miercuri, 31 martie 2010

About: Essays, Ron Athey's Lecture (a review) and The Live Art Development Agency (a guide)

Essay period is approaching my friends (well, I don't know if want to call any of you people my friends), and while some of us have a natural talent to write original First-Level essays two months before the deadline (yes, I'm talking to you Chris Moore), the rest try our best something to give our essays that extra little spice. And that isn't really easy, especially considering that while on other courses modules are made mandatory if they are essential to all students, in Drama they just choose the ones which sound like no student will willingly take it, if given the choice. And thus I found myself waking up at 6:30 am on Monday so I can make it to the London based Live Art Development Agency's Study Room by 10:30. You ca book sessions from 10:30 to 13:30 or from 14:30 to 18:30, or all day (it's all a bit confusing), and considering that Monday they only had a free spot at from 10:30 to 13:30, I had to take that one and another full on Tuesday. Oh, a tip, their website says you can book by e-mailing them, completely useless, I sent three e-mails, they were all ignored; call them.

After nearly having missed the coach I got into London at 9:45 and I boarded the Northern Line, going towards Old Street Station. I had noted down the name of the streets I had to take, finding those streets on the other hand was a tad more difficult, mainly because all the people I asked had different opinions on where those streets might be. But here you have the easiest way:

-Get off at Old Street, and take Exit 3
-Go straight ahead and then right on to Great Eastern Street
-At the Rivington House go left on to Rivington Street
-Keep going ahead until you reach Shoreditch High Street, go left and immediatly right on to Calvert Avenue
-When you reach Arnold Circus turn left and go around the circus until you pass Rochelle Street
-There is a wooden door on top of it says "BOYS", there is an intercom, you have reached your destination.

The Study Room itself was alright. The staff was friendly and helpful, everything was explained. The room isn't very big, quite small actually, but it has loads of resources on everything in the live art domain (check the online catalog), books, articles, vhs, dvds etc. They have a Mac and two TVs with VHS/DVD players. It is a great resource.
On the first day I was by myself, on the second one there were to more people, but it didn't feel crowded.

I got off at Stepney Green Station at 18:15, the lecture was supposed to start at 18:30. I rushed towards Queen Mary College, and I got there pretty soon, just that it was the Engineering department, and none of the students there knew anything about any Arts Building. Ignorant fools (not that I have any idea in which building graphic design is thought at ARU). When I got to the building I still wasn't sure if this was the right place, but soon enough the mass of tattooed and heavily pierced faces contrasting the smart clothing gave me a hunch I am not to far from my target. I looked around for any familiar faces, none! (shame on you Drama students). Well there was one face I knew, for who could forget that ugly face, with the metal teeth sticking out, that fat stubby body, the bold tattoed head? Yes Franko himself...I'm sorry, I'm should use the proper name, B. himself...wait that's not right either. You know whom I mean, Franko B.

Soon enough Gianna and Kerstin came in with a rush, I waved but they walked right passed me, either not noticing or even worse completely ignoring me. I went up to them anyway, and was swiftly informed of their misadventures on the way down here. No room for more talk though, the lecture was starting.

I was shocked (which, I presume, is expected from a Ron Athey lecture, just that I was shocked for all the wrong reasons). The man who came on stage after the name Ron Athey was announced and applauded was nothing like I imagined. A slim man with a goatee, an elegant manner, a soft friendly voice; a very likeable character....hell, if it wasn't for the tattoos, the many many tattoos, he would make some conservative elderly couple's Perfect Neighbor List. My mind could not connect the man in front of the screen with the man on the screen who was shoving dildos up his ass.

The lecture consisted mainly of screening of some of his material and reading of some writings. There were jokes, gore, sex and everything you would expect from such an event. Yet I fear I have not learned anything new.

After the lecture, without a word of departure Kerstin and Gianna vanished into thin air, so I drank some of the free wine which was offered, but lingered not much longer. There was a friend waiting for me on the other end of the District Line and more drinking was to commence.

Conclusion: Ron Athey lecture, funny and interesting yet not particularly useful. Live Art Agency, a useful even if well hidden essay resource.

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