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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

[MUSIC] Dear George Michael

Photo from Getty Image taken from The Guardian’s web
Floral tributes outside the Oxfordshire home of George Michael, 
where he was found dead on Christmas Day. 
Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Update below signature + update in pink (feb-april 2017)

Dear George Michael,

... I really wish I didn’t have to write this now...

In 1984, I just arrived in Verdun, a French town where everything is a reminder of WWI. If you are a native walking around, Monuments aux morts are just like passing by Trafalgar Square. It’s there, part of the landscape... a bit heavier though!
I was returning from Djibouti in East Africa, so the school transition was a bit of a challenge on the weather scale. From up to 80ºC to minus 20ºC. I’m sure you will understand my music tastes were on the cold scale, cold wave, post punk and anything a bit freezing.

I knew your tunes because my mother listened to RTL or RMC always. The radio was on 24/7. Although my English was primitive, Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go I knew almost by heart. Not that I liked it, but it entered my brain at dinner time. Talking was not all the rage at home, listening to the radio was the best option. You should have seen my mother doing the washing-up pretending she knew the lyrics. Priceless! It worked while cooking or dusting too.

It’s at the French lycée I warmed to you. Careless Whisper. There was a juke box (or perhaps was it a boom box?) in the students common room and in the autumn, at lunch breaks, someone kept playing Etienne Daho’s Week-End A Rome followed by your hit and then Sade’s Smooth Operator, a daily basis treat for a few weeks. Lots of memory in that sad but full of surprise’s town.

You, like Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, Boy George, Carmel, Duran Duran, Alain Bashung, Elli Medeiros, Dead Or Alive and so many more were always present in my life even though I would only buy Etienne Daho’s LPs. It’s what you guys eventually represented that I respected. How you guys achieved your goals despite the discrimination: being black, gay, bi, a woman, a proletarian.

Yesterday, 26 December, when I learnt your passing, I wanted to celebrate your philanthropy, your generosity, your commitment to those suffering and your humour. So, I tweeted @ 8AM GMT your cameo for Little Britain and Comic Relief. Having worked for Les Inrocks, I knew they had no interest in you, but I don’t trust their “innocence”, so I waited for my second twit on you in bed with Ricky Gervais an hour later. I mean they are plenty of moments of you being funny and charitable...

Two hours after my first twit, Agathe Auproux of Les Inrocks wrote about your cameo on Comic Relief. A "cult" moment according to her (there are so many)! Couldn’t she write on your philanthropy or generosity in general? A longer article? Perhaps she had some dusting and washing-up to do? [Les Inrocks/Agathe Auproux might have realised it is not a "cult" video anymore and dropped the word "culte" recently in March-April 2017: showing off their ignorance and vulture attitude]

Half an hour before that, the magazine that might not have much to say about you started its rave on you: a collection of music peeps on twits (2K views on FB) – well, they do observe twits don’t they? They are journalists.

Same time as Agathe Auproux, an “article” on your performance with Stevie Wonder (1.3Kviews on FB).

@ 12pm GMT your eight iconic tracks - I know, that’s insulting, even I can mention more than that – (over 500 views on FB).

2pm GMT, the most honest article on you, wrong title though “icone queer”! (over 700 views on FB).

If Les Inrocks really wanted a “cult” moment, why not chose a French one (no translation needed) and talk about Thierry Ardisson and George Michael in Tout le monde en parle. What a profound and honest interview!

If Les Inrocks had really wanted to celebrate the singer in an alternative way, why not talk about Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go sleeve’s design... no less than Peter Saville (Joy Division, New Order, King Crimson, Roxy Music, The Monochrome Set, OMD, Suede, Pulp, David Byrne & Brian Eno, etc.)? 
Or talk about an anecdote (true or half true) of one of their fav band The Smiths who wrote an "angry" song Panic on Wham! being played on On BBC following a news report about the Chernobyl catastrophe.

How many people have commented on FB reminding Les Inrocks about the crass they said about you in the past? All comments deleted, including mine. They are simply vultures, gathering clicks for their advertisers! Death is saleable...
Because I spoke my mind politely though on their FB page, Les Inrocks have blocked me from commenting any further on their future posts. The magazine that defends #FreedomOfSpeech, the magazine that sexually harassed me, the magazine that makes sure I’m out of business!
Pierre Siankowski, Les Inrocks’s editor, prefers to block me on Twitter rather than sorting out anything... 

How many front covers have you made for Les Inrocks George? I can’t find any in their 30 years of existence! Perhaps I’m wrong? In 2014, they wrote about you, not in very good terms...

It is understandable to pay tribute to a dead artist, but being OTT as they have been with no tracks of respect for you in the past is pretty dubious!
What’s next? An edito by Pierre Siankowski saying how much he loved you and how his magazine acts on integrity? An angry, faithless vulture he is, making money on death! What a great year it has been for Les Inrocks... so many musicians have died!

I told you George, I wish I hadn’t written this prose. Wherever you are, here is a nice and informative piece on you from BBC.

Bon voyage mister Michael.

Sybille Castelain

Twits on George Michael by Mark Stephens : 
George Michael with Freddie Mercury tribute w/ David Bowie
George Michael / Catherine Tate Xmas special

February 2017: Following this post update, Agathe Auproux (Les Inrocks, Cyrille Hanouna’s TPMP) blocked me on Twitter! Criticised quite rightly a heavyweight kickboxer for posting pictures of a “sexy” woman on Instagram... while posting similar pictures of herself... [The latter video has been deleted in March 2017 and her "porn" pix on Instagram have been removed...]

Monday, 26 December 2016

[Route Mistress II] Trekking on 26 December 2016 in Mayfair / Soho

©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission

Pre-scriptum: Les Inrocks, stay away from my blog!

This morning, I woke up setting two missions (I actually planned them some weeks ago, but I sometimes change my mind): spring cleaning and taking pictures in Soho / Mayfair.

Since Christmas time is a great time to fast, I was on my second day: lemon juice + an apple. Then, I switched my computer and George Michael had gone. The very one who sang Last Christmas left the world on Christmas day. This world is getting far too cynical!
I never was a big fan on his music, apart from Careless Whisper, but always loved when he made the headlines for sex, for his relationships with his record label or when he acted on Little Britain for Comic Relief, his commitment to HIV charity or simply being outspoken about the LGBTI community.
George Michael was not musically present in my life, but I’ll miss not hearing speaking his mind. He was part of a pop era like many were and left 2016 for good like too many...
He made me laugh again this morning... in bed with Ricky Gervais.

Oh, and did you know a radio presenter got a sack for cutting off the Queen speech some years ago? He went "boring" and played Wham!'s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

Anyway, still a bit of spring clean before ending this year and here are some pics I took today, Boxing Day.

©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission

 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission

 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission

 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
 ©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission
©Sybille Castelain – No use without permission

Sybille Castelain

Saturday, 24 December 2016

[ROUTE MISTRESS I] – exploring galleries & more in Soho/Mayfair / exploration de galeries et autres a Soho/Mayfair

© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

Pre-scriptum: Les Inrocks, stay away from my blog!

December / décembre 2016 – text[e] in Eng / en Fr

Don’t do this between the Xmas festive...

Before I start off my journey, I’d like to remind you that Jarvis Cocker’s Journeys into the Outside has been extended until 1st January 2017 @ The Gallery of Everything.
Using Cocker’s pivotal TV series, JOURNEYS INTO THE OUTSIDE (Channel 4, 1998) as a departure point, this show will exhibit artists featured in the documentary. During this three-part documentary, Cocker travelled worldwide to the most astonishing art environments and met with many of the creators. The exhibition will feature Indian landscape architect Nek Chand Saini; reclusive French autodidact Chomo; self-appointed visionary St EOM; self-ordained minister and housepainter WC Rice; carver and carpenter Karl Friedrich Junker and American preacher Howard Finster, whose divinely-inspired artwork was made famous by Talking Heads.
Opening times for this week are as follows: WED 28 11AM - 7PM; THU 29 11AM - 7PM; FRI 30  11AM – 7PM; SAT 31 11AM – 7PM; SUN 1 2PM  – 6PM
4 Chiltern Street, London w1, Marylebone.

WC Rice, Cross Garden in Prattville, Alabama USA.
Taken from net

Now, my journey outdoors and inside...

Leaving Clapton, London, Earth, latitude 51.4633, longitude -2.7564, on 38 bus.
Mission: trekking in the Soho / Mayfair jungle, tracking exhibitions.
Bus drops me by Sackville Street on Piccadilly. PWR BTTM’s Ugly Cherries dripping on my ears (band back in London on April 18th, The Garage, and other dates in UK and Ireland, so you know).
Sackville Street, once sheltering Penniless Bank and Swallow Close (a fellatio place as you didn’t guess!) is today, an elegant peripatetic périple from vintage bookshop to all things fine tailor made clothing.
As the first track Short-Lived Nightmare “... Why I am so strange; I'm queerer than the brightest day...” is drifting onto my eardrums, I’m leading to my first selected destination, the other elegant street: Hauser and Wirth in Savile Row. The very Row that scissor-shaped Alexander McQueen’s future, where one of his shops reminds us of his genius.

Sackville Street
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

N’essayez pas ceci pendant la période festive…

Bus 38, départ de Clapton, Londres sur Terre, latitude 51.4633, longitude -2.7564.
Mission : Randonnée dans la jungle de Soho / Mayfair à la chasse aux expos.
Le bus me dépose près de Sackville Street à Piccadilly. Le Ugly cherries de PWR BTTM s’écoule tranquilement dans mes oreilles (le groupe sera de retour à Londres le 18 avril au Garage, comme ça vous savez).
Autrefois, Sackville Street abritait la Banque Sans Sou (qui l’eut cru ?) et le passage Avale (autrement connu sous le nom du Passage de la fellation puisqu’il faut tout vous dessiner). Aujourd’hui, on y va plus pour un périple péripatétique à la recherche de librairie Vintage et de vêtements sur mesure.
Alors que le premier morceau Short-Lived Nightmare “... Why I am so strange; I'm queerer than the brightest day...” s’enivre dans mes tympans, je me dirige vers ma première destination, l’autre rue ultra élégante : la galerie Hauser and Wirth dans la Savile Row. Cette même rue qui a taillé aux ciseaux le future de Alexander McQueen, où une de ses boutiques y séjourne pour nous rappeler son génie.
 © Sybille Castelain – no use without permission
 © Sybille Castelain – no use without permission
 © Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

Arriving at the gallery, Martin Creed and his angelic choir greet us outside with an anti-carol song video. A total surrealistic experience complete with a puppy, old-fashion jumpers changing... and his sad face that really made me smile so badly, just like a lunatic in that super chic street!
Until the 4 February 2017, Hauser and Wirth surveys Ken Price’s sculptures and drawings from 1959 to 2006. Price is one of the most influential figures of XX Century ceramic art [copying and pasting press release as I’m not über connaisseuse on his art]. As I was touristing around his fine cups and pots and drawings/paintings, I warmed to his 70’s B&W and 90’s colour drawings periods. There is a Bauhaus feel, but Ed Ruscha made his way to my mind. Double checking the press release, Ed was indeed a close friend among Larry Bell, Joe Good or Billy Al Bengston.

Savile Row
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

En arrivant à la galerie, Martin Creed and sa chorale angélique nous salue dehors avec une vidéo de chants anti-noël. Une expérience totalement surréaliste complétée par un chiot dans les bras du « chanteur » qui changera de pulls tricotés par ses arrière-grands-mères (au moins) autant de fois qu’il y a de lignes à chanter… sans oublier son visage si triste qu’il m’a fait sourire comme une cinglée debout devant un mur au milieu de cette rue si chic et si ordonnée !
Jusqu’au 4 février 2017, Hauser and Wirth sonde le travail de Ken Price : ses sculptures et ses dessins de 1959 à 2006. Price est une des figures les plus influentes du XX siècle concernant l’art céramique [ceci est un copier-coller traduit du doc presse… n’étant pas une über connaisseuse de son art]. Alors que je faisais ma touriste autour de ses pots, tasses, dessins et peintures raffinés, je me suis acoquinée avec ses périodes 70’s et 90’s pour les dessins en N&B et en couleur. On y trouve une ligne Bauhaus, mais c’est Ed Ruscha qui s’impose parfois. En vérifiant le doc presse, Ed était effectivement un ami proche tout comme l’étaient Larry Bell, Joe Good or Billy Al Bengston.

Taken from the web
Made In L.A.
© Ken Price, 1994, Acrylic and in on paper

PWR BTTM back on with Dairy Queen… I’m loving these two highly made-up lads already “We can drink our beer out of a sippy cup; We can go to Disney World and fuck shit up; But right now I'm in the shower; We can call in sick and go to Chuck E Cheez; We can make a baby on the flying trapeze; But right now I'm in the shower; I'm in the shower; We can fall in love at the Dairy Queen; We can be nice or we can be mean; But right now I'm in the shower”... 
Bruton Street
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

The buoys are leading me to Conduit Street, left turning, and straight on to Bruton Street where you can have a stopover for a beer or the best London fish & chips (I do have a collection of “best fish and chips” photos around London). Then, coming across Stella McCartney’s boutique, its flamboyant Xmas decorating from pavement to roof while listening to Dairy Queen is total mental!

PWR BTTM à nouveau collés à mes oreilles avec Dairy Queen… J’aime déjà ces deux garçons très maquillés (voir les paroles juste au-dessus, trop la flemme de les traduire)…
Ils me conduisent vers la Conduit Street après avoir tourné à gauche, et tout droit sur la Bruton Street où vous pouvez faire escale dans un pub pour une bière ou manger le meilleur fish and chips de Londres (comme il y en a tant, et que j’ai photographie). En continuant, on tombe sur la boutique de Stella McCartney et sa décoration flamboyante de Noel du sol au toit tout en écoutant Dairy Queen… démence immense !

Stella McCartney in Bruton Street
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

Take the right to Berkeley Sq and the right again to the tiny Jones Street. Panic no more if you need a snack, there is a corner cafe at the end of it facing the Gagosian Gallery on Grosvernor Hill

Ed Ruscha coming down @ Gagosian Gallery
Demontage de Ed Ruscha @ Galerie Gagosian 
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

Prenez à droite sur Berkeley Sq et encore à droite dans la ruelle Jones Street. En cas de besoin urgent de snack, un café en coin vous ravitaillera, juste en face de la galerie Gagosian sur Grosvernor Hill.

Seated Ballerina
mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating
83 x 44 3/4 x 77 7/8 inches
210.8 x 113.5 x 197.7 cm
© Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons is on @ Almine Rech Gallery until 21 January 2017. The gallery is opposite the Gagosian and here I’ll copy-paste bits of press release coz tis getting late and like Andy Warhol, I never know how to react to his oeuvres. I have good days and bad days with Koons. The sort of artist who brings my mini me’s into action. Talking about mirror, that’s precisely how I felt...
Anyway, “... mirrors from the very beginning have played an essential role in almost all of JK’s work... Koons goes further than Duchamp, who so famously described the viewer as the essential completer of the work of art, by literally embedding the viewer in his works of art, and as a result plays with their memories of childhood... an insight conjured by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Self-portait on Jeff Koons Xmas ball
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

Jeff Koons est jusqu’au 21 janvier 2017 à la galerie Almine Rech. La galerie se trouve en face de la Gagosian et je vais copier-coller des morceaux du doc presse parce qu’il est tard, et puis aussi que je ne sais jamais trop comment réagir, tout comme avec Andy Warhol, envers ses œuvres. J’ai des jours avec, des jours sans. Koons, c’est le genre d’artiste qui taquine mes mini moi. Justement, en parlant de miroirs, c’est comme ça que je me suis sentie…
Donc… à traduire sur Google « ... mirrors from the very beginning have played an essential role in almost all of JK’s work... Koons goes further than Duchamp, who so famously described the viewer as the essential completer of the work of art, by literally embedding the viewer in his works of art, and as a result plays with their memories of childhood... an insight conjured by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. »

PWR BTTM boys back on with I Wanna BoiI want a boy who doesn't like to go out shopping; I want a boy who thinks it's sexy when my lipstick bleeds; I want a boy who can go all night without stopping” while I leave the gallery on the left and to the right to Bourdon Place to encounter three bronze statues called Three Figures by sculptor Neal French. One of the statues is iconic swinging 60’s photographer Terence Donovan (who lived nearby) shooting model Twiggy while a shopper stood by observing. Be aware that the area is very quiet, tranquil, peaceful.
Turning right on Bourdon Street to continue my hunt of exhibitions, my next catch is just across the road on Davies Street @ Sadie Coles gallery. Years since I’ve seen a John Currin’s show and it’s on till 21 January 2017. It’s sexual, absurd and a celebration of young and old age...
John Currin @ Sadie Coles
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

Les garçons de PWR BTTM se retrouvent à nouveau sur mes oreilles avec cette fois I wanna boi alors que je quitte la galerie sur ma droite et gauche ensuite pour me retrouver sur Bourdon Place où trois statues de bronze appelées Three Figures ont été sculptées par Neal French. L’iconique photographe des swinging 60’s Terence Donovan prend quelques clichés de la supermodel Twiggy pendant qu’une passante observe la scène. L’endroit est très calme et paisible.

Three Figures by Neal French
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

En prenant à droite sur Bourdon Street, je continue ma chasse à l’expo, mon gibier à venir est juste en face sur la Davies Street @ la galerie Sadie Coles. Cela fait des années que je n’ai rien vu de John Currin dont le show se termine le 21 janvier 2017. C’est sexuel, absurde et c’est une célébration de la jeunesse et de la vieillesse…

Oil on canvas
©John Currin

My girl gets scared; Can't take him anywhere; Every time he goes outside; He runs his mouth then he runs and hides; All day and night; Ugly cherries bonified...” Album title track Ugly Cherries is whispering nonchalantly as I go right and turn right onto Mount Street. (You’ll be quicker to leave the gallery left and turn left onto Mount Row... My A to Z is quite small and my next location was just in between p66 and p67).
So, Mount Street is like New Bond Street but a lot shyer: luxury boutiques without the bling! I’m off to Carlos Place for the ‘anti-glamour’ photographer Herb Ritts’s Super @ Hamiltons Gallery. The exhibition is of rare vintage gelatine silver prints of supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Claudia Schiffer and a few more... making the models Super as he was also known for. Ritts was famous for working outdoors and using the natural afternoon Los Angeles light and the elements surrounding him and his models: sand, beach, desert or the sky were his backdrops. Just like David Hockney has been doing for a few moons now. What’s admirable in the photos is not only his use of light, but its shadows as well as shapes and composition. He is one of the three photographers whose pictures Elton John started to collect. Los Angeles’s gallery owner David Fahey says of Herb Ritts: “Edward Weston’s sleek modernist forms, Man Ray’s experimental photographs... and the suggestive sensuality in Horst. P. Horst’s nudes... Herb’s photographs... were inspired by a subtle blending of the best qualities of the photographers he admired... his own vision was undeniably unique and authentic.” You have until 27 January to make your absolute way to there.

 Mount Street
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission
 Xmas tree in Carlos Place
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission
Mount Street Garden on Carlos Place
© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

My girl gets scared; Can't take him anywhere; Every time he goes outside; He runs his mouth then he runs and hides; All day and night; Ugly cherries bonified...susurre nonchalamment son quatrième titre de l’album du même nom Ugly Cherries alors que je prends à droite puis à droite sur la Mount Street. (Vous irez plus vite en faisant gauche gauche et hop sur la Mount Row… mon plan A to Z est plutôt petit et ma location chevauche les pages 66 et 67).
Donc, Mount Street… c’est l’équivalent de la New Bond Street en plus timide : des boutiques de luxe soit mais le bling en moins, le calme en plus. C’est à Carlos Place que je me dirige aussi nonchalamment que la musique pour admirer le photographe anti-glamour Herb Ritts. L’expo s’intitule Super et se trouve à la galerie Hamiltons où les supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Claudia Schiffer partagent ces tirages vintage rares. Ritts était connu pour faire des models des supermodels, mais surtout pour travailler avec la lumière d’après-midi que lui offrait Los Angeles. Il se servait de la mer, du sable, du ciel ou du désert comme toile de fond, comme le fait David Hockney depuis des centaines de pleine lune. Ces clichés de mode ne sont pas uniquement admirables pour leur lumière mais aussi pour leurs formes, leurs ombres, leurs compositions. Herb est d’ailleurs l’un des trois photographes dont Elton John a commencé de collectionner les images.

Le galeriste de Los Angeles David Fahey dit à propos du photographe : « les formes modernes et luisantes de Edward Weston, les photos expérimentales de Man Ray, la sensualité suggestive des nus de Horst. P. Horst ont grandement inspiré Ritts. Il a su tirer le meilleur de ceux qu’il admirait… mais sa vision était indéniablement unique et authentique. » Vous avez jusqu’au 27 janvier 2017 pour cheminer absolument à Mayfair.

Photo taken from web: Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford
Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Tatjana Patitz
© Herb Ritts – Hollywood, 1989

Next destination: Berners Street in Fitzrovia for Teller on Mapplethorpe @ Alison Jacques Gallery. Beware, this exhibition closes 7 January 2017 and is closed over the Christmas period. Like all these galleries, they will re-open on 3 or 4 Jan. Check their websites. [Beware, images might not suitable for kids.]
Getting the 73 bus on Oxford Street towards Stoke Newington and stopping at Great Titchfield Street stop on Oxford St (stop OJ). I had to skip Serving Goffman from my new fav lads, too... not enough... just didn’t get the tune. NU1 is about being young but feeling old, just got that one, and the next running West Texas, about when you leave a place to forget it all but wherever you go, you bring its past with it. No delete button when you land somewhere...
So, here is the gallery, well yeah I replayed the music, impossible to play two tracks lasting about 3mns each on a 20 mins journey. Jurgen Teller on Robert Mapplethorpe. Before seeing the exhibition, I was intrigued on how Teller would curate the exhibition. It’s obvious from his previous exhibitions that one can find similarities in both photographers as they have been successful in the art and commercial world while keeping an edge of confrontational nature in the two fields.
Teller’s choice of 48 rarely seen images of Mapplethorpe’s work is a mind game. Some chosen images communicate with one another and trigger subliminal visions of eroticism. Puerto Rico is like a human representation of sex and yet no flesh around... Cocks, cheeks, coco-nut balls fill the room, but what’s unusual are Mapplethorpe “use” of animals or intimate (at a distance though) of a naked Patti Smith as opposed to Susan Sarandon’s daughter all in flesh.

Robert Mapplethorpe
Coconuts, 1985
Silver gelatin print

Destination suivante: Berners Street à Fitzrovia pour Teller on Mapplethorpe @ Alison Jacques Gallery. Attention, cette expo se termine le 7 janvier 2017, et la galerie ne rouvre que le 3 janvier (comme les autres, ou le 4). Et puis aussi, il y a du nu et du re-nu !
Je prends le bus 73 de Oxford Street en direction de Stoke Newington et descends à l’arrêt OJ/Titchfield Street, plus loin dans la Oxford Street. J’ai zappé Serving Goffman de mon nouveau groupe préféré, trop ou pas assez... Je n’ai pas capté la mélodie. NU1 est un questionnement sur le fait d’être jeune mais de se sentir vieux quant à la suivante West Texas, elle parle de partir ailleurs pour oublier, mais atterrir ailleurs ne vient pas avec une touche de clavier « effacer ».
Juergen Teller à propos de Robert Mapplethorpe. Avant de voir l’expo, j’étais intriguée de savoir comment Teller allait accoucher de l’expo. Les références entre les deux photographes sont certes assez évidentes puisque les deux ont eu du succès dans le monde de l’art et de la mode et ont su préserver leurs aspects de confrontation sur les deux terrains.

Teller a déterré 48 photos des archives de Mapplethorpe dont la plupart sont inédites et il s’opère un jeu de « séduction » entre les photos elle mêmes, une façon de communiquer plutôt subliminale, notamment sur les visions érotiques. Puerto Rico par exemple est sans chair et pourtant c’est du sexe qu’on voit… Des couilles, des fesses, des trous de balle, des bites en érection, y’a ! Mais il y a aussi le côté moins connu du photographe, ex ami de Patti Smith que l’on voit d’ailleurs dans un moment privé ; des photos d’animaux et même la fille de Susan Sarandon en tenue d’Eve.

Leaving Teller On Mapplethorpe on left, crossing Oxford Street and going all the way down to Wardour Street (I do mean going down here... like time for an orgasm), a left turning onto Lisle Street and right onto Leicester Place to the Church of Notre Dame de France. Why there? Because Cocteau. Jean Cocteau. His fresco.

 © Sybille Castelain – no use without permission
 © Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

There was a mass going on, so I sat at the back. Some homeless people sat there sleeping while others were praying and listening to the priest. I burnt a candle to keep warm and gave a pound. Not much but I don’t have much. I love churches. I don’t pray, but I love them. After taking some pictures, I left... finding another mass on Leicester Sq. High preaching competition...

Quittant Teller On Mapplethorpe sur la gauche, traversant la Oxford Street pour redescendre la Wardour Street (vraiment descendre le temps d’un orgasme), puis tourner à gauche sur Lisle Street et à droite sur la Leicester Place pour l’Eglise de notre Dame de France. Pourquoi là-bas ? Parce que Cocteau. Jean Cocteau. Sa fresque.
Une messe avait lieu, alors je me suis assise à l’arrière, derrière quelques SDF venus se réchauffer et dormir un peu. J’ai allumé un cierge et donné une livre sterling pour contribuer un peu. Après avoir pris quelques photos, je suis sortie, à gauche et là, une autre grande messe se déroulait, celle de la concurrence…

© Sybille Castelain – no use without permission

PWR BTTM following-up on another post. As for the rest of the year, I must go on a DVD binge watching mode : Sergei Paradjanov’s The Colour Of Pomegranates (seen this poetic trip on Youtube but need an xtra shot); Mia Hansen-Love’s Things to Come; Early Cinema – Primitives & Pioneers; Abel Ferrara’s Welcome to New York; Bouli Lanner’s Ultranova; Joachim Lafosse’s Private Property; Straight Outta Compton.
And Re-watch absolutely Sebatian Schipper’s Victoria; the excellentissimo Joel Schumacher’s Flawless (I mean PS Hoffman is delicious, credible, intense); two mighty Wes Anderson: The Darjeling Limited and The Grand Budapest; last but not least the grandiose Andrew Kotting's Gallivant.

That’s it Folks! Trekking II is here

Sybille Castelain

Thursday, 22 December 2016

[CABARET] Le Gateau Chocolat: ICONS @ Soho Theatre till 7 January 2017

Pre-scriptum: Les Inrocks, stay away from my blog!

One of the things I have been missing for many moons is talking performances. Not by choice, but out of lack of hearing properly. Like ways of seeing, I am re-adjusting to the ways of hearing... feeling the vibe, feeling the artist.

Last night, I almost couldn’t stop laughing for an hour and then had to laugh discreetly on my 55 bus home (a bit embarrassing when the bus is full and you jump on your seat).
It’s all Nigerian-born London bred and based George Ikediashi’s fault! Better known as Gateau Chocolat. The pretty man could have been a man of law after graduating, but he had a better plan: an operatic vocal chord, a love for dressing-up and a will to be on stage...

... High heels, black tights (complete with a hole) and a large hat revealing blue eye shadows and a beard, singing Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, alternative cabaret superstar made his entrée through the audience.
His stage might have been his little chambrette d’adolescent where his wall is covered with icons vignettes: Grace Jones, Flashdance, Michael Jackson, Cindy Lauper, David Bowie, Tina Turner, The Goonies, Bonnie Tyler and so on.

You are guessing it... Gateau Chocolat, through his personal story, takes us on an 80’s trip revisiting his intimate and exaggerated moves when performing his iconic acts. The must is Tina Turner fronting a large fan and some smoke. No moquerie intended though, only (I guess) a re-enacting of his teenage years dreaming to become a pop star. Trouble is... one of his musicians is trying to steal the vedette... Not for long, the wig is stolen back! Sweet dreams are made of this, simple and honest. Let’s Dance as he catwalks away... seducing some men en route to backstage.

Gateau Chocolat is a delight à croquer with tenderness and what an end to finish this... year! Joyeux Noel Misster. 

Sybille Castelain

Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons is at The Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE. 12th December – 7th January, 7:30pm, one hour show - More info: