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Playing the Building

6 Aug

My friend Mark McNamara is in London for the rest of the month working on David Byrne’s sound installation Playing the Building at the Roundhouse in Camden.

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The installation consists of an old organ that is hooked up to actually play the building. The keys are wired up to motors that vibrate the girders, solenoids that ping the iron columns, and air jets that blast and make flute like noises. I spent two afternoons at the Roundhouse this week photographing the installation process. To see all of my images click here and here. Please join me in experiencing this art work on the evening of 20 August.

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Banksy in London

16 Jun

Since moving to London a few years ago Banksy is an artist whose work I have become quite familiar with. It’s always a delight to happen upon an original Banksy in an unexpected place. Banksy is a prominent British graffiti artist whose work you will inevitably see as you wander the streets of London and other British cities. He has a distinctive style and his work usually contains a political comment. I took this first image “One Nation Under CCTV” somewhere north of Covent Garden.

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And here is another view showing the rest of this work.

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This next Banksy is just around the corner from where I live in Bethnal Green, London. In this work Banksy has diverted the double yellow line across the pavement and up the side of the building to form a flower. In the UK double yellow lines signify no parking. The building he has done this work on is the Bethnal Green Working Man’s club. With this work he got permission from the club before going ahead – apparently this is his new modus operandi.

Banksy: Double Yellow Flower

Banksy is a bit of an enigma – no one really knows who he is – but some think that the guy with the roller is him.

Back in October of 2005 a gallery in Notting Hill held an exhibition of some of Banksy’s paintings. The work consisted of versions of famous works that had been reworked by Banksy. I don’t know if he actually painted these himself or even what his process was as the work is a huge departure from his usual style. Apparently all the work sold out before the show opened. The gallery was very small and only five people were allowed in at one time. Photography was permitted.

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During that show the gallery was also filled with a hundred or so live rats. The rat is an animal Banksy frequently features in his street graffiti work. I read later that the rats were relocated to a farm somewhere in the English countryside. Lucky them!

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