Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Feeling / Artes Mundi

An excellent night at Cardiff Barfly on St David’s Day – headlined by imminent chart favourites The Feeling, who rocked very politely, and showed that they have several good tunes under their belts, aside from the two excellent singles released thus far. Full enough, but not packed out as one might have expected – maybe they’re insufficiently cool. One of them is married to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, but I didn’t spot her in the mosh-pit. The first support-band was The Steers – very passable, melodic jangly-guitar pop-rock. Second up were Lorraine – smooth electro-poppers from Norway; they went on stage with a big tape-machine, which is always a good sign, and the lead singer threw all sorts of distracting 1980s-style shapes, but the songs were very well-wrought and appealing.

I managed to pay two visits to the Artes Mundi Prize Exhibition in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, in the past few days. Another highly impressive selection. At the entrance to the main exhibition-space on the ground floor is an enchanting light sculpture by Leandro Erlich, replicating a forest floor; Subodh Gupta’s installation presents icons of everyday Indianness (including, apparently, himself); Wu Chi-Tsung’s work plays with photography, and includes a constantly changing projection of a wire mesh – strangely hypnotic. Eija-Liisa Ahtila presents films in clever triptychs, exploring the internal landscapes of psychologically-troubled women. The first-floor galleries are the home for the remaining exhibits: Sue Williams’ highly disturbing paintings of sexual dysfunction, all the more sinister by being executed in a child-like style; Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedwig’s large-scale video installations, variously exploring the concept of migration, the wisdom of the aged, and the joys of throwing stuff at glass windows. The most arresting image for me was Thomas Demand’s computer-enhanced/re-created image of a woodland scene – or maybe it was simply the most conventionally beautiful.

We’ve been auditioning for my student short this week – looking good. A mixture of professionals and mature students appears to be the way forward. I’ve had to write a treatment – a process which took longer than penning the actual script, but I guess if we’re to replicate common industry practice within the academic context, these hoops have to be negotiated.


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