I


The reverent slept on the sloping ceiling

And never woke up

A toe pokes its way up to his nostril

As he picks the nose with a fingernail

His mother had always hated this habit

But since her passing

He could do as he pleased

But as much as the need to do this activity when she was alive

This action now lost its appeal

 

He recollected all the times he wished he could smoke around her

And then wish they would go

So he could smoke

 

Cough

He choked

On his own thoughts

Thinking of this mother and the need to feel like a son

The sensitive ones

 

You see, his brother was from Memphis

He had lived all his life in Sweden

That is a place in Europe

He spoke with the kind of voice that made nostrils flair

And laughter

Lead to despair

 

Its on the fourth floor

He headed to the top

He loved the chipped paint

Rough

Steps

That trudged against his ugly yet practical shoes

His hair was dirty

But so was the stairwell

So what was the difference in showering

When his environment was so dirty

 

But I love you

He moanilly asked

With eyes that whimpered with every breath

Why are you such a sad bowl

I'm gonna call you sad salad

You know, I never see you smile

He thought about this for a while

As his infatuation teared his heart apart but also his own life

But she was right

Of course she was

 

He was a sad, wet blanket

It was always too cold

And there was never enough tea

 

He even found ways to complain about slow walkers in town

His face rose to a frown

As the puddles race to splash between the boot bases of passers by

Splat

Water ripples upwards

Her face looked down

And he avoided her quite stealthily

You see, he thought, this city is dividing me

I feel like my old life is redesigned into a fragmented memory

And my brain is not the same

 

He thought about this for a while

Took a smoke that he had pre-rolled

In Sweden they called them rollies

But he knew no one cared in this city

His brother had four legs

That was kinda awquard for him

He began to think to himself

 

Silent

And the silence scurries around the room for answers

Something to pose to the question posed by hours staring

Blankly at a wall

 

His body was tired and failed to mention to him that his only desire

Was to have a girlfriend hold his hand

He realised how needy this made him

And this was okay

Who was to worry about that now

Have you felt how cold it is outside?

Thank god I was given those thermals, he began to think

The mood he got in and the fight with the old German lady

Who had fired him because he used a towel to dust the bookshelf

He looked sheepishly up at her

As if she was his mum

He never really felt like an adult either

But he was doing adult things

These were things that he did, but not very well

The tv license document pended in his head

But he just smoked weed

Instead

 

Nothing was planned and nothing had started

His friend confessed he had farted

When he spat the tea from his mouth and danced around

Truth in douse

His last room mate had told him there was a mouse in the kitchen

He just laughed

And wanted to meet him

Maybe the mouse would sit on his shoulder as he slept

But it would most likely shit

And eat through the internet cable

 

Your such a sad salad, he thought

Why don’t you just stop feeling sorry for yourself?

 

He put on his shoes

He had discovered a new way of taking them on and off

This avoided any awquard moments with customers and previous tenants

Why cant I wear my shoes inside?

Have you seen the mud out there?

That’s your reason why

He gently muttered to himself

 

He dreamed of stand up comedy

And being weird in front of people

Because last night terrified him

Go to hell

That’s never really been told to him

 

He was scared of how she explained his life

As if she knew the next thing he was going to do

It was all predetermined

He decided to believe

He could see that his body wanted to leave

And his mind wanted to stay

He hugged her

And her frame sprang up

She was special he thought, but in the way of appreciation not lust

In terms of romance

He was not so fussed

 

For his mind controlled him and stopped him from living normally

He was forever to be alone

Because he had a higher being telling him that he was meant to be somebody

And do something with his existence

When it came to regular life

He failed to blend in

He failed to care

That they were paying him 1,200 pounds per month

And proceeded to complain about the affair that the boss had with the accountant

He saw them make out once

And when he ran past the office

On his night runs

The lights were still on

 

He knew it was going on

And he knew that his father had cheated

His existence there retreated

He felt defeated

But gained strength through the need to survive

His mental stability was at a green level

Wobbling like a large man trying to balance the tv remote on his knee

His thoughts went back to the moment he was surrounded by free biscuits

Sat in his boxers

Walking to the fridge

And back

 

he looked at the computer screen

four in the morning

his brain released a press release
as follows -

An angry fist crushes the hopes of dwindling bones that wander through the night
They look for a light in the corner of a gutter as they aspire for an hour to rest their eyes before work resumes
Before their lives are consumed by money
Corruption is evident in this town
Corruption can be see in every corner of the globe
As the water, dew drops off an ear lobe
The news hits home

It feels different than before
When my grandma died I felt like I could handle it
I can handle it this time
But when my grandad died my world crumbled
And she she met him in the invisible land, all I felt was happiness

Today is different but I am determined
I did not cry
But cleaned a toilet which had the American flag on
Spoke to and cleaned the house of a lady who wanted to be an American
But she was German

Fumbled some German to her mother
Trump she understood
For all the things we can feel
We cannot change the present situation
But like the progress made by Bernie
Someone I aspire to be as strong as
With determined eyes
For a prize of freedom and love
I refuse to put on the right glove
I intend to walk the wrong way on sidewalks
I intend to wear the wrong clothes
I will paint my nails
And I will stand there when people look at me with disgust
And that is what we all must do

Stand in front of the confrontational
Fighting for a traditional idea of living
For we are the freedom fighters and every day we fight
Not with our actions
Not with our angry words typed onto internet servers
We fight with our spirit

Our spirit can set alight the devastation that we witness everyday
When we open our doors there are people who hurt us
But there are people who love us
So do not lie under your bed
Hope the next four years away
Because tomorrow
You’ll see
Is another day

Another day to say
That we wont live that way
That we care more than we hate
And we don’t contemplate
That the Simpsons predicted hate
For I knew this would happen
The world is obscene
But this doesn’t stop me
Pushing my dream

Not of personal development
I can do that myself
But a better world for all
That’s not ridiculous
At all

 

II
Michael Krieger


 

His favorite customer had just cancelled

What a blessing

What a curse

He might not make it to that house to clean it

He dreamed his laptop awake

And for a moment it threatened to die

He felt as though he was holding its existence

Up with tape

 

It was raining outside

He felt odd

But could smell green

It hit his brain and made him a little dizzy

Last night he stayed up late

And he could feel it

 

You see the thing about Michael Krieger

Is that he knows how to treat a cleaner

He knows how a cleaner feels

Watched

Abandoned

Told that they are doing it wrong

And working with a dirt canvas with not enough time

His cleaning supplies are stacked up

With replacements in the back

He even knew to duck a little bit when he entered the small, tiny, cupboard

He had hit his head really hard

This hurt him a lot

Emotionally

 

There was a period of time when he didn’t clean the taps enough

And the cleaning supply danced on the surface

He had been cocky and did his house in 1 hour 17

The next week he did it in 1 hour 30

And focused on the taps

When he was going to be fired from Michael he got upset

In his life he had no real consistency

And something he could know he did every week

And he did it well

And he paid him

And for him the metaphor of Michael was more important than his 22 euros

He was a chance to recover



II
Sex club


his legs were trapped with silk based fibres

his mind was anxious because he had just walked into a room
where people were masturbating without release

people were dancing as nipples flew and everyone seemed to be free

he was invisible when he usually is visible

he was conservative in this instance

I want a latex and or PVC skirt, he thought

as he saw the material cling to the thighs of a girl walking past

There was a target set

he looked at it

and discovered it might be possible

HEY, so im trying to convince my boyfriend for us to have a threesome tonight
but hes really high
and were married
and we've never done anything like this before
He said he would only do it if its with another woman

say you'll only do it if its with another man, he replied
it works two ways, he added
of course it does

she looked into his eyes as if they had always known eachother

his legs bunched up on the sofa as he felt cute but not desirable
he never felt desirable, unless he was wearing his yellow hat
at the gallery



III
a belief system

 

I don't believe you

he wondered
when he was told that he had a special ora

I believe you
he thought

when he was told he was special

he always knew this

this self realisation allowed him to do things that no one else was doing

he outgrew inspiration

he outgrew organisations

and navigated his way through the side of all of this

he was alone

you always will be, she said

you will need to complete your metamorphis

one, two, three, four, five, six
one, two, three, four, five, six
one, two, three, four, five, six
seven

this made him sad

but this made him realise his own loneliness was not his fault

but the blessing he was born with

the ability to help

he had a job to do

as the five year old said

the world is falling

and I will gather the pieces

six thirty in the morning

he rises

his mind does not want to leave

the house was so far away

he didn't want to go

and he knew he wouldn't

he knew he would never get to that house

it was only 22 euros

two FREE hours of working

was not something he was willing

two euros failed to register

as his anxiety rose from the shadows

and he verbally spat his hatred out to all the machines

forgetting he had a card


IIII
your vision doesn't work



his eyes failed to open
his eyes failed to develop vision

he was walking and his mind was crashing

for three months
three months

he had not slept earlier than twelve

his body hated him

his vessel was weak

the weakest

but his spirit was strong

I am a man of god

following the pink church

the big pink church

here, he said, I'll show you a picture

its not as impressive as the picture suggests

he replied, they must have used a 10mm lens to make that impression

he was an athiest

his belief was religion

he preferred a belief system

Christianity is too regimented, he implied

your not so different

you and I

he thought back to his friends who were anti religion

and how he would look disapprovingly at preachers in the street

telling people, that they were going to go to hell

hell doesn't exist

he excalimed

he'll have to find out

I guess


 

i was on the train

and i was about to get on the train the house

but then i would have been late cause of the trains

so

i called them up and im doing that thursday instead

and she'll drive me

and then i was ready for the second appointment at 12

and she cancelled me

so what was going to be a horrific day

is now

free

so imma do hot yoga

 

His eyes wandered in and out

thinking about what he could do today

he had to sort out health insurance

but he also needed to relax

and do yoga

he worried, if he could cross his legs or do any of the positions

what he if broke wind during

did he tie his hair back during yoga?
did he have to go buy yoga pants?


IIIII
ROMANCE


I love you more than life itself

and I must have you
this was what his mind said to every girl he ever met

you pearce my heart with your eyes and everytime you look at me

I am complete

I am free, but the darkness within me

leads me to leaving you
as you leave me

he loved wearing clothes that did not belong to him
he loved the idea that he could transform whenever he wanted

like a butterfly

he was caccooned

marooned

five in the morning

lead to six

and he managed to talk about it

there was a point, a moment when his feelings

just

poured right out of him

gushing away into the hard cold pebble

as he had to make his way to the supermarket

he had just ran into a wall

and recovered with a blue plaster on his face

he was to be put on the cheese counter

and this made him worry

a lady approaches him

HEY, I want a cheese that I can use for a dinner party
he had been eating a strawberry and cream cheese previous to her encounter

This ones really good, he replied

it was the cheapest cheese too, which was why he liked it

He once unpacked Roquefort cheese

and thought, if i was sick into this is would probably smell better

but like all the broken pies he cut with the sharp knife

he was not destined to advise cheese

he was only 17 at the time

but he performed at the highest level of customer service

but the worst record of finding items in the store

HEY, where are the figs?
He didn't know what they were

I'll go find them, he said, and he want to fetch some water
these customers were resourceful
and found someone else

he was good at things he knew how to do

if he had no interest in something he would not do it

he had no care for unimportant things

he cared for his ideas
his idol asked someone for five million for his ideas
maybe he should try the same

see, he was on an ultra light beam

radiating through the contamination of consumer culture
HEY
HEY

don't walk away from me
HEY
please buy this
the payment on my Yacht fell through last week and I need 4million in a week

last month I looked in my wallet to find 60 cent
and three euros in my bank account

He wondered and played around with feeling

dressed up in skirts

and wanted to be girly

flick his hair

and wear red lipstick

he loved the way the soft silk tights would create another layer that made him beautiful
you see it was his legs and law line that made him beautiful, as a girl
His top part was best considered covered with a baggy t shirt that indicated he was skinny

but his legs had a layer of fat that made them round but they were strong

he had cycled many miles
and ran many many many more

his knee hurt in the sex club

he had to stretch his leg out and when he looked down at his foot

the 10 inch high heel made him feel as though

he was loved

he walked around with no skirt on

and just small shorts

he was the tallest in there

yet the most invisible

you look really nice, he thought

hoping his thoughts could infrared over to the girl in the corner of the room
Maybe we could make out?

he looked over and she went
then she was making out with a girl
he was dressed like a girl
would she then be attracted to me?

he sat there

waiting for an opportunity to talk to someone so maybe he could just ask to hold their hand

he was so alone

without the girl layer on his body

he would have been even more alone

but his femininity kept him warm

it was self love that allowed him to be okay

with the permanent state of loneliness

even though, he surrounded by many

 

IIIIII
Donna, Kayleigh and Emily (Clare)


HEY clare bear, he said as he distracted himself from work

he was seven at the time when he first met Donna
tie me kangeroo down
MEEEEEH

She was wierd
but he liked her

she was older

she was my sisters age

he was ahead of his time

he felt as though she was beautiful, even at a young age he was intrigued about her
but he was a brother
and little brothers usually don't get a look in

i didn't even know what I was feeling

We sat in the kitchen, around the table
what jumper do you prefer?
I prefer the purple one
OHHH

really?
he went red

He had given away that he fancied the older sister of the girl he wanted to marry

we will live in kingsclear
and we will wear burgundy shirts
we will continue to hang around eachother

Then one day
he headed to their house in Chineham close
and he never saw them again
Tim was being a dick
once again
and didnt allow them to enter the house again
But it was so cold
I heard her ask

You must never talk to them again, they uttered

we moved to basingstoke soon after
And i remember being sad that I would never see my truest childhood friends again
We had grown up together
but adults got in the way

And now he realized that the time had passed
She now lived in London
got past her troubled spotty phase
removed that attitude and now
she was a london beauty

he was a berlin blunt intrument
Slamming away at the chipping block

Emily, now, had disappeared and the situation was never going to repeat itself
their marriage was held up in the ideas of the past
of a dreamer

held up in customs

waiting to be frisked

and allowed into the country

Clare

she was special, he wondered back to her spirit
she had the kind of ora around her that made her happy, but he knew she would make logical choices in life

there is a point where someone can be special and wierd forever

and a point where it goes

mine went

and came back

and now it lives through him and allows him to defy something

within himself

but her smile and tanned skin
straight hair

he can imagine his old self
as he was so free
but when teenage years came

he was occupied with a kind of plague
the plague of Callum and Josh's Payne

as he punched me in the chest when I tried to tackle him
He played for West Ham once
but now he plays for Cambridge
for all the promise he had
he had an attitude problem

"

Midfielder Josh Payne, however, is set for an imminent return from an ankle injury that has limited him to just seven appearance this season - the last back on September 10.

Head coach Dermot Drummy said: “Josh Payne was close to getting on the bench (on Saturday) and I will see how he figures for Tuesday.

"


He felt every year go by and he wanted to slow down time
but he knew he couldn't

thats impossible
 


Section nine
(appked romance)

I don’t even know you

She said

I cant connect with you

How can I?

She began to crush his heart with her dainty fingers

Feelings seeps between the fingers

And leave a shrivvelled ripe

Orange

 

I don’t have the words for you yet

He imagined it would be impossible to understand this sentiment

You will meet a nice girl

Not from here

She said to him as he reluctantly accepted the news

His heart set with desperation

Gasping for moments with her

To share the same breath in the cold winds of the welsh hills

 

Here, take this sketchpad

It was too big for his hands

Here

 

She left

 

Alone

Sinking into the ground

He was a lost child, lost in the supermarket

Sat there

Nothing

He had exhausted all his physical capabilities

His emotions lay there on the steps

As she walked away

Never to see her again

 

He loved her more than life itself

He lit up his life

And she was gone

 

How will I ever find you, again?

We will never see eachother

 

A girl looks up at him

Her eyes look down

As she is caught

In the moment

Of the act

Of the indescribable act of love making

He could never finish

 

Intimacy is hard

But it is a natural occurance

 

Shaun

He had headed to the station pub and we had little time to drink a beer

It was cheaper than here

They lived in a capsule of time where everything was shit

But they didn’t mind

Now that he thought of it

He was a child

He has started up what would then be a smoking habit

For god sakes

Delving into chocolate

Creamy

Like the caving dreams that replicate the internal maddness within

My heart aches

 

It is the heart pain

Said the doctor

What do you do for a living?


I want to sleep next to you, he thought

More than anything I want you to be with me always

 

But if you go

I will never judge

I want nothing but your weary bones

I want your spirited revelations

 

I want you

More than anything

He expalimed these gasps

 

Sausages, chips and beans please

That’s all I need, the child inside thought

 

This guy is such an idiot

He will never get there

Catch some rays

Soon

You’ll see another day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


///

The power of art in a room full of artists

 

Art is a powerful tool if it is used right. The audience justifies its existence and it needs to be witnessed to be heard. The art is made to cure the soul as it's main instigator. But what happens once it's created, shown and eventually digested. We feel full when we leave an exhibition, poetry night and we digest all the good fats that make us think. But we usually forget about it soon after. It comes up in our minds from time to time. But art is inherently selfish.

How do we escape this selfishness? I'm not sure. Once we digest it, it feels as though we have achieved something, but we have not. We need to act. We cannot go on as consumers without action.  We are part of the problem of art lobbyists posing as artists. I love art, I hear them say. But all this does is fade away. How can we make change, when we are surrounded by artists? The left talks to the left because it hates the right. Right talks to right because it thinks it's right. The same goes for artists. Work makes it's way onto walls and talks to other artists for inspiration to create new art. New art is made and the cycle continues, but how does art make change? We know how. Of course we do. We are artists. But what about other people who do not consume our sacred fruit. That we conjure up for personal gain. We need to remove the self from art. And by doing this we need to delve into ourselves for answers to our questions and then ask the same question to others. We need to communicate with people who don't think they want to consume art. We need to allow them in. The white gallery wall is a dead space because of its exclusion and it's audience perpetuates it's existence. Artists make art happen, continue and eventually end up talking to its self. We are preaching to the converted. It's like an out of touch politician who doesn't know how to relate to the people it wants votes from. It always scrapes by.

To consider the power of art we are left in a difficult situation, it's all we can do. But we need to communicate to more than just artists, otherwise the whole endeavor achieved nothing but self fulfillment. We need to move past self fulfillment and enter a space where everyone can make art, not just artists. Because art is made by people who do it, right? So then if people want to make art, then they are artists - by literary definition. To get art out of its circle of agreement we need to put it to the cold, blank stare of the passers by. The people who do not need art to survive. Whether or not they want it is yet to be confirmed, but making art a more welcoming space for people to make it, from any background will open up its infinite possibilities. We all know how great art is, but do they have the chance to, if they want to. We cannot ram it down people's throats, but we must be more welcoming to make art a space of thought for everyone, not just the privileged few. Art will evolve in ways it's not even ready for, let's call it creativity for now. 

 

///

 

The notion of freedom within society - we are not free

 

if you think about it, we put our money in the bank, then pay for things with numbers in our bank account, that is paid by our jobs, into our plastic cards, and we never really see money as an object, just a number. But if we didn't need banks, then there would be just cash that transfers around the city. banks cause financial crisis's by borrowing and lending too much, its pretty messed up that our money starts off as ours and then gets sent into this scary pool of numbers. so when the banks go, where does our money go? something that makes society sound so ridiculous and money has become more important than human living. if we walk around the underground, the U bahn, we see adverts, all we see, do we stare at a wall, or do we stare at an advert, ok, stop looking at the advert, we look at our phones, our phones also hold information to sell to us, and our information and wants and desires are a currency. a currency for profit, for large corporations to keep us down and them wealthy.

and then i looked at a poster for a gig, and i saw creativity, and i felt sorry for all of us, because that was the only thing that didn't feel like it was looking to get us / me / you. creativity is the gift that keeps on giving, it sparks thoughts, feelings and all sorts of positive beliefs.

living in a society is a very strange idea, where everything is accounted for, i first registered, then i get a tax ID so i can work then i need an IBAN etc to get paid virtual money, with a job that takes my time away, time i could be living, but when we don't have a job, we cannot survive, so we can't live, because society is set up for us to work in the system or not.

if we fall out the system, like so many people in the world, we are left on the street like a used can, crushed and thrown in the corner, for people to either look past you or give you small change, maybe enough to eat something, maybe enough to survive. it is only when you need to set these things up again, we realise that this is all so morally wrong. when we have politicians working with highly swayed media to advertise to us, the little people, because we are the people who decide on where the country goes, from three options, but these options are not always good. what a shame it is, after all the horrific happenings we have seen, all the cheating and tax avoidance, brutal murders linking to nationalism, that the world is closing up its borders, instead of lovingly welcoming people, people who are fleeing from their countries.

a conclusion i can come to from this is that people have been so desensitized by society and living within its boundaries, that we do not want to help others, but that seems unfair, but that can be the only explanation for the whole world.

we are told we have all this freedom, but we don't. we just have four options, red, left, blue, right, green, left, purple, fascist. the same model applies in different variants worldwide.

we are not free.

we are forever to live in society if we want to survive, but society is there to trap us to keep us buying, pointless things that are sold to us on our devices, our phones, to apply for jobs we need the internet, if we don't have it we cannot apply, unless its the 1 in 50 that takes paper applications.

if we don't have access to the internet we do not have the chance to have much within the boundaries of living, and so, i feel as though, there is no way out of this trap we are in.

and in setting up all of this in a new city, i feel as though we are all stuck unless we free ourselves. but how?

 

///

 

Kanyes clothing
Are people following it because it's Kanye
Do we have our own style if we wear the clothes made by others
Can we feel like we own our own body image or style if we wear an idea and product of someone else's imagination
How about we make our own reactions to how we feel to create a new form of fashion
Our own clothes
Designed for ourselves
Or delving into different ways of expressing yourself with style
Is there a way of having this
Or are we so obsessed with consumption and the need to rely on someone else to dress us in the morning
A Kanye shirt costs $140
I wanted one
But I felt strange paying so much for a t shirt with his ideas and notably his mother 'Donda'
How wierd would that be

 

///

 

From the series, Understanding, 2012

From the series, Understanding, 2012

Today we present, Aleczander Norton, a photographer, Illustrator and writer. Through the three mediums he has begun a journey into self-discovery, liberation and our place in the world. Although he is on the early stages of his development, he seems as though he is picking up a sense of urgency and it can be felt in his new, homemade, works.


Hi Aleczander

Hello

Firstly how have you been? That seems important in your practice.

I’m exhausted. I would say. The past two months have been really exhausting but rewarding. I have made my way out of a lot of ideas I used to hold closely, and I threw them away and I’ve started from scratch. Apart from that, I’m feeling pretty good.

What kind of things did you discover in these two months?

I learnt to let go. I learnt to stop worrying and I stopped thinking and just did. It was grinding me down always thinking to myself I was not able to do things. That felt really restricting and really daft. It got me thinking about what I can do, with my current resources and my situation. It feels more like grafting and removes a glamorous edge to your life, but it’s liberating.

 

I can imagine. How does your work now feel? How are you making work now?

I would say it is open now. There is no limit to what I can use. I found myself wanting to do performance based work, which felt like a natural step once I confessed that I dressed up, from an early age. It seemed right to get this out in the open and have people discuss the subject, finally, after many situations people are in leading to sadness.

What did you confess? How did you do it?

 I told people individually, overtime, but I also made steps to tell people in bulk. I have dressed up in Women's clothes for many years but never showed it. I never told people about it. It was a secret. But I decided one day, that I knew what it was and how to manage it. Life seems to make sense now. It’s a good feeling. I told people on Facebook and the response was overwhelmingly great. That made me realise that there's nothing stopping your dreams, no matter how farfetched they seem. I have recently just performed in Brighton before I moved. It was a show called Zie and seems to have gone down well with the people I was hanging out with when they came down.

You mentioned you were a photographer first. How has your practice changed since this realisation?

I did an article called ‘Goodbye Photography’, (no reference to Moriyama’s book), but it was a statement that felt right at the time. This was before I had exposed the secret of dressing up, many months before. I decided to leave the photography world after a rocky stint trying to integrate but still make work. The two struggled to communicate for me. I had to bury my head in the sand and make work the way I felt I needed to. As a result, photography failed to tailor to this need. Drawing and writing, photo booth, self-portraits, that was the way I wanted to get this across. I stopped being a photographer, but it’s always there. I had a nice feeling before I moved to Berlin, I photographed my friend and she was looking up to me as I was packing my things. I took two pictures and for the first time in months I felt that magic come back. It felt right to pick up the camera again. Enough time had passed.

What prompted the move to Berlin? How did you feel about leaving all the things behind in Brighton? Did you have things set up nicely or was it a struggle?

Brighton was a balance. I had a family there, friends that meant so much, and a steady job, nice view of the sea. I could have stayed for a long time, however I felt that something was stopping me being completely happy. I felt there was something I needed to do before I got more sensible with my life. I took everything for granted in Brighton. In Berlin, even eating feels precious. I have only been here two days. I can already feel it. My mentality has shifted. To set up in Berlin seems so difficult and scary. I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I can feel something in my stomach that it can work out, if I work hard.

 

From the ongoing series, Zie, 2016

From the ongoing series, Zie, 2016

From the series, (recent picture), 2013

From the series, (recent picture), 2013

From the series, (recent picture), 2016

From the series, (recent picture), 2016

Your older work when you were in University, how does that seem now, after your change in direction?

Completely separate - almost. I learnt the basics at university and when I left no one was waiting for my work. No one needed it, not for a deadline, not for my peers. Everyone dispersed apart from the close ones. But years after they disperse and real life happens. I held onto university for many years. The work feels like early steps. However they formed the base of my practice now. I know exactly what the work is meant to achieve and it is carried out to help myself and help me work things out. However, an eye to the audience happened when I was in university and that is something I am learning now to integrate more, to take it away from being about me, and it being about others too.

From the series, Interiors, 2011

From the series, Interiors, 2011

From the series, Interiors, 2011

From the series, Interiors, 2011


I see you have been writing for your own platform for a while, how do you feel about being a writer within photography, once you are a photographer?

Writing came from when I was finishing university. I was frustrated with the structure of photographic writing and referencing and all the things that made it scary. Writing shouldn’t be scary - it should be poetic. It is beautiful. But academia made me feel like it wasn’t possible to achieve this creativity within the course. When I left, I was free to do anything and that was liberating. I began writing about students work on a tumblr blog, which has taken many forms. It has changed its name a lot, new ideas came in but I settled on La Pina, because it felt as though that was a heart felt reason. I was passionate about photography but knew its limitations. I was frustrated with fruit being the only subject I would see online, and I came across my own. I found a pineapple on the street and it was crushed by a Mercades (my favorite combination). This was the most popular picture (for me at the time) that I had taken and it felt strange that it was of a fruit. La Pina was born from this image. It was a metaphor for what photography stood for at the time, and it highlighted how infectious trends in photography can be. I made the decision to keep writing until I had nothing else to write about. It has since evolved into a whole range of responses, from video podcasts and discussions. Once you’re a photographer, you can write about photography, keine probleme, however, it does get in the way of your practice. And you feel as though you cannot really make work with full commitment whilst discussing other people’s work. This is where the writing stopped but then after a break, evolved so I was discussing my own work in depth and discussing things more fluently than when I was first starting out. I was doing some unpaid work with some companies that were getting a lot of followers, but I felt like I needed to take on my own platform with full commitment. This is where it currently is now.

From the series, Nothings Happening, 2012

From the series, Nothings Happening, 2012


How would you describe your work over the whole time span of making it?

It has evolved a lot. It has become a lot of different mediums over time. I first began taking pictures on a phone, then did gig photography however that did not feel like a practice, I was learning the technical elements. But when I went to university something clicked. I felt as though I could make work on anything so I made it on people, I made my way into a troubled area in Newport, Wales to discover some incredibly kind people. I was the outsider for them, 19, moppy hair and scared as anything. From then, I decided to make work about myself. This came with it’s own insecurities as you make yourself the subject, so you had better be ready to expose some things. I developed a thick skin about it and this felt like a good idea. From then I documented love, falling out of love, depression and traveled a lot. It has taken on a lot of elements over the years. I am at a good point with it now it seems.

From the series, Other People's Pictures, 2014

From the series, Other People's Pictures, 2014

From the series, Understanding, 2012

From the series, Understanding, 2012

From the series, Understanding, 2012

How have you struggled with fitting it into the social side of art, the exposure of art works to an audience?

It has been a rocky path and I struggled a lot with this. It wasn’t why I made the work, but it needed to be addressed. Writing about photography gave me the idea of what it felt like for the people I was applying too. It was used to learn the other side. The two have this constant power struggle, but I always know that my practice always wins. It is a very fast paced world and a lot of exposure lasts for a bit and then is constantly topped up if you are lucky and have strong enough work. I have just been standing by the side of the pool. Curious and busy making work and one day I might jump in if the right person asks me to. It seems like the healthiest way to deal with the art world, personally at least.

It’s a bit like writing your own birthday card, then opening it and being happy to see it. We need others to feel special.
Natürlich.

Thank you for your time, I wish you the best in the future.

 

///


 

Photographs by Sila Yalazan

Photographs by Sila Yalazan

Turn and face the strange
 

What does it mean to be strange? I’ve felt it, but never felt it as strange. It is a natural occurrence, an action I do not even contemplate. I just do.

Take me to a factory, she says as the wind blows one way, then the other. My shoulders ease into the role of the strange. Comfortability only comes once the silk is between my legs and the air roams around my body, it is then when I decide to let people see what is deemed strange. Entering a different mentality, I'm shifting, but I'm loyal to base character. It is just a temporary stop; I’ll be home soon. As the eyes sink into a kind of comfortable ora, nothing exists once this has taken its course. Turn and face the strange, because the strange is something that allows me to always remain a happy human. Without turning over my past life, the temporary space creates a strange land to recover from living.

 

Photographs by Sila Yalazan

Photographs by Sila Yalazan

Sila and I in Brighton, 2016

Sila and I in Brighton, 2016

 

///

 

 

Zie is about the notion of gender as a performance, one given to us at birth. During the performance there is a dialogue of what this idea means to me, and how it relates to the wider spectrum of social norms and gender roles. In an evolving world, we are still all bound to typical ideas of what we should do and what we should look like, if we are male or female. The gender neutral pronown 'Zie' is placed as a suitable metaphor to openly discuss the wider issue.

This was performed on the 28th September, 2016 at Marwood Cafe, Brighton.

 

///

 

This started it all for me. A person, who I discovered at 14 years old, the college dropout. Although I was not in college at the time.
I remember hearing through the wire, like what is this, it sparked something. It sparked something within. I remember hearing the beat selection and how it varied so much from 50 cent and eminem at the time. And, I found myself lost in the albums.
Hooked from an early age, he slowly became my biggest influence. I was at college, I went to the printed with all my files to print and came to collect them from the printers. Walked back, ready to hand in, and that moment. That moment,  I will never forget. It was a moment that made me implode from the inside with hope that things would get exciting. And they did.
I realised my potential at 17 and have not taken my eye off it since, and Its slowly being chipped away at.

Last call, twelve minutes, got me feeling pretty hyped when I was working on my own things, and I loved the concept of a talking track, which has since been retaken over and over and over which only gives credit to Kanye. He talked of his journey and he made others feel as though they could also do this and well. It was exciting to hear. Raw and passionate and the spice of arrogance that has taken Kanye to where he needs to go.

Upon reflection, I see his musical influence, as one, but his personality too, as a huge inspiration. We can look at that in several ways, and his personality can be read in several ways. If you don't get him you don't like him because you would assume he is an asshole. But, if you listen to his music, and see him interviews, look past the facade created by fame, we are looking at an unbelievably impressive person. It is ideas.
He has been thrown into the spot light and tussled right and left like a lion, and his reactions were to react. Then the ideas started coming and it was just power. It was really exciting to see such a person rise from the ranks of music, but on a more art level, instead of just sound.
He actually had something to say.
Not everyone can say that these days.

I was in a tough spot emotionally and discovered a sadness that I always knew was there, but just didn't understand it. I would play The Life of Pablo, because it had a powerful feeling that managed to irradiate anything bad creeping into my mind. The narrative swept you up and you had no choice but to follow. It was carried with conviction, pure power.
The album may have come under scrutiny due to the subjects he talks about, but like most of his albums, he is dealing with his life at the current moment. If he is surrounded by famous people and money, then he would then talk about that because he wouldn't need to talk about anything else.

I had a talk with someone about the album and he said that the new album didn't take the fans into account. It was no longer catchy, were his words. I went on to say, his progression as an artist is for himself, not to sell album, he is kanye west, it will always sell. His progression is our progression too, and he shouts, swears and bellows for change. When he discusses famous people, people don't understand his music, because it is irony and he plays off this all the time. He is a misrepresented person, I believe and this is down to that fact that people see him as an asshole, but in fact, he is just honest. Famous people are not always real, because they do not live in a real world. Kanye discusses this but has removed the filter from his twitter page and lets anything go, and that is something we should all try to do. There is so much going on in our heads, lets let them out somewhere.

Regarding the twitter breakdown he had after the album was released, someone I knew said they would do a new project where they would insult him over twitter to see if they would get a response. I didn't get it, but I politely played interested to save face. But it is this anger and hatred towards the man that leaves people not willing to understand his music and feel his beat production and feeling that is powering through. It is after all, doused in arrogance and it is abrasive, he says things that he shouldn't say, but much like Tyler the Creator with his worrying lyrics, you cannot take them seriously. You have to look at them as a metaphor for the situations across the world. To the person who says he doesn't make music for fans, there are bigger and more important things out there than pleasing fans to make money, that is not progress, that is not anything. Music has the power to change and create something through the widespread reach that the words get. Through the medium of being an artist, he can project his thoughts to the world to try and highlight the things that are wrong in society, at the same time maintaining his lifestyle that he has earned through hard work. 

We can look at his music and say, I like it, but he's so arrogant. Or, we can take it as both are the same. And, his personality is the music and the music is his personality, but the lines get blurred to create a fictional world. The claims to Pablo, Picasso, the hail of being a lyrical genius, they are all ideas around his confidence to succeed. It's like a kid saying, look at me, I am David Bowie. It is aspiration, because we live in a generation today, where we are told to look up to people, but never succeed ourselves. Famous people are there for our entertainment, watch them on the tv, listen to them, but you will never be them. Forget that.
His music is a message to say, you don't need to look up to me, because I don't care about you, because why would he. Why would we care so much about him? Why would we have debates about how it is immoral to like him when he interrupted Taylor Swift.
How is that even a conversation?

The fictional character that shimmers between his music and personal life create a balance where we are shaken and given something but we are sometimes too stubborn to see. You can see him as an asshole, or you can see him as someone who is pissed off at the world, who is angry about the happenings and wants to make a change through his position of power. He is not abusing that power, merely aspiring for change, always.

And so I go back to when I was handing in my college work, you think we can still get that deal with Roccafella? You think I can make it to university, you think I can get to America and go on my own, you think I can qualify as a teacher, you think I can turn my biggest secret into a practice, you think I can run two marathons in seven days, you think I can conqueror depression, you think I can leave my whole life and start a new one somewhere else.
Listening to Kanye from an early age gave me the passion to not care anymore about all the things that go on, to stop you dreaming, and instead turn that into a drive to show you that we are all champions.

So I ask again, you think we can still get that deal with Roccafella?

 

///

 

How many times have you said sorry in your life?

How many times was it a valid apology? Did you need to say sorry?

sometimes we say sorry for being ourselves, sometimes we apologise on behalf of other people’s insecurities and tone down the way we are to apease others.

 

A lot of this comes from angst and frustration towards the norm and we do not want to break it for others, we just don’t want to take the same route.

adventure,

you know those moments when you get lost in the eyes of another and they take you somewhere, when you run around with complete excitement and jubilation.

Opression,

This is something that relates to normality, the need to be normal so we are blending in, leaving us blander than the grey buildings around us, as hollow as the dead trees in the park

These are all constructs we don’t need.

 

All we need is money.

Then we need happiness

I don’t mean that money is the provider of happiness

But happiness comes once we have somewhere to sleep

All we need is shelter and food and survival is taken care of

 

And then the adventure begins,

This adventure can be anywhere, it can mean anything, it can create any situation without the financial backing needed to have fun.

The phrase, ‘ive got no money for fun’ is a ridicluous statement.

In most cases £5 is all you need, unless you live in london

(but then there are many reasons that london is probably bad for your health)

 

LETS VANISH INTO THE POOLS OF OPEN MINDS AND CREATE SOME KIND OF MAGIC EQUATIONS FOR LIFE,

RE THINK THE WHOLE PROCESS AND MAKE SOMETHING THAT MATTERS

MAKE SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE INSTEAD OF GOING SIDEWAYS.

WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE WASTE TIME, ADORING PEOPLE WE DO NOT KNOW, WHEN WE SHOULD LOOK TO OUR LOCAL HEROES

THE PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES THAT STRIVE FOR MORE, THAT DARE TO DREAM FOR THINGS WITHOUT PROFIT OR CAREER GAINS

 

YEARN FOR FEELING, EXCITEMENT AND A FUCKING GOOD LIFE,

WITHOUT ALL OF THAT, YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING

IF I DIDN’T HAVE MY PASSIONS, I WOULDN’T BE DOING ANYTHING INTERESTING IN MY LIFE, IF I WENT TO WORK, THEN WENT HOME, THEN THERE IS NO POINT OF WAKING UP THE NEXT DAY, WHAT IS THE POINT OF AN EXISTENCE LIKE THAT

WE NEED TO BE BREAKING NEW GROUND, OPENING THINGS UP FOR PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE THEY CAN DO THINGS, ANYTHING, THAT IS SUITABLE FOR THEM TO ACHIEVE

 

DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING

BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING

There are no limitations to the abilities of human beings, if what we are pursuing is heart felt and interesting.

 

 

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Gender as performance, 2016

Gender as performance, 2016

Constructed gender
 

It's the impossible question to ask yourself. Spirals into doubt and creates genuine fright to your system. Alot of people never know themselves. A lot of people never really want to find out, and that's okay. I have found it my life's mission to understand it, much to the dismay of my own body. The construction of gender has a lot of variants. They are all personal but fit a constructive sentiment within society. Who are you, is a question that is constantly thrown at us everytime we pass someone in the street.  If you seem different, feel different you are seen and perceived as different. The plight that comes with this constructs our own perceptions of ourselves.  I spend a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, not to see how good I look, a lot of the time I look shabby, but to see what's really going on inside yourself. And the eyes are the portal to this. We have a vessel. We have a spirit. Not in the religious sense, but we have two separate parts that make one person, you. The vessel carries your spirit. Your spirit is what people respond to. Some people connect via vessels. Some people connect via spirits. Both experiences are different. Society is set up to take the vessel as the first port of contact and we are constantly misrepresenting people as we meet them. We judge before we know, unless the spirit is particularly special.    Some people radiate. And this can be down to several factors. Maybe it's to do with knowing yourself. If we know ourselves, and carry it with a happy conviction, why would anyone hurt us or even judge us. Human beings are always radiating feelings back and forth. We think were hard at work, but really were trying to survive our own battle inside. How much you get to know yourself determines how good our lives will be, in terms of simplicity. If we accept a 'normal' view of ourselves we follow a logical route and life is pleasant. If you know me, pleasant is something that makes me uncomfortable. But that's just me, everyone is different. If we begin to explore, and delve and take the time to know and listen what's inside us, then we take a rocky route through life. If we listen to our heart, then we are always ready to be hurt, in every aspect of life. But, we are open to exploration and complete self worth.  You never need to impress anyone, because why would we ever aspire to do that. Yes, we can take care in our appearance, that helps too. But we can also, present a truly honest version of ourselves and this is the ultimate happiness. This applies to all of us. I'll just explain what I've found out through this process.  

 

I am shy, I am timid, I am a worrier. I am sensitive and follow my heart not my head. My head usually serves up feelings that link to my heart. Through this sensitivity, I understand what my spirit yearns for, compassion and love. Adventure, excitement, all of these things that we want, that always cost nothing. I always struggled with masculinity, but always knew I was masculine. As kids at school around me were following the latest trends at school, I was skipping and singing les miserables to myself. At a stage when we were still kids. Something faded, into teenage years. Oppression, let's call it that. I was discovering things about myself that I had no way of comprehending, in the situation I was in at school and how life was progressing. It created turmoil within myself. I conformed. From the child who would always insist on wearing a bow tie and waistcoat to Sainsburys, had a bowl cut and said anything that came to mind. I found myself when I was a child but I lost it when I was a teenager. Growing up under a rock, I never really did anything out of the ordinary, played racing games, games of all varieties. Talked about girls at school that we'd never get, and with heinsight the girls we didn't really want. I always knew there was something big to discover about myself. I didn't feel normal and never truly felt accepted amongst people, because I didn't accept myself. Many years have passed. Bad habits enter and my vessel kind of destroys itself internally. But, when I thought I was stuck at open doors, I am beginning to make a step forward. This step was firstly letting people know that I crossdressed from an early age. That was like round one and it took me a while to step into the ring. Round two seems difficult because it's the last round. Just like I said to my mum, when she met someone else, she was reborn, to some degree and liberated from her older life. I am at the second stage.    I am growing increasingly frustrated with gender constructions. This statement can be misconstrued. However, I say in terms of how we are expected to present our vessels to people in the street. Men are oppressed by clothing because how those clothes make us feel. We may not even think about it, but men have it easy when it comes to what we wear. It is, however, this simplicity that means that we are always invisible. Because we blend into the blandness of the buildings around us. Women, are under incredible amounts of scrutiny. They are judged by their appearance and are forced into shallow exchanges based on how people see them. This is the way society had gone so far. But both of these are wrong. And it is to do with self expression.  How do you feel?  What do you want to wear today? These are two questions we all ask ourselves as we get up for our days.    For most men, chuck on some trousers and a t shirt. Put on a suit and be professional. For women, they have varied options and can express any feeling they have through their appearance. They are allowed to feel beautiful because society sees them as so. This is why some women do wear baggy clothes to escape calls of insults disguised as compliments from men in the street or wherever they may be headed. This too is wrong.    When a man says that he is fed up of being part of societies idea of what you are meant to wear, he is deemed many assumptions. You must want to be a woman, surely, oh no wait, you must not like women. How on earth can you want to dress different if you weren't in these categories? You believe this as some people might mention this to you as you explain. A small amount might I add.    People that do this know who they are by this point and they wish society would just catch up. If someone walks down the street looking different, they create fear, and fear leads to anger and a lot of cases, physical actions. Interestingly, someone waking down the street doesn't actually affect them in anyway. How would it?    Because I enjoyed the act of dressing a certain way sometimes, I would shave my legs for example. I remember being terrified that someone would find out or notice. But I realised that it makes no difference to their lives. It is hair.   It was hot one day, so I wore some running shorts, shorter than normal shorts. I was nervous. I stepped out of the house wondering what would happen. Let's call them, training shorts. Training to build up confidence in a field we cannot really know until we try. How can we know? I was born a man and I am a man. I am a man if I am in a dress or anything that is perceived as feminine. I am just, arguably, a feminine man. I am a man who is sensitive, I feel things, I can't sleep around because I want to hold their hands after, I don't perceive situations in a masculine way, and sometimes I don't feel like looking like a man should.    Breaking free from oppression, I don't want to label anything. Why on earth do we need to? I am a man but carry a feminine traits. But these traits should not affect our lives in anyway but a positive sense of self realisation. Why on earth would it be anything else?  Material defines us.  Perception and judgment defines us.  When we step out of judgment, we do things that we never thought we could do. We discover incredible feelings of love and compassion between others. And the only thing that stops us from being happy or falters our mood, is the perception from other people. If it is positive, it is self fulfilling, if it is negative it is damaging.    I've had to develop a thick skin because a lot of this happened inside and never left my brain but I knew the outcome and I'll summarise it in one sentence.    I am a man, but I enjoy feeling feminine through clothing or behavior, but I am no different now, than when I was seven years old. My interest and compassion for women and how they have shaped my life, drive me as I melt when I fall in love and feel with compassion. Maybe this is something within all of us. Maybe it isn't.  Maybe I'm the only one, maybe there are others. But importantly, we are human beings and we can only respond to how we feel. Society betters when society mixes and feels like we can achieve anything in life, because, you literally only live once.

 

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Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

I hope gonz understands
Goodbye, Blue Monday
Ben Gore
 

Life's an adventure People follow you
For a week An hour a year
And we love them
The adventure never stops with your interactions with people. But Life has a way of getting in the way,
And that is money and responsibility. We need both to survive But life will never stop being an adventure
But it's the most challenging adventure well ever experience

Before me is a book, it is printed on a semi gloss paper with a matt finish
it carries a mourning quality plunged into doubt of the future, but excitement for the new.
as we see people evolve and discover their passions and interests we never really anticipate where we will be in 5 years. It is the impossible question.
Goodbye, blue monday
goodbye to the monday mornings, because every day is Monday
Goodbye to the feelings of doubt, relishing in experience, rich with presence of loved ones and new family members.
Goodbye to our past, progressing in the present and heading towards the future.
I realise I am twenty five but I feel fifteen. I feel like I'm seven, roaming around with complete excitement and a zest for life
and like the lemons that are given to us, we create something new

I will always follow you, because I love you, I am fascinated by you, I am fascinated by our experience. I am fascinated with our life, and I want to share this with you.
I imagine that is how they feel as I flick the pages of the self published book.
A man, who I know well, a quiet nature but lives life like a comic book, lives life with an innate curiosity about everything and everything. Quiet but not silent.
Thoughtful, caring and exciting.

The maker behind the work is a friend, a close friend, someone I hold dear.
I know of their life, I sat next to him at work, we even shared a bin.

His stories reveal themselves to me each item I purchase from him.
He has filled my wardrobe with white T shirts. He changed my opinions on fashion, he made me believe I can follow my dreams, whatever they may be. He made it seem possible because he did it, and so can I.

I will follow, like she will follow him, like I will follow him, we are always following. Digital following, manual life following, any kind of following is okay for me.
I imagine him rolling around on 4 wheels, wooden plank secured to his feet. The board wants to follow him and the two go hand in hand. His presence is fulfilling.

We are looking, for something.
Do you want to watch a film? I feel tired after work.
Lets get a dragon? How does that sound?
I hope gonz understands

a paw is lifted up, a smile covers his face. He sets down to draw, to edit, to collage to create. 'fun stuff' he might call it. 'arty stuff', I've heard him say. His being is to enjoy and reflects so many people today, growing up in the generation after our parents. We have all the opportunity.

so follow me, as I delve into depression, lets make it through together.
we are beautiful inside, even if the planet is full of terror.
internal panic, self doubt, losing family, surviving cancer, hugging parents, remembering parents, meeting people, making bonds, remembering, photographing, anything,

anything at all

anything is possible within our lives, and the bad stuff equals the good, but the goodness prevails.

Goodbye, Blue Monday, as I see a friend on a Wednesday, as I run and trip and fall and receive a match box with a number on.
I call it, it is the wrong number, or maybe I wrote it wrong.

I know how it feels. I know how they feel, at times, consistency, adventure,
the ground beneath our feet supports our adventure, where do we go today?
where do you want to be next week?

I love you,
I know they love each other, you can see it.

Goodbye to the past, where is the blue Monday when everyday is a blue Monday. Everyday is another adventure.

I will follow you, you will follow me, you will accept me, and you love me for it.
We can follow each other for a week, hour, day, year, 10 years
a lifetime

nothing is bad and nothing is good,
it is all living

and as a witness, we see the world through his eyes his excitement
an otter exchanges a glance,
he is always there, ready, to capture something of a snippet of life.

It is a collaboration, the way we interact, two quiet souls
doing arty stuff

that's all it ever is
that's how famous artists start
So,
goodbye blue Monday,
goodbye self doubt
i have a record of his life so far,
it is in the form of a book
a publication
a self made object funded with passion and creativity

hello, to new horizons,
the past has happened and here is a reflection of how it all felt
Here is a recollection of the past, as we transcend into the future

full of hope
full of excitement

follow me, because i love you
and i always will

even if our adventures prevail to new lands

I hope Gonz understands, that he will be traveling
a lot
he will be seeing the world as they voyage around feelings and compassion, drifting off into dreams of reality and imaginary thoughts

I have one question

whens the new ben gore t shirt coming out?

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

Ben Gore, Goodbye, Blue Monday, 2016

His show to release the book and the project is on the 21st July
You can pre-order this lovely book from his site

If you would like to hear more about this work head on over to the podcast done earlier this month.


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Pineapple, From the series Nothing's Happening, 2012

Pineapple, From the series Nothing's Happening, 2012

What does La Piña mean?

I have had a lot of people ask me about the nature of the site name. La Piña, seems like a jovial response to branding, drinking in the sun and sipping on pineapple juice on the beach. The meaning is quite different from the fruitless nature of modern still life photography. La Piña developed from a photograph taken in Spain. It was a Pineapple that had been crushed by a Mercedes, possibly my favorite combination. From there the idea of what modern photography seems to tackle on the boarding editorial market, it felt like the perfect metaphor to epitomize and discuss the validity and usefulness of such work. It is a metaphor, but nothing to do with bright colours and holiday destinations, but an acute awareness for what photography feels like today. To my mind, we had freshly squeezed orange juice and now we are left with weak squash.

A lot of the above opinions are no longer something I really consider these days. From the early days of being angry about the decline of photographic ideas and excitement I began to relish in art as a whole. This migration to the unknown placed me in my own university environment where I was in control of everything in that circle. I had no deadlines, no one advising me, and the advice I would receive was from my friends, non photographers. In leaving the photography world I managed to claim my creativity back, when I felt like I was constantly repeating the same action, over and over. With this in mind, La Piña has changed it's tone. It has changed its focus and has decided to discuss the broader spectrum. As my own practice evolves, La Piña comes with it. It's original meaning was to challenge cultural trends in photography but it has become an accompaniment to art, to a journey through the unknown. Photography is the base layer, but Illustration, performance art and creative writing seems to be achieving more to my mind. It feels more organic.

 

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A rude awakening
 

As an aspiring photographer you are left with the promise of expectation when you embark from the university doors, as competitions open up to you like old friends. There is an overwhelming sense of panic, that you have to do everything and anything to get noticed, appreciated and acknowledged. The process of leaving the university gates is different from person to person, some relieved that they can start working as a photographer and the studying no longer gets in the way, or one of panic as you realise the hub of photographers will soon fade thin. So you cling onto it, and your enthusiasm is rekindled with the newcomers, the new faces as you manage to get onto the teaching course – an aspect of the subject you wish to be a part of, but the timing falls right. A unique experience to one person may do nothing to reflect everyone else, but there is a sense of longing and excitement that lives in the year after university. Some may splash into the pool and throw their name everywhere, land on their feet or some might walk around the pool and assess the point at which to jump. Either is daunting for different reasons.

The concept of being a photographer is a hard one to grasp, as there are less public outlets, and more work based on experience roles. There becomes a point where you need to gather more firewood, so to speak, and attempt to rekindle interest in yourself as a creative output. This process is essential, but there is a part you saying you need to do everything and anything, fight like a dog to get that bone (in this case internships etc. are the bone) – all the while you attempt to explain to your parents why you feel the need to work a normal job so you can create things, photographs, articles, publications and events. Everything you do, from the outset of education is always up to you and no one else. This, to my mind, is why the photographer is such a great breed. They develop determination young – and that never dies within them, always attempts to find firewood to make a flame even when the air can be as damp as a gusty night up a mountain.

Aside from making, there is financial support that needs to become priority, and to decide how your going to ‘get by’ is perhaps the hardest decision of all. You need to cut yourself from all ties to promotion at work, as that gets in the way of anything creative – unless your in the right field. You need to ignore higher paid jobs because that’s a ladder you’re not interested in climbing. And if there were a photographic ladder, a stable one, then we would all be jumping for the same grasp of the first step.

When we think about our need to create, it is a process unmotivated by financial reward. Financial implications need to be considered in the production, yet if a project fails to make money, this does not mean the project was a failure. I have always relished in the idea that each project you do, you learn from and this builds you as a person as you begin to explore all your curiosities and passions, slowly becoming a fulfilled individual. Where this passion fits in with regular life, I am not so sure, and I have racked my brains thinking about it for the past year, since leaving the comfortable bed of university as I now approach my rude awakening a year later.

 

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La Piña podcast #2 - Sam Boullier, feelings, friendship & what an artist is
A conversation around the role of the artist, idea progression and how multi media work comes about.

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Androgyny, 2016

Androgyny, 2016

Lines of masculinity
notions of gender inequality

 

Gender has always had a divide. You are a man. You are a woman. That is down to genetics and genitals. It is clear to see that we are fundamentally different. The notion that men are from mars and women are from Venus is not completely untrue, but it doesn’t explain the whole story. Gender roles cripple us and create expectations when we are younger. The misogyny that arises from such traditional ideas translated into modern life create issues around inequality and how gender is a large factor.

When we are born we are segregated into our genders. That happens the second we are born. We wear blue or pink overalls and are thrown into world of blue or pink, depending on our genetics. This process is something that always happens, it is a normal process. It is only when we gather influences and thoughts and feelings when we begin to actually work out what we are like as human beings. We are most aware when we are young, however we do not retain much information. When adult life hits, we go into our stride as people and fulfill our gender roles and expectations. This was until we began to consider the subject. I have always had a close affiliation with the feminine side of the personality, through growing up with two women through my formative years, I began to realise how women felt at an early age. I rejected a lot of ideas around what was expected of me when I was to enter the said, ‘real world’. It has been a rocky path.

Feminine, 2016

Feminine, 2016

The question I have always asked myself is why can’t men feel beautiful like women are expected to do. Men’s fashion is built around functionality and blending in, we are invisible. We are not flashy, we are not beautiful and only in some cases we are desirable. This suits the male personality but suppresses our feelings and affects our lives and how we look at things. I have always experimented with crossing the gender barriers, but only up until now have mentioned anything about it. Its been done behind closed doors. But the process of accepting the situation has led me to embark upon a social experiment to challenge the role of masculinity. The lines of masculinity are crippling to our need to feel and how we respond to certain situations. Heaven forbid we discuss our feelings we would become exposed. Our role is to stand strong and supportive. But as an artist I find it incredibly hard to ignore the other side of my interests.

I have the desire to feel beautiful and reveal sensitivity and understanding.

My personality is naturally geared towards this process and is needed for me to explore my complete personality. I rejected this part of my personality in exchange for sadness and oppression. But once you open the door to these ideas, they reveal a part of your personality you always knew existed, it was just locked away somewhere, hoping it would crumble to dust.

 

Masculinity, 2016

Masculinity, 2016

Gender inequality. Where does all this fit in? It is the process seeing another gender and valuing that person less as a result. It sounds pretty bad and it is. Pay inequality, misogyny; special treatment of women has brought the notion of Feminism. A movement we all know and understand to varying degrees. The idea that we would treat anyone differently, whether that is positive or negative discrimination reduces the value of said gender. It is an unneeded process. We have made leaps and bounds from the earlier years of this issue, but it is far from complete. It is dwelling and concerning and swells up and explodes anger and passion from women across the world. As men, we need to stand up and say no to misogyny, inequality and different treatment based on gender. It is a process we need to eradicate and it needs to happen now.

The process of understanding this idea is to visualise the process of what women look like. How do we identify women? We see beautiful eyes, long wavy hair, different styles, softness and feminine behavior. This is deep rooted within women of course and is natural behavior for them.

The role of ‘Behavioral’ is to imitate this process in front of an audience. Going from a male to the visuals of a woman within a 30minute process. I appear as a woman but I am not a woman, just have some layers applied to my male base layer. Through this process we can see that our perception of women distorts how we treat them due to their feminine layers. In this process of removing the male layer and replacing it with a female sheen, we can see that inequality is actually a redundant idea and needs to be stopped. We are all equal.

Through this process I have discovered the process of being a behavioral artist. Molding into a different character through the process of applying layers. Behavioral aims to highlight that fact that we are all the same when we consider our potential and gender has nothing to do with success. Society has believed this but it is simply not the case. Masculinity, femininity is a process of choice and we can only judge it from individual cases. We are all different when it comes to our personalities and these lines are constantly shifting focus. There is no set way to be anymore and this is what the work will try to highlight.

 

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A discussion with Ben Gore about his new publication Goodbye, Blue Monday
The book launches on the 21st July at Doomed Gallery.

 

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Joe Pettet-Smith, Dover, 2016

Joe Pettet-Smith, Dover, 2016

Joe Pettet-Smith, Dover, 2016

 

I do not usually put the year on these articles, however it seems as though it is important in this situation. I met Joe today. He told me about his recent project in Dover and it really hit me how interesting it was to have work that discussed something so fresh in such a visual way. Through using what could be considered 'traditional' methods to record the subject, he went around to democratically ask people how they felt, leading up to the EU Referendum. You don't need me to tell you whats happened, if we have Facebook we cannot seem to escape it, and nor should we. We need our research now.

I am going to mention briefly the strong aesthetic because as though it seems secondary to its meaning, it needs to carry confidence to get out there on particular sites to raise awareness. It is the meaning that counts. The process of discovering what the people of Dover feel towards this countries question and decision is divisive to understanding the nature of a city that is on the border between immigration and traditional town life. I had recently made the trip to Dover, to head to Paris by car. I by passed the Jungle of Calais and headed to run the marathon a couple of months ago. I had no connection to this land until I realised the ramifications of this environment and how it could affect and swing the vote of the referendum. If we discuss some of the points raised from the people that live there, we see that they are on the cusp and have seen their town, deplete. This is down to being ignored, and forgotten about, like an old relic and has become centered around travel. It is a shell of the town it would have been one day. As beautiful as it is, it is still geared towards the border between France. A decision for them would physically affect them. This means their opinions matter and precisely why they reveal a very unique position that most towns will never face.

For the whole article including all images please visit here


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politics hijacked a public and personal decision

for those who didn’t believe in their ability to choose

all the stuff they said, doesn’t mean anything

and they have undermined themselves

and politics could take a revolutionary turn

for the positive

because no one believes in politics anymore

and when you stop believing in something,

it slips away

 

people will never stop believing in the EU

it is something that will never die and if it does

we will make a new unity

its just the way people should be and the way a lot of us naturally are

it all links with happiness

a lot of people are unhappy because they don’t have the necessary requirements to live and money is the cause of that, its not their fault at all

if everyone was happy, and not in the sense that material possessions make you happy, but in the sense of being happy inside, no worries or fears,

why would there be killing

we would all get on and co ordinate

its a spiral effect

bad produces bad, produces bad, produces bad,

start at zero

go back to a clean board

and lets start again

 

money is the issue

money is the reason for greed

and inequality is born from that

 

donald trump, britain first and nationalism has been bred into extremism. they provide short term options for our current problems, but offer extremely awful results later on in life and provide a chance to create civil war between civilians who just want to get on, but feel as though they are getting a hard time.

this is down to happiness, if they were kept happy, like the rich, then we can compromise for the best of all people. a neutral government. that oversees the country economically, and conducts things fairly for both sides.

this sounds impossible, but it is completely possible and needs to happen to remove dissatisfaction across the world.

we get the best of both worlds. 

human nature is the only thing in the way.

 

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vibes

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remain

 

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Let's freeze time
So we never have to leave that moment 
It never ends 
And stays with us forever 
And forever may it continue 
Let's freeze time
Let's make a clock
This clock will allow the moment to never finish 
No beginning 
Middle 
Or end
My eyes feel like they have been reset 
And I'm not looking at the same place anymore
The world has transformed
Let's hug forever
Because we can
Because we want to
And because it's so easy to do
You create a world that doesn't exist but
A new world on top of another world
That is reality
But seems so far removed from what we perceive as life
It's fantasy that is reality 
And that reality
Is possible 
It's unexplainable
 
I never want to go to bed

 

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15 years of self judgement has accumulated to the moment when i finally come clean. The response I received once I publicly put out there that I am a cross dresser, became too overwhelming to keep it all in. I cried 15 years worth of tears. I finally felt like there wasn't anything stopping me. Most importantly, there was no longer me putting a road block in front of my dreams because I judged and hated myself because of what I was.

I can progress on with life now, free, to do anything. I feel as if I have just unlocked the key to life and nothing now can stop me from being the most interesting and caring person I can be. I can begin to actually care about myself emotionally now. Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support.

I hope this can allow others who feel the same to admit the same for their own happiness, so we can raise awareness on this activity that happens a lot more than you think. Society is just built up to not accept it, but the support you showed me, everyone, has shown that in this time of horrible happenings and judgement across the world, in what is deemed normal, something people are dying for every day, to step out of the norm and create this as a norm for everyone to be honest with themselves and lead the happiest lives they can. I can't explain how I feel right now, I will say that I am overwhelmed and honored to have so many brilliant people in my life. I've won the lottery, it seems, and ill share it with every single one of you by being the happiest person I can be. 15 years of sadness and uncertainty has spilled into this. The most important moment of my life. thank you so much everyone. i have infinite amount of love for everyone i know and you all have given me so much hope in my own life. i cant thank you enough.

 

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The cave of forgotten dreams, 2013

The cave of forgotten dreams, 2013

 

The cave of forgotten dreams

 

Nervously shifting towards a girl at the bus stop. I seemed to ignore everyone around her and asked for her number. We were catching a bus to get back. I didn’t want to miss them. I felt something about this group in the process of getting to know each other. I was an outsider but I was all right. They had a kind of coolness I had never come across before. I didn’t really think about what was cool at the time. I had been a young man, aged 18. Fresh from college and hard work, I had seemingly avoided any sense of a social life. Attempting to break into the impenetrable group. I knew I could do it.

I called up a girl who called herself Luxembourg. Riddled with nerves I finally hung out with all of them. Speaking of Ray Mears and how he could set a fire up in 2 hours. Looking up to the building and shouting ‘block cock’. We were immature but brilliant. Something magic was happening. We headed to New York, threw snowballs, fell in the snow, it was a kind of bliss. Others were farting in bottles to trick the other as they groggily woke up. I was on the outside of this.

The time came to set houses. Headed to a new town and continued a kind of haphazard journey. The Dogfield dogs living in a shithole that had rats. Tewkesbury Tigers and the infamous 60 Tewkesbury created the perfect trio of locations. Only one mattered. Headed down the road incredibly excited with stubby beers in hand we would bombard politely into a room. Creating beautiful sounds with two master craftsmen on the vinyl decks. It became like a bit of a competition. Sitting on expensive vinyl boxes and getting told off for it. We were pushing the boundaries of what we were allowed to do. Or at least I was.

People formed, joined together through romantic forces. We became tighter as a family. An unconventional family that accidentally happened through the understanding that we all got each other and we all had our own uses. We were all different but created the perfect blend of chaos, love, experiences and general happiness. Arguing, shouting at each other, we were barbaric but we didn’t care. We were all on the same level.

The process was gradual but long. It felt like a lifetime to peak. There was a sense of going off, as if we had a sell by date, but everyone always bought milk and Jam so we always continued this transaction. It is difficult to put into words how all of this happened. It was such an organic process, experiencing when Gordon Brown lost his crown of the country. We were singing all the way for him to win, Scottish retard, why couldn’t you have been our priminister?

Going up and down the momentum seemed to drift in a kind of perfect transition, developing between sheer chaos and exhaustion. People came and went, jumped

into the group and out of it, but the core stayed true. We were bound and no one could un-stick us. No matter how much we would argue and hate each other in parts. It was like a runaway train that always knew how to deal with it if we crashed, eventually. The love was right between every conversation we had, every joke we shared, every hour we spent watching Lord of the Rings, every time we played street fighter in the kitchen, every time we performed satanic rituals of a plastic baby (which just appeared from nowhere). We were sensible but also a bit stupid when we decided to be. And through all of this, all of the parties, the people, the work we made, the feelings that were hurt, the relationships that ended, the friendships that got pushed it was still one of the most unique friendships we’d ever encountered. We were family. We would argue like family and love like family.
And just like the eventual end to a night, our bodies tire, crash on stairs, other people’s beds, in the arms of another, sometimes three in a bed, we were incredibly close as people. And we loved each other all unconditionally, even when people came and went, people crashed and fell, we all loved each other more than words can say. It is impossible to describe.
They are my second family but I hold their feelings in the highest regard and I love every single one of them.

It was the time of our lives, until they actually started. We will forever drift around in our minds thinking of the cave of forgotten dreams.

 

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If I was told I had a week to live
I'd do everything
But never feel sad
If I was ill 
I wouldn't panic
Because it gives you an excuse to do anything
Until you have no more life left

 

 

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From the series, Behavioral, 2016

From the series, Behavioral, 2016

a behavioral artist

 

someone who imitates the activity of other people. To understand the world through their daily experiences. to provide an insight into people’s lives, struggles, happiness's, sadness, work ethic, passion, love, comfort, pain, ideas, sounds, their sounds, beauty, ugliness, character, ethos, mannerisms, hobbies, enjoyment, woes, worries.

the very sentiment of being a person can be accessed and can create a world where anything is possible. anything at all. 

the activity is gender based, but has nothing to do with gender at all. but it is the most important ingredient. when there is a base gender, man, alex, and then the other characters take on any form, within my physical capabilities. not extreme body alterations, like mass muscle growth or genital reassignment etc. the person stays the same as a base layer. within the boundaries of being a man, a human being, and a personality. identity doesn’t shift, it just puts on a new coat in the morning. the base layer always carries the person. i am the base layer, and the rest of the additional things added on, come off from each person that is imitated. 

gender is hard to define within the spirit of people. physically we can say that is a woman, that is a man. but personality traits always come through which constitute any feeling. their behavior within their vessel (body), is dictated by the spirit they have. spirit as in personality. their upbringing has a lot to do with all of this, when we were most receptive, as children. we are sculpted by experience. 

people are people and we are all the same. variants occur, but we are higher up than boundaries. lets do anything we want because we can. people say you can’t but why not. there's no limit to what the human body can do. 

i want to be a behavioral artist

i can be one i believe. 

each character is a medium. Alex, photographer, other characters have possibilities to grow from a stem. being the complete human being.

the characters can make me a better person as Alex

i can learn from them and pick and choose certain ethos’s gained through each experience.

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Self Portrait, 1st June, 2016

Self Portrait, 1st June, 2016

Self Portrait, 1st June, 2016

Self Portrait, 1st June, 2016

This is the second photograph. What I found quite brilliant is the fact that my whole face shape changes just through an adjustment in my head and posture. The head appears different. And this ties into the idea that we never truly see ourselves from the perspectives of other people. We are always looking at a reflected version of oursleves. Our eyes cannot focus on our skin, and see skin. We can only look into glass. This is a fundamental part of living and the ability to see our faces in the flesh is something that we don't have the ability to do. Therefore the only way we can see ourselves is through depiction. And we only see a copied version of ourselves. Never the real thing.

 

Self portrait, 2016

Self portrait, 2016

have you ever? (poem)

 

have you ever felt like someone else?

i have 

its liberating

 

you know you still exist

but you do not exist at that moment

you are something else

but you still remain

 

have you ever felt beautiful?

have you ever felt like someone that your not?

have you ever felt attractive?

have you ever felt complete?

have you ever felt like the complete human?

not perfect

 

have you ever felt like you can take on anything?

have you ever felt that you can take on anything?

have you ever felt that you constantly weren’t good enough?

have you ever hated yourself?

 

have you ever felt like an outsider?

have you ever felt sad?

have you ever thought about it?

have you thought about ending this?

 

have you ever woken up from that nightmare?

have you ever survived something you would never do?

but occasionally feel like its the only choice

 

hold me close

hold me close

friends, 

hug with arms

hug with your limbs

love with your hearts

support with your hands and your eyes

 

have you ever picked up on silences?

have you ever seen someone about to cry?

have you anticipated this

and released your arms to hug

have you ever saved a life?

just by saying, yes

by being there

 

have you ever felt like you could be someone else?

but

..

know that you are you

know that you are everything

 

have you ever felt like you are complete?

that you get it

that you understand it all

until something new comes up

 

have you ever finished a to do list?

have you ever felt loved?

have you ever felt complete?

have you ever felt like you can do anything?

and

have you ever felt that you will no longer ever struggle

because you get it

 

have you ever felt this?

i think i just have?

have you ever felt happy?

knowing that it will always continue

because you are complete

 

i think i have