The important thing, the thing that lies before me, the thing that I have to do… is to absorb into my nature all that has been done to me, to make it a part of me, to accept it without complaint, fear, or reluctance.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

My review of Tom Jeffreys’ latest show, a group exhibition featuring sculpture, sound recordings, projection, photography and printing.

Now living in Moscow. Transaero kicks serious passenger aviation butt if you’re ever tempted to visit

Now living in Moscow. Transaero kicks serious passenger aviation butt if you’re ever tempted to visit

He had thought more than other men, and in matters of intellect he had that calm objectivity, that certainty of thought and knowledge, as only really intellectual people have, who lack ambition, who never wish to shine, or to persuade others, or to appear always in the right.
Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf
Je me suis souvent repenti d’avoir parlé, mais jamais de m’être tu.
Philippe de Commynes

How are the mighty fallen: a bleak and compelling narrative of the rise and demise of Soviet Socialism, written in its own avant-garde visual language. Up on the Spoonfed site since 3rd November 2011. 

My review of ‘sound sculptor’ Bill Fontana’s latest - on the Spoonfed website since 27th September 2011. 

My review of the Elizabeth Taylor Collection exhibition at Christie’s London, published online by Spoonfed on 23rd September 2011. 

Lovebox Review, or “How I Was Cut Down In My Prime”

The following text was, for a few brief, heady hours, published on The Independent website before the festival PRs freaked out and it got taken down. All that remains of its once proud online existence lies buried in the hearts and minds of those who read it (and subsequently reposted it - here: http://www.google.co.uk/search?gcx=c&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Mary+Selman+lovebox+independent

Anyway.

Lovebox - Victoria Park, 15th-17th June 2011

Noticeably anticlimactic and let down by dodgy sound systems, poor crowd-control and hilariously relentless downpours, this year’s Lovebox - the ninth -  failed to compete with last weekend’s other major outdoor extravaganzas. Up against Latitude and Guilfest, Friday’s empty stages and minimal turnout were hardly surprising considering that dubstep specialists Skream and Liverpool’s The Wombats, whilst competent, topped the sheer lack of a bill. You probably weren’t there; it was probably the right decision.

A more energetic Saturday followed, however, with a bouncy, sunny set from Katy B whose Balearic exuberance and topically red curls almost made up for the opening clouds and astonishingly enthusiastic security personnel. As fluorescent-jacketed heavies and bedraggled party-goers pirouetted horizontally in the mud, Snoop Dogg’s insolently misogynist lyrics and sinuous bass had the mums chanting that they, too, had their mind on their money and their money on their mind - probably not the effect he had in mind when Doggystyle came out in 1993, but nonetheless one of the more enthusiastic responses of the weekend and certainly of the day.

"Gay" Sunday’s promising line-up got off to a lacklustre start with Beth Ditto. Sporting the look, but unfortunately not the sound or charisma of a neon Montserrat Caballé - at least, till she stripped for a few Madonna covers - her showmanship sadly only served to emphasise the woeful lack of engaging, original material. Blondie’s subsequent appearance, by contrast, had no need to trade off…aesthetics with a cross-generational crowd-galvanising hit parade of old material and a few genuinely passable new tracks.

Despite Kelis’ claims she was mainly ‘pleasuring herself’ in the rain - and the sloganned magnetism of a black-clad Debbie Harry - her set was in fact more than adequate competition for the punk titans, with a well-judged mix of hits and dance covers that had a fantastically-costumed younger set shaking it in the miry dusk from start to finish. One couldn’t help but feel for Brooklyn’s Scissor Sisters, however, as they closed their (headlining) set with I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ - as a mass exodus in the direction of Robyn left them going out with less of a bang than a whimper. As with Snoop’s set the day before, the murky noises emanating from the sound system failed to conjure the brilliance of the post-electroclashers’ 2004 heyday. Those with the stamina to stick it out, however, were right to do so as Robyn’s cool dark electro provided a slick and sufficiently rewarding end to a cold damp evening and a wet, dirty Hackney day.