Hayward Gallery

I Feel love (2014) @ Hayward Gallery recording

26 August 2014

Anna Barham, the organiser behind the Donna Summer-inspired live production reading group I Feel Love, has released the recordings from the Hayward Gallery event and they sound like love.

The August 14 event had 30+ participants alternate reading lyrics to Summer’s classic song I Feel Love as part of Hayward Gallery’s group exhibition What’s Love Got To Do With It. While the first three people read the song’s lyrics straight through, the fourth was asked to recite a speech-to-text interpretation of the first person’s reading (generated by a speech recognition software), while the fifth  read an interpretation of the second’s, and so on.

The results are amusing; while some opt for dramatic, staccato readings, others take a playful approach, poking fun at the meaningless disco drone of the lyrics. Regardless of style, however, the lyrics are transformed through repeated readings and human-to-computer translation, exploring the “endless chain of subtly displaced meanings and altered utterances” in popular culture.

And though the 25-minute audio shows that little more than a good idea is needed to make a profound point, Barham will be expanding on the event, using the recording as inspiration for a piece of work in the future. **

The I Feel Love live production reading group was held at London’s Hayward Gallery on August 14, 2014.


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I Feel Love @ Hayward Gallery, Aug 14

11 August 2014

Southbank Centre is hosting a live production reading group by Anna Barham titled I Feel Love at Hayward Gallery in London on August 14, 7pm.

Lifting lyrics from Donna Summer’s classic hit by the same name, the live production reading group transforms the words through repeated readings and speech-to-text software, playing on the performative aspects of the voice and exploring the human-computer interactions of love.

The effect, which echos childhood games like broken telephone, is that of “an endless chain of subtly displaced meanings and altered utterances” that disrupt our experience of popular culture. Barham’s explanation of I Feel Love is particularly poignant and deserved of duplication:

“The work disrupts our experience of a shared fragment of popular culture and explores the productive slippage between performance and meaning, spoken and written language, human and computer interaction in a live situation. Ultimately, it articulates and disrupts our highly mediated experience of love and the complexities of communicating what we feel and feeling what we communicate.”

Check out Barham’s event trailer on Vimeo and visit the I Feel Love event page for details. **

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The Ugly Truth

7 November 2011

Of all the painters of the human form, few opt to show its disquieting – dare we say it – ugly sides, in favour of beauty, but would our appreciation of portraiture be what it is without the uncompromising gaze of Rembrandt and Francis Bacon? We think not! All the harmonious curves, gentle smiles and symmetrical features rendered by countless other artists do not come close to the memorable impact of the bulbous noses, folds of flesh and warped faces created by artists who see the evocative power of human imperfection. Somehow, the close unflinching examination of flaws is something that we can relate to on an immediate level whereas the admiration of perfection is more passive, more distant, less affecting.

There is no denying that painter George Condo’s first major retrospective presents a collection of  works that confronts us with the most distorted, surreal and terrifying side of our humanity. Did we also mention that they are about as hilarious as they are alarming?

George Condo's Insane Queen 2006
George Condo, Insane Queen, 2006. Oil on canvas. © George Condo

Curated in accordance to a thematic approach, Mental States, at the Hayward gallery, provides a conceptual environment for each and every one of his characters, from the Screaming Priest to Big Red. The first impression is rather tame and reassuring as a series of sculptures of golden heads ushers you along a corridor and into the gallery space. His sculptures are somewhat less striking than his paintings, the additional dimension taking away from the otherworldliness of the impossibly jutting chins and missing eyes. Yet the challenges await at the very end of this corridor with a series of nine more or less mutated portraits of the Queen, Dreams and Nightmares of the Queen. Condo is not scared to deconstruct any image, from the clergy to the royalty, no one is out of bounds. Continue reading The Ugly Truth

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