:: Buzzwords Archive: August 2016. Click here for the latest posts.

Artistic Differences (published 31/08/2016)

Artistic Differences_web

It’s The Buzz, Cock! By Linder (2015), Courtesy of Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London

Artistic Differences

29 Jun 2016 – 4 Sep 2016
Entry with Day Membership

To coincide with the Lower Gallery exhibition Judy Blame: Never Again (29 June – 4 September 2016), which features designer Judy Blame’s work since the 1980s, Artistic Differences in the Upper Gallery aims to present Blame’s work within a wider artistic context, drawing on connections in the art and design worlds in the UK from the 1980s and 1990s. Artistic Differences brings together artists and designers that have been directly linked to Blame throughout his career, and those who have been influenced by his work and share his distinct artistic approach and style. Participants include Charles Atlas, Dave Baby, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Malcolm Garrett, Derek Jarman, Barry Kamen, Jim Lambie, Mark Lebon, Linder, John Maybury, Jamie Reid, Peter Saville, Juergen Teller, Trojan, Nicola Tyson and Tim Noble & Sue Webster.

If Charles Atlas’ film Hail the New Puritan (1985-6) evokes a particular moment in British cultural history associated with Blame and his work during 1980s London, it also provides context to contributions by other artists and designers of that time such as Dave Baby, Mark Lebon, Linder, John Maybury and Trojan. The work of graphic designers Malcolm Garrett and Peter Saville, as well as artist Linder, also provides a reference to the time Blame spent in Manchester during the emerging music scene of the late 1970s and 1980s.

Other works in the exhibition show a direct personal and artistic relationship with Blame: a film by Derek Jarman featuring Blame entitled B2 from 1981, the film Judy Blame on Southwark Bridge (1983) by Nicola Tyson, and the intimate photographs by Juergen Teller of Blame in his studio. The work of Tim Noble & Sue Webster and Jake & Dinos Chapman shows Blame’s close connection with and influence on the YBAs. Direct references to Goya and his Disasters of War series in the work of Jake & Dinos Chapman also resonate with Blame’s interest in art history and evoke his time spent in the Museo del Prado in Madrid as a young boy growing up in Spain.

Artistic Differences also features an interview with Judy Blame by ICA Executive Director Gregor Muir (embedded above), which provides a unique insight into Blame’s significant life and work.

Monsieur de Bougrelon (published 30/08/2016)


Spurl Editions is pleased to announce the November 1, 2016, release of the novel

Monsieur de Bougrelon

by Jean Lorrain

translated by Eva Richter

I am taking you to the brothel, Messieurs,” declared the old puppet, “but the brothel of memories. There you will submit, and with the sharpest desire, to women you will not even see, to a deceptive obsession. I am taking you to the cloakroom of the dead. Standing before scraps of fabric, before dresses that will be empty forever and bodices of nothing, before the old rags of centuries and the tatters of dead lovers, I want to get you drunk on the sorrowful opium of what could have been and what is no more.” – from Monsieur de Bougrelon


In Jean Lorrain’s Monsieur de Bougrelon, an eccentric, outmoded dandy leads ennui-filled French tourists around misty Amsterdam. Guiding them through sailors’ bars, whorehouses, and costume galleries, Monsieur de Bougrelon recounts hallucinatory stories of his past and delves into his “heroic friendship” with his aristocratic companion Monsieur de Mortimer.

Monsieur de Bougrelon is a unique character: loquacious, proud, a leftover from an earlier age, wearing garish outfits and makeup that drips. To his speechless audience, he waxes nostalgic about his life as an exile in Holland, as well as what he calls “imaginary pleasures” – obsessions with incongruous people, animals, and objects. These obsessions are often sexual or border on the sexual, leading to shocking, surreal scenes. Monsieur de Bougrelon also enthuses over his beautiful friend Monsieur de Mortimer, making this novella one of the rare works of the nineteenth century to broach homosexuality in a meaningful way, years before Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet.

Originally published in French in 1897, Monsieur de Bougrelon is now available in English translation for the first time. Its inventiveness and sheer Decadence find kindred spirits in the novels of Comte de Lautréamont, Joris-Karl Huysmans, and even Louis-Ferdinand Céline, while the novella’s indulgent language and unconventional vision of art and sex embody the best of fin-de-siècle literature. It is, in the novella’s own words, a true “boudoir of the dead.”

Jean Lorrain, born Paul Alexandre Martin Duval, was a novelist, critic, and dramatist, and one of the most conspicuously Decadent figures of fin-de-siècle France. Masks and disguises are recurring themes in his work, as is Parisian low life, satanism, ether, homosexuality, and the aristocracy. In 1897, he wrote Monsieur de Bougrelon, and shortly after, Lorrain left Paris to live in Nice. His stay at the Riviera began an intense period of creativity. In 1901, he wrote his best-known work, Monsieur de Phocas, which he followed a year later with his fantastical aristocrat saga, Le Vice errant. His health declined due to syphilis and his abuse of drugs, and he died on June 30, 1906, of peritonitis, at the age of fifty-one. It was rumored that when Lorrain’s grave was opened in 1986, the body of “Sodom’s ambassador to Paris,” as biographer Philippe Jullian called him, still smelled of ether.

SPURL EDITIONS publishes literature and photography that is dark, eccentric, obscure, or unexpected. Available online and at select bookstores.

The Candidate (published )

OR Book Going Rouge

The inside story of Jeremy Corbyn’s extraordinary ascent to leadership of the British Labour Party

A lifelong and outspoken socialist, Jeremy Corbyn only managed to get on last year’s ballot for the leadership of the Labour Party after his supporters begged for nominations from MPs who subsequently declined to vote for him. He did so at a time when even his closest political allies saw little hope for progress by the left. In the immediate run-up to the election the now-Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell wrote “This is the darkest hour that socialists in Britain have faced since the Attlee government fell in 1951.”

And yet, just a few months later, Corbyn didn’t just win the Labour leadership, he crushed his opponents, winning 60% of the vote from a party membership that had more than doubled in the previous five years. The establishment was aghast. The official opposition to the government, according to the conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper, now had as its leader a man “with a plan to turn Britain into Zimbabwe.”

This remarkable transformation is the subject of Alex Nunn’s stunning new book, The Candidate. Drawing on first-hand interviews with those involved in the campaign, including many of its most senior figures, Nunns traces a plot-line of such implausibility that it would be unusable in a work of fiction. The result is a story both richly-informed and compellingly readable.

The Candidate
Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power


Pre-order now and get 15% off



Sleepless (published 26/08/2016)

Analogue present

Thursday 1 – Wednesday 14 September at Shoreditch Town Hall

A woman lies awake. Pupils like pinpricks, skin saturated in sweat, the odd jerk of a muscle. She hasn’t slept for 3 months. She knows what is happening to her and there’s nothing she can do.

Sleepless is inspired by the true story of a family cursed with a rare genetic disease that cruelly deprives its victims of sleep until they die, known as Fatal Familial Insomnia. When Cosima starts showing strange and sudden symptoms in the wake of her mother’s unexpected death, she embarks on a journey through history and a race against time to find the cause and cure of this rare condition.

“An increasingly exceptional young company with a reputation for slick and inventive use of multimedia”
New Statesman

This latest production from Analogue, the ‘bright young things of British theatre’ (The Observer), explores the crossroads between performance and science, sleep research and the mad cow crisis. Sleepless begs the broader question: how do we decide the value of a human life?

Tickets: £15

For more information and booking: shoreditchtownhall.com