Shakespeare, icons, archetypes, current affairs (and riots)

Two great programmes on BBC Radio 4 today, Mon March 16th. There is stuff about Trump and Twitter Spats, American history, the role of popular movies in political or philosophical discourse or not, and an astonishing tale of the Astor Palace Riot in which Shakespeare and 'The English Actor' was responsible for the deaths of 31 rioting commoners at the hands of the US militia.

Music For Health – Fela Kuti’s ‘Sorrow Tears and Blood’. The greatest protest song ever.

I lived in Toxteth, Liverpool for a while. I was delivering an urban outdoor education programme. At night I listened to a pirate radio station called TCR or Toxteth Comminity Radio. One DJ was called Encosi Fly. He played Fela Kuti's 'Sorrow Tears and Blood' every night as his closing track. Like the thing about metal below, MOBO always seemed to me to provide an outlet for the grasping of the polemic and the political and render it personal. Music is a healing force in so many ways.

Folk Music

People play folk music the world over, and tell us about their lives, their strife, their loves, their woes. This song is from the borders, a land with a long history of strife and conflict, bloodshed and blackmail. The Reivers coined the phrase. I like the idea that folk music in Brixton is the same as folk music from Hexham. Here's a toast to our differences and to our commonalities. Like Rhianna says of strife, ' You break bread with me, you like me, it's our problem.'

A Toast To Our Differences

A follow up to Rhianna's call to pull up. "Let's raise a glass And have a toast to all our differences. You carry me on your shoulders. When I don't know what my limit is. I wonder where my limit lies, my limit lies." Rudimental

Dazed and Confused – Behind the Masc : Rethinking Masculinity

From 2019 this article ticks two boxes that interest me. Discussions about what constitutes masculinity and an example of art used as a form of research. Given an assumption that the patrriarchy still dominates power, then ideas about what it is to be a man must lie at the centre of patriachal power. These ideas hurt everyone, including those men in power. Researching this through words and images are presented for witnessing, like quantitative research is submitted to peer review. The responce is ambiguous, personal, situational and emergent, like art. This is a great collection of photography and journalism as research.

A Ragged Memoriam – Outdoor Art

“Because we arrived without sponsorship or political agenda, people always received us with open arms,” JR says. “They are happy to see another approach, in which they are actors.” JR (French, born 1983). 28 Millimètres, Women Are Heroes, Action dans la Favela Morro da Providência, Favela de Jour, Rio de Janeiro, 2008. Installation image. Wheat-pasted posters on buildings. © JR-ART.NET

The Politics of Pangea

The Super-Continent Pangaea that Existed 300 Million Years Ago, but with Modern National Borders. What Political Issues Would this Make? In these circumstances, The USA would have land borders with Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Cuba. Brazil would be neighbours with a number of African nations and Antarctica and India would enjoy the same climate.

The Spiritual Side of Performance – Hyperallergic

This goes with Rhirhi talking about unity below. The spirit does not care what colour you are, or what gender you are, or what religion you are. Art and performance have had an ancient connection to spirituality, with ritual playing a big part in creating unity. The Celts put precious objects in water to connect with the gods and most ancient artform has a connection to the spirit or to gods. Pat B Allen, creator of Open Studio Process, a form of art therapy talks about art as 'spritual technology.' Irving Lavin the renouned art historian says art is art history and as such is a 'natural science of the spirit.' What is interesting about this article is that this performance series has now developed a history, after, as Justin Hoover the curator observes, the energy of the performance harks back to the 60's. There is also reference to performative element in which the inclusion for performers is based on interest and not competence. This seems to be in the spirit of art as a form of personal research.