Weak-enders

Famous weak-enders (two):

– the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men, whose ending monologue Tommy Lee Jones delivers in the international language of mumble

– Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (not with a bang but a whimper [right around minute 4.18-4.19])

But not this weekend! This is a strong week-end weekend, because it’s back to school in the art world, where all the galleries hold their openings in the space of eight days in a last-ditch, two weeks of anorexia before a wedding attempt to get everyone in shape for Frieze.

So, what’s worth leaving your house for?

– The talented Anja Kirschner and David Panos are showing a new film at Hollybush Gardens down by Bethnal Green Tube. Single-handedly (actually, quadruple-handedly) reviving the lost art of historical fiction, Kirschner and Panos’s past films have re-imagined Bertolt Brecht in exile in Los Angeles and the 18th-century London criminal Jack Sheppard, who tried to escape execution by writing a suite of pot-boiler memoirs (he failed). Perhaps having had their confidence shaken by the fact that few other artist-filmmakers have joined them along this merry path of narrative filmmaking, their new film living truthfully under imaginary circumstances (on show at the gallery) analyses techniques of naturalist acting. Interesting. We shall go.

– Maureen Paley is showing newly discovered photographs taken by Peter Hujar, an important documenter of the New York underground in the 1980s, of his close friend Paul Thek’s gallery in 1967. Thek (don’t be caught out. It’s pronounced ‘Tek’. Don’t make the same mistakes we did for god’s sake!!) was the subject of a survey last year at the Whitney in New York that was universally acclaimed but which the DLR found tawdry and over-literal. Is the DLR’s finger no longer on the pulse? Are we no longer getting the memos? The experience was very upsetting for the DLR so we are looking forward to repeating it at Maureen Paley’s this weekend. Interesting. We shall go.

Susan Sontag photographed by Peter Hujar in 1975. Don't be caught out. It's pronounced Sontaj. ((c) Peter Hujar Estate)

– Also, please do not be caught out about the Blue Conceptualists, the subject of the exhibition ‘Locked Room Scenario’, curated by artist Ryan Gander at the Londonewcastle Depot in Hoxton. The Blue Conceptualists married the anti-commodity ethos of Conceptualism with certain key stands in Picasso’s ‘blue period’, thereby bringing to the fore themes of melancholy and emotional affect that were largely hidden in the aesthetics of administration. Interesting. You should go.

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