12 June, 2008


It’s your birthday today, so I got you a little present. I would have just bought you a beer, but who knows where that would have ended?

So instead, I got you a bell. I think I may have had to pawn your watch to buy it, but what the hell did you need a watch for, anyway?

You’re probably asking yourself, why a bell? In fact, I’m guessing you’re going to be asking yourself that question every time you find it in your pocket. Too many of these letters now. Too many for you to dig back into every time you want to know the answer to some little question.

It’s a joke, actually. A practical joke. But think if it this way: I’m not really laughing at you so much as with you.

I’d like to think that every time you take it out of your pocket and wonder, why do I have this bell? A little part of you, a little piece of your broken brain, will remember and laugh, like I’m laughing now.

Besides, you do know the answer. It was something you learned before. So if you think abut it, you’ll know.

Back in the old days, people were obsessed with the fear of being buried alive. You remember now? Medical science not being quite what it is today, it wasn’t uncommon for people to suddenly wake up in a casket. So rich folks had their coffins outfitted with breathing tubes. Little tubes running up to the mud above so that if someone woke up when they weren’t supposed to, they wouldn’t run out of oxygen. Now, they must have tested this out and realized that you could shout yourself hoarse through the tube, but it was too narrow to carry much noise. Not enough to attract attention, at least. So a string was run up the tube to a little bell attached to the headstone. If a dead person came back to life, all he had to do was ring his little bell till someone came and dug him up again.

I’m laughing now, picturing you on a bus or maybe in a fast-food restaurant, reaching into your pocket and finding your little bell and wondering to yourself where it came from, why you have it. Maybe you’ll even ring it.

Happy birthday, buddy.

taken from Jonathan Nolans "Memento Mori"

03 June, 2008

TO SEE... SEE NEW YORK Teenage Jesus & The Jerks

@ The Knitting Factory

June 13th
8pm & 11pm

The legendary No Wave pioneers led by a howling Lydia Lunch will perform together for the first time in thirty years. Be sure to be on time though as they will be performing twice on the same night, and they are known for their high energy 30 minute sets loaded with one minute tracks. They will be performing at the launch of Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore’s new book about the New Wave scene. It coincides with the recent release of Mark Master’s eponymously titled book on the same scene. No Wave existed for the briefest of time but its ripples are still being felt on the music and performance scenes. It represented a new kind of unlearning, and its disaffected attitude still resonates with new recording artists like Crystal Castles and Hearts Revolution. After exploding onto the scene in the late seventies and disappearing just as quickly by the beginning of the eighties, it seems to have never really gone away. If you can’t make it to the gig(s) in the Knitting Factory then take a little time out to listen to a few of these bands:

James Chance and the Contortions, Mars, DNA, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Arto Lindsay and the Modern Lovers… and, explore the scene around them yourself, you’ll almost certainly be surprised.

TO SEE... SEE LONDON Cy Twombly : Cycles and Seasons

@ Tate Modern
June 19th - September 14th

For me, the most important painter of the last fifty years: this exhibition will coincide with Cy Twombly's 80th birthday this year. When I was twelve years old I won the award for Classical Civilisation at school and chose a Cy Twombly retrospective monograph as my prize. He has stubbornly created his own pictorial language out of scratches and curves, to the point of obtrusive abstraction; often only giving away a feeling in the title of the piece. Despite being lumped in with the abstract expressionists in the fifties, he has travelled his own path. His work has always been out of context and will therefore never lose its contemporaneity. The colour looks as fresh as the day it was applied, and the scale is often dizzying, with marks ranging from tiny scratches to huge expressive curves and arcs; often punctuated by his distinctive writing style, leaving little clues. The new retrospective promises to span Twombly’s whole career, up to present day, and be the biggest exhibition of Twombly this country has seen in over thirty years. It will include paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs. The sculptures I find less important as works, but I do feel they serve to inform his shape and line, making them useful sketches.

I am full of anticipation for this show, and cannot remember the last time I was this excited about an artists retrospective, I urge you to go and see it while you can; Twombly shows are very rare things. And, I believe this will be one of the most important of his career.

twosee is now at 21 fouberts place...

Having outgrown 17 Monmouth Street, we have moved and we are now settling into our new location. The original store is closed and everything is in place at 21 fouberts place: within minutes from Oxford Circus tube, and just off Regent St, Carnaby St, and Conduit St. I think you’ll agree it would be tough to sit more centrally. As loyal customers to the store we thought it only right to give you all an insight. I have been looking at Cy Twombly in the process of designing the new store’s interior. In the last few months I have made the pilgrimage to the Tate Modern 6 or 8 times just to go into the Twombly room and gaze upon his ‘Quattro Stagioni’ (Four Seasons). It seemed fitting to work with images that were ‘seasonal’ in the creation of the interior. In particular it was his use of colour that inspired me. He has an incredible ability to juxtapose the subtlest shade of flesh or linen next to a slash of sunshine yellow, or cadmium red. This contradiction was the starting point. 

I am working on the construction with my design partner Andres Ros Soto, whom I worked with two years earlier on the Number 22 store on Carnaby Street. There have been many transitory periods; but the constant in designing the new twosee has always been Twombly and his skill as a colourist and his seemingly haphazard, but in reality, inscrutable sense of composition. It came as such a welcome surprise to have Twombly's retrospective coincide with the new store opening. Just as in a Twombly, the devil is certainlyin the details with our new space. The rails are made from Purpleheart wood, imported from Brazil, and the brass is being made bespoke in Mexico. Purpleheart is a beautiful wood, which is naturally purple when exposed to air. Over time it loses it's hue and becomes a deep reddish grey. The space is cut through with slashes of full-length mirror spliced together by porcelain floor tiles. But. for the rest, you'll have to come in and see... We are open 7 days a week, monday to saturday 11am-7pm and sunday from 1pm to 7pm.