Nerdz Nite Out

Shit on Toast

The entrance hall of the Victoria & Albert Museum on Friday 25 January 2002 was the venue for a musical and improvisational event organised by the Electronic Music Studio of Goldsmiths College. Its title was ‘MERZ NITE’. The handout for the event informed us that the word ‘MERZ’ was ‘how the dadaist Kurt Schwitters’ described all his work’. The word derives from the tearing of a poster for the Hanover Kommerz und Privat-Bank and was four letters salvaged from a list of that which the Dadaists hated. Does ‘merz’ in German have another meaning? Does it mean ‘shit’ ? I rather think it does.

There was a man walking about on crutches with a torch dangling between his legs, there was a lot of improvisational making of noise with musical instruments, there were several people sitting at a table, cutting up pictures and sticking them together. There was, in the words of the handout, unconstrained spontaneous expression – was there ? Like fuck there was! Continue reading “Nerdz Nite Out”

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‘Two Days in Oxford – A View of the City in the Thirties’ by John Goto

Expo @ The Old Fire Station: Oxford, 15 Jan – 27 Feb, 2016

John Goto’s Two Days at Oxford – A View of the City in the Thirties (1938) has the admirable aim of subverting the cosy Brideshead view of Oxford as the city of dreaming spires and disinterested scholarship. This was inspired by his reading of John Betjeman’s An Oxford University Chest. Goto’s work is a reminder of the class-struggles which occurred at the time of Betjeman’s cosy evocation though, symptomatically, Goto writes not of class, but of status and privilege. Continue reading “‘Two Days in Oxford – A View of the City in the Thirties’ by John Goto”

Congruity and Contradictions: Echoes of the Self, by Asma Hashmi & Aisha Darr

Expo @ The Jam Factory, Oxford 12 Jan – 14 Feb 2016

Philly Rutt’s work is mainly acrylic on canvas. Several are random streaks of paint streaking vertically, as if a teenager had suddenly discovered Abstract Expressionism and thought what fun it would be to give it a try. The explanatory text explains that her work is ‘inspired by the landscape around her’ though how this is so remains opaque – to me, at least. Continue reading “Congruity and Contradictions: Echoes of the Self, by Asma Hashmi & Aisha Darr”