Saturday, 1 November 2008


by Sturtevant

Spinoza in Las Vegas was a half-hour long staged reading presented by the TATE in their Starr Auditorium theatre space. They should have been ashamed to charge money, no matter how little, to the event. Elaine Sturtevant is a fascinating woman, sure. An entertaining art personality, absolutely. What Sturtevant is not is a writer, director, or actor, that's fer darn sure. She has made a career out of recognizing talent in iconic artists (Warhol, Duchamp) ahead of the mainstream, and then copying their work in great detail. If only she had copied some of the more innovative theater pieces of the past fifty years with as much gusto, perhaps I would not have been alternately laughing my ass off and scratching my eyes out. Yes, this is a casual and catty review-- but to be fair, it is in this spirit of the show. Informal, insulting, and, praise the lord...brief.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER @ The Young Vic, London

By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Walter Meierjohann
Designed by Mirian Buether
Lighting by Jean Kalman
Music by Abram Wilson
Sound by Fergus O'Hare

With: Adjoa Andoh, Camilla Beeput, Sheri-An Davis, John MacMillan, Cecilia Noble, Javone Prince, Paul Thornlet, Ony Uhiara, Ashley Walters, Abram Wilson

The second of the Size plays, In the Red and Brown Water introduces us to two characters we know well already, Ogun and Elegba, the archetypal Brothers Size, from McCraney's previous play in addition to the majors players in the piece, all new two us. Somehow the conceits that work beautifully in that piece do not sit quite right in the puzzle that is In the Red and Brown Water. This is not to say that there are not many heartfelt and lovely moments- this is a playwright that thrives on the rhythm and sensuality of the text after all- but somehow in this much larger story and cast, something gets lost every time an actor intones their stage directions. We are pulled uncomfortably out of the gorgeous world of McCraney and uncomfortably aware of where we are and how nothing is real.

The mainstage at the Young Vic has been flooded with several inches of water for this production. This reliably leads to some stunning visuals, underused in this case. The water, the live music, the actors in the wings, the giant fan hanging from the ceiling-- all of these are only effective if used all out. To half ass such a strong choice is to make it seem negotiable rather than integral. The company is clearly working quite hard, but the Louisiana accents elude almost everyone and there seems that some of the soul has been stripped from the text thanks to this misfortune.

If this play had been one act it would have been exponentially more enjoyable for me. Strong choices were made by the playwright and the production team, but at their hearts, McCraney's plays are myths and parables. They are made to be melodramatic and powerful with a strong sense of ritual. The more concise you can keep this, the more strength it will gain.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

ONCE AND FOR ALL... @ The BAC, London

Ontroerend Goed, de kopergietery and Richard Jordan Productions Ltd. present
Directed by Alexander Devriendt
Written by Joeri Smet and Alexander Devriendt
Scenography & Costumes by: Sophie De Somere
With: Aaron De Keyzer, Barbara Lefebure, Charlotte De Bruyne, Christophe De Poorter, Dina Dooreman, Edith De Bruyne, Edouard Devriendt, Elies Van Renterghem, Febe De Geest, Helena Gheeraert, Ian Ghysels, Koba Ryckewaert en Nathalie Verbeke

There is something undefinable about watching what is "the real" on stage. It can be two actors sharing an embrace, the audience full knowing that they are entwined in an offstage relationship. It can be the moment an amputee reveals the absence of a limb in the context of a play. In the case of Once and For All..., Total Theatre and Fringe First Award winner from Edinburgh 2008, "the real" is found in the presence of its cast made up of 13 to 18 year old adolescents. Whatever they do, it is so far from acting that it by nature becomes the most beautiful esemble of stage living that I have come across.

Once and For All... attempts to be little more than a reminder of what we were and what they are. Though the dancing, fighting, groping mass on stage is certainly entertaining, the most startling moments of the performance come when the audience finds the tables turned and realize that they themselves are being watched and probed and picked apart by the kids. I found myself noticeably squirming in my seat during an extended sequence of teenage orgy (in the most innocent sense of the word) when I caught myself entrances by the activity on stage. "What does that say about me?"
I wondered. Of course, the kids don't care. I am old (though less than a generation away!) and they have themselves, each other, everything.

At it's best, Once And For All... is an excercise in simplicity amongst chaos. The set and lighting design doesn't attempt to mime minimalism-- it is, in fact, barely there. While the show certainly worked within the world of these constaints, I would be enormously excited to see how a fully realized design could influence the show. There's no reason that utilizing a teenage lighting designer with sufficient skill would take away from the zest of the piece. In fact, judging by the excellent direction of 30-something Alexandre Devrient, there's no reason that adults can't come play in this world. Which of course raises the question of whether we can ever go back to the world we lived in as adolescents-- and do we want to?
Only if someone promises I get to ride the motorbike into the tower of water cooler jugs...

Friday, 24 October 2008

LATER with Roy Williams @ Trafalgar Studios, London

LATER curated by Roy Williams presented by PainesPLOUGH @ Trafalgar Studios, London
LATER series curated by Duncan Macmillan

Roy Williams present extracts from his new pieces of work

with: Che Walker, Cavan Clerkin, Jamie Davis, Alex Lanipekun, Pippa Nixon, Kate Sissions

with: Natasha Bain, Marsha Henry

LATER is a late night series representing new work by British artists. This proved a chance to hear new works in progress by Roy Williams, OBE. Williams introduced his most recent work as two separately commissioned plays (one for the RSC and one for the Almeida) whose worlds overlap. Reunion is a study of a generation that finds itself "too young to be old and too old to be young" and featured likeable performances by its cast, given a chance to portray their characters at both 15 and then again as lost adults. We were given just a taste of the second piece, Shifting Sands, a study of the experience of English blacks, and what happens when you attempt to hide behind a facade of race. It details a relationship between a mourning mother and the father of the boy who shot her son in a drive by shooting.

This was the kind of night when y ou could sit back and revel in the ease of the language. You know you are in good hands. It has taken me too long to come across Roy Williams' work, and I suspect a treat awaits me in looking into the rest of his many plays- and for all the audiences lucky enough to catch his next two London premieres.

MINE @ The Hampstead Theatre, London

Shared Experience Presents
MINE @ The Hampstead Theatre
Written and Directed by Polly Teale

Designed by Angela Simpson
Music and Sound by Peter Salem
Company Movement by Liz Ranken
Lighting by Colin Grenfell
Video and Projection Design by Thomas Gray for The Gray Circle
Sound Design by Alex Caplen
Dramaturg Nancy Meckler
Production Manager Alison Ritchie
Company Stage Manager Chrissie Chandler

With: Marion Bailey, Clare Lawrence Moody, Allistair Petrie, Lorraine Stanley, Katy Stephens, Sophie Stone

The two central characters of Polly Teale's new play, Mine, are written simply as "Man" and "Woman." It is this kind of arsty-fartsy lack of specificity that left my teeth coated in saccharine and my head in my hands when leaving this performance. Shared Experience, the producing company of Mine advertises itself as a ensemble and movement based company. Unfortunately, their desire to include this work in the current piece undermined any kind of style the play would have had on its own. Infused with confusing and awkwardly executed dream-like movement sequences, I felt like I had been strapped down in the rehearsal room and forced to watch all of the homework the actors should have done to get to their final character. Surely we would not sit and watch an actor scoring their script? It felt just as tedious and embarassing to watch them perform silly tableaux and vignettes that should have been a means to an end and certainly never the final product.

Despite it's female writer/director, Mine feels sexist and misogynistic, in addition to painfully classist. The concept of the career woman who gave up the chance for a child to be a success was covered by Caryl Churchill (in an infinitely more creative and exciting way) in Top Girls back in 1982. Why do I care again? Why do I want to see the banshee wife who longs for a child and then tries to give it away when she has one while her saintly husband stands by? Why, oh why, is the child's birth mother a prostitute who dresses in size too small sweats with her thong pull up to her waist to be sure it shows over the top of her pants? Naturally, she has an expectedly lower-class accent than the rest of the cast to epmhasize her status. I was not only bored watching the cast go through these motions, I was embarrassed.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


MARK ROTHKO: THE LATE SERIES @ TATE Modern, London September 26th, 2008-February 1, 2009

Exhibition Includes: Four Darks in Red 1958, 8 of The Seagram Murals, The Black-Form Paintings, Untitled 1964, The Brown and Gray Paintings, The Black on Gray Paintings

The current Rothko exhibit at the TATE focuses mainly on his work in series (1903-1970) and is the first major collection of his work to be featured in the UK for the past 20 years. It is a rare chance to see some of these pieces united, hailing from diverse homes including the MoMa in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Kawamura Museum of Art in Japan. There is a large focus on the Seagram Murals, a series comissioned in 1958 for a dining room in The Four Seasons, there is a sort of mythos hovering around the paintings that Rothko later withdrew from the project, deeming a dining room an unsuitable place to display his work. The current display of the Seagram paintings has been meticulously put together by the TATE to be as close to the orginal wishes of the painter himself as possible, and is a long gallery with a lovely amount of breathing room between pieces.

There is something about Rothko that attacts me partiularly from a lighting design standpoint. His use of color and texture is a tangible (although not really, they arrest you for that sort of thing...) example of what we strive to do every day on the stage. Although this could be a metaphor from everything from text to design, it particularly resonates when discussing light. I first started looking at a lot of Rothko images when working with New York lighting designer, David Lander, who was usuing a painting as inspiration for his cyc in a production of King Lear. It has struck me ever since that Rothko has in fact laid out the groundwork for nearly perfect lighting designs. Seeing these peices in person is invaluable. I cannot stress enough that nothing but reality can do remote justice to Rothko technique-- it is imperative to see each available brush stroke. It is a brilliant example of the amount of work that goes into something that appears on a quick glance to be starkly plain-- As we in the theatre know, this is ever the hardest thing to accomplish! In Rothko, something that is black is actually seven shades of purple.

I spent maybe 5 minutes in the Black on Black room completely alone. (Lucky scenario at the TATE on a weekend!) It was incredible to sit quietly, with the paintings, no other person to put meaning or judgement on either them or myself. All art that challenges us and our perspective changes us, and hopefully as we change and deepen, so does our craft.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

DRIFT '08 @ The River Thames, London

Illuminate Productions
London's First Annual Art Exhibition on The River Thames

Please see Iluminate Productions for information on all 7 contemporary art installations as a part of Drift '08.

Craig Walsh (Austrailia)

Classification Pending

Hyper-Real Projection

North Side of London Bridge looking towards the TATE Modern

"Witness a new life form living in the Thames. These mythical creatures will evolve to form a family unit during the course of DRIFT. Only appearing at dusk, they will develop into an apparition - like the creatures of folklore before them."

Maybe I have been feeling particularly lonely since moving to a new country two-odd weeks ago. Perhaps it's that time of the month and my uterus wants to be noticed. (They do that sometimes.) Or I could just be a sap. But the sight of baby sea monsters finding one another in the Thames River and learning to live in a family unit (nuzzling, playfully dodging waves and one another, all the while whiskers twitching) makes me want to do nothing more than take the artist home and cuddle. Would that be creepy? Probably. But the offer stands. Classification Pending is my favorite piece I have stumbled on during DRIFT '08. It tells the viewer a story of the place the art is set, the characters within it, and makes the audience care about all of the above. As a theater practitioner, I recognize this as no easy feat. The quality of the projections is lovely, although I look forward to 20 years from now when we find a way to eradicate the telling projection boxes of light that are a giveaway to the installation.

Andy Harper (United Kingdom)

Feast of Skulls

Oil on Steel

River Walkway by Shakespeare's Globe

"Weird and wonderful plant-like forms are painted directly onto a river buoy. The plants appear to be growing, morphing and climbing the buoy."

A smart piece with clean brushstrokes and joyful colors, this buoy holds a secret. Interwoven within a maze of fish, flowers and algae the viewer stumbles across the dark remains of several skulls floating amist the debris of human bones. I appreciated how much joy the artist brought to his macabre subject and found the bouy to vastly improve it's section of walkway along the river, in reality an unforunate locale for this piece. I would have liked to come across this on a piece of beach, washed ashore and thick with rust. As it was, the tourist and commuter traffic heavy locale distracted from it's fine mix of art realism.

Mariele Neudecker (Germany)

Much Was Decided Before You Were Born (2)

Sound Installation

Millennium Bridge

"A seaside soundscape disorientates passers-by, surrounding them with the sound of waves, seaside chatter and the cries of seagulls."

The soundscape on Millennium Bridge is, along with the Blackfriars ghost bridge, conceptually one of my favorite pieces. Unfortunately, like the Ghost Bridge, it seems a halfhearted effort. I did notice the crying gulls before I knew there was an installation here, but I long for a better thought out system, where you didn't only come across the one sound at the one point. Rather, why not explore a variety of sound at a variety of bridge locations? Sensorally, the piece works. There is something very comforting to me personally, as a childhood seaside veteran to the crashing of waves and crying of gulls. I only wish I could get more excited about it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008



October 14 2008-January 11 2009

Exhibit Includes: Eurka/Blindhotland 1970-5, Through 1983-9, Mission/Missions (How to Build Cathedrals) 1987 (SEE TOP), Red Shift 1967-84 (SEE BOTTOM), Fontes 1992/2008, Babel 2001, Volatile 1980-94, Southern Cross 1969-70, Glovetrotter 1991, Money Tree 1969

I had the extraordinary luck to be allowed to tag along to the Opening of the first Cildo Meireles exhibit in the UK at TATE Modern on Monday night. The artist himself appeared a zen-seeming man with cheerful Buddha eyes. I can't imagine an experience closer to that of Christmas morning. A wonderfully curated, interactive experience, the exhibit includes one room of Cildo's early work including recycled Brazilian Coke bottles silk screened with almost unnoticeable dexterity with phrases including "Yankee Go Home!" There are also several examples of the "Zero Dollar" in both Brazilian and American currency (terrifyingly apt at the current moment) and "Liberty coins" that have "In God We Trust" on one side and a Coca Cola on the other. Important to note that these are not only pieces of art, but pieces of political unrest that made made their way onto the streets of mainstream Brazil.

While it is important to see the artistic climate that Cildo has emerged from, it is his (sometimes) less blatantly political installation work that makes the best impression at the TATE today. I could gush embarrassingly over the giddy joy that I felt getting to experience a hands on exploration of my personal favorites (Volatile, Red Shift, Through, How to Build Cathedrals, Fontes) but I nearly cringe at not letting you experience the work yourself. In brief- Volatile is a sensory explosion involving a very dark room, three people you've never met, and talc up to your knees. (Word of advice- Don't wear the boots! It is integral to feel this on your bare skin!) Red Shift allows seven people into a series of three gloriously vermilion rooms that tell a story as theatrical as any I have seen onstage (Be sure to look in the refrigerator!) Through has been "safe-guarded" with a layer of plexi over the satisfyingly shattered glass, but retains enough crunch to keep it's dark danger, while Mission/Missions (How to Build Cathedrals) -both a tribute and a curse to the Jesuits who lost their lives in missions throughout Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay- seems untouched since the original installation. It is haunting, simple, and beautiful. I experienced the most joy exploring the clock and ruler maze of Fontes, and encourage everyone to find the center of the spiral before falling into the following UV version of Canal-street inspired installation, Babel.

This is an exhibit not to miss. I believe next stop is a tour to the permanent home of Mission/Missions (How to Build Cathedrals) at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, USA.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

DRIFT '08 'GHOST BRIDGE' @ The River Thames, London

Illuminate Productions
London's First Annual Art Exhibition on The River Thames

Keith Bowler (United Kingdom)

Ghost Bridge

Light Installation

Old Blackfriars Railway Bridge

"The bridge design is simulated on top of its original supporting posts using the latest lighting technology."

Please see Iluminate Productions for information on all 7 contemporary art installations as a part of Drift '08.

Tonight I caught a second part of the Drift '08 exhibition on my way to see the Cildo Miereles opening at The TATE Modern. Especially excited about the nature of the light installation on Blackfriars, I was slightly disappointed. The concept is there, in brilliant glory, but there's no reason that they could not have carried it out in more ghostly detail. The pin straight lines of the lasers across the old supports are beautiful, but they lack a clarity of meaning to one who is unaware of the project. I would prefer for the bridge to be there, not just send us a postcard.

Friday, 10 October 2008

FRANKFURT GOOD WOOD @ Hold & Freight, London

frankfurt good wood
Hold & Freight Gallery Space
With Art by: Anne Lina Billinger, Jorman Foth, Lena Henke, Hanna Hildebrand, Simone Junker, Andrei Koschmieder, Paul Wierbinski, Naneci Yurdagul

An art exchange project between students at Goldsmiths University in London and the Frankfurt Stadelschule Dancing Class, curated by second year Art Curation MAs. To my admittedly untrained eye, it felt a bit messy and "faux nouveau," (I mean, don't get me wrong, I decopaged magazine collages onto my bedroom door in highschool too...) with the exception of a glittery gem of a short film by Paul Wierbinski entitled Ivo Burkovic- The Life of the Fake Artist as a Young Business Model (2008). Paul details his creation of the perfect bohemian artist to market work he believes to be shitty, but marketable. An eastern name, a mall photo, some Chinamen to "paint and paint and paint and paint" for dirt cheap, a young artist auction to rich buyers, and I'll be damned if Ivo Burkovic isn't the hottest thing in town and turning a far from shabby profit to boot. I can't wait to revisit the Borat of Modern Art.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

SHUNT LOUNGE October 9, 2008 @ The Vaults, London


Shunt Vaults, London Bridge
October 9, 2008

What If?
Created and Directed By Shunt Artist Layla Rosa
With: Geneva Foster-Gluck, Virginia Fernandez de Gamboa, Layla Rosa

"What if?...My eyes never see what your eyes see?"is the question raised by this tight ensemble of women over the course of Layla Rosa's nightmarish odyssey What If?

Audiences are encouraged to walk around the full space, throughout the magnificent railway arches that bless the Shunt arena, touch the ropes hanging ominously from 20-odd feet about our heads, do anything but sit down immediately. This is a brilliant touch, because if I had not done do before taking my seat, I may have doubted that anything before me was a reality. Maybe it was too late for me to be there, maybe I had had too much to drink, but nothing could have prepared me for the acid experience that awaited me.

Women in full Chadors perform ariel acts that blur the lines between circus act and snuff film. A "striptease" removal of veil upon veil...upon veil...reveals new, sexy, and sarcastic boundaries. We are both relieved and terrified when we realize that we have finally come to some real flesh-- the eyes! Eyes that speak volumes and lips that are never seen and say nothing, except perhaps to sing a caberet song ('Night and Day' was it? So startling was the experience that it didn't even matter- I cannot forget the chills on the back of the neck to hear this deep sexy voice through the layers of cloth.)

"What A Wonderful World" sings Louis Armstrong as our arielist swings (joyfully? girlishly?) from her rope high above us. She may continue to swing happily when we go to black, or she may simply hang herself. Either ending would be appropriate to this fevered trip.

I certainly cannot be sure that my eyes and ears took in the same performance that the man sitting next to me, in front of me or behind me did. What a wonderful world, indeed.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE @ English National Opera, London

ENO at The London Coliseum
Music: Gioachino Rossini
Libretto: Cesare Sterbini
English Translation: Amanda Holden and Anthony Holden
Original Director: Jonathan Miller
Revial Director: Ian Rutherford
Conductor: Rory Macdonald
Original Designer: Tanya McCallin
Original Lighting Designer: Tom Mannings
Revival Lighting: Martin Doone
PSM: Alex Hayesmore

With: Julian Hubbard, John Tessier, Garry Magee, Anna Grevelius, Andrew Shore, Jennifer Rhys-Davies, Peter Kerr, Brindley Sherratt, Geraint Hylton

Let's start out with a compliment, shall we? The Barber of Seville is a lovely evening at the ENO. The acting is spot on, the slapstick as sticky and joyous as toffee and the comedic timing and vocals both pitch-perfect.

Now a question: Why did you revive this production?

Let me expound a bit. I do not think that "Because it's fun" is a good enough reason to revive a less than perfect production. There is always room for a jolly evening spent enjoying Rossini's opera. But why this production? Or to phrase the question in another way....Or 7...

  • Why did you use so much plexi glass in the set that I could see all the lamps reflected back into my eyes and had to stop looking at the stage?
  • Why was there no front light?
  • Why did you only use dramatic cuing at the end of Act 1?
  • Why didn't anyone know what to do when the automation didn't work? Surely you're prepared for this?
  • Why were some of the costumes sumptuous creme puffs of goodness and others walking yawns?
  • Why was there lightning inside the house during the thunderstorm? (Lighting Designers! We do notice where you place your strobes!)
  • And most importantly--- Why was my bed sheet hug across the stage like a giant sail? You don't think this play takes place on a you?

I would like say that I loved the direction, but that is only true as far as staging goes. Beyond that, I got the feeling that the director and the designers never spent time in the same room, let alone teched the same piece. So, may I ask why we feel the need to revisit this production? Clearly the talent is in the world to perfect this piece. Why not explore new territory within the context of a classic?

Also a note: This is the first translation I have seen of this piece into English. It was clearly very English, but I'm not sure that it was terribly good. I would love to hear from anyone who has worked with this or another translation if you have thoughts on either. I suspect that the idea of the ENO needing pieces to be in English has become obsolete now that we have the technology to so easily display subtitles. There is a wealth in the original language that I lost at several turns over the course of this evening.

I left this production with a general feeling of homey happy cuddliness, but with a good dose of bewilderment thrown in for good measure.
Mostly, it makes me want to find a good Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in town. Anyone?

Saturday, 4 October 2008

LIBERTY @ Shakespeare's Globe, London

World Premiere @ Shakespeare's Globe
By Glyn Maxwell
Directed By Guy Retallack
Designer: Ti Green
Composer: William Lyons
Choreographer: Paul Harris
PSM: Martin Hope
With: David Sturazaker, Ellie Piercy, Edward Macliam, Kirsty Besterman, Belinda Lang, Gregory Gudgeon, Jonty Stephens, William Lyons, Jon Banks, Clare Salaman

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the New Globe to see the final performance of Glyn Maxwell's new verse-play, Liberty. "Haven't we been subjected to enough theater covering the French Revolution?!" I whined obnoxiously to my calmer American compatriot. To be fair, I land here in England having been freshly subjected to the musical disaster that is the production of Tale of Two Cities currently desecrating the Broadway stage. That particular production was such a snooze-fest that I carry with me a "NO REVOLUTION BUT A BOUBLIL AND SHONBERG REVOLUTION" leaflet to hand out to budding writers and composers. Thank God, I have been swiftly and sharply proved wrong.

Liberty is a gleefully directed, fast paced slice of French Soap Opera. There is music, there is madness, lust, bourgeois fallen on hardship, implied rape, fetish, and the lopping off of heads. Personally, I could not ask for much more when dealing with a production on the Globe stage, except perhaps for an exceptional minimalist design, stellar acting, and a rousing masque, all of which were offered up, to my childish excitement. Even a brief (albeit disturbing) nod to puppets! Joy!

The verse is imperfect, but forgiven since the language is lovely enough in itself to transcend this issue. I haven't heard a modern playwright capture such a biting wit in a classical tone in recent years. It makes me ponder if perhaps Richard Nelson didn't just plain need more sex to make his recent Conversations In Tusculum wake up off the page. Are we audiences so base? So yearning for innuendo? Perhaps. Or perhaps, like Shakespeare, we recognize the need to place great love, tragedy and yearning against the backdrop of a few bawdy codpiece references in order to make it recognizable to our own lives. Glyn Maxwell knows that we relish the rake who drinks and beds the girls. And yet he presents this in such beautiful language that none of us feel dirty, but rather leave the theater an elevated breed of intellectual.

Liberty has a heart and soul pounding under it's historical skin, and I wish it the best of luck on it's current UK tour. I can offer no better compliment to all involved that to say "I want to know what happens next."

DRIFT '08 'SAVED FROM DROWNING' @ The River Thames, London

Illuminate Productions
London's First Annual Art Exhibition on The River Thames

Margaret Evangeline (United States of America)

Saved From Drowning

Steel Painting

River Thames Opposite the TATE Modern

"The mirrored surface of this large, interactive sculpture rises and falls with the tide, and captures the activities and audience on the surrounding riverscape."

Please see Iluminate Productions for information on all 7 contemporary art installations as a part of Drift '08.

I must confess. I was interviewed about this piece, along with my fellow American "drayma" student for Korean television before either of us had even realized we were standing in front of a piece of art. This piece, on first glance, reads as something practical (trash-strainer-thing?) floating on the Thames that is accidentally beautiful. And I love it all the more for that.

I (apparently) could talk circles about the site specificity of this piece long before reading it's title or blurb. They were pretentious circles, but they came from an instant gut reaction of joy to find this moving smashed and glorious mirror floating, reflecting the gray sky, my wan face, and the rippling water all in one distorting swoop. The truth is that it is a touching tribute to the drowned, bringing us down to their level by reflecting both what we see (St. Paul's on the one side, the TATE Modern on the other, and of course, ourselves on the shore) and the waves that encompass the dead.

I love this project. Has anyone else gone on a walk through the sites of Drift '08?