Monday, 28 April 2014

LONDON POEMS TO READ...

Shakespeare


Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows reformation.
There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny:
the three-hooped pot; shall have ten hoops and I will make it felony
to drink small beer: all the realm shall be in common;
and when I am king, as king I will be,-- I thank you, good people:
there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will
apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
Descended from the Duke of Clarence' house,
And calls your grace usurper openly
And vows to crown himself in Westminster.
His army is a ragged multitude
Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless:
Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother's death
Hath given them heart and courage to proceed:
All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen,
They call false caterpillars, and intend their death.
Jack Cade hath gotten London Bridge:
The citizens fly and forsake their houses:
The rascal people, thirsting after prey,
Join with the traitor, and they jointly swear
To spoil the city and your royal court.
And here, sitting upon London-stone,
I charge and command that,
of the city's cost,
the pissing-conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign.
And you, base peasants, do ye believe him?
will you needs be hanged with your pardons about your necks?
Hath my sword therefore broke through London gates,
that you should leave me at the White Hart in Southwark?
 I thought ye would never have given out these arms till you had recovered your ancient
freedom: but you are all recreants and dastards,
and delight to live in slavery to the nobility.
Let them break your backs with burthens,
take your houses over your heads,
ravish your wives and daughters before your faces:
for me, I will make shift for one;
and so,
 God's curse light upon you all!



Donne

SIR,

I Love to give you advantages upon me,
therefore I put my self in need of another pardon from you,
 by not comming to you;
yet I am scarce guilty enough to spend much of your vertue from you,
because I knew not of your being come till this your Letter told me so,
in the midst of dinner at Peckham, this Monday.
Sir, I am very truly yours; if you have overvalued me in any capacity,
I will do what I can to overtake your hopes of me.
I wish my self whatsoever you wish me; and so I do,
what ever you wish your self.
I am prisoner and close; else I had not needed this pardon,
for I long much, and much more by occasion of your Letter,
to see you: when you finde that good Lady emptiest of businesse and pleasure,
present my humble thanks; you can do me no favour,
which I need not, nor any, which I cannot have some hope to deserve,
but this; for I have made her opinion of me,
the ballance by which I weigh my self.
I will come soon enough to deliver my thanks to Sir J. Harr[ington] for your ease,
whom I know I have pained with an ilfavoured Letter;
but my heart hath one style,
and character,
and is yours in wishing,
and in thankfulnesse.


  
Honour is so sublime perfection,  
  
And so refinde; that when God was alone  
  
And creaturelesse at first, himselfe had none;  
  
   
  
But as of the elements, these which wee tread,  
  
Produce all things with which wee'are joy'd or fed,  
  
And, those are barren both above our head:  
  
   
  
So from low persons doth all honour flow;  
  
Kings, whom they would have honoured, to us show,  
  
And but direct our honour, not bestow.  
  
   
  
For when from herbs the pure part must be wonne  
  
From grosse, by Stilling, this is better done  
  
By despis'd dung, then by the fire or Sunne.  
  
   
  
Care not then, Madame,'how low your praysers lye;  
  
In labourers balads oft more piety  
  
God findes, then in Te Deums melodie…



Pepys

Monday 13 June 1664
So up at 5 o’clock, and with Captain Taylor

on board her at Deptford,
and found all out of order, only the soldiers civil,
and Sir Arthur Bassett

a civil person. I rated at Captain Taylor, whom,
contrary to my expectation, I found a lying and
a very stupid blundering fellow, good for nothing,
and yet we talk of him in the Navy as if he had been
 an excellent officer, but I find him a lying knave, and
 of no judgment or dispatch at all. After finding the
condition of the ship, no master, not above four men,
and many ship’s provisions, sayls, and other things wanting,
 I went back and called upon Fudge, whom I found like a
lying rogue unready to go on board,
but I did so jeer him that I made him get every thing ready,
and left Taylor and H. Russell to quicken him, and so away
and I by water on to White Hall, where I met his Royal Highnesse
at a Tangier Committee
about this very thing, and did there
 satisfy him how things are, at which all was pacified
without any trouble, and I hope may end well,
but I confess I am at a real trouble for fear the rogue should
not do his work, and I come to shame and losse of the money
I did hope justly to have got by it.
Thence walked with Mr. Coventry
to St. James’s, and there
spent by his desire the whole morning reading of some old
 Navy books given him of old Sir John Cooke’s
by the
Archbishop of Canterbury
that now is; wherein the order that
was observed in the Navy then, above what it is now,
is very observable, and fine things we did observe in our reading.
Anon to dinner, after dinner to discourse of the business of the
Dutch warr, wherein he tells me the Dutch do in every particular,
which are but few and small things that we can demand of them,
whatever cry we unjustly make, do seem to offer at an
accommodation, for they do owne that it is not for their profit to
have warr with England. We did also talk of a History of the
Navy of England, how fit it were to be writ; and he did say
that it hath been in his mind to propose to me the writing of
the History of the late Dutch warr, which I am glad to hear,
it being a thing I much desire, and sorts mightily with my genius;
and, if well done, may recommend me much.
So he says he will get me an order for making of searches
to all records, &c., in order thereto, and I shall take great
delight in doing of it. Thence by water down to the Tower
,
and thither sent for Mr. Creed to my house, where he
 promised to be, and he and I down to the ship, and
find all things in pretty good order, and I hope will end to my mind.
Thence having a gaily down to Greenwich, and there saw the
King’s
works, which are great, a-doing there, and so to the
Cherry Garden, and so carried some cherries
home, and
after supper to bed, my wife
lying with me, which from my
not being thoroughly well, nor she, we have not done above
once these two or three weeks.



Swift

‘…Before he quitted Redriff,
he left the custody of the following papers in my hands,
with the liberty to dispose of them as I should think fit.
 I have carefully perused them three times.
 The style is very plain and simple; and the only fault I find is,
that the author, after the manner of travellers,
is a little too circumstantial.
There is an air of truth apparent through the whole;
and indeed the author was so distinguished for his veracity,
that it became a sort of proverb among his neighbours at Redriff,
when any one affirmed a thing, to say, it was as true as if Mr. Gulliver had spoken it…’.
After Lilliput: ‘…I stayed but two months with my wife and family,
for my insatiable desire of seeing foreign countries,
would suffer me to continue no longer.
I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife,
and fixed her in a good house at Redriff…’
End of IV: 

‘…I here take a final leave of all my courteous readers,
and return to enjoy my own speculations in my little garden at Redriff;
to apply those excellent lessons of virtue which I learned among
the Houyhnhnms; to instruct the Yahoos of my own family,
is far as I shall find them docible animals; to behold my figure often
in a glass, and thus, if possible, habituate myself by time to tolerate
the sight of a human creature; to lament the brutality to Houyhnhnms
in my own country, but always treat their persons with respect, for the
sake of my noble master, his family, his friends, and the whole
Houyhnhnm race, whom these of ours have the honour to resemble
in all their lineaments, however their intellectuals came to degenerate…’



Blake

Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery,
Fed with cold and usurous hand?

Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!

And their sun does never shine,
And their fields are bleak and bare,
And their ways are filled with thorns:
It is eternal winter there.

For where'er the sun does shine,
And where'er the rain does fall,
Babes should never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.

I wander through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,
In every infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.

How the chimney-sweeper's cry
Every blackening church appalls,
And the hapless soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down palace walls.

But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot's curse
Blasts the new-born infant's tear
And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.



Dickens


Near to that part of the Thames on which the church at Rotherhithe abuts,
where the buildings on the banks are dirtiest and the vessels on the river
blackest with the dust of colliers and the smoke of close-built low-roofed
houses, there exists the filthiest, the strangest, the most extraordinary of
 the many localities that are hidden in London, wholly unknown, even by
 name, to the great mass of its inhabitants.
To reach this place, the visitor has to penetrate through a maze of close,
narrow, and muddy streets, thronged by the roughest and poorest of
waterside people, and devoted to the traffic they may be supposed to
occasion. The cheapest and least delicate provisions are heaped in the
shops; the coarsest and commonest articles of wearing apparel dangle
 at the salesman's door, and stream from the house-parapet and windows.
 Jostling with unemployed labourers of the lowest class, ballast-heavers,
 coal-whippers, brazen women, ragged children, and the raff and refuse
of the river, he makes his way with difficulty along, assailed by offensive
sights and smells from the narrow alleys which branch off on the right
and left, and deafened by the clash of ponderous waggons that bear great
piles of merchandise from the stacks of warehouses that rise from every
corner. Arriving, at length, in streets remoter and less-frequented than those
 through which he has passed, he walks beneath tottering house-fronts
 projecting over the pavement, dismantled walls that seem to totter as
he passes, chimneys half crushed half hesitating to fall, windows guarded
 by rusty iron bars that time and dirt have almost eaten away, every
imaginable sign of desolation and neglect.
In such a neighbourhood, beyond Dockhead in the Borough of Southwark,
 stands Jacob's Island, surrounded by a muddy ditch, six or eight feet
deep and fifteen or twenty wide when the tide is in, once called
Mill Pond, but known in the days of this story as Folly Ditch. It is a creek
or inlet from the Thames, and can always be filled at high water by opening
the sluices at the Lead Mills from which it took its old name. At such times,
a stranger, looking from one of the wooden bridges thrown across it at Mill
Lane, will see the inhabitants of the houses on either side lowering from
their back doors and windows, buckets, pails, domestic utensils of all kinds,
 in which to haul the water up; and when his eye is turned from these
operations to the houses themselves, his utmost astonishment will be
excited by the scene before him. Crazy wooden galleries common to the
backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the
slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on
which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy,
so confined, that the air would seem too tainted even for the dirt and squalor
which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the
mud, and threatening to fall into it—as some have done; dirt-besmeared
walls and decaying foundations; every repulsive lineament of poverty,
every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage; all these ornament
the banks of Folly Ditch.
In Jacob's Island, the warehouses are roofless and empty; the walls are
crumbling down; the windows are windows no more; the doors are falling
 into the streets; the chimneys are blackened, but they yield no smoke.
Thirty or forty years ago, before losses and chancery suits came upon it,
 it was a thriving place; but now it is a desolate island indeed. The houses
 have no owners; they are broken open, and entered upon by those who
have the courage; and there they live, and there they die. They must have
 powerful motives for a secret residence, or be reduced to a destitute
condition indeed, who seek a refuge in Jacob's Island.



Doyle

‘…Sherlock Holmes was never at fault, however, and he muttered the
names as the cab rattled through squares and in and out by tortuous by-streets.
"Rochester Row," said he. "Now Vincent Square. Now we come out on
 the Vauxhall Bridge Road. We are making for the Surrey side apparently.
Yes, I thought so. Now we are on the bridge. You can catch glimpses of the river."
We did indeed get a fleeting view of a stretch of the Thames, with the lamps
shining upon the broad, silent water; but our cab dashed on and was soon
involved in a labyrinth of streets upon the other side.
"Wandsworth Road," said my companion. "Priory Road. Lark Hall Lane.
Stockwell Place. Robert Street. Coldharbour Lane. Our quest does not
appear to take us to very fashionable regions."
We had indeed reached a questionable and forbidding neighbourhood.
Long lines of dull brick houses were only relieved by the coarse glare and
 tawdry brilliancy of public-houses at the corner. Then came rows of
two-storied villas, each with a fronting of miniature garden, and then
again interminable lines of new, staring brick buildings -- the monster
tentacles which the giant city was throwing out into the country. At last
the cab drew up at the third house in a new terrace. None of the other
houses were inhabited, and that at which we stopped was as dark as
its neighbours, save for a single glimmer in the kitchen-window. On
our knocking, however, the door was instantly thrown open by a Hindoo
 servant, clad in a yellow turban, white loose-fitting clothes, and a yellow
 sash. There was something strangely in- congruous in this Oriental
figure framed in the commonplace doorway of a third-rate suburban
dwelling-house…’
‘…Holmes was sunk in profound thought and hardly opened his mouth
 until we had passed Clapham Junction.

   "It's a very cheery thing to come into London by any of these
 lines which run high and allow you to look down upon the houses
 like this."
    I thought he was joking, for the view was sordid enough, but
he soon explained himself.
 "Look at those big, isolated clumps of buildings rising up above the
 slates, like brick islands in a lead-coloured sea."
    "The board-schools."
    Light-houses, my boy! Beacons of the future! Capsules with hundreds
 of bright little seeds in each, out of which will spring the wiser, better England of the future…’



Gissing

‘…At eight o'clock on Sunday morning, Arthur Peachey unlocked his front door,
and quietly went forth. He had not ventured to ask that early breakfast should be
 prepared for him. Enough that he was leaving home for a summer holiday—the
 first he had allowed himself since his marriage three years ago.

It was a house in De Crespigny Park; unattached, double-fronted, with half-sunk
basement, and a flight of steps to the stucco pillars at the entrance.
De Crespigny Park, a thoroughfare connecting Grove Lane, Camberwell,
with Denmark Hill, presents a double row of similar dwellings; its clean breadth,
 with foliage of trees and shrubs in front gardens, makes it pleasant to the eye
that finds pleasure in suburban London. In point of respectability, it has claims
only to be appreciated by the ambitious middle-class of Camberwell. Each house
seems to remind its neighbour, with all the complacence expressible in buff brick,
that in this locality lodgings are not to let…’

‘…Grove Lane is a long acclivity, which starts from Camberwell Green, and, after
 passing a few mean shops, becomes a road of suburban dwellings. The houses
vary considerably in size and aspect, also in date, -- with the result of a certain
picturesqueness, enhanced by the growth of fine trees on either side. Architectural
 grace can nowhere be discovered, but the contract-builder of today has not yet
been permitted to work his will; age and irregularity, even though the edifices be
but so many illustrations of the ungainly, the insipid, and the frankly hideous,
have a pleasanter effect than that of new streets built to one pattern by the mile.
There are small cottages overgrown with creepers, relics of Camberwell's rusticity;
rows of tall and of squat dwellings that lie behind grassy plots, railed from the road;
 larger houses that stand in their own gardens, hidden by walls. Narrow passages
connect the Lane with its more formal neighbour Camberwell Grove; on the other
side are ways leading towards Denmark Hill, quiet, leafy. From the top of the Lane,
where Champion Hill enjoys an aristocratic seclusion, is obtainable a glimpse of
open fields and of a wooded horizon southward.

It is a neighbourhood in decay, a bit of London which does not keep pace with
the times. And Nancy hated it. She would have preferred to live even in a poor
and grimy street which neighboured the main track of business and pleasure..’.



 

Nice old map

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

‘Driftwood’ -by Oliver Payne and Nick Relph

'Driftwood'
is part of a trilogy of films made between 1999-2001 called ’The Essential Selection’ by the artists Oliver Payne and Nick Relph. 

Driftwood pays homage to Patrick Keillers film ‘London’. 
Starting with the subject of skateboarding (something close to the two artists hearts) the film takes a look at London’s civic well being and journeys through the anatomy of urban, industrial and commercial landscapes. 




Jeremy Deller- ‘Manchester international festival’


For the MIF 09 the Artist Jeremy Deller organised a procession of 25 floats included boy racers, local team mascots, street vendors of the big issue, former mill workers, hearses to much missed Manchester institutions, the EMO’s and goths who hang out in the Cathedral gardens and more.




Francis Ayls


Francis Ayls is a Belgian artist living in Mexico city. He formally trained as an architect before becoming an artist.

His work deals with anthropological and political concerns, often around the city.
The work usually manifests as an act, a ‘street walk’, intervention or performance of some kind. There are often drawings, photography, sculptures to support the works. 




His actions have involved travelling the longest possible route between locations in Mexico and the United States to highlight the increasing obstacles imposed along the border,asking 500 volunteers using shovels, to ‘move’ a sand dune 10 centimeters from its original position. These actions often seem ‘absurd’ or ‘whimsical’ but in their open ended approach, raise important questions. 



Barrenderos (sweepers) 2004
A line of street sweepers pushing garbage through the streets of Mexico City until they are stopped by the mass of trash.






The Green Line 
(Sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic)’,

Jerusalem 2004
A walk through the municipality of Jerusalem with a leaking can of paint, effective drawing a visible line. A Documentary follows the encounters and reactions to this act.



The Modern Procession
New York 2002
A procession organised to move the artworks of MOMA during it's relocation.








Now He is a City?

William H. Gass being painted by Philip Guston at Yaddo, 1969.

http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/3404

http://logger.believermag.com/post/62725710321/william-gass-painted-on-by-philip-guston-1969

Sunday, 20 April 2014

MEGA CITY ONE - Imagined city, a way to examine urban living satirically.









                            

Read more here ~ 
 http://intensitiescultmedia.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/architecture-violence-and-sensation-a-visitor_s-guide-to-mega-city-one-dan-smith.pdf