter Nikolai Gogol’s The Nose, a work of wild surrealism that is just the thing to reset your mind and lift your spirits. Although Gogol originally wrote the story in 1835-6, the tale is so absurd that it defies temporal boundaries and is as relatable and humorous today as it was then. Thankfully, it requires no great amount of time, or brainpower, to consume: no more than a leisurely afternoon with a cup of tea and this short story in hand. The Nose is an often-witty, sometimes biting, commentary of a rigidly structured social hierarchy that appears to have spiralled so wildly out of control as to allow a disembodied nose to be catapulted well above the social status of its original er… ow

John Berger: "Never again shall a single story be told as though it were the only one."

Image source: Franck Courtès/Agence Vu John Berger died on 2nd January 2017. Many obituaries begin with the most basic of facts, such as his age (90), or his occupation. And yet here is the first hurdle; Berger was many things. While it may suit the reader to be informed that he was an art critic, Berger resisted the term himself. Even his own output defies the prescriptive, and perhaps tired, title of ‘critic’. Novelist, painter, teacher, theorist, playwright, poet and farmer; Berger did it all. In his own words, he often described himself as a storyteller. In Bento’s Sketchbook Berger wrote that ‘hope is a contraband passed from hand to hand, and story to story’ – and this is how he saw hi

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