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Essay | The Disappearing Acts of Robyn Denny by Jonathan McAloon

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From the earliest formation of his artistic intellect, the British painter Robyn Denny (1930-2014) was interested in the way images lose their greatness and meaning over time. From his 1957 Royal College of Art thesis, which began with a photograph of the Rosetta Stone: ‘Some walls have been decorated in this way so frequently that the message has been obliterated, layer upon layer carrying the conflicting symbols of passing generations, and finally expressing [...]

Review | Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

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In October another fatberg the size of a double-decker bus, reportedly weighing in at a modest 40 tonnes, was hand-scraped from the sewers of London by Thames Water engineers. Monuments to our collective waste, these titanic coagulations of faeces, fats and unflushables – a mixture of common household products, such as cotton buds and wet wipes – are a uniquely unnatural disaster and symptom of modern living. They are a sordid example of what happens when a system becomes ill-equipped to deal with the unprecedented quantities of crap pumped into it [...]

Fiction | Sex, drugs and dead birds by Clare Fisher

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The birds kept dying. They kept dropping out of the sky and splatting onto the pavement. They were a Sign – of what, I didn’t know: I just documented them on my phone in the hope they would make their meaning clear, if not to me, then to one of my friends [...]

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