Three connected movies, which connect in a very direct way with the world about us.
For the last couple of years, simultaneously with the ‘Arab spring’ there have been
a number of similar movements around the world where ordinary folk have stood up for
the right to free speech and the right to a decent life, mostly both.
This happened on a small scale in the Southern African country of Angola where the inheritors
of the magnificent struggle against imperialism in the 70s seem to have forgotten their roots,
perhaps lulled by power and the good life it can bring to a few. A small but dogged and effective
campaign for democracy and against corruption, poverty and police state begaviour sprang up amongst
young people there.
The first video is a documentary relating the beginning, growth of this movement and subsequent
attempted government repression.
( You can find some more info , from Human Rights Watch, here)
Our second video is a track by the Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão, better known as Ikonoklasta
which is a tremendously entertaining bit of agit-prop against the regime.
It clearly struck home because the Angolan security forces have attempted to frame Beirão by
secreting a substantial amount of cocaine in a bicycle wheel in his possession on a flight
from Angola to Portugal.
The third video is Luaty Beirão’s statement upon and account of these events.
Watch the videos and draw you own conclusions – I do not for a moment believe Beirão is guilty
of anything except bravery and standing up to oppression.
We’ll leave you with these videos for the summer a reminder there’s art and there’s life and there’s
not a lot of space between.
We’re going to take a break until mid September-ish when we’ll be back with mostly
art videos but anything else that amuses, inspires or outrages us.
If you have stuff you think we’d like, send us links – we look at everything we’re sent.
It remains only to wish you all a nice and relaxing summer if you can manage it.
Two pieces from Donna Kuhn in 2008.
I wrote then:
We’ve shown a number of pieces by Donna Kuhn here previously.
I wondered to myself a couple of times, I must admit, whether the fact of
having developed such an intensely freighted and personal syntax and vocabulary might
not at some point become a block to further development, whether there was a limit to
the elaboration (and not of course simply the formal elaboration but of how much
in the way of new approaches to her subject matter this process could be made to yield) of this
admittedly extraordinarily beautiful and singular set of moves.
Well no sign of it yet – instead there is this remarkable process of intensification,
of continual, ever finer and more nuanced scrutiny, distillation and development.
It’s like watching an never ending succession of rabbits being pulled out of
hats and it’s quite, quite beautiful and moving.
All of it something of a masterclass, but the use of sound especially colors me
green with envy – wonderful!
Here’s some more gripping work from Michael Barnes-Wynters a.k.a Barney Doodlebug
who previously opened my eyes to a thriving live arts scene in Manchester, UK.
Featured here are two videos of a new piece by Michael which figured in i-Kast,
“a live intervention transmission for www.artplayer.tv with artists roney fraser-munroe,
naomi kashiwagi and michael barnes-wynters” in May of this year.
The first video is an excellent short documentary overview of the event
with interviews with key figures.
Michael is going to be running an event for 15-25 year olds as part of the season
in the new Tate Modern space “The Tanks” on Thursday 23 August.
From Claude Heiland-Allen: Seven years of archives for this mailing list filtered down
to the most often occurring 1000 words of 4 letters or more,
in an infinite fractal zoom – each word is made up of the
words that most likely follow it.
We love the Netbehaviour list & this, splendid & bonkers both, does just
what it says on the tin with that excellent institution – we’ve posted
the minute long version here but if that whets your appetite for more
there’s an hour long version at archive.org.
I need to get out more, or at least talk to more people because the Dirty Projectors completely passed me by until a couple of weeks ago
when I happened upon this video for a track from their new (and, I
have to say, quite, quite, wonderful and – and I use the word advisedly
because it is so overused in a popular music context – strikingly original)
I’ve no idea know who directed the vid but it’s smart and spare and beautiful
and fits the music like a glove (but a glove that brings more than simply being
a glove to the table – maybe it has striking patterns, or raised areas or a
couple of extra fingers, or it glows in the dark or something.)
Two 2006 movies from Christian Marc Schmidt’s adaptive landscapes
sequence of work.
Check out the link above for Schmidt’s background notes on the pieces.
I’ll just observe that they are not alone in recent work featured here
in belonging to a category of work that could be called gorgeous formalism.