Dead Men Left

Monday, February 14, 2005

Beneath South Kensington, the beach

I'm not the only one keeping in with The Kids with the pop culture references: the Victoria and Albert Museum has got splendid four-piece beat combo, The Others, playing at an event in a few week's time. It looks like a good - and free, would you believe, I'm off to vote Labour ha ha - event:

Agitate! Educate! Organise!
25 February 2005
Whether it’s the underground band The Others ‘guerrilla gigging’ up a tree, or spoken word performers Tell Tales turning story telling on its head, young British writers and musicians are finding new ways to present their ideas. Agitate! Educate! Organise! at the V&A celebrates this new wave of social protest, observation and documentary in the arts with spoken word performances, poetry slamming and impromptu gigs around the museum.

Controversial female voice, Helen Walsh, and Whitbread prize-winner Patrick Neate, will read from their latest works, while Courttia Newland, Nii Parkes and six authors from the Tell Tales crew will be performing their unique short stories, each accompanied by specially composed scores. The Others will be performing in the V&A’s beautiful galleries and their film ‘Guide to Guerrilla Gigging’ will run throughout the evening.

Other highlights include:
DJ Ilya from Book Slam club will be playing in the Grand Entrance

There will also be spoken word performances from the contemporary ‘Griot’ Crisis, Nolan Weekes and poetry slammer Luke Wright

A selection of the V&A’s propaganda posters will be displayed with talks by V&A curator Zoe Whitley

Illustration room: projections of illustrations and films of British club culture by Mark 'Wigan' Williams.

Tim Guest, author of ‘My Life in Orange’ will give a presentation on his discoveries of emerging virtual communities.

Tom Sheahan’s film 'Angrier Than Me' will be screened.

The last event I went to at the V&A was the maniacal Merz Nite, pithily described:

Refusing the hierarchical device of amplification, performers pitched their art into the gawping orifice of the mass, who simultaneously drowned everything out with their chatter AND complained they couldn't hear. The contradictions of encouraging freedom and collectivity in a populace trained in passivity and competition couldn't have been more graphically displayed. Various legislators of the poetry scene were "disappointed" that their favourite poets were inaudible, but anyone with an interest in unusual crowd dynamics and unpredictable spatial audio was enthralled. An anarchist and a maoist both condemned the event because we didn't smash any statues. At Militant Esthetix we leave the ultralefts to such pointless and unhappening extremism. Round the podium, it was like the Bailiff addressing the mob in Wyndham Lewis's CHILDERMASS: chaotic, unpredictable, stupid, disgusting, hopeful, incomprehensible, exciting, conflictual, poetic.

("Pithy", needless to say, is a thoroughly bourgeois concept.) Two and a half thousand people going apeshit in the main entrance to one of London's most imposing cultural edifices was quite something.