Posts by Tymon Smith

Pieter Hugo: Flat Noodle Soup Talk

Thus are we drawn into Hugo’s distinctive, contemplative and quietly human series of photos which combine still-life, group shots, portraits and a few nudes to thread a complex journey through the cracks that have been thrown up between China’s history and its rapid embrace of modernity.

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The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

Director Carol Reed will always be remembered for The Third Man but his portentous and slow and very sexless, sanitized version of this particular chapter in the life of an artist who continues to inspire awe and amazement in those bitten with the artistic bug is not his finest moment. Props though to the art department who, not permitted to film the actual Sistine ceiling, recreated it on a sound stage at the Cinecitta studios.

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Art Films: An Introduction

Staid, socially functional, artists are of no use to filmmakers – you’re far more likely to see a Wayne Barker biopic than you might a film about William Kentridge any time soon. Dionysian impulses and antisocial behaviour are what will get your artistic biography the seventh art treatment – audiences want to see you drinking yourself into a stupor at 11am surrounded by empty wine bottles and unpaid rent bills rather than calmly sipping tea in Constantia contemplating your next still life with cosmos.

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While Ballen’s attention to the composition of the photos is typically exact and while the departure into abstraction has created unique images that will become quickly part of his distinctive oeuvre, it’s difficult to appreciate them in the same way as his previous work.

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O, Brother Where Art Thou?

With spring seemingly arriving and the smoke and shouts of student protests apparently fizzling out, it was time last Saturday to take a saunter down to the Goodman Gallery for an opening.

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Santu Mofokeng: Stories 2, 3 and 4

Curated by Joshua Chuang in collaboration with the photographer Steidl’s stories series presents images from Santu Mofokeng’s archives which compliment already published and exhibited work.

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