Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Digjest London Digest: London Calling

Rock 'Roll' Public Library

So, Mick Jones: born in 1955, learned to play the guitar, joined one of the most iconic British rock bands in history - the Clash. Also a self-admitted hoarder, he has collected oodles of memorabilia throughout his life, which he loaned for display at the Chelsea Space.

It is a rather comprehensive hoard. The relatively small gallery contains mountains of books, records, clothes, memorabilia, lyrics sheets,toys and games. In fact, it all feels a little bit cramped

For the devoted Clash (or 60s BRITROCK) fan, this would probably be a holy ground experience, with tears welling up at the site of torn stage clothes and original plane tickets. For the ordinary patron though, just mildly curious.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

London Arts Digest. Mythologies at the Haunch of Venison.

Located just off the exquisite boutiques of New Bond Street, the Mythologies exhibition sticks out like a sore thumb. Although the theme of the show is the mythical and surreal, the exhibits on display might as well be exploring the topic of hallucinogenic drugs.

The second floor , in particular, defines the weird and wonderful of the art world. Light, paint, sculpture and taxidermy are used in unexpected and challenging ways. Paul Fryer's poignantly philosophical work is nothing but an egg levitating gently above an empty nest; while John Isaac's blend of bleeding internal organs and wood in a cube is frighting in a Bret Easton Ellis kind of way.

Definitely worth a look - admission is free, and the exhibits will haunt you for many days afterward.

Haunch of Venison
6, Burlington Gardens

Sunday, April 12, 2009

London, UK. London Digest-Madness and Modernity.

Madness and Modernity at the Wellcome Collection is a very narrowly focused. Its subject, mental illness and the arts in Vienna of the 1900s, would be difficult to illustrate even for the most resourceful curator.
There are some interesting things on show; a schizophrenic woman's mad scribbles on an 1890 newspaper, sculpted heads of ' idiotic ' (microcephalic) brothers, an electrified cage developed for the treatment of depression.
Unfortunately, the scarce and disjointed exhibits are mildly curious, rather than fascinating. Not enough is explained, too much is assumed. However, it does raise interesting questions about ethics in psychotherapy and the morality of 'modern' approaches, which in a hundred years may seem just as antiquated as a lobotomy is to the present-day observer.