Friday, 24 March 2017

You say you want a revolution..

Wallpaper as revolutionary instrument - with thanks to William Morris and David Mabb

I've now had time to enjoy the exhibition #worldsupsidedown at Firstsite, and there's plenty to enjoy - and think upon. It's easy to forget that the decorative 'Arts and Crafts' designs of William Morris sprang at least in part from his socialist ideals (believing that medieval craftsmen were somehow more 'free' than 19th Century factory workers). Something we should all consider today - just who is making those very cheap Primark (note: other cheap clothing brands are available) clothes? - and is it economically and environmentally sustainable?
With thanks to Firstsite
...and that links nicely to an astounding film on show, 'Man with a Movie Camera', a Russian film from 1929 by Dziga Vertov, edited by his wife Elizaveta Svilova. It shows scenes of life in several Russian towns and cities, and is driven by the most modern-looking of techniques - slow-motion, freeze-frames, jump-cuts, extreme close-ups, tracking shots - all the visual tricks that make our modern cinema so exciting. If you've got even a few minutes it's worth catching - you might end up watching for longer than you intended - I did!
Song - A Rush and a Push and the land is ours - A Smiths song kept alive by lyricist Morrissey (music was of course by Johnny Marr - the band had split up by the time the album 'Strangeways Here We Come' was released in 1987).

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