14 Feb 2007
Giving Alvar Aalto To The UK 
From 22 February, the Barbican in London presents the very first retrospective of Finnish designer Alvar Aalto.

Aalto's contribution to the world of everything Factory Records was small but notable. Cerysmatic can do no better than to point you to what Andrew James wrote about the Aalto connection in an excellent article for Scream City 2 last year:

"In Scandinavia, Alvar Aalto worked in native woods rather than the chrome, glass and steel of Germany, but displayed a similar design sensibility to his Bauhaus counterparts. This aesthetic caught the eye of Haçienda designer Ben Kelly some 50 years later, when he opted to employ Aalto's signature three-legged stools in the basement bar of the club.

"Factory boss Tony Wilson claimed that the Haç was an altrusistic act of enlightenment for Manchester's benighted youth, as much as it was a post-modern gin palace. "We're giving Alvar Aalto to the kids," he proclaimed, magnanimously. Whether the kids actually wanted Alvar Aalto is open to debate; the stools were variously trashed, stolen and used as ashtrays."

Alvar Aalto: Through the Eyes of Shigeru Ban
22 February 2007 - 13 May 2007
Barbican Art Gallery

Tickets: Tickets online 6.00 GBP
8.00 GBP on the door
Open daily 11am - 8pm, excluding Tue & Thu 11am - 6pm.

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Thanks to (the other) JC for spotting.

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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