Art Lab poetics and literary musings on London from Alan Moore, Iain Sinclair, Allen Fisher and Brian Catling. Curated by Xing The Line. Painting by Brian Catling.
Future Exiles Return to a Last London convenes, as willing revenants, a visitation from the poetics of the ’70s, threatened or challenged, at a time when the likes of Allen Fisher, Brian Catling, Bill Griffiths were all leaving London (whilst still being co-opted into a paperback put out, then pulped, by a Murdoch publisher) into an unanchored CGI construct of a super-hero dystopia. Back to the Future. On through the past. Raids on Blake and the Bedlam of Lambeth. You know how it works. Alan Moore, now abdicating from the corporate comic world, returns to his roots in Arts Lab performance and poetry. A set of collisions coinciding with the final volume in Iain Sinclair’s own argument with London. And the sense that those means are no longer adequate to what we don’t quite have in front of us.
Brian Catling is a sculptor who also writes poetry, but is more well-known for making installations, performance art and video works. Recently he has been making small egg tempera portraits of Cyclopses and writing novels. The Vorrh (2015), which Alan Moore proclaimed a phosphorescent masterpiece and “one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that it has ever been my privilege to read,” is the first of a trilogy. Other solo exhibitions, performances and publications include Quill 3 Raven Row, (2015), Several Clouds Colliding with Iain Sinclair (2012), A Court of Miracles. Catling compendium (2009,) and a 2006 commission by Historic Royal Palaces for a monument at the site of execution in The Tower of London.
Allen Fisher visits London from Hereford for Iklectik and reads from PLACE (new edition 2016) and from Gravity as a consequence of shape (collected into one volume 2016). Other recent books have been a reprint of Defamiliarising ___________* (2013), TIP REGARD (2014) and SPUTTOR (2014). A book of essays, IMPERFECT FIT, Aesthetic Function, Facture snd Perception in Art & Writing since 1950, was published by University of Alabama in 2016. Recent group shows of paintings include Apple Store Gallery and Hereford Cathedral.
Alan Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books including V for Vendetta (1982–1985, 1988-1989), Watchmen (1986–1987), From Hell (1989–1996) and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999–present). Frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has been widely recognised by his peers and by critics. 2016 also saw the publication of Jerusalem, a novel wholly set in and around the author’s hometown of Northampton, England. Combining elements of historical and supernatural fiction and drawing on a range of writing styles, the author describes it as a work of “genetic mythology.”
Iain Sinclair brings his project of London writing, begun with Lud Heat (1975), carried forward through novels, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings (1987), Downriver (1991), Radon Daughters (1994), films made with Chris Petit, Andrew Kötting and John Rogers, non-fiction explorations, Lights Out for the Territory (1997), London Orbital (2002), Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire (2009), to a ‘conclusion’ with The Last London (to be published in September). Poetry, throughout these years, has remained a private vice. Photo by Anna Sinclair.