Monday, March 24, 2008

A break away...

At the heart of it I’m just a hotel owner. I’ll open my doors to you no matter what state you’re in and help coach you back to health.

I’ll give you your life back. Or if that doesn’t suit you, I’ll give you a different one. This is a fully customizable service.

This isn’t a cult. This is all about well being, it’s a going to the gym & eating organic food sort of thing. This is a healthy lifestyle choice & more. We’ll give you a little religion, not in a stuffy cramped church sort of way, but in an airy on-the-go, life affirming way. There’s no god unless you want one. I’ll help you leave whatever past behind you choose.

It’s an anti medication approach that’ll help shift yourself out of that deep depressive grip where perhaps, suicide seemed the only option out. Can you imagine how you’d feel if you’d jumped off that bridge? Then lonely as a soul you’d seen one of my ads and realised, ‘hey I could of sorted myself out?’

Listen, I’m a demonstrator, a protector, a luxury dweller. Life is fine & why not make it finer.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Remember those lovely self cast statues Anthony Gormley left lying around facing the Southbank last summer? Well this time he’s gathered all the rusty clones of himself and planted them in Mason Yards’ White Cube gallery. Some hang from the ceiling, others jut out from the walls at different heights, and a couple stand still like lemons. It’s the kind of set up I’d expect to see on a plethora of londonites’ facebook profiles. Sadly though, photography isn’t allowed, but getting a sense of ones own space & depth perception is. The steel figures fill the room and at times can make you feel not only claustrophobic, but petrified one of the buggers is going to fall from the ceiling.

Downstairs it’s a similar affair, showing how objects in a room can fill up space and leave you feeling small & venerable. To point this out Gormleys’ created a huge technical drawing; a sprawling iron bar cast shape. Like a great blueprint it grows from the centre, struts along the entire width of the ceiling before bringing an array of limb-like branches crashing to the ground. A conceptual climbing frame for kids perhaps?

Overall an afternoon well spent, rounding it off at a few of Mayfair’s backwater pubs that I never knew existed.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ain't Misbehaving

Here’s a question. Does space & distance create yearning in love? Or can we be romantic without it? Essentially what I want to say is, has technology made it more difficult to be romantic in the traditional sense? Or does this now offer a whole new way to be romantic?

Gone, it seems, has the do or die meetings at severe times on station platforms, underneath landmark clock towers & by the fountain on the lake. Instead arrangements are so last minute. ‘Txt me when ur in the area, an we’ll meet up,’ a constant threat to the old way. One could suggest this is more spontaneous, but I can’t shake the feeling that we’ve become more lazy & relaxed when it comes to love, and are no longer left to a week of thoughts about a single person until we meet them at the same time in the same place the following week. Now we’ll just drop a quick text message or email, and we pretty know all we need to know about each other without speaking face to face.

However, this is the new romance technology now offers us. Having been coined by wealth of telecoms advertising campaigns, we can inject the excitement of romance any time of the day without waiting for the fatalistic meeting on a Friday night bridge.

Gaston Bachelard in 'The Poetics of Space' discusses the impact of lived-in-architecture on our lives. Looking at how memories are conceived of space, this got me thinking in terms of romance, and how romance can be one of the best triggers for memory, be it a song, a perfume, or a restaurant. This makes me think of site specific theatre. (I had to get there somehow in the end)

Through placing theatrical performances in unconventional places, we can trigger an even more powerful wave of emotion in the audience. Take Kneehigh Theatre’s recent adaptation of ‘Brief Encounter.’ The show is performed live in the Haymarket cinema each night, combining live music, film & theatre to jump start the audience into an emotional remembrance of a romantic religion. Using specific sites such as a cinema is enough of make any think of first dates on the back rows, nervously glancing left between screen blackouts to pin pick yourself and remember ‘this is not a dream.’ Memories are concealed in all things, and a great performance in the right environment can do just what Bachelard preaches, make the ordinary, extraordinary.

Stories such as ‘A Brief Encounter’ make romance dramatic. Not just because of the protagonists situation (they are both married) but because love can be a fight, especially when you have to prearrange meetings a week in advance and rely on faith that the lover will be there on that dark, cold & rainy night regardless of train delays.