Author: Alx Phillips

What’s on? 19* Fotopres – New Documentary Image

In the beginning was the image, and the image was truth. Those were the days! Now there is no truth, only ‘truths’ negotiated between individual self-perception and social archetype, or self-perception of archetype… or something along those lines. Where that leaves the documentary photograph is one of the considerations of an excellent exhibition at Barcelona’s Caixa… Read more »

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Death and the Artisan – the art of Noé Bermejo

What makes Spanish art seem so expositive and yet so elusive? Does it hold the key to a better understanding of the ‘Spanish identity’? In the first of a series of profiles on Spain’s artists, I attempt to explore this and other intrigues… The artist Noé Bermejo (32) was born in a village in the municipality… Read more »

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What’s on? Artistic variations on WG Sebald

I was reading in New Scientist the other day about how you could inherit trauma from a parent or even grandparent, that fragments missed by a ‘cleaning process’ might remain hidden in the embryo, contributing in later life to psychological ailments such as bi-polarity or depression. German author WG Sebald prods at such splinters, embedded… Read more »

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Picasso / Dalí – Compassion and Conflict

An exhibition at Museu Picasso rocks the foundations of art history by placing two iconic artists of radically different reputations together. Picasso_Dalí / Dalí_Picasso is a painstakingly researched and provocative show that spotlights specific points of encounter between the two men, expanding our understanding of both. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973): enigmatic Cubist, lifelong hero of the left, fundamentally… Read more »

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What’s on? A Game of Mirrors

Circle Mirror Transformation (Joc de Miralls), by the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Annie Baker, is a sweet, funny and quietly tragic little play that shines light on the lives of five individuals who take part in a theatre workshop for beginners in a local civic centre. The title refers to one of a series of quirky group… Read more »

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Review: A Radical Date with Wim Vandekeybus

Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus’ 1987 dance piece What The Body Does Not Remember, at Sadler’s Wells, London today and tomorrow, is a work credited with radically transforming the arena of contemporary dance. But what does this mean to us now? 28 years on, its once highly-innovative association of physicality and high emotion, (untrained dancers stomping, running… Read more »

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What’s on? Environmental drama in Pulmons (Lungs)

All credit to this valiant Catalan-language production that brings freshness, focus and depth of character to Duncan Macmillan’s uncompromising play Pulmons (original title Lungs), a contemporary drama about a couple’s decision to have a baby, despite, or perhaps because of, impending environmental disaster. Macmillan demands that no props, sound or lighting effects, no ‘mime’, scene changes or intervals be… Read more »

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Interview: Shantala Shivalingappa on the Freedom of Discipline

As the world economic balance shifts ‘eastward’ our Western-centric presumptions of the way things work is sinking into the sand. Contemporary dance is perhaps the most accessible art form able to embody and communicate these changes. Born in India and brought up in France, Shantala Shivalingappa (pictured above) trained in the strict discipline of classical kuchipudi… Read more »

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What’s On? El Misàntropo directed by Miguel del Arco

El Misàntropo is a contemporary Spanish version of the classic play Le Misanthrope by 17th century French playwright Molière. A social satire with political implications, it deals with issues such as hypocrisy and love, sycophancy and plain speaking, and how far one should go to defend the truth. As Spanish theatre director Miguel del Arco has recognised, this… Read more »

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Interview: Petherbridge & Hunter on My Perfect Mind

In 2007, British actor Edward Petherbridge suffered a stroke that left him unable to play King Lear, a part that he had travelled to New Zealand to rehearse. Nevertheless, the actor was still able to recall every one of his lines. Of this serious incident he and Paul Hunter have created My Perfect Mind, a re-imagination… Read more »

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