Interview | Rahman Akar, Founder of Signature African Art

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Over the last decade there has been consistent growth in interest and price for modern and contemporary African artists. While this has largely been true outside of the continent, there is now a growing class of collectors domestically operating in Africa itself. One of these collectors, Rahman Akar, has been doing so for over thirty years. In 1992 Akar founded Signature African Art, a gallery dedicated [...]

Interview | Atiq Rahimi on dreams, minimalism and the female nude

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'Depicting the body is a very political act in my culture, no matter what you do with it; even if it’s abstract. Nudity is a political act. Unveiling the body is engaging with the essential in life, the universal. The body is fundamentally the same regardless of gender. Some political regimes divide the genders along the lines of insignificant bodily differences. Politics often create a contradiction between the sexes when, in actual fact, it’s just a difference, nothing else.' [...]

Interview | Joo Yeon Park on Beckett, Failure and ‘the Unword’

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'If you are to fail, you might as well, as Beckett put it, 'fail better'; you might as well volunteer to fail. And failure is, possibly, a necessity in art-making, and it's not necessarily a negative thing in art. It can prove to be a turning-point, to open up a space for discussion, for something that you haven’t expected to see or experience. So it can be a positive thing, so I think there's a double-edged sword in what Beckett means by failure.' […]

Interview | Joe Dunthorne on Cliché, Adulting and Coming of Age

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What do we even want from coming of age? Do we want to be wise, mature people, or do we just care about ticking off a list of pre-agreed markers: homeowning, or a long-term relationship, or whatever it is? Ultimately, you can be a child, you can be the most immature and undeveloped human, and have achieved all those things. So obviously it’s a problematic term. Obviously, Catcher in the Rye is the ultimate touchstone for literary coming-of-age for most people [...]

Archive | Roger Blin and Beckett by Mary Benson

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‘...Some were to say, “At last, a Christian play!” but I soon came to the conviction that for Beckett it was a mockery. I didn’t want to press the symbolic side. I didn’t bother the actors by saying, “Look, careful, this is very important, it means something other than it seems”. I wanted them to discover it for themselves; through the rehearsals they should give something surpassing the everyday realism of tramps — who finally are not tramps but you and me.’ [...]

Interview | Keith Burstein: Tonality, Beethoven and Memories of Bonn

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A new work by composer Keith Burstein, marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, will be performed by the London Chamber Orchestra at the Cadogan Hall in March. Burstein is renowned for his fervent championing of tonal music, as opposed to the atonal style which has dominated classical music teaching and composition for over a century, and Memories of Bonn looks set to ignite the ongoing controversy surrounding the on-going pre-eminence of atonality [...]

Interview | Radu Oreian: ‘Microscripts and Melted Matters’

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As I wandered through the pacific silence of Nosco Gallery, London, I came across the universe of Radu Oreian's art – and ‘universe’ really is the proper word for it. His works are often massive both in scale and scope. The longer you look, the more you’ll find of the following: sea creatures, bodily fluids, thumb prints, flush plasma, veins and arteries, infinity in pointillism – even nostalgia for your childhood dreams. ‘Microscripts and Melted Matters’ represents a contemporary [...]

Interview | Emma Donoghue on writing hunger

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Set in Ireland in 1858, seven years after the potato famine, The Wonder tells the story of an English nurse who is hired to spend two weeks observing an eleven-year old girl, who, her parents claim, has not eaten for months. Based on the almost fifty cases of ‘fasting girls’ - of women who claimed to be surviving without food for months on end in Europe and North America between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries - Donoghue’s novel anticipates the invention of anorexia [...]

Interview | Teresa Grimes, Director of Tintype on Essex Road 6

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Currently illuminating the window of Tintype gallery, on the Essex Road, in the London borough of Islington, is the sixth edition of the Essex Road project, which commissions eight artists each year to create a moving image work in response to the road itself. At the helm of the gallery is Director Teresa Grimes, who has created a dynamic programme featuring UK-based and international contemporary artists, including exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances and walks [...]

Interview | Jane Draycott on sound poetry, translation and poetic process

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'It’s dark in here and forest green: Britannica, sixteen oak trees in a London living room, / the little girl, my mother, in the bookcase glass. / Italy, Ithaca, Izmail, Japan, each page a mainsail, / turning, HMS Discovery – none of the rivers of southern Italy is of any great importance.' - Jane Draycott, ‘Italy to Lord’. British poet Jane Draycott is interested in sound poetry and collaboration. Her translation of the Middle English poem Pearl won the Stephen Spender Prize [...]

Interview | Leo Dixon on Death in Venice at the Royal...

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Stuart Martin Leo Dixon on Death in Venice at the Royal Opera House At only 23 years old, British dancer Leo Dixon has already begun an impressive...

Interview | Keith Coventry: The Old Comedy

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Eric Block Keith Coventry: The Old Comedy This month sees the opening of UPSTONE SOHO, a new gallery in the heart of Soho. Its inaugural show is...

Interview | Cecilia Brunson Projects Founder on I Am Awake by...

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Eric Block Cecilia Brunson Projects Founder on I Am Awake by Feliciano Centurión Cecilia Brunson opened her eponymous Bermondsey-based gallery in 2015, providing a much needed European...

Interview | George Salis: Sea Above, Sun Below

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Author George Salis has just published his first novel with River Boat Books. Sea Above, Sun Below is described as containing the following elements: ‘Upside-down lightning, a group of uncouth skydivers, resurrections, a mother's body overtaken by a garden, aquatic telepathy, and a peeling snake-priest’. Read on to get a taste of this oneiric world [...]

Interview | Quentin Blake: Anthology of Readers

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Best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl’s books — including Fantastic Mr Fox, Matilda, The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory amongst others — Quentin Blake's latest exhibition, Anthology of Readers, turns his eye to book-lovers [...]

Interview | Cyril de Commarque: Artificialis at Saatchi Gallery

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The acclaimed French artist Cyril de Commarque has created an ambitious and powerful multimedia installation that invites us to contemplate notions of legacy and transition, now on exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. The artist’s latest project is the result of a special commission by Saatchi – for its Artist-In-Residency programme – with a brief to respond [...]

Interview | Bahia Shehab: At the Corner of a Dream at...

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Eric Block Bahia Shehab: At the Corner of a Dream at the Aga Khan Centre Gallery The acclaimed Egyptian-Lebanese artist, designer, educator and street art activist Bahia Shehab’s work first...

Interview | Nathalie Boobis, Director: Deptford X

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Eric Block Interview: Nathalie Boobis, Director of Deptford X This year Deptford X, London’s longest running contemporary visual arts festival, celebrates its 21st birthday with its...

Interview | Richard Baker on winning the 2019 HIX Award

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This year’s HIX Award attracted more than 600 entrants and, as founder Mark Hix admits, it was very tough trying to pick a winner...

Interview | Chris McCabe: Poems from the Edge of Extinction

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Chris McCabe is the National Poetry Librarian. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and his works include numerous poetry collections, including Speculatrix (2014) and The Triumph of Cancer (2018). His new poetry anthology Poems from the Edge of Extinction, published by Chambers this year, collects poems from endangered languages [...]

Interview | Elise Ansel: yes I said Yes at Cadogan Contemporary

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As arguably the biggest week in the London art-world calendar sets in, there is a striking exhibition on display at Cadogan Contemporary in which the acclaimed American artist Elise Ansel reclaims female identity from the old master paintings [...]

Interview | Kristina Marie Darling

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Kristina Marie Darling is an author and literary critic. Her book Je Suis L’Autre: Essays & Interrogations was named one of the 'Best Books of...

Interview | Cultural Traffic founder Toby Mott on Arts Fairs and...

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Eric Block Cultural Traffic interview: Arts Fairs and Counter-culture The roving global arts and publishing fair, Cultural Traffic, will hold its fourth London edition at Old Spitalfields...

Interview | Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery at Bush House Arcade

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Simon Tait Slavery and the mother lode In 2012, shortly before a car bomb exploded outside her suburban Damascus front door forcing her to gather her...

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