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Friday, 11 September 2015

Truths imparted seem more profound with every year

In the Guardian this week Jonathan Jones wrote about Bill Viola's forthcoming exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 10 October 2015 – 10 April 2016:

'A chapel that stands among the rolling landscapes of Yorkshire Sculpture Park provides a perfect setting for part of this retrospective of the pioneering video artist. Viola is daring and unusual among contemporary artists in the forthright way he engages with religion. The spiritual art of the past echoes in his work – martyrs, triptychs, meditation, all that sacred jazz. But it is not (necessarily) an art of belief. Rather, this Californian artist is fascinated by the loneliness and insight of the saint and the mystic, by the varieties of religious experience. Out of this real emotional quest he has arguably created the most serious and worthwhile work ever done in the name of video art.'

Adrian Searle wrote about Sanctum by Theaster Gates which will be at Temple Church, Bristol, from 29 October – 21 November:

'For 24 days, the medieval ruins of Bristol’s Temple Church, bombed in 1940, are going to come alive with the voices and sounds, beats and songs of the city. Theaster Gates’ first public project in the UK follows his extraordinary interventions in his Chicago hometown and in a destroyed Huguenot house in Kassel. Gates wants the church ruins to resonate with sound, round the clock, for 576 hours. Gates’ public projects are sites for protest and celebration, and have a therapeutic, spiritual core. Above all, they’ve got soul. An unmissable treat.'

Peter Paphides wrote:

'Time has a crude way of separating the good songs from the bad songs. The bad songs don’t grow or change. They harden in the light and remain exactly as they were when you first encountered them. The music you keep coming back to, though, isn’t like that. It does all the things that living things do. It grows and assumes new shapes with time. The truths it imparts seem more profound with every year, be it what Martha and The Vandellas’ Heatwave has to say about love or the anguished questing of U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Some songs connect straight away. Others are gifts from writers to their future selves. These days, when Yusuf Islam – formerly Cat Stevens – sings Father & Son, he does so “from the point of view of someone who has still a lot to learn from their children”.

When Fleetwood Mac perform Silver Springs now, it takes on the form of both a karmic pasting issued by Stevie Nicks to Lindsey Buckingham and an apology from the band who elected, against her wishes, to omit it from the album Rumours. It’s hard not to feel like an intruder when you see Nicks eyeball her ex-lover and sing: “You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loved you.” The best songs transcend the limitations of their authors and display a wisdom often lost on the people who created them. I fear we’ve lost the Morrissey who once sang, “It takes guts to be gentle and kind”, but we still have the bands who hardwired the humanity of his early songs into their outlook: bands such as British Sea Power, whose Waving Flags exhorts new émigrés from eastern Europe to “welcome in/From across the Vistula/You’ve come so very far”.'


U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

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