Tuesday, 12 October 2010

randomness October

One of the things about doing this blog, or any blog, or any kind of project you get absorbed in, is that potential subjects to write about start popping up everywhere. And then there's Halloween, my favourite time of year. But while I sift through all the possibilities (and try not to get distracted by kicking piles of beautiful autumn leaves and working out how much Halloweenness I can squeeze in this year), this is me catching up with myself about a bunch of stuff:

*First, thanks to Joel Chernin for his double exposed polaroid - very Arthur C Clarke ...

 * I've been reading Peter Ackroyd's Spectres Through Time, a collection of ghost folk tales and incidents from mysterious motorway hitchhikers to spirit dogs that celebrates England's love of being haunted (they see more ghosts than any other nation apparently), and opens with the very spectral dimension-friendly idea of spirits as "a bridge of light between the past and present, or between the living and the dead" - a fixation that goes hand in hand with history and archaeology.

* The first episode of A History Of Horror was as knowledgeable and entertaining as I'd expect from Mark Gatiss (as in: very), and I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series, as well as Gatiss himself in the adaptation of HG Wells' First Men In The Moon on BBC4 next week.

*Burke And Hare, the comedy version of the tale of the 19th century Edinburgh graverobbers out in a couple of weeks, is too tempting not to see, especially with Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis starring. I'm just glad it's not a musical.

*Let Me In, the English-speaking version of the Swedish vampire film stunner, Let The Right One In, is easy to add to the wait-for-rental list, but I wish I could get to the Compass Festival Of Lunacy in Bristol, a Halloween festival promising performance, spoken word, installations, music and films including a big screen showing of The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari. I also want a poster of the festival logo - a dandy little 50s style cartoon chap with a movie camera, a globe for a head and a natty hat.

*The Chatsworth Attic Sale looked like the most amazing clear out of ramshackle stuff from an aristocratic home.

*Likewise, the assorted abandoned space paraphernalia at the secret department of the Moscow Aviation Institute make for stunning photos of abandoned cold war relics.

*Visions of unsettling memories, urban traces, mythic inspiration and all kinds of hauntological kinship seems to be spilling out of the art world (or maybe I'm seeing connections where there are none), but the Flashier And Trashier group show in the Crypt Gallery of St Pancras Church (a kitsch recycling and reclaiming of objects tagged with ideas like what we should wear on the way to the afterlife and what "hidden powers" discarded objects have) looks like a good place to start.

* I'm also glad to discover that Magic Show is now in London at the Pump House Gallery (the last stop of a nationwide, year-long Hayward tour - d'oh), so I can see the photos of blurry levitators and illusion props up close in 3D.

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