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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Rosalind Nashashibi Eyeballing

ICA Gallery, London, Sept 10 - Nov 1

Written by Satu Fox


Amelia’s Magazine likes folk music, visit this site drugs and Jonquil are deliciously, timeless folk music. Yet they are also indescribable and I like not to be able to pin point a band’s genre. It could be said, they are folk music because of the tradition of group harmonies, the rich depth of sound created through the carefully crafted relationship between instrument and voice. Furthermore, the entire band appears to be multi-instrumental

This autumn witnesses Oxford-based, Jonquil begin another of their massive European tours of whimsical venues beginning last night in the Macbeth pub, London. They return to Camden’s Proud Gallery on October 24th, miss your second chance to see this band at your peril because as any supporter will tell you there is nothing more enjoyable, inclusive or liable to start a smile on your face than a Jonquil performance.


Jonquil are six; Kit Monteith plays the drums providing the ever-rhythmic backbone to their songs, Jody Prewitt is on guitar, Hugo Manuel provides the voice for the majority of the songs with the rest of the band contributing to choruses and introductions, Ben Rimmer, Robin McDiarmid, Sam Scott and Hugo Manuel juggle instruments throughout the gig. Swapping from guitar to keyboard to double bass to flute and the accordion with only the occasional hiccup, which by the time this usually happens, the crowd are so enamored with the music that a misplaced flute is the least of anyone troubles.


This autumn sees the showcase of new songs composed for the eagerly awaited second album (Lions was released in 2007 and Whistle Low an EP in 2006). The new songs see an increased presence of the entire band’s individual voices, whilst Hugo’s remain centre stage. The added depth of sound provided by the variety of voice increases its instrumental presence rather than functioning as ornamentation. The voices of Jonquil complete their harmonious sound, it is this attribute which makes a Jonquil gig so special, as a viewer you feel enveloped in their creativity and part of their imaginary world conjured by the lyrics of each song.


Moreover, rather fantastically Jonquil started a blog where you can find Kit musing on their recording and practice sessions as well as the lead up to their current tour. It is refreshing to be let into the everyday life of a band and how they essentially function in order to produce songs. The blog is really lovely to read and I look forward to it being updated throughout their up and coming tour.

You can find Jonquil on their myspace, which they have recently updated with new songs whilst retaining a known crowd favourite: Lions.


The new exhibition by Rosalind Nashashibi, tadalafil a Scottish artist who was the recipient of the 2003 Becks Futures prize, deals with both the performative element of humanity and what is revealed when it doesn’t know it’s being watched. Both public and exclusive places are pictured, from a busy street corner to a private bedroom. All the works are about the connections or otherwise between things, whether it is the apparently arbitrary arrangement of a building’s features or the disconnect between the drab appearance of out-of-costume opera singers and the sound of their voices.

As I walked into the exhibition at the ICA galleries I heard a tinkle of piano and the sound of a woman singing opera, sudden and sublime. As I wondered where it was coming from it emerged that the first room shows photos of opera singers rehearsing on a stripped stage, all the artifice of their craft taken away. Nashashibi is known for a documentary-style examination of human beings observed unaware, for example in her short film “The States of Things”, which showed people sifting through clothes at a jumble sale. The beauty and warmth of the recorded singing, the final product as it were, was in stark contrast to the rather bleak and seemingly uncomposed photographs of the singers in rehearsal, whom we saw from every angle in a huge number of photos in the series.


Also on display was Nashashibi’s film “Eyeballing”, a series of shots trained on various buildings, every day objects and street furniture that contained the components of a human face. The faces were generally cheerful and the deadpan nature of the still camera and the occasional incursion of everyday human activity on the unconcerned, smiling faces made it funny, in the way that a running joke builds up over time. For some reason I found the little face Nashashibi documented on the back of her electric toothbrush especially funny and endearing. These parts of “Eyeballing” made me wonder if we were being asked to question our anthropomorphication of objects to make it easier to live in urban environments, or whether architects and designers include these details, consciously or otherwise, for the same reasons.


Cut in between the faces are scenes filmed at a New York police station, with a huge blue crest emblazoned on its doors, giving the slightly fantastical feel of a portal to an unknown space. Unlike the water fountains, wood knots and windows of the other scenes, these facings are unsmiling and it is here that the “eyeballing” suddenly seems a little darker and more threatening. The narrative tension is ramped during these scenes because occasionally one of the police officers, who we aren’t sure are aware they are being filmed, will look directly into the camera, just for a split second – it’s strangely thrilling. In fact, Nashashibi was filming illegally under a pretext.


A series of still photographs echo the themes of the film: upside-down church vaults lead your eye to look for more faces. According to the literature, an influence of Nashashibi’s while making some of the work in this show is Proust, particularly although indirectly on “The Prisoner”, a film of a woman’s high-heeled feet walking and pausing, allowing the viewer to suspect that she knows she is being watched – a little like the NYPD. The film is a loose reconstruction from a film

The exhibition will run September 10 – November 1.


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