Archive for 2010|Yearly archive page

Melanie Manchot: Whitechapel Gallery

In art|BOOK on January 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

This month, the Whitechapel Gallery will be showing a new film created by Melanie Manchot, Celebration (Cyprus Street).

The film is part of the Gallery Education Programme which comissions artists and explores the idea of a relationship between the gallery and public spaces.

In Celebration (Cyprus Street), Manchot takes a closer look into the ideas of individual and collective identity in Cyprus Street, East London. Working with the street’s residents, she has captured moments of the event with single tracking shots that gather the crowd together in front of the camera.

The film is a creative manipulation of still and moving images and works around the idea of a group portrait. Through playing with different images, Manchot creates and dissolves groups, raising questions of what it is like to be part of different communities.

Manchot’s film will be shown in conjunction with a range of her photographs, documenting archive footage as well as pictures taken on Cyprus Street.

Celebration (Cyprus Street) will be showing at Gallery 5/6, Whitechapel Gallery, from 13 Jan 2010 to 14 March 2010

BOOKlet Meets: Marina Sturino

In art|BOOK on January 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm


Flamenco (2008, Marina Sturino)

Capturing dance in its most beautiful form, Marina Sturino (b.1967) is a performing-arts-loving amateur photographer.

With a history of working on productions including FadoMeu (2005), Sturino’s passion for framing moments of a performance is only getting bigger.

When BOOKlet met Marina Sturino, we learned about her work with innovative choreographer Wiebe Moeys, her love for Imogen Cunningham and the dream she never fulfilled.

When did you begin your career as a photographer?

Mid-December, 2005.  Wiebe Moeys was working on his production, FadoMeu, for the Teatro delle Erbe in Milan. I took my first photos during rehearsals using his digital camera.

What inspires you about photography?

Dance in action. Musicians during concerts.  Babies at their first stage performance.  Some of my best photos aren’t published on the internet, as their subjects are babies and I want to respect their privacy.

Why is dance the central theme of your artwork?

I have been an amateur dancer since I was 17 and I have no intention to quit. I never had the possibility to study as a dancer, so working with professional dancers with my camera helps me to overcome my unfulfilled dream.

Tell  me more about Give More Hugs (2006).

One morning, Wiebe Moeys and I (plus dancers) met in a small theatre to work on the promotion of his dance company (Wiebe Moeys Dance Project).  Give More Hugs is the photograph that I took while he attempted to make human sculptures with five dancers.

What do you want people to feel when they see your photographs?

My love for dance and the performing arts.

What makes a good artist?

The ability to create artwork that calls forth emotion in the beholder.

Who is your favourite photographer?

Robert Mapplethorpe or Imogen Cunningham. In particular, I love Cunningham’s photos of the choreographer, Martha Graham.

How has Italian culture influenced your photography?

My Italian culture doesn’t influence my work. I’ve worked with Dutch choreographers who have danced throughout Europe and the USA. My favourite photographers, dancers and choreographers aren’t even Italian.

Describe your personality in five words.

Emotional, stubborn, honest, genuine, crazy.

Describe your photography in one word.


South Bank Show: The Nominees

In art|BOOK on January 10, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Being Human, TV Drama Nominee

Although this year’s South Bank Show will be the last of many, the selection of nominees for the 2010 event has continued to be impressive, reflecting the,  “range covered by The South Bank Show over the years”.

The awards will be presented by Melvyn Bragg on the 26 January at  a London ceremony and cover a diverse set of categories, from visual arts to dance.

And here are the nominees……

Classical Music:

City of Dreams: Vienna 1900-35

Nielsen Inextinguishable

Easter reflections


Home Time

The Inbetweeners

The Thick of it



Emc2 (David Bintley)

Limen (Wayne McGregor)


An Education

Fish Tank

The Damned United


Forest Gate (Peter Akinti)

The Little Stranger (Sarah Waters)

The Quickening Maze (Adam Foulds)


Florence and the Machine


The xx


A Streetcar Named Desire


The Habit of Art

TV Drama

Being Human


Red Riding

Visual Arts

Richard Long (Tate Britain)

Roger Hiorns (Seizure)

Anish Kapoor (RA)

“Because I’m a Man…”: Sexism in the 21st Century

In comment|BOOK, society|BOOK on January 6, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Sexism is a trait of our ever-changing society, affecting the modern day lifestyle in more ways than you could imagine.

In both heterosexual and gay relationships today, there appears to be a consistent need to search for the ‘man of the relationship’ and to determine which sex, ‘wears the trousers’.  These concepts are suggestive of a dominant ‘male’ figure and possibly a lesser ‘female’ figure. This is clearly an extremely dated view as most of us are well aware that women are more than able to make decisions, do D.I.Y and take on the role of the breadwinner. Further to this, the evolution of today’s families has seen an increasing number of ‘stay at home dads’, leaving the mother to provide for her family. Since 1993, there has been an 83% increase of ‘stay at home dads’ in the UK and popular films such as Daddy Day Care (2003) are a creative display of these changes.

Also, in popular culture, it is often thought more socially acceptable for men to sleep around, as it seems that when women have a lot of sexual contact, they are automatically depicted as village bikes. “Why are women different?”, you ask.  It appears that when it comes to sexual expression, women become objects of controversy.  Through the porn industry, women are seen to be performing for the satisfaction of men, demoting them to spectacles and arguably promoting sexism.

It could be perceived that a lot of men are intimidated by women who are confident and have high self-esteem.  Those who love their bodies and work hard to take on society’s prestigious roles become a threat. There seems to be a fascination with powerful women, such as Oprah, who have pushed the boundaries of modern sexism, throwing tradition out  in the most sophisticated of ways.

Regardless, there is still a struggle for women to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and achieve their potential.  Does it pay to be sexist? The relationship between modern sexism and career outcomes (Journal of Vocational Behavior, Vol. 69) found that modern sexism is positively related to promotions.  When relying on men for advice, communication workers received more promotions than their colleagues who were less sexist.

Sexual harassment has also been a significant problem for women at work. However, it is a costly mistake to assume that men are not exposed to the same abusive treatment.  Many individuals seem to overlook male rape, and some even refuse to believe it can happen, when in fact a man can be as much a victim of rape as a woman can.

The same can be said for male victims of domestic violence.  As males are deemed the stronger sex, the image of a violent woman is not easily accessible.  However, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and the American Psychiatric Association found that 50.3%, of women were the instigators of domestic violence 70.7% of the time. Where sexism has always been linked to women, it seems sexism towards men is alive in these cases, turning the idea of the victimization of women completely on its head.

Although modern sexism is a hard pill to swallow for both genders, it seems to be that in general, women are still fighting issues such as the ‘glass ceiling’ and will be struggling with these problems for years to come.  However, on reflection, today’s society provides a vast array of opportunities for women; allowing them to be confident and ambitious, giving modern sexism the kick in the balls it deserves.

Albums: The Ten Of 2009

In review|BOOK on January 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

By Jonathan Dadds

Grammatics – Grammatics

The debut album of Leeds based Grammatics, released back in March, was easily one of the highlights of my musical year. Starting off strong with the brilliant Shadow Committee, the album starts with a fairly upbeat tone. The use of a cello as a main instrument and the slightly irregular timing may seem a bit odd to some people at first, but the songs still sound fresh after a silly number of listens, and I have no doubts they still will this time next year.

Marmaduke Duke – Duke Pandemonium

I was amazed to see this album released finally. Originally planned for 2006, the closure of original record label Captains Of Industry meant that it seemed unlikely that this would ever see the light of day. Thankfully, picked up by 13th Floor, the album was finally released, with far more marketing than the band, comprised of Sucioperro’s JP Reid and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, could have hoped for, which ended with Radio 1 airplay and major press getting involved too. Compared to their previous effort The Magnificent Duke, the album is considerably more listenable, the band this time trying their hand at pop music. It’s a good attempt too, with songs like Je Suis Un Funky Homme and Everybody Dance being highly infectious songs.

Manchester Orchestra – Mean everything to nothing

Manchester Orchestra have recently been picking up a lot more fans and I think this fantastic new album may be to blame. Starting with the up beat The Only One the album starts in great form, before moving on to my highlight of the album Shake It Out which is for the most part the most rock-out song the band have done, although it takes a more serious swing at the end. The album ends with a fairly weird combination of relationship states; the first being the title track Mean Everything To Nothing, in which frontman Andy Hull claims the person the song is about means everything to nothing, except him, and the second being The River in which he tells them he will leave them the first chance he gets. A bit confusing, but overall a wonderful album with some particularly amazing vocal performances.

Bombay Bicycle Club – I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose

Bombay Bicycle Club are a band who I had never heard of until I stumbled in front of the main stage at this years Offset Festival, and was just blown away instantly. I decided I had to pick up a copy of this, their debut album, as soon as I could. It didn’t disappoint. The guitars are amazing and it’s hard not to love Jack Steadman’s vocals. Lamplight is one of the highlights of the album, with it’s soothing indie sound that still retains originality. The fun riff of It’s Always Like This saw people dancing (read: swaying from side to side with their hands in their pockets) when it was played live, and it definitely transfers well to record.

The Xcerts – In The Cold Wind We Smile

When I checked out this album in September upon realising they were to be supporting Idlewild on their UK tour, I must admit I had high expectations (Scottish band, supporting Idlewild, go figure!) so when I was blown away, I knew I was onto a winner. Starting with an instrumental (which now translates to “Daddsy, turn your hi-fi up!”), the album then hits home with the amazing Home Verses Home, and doesn’t really lose pace throughout. The highlight has to be the amazing Crisis In The Slow Lane, which contains probably the best sing-along chorus of the year. If there was one album on this list I’d say you need to have a listen to, this would be it.

Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions

After being disappointed by their previous album, Puzzle, I was hoping that this would be the Biffy Clyro album that brought them back to their old sound, and in that respect the album’s a bit of a letdown. It has nothing on Vertigo Of Bliss. So why is it in my top ten? Well, ignoring the fact that the band have released better albums, it’s a brilliant album in its own right. The horn section on The Captain is brilliant, and the way That Golden Rule is just riff after riff is brilliant. I’m a sucker for the production on Boom, Blast & Ruin, and Cloud Of Stink is also great. It’s not quite as complex as their older material but it still does what it should do, it’s a great rock album.

Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today…

This album starts in the weirdest way possible, with some kind of crazy reversed vocals. Maybe it was written as a deterrent, to keep people who dismiss an album on its first song away from the goods within. Then again, even with its weird vocals, this song still sounds amazing. By the time the album gets going in Introducing Palace Players the guitars keep the weirdness going, but thankfully the vocals return to normal, letting us enjoy Jonas Bjerre’s vocals and wonderful lyrics.  Their single Repeaterbeater is another display of the talent of the band, the choruses a mass of noise, although still very listenable. The album ends with the incredibly calm track Reprise, which feels like a five-minute goodbye. A beautiful album.

And So I Watch You From Afar – And So I Watch You From Afar

And So I Watch You From Afar are an Irish band who like their big riffs and loud guitars, and this album demonstrates that perfectly. With the perfectly named opener Set Guitars To Kill the band start off well, with many riffs, loud distorted bits and a sudden “woo!” thrown in for good measure. The slightly long I Capture Castles is at times beautiful, and then suddenly it will turn into a wall of sound. On the strength of this album I can’t wait to see them live.

We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls

Like a lot of albums this year, I brought this album on the strength of their live show. When I saw them the brilliant vocals were a highlight for me so it’s good to hear the strength of Adam Thompson’s voice transferring to record. It’s good musically too though, with tracks like Quiet Little Voices and It’s Thunder and It’s Lightening standing out.

Tubelord – Our First American Friends

With quite a following behind them now it was good to see Tubelord’s first full length released. Starting with the calm and quiet intro to Your Bed Is Kind Of Frightening the band then burst to life. The album has quite a poppy feel to it, although quite how they’ve managed it throwing in odd time signatures and some fantastic guitar work is beyond me. I particularly love Propeller, which is pulled along with some fantastic bass playing, and nice vocals. I Am Azerrad is my standout track from this album. It’s an amazing track, named after journalist/writer Michael Azerrad (read his article on this here: , it’s a pretty good read), in which they announce “I’ll kill today, I’ll kill you, Azerrad.”

A Little Less Conversation: The Effect of Busy Parents on a Child’s Ability to Talk

In society|BOOK on January 4, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Results published today from a YouGov survey suggest that playing digital games and watching television could decrease children’s ability to speak and understand language clearly.

Jean Gross, who has been coined the “communication champion” for children, claims that the less time children spend with their parents, the more likely they are to have difficulty in learning to talk.  The educational psychologist also expressed concern with study findings that communicate a risk of an increase in developmental disorders and crime, if children are not helped.

Furthermore, the results state that boys are twice as likely to struggle than girls. According to the survey, a quarter of all boys have language difficulties, whereas only 13% of girls share these problems. This is highlighted in relation to the first word spoken, as 34% of girls spoke their first word before reaching the age of 9 months, compared to 27% of boys. And considering that most first words were a reference to a parent i.e. “dada, daddy”, it is clear that parenting styles have high impact on language development.

Gross believes that children, “exposed to screens of all kinds” are suffering from a lack of face-to-face interaction with their parents, and that this could be significantly due to financial issues. Parents who provide their children with high-priced game consoles are automatically increasing the likelihood of spending more time away from their children.  Financial pressure has proved to be a notable factor in this investigation, as children from richer families were shown to enjoy story telling by parents more than children from less affluent families.

Following the study, only 54% of the children who had problems received help from a speech and language therapist but 23% of children received no help.

Disobedience Makes History: Tate Modern

In art|BOOK on January 2, 2010 at 11:43 pm

This January, London’s Tate Modern will be playing host to Disobedience Makes History, a workshop exploring the history of creative disobedience.  The event will be led by the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination and will focus on how the 20th century has provoked society to fight against the law with creative means such as art.

Considering that today’s society is full of economic and environmental concern, Disobedience Makes History stresses the point that these weaknesses should result in a creative resistance by the population.  The repression of the thoughts and fears of the worlds people should be turned around into artistic expression and this is the function artists should take.

The workshop will consist on discussions about the implementation of creative disobedience and its future.

Disobedience Makes History will be at Tate Modern on Sat 23 & 30 Jan from 10.30-17.30 in East Room, Level 7.