this year's new year's video comes from the undercroft on london's south bank, featuring footage shot there on 7th december 2013, set to puccini's 'vissi d'arte', sung by the magnificent angela gheorgiu.
the undercroft is the last remaining free, open and non-commercial space on the south bank and it's under immediate threat from the southbank centre who want to use it for more cafés and retail units to finance their ambitious 'festival wing' expansion plans.
filling in the undercroft with yet another consumer space will not only displace the community of skaters and graffiti artists who have made this their home some forty years ago, but it will also destroy a genuinely unique feature of the south bank and surrender all of this public domain to the generation of revenue for structured, directed and curated activities, leaving none to be defined by the people who use it themselves, as was one of the intentions behind the original architecture.
there are several groups fighting to keep this hub of urban culture alive where it belongs. one of them is long live south bank (llsb). i have no affiliation with llsb, but i do strongly support their cause. if you want to find out how you can help them (by objecting to the southbank centre's planning permission to fill in the undercroft in the first and most important place), go to http://www.llsb.com
NOW & THEN was created as a one-off integrated media event, featuring language, dance, video, music/sound and sculpture/spatial art.
this is the 'concise' version of the video, as it was projected at the event, but here with english subtitles. the actual performance contained three music/sound inserts which were performed live, similar to the soundtrack you hear for the dance piece at the end, which is in fact taken from the live show. during these 'intermezzos', the video went to slow-moving 'wallpaper' as a backdrop, which is why they're not included here.
if you'd rather watch it without the subtitles, you can do so here:
a short video to wish you all the very best for 2010!
this year's offering comes with a little help from well over a hundred friends in two choirs and one orchestra, two noteworthy austrians (both benign), an iconic piece of construction in cast concrete and some fairly fortuitous cloud formations.
the music is the second part of the last movement (the agnus dei) of bruckner's majestic mass in f-minor which ends in the words 'dona nobis pacem' (give or grant us peace). it was recorded live at the goetheanum in dornach, switzerland, on 28th november 2009. the goetheanum was designed by rudolf steiner and is one of the most fascinating exponents of early 20th century architecture and the first building in the world to use concrete in this extraordinarily creative way.
my special thanks go to everyone mentioned in the credits, most particularly the two choirs (motettenchor region basel and tablater konzertchor st gallen) and their inspired musical director ambros ott, but also to my sister katherine for introducing me to them and making it possible for me to be part of the sublime experience that was performing these concerts (i was singing in the second bass, don't tell me you didn't hear me!...)
thus looking forward with optimism, as ever, to a new decade and brand new horizons
this video continues the very informal and open-ended urbanscape project i've started together with moritz behrens in 2008, looking at urban landscapes. the 'wasteland' featured here is a plot earmarked for development in berlin's lively kreuzberg district, directly on the river spree.
there's graffiti all over the place in berlin, but the giant murals here are by the artist blu and were, i understand, a commission by the city.
the soundtrack is 'candy land' by the exquisite cocorosie. (http://www.cocorosieland.com)
we're hoping to continue collecting city environments that are either undergoing or about to undergo change or that have a particular kind of visual and spatial potential (and maybe we'll put together a small exhibition and event some time), so if you know of anywhere that you think would be worth us visiting, please let us know. similarly, if you are a musician or part of a band or act and think your music could feature in a video, i'd be really happy to hear from you.
banksy’s cans festival took place in may 2008 underneath waterloo station and attracted not only some fine stencil graffiti talent, and a whole lot of media
attention, but also a fascinating and fascinated crowd who thronged to the art and very much made it their own, in the process quite literally becoming
a part of it.
this was shot on the monday bank holiday afternoon with gradually fading light and is here cut to the ting ting’s
superlative number one of the same month, which seems apt, considering the whole event came together around
a man who’s known the world over by what patently is not his name... i hope katie and jules will forgive me for borrowing it for the purpose.
thanks & apologies in equal measure also to everybody in the video: it would be meaningless without you!