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Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.London - The People!
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Neue Deutsche Kunst / New German Art Press Launch – Tuesday 12 October 2010 – 19:00 (21:00)
London Film Festival Launch – Odeon Leicester Square - Wednesday 8 September 2010 - 10:36 (11:28)
Berlin-based artist Johannes Buss descends the magnificent spiral staircase of the German Ambassador's Residence in London's Belgrave Square. He wears an ostentatious coat symbolising the German national symbol, the eagle, with the German national anthem playing in the background. Titled Conjuration Coating the coat has the shape of a scarecrow's, with arms outstretched. It has long layers of striped material in gold with what looks like a leather jacket as the central part.
Neue Deutsche Kunst (New German Art) is an exhibition by emerging German artists in painting & sculpture, concept, media and performance art. They are 16 German graduates from arts schools around the world. The exhibition forms part of the Think German campaign; it's curated by London-based artists Kristina Buch and Carsten Recksik.
His Excellency the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr Georg Boomgaarden launches into an enthusiastic welcome. Cultural Attaché Mr Cord Meier-Klodt - tall, and elegant in grey pinstripe suit, pink shirt and red tie - whispers in his ear. The Ambassador switches from German to English. This is much to the relief of the 120 or so mainly English-speaking guests, who giggle (and understand). Mr Boomgaarden speaks of 'the simplicity of art as dialogue' and invites visitors to 'look at German art as you never knew it'.
The exhibition fills five rooms with diverse installations. In the first the most prominent - and perhaps the exhibition's highlight - is Knives by Johanna Zey who lives and works in Munich. Its suspended knives are described by the artist as 'hundreds of table knives [creating] a school of fish'. Tonight it attracts the greatest number of viewers; it's visually intriguing; thought-provoking. There is a sense that it is irresistible to touch; left open for the viewer to walk around. Or into - there's a lot of champagne.
The most exciting work tonight seems to come from the bigger installations. Maren Maurer, who lives and works in Dusseldorf, uses a projector to show a ballet dancer - who repeats 32 fouettes turns in a row - in her videowork titled 32. It's shown in the Residence's high-ceilinged grand drawing room, which seems a natural setting; it attracts a lot of attention. Munich-based Tim Wolff shows Safety First, in the form of a disjointed line drawn perhaps in black felt tip. It looks disappointing, but perhaps from being hung next to Johanna Zey's spectacular Knives
There's a casual relaxed tone to the evening with a buzz from the many people present - and the champagne.
Joint curator Kristina Buch has drawn from her network of artist friends to make the evening a success. She explains that the poetic concept flowing through the pieces shows the classical approach to the works displayed. Her own work on show is meant to depict a romantic German vision. However the small fairytale-looking Polaroids look as if they need to be on a grander scale for this exhibition; they seem tiny in comparison with the other mainly much larger works.
Joint curator Carsten Recksik - a charismatic and unrelentingly passionate artist - has much to say on all things art. His recent work has been with photographer Mario Testino and model Kate Moss. He's dressed in jeans and a blue jumper, smoking a cigarette. 'Do we need New German Art as a title?' he ponders. 'Do we need Young British Artists as a title? Is it important where people are from with globalisation around us? The most important thing is the art.'
Artists in alpha order are: Andreas Blank, Kristina Buch, Johannes Buss, Sybilla Dumke, Sarah Jane Hoffman, Anna KE, Maren Maurer, Florian Meisenberg, Heide Nord, Jörg Obergfell, Carsten Recksik, Pablo Wendel, Peter Wendl, Anna Witt, Tim Wolff, Johanna Zey. Neue Deutsche Kunst / New German Art is 12-20 October 2010 at the German Ambassador's Residence. Viewing by appointment. There is a panel discussion at the venue on 19 October 2010 at 18:30 with Ben Lewis (The Great Contemporary Art Bubble); Dr Julian Stallabrass (Courtauld Institute of Art); Astrid Schemetterling (Goldsmiths College); Wiebke Gronemeyer (Curator). Enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) Rebecca Talbot – Tuesday 12 October 2010 – Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ambassador's Residence, 22 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PG – (c) www.fringereport.com 2010
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Amanda Nevill and Sandra Hebron host today's London Film Festival Press Launch at focal London cinema Odeon Leicester Square.
Premier PR organises the event with a firm emphasis on priorities: fresh croissants and pain-au-chocolats; coffee, tea, orange juice; mineral water at every seat; emergency bar of Green & Black's chocolate on the way out. It's cruel to say that Green & Black's now belongs to American processed-cheese company Kraft, so no-one does. At the 2009 London Film Festival Press Launch Amanda Nevill announced the probable forthcoming merger of the BFI with the UK Film Council. Today she speaks in the wake of the UK Government's recent announcement that (a) the UK Film Council is to be closed (b) funding of the arts is being slashed (c) so is everything else. There's a delicate tightrope to be walked here, a thin tightrope and a long one, stretched over a dizzily deep ravine. In front of a particularly difficult audience. There's a susurrus as Guardian readers congratulate themselves on visualising this tightrope as the scene in Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra when the devil rushes out at the moment the acrobat gets halfway across the wire.
It's an 800 strong-audience of mixed preoccupations. There are commercial film business people (tax relief, sod the arts); auteurs (self); independent film makers (self-abuse); Government civil servants from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS] (job cuts, going on strike); sponsors (sainthood); media (sex, chocolate, drink); and both readers of The Independent. How to pacify everyone? How to satisfy every camp (and this is prime, British camp)?
Amanda Nevill rises flawlessly to the occasion. Being both pretty and elegant - smart and formal in tailored black jacket and trousers with open-necked white shirt and high-heeled black patent shoes - does no harm in delivering a difficult speech in difficult times, but it's the carefully-stranded content and diplomatic structure of what she says that make it a masterpiece. The technical problem is: how to be gung-ho for sponsors; big-up film quality for film-goers and profit for financiers; be sad about the Film Council for people who quite liked it, glad about it for everyone else; be sackcloth-ish about arts cuts for artists, blow a mild raspberry about them for people who think artists should be first in the tumbril, and have brought their own knitting needles?
She welcomes (the BFI's political masters) the DCMS and each of the sponsors - 'More ambitions and big ideas need generous partners' - by name. Instead of skirting round the question of cuts she meets it head on. She makes the point (paraphrased here) that cuts are across every aspect of life; that the arts must take their place in this, and that the point is to concentrate on going ahead in a brand new landscape.
Lots of leaders of the subsidised arts have wrung their (subsidised) hands in the press (for months, though to some it may feel like years) as if arts cuts were tearing babies from breasts and trampling on them (the babies). Unfortunately, this can turn people away who might otherwise have listened - people more worried about hospitals closing. Amanda Nevill's direct approach of putting the arts in the context of national priorities - while making clear politely that they are one - and focussing on getting on with what exists rather than what might have existed, feels like crisp, fresh air.
Amanda Nevill points out that the relevant Government minister has said that tax breaks for the film industry are to be kept. She says that Britain is well-placed (for film-making). There isn't time to mourn the old era. The entire business of film needs creativity at its root. Film needs public money, nurturing the new. Patriotism features here, as she emphasise 'Solid British excellence'. The aim is (encouraging) an environment 'where creativity is feted, and where the unexpected happens regularly. The BFI London Film Festival is 'a moment when we come together to shout about film'.
The London Film Festival's delightful artistic director Sandra Hebron gives a warm and colourful speech about the content of this year's festival. She concludes by introducing a clip reel of extracts from 41 films - a bit over half a minute each. (Main link for each film is to Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) page for film; LFF link is to page on London Film Festival 2010 website): Never Let Me Go (2010) (LFF), 127 Hours (2010) (LFF), The King's Speech (2010) (LFF), Another Year (2010) (LFF), Submarine (2010) (LFF), The First Grader (2010) (LFF), También La Lluvia (Even The Rain) (2010) (LFF), Conviction (2010) (LFF), En Ganske Snill Mann (A Somewhat Gentle Man) (2010) (LFF), The Kids Are All Right (2010) (LFF), Archipelago (2010) (LFF), Black Swan (2010) (LFF), Meek's Cutoff (2010) (LFF), Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) (2010) (LFF), Miral (2010) (LFF), Route Irish (2010) (LFF), The Nine Muses (2010) (LFF), West Is West (2010) (LFF), Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) (2010) (LFF), Sans Queue Ni Tête (Special Treatment) (2010) (LFF), Octubre (October) (2010) (LFF), Le Quattro Volte (2010) (LFF), Fløjteløs (Whistleless) (2010) (LFF), Benda Bilili! (2010) (LFF), Lemmy (2010) (LFF), Howl (2010) (LFF), It's Kind Of A Funny Story (2010) (LFF), Un Poison Violent (Love Like Poison) (2010) (LFF), Africa United (2010) (LFF), Pink Saris (2010) (LFF), The Arbor (2010) (LFF), Biutiful (2010) (LFF), Harud (Autumn) (2010) (LFF), The Great White Silence (1914) (LFF), Des Hommes Et Des Dieux (Of Gods And Men) (2010) (LFF), Neds (2010) (LFF), Let Me In (2010) (LFF), Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010), Man On A Motorcycle (2009) (LFF), Robinson In Ruins (2010) (LFF), Picnic (1955) (LFF),
John Park – Wednesday 8 September 2010 – Odeon Leicester Square, London, 22-24 Leicester Square, WC2H 7JY, London UK – (c) www.fringereport.com 2010
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