FRANCESCO D’ALESSIO reflects on the burial crisis and identity loss in the contemporary city. Cemeteries and graveyards resemble cities and villages. Graves are like buildings and the space around them like streets. When walking through a cemetery, we may even think the same things that we think in cities. Rem Koolhaas, for instance, writes in S,M,L,XL (1995), ‘Now that I have grown old, I have the feeling, when walking through a cemetery, that I am apartment hunting.’ The cemetery is everyone’s future city. As with any city, its identity is not static and its existence not safe. Our right to it is not to be taken for granted; it greatly depends on financial and social status. Throughout history, the architecture of cities and cemeteries have evolved and adapted to the demands of an ever changing culture. As of today, we are at a standstill, and just like the modern city,…Continue Reading

APARTMENT HUNTING

MARIA PERSU contemplates her discovery of Nordic environmentalist art. I arrived in Helsinki on Midsummer Night, a celebration where Finns light up huge bonfires and go to the countryside to mark the beginning of the warm season. It occurs at that time of the year where it doesn’t get pitch dark at all for twenty-four hours. The city was mostly empty, apart from the occasional tourist, youngster, or seagull. Yet this did not detract from its charm; Helsinki is a city full of high-quality public spaces for locals, and local businesses thrive there. Testament to this are the second hand stores, the vegan cafés, the newly built public library, and the airy parks. Helsinki lives for its locals.   Prior to my trip to Helsinki, my only experience of Nordic art was Ruben Östlund’s harsh satire on curatorial obnoxiousness, The Square (2018). Kiasma, the famed Finnish contemporary art museum, as well…Continue Reading

NORDIC ARTISTS CONCERNED

ASIA CHOUDHRY reviews Olafur Eliasson’s In Real Life at the Tate Modern. Scrolling through Instagram one day during summer, I stumbled upon pictures of my friends standing in a dreamy, orange fog. It was both eerie and aesthetically pleasing, and I immediately had to know more. After briefly searching online, Olafur Eliasson’s name appeared on the first try, alongside words such as ‘mind-bending’ and ‘glorious’. I began to grow excited as I read more about him: a Danish-Icelandic artist, famous for his sculptures and large-scale installation art, who often employs elemental materials in his work. The exhibition itself, named In Real Life at the Tate Modern, is stated to explore his ‘deep engagement with society and the environment’, and the viewer is encouraged to ‘discover what an artist’s perspective can bring to issues of climate change’.  On that particular summer’s day, I was undergoing a familiar bout of climate anxiety,…Continue Reading

OLAFUR ELIASSON: IN REAL LIFE

ISABELLE OSBORNE reviews A Clockwork Orange at Bloomsbury Theatre. Performed by the UCL Drama Society in collaboration with Film Society, A Clockwork Orange captures the danger of state power in a corrupt dystopian setting. Directed by Srishti Chakraborty and produced by Tanya Dudnikova, The show interprets Anthony Burgess’ play based on his 1962 novel. The play follows Alex (Luke Kelliher), the leader of a gang of ‘droogs’ (Elizabeth Zubanova, Rob Davidson, Charlie Sayer), who is notorious for his violent criminal activity. After being caught by the police and imprisoned for two years, Alex becomes victim to the brutal ‘Ludovico Technique’ in order to obtain a suspended sentence. Led by Dr. Brodsky (Maciej Manka), the experiment forces Alex to watch horrific video clips and is designed to make him detest any form of violence, conditioning him to vomit at the mere thought of it.  Chakraborty and the cast are successful in vividly…Continue Reading

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

ZANE KHAN reviews Death of England at the National Theatre. Death of England, written by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer and performed at the National Theatre, is a powerful extended monologue that concerns the paternal bond in a working-class family and how it undergoes incredible pressure through its relationship with England. Michael (played by Rafe Spall) is a young individual who is in mourning. His search for his father’s true identity is marred by the racial and social differences that have plagued England from the late 1960s to the present day. Death of England is a one-man play, with the stage as the Cross of Saint George. The presence of the red-lit cross allows Spall to take advantage of spatial opportunities in interacting with the audience; often with a comedic pun that lightens the mood in the first act of the play. Items that are significant to Michael and his…Continue Reading

DEATH OF ENGLAND

MAEVE HASTINGS discusses the first same-sex couple on Dancing on Ice. Last Sunday was the first time I tuned into Dancing on Ice, a highly unrealistic ‘reality’-competition show, that, as a figure skater, I feel underplays the difficulties of a sport which requires having, as Johnny Weir so aptly puts it, ‘brass knuckles under velvet gloves’. Reluctantly, I soon find myself sucked into the self-professed ‘greatest show on ice’. One pair, in particular, is the epitome of commercialised family TV, oozing with charisma, offset only by the occasional technical element, and skating to the inescapable soundtrack of The Greatest Showman (what else?). However, they are, in fact, anything but cliché: ‘H’ from Steps and Matt: the first same-sex pair on Dancing on Ice. The backlash online highlights the stagnated perceptions people still have against anything that might digress from social norms. Although within competitive figure skating, a pair usually consists…Continue Reading

Taking Steps Towards Equality

RONI MEVROACH reviews I Could Go on Singing at the Southbank Centre. This performance doesn’t leave you certain about many things, but one thing is for sure – it is very well-titled. FK Alexander really does go on, and on, and on singing. The show celebrates the legacy of Judy Garland, with a reference to her 1963 film in the title. Indeed, it is essentially one hour of Alexander performing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ alongside the final recording of Garland singing it in 1969, just four months before her death. It is a weird, bizarre experience and the repetitive nature of the performance makes it almost hypnotic – you are transported to an alternate universe.  FK Alexander is a Glaswegian performance artist, who is known for her work about wounds, recovery, aggressive healing, radical wellness, industrialisation and noise music. She is accompanied in this performance by Okishima Island Tourist Association,…Continue Reading

I Could Go On Singing

ELLIE LACHS reviews Faithful Creatures at Camden People’s Theatre. Isobel Macleod’s Faithful Creatures, directed by Evie Robinson, is a revelation. It bravely strides away from familiarity as Macleod breathes life back into the story of Gerrard Winstanley’s Diggers, a group of English Protestant radicals in 1649 who occupied St George’s Hill, Surrey and establish an alternative society based on communal living and economic equality. The actors command the stage and the story as their own with re-oiled zealotry. It isn’t, however, solely the period costume that roots us within the realm of a period drama, for that we can look to Winstanley’s consciously verbose and biblically infused speeches.  Macleod’s interests are not focused on the politics and contention, but with the relationships and identities that comprise the movement. She gives the Diggers’ ideology a human face which might otherwise have been difficult to identify with for a modern audience. Through this…Continue Reading

Faithful Creatures

SOPHIE CUNDALL interviews the director and producer of the upcoming production of A Clockwork Orange at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Since March last year, Srishti Chakraborty (Director) and Tanya Dudnikova (Producer) and their production team have been working on Drama society’s collaborative second term show with the help of film society: A Clockwork Orange. I sat down with the pair to have a chat about the project, one of drama society’s most modern and radical choices to date. Why A Clockwork Orange? [S] I took the Utopias and Dystopias module in second year, and was initially keen to bid A Brave New World, but the play written on it is…bad. Instead, I chose Clockwork Orange which I’ve studied a lot, and we took the play that was written by Antony Burgess in response to Kubrick’s film which he didn’t like. We’ve actually rewritten a lot of the script! Basically, we really wanted…Continue Reading

A Clockwork Orange Interview

MARTA BIINO considers the sustainability of food consumption and waste production. Addressing social and environmental issues is a growing trend in the contemporary art world. And yet, it is still uncommon to see an exhibition confronting one of the most pressing issues of our time: the problem of unsustainable food production and waste disposal. Food: Bigger than the Plate, hosted by the V&A, presents itself as a journey through the history of Western food consumption and waste production. The visitor is immersed in a four-step itinerary: composting, farming, selling and eating. Each section is conceived to uncover the inherent unsustainability of the contemporary food industry while focusing on the importance of promptly undertaking major changes. The exhibition starts off with a simple, often unacknowledged reality: human activity produces waste. Every action we undertake contributes to a polluting process that’s slowly destroying our planet. According to statistical estimations, every year the…Continue Reading

Food: Bigger than the Plate

ROSE DODD explores the neuroscience behind the creation and perception of fashion. Fashion can reflect wider society and contemporary politics, but it can also rebel against the norms and mock normative ideology. Even though fashion is an important form of expression, it is often looked down upon as ‘superficial’ or ‘shallow’. So let’s take a look at fashion and style on a neural level to dispel this myth. Through exploring the level of thought behind fashion and its appreciation, whilst delving deep into the circuitry behind creativity and craftsmanship, it will become clear that such a perception of fashion is merely a misunderstanding.  A carefully constructed outfit will speak prior to and often louder than its wearer. People represent their thoughts and feelings through the garments, styles and colours that they wear. This has been the case throughout history. Take, for example, a mourner, traditionally pictured in black – a…Continue Reading

The Neuroscience of Fashion

ELLIE LACHS reviews Swive [Elizabeth] at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse. The Sam Wanamaker Theatre’s latest production, Swive, directed by Natalie Abrahami and written by Ella Hickson, is mischievous, cuttingly crude and persistently powerful. The play’s anachronistic meddling and conscious theatricality set it firmly in its own league. Its staging in the barely revealing candlelit space conjures an atmosphere of amused shock, wide-set smirks and subtle thrills, all of which pave the way (if not split the sea) for Ella Hickson’s indignant, power-hungry and feminist Elizabeth I. As the woman who has been remembered for her successful ruling of the throne for 44 years despite a lack of husband or heir, Hickson has re-painted Elizabeth’s face with the extremes of ambition, and does so in a human, hubristic and relatable manner. Her actions might be conniving, self-serving and malicious, but in a world pitted against her for her ovaries and natural powers…Continue Reading

Swive [Elizabeth]