Art & Oil: guest review of ‘The Oil Show’ in Dortmund

The Oil Show art exhibition at the Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, Germany, is a group show about oil and its deeply rooted influence in economy and society. This major exhibition, on til 18th March 2012, states “We have reached Peak Oil – the maximum capacity of global crude oil extraction and production. After Peak Oil, the...

A Sense of Denial – C Words commisioned poem by Dorothea Smartt

Dorothea Smartt (African Writers Abroad) joined the C Words closing Party and Benefit for the Canadian Indigenous Tar Sands Campaigners live via Skype. She performed her specially commisioned poem, A Sense of Denial, together with several other poems written specifically to the C Words season and inspired by the issues raised. A Sense of Denial Denial looks black, panelled,...

Full Circle – C Words commisioned poem by Simon Murray

Two poets from African Writers Abroad were commssioned to respond to the C Words season. To craft the poem below, Simon Murray (Sai MuRai) borrows the title of Dorothea Smartt’s poetry workshop “Full Circle” and draws upon some of the many words, phrases and themes that arose throughout the C Words season. The poem was performed live...

The Last Weekend

We had a barnstorming weekend. Really very good, and although a bit by the seat of our pants, we more than got away with it. Very good spirit among everyone. ‘C Words: where are we going?’ worked pretty well. Difficult to really reflect and evaluate when it’s all still so recent, but the discussions were...

Prepare the Agitpod

On 1st December PLATFORM’s Agitpod mobile cinema will set off on it’s return journey from Bristol to London, why not join us? The Agitpod has been projecting in gallery three at Arnolfini since C Words opened in October and the unique machine has been much admired, but it is on the open road that this...

Finding space to critique C Words

As one of five C Words Co-Realizers one of my jobs is to reflect on the events which take place in the gallery. Yet, within the walls of Arnolfini I find it hard to find intellectual space or critical distance from the work. Fortunately, I shan’t be based in Bristol for the whole of our two month run of events. Each...

Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O – The Writings on the Walls #6

Dorothea Smartt, one of the two commissioned poets from African Writers Abroad, today releases a beautiful, inspiring poem created out of the 7th November creative writing workshop: Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O (see below). The ink is still wet but Dorothea’s willingness to share this piece is testament to the amazing Creativity, Connections & Co-creations that...

Challenging Climate Racism

Under the capitalist system, in order that England may live in comparative comfort, a hundred million Indians must live on the verge of starvation – an evil state of affairs, but you acquiesce in it every time you step into a taxi or eat a plate of strawberries and cream. The alternative is to throw...

Imagination Feeds on Disobedience

Together with other PLATFORM collaborators I have been spending time in the gallery, talking with visitors about their responses to the C Words exhibition. Today, one such conversation elicited a comment which has stayed with me all day: “It’s interesting – but its not art is it.” “Why do you say that?” James responded. “Because...

The Journey Home

Today PLATFORM opened a discussion on what happens after 29th November, when the C Words season at Arnolfini comes to an end. Since before PLATFORM arrived in Bristol those of us involved at the hub of the C Words melee have been meeting weekly to discuss the enormous logistics of the project: two months and...

Roaming Around the Lesser Debris of History

Today I sat, I took time watch Ursula Biemann’s film Black Sea Files. The film is showing as a video installation in gallery five at Arnolfini until Sunday 8th November. The film explores the lives of oil affected communities, from Baku in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, tracing the route of BP’s...

The Responsibility of the Artist

For many people the C Words season raises questions about the responsibility of artists and creative practitioners in the context of the social and environmental challenges which our society faces. Last week’s Embedded conference sought – in part – to explore this issue. For some – Art sits outside a frame of responsibility – Art might be seen as...