Tuesday, 31 May 2011

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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

I've not seen Shakespeare in the theatre for a while, the last time i seem to recall not enjoying it very much because i was terrified of heights and sitting on the top row at the Globe, anyway, surely the Balcony at the Wyndham's wouldn't be similar at all...
I think it was higher actually, and i managed to book two seats just hanging over the front (o dear, well at least my height issue isn't so bad anymore)
Anyway, Much Ado About Nothing, a play based on the over-the-top simplicity of conversation and life. I understand how this is an oxymoranic sentence, but i can't think of another way to describe it. The version in the Wyndham's, was a contemporary mix of settings/costume of the 80's (Wham) and now. There were things that i noticed, but was unsure whether it was content or my own mind making it up, for example, in the wedding scene, Beatrice is wearing an outfit very similar to Kate Middletons iconic blue engagement dress- But it was mainly 80's. I think the stage managing has tainted my mind a little to notice too much, but in this play it made me enjoy it more because everything was so perfect. I don't pretend to find Shakespeare easy, but the fact that there were children in the stalls laughing in all the right places backs up the choice of cast in this play. Catherine Tate was amazing as Beatrice, although there were the odd moments where she defined herself as "Catherine Tate in the role of..." she made every single word that she said understandable through tone and movement, i only wish i had been closer to the front to be able to see her facial expressions. David Tennant was also very good- he went more for the audience participation angle- confronting the audience with a look, when others were speaking about him, he also had a very good repour with the other characters.
I think the essence of slapstick was something that very much appealed to me- drunken stag do scenes and writing love poems to the sound of an electric miniature keyboard- but i can't say too much without it being ruined for anyone else going to see it. It is definitely something i want to go back and see again, it reminded me so much of BBC's Blackpool, in some ways it was a bit of a musical, although because of the high profile cast, will probably not get a chance to.
I am however now very tempted to go and see it in The Globe, just to recognise the differences in content.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Fundraising Update!!

Hi Everyone,
 Just an update on Fundraising and organisation for degree show-

The Catalogue has been sent to print after an astounding amount of sleepless, indesign filled nights for Lauren and the rest of the catalogue gang- so if you see Lauren, Taki, Luke or James remember to buy them a drink for all of their hard work.
Also on this note- Neil Stoker has the website up and running, so you should have recently received log-in details for the site so you can upload any photos/information about your work that you want.

Recently there has been a massive and successful push from the members of the fundraising team to get the last amounts of money that we need. The Homonculas event on Friday raised £460 (Thank you Benji, Annie, Kiera, Hazel, plus all others that helped with this event) and the Summer Fayre the previous Friday raised another £450 (Again, thank you to Joe an all the stall holders). We have also had various other things going on like ‘The Disney Boat Party’ and the ‘Made in Chelsea’ DVD launch. However, with at least 3 weeks to go before the PV, there are still ways to help raise a couple of £’s:

‘Made in Chelsea’ – A DVD containing 12 pieces of video art from different students in our year is available to buy at just £5 in aid of fundraising- If you would like to buy one of these DVD’s please contact:  Joe Easeman-  joe_easeman@live.co.uk  (CG11)

Year Photo – The year Photo is still available to buy at £5 for an A4 copy and £8 for an A3 copy, again please contact Joe Easeman to order one, or to pick up and pay if you have already ordered. He has all of the prints in his studio, so please drop by and see him in CG11.

Organisation for degree show:

Student Contact Desk: As Gill said in the previous meeting, there will be a student contact desk timetable posted on the degree show board by the lecture theatre. Each slot is 2 hours and there are enough times throughout the show for everyone in our year to do 2 hours. So please sign up. While on the contact desk you will be expected to sit by the canteen and talk to visitors about work, help with maps and information about students etc

Student Price list: As discussed in the meeting last week, there is a price list organised by the college with a 20% commission. There has been in the past a price list made by students who do not want to  pay commission on selling their work and would prefer to sell directly to the buyer without the colleges input. Sam Rudd has kindly proposed to make this list and support students in selling their artwork on a commission free basis. So if you would be interested please contact:  Sam Rudd-  sams_in_da_clouds@hotmail.com

Paint: There have been suggestions to buy some extra white paint this year, as it is known to run out every year, as Sharon can only order a certain amount. She has advised how much extra we would need to buy- however, as well as the white paint being needed there is also interest in getting some black paint as well- however I will need to estimate how much we need by people getting in touch with me if they are going to paint their spaces back. So please get in touch with me to let me know about your black paint needs: nataliebays@msn.com

Performance Timetable: If you are doing a performance during the private view and/or the week show, please let Tim Ridley know, as there will be a performance guide to be given out during the Private View and Show. He needs your performance times ASAP due to printing times so please get those to him as soon as possible: tim.ridley@yahoo.co.uk

Finally, I have managed to rope in 3 1st year students to help us out during the Private view (Catalogue/ drink giving out etc) however we will probably need about 3 or 4 more- so if you know any 1st or 2nd years that can be bribed easily with free drink and a catalogue, please put them in contact with me: nataliebays@msn.com



(P.s. we are still taking fundraising donations, so if you would like to give some money, please see myself or Joe at the end of the year meeting tomorrow/next week)

Monday, 23 May 2011

An Explanation of my Degree Show Proposal

The Crooked House

A proposal for the Chelsea College of Art and Design BA Fine Art Degree Show:

Leading from the university rise of fees earlier this year to £9000 per annum for national students, we are now told- “Richest students to pay for extra places at Britain's best universities” (Guardian, May 9th 2011).
The argument originally on everyone’s lips for the rise in fees, was that the country is in financial difficulty; ‘there would being no difference in student intake, as the loaning system would not change’. How can this now be the case when students are able to pay to secure a place that others may be more worthy of? This is a factor that I cannot ignore in the site-specificity of the artwork that I am to. There have been cuts in arts funding, cuts in arts education funding, so what choices do the university of the arts have, and which ones will they make? 

The Crooked House is a participatory performance piece spanning over a week. Hosted by a stereotype London lettings agent, events, including champagne receptions and bookable tours of ‘un-built’ flats will take place in and around a marketing suite at the front of the D Block facing the parade ground in the college. The imaginary flats will be marketed as a ‘way forward for the college to both make money and maybe even house it’s most affluent students’- as Westminster is a sought after place on the property ladder, and the college has such a rich heritage, the flats will be marketed at the appropriate high prices.
An imaginary solution to the cuts in arts education funding, this is also a work that addresses commercialism within the arts, and the rise in rental prices since the recession hit. 

A letting agents worth may not be identified immediately as that of the hostess, however, if the process is actualised to the agent’s full job description, it can be the ‘truest’ form of hospitality. If you stretch the term hostess to the edge of its meaning, it is to make someone feel so ‘at home’ in an environment that the host no longer retains ownership over the space. A lettings agent introduces you to a space, invites you to live there without intrusion, unless asked, in which case will facilitate any need; with the intention to please, to retain custom.

The twist of course, is the custom, the guest ultimately pays for a service, and those who can pay more will receive a better service. In central London, where rental prices are high, you find that overall there is a much better lettings service- suburban budget agencies offer a lot less in service, for example cheap online estate agents who will just do online bookings or a middle of the road company like Foxton’s who will only ever perceive to being hospitable with an advertised drink- These are the agents who do not facilitate a home, they only symbolise the commerce. This tier system of estate agent hospitality is similar to the new to be tier system of education where you pay for what you can afford, where the rich are facilitated, the poor turn to the ‘Open University’ and the rest of us join a course for a cup of free coffee and Amoretti biscuit.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Dancing in Their Footsteps- 1 last performance

There will be one final performance of age Exchange's  'Dancing in Their Footsteps' on June 4th in the 'BakeHouse' Theatre in Blackheath.
Come along for some reminissing and a good old sing song!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Jeremy Vs Morality

 To glorify the ‘Jeremy Kyle’ Show is morally wrong. 

Is this statement fact or is it just a misunderstanding of its participants, a trying case of ‘us’ higher beings trying to avoid the under-class altogether? This could be described as an under-class show; without trying to stereotype an audience, it plays at a time when most would be at work, thus illustrative of the target group. Perhaps it is not the case that it is immoral for the middle classes to watch, just an excuse of avoidance in wanting to enjoy a show that is not intended for them. The show is entertaining, it allows the viewer insight into a person’s life. As you can see from any reality TV programme, no matter how mundane the subject (Big Brother), obscure the content (Any real life documentary on channel 4) or factual (BBC 4) people will watch because they are interested in people. The immorality comes from The Jeremy Kyle show team, who do use participants as contestants- they wind them up with phone calls and allow those with obvious mental disability destroy their lives on the show for ratings and then provide a lack of aftercare (A session of counselling cannot heal public humiliation) . However, now this show has left its mark on society as something that abuses the disabled and disturbed, should it be destroyed? Because actually it does appeal to an audience that does not actually gain much consideration, the deed has been done and to take away from the disadvantaged any aspiration would also be immoral. Catch 22.

To conclude, it is not immoral to watch ugly people on TV, it’s not immoral to think that they are ugly either- ugliness is subjective and not surface deep and I’m sure those that watch and aspire to the Jeremy Kyle show do not find those on the apprentice attractive- either way, my point  is that ugliness should not be hidden to sweep a whole class of people under the carpet, if it is morally wrong to watch ‘ugly’ people, then in a different subjective class it is immoral to watch ‘attractive’ people. Jeremy Kyle owns his own style of Airbrush.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My Girlfriend Broke A Plate! (For Jeremy)

My Girlfriend Broke a plate is a piece of work based on the immoralities o f the Jeremy Kyle show. Centred on the aspirations of the contestants and the behaviour of the backstage staff, there becomes a strange juxtaposition in the confusion of unlikely contestants becoming what they imagine the real show contestants to be.
 This work also challenges the roles of authority within a minority influence – if spoken to abruptly, will a participant become defensive or subservient. The Host to the backstage of this publicity shoot is ‘just doing their job’ in her actions, and is un-amused by the participants that she would have to deal with everyday.  Only praising those who make her life easier, those who moralistically choose not to argue are given a hard time. The subservient succeed by arguing and imagining ‘over-the-top’ situations to fit with the shows identity. Unlike the actual show, this is just a publicity shoot, therefore realises a different standpoint to the show- those who ‘want to’ participate.
There are quite sinister themes also appearing in the context of this backstage show, people can view what is happening through a internet link up in the main exhibition space which encourages them to want to be involved, yet the lack of sound indents the knowledge of what they will be getting themselves into. It also uses voyeurism to expand on the thoughts of the immoralities of watching the unknowing participant- suggesting that if they watch, enjoy and ‘want to be involved with the show’ then they deserve to be belittled, embarrassed and confused backstage as well as being watched themselves by the audience.  It can also be noted that the themes of each show are quite dull in comparison to the issues usually raised in Jeremy Kyle- this is to correspond the ability for people to argue over the slightest of things- and even the detrimental action that this can provoke. Domestic issues that are not noted on the show are explored here as issues that are not addressed in reality,  and the imagined aggression between the participants can indicate the lengths of how these circumstances are addressed at home, backstage.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Susan Hillar and my forthcoming performance

I was just writing a couple of sentences that i will be using on Wednesday as part of a performance and i realised how much the Susan Hiller exhibition has effected my work and thought processes. I was thinking about the Jeremy Kyle show and all of the crazy situations the contestants are in when they get there. We  (When i say we, i mean the majority) imagine, as the viewer, that we are the 'The type' that would not be a custom to these bad situations- however it is probably more the case that we just wish not to advertise in this way. The Punch and Judy piece by Susan Hiller is a thought provoking and disturbing installation built up from the 'Punch and Judy' shows that litter the countries seaside. It builds up the image of violence and sounds of screams from the shows, but it is quite obvious (unlike watching a 'funny' seaside show) that there is domestic violence going on. How does this relate to your work?! I hear you say... well.
I was thinking of less obvious ways of using the title bands in the Jeremy Kyle shows, and decided i should use mundane sentences, like 'i fell over and broke my foot'- however this wasn't really saying anything and Jeremy Kyle titles are always more directional and abusive so i decided to think about things that were less directional but in everyday circumstances could be taken out of perspective to create an argument. Hopefully, the titles i will use on Wednesday will have the same subtlety that Hiller's work has in showing the gap between the Kyle 'contestants' and themselves. In the fact that we are all only human, and these bad situations could in some ways be better let out on the kyle show as opposed to being Britishly hidden- If not only for the limeted aftercare of the show.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dr who: Gridlock scene 3

This Episode of Dr Who has been challenging my brain for the last month or so. I had a dream in which it came to me that this episode was significant in some way to my work- however now I'm just thinking it was a mix sleep deprivation and watching too much Dr Who. However, without undermining my argument for the relevance of Dr Who on my work- I have watched a lot of it this year and it is hard not to think about scenes, such as this one, where the main characters are offered emotion as drugs. The Drug aspect obviously being denoted as a bad thing, but maybe more tempting as an emotion. It kind of symbolises to me that emotion is dangerous.
I am becoming more and more intrigued with Dr Who as the 6th series it to be unfolded, as to its popularity as well as its cultural references. Without sounding like too much of a geek- Dr Who references the Lion King in the first episode of series two when he regenerates and has to talk himself out of a tricky situation. I think it is little things like this that make the show so popular and so easy to watch. Even though he visits a different world every week- there is always a link back to the 'human'- emotion, empathy etc. Basically, a common ground that anyone can relate to. I think this is a great skill of the writers at the BBC- as i start to buy more and more DVDs i realise that the majority of them are BBC series' or films. I tend to find that they are not shocking, disturbing, or anything that is 'too much' for anyone- but entertaining to the majority in a informing and original way. Therefore DR Who is appropriate to my work in a big way- in the wanting to appeal to everyone in an entertaining way.