London’s Epstein Sculptures: Part 7: Hyde Park

The final photo-essay by Dr Nick Maroudas on Jacob Epstein’s public sculptures around London. The series begins here Epstein lived at no. 18 Hyde Park Gate, and it says much for the civic pride of this ultra-respectable neighbourhood that he was twice commissioned to make a sculpture for the Park. Both of them have a […]

London’s Epstein Sculptures: Part 6: Portrait Busts and Elemental Carvings

The sixth of Dr Nick Maroudas’ photo-essays on Jacob Epstein’s public sculptures around London. The series begins here These little works are scattered round the world, but I happened to snap them on exhibition in the West End. The Epstein centenary exhibition of 1980 was not your modern blockbuster, with a glossy colour catalogue and […]

London’s Epstein Sculptures: Part 5: Parliament Square

The fifth of Dr Nick Maroudas’ photo-essays on Jacob Epstein’s public sculptures around London. The series begins here “The finest body of mounted riflemen in the world”. Generous tribute to a former foe of the British Empire, from Churchill’s History of the English Speaking Peoples – a history of the greatest body of armed robbers […]

London’s Epstein Sculptures: Part 4: Victoria and Battersea Park

The fourth of Dr Nick Maroudas’ photo-essays on Jacob Epstein’s public sculptures around London. The series begins here Victoria – For London Transport Transport House at 55 Broadway, over St James Park tube station, was the tallest building in the London of 1929. Fascism was in the air, Signor Mussolini (as the Press politely styled […]

Christopher Hitchens: Arguably (Atlantic Books)

Reviewed by Jacob Knowles-Smith The critic, wrote H.L. Mencken in his Prejudices, “makes the work of art live for the spectator; he makes the spectator live for the work of art”. If we take this as a fair and desirable definition of a critic; which, Mencken continues, results in “understanding, appreciation, [and] intelligent enjoyment”; then […]

Funny Peculiar: An Interview with Dave Stordy

In the first of a double bill, Declan Tan interviews struggling comic Dave Stordy about Bobby Davro, Sedgways and the bleaker side of stand-up Dave Stordy is a comedian. So is Richard Herring, but we’ll get to him in a bit. Right now, Stordy is writing a bit revolving around our quite casual and uneventful […]

Hit By The Eidôlon: Abstraction as Phenomenal Experience

MANIAC (Multi-media Artist Network Idea Exchange and Collaboration) is a loose collective of twenty-three international artists connected principally through social media. Thyrza Nichols Goodeve introduces MANIAC’s second exhibition, first shown at Sacramento’s Brickhouse Art Gallery in June 2011. Manic Episode 2 explores the relationship between image, material and space in media such as site-specific sculpture, […]

Performance and the Art of Lesley Dill

Lesley Dill’s work begins with language and extends, through many shapes and forms, to the body and the community. Thyrza Nichols Goodeve’s essay ‘Words have Wings that Fly from the Mouths of Others’ (1, see footnotes below) first appeared in the catalogue for Dill’s 2009/2010 retrospective I Heard a Voice. Many thanks to the author […]

Essay: Wistfulness in These Strange Times

For philosophical counselor Andrew Taggart the pace, pressure and squeeze of contemporary life leaves no room for reflection. That necessary disquiet, however, may a more sustainable way to live This morning I awoke in a wistful mood. The birdsong coming through my bedroom window reminded me of something softer and higher but also, and less […]

James Barsness: Icons of Comic Relief

Drawing on comic strips to explore “crackpot ideas” about social interaction, the Barsness universe recalls the playful chaos of Bruegel. In this catalogue essay from 1997, Thyrza Nichols Goodeve considers drawing and doodling. Full thanks to the author and the gallery for permission to republish “For all drawing depends, primarily, on your power of representing […]

The Design of Jonathan Walker’s Five Wounds

Five Wounds is something of a contemporary classic: a manuscript crossed with Kit Williams’ playful imagination, informed by the language of graphic novels. Although very much a book, in the tactile sense, it has half an eye on what a book might be in a digital era. Jonathan Walker, the author of Five Wounds shares […]

Positivism and its Discontents: A Sidebar to The Sokal Hoax

An appendix by Jonathan Reynolds, offering some background to the debates that gave rise to The Sokal Hoax For Spike readers who wish to grasp the basics of the modern argument which culminated in the controversy (full article here), a key term and concept to understand is positivism. A positivist stance encapsulates the furthest reach, […]

The Sokal Hoax Fifteen Years Later: A Philosophical Reading of the Controversy

In 1996, the physicist Alan Sokal perpetrated a hoax on the academic journal Social Text intended to text the intellectual rigor of postmodernist thinking. Jonathan Reynolds reassesses the affair Mixing metaphors, celebrating the 15-year anniversary of what still must be considered a total slam dunk in what was called the “science wars” or the “culture […]

Dear Moustache

One morning Ryan Agius decided to shave off his facial hair. Feel the pain Dear Mustache, Today I write in response to your being splattered along the rim of my bathroom sink. I am responsible. As death will do, it has taken away much resemblance to your mighty original form – yet I remember you […]

The Queerest Of The Queer: What It Means To Be A Queer Punk

Luke Velazquez on the singular experience of the queer punk scene, reflected in the work of sculptor Fernando Carpaneda In our society, people are expected to behave in a certain way. To grow up, go to school, work a soulless dead end job, squirt out a few kids for the good of the commonwealth and […]

Repackaged Misogyny: Natasha Walter: Living Dolls

Jacob Knowles-Smith considers whether gender politics have lost their direction and clout through the prism of two recent books Anyone who has even the briefest acquaintance with nightclubs in recent years will have seen girls dressed as Playboy bunnies in almost just their underwear, replete with stockings and suspenders, quite as frequently as one will […]

Insight, Imagination and Innovation: Taking Your Place in the Modern Music Biz

Across the span of 85+ interviews and within the wisdom of 100,000+ words, a cast of characters across all strata of the music industry reveals an astonishing diversity of paths and purposes in It All Begins with the Music: Developing Artists and Careers for the New Music Business. Spike asked the author Dan Kimpel for […]

Bringing It All Back Home: Dylan at 70

As Dylan turns 70, Robert O’Connor travels back up Highway 61 to untangle the myths and legends “Where did you come from, Cotton-eye Joe?” That’s the first question Studs Terkel asked Bob Dylan on his legendary radio show in 1963. Bob didn’t really answer then, and he hasn’t really answered since. He’s given hints, and […]

Matthew Barney 95

SUSPENSION [Cremaster] SECRETION [pearl] SECRET [biology] by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve “…what others call form I experience as force” – Roland Barthes LAYER 1: SUSPENSION Begin with iridescence and force. A force without form or home or convention, almost more like “a diagram without a will” (1) – suspended and hung. Send it at a line, […]

Correspondence: The European Peripheral

A Letter from Malmö by Maria Tonini Some time ago, on a cold Saturday evening, a friend suggested to go and see Momus, the Scottish singer and provocateur, who was holding a gig in the tiny basement room of a popular bar. The room was really, really small, and I had not heard about the […]

Gender: Sexual Minorities In India: A Political Issue

A report on the changing nature of sexuality in India by Maria Tonini The status of sexual minorities in today’s India is in a state of transition after homosexual sex was decriminalised in 2009. While the legal judgment can be framed as a move towards a more inclusive and secular society where religious beliefs against […]

Giving and Taking: Arts Funding and Philanthropy

In the wake of this month’s funding announcements by the Arts Council of England, Joseph Spencer offer an American perspective on the philanthropic model for the arts As the arts in Britain undergo significant changes to their funding structures, debates are sparking up as to alternatives that could save the hundreds of galleries, orchestras, theater […]

Proposal for a Theme Park (or) The Continuing Relevance of the Frankfurt School

A call to arms (and mind) by Jonathan Reynolds A Theme Park; Consciousness; and the Reasonable Pessimism of the Frankfurt School What certainly a consensus in social scientific circles has isolated and denominated as “capitalism” and “neoliberal democracy” has triumphed on the world stage. Many people seem to take this triumph as much for granted […]

Sweeping Narratives: Joan Didion

Kevin Fitzgerald gathers together the narrative fragments of Didion’s novels and finds that identity is a collaborative process In her essay ‘Facing Reality’, Marilynne Robinson likens our present model of the world to so much ‘floorsweep’ – the meagre skimmings from a hundred years’ worth of economics, history, technology merged into a seamless narrative. It […]