Public-ity

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Most of my photography is taken in and is about the city – I’m not so concerned about what the city looks like, but how it works and why it doesn’t work for a lot of the people who live in it. Manchester Design Festival included a debate between developers, architects and planners. I went and wrote this article for Now Then Manchester…

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Photozines

The first issue of PRA(v)DA – my tabloid exposing the sordid shoe fetish of Theresa May is somewhere amongst the zines on display at a new exhibition at The Doomed Gallery in London (what a good name that is). As I won’t be there, there’s a special prize for anyone who goes and sends me a photo of my zine  – in the event of there being more than one entry, I’ll err towards the one which pictures mine artistically arranged on top of other people’s zines.

 

Back again

Impulsive

It’s time for a new edition and new venue of the arts workshop/salon/happening I sometimes contribute to by way of a video. This time, my video Star Spangled Burger will be getting its world premiere (well if you don’t count me putting it on here and FaceBook and stuff). Your £5 entrance fee will all go to Forever Manchester and in return you will hopefully be entertained, educated and feel just that little bit more erudite than you did before.

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Exhibit #1: Republic of Brexitopia

Brexitopia leaflet smallI’m taking part in a group exhibition at Espacio Gallery in Bethnal Green, London, from 6 to 16 September 2017, organised by Degrees of Freedom. The Republic of Brexitopia: Signals from an imagined future is an exhibition about an imaginary country of the near future, and asks an international group of artists (I’m playing for the home side) to examine the form it might take and the forces that might shape it.

My contribution is a War memorial – for after all, the Brexitopians (like the British) are obsessed with the (Second World) War, or rather a fictional version of it, half  remembered from old films. The War is used as a lazy metaphor for everything from football to Brexit. Cuts are packaged as “austerity” and we are urged to “Keep Calm And Carry On”. So before any shots have been fired, we better have a war memorial. Three Polished granite panels turn out to be plastic and the names engraved upon them are not casualties, but the cast lists of British war films.

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Each film is from a different decade and about a different service: 1940s: ‘In Which We Serve’ (Royal Navy); 1950s: ‘Dunkirk’ (British Army) and the 1960s ‘Battle of Britain’ (Royal Air Force).
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You can download a pdf leaflet about my war memorial here and there’s a catalogue, leaflets, press release etc. to go with the exhibition here. If you’re in London while the exhibition’s on here’s where it is….

Star Spangled Burger

The Fourth of July seems a good day to upload a new video, ‘Star Spangled Burger’ – it’s a companion piece to Flag of Concealment which I made earlier this year.

A lot of my stuff is related to other things I’ve done, which is either a case of mining a rich theme (sic) or flogging a dead horse – but over time I can see how interests and ideas develop and one thing begets another. Anyway – enough of the self analysis on onto the back catalogue…

Trouble With Icons CoverThe new video uses footage I took a few years ago in Washington DC, of the Marine Corps Monument and a McDonalds drive-through. At the time I was getting material related to three projects. Firstly, ‘A White Flag on the Moon’ – a booklet [read the pdf here] about the use of the Stars and Stripes in art, which got me interested in Joe Rosenthal’s famous Iwo Jima photograph (which the Marine Corps monument is based on) and to make a video documentary with Cat Gregory ‘The Trouble With Icons’ – about how the photograph was pressed into service after 9/11.

YummierSecondly, whilst in Washington I to see the original Star Spangled Banner and the ‘Enola Gay’ – the aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I’d written a couple of articles about how photography (or the lack of it) had influenced how this event was understood ‘Picturing Armageddon #1’ and ‘Picturing Armageddon #2’ which themselves came from an background piece to an exhibition I’d seen at The Open Eye Gallery ‘Strangely Familiar’. Lastly (if you’re still following) the footage of the flag fluttering over the McDonalds drive-through was taken in case it could be used in the off/on project about fast-food-as-a-metaphor-for-something-another that is ‘Yum’ (a little book) and ‘Yummier’ (a pile of fake Polaroids).