Posts from 15th September 2003

Sep 03

Takashi Murakami- Mr. Cloud.

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 2,964 views

Takashi Murakami- Mr. Cloud.

He used to meditate between the orientalism of the west and the fetishizing of western progress found in Japan. With the mushroom cloud deaths head bunny (1) he asked Japan if they could make anything cute, with My Lonesome Cowboy (2), the 12 foot anime wanker with a cum lasso he asked ‘if I make your obsessions large enough, will you pay attention, with Mr Dobbs (3), his post colonial Mickey Mouse with teeth, he whispered ‘you will buy this consumer product, you no longer care about content.’

He then dropped politics, and made lovely pictures and strange spectacles. There was the flower wallpaper paintings(4) in bright colours that did not say anything but this is pretty to look at or the Francis Bacon paintings (5) which made existential fury into a sci-fi wonderland thanks to his army of courtiers

Finally there is the latest style, an abstract pattern of eyes and circles(6), made to envelop Louis Vuitton Handbags(7), Cadillac Escalades, portraits of Kate Moss(8) and 10 foot canvases with equal vapidness. He has become a designer and his anger dissipated into money.

Which makes his latest sculptures, featuring a new character named Mr Cloud, so disappointing and so liberating. They have a super specific joy about them, the open candy apple mouth, the stuffed animal wide eyes, the amorphous huggable shape, the hard plastic of hip designed consumables. It is an icon of Nintendo aestheics,a triumph of late era decadent design,

It’s the hello kitty of superflat.


Something Rainy just messaged to me

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 152 views

Something Rainy just messaged to me made me look something up, and I realised that this was prefigured on this thread: in other words, yet again an idea I fondly thought I had had all by myself was had earlier (as usual by Alan T). Still: “no-tin tin meat pudding pie pie”

Days of plenty

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 217 views

Days of plenty: autumn brings blessed relief from the sluggish summer art season. I spent this weekend trawling the still-sunny streets of London for exciting new stuff. And found it. The greatest thrill is finding a new artist who’s doing something amazing. On Saturday, bumbling gently down Cork Street, I popped into Beaux Arts and couldn’t believe my eyes.

Marilene Oliver has had herself MRI scanned, many times: horizontal sections of her body once every couple of inches in fact, internal organs and all. Each scan has been printed onto glass, and these glass plates are stacked vertically.

The results are fantastic. You find yourself standing in front of an image of a human being, life-size and floating inches from the floor, precise and indistinct. On close inspection, it disappears. You find yourself seeing the spaces between the plates or straining to see the detail of the scans, each of which is obscured by the next. These pieces, a previously unimaginable mid-point between Damien Hirst and Donald Judd: oddly affecting in their distance and (sometimes at least) their coldness.

One of these pieces is called ‘I Know You Inside Out’ and of course you don’t, the forms are elusive and spectral. We’re all used to looking at pictures of people but it’s absurdly rare to find a portrait of a kind you’ve never seen before, never thought of seeing before.

If that weren’t enough, there’s ‘Text Me‘, which is a cute twist on Gormley: a matt black, life-size sculpture of the artist is punctuated hundreds of times by copper-coloured spines. St. Sebastian? A protective shell? You’re left wondering by the realisation that each spine is etched with a text message as sent to the artist. It would take you hours to read each one, and I felt strangely queasy about doing so.

Sometimes it feels like the decent thing to avoid all the intimate details, no matter how much fun they might turn out to be’

Quarks And Charms

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 190 views

Quarks And Charms: the “Blogosphere” just keeps on grrrrrrrowing. (Though I prefer Simon R’s other coining, “music press in exile”, both for its chest-puffing qualities and the vision it summons of a bunch of squabbling, embittered dissidents, pining for a lost homeland. Meanwhile the incumbent President is changing the constitution again, to make a return even less probable. Still, some of us rather like it here.)

Striker vs The Sun

TMFDPost a comment • 261 views

Striker vs The Sun – from the Striker comic’s official news website (via Parallax View). I’d resisted picking up a copy of Striker precisely because I’d assumed it was a News International publication – but no, it’s gone independent and is now suing its former newspaper home. I wish it all the best, not least because it’s the first weekly comic launch to get national UK distribution since (if memory serves) Sonic The Comic, which shares Striker’s committment to gritty realism in the name of cutting-edge entertainment.

(Brown Wedge aside: Striker is also a rarity in being entirely and blatantly computer-drawn: the dynamic ugliness of the results are great, I think.)

The new teacher training ad,

Do You See1 comment • 329 views

The new teacher training ad, with its somewhat child-unfriendly image of headless people wandering around, is unlikely to help recruitment. “Oi” – it is saying – “you, in the braindead masses. Why not do the only job in the world where you use your brain. Teaching.” An advert whose hypothesis is only proven by its own ad agency. I use my brain plenty at work, not fannying around with a Van Der Graaf generator making self deprecating jokes about my lack of hair. The ad succeeds in insulting its target audience and making teaching look like doing bad stand up comedy. (Which if Teachers is anything to go by…)

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 568 views the embryo of a very good idea indeed – systematically finding out which albums have leaked, pointing you at them and writing about them. So far the site seems fairly tethered to what a typical ILM reader (or as typical a reader as ILM gets) might be interested in – Basement Jaxx, Outkast, assorted indie folks. That’s great of course but the appeal would be even wider if it spread its wings a bit. Of course since the premise of the site is absolutely objectionable to the Biz, maybe it’s better if it doesn’t.

Some people gave up on the chips in The Calthorpe Arms

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 330 views

Some people gave up on the chips in The Calthorpe Arms when the chicken nuggets ran out and they were plainly cold and soggy. Only mine and Steve’s uniquely British eye for hidden fat noticed tiny spots of congealing dripping for chip dipping. The subject of free pub food, the rarely seen British Tapas, has been looked at before round here – just to say that it was nice to see it on Friday and we hope our American friends were not too put off with what is regularly though of as British cuisine.

I have a US Pocket Book edition of Jeeves

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 193 views

I have a US Pocket Book edition of Jeeves by P.G.Woodehouse. I am not sure what Jeeves it is, I am pretty sure there wasn’t a Woodehouse book just called Jeeves, but it is certainly Jeeves and Bertie in their inimitable fashion; the latter getting into scrapes – the former getting him out of it (research suggests it might indeed be the Inimitable Jeeves – which now makes that sentence look overly pretentious). Watching the first, really rather lame, episode of To the Manor Born yesterday it became apparent that this set-up is no longer a starter for comedy. (The number of gags in TTMB on Bowles not being English really left a dodgy taste in the craw).

Anyway this edition is pretty threadbare, and consists of eighteen short stories which have been tinkered with slightly to provide an overarching plot. What is great about the edition though is the cover. The ‘Send this book to a boy in the armed forces anywhere in the US’. There is near the front a huge, possibly self destructive, drive to get people to recycle their paper: ”every tank or plane is made of wrapped with paper’ – let’s hope not the former. This edition was printed in 1945, and it shows it with patriotic fervour – possibly neglecting Plum’s own ‘errors’ during this period. How can you argue with this paragraph, in an advert near the end – it is important for our boys to be reading (and possibly getting enemy bullets stuck in their copy of Emile Zola’s Nana* – thus saving their lives and giving them a taste for French literature for the rest of their lives).

‘Postal regulations have been changed so that you may now mail books to soldiers overseas, without authorization or a written request. The only conditions are that the book must be sent sealed by first class mail and must not weigh more than 8 oz, wrapped. The books in the list that follows, that are marked with an asterisk weigh less than 8 oz, and are mailable under this new ruling. But Americans most in need of reading matter are those now held prisoner by the Germans (no books can yet be sent to Americans held prisoners by the Japanese). Because there are many special restrictions and conditions, Pocket Books has established a Prisoner-Of-War service for the convenience of those who want to sent books to American prisoners”

* Nana is 104 in the list of Pocket Book titles. Madame Bovary by Flaubert comes in at 240 and is described as ‘The famous French classic – as famous as Nana.’ Neither weigh less than 8oz, unlike this copy of Jeeves(28), Our Town by Thorton Wilder (55) and The Pocket Book of Home Canning (217) – possibly not much use on the beaches at Normandy.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 510 views


Being not a song about his stinky trainers, though I daresay this is the only aspect of him which is truly a killer, but rather his mental processes. Cleverly this footwear advert is an acronym for All Day I Dream About Sex. Which would certainly explain why this song is so poor, he was obviously distracted thinking about a threeway between Big Boi and Andre 2000 and himself.

If this is true, and since when have hip-hop lyrics ever been true, then he needs serious help. Michael is really doing your head in and you are liable to get a gin soaked swizzle stick in your eye.

‘Wouldn’t you like to get away,
Sometimes you want to go – where everybody knows your name…’

Of course I don’t want to go where everyone knows my name. I’ve never been to a pub where I’ve allowed more than five people to learn my name. Last thing I want is people asking me to buy them drinks for the mere reason of name knowledge. I shudder if I hear someone shout ‘Your round Tanya’ – not because I am not the soul of generosity but it is altogether too presumptious. By all means buy me a drink, but we are not entering into any social contract here.

Let us look at those words again. ‘Wouldn’t you like to get away?’ What are you getting away from. I fear this is made clear by the next line. You see there is only one place I can think of where everybody knows your name. And that my friend is PRISON. And certainly you would like to Getaway rather than go to prison. Or, in this case, a false fronted TV sanitised idea of a bar peopled by halfwits, quarterwits and that intellectual genius that is Woody Harrelson.