Saturday, September 24, 2011

Edgar Martins "The Time Machine"

I passed the Wapping Project at Bankside gallery (near Tate Modern) last Tuesday and noticed an opening being held so I popped in to have a look. Inside I saw these very interesting and curious hangings, and once curious about something I have to find out more. The exhibition is titled "The Time Machine" by Edgar Martins, and the pictures are of hydro electric plants built in 1970s Portugal, Martin's home country. Now while a hydro plant doesn't sound very sexy, these images are very cool, they really draw you in. The first thing that hit me was the sheer scale of these plants and then after taking in the colors, the stairwells, the machinery and from another era analog dials I suddenly realized, there are no people in these pictures, and that's what makes these images work for me. An absence of people in the pictures gave me a sense of wondering, who operates these things, how big is this place, what does this do and that do and on and on and that's what I loved about these pictures. I also felt a sense of peering into a world I would never ordinarily get to see, kind of like when you peer into the pilot's cockpit of a jetliner when the cockpit door is open and wished you could sit up front.

The gallery space is small which means it is an ideal place to bring a date, this way you get to enjoy great works, and not be overwhelmed by too much to look at. I prefer to look at a few pieces and take my time, that way I actually get a sense of the artist's work and can actually remember what I saw. An added bonus, there are great bars and restaurants nearby.

My take on "The Time Machine" by Edgar Martins , go see this exhibition.

Where The Wapping Project Bankside 65a Hopton Street
When from 21 September to 5 November 2011
Hours 10-6

I have deliberately not included any of the artist's images in this post as these pictures should be seen in person.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The debut novel 'Ablutions' by Patrick deWitt

Looking for something a little different and new I stumbled across 'Ablutions' by PdeW. Reading the back tag and a few reviews I thought this could be fun, although the tale of a "whiskey loving barman drawn into the nocturnal world of his sociopathic clientele" appearing fun to me might say a little more about me but whatever. The characters that inhabit this LA dive bar could belong in a Hunter S. Thompson adventure only with less morals and even less respect for their own humanity. From the crack addicted machete wielding ex-con to the gradually imploding wannabe cop, the midget former child actor and every form of depraved person in between, drinking whiskey seems like a welcome relief to this barman. It is written in the second person which works for me and each paragraph starts off as if this were a first draft, whatever this writing device is called it kept me turning the pages and within a matter of hours I had finished. There are moments of big laughs, moments of remembrance to situations familiar and moments of brutal honesty that make this book a gem.

My take on 'Ablutions', this book is brilliant.

Pages 164
Publisher Granta
Price £7.99