diamond geezer

 Thursday, February 07, 2013

If something's going to drag you to the seaside in February, that something might be art. That and a £10 return rail ticket, courtesy of Mary Portas (available weekends only until the end of the month). It certainly won't be the weather. Margate on Sunday was the very definition of bracing, the sandy beach empty apart from a few stalwart families and dogwalkers [photo]. In not many amusement arcades on the seafront, not many teens were amused [photo]. A few shoppers hung around doorways in the High Street, where nobody yet seems sure what to do with the old Woolworths [photo]. In the Old Town a handful of visitors frequented the handful of boutiques and cafes that had bothered to open up for trading. But on the foreshore by the Harbour Arm, providing respite from the elements, the galleries at the Turner Contemporary were really rather busy.

Carl Andre: Mass & Matter
Turner Contemporary, Margate

(1 February - 6 May 2013)

You may not know his name, but you'll know one of his works. That pile of bricks the Tate exhibited in the 70s, that was one of Andre's. Its official name was Equivalent VIII, Carl's eighth attempt at showing how 120 firebricks could be arranged as a cuboid. This controversial piece isn't here in Margate, more's the pity, but a small selection of his other work fills an upper gallery. Don't expect curves, Carl prefers straight lines, repetition and flatness. One of his tiled metal pavements (with the alluring title 4×25 Altstadt Rectangle) can be walked across, but the other two are stashed in the corner and watched over by beady staff. A few artworks break out from the horizontal, for example a pile of large cedar blocks stacked carefully like the start of a game of Jenga. The closest approximation to "those bricks" is a set of triangular tiles laid out to form a prism, sharp point upwards, named 60 x 1 Range Work. You could knock this together yourself in your garage after a quick trip to Wickes, if the fancy took you, the difference being that Andre got there first and called it art. Meanwhile around the walls are several examples of Carl's poetry, if you can call words typed in patterns on typewriters poetry. These were produced in the late 1960s, when manual keybashing was the extent of home-based word-processing, so some of the rows and columns contain mistypes and overtypes it was impossible to delete. Clever, in places, but elsewhere little more than I might have created myself as a child. If you think you might walk out mumbling "well that wasn't proper, was it?", perhaps best not come specially.

On the seafront, between the Jubilee Clock and the station, once stood the entrance to Dreamland [photo]. When this was Margate's entertainment hub, these coastal acres were packed with rides including the Water Chute, the Cableway, the Haunted Swing and the Meteorite. At its heart was the Scenic Railway, a glorious wooden rollercoaster built in 1920, and until five years ago the oldest surviving working coaster in Britain. Alas a suspicious fire damaged it severely, and what remains now stands alone in the centre of nothing much [photo]. For those of us who remember the glory days and rode the undulating beast, it's a very sorry sight. Thankfully, even surprisingly, there are grand plans to bring Dreamland back. The project's being backed by local cash, national funding and lottery money, and there are hopes that Stage 1 will reopen as early as next year [photo]. That means the refurbishment of the park entrance via the Dreamland Cinema building, the restoration of the Scenic Railway (hurrah) and the installation of a number of other rides, as well as a touch of landscaping to brighten the whole place up. 2014 seems an impossible deadline while peering across a temporary car park at an expanse of featureless tarmac, but what a gamechanger for the local tourist economy if everything takes off. As the rise of the Turner Contemporary shows, dreams can come true.

Subject to Constant Change
Turner Contemporary, Margate

(1 February - 6 May 2013)

You're probably not familiar with this Italian-German visual artist either. Rosa likes to toy with the nature of cinema, more particularly "the physical characteristics of film and the structure of cinematic narrative." She's refitted a series of film projectors to spool celluloid in twisting shapes, perhaps nudging large ball bearings on a can, perhaps projecting individually typed letters onto a glass screen. Entire paragraphs of text have been punched out of long strips of felt, projecting their meaning in light on the wall beyond. Two dozen horizontal strips of handwritten celluloid rotate slowly in the gallery nextdoor, although once I'd spotted the misspelling of "dissappear" halfway down I couldn't concentrate on much else. The centrepiece of Rosa's display is a ten minute film of coastal and industrial decay, entitled Subconscious Society. This features aerial shots of snaking saltmarsh and footage shot in and around the Maunsell Forts off the North Kent coast, so I was transfixed. Only afterwards however, when I read the exhibition blurb, did I realise I'd actually been watching "the end of the industrial age in favour of an age of technology". Meanwhile, along the upper corridor, Rosa has curated an entirely different exhibition comprising several of JMW Turner's perspective drawings. These were used as part of a series of lectures at the Royal Academy in the 1830s where Turner was a Professor of Perspective - a job to treasure. Joseph's painted spheres and coloured triangles were only visual aids, but could easily be modern art, and make a surprisingly cohesive presentation.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
National Paralympic Day
Saturday 30th August (12-6pm)
Celebrating ability & activity
in the southern half of QEOP.

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
tired of london
in the aquarium
round the island
christopher fowler
thamesfacingeast
one bus at a time
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
uk general election 2015

read the archive
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv