Author: Charlotte Vinsen

Hashtag Art: In Conversation with Tabloid Art History

Tabloid Art History is a Twitter account with a simple premise – tabloid photographs paired with classic works of art which look similar, drawing comparisons between the two. What results is a fascinating gallery of Lindsay Lohan as a portrait by Lee Godie, the references to Hooper in Mad Max, and Princess Diana in that iconic revenge dress as Madame X by John Singer Sargent from almost a century before. This Twitter page has already been featured in all kinds of places including Vogue, and has recently released their very first zine, further exploring the links between contemporary “tabloid”...

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Culturised’s Top Art Picks of 2017

The 95th Venice Biennale A useful barometer for trends in contemporary art within an international sphere, this year the Venice Biennale took a particularly poignant turn in relation to the tragic Grenfell tower fire in London this year, which took the life of artist Khadija Saye. Her photo series Dwelling: in the space we breathe was exhibited at the 2017 Venice Biennale, something she was rightly incredibly proud of before her death. Back in March, Nisha Desai wrote for Culturised on how the art world took more notice of women through the 2017 Venice Biennale, and has made steps...

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‘This Really Is Too Much’: Exploring the Absurdity of Gender Norms

At this year’s Edinburgh Fringe I watched a man loudly brush his teeth and gulp down a huge amount of foaming toothpaste on stage, so the competition for most gross show was fierce. However, I feel the winner has to go to the vibrant This Really Is Too Much, for covering the stage with water, face cream, cleaning product and lettuce, and then smearing it on their bikini clad bodies while pleasant, supermarket music plays, in a grotesque parody of commercial sex appeal. This Really Is Too Much was chosen for the Edinburgh Fringe as part of Underbelly Untapped,...

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Paula Varjack’s ‘Show Me The Money’: Finance and the Fringe

As anyone who has been to the Edinburgh Fringe knows, if you walk up the Royal Mile in August you will be bombarded by flyers for a plethora of shows. What those without seats to fill may not have considered, is the true cost of bringing a performance up to Edinburgh. All of those flyers you looked at for a millisecond before throwing away add up, using frequently meagre budgets production companies hope to get back in ticket sales. It gets harder each year to make money from the Fringe,[1] due to an increase in the commercialisation of fringe...

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‘A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)’: The Complexities of Exploring Depression on Stage

One of the main advantages of Fringe theatre is the element of difference. Not having to comply with mainstream preferences, new combinations can be created without as much of a risk for investors or venues. Interestingly, this does mean that you sometimes see a few Fringe shows exploring similar borderline “non mainstream” topics – in this case depression. A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is a musical about Sally, a girl we meet at sixteen and follow through the next ten years of her life and her journey with mental illness. Madeleine MacMahon plays Sally and narrates...

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‘The Shape of the Pain’: Staging Chronic Suffering

It’s almost impossible to comprehend what pain feels like when you’re not currently experiencing it, and it is especially hard to understand what someone other than yourself physically feels. This demonstrates a limit to the empathy others are able to give to those who live with pain every day, and forms the basis of The Shape of the Pain. In this one woman performance the audience is taken through the everyday life of a person with chronic pain, which has no injury or source. This pain comes from the mind exclusively, and during the performance we are taken through...

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‘How To Win Against History’: Bizarre Aristocrats and Musical Metatheatricality

How To Win Against History Assembly George Square Until Aug 27 at 19:25 Box Office Adults £13 / Concessions £12   How to Win Against History started thirty minutes late at the Assembly Square George Gardens during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. This happens frequently during the Fringe, so is kind of part of the territory, but it does make the audience apprehensive going in: will this be worth the wait? Luckily, How to Win Against History is so fantastic that the accidental delay was quickly forgotten. How to Win Against History is a new musical by Seiriol Davies, who...

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‘10000 Gestures’ at the Manchester International Festival: Moving Through Life

10000 Gestures originates from a simple premise, which is that it consists of entirely unique movements, there are no repeats in the performance, and we watch 10000 distinct gestures on the stage. Performed in Mayfield, an abandoned warehouse, the cavernous space is filled with an explosion of dance so intense you will leave the experience out of breath. Boris Charmatz worked with his ensemble of twenty-five dancers to develop a performance which explores a truly asymmetrical approach to the human body, and dance as a medium. To understand what this performance feels like as an experience, it is worth...

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