LE GUN ‘The Family’ exhibition took place yesterday where the Issue 4 of their annual art annual was introduced to us eager beavers. We hot footed it down to get a glimpse of what was moving and shaking in LE GUN land.
Their website introduced the show with, viagra order abortion ‘Dear patrons, please charge your glasses and drink heartily for tomorrow you may die’. This perfectly encapsulates the dark, twisted, gin drinking world of the collective. Legunddon, was one of my favourite pieces which spanned a wall full of loose women, cream cakes and gin.
Murky streets, tired, drained men in bars whose floors swill into oceans inhabited by whales-yes this is all a bit surreal. I couldn’t help but feel I needed a swig of gin to better get into the mindset of these warped individuals (‘warped’ said in a good way!)
There was even a cardboard room where everything (yes everything) was made of cardboard-from the mantelpiece to the welcome mat! It felt like you were sitting on a set of another realm of reality, or possibly a scene from one of Michel Gondrey’s surreal films!
charles reclining on a cardboard sofa
Amongst the multitude of tiny scenes illustrated in works hanging on the wall, I spotted James Unsworth‘s work (he was featured in issue 8 of amelia‘s mag). Melted faces and monsters chuffing on cigarettes-yes I had certainly entered another dimension.
The feel of the exhibition is satirical, certainly dark yet with a sense of fun. Intricate illustrations with a keen eye on detail adorned the gallery. However the unnerving feeling that around the corner was the unexpected kept creeping in my mind. Le Gun’s collaborators have perhaps drunk too much gin, but it’s not a bad thing where this results in poking fun at reality; subverting it to a new form-where smoking rabbits, monsters, and 1950s dressed women walking leopards rule.
I’m definately a fan of Warp Records, stuff but not in the “Yeah i’m really into breakbeat and I only go to parties held in squats” kind of way. In fact, buy I always prefer their releases from bands. Apart from Maximo Park of course, medications but then I suppose they have to fund pretty much everything else on their label somehow.
The thing is, I can’t help but feel that Warp have cottoned on to this way of thinking. What with recent albums from Born Ruffians and Pivot, it’s nice to see them widening their image. Although I suppose they’re hardly bands that you’d refer to as ‘chart-toppers’.
Anyhow, that’s enough about the guys in the suits with the cash. As artists Gang Gang Dance is sheer awesome, and this album has more than the capability of being the album of the year for me. It seems to incorporate so many things that often really annoy me, but make them amazing. Like the deep house style blips at the start of ‘Interlude’. This, by all known musical knowledge, should sound awful and be confined to the far off reaches of Ministry Of Sound compilations, but it works. And the vocals from official “star of the hood”, aka “stryderman” or, as his mother would call him, Tinchy Stryder, on ‘Princes’ work too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m adverse to grime, in fact I’d go as far as to say i’m more of a lazy fan of it – I just tend to get put off when all they talk about is money. Which is almost exclusively what Tinchy does on this track. He does add something though, and the track underneath his vocals is really good, I mean, almost untarnishable good. What it does do for me though is add humor (unintentionally), as hearing him say “Earning ice cream money”, gives me a mental image of him spending all his pocket money on ice cream. Though i’m sure ice cream is probably slang for something else nowadays, it’s so hard to keep up.
It’s easy to listen to the album as background music, but here and there are sections where everything seems to come together and, quite subtly, make you take notice. This is what makes you gradually fall in love with the album. There aren’t any songs that become favourites, which is what sets it apart. All the songs are non-formulaic and differ greatly from one another, but they sit alongside one another really well. You know that music you listen to and it sounds all turgid and rubbish, this is the opposite of that.
The story is about a villain – Mr. TV, the owner of the city’s only television channel, who steals the ability of speech from an entire city in Argentina. However, the characters are still able to communicate through words, though it is his plan to eradicate them also. The characters are able to read the subtitles – which gives the film a very interesting feel. They interact with the subtitles at many points, which was a little confusing at first, but it was something quite unique.
The plot has a very ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ feel about it, but only because it’s is so similar in style and plot to that dictatorial literature. I couldn’t help but think though, that there was something very cartoonish about it – largely due to the obscure, larger than life characters.
Apparently, the film was produced on a tiny budget, but I have to say it looks fantastic. The use of visual trickery to recreate the look of old films works really well, and is complemented wonderfully by the use of sound throughout, which in a way makes up for the lack of speech. The constant whirring sound in the background also makes it feel like you’re watching it in a cinema where there is an interlude and tea is served.
La Antena is definitely worth a watch, even though it wasn’t a film I would have gone out of my way to see just hearing about.
- Sally Potter – All the RAGE?
- Smooth As A Milkbbi’s Bottom
- The art of Lee Scratch Perry and new Caribbean cinema
- Film: An Interview with Jessica Lux
- A Flowering Theory embroidered art animation by Stefanie Posavec and Abbie Stephens