July 31 2011: Tisíc tváří lásky by Marie Rottrová and Flamingo (Supraphon, 1971)

25 Or 6 To 4 is a late sixties recording by Chicago, a band who later became a behemoth of MOR rock, but early on, at least, betrayed their origins in the West Coast psychedelic scene of the late 1960s. It’s of interest here because a recent arrival in the post was a 1971 Czech … Continue reading

July 30 2011: An Interview With Tim Etchells about Endland Stories (Pulp Faction, 1999)

Following yesterday’s post of a 1997 interview with Forced Entertainment’s Tim Etchells about Pleasure, here’s a kind of ‘part two’, the transcript of an interview conducted on 9 January 1999 at the Sofra Cafe on Old Compton Street in Soho to talk about Etchells’ book of largely unclassifiable short fictions, Endland Stories (Pulp Faction). An … Continue reading

July 29 2011: Some Confusions… : An Interview With Tim Etchells about Forced Entertainment’s ‘Pleasure’ (Polar Magazine, Sheffield, 1997)

There were discarded photographs, there were incomprehensible shopping lists, there was a note I found near the hi-rise flats which said DAVE – I HAVE TO GET OUT – THE GAS IS CUT OFF AND THE TV HAS GONE BAD – BACK THURSDAY … (1) Forced Entertainment were formed in Sheffield in 1984 to co-operate … Continue reading

July 28 2011: A Gallery Of Six Book Covers On Subjects Relating To Economics, Finance and History (Pelican Books, 1961 – 1973)

I started to become fascinated by the concept of money, and the machinery of economics, finance and their roots in history, around the same time I began writing a kind of diary built on random found pennies in the streets (mainly of London, where I was living at the time, circa 1998 – 2003) . This – … Continue reading

July 27 2011: Watercolour Showing Willington Power Station by Cyril A Farey & Adams (1953)

In contrast to the representation of engineering in the monochrome photographs that accompanied Harry Martin’s 1968 feature on the construction of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, here we find a less obvious fusion of industrial and pastoral aesthetics in a watercolour of Willington Power Station, in Derbyshire, seen as a kind of idealised Garden City entirely at home in … Continue reading

The Persistence of Coloured Mud, or the multiple and much exaggerated deaths of painting (NVA, 2012)

I: In debates about art, it often seems as though the only thing to be reported more regularly than the death of painting is its miraculous recovery and re-emergence from its latest grave. Despite the many technological, political and aesthetic challenges to its centrality and relevance, the expressive form once described by Robert Hughes as … Continue reading

July 25 2011: Cold War Images from the Cover of Flying Review International (1964 – 1968)

A sort of Western equivalent of certain elements to be found within Soviet Union magazine, Flying Review International seems to have been aimed primarily at the aerospace industry. During the era represented by this selection of front covers, one that follows in the immediate aftermath of Kennedy’s stand off with the Soviet Union over Cuban … Continue reading

July 24 2011: Halfords Catalogue for Motorists, Motor-Cyclists and Cyclists (1959)

There’s not much of interest beyond the covers of these catalogues for Halfords and its range of products, but in the case of the 1959 version, especially, that cover seemed like more than enough reason to feature the otherwise rather dull list of parts and accessories here. Yet there’s a change in emphasis between 1959 … Continue reading

July 23 2011: Wedding Procession in a Cemetery (Unidentified Location, 1950s or 1960s)

It’s hard to resist the collision of love and mortality framed (presumably accidentally) within the slightly discoloured white borders of this image. After all, while every church wedding will inevitably, at some point on its way to the altar, have to cross the threshhold of the cemetery, most wedding photographs studiously avoid the uncomfortable juxtaposition … Continue reading

July 22 2011: Generic Melodija Records 7″ EP Sleeve (USSR, 1970s)

The four tracks on the 7″ EP inside this sleeve are fairly standard middle of the road recordings, of no great interest in themselves, but the sleeve itself (probably one of the generic or over-printed semi-generic designs routinely used by Eastern Bloc record labels during the 1950s, 60s and 70s) holds a fascination of its … Continue reading