Author: robertleeming

Constricting Interiors – Chantal Akerman

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Je Tu Il Elle Who was Chantal Akerman? She was a renowned Belgian film maker. She was born in Brussels in 1950 and she killed herself in Paris a few weeks ago. When a journalist from Village Voice asked Julie Christie, (the actress from Darling and Don’t Look Back and a name to anyone under thirty no doubt just as mysterious as Chantal Akerman) what film she would take to a desert island, Christie replied […]

Not Made Manifest

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A sea breeze blew the music charts from a horseshoe of silver stands sending pages of yellowing staves and treble clefs slicing through the air. I told Greta that clothes pegs might be needed but she begged me to stop concentrating on the tiny details and consider the larger picture. She ordered me into the undercroft of the hall to carry out several stone heads of musical notables that I had to arrange on a […]

F For Fake – Orson says: ‘Never Trust an Expert’

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I am not an expert. I say that with all due consideration to you, the reader, who may well have found this page expecting expertise, thinned and straightened into horizontal lines, ready for you to take up your collective noses like Victorian snuff. We live in the era of the expert. The twenty four hour news media, to borrow an increasingly dreary phrase, screams for, day in day out, and thusly teems with, expertise, battalions […]

Love Streams

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Susannah? When did I see her last? We’ve been through all this. Haven’t we? Outside Peter Jones. We’d been to Cadogan Hall and she’d just been offered an international tour playing second cello in a Candide revival. We’ve discussed this. I set it up for her. You’ve got to be a fixer in this life, there’s nothing better to be than a problem solver, to take on other people’s burdens seamlessly, confidently, because you have […]

Seven Pines or Brandy Station?

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My eyes opened on Brandy Station, a fading white wooden building on a hillside that the sun was slowly removing from the glass greenhouse tiles. I remember Brandy Station as a labyrinth but everyone remembers things differently. Washington Roebling and I escaped the Wilderness together and we wandered for miles, towards the Cumberland, with Roebling stopping to marvel at every bridge we came across along the way. He loved bridges and I’d get tired of […]

‘Unspeakable, Mysterious Night’ – The Photography of Bill Henson

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Bill Henson is the maker of modern myth cast in available light. The distinctive Australian artist has a long history of creating dramatic images in the twilight, images that, although serious, are never harsh, but instead are always beautifully, if not glossily presented. A collection of Henson’s photographs ‘1985’ has recently been released by Stanley/Barker, a fledgling independent publishing company based in London. Taken when the photographer was 33, the pictures present alternative images of […]

The Desert Song – The Barjeel Art Foundation Collection at the Whitechapel Gallery

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The construction of the Aswan Dam in the 1960s was, like seemingly everything in that era, a Cold War altercation between East and West. America and Britain refused to pay for the building of Aswan, which fans out into the blue Nile like the Art Deco proscenium arch of the Hollywood Bowl, its desert shades matching its parched surroundings. Nikita Khrushchev was willing to aide Egypt with the building costs though and the Soviet premier, […]