Situacionist spirit ?
Arrival from a foreign land in 1998. Living in the East-End, at the estate housing studio-flat with my new english partner.
The East End has been revealed since 1996 when starting to visit my partner. I was amazed by it, by its super bleak feeling, desolate rows of houses all made for housing. As in nowhere else in Europe and certainly not in Spain, where I came from, one could see such architectural and urbanist investment in thinking "housing" and filling up the bombed gaps with projects. But then again one felt how left down, how uncared for this once utopian places had gone wrong.
After a series of migrations, specially to the South of Spain and to North Africa, coming back to Albion, since 18 years or more before when I was prohibited to step in back. My life in the estate and the area was the beginning of a full immersion process that will make a blend between life and work once more.
Living in Provost Estate, making Dark Star, talking and planing theories for the "other artist run space" we where as neighbours of BANK in Underwood Street.
Dealing everyday with Alienation for being "non english" non Brit as the artist had to be branded.
At the same time, as a repository of so much experienced cultural background in relation to many anglo-american items, music, fashion, authors, sounds, looks... my recollection started to mirror a kind of fantasy of that idealised teenage times, when angst and depression, following epileptic childhood was all generated.
As a dancer and performer, my approach to art=life inspired by Situationism and other lines of the counter-culture -that I experienced first hand in the 70's late- fascist Barcelona- made of this time in 97 /98/ 99...... a sort of regressive experiment a self hypnotic walks to pasts dreamed or lived.
Making the FAT-Zine Dark Star, which included the life, the sites, the plants, the "finds" that this place and this day by day had generated. Starting Five Years on the side of the partner that as me believes in independent self-instituting cooperative methods for producing a space that will also work as a place to show works and to invite, exchange and dialogue with other unknown or collaborators.
Photocopying was a method I had taken since earlier years, and the late 70's memories of London when I found the mag ZG edited by Rosetta Brooks or Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker, both women highly influencing my " heart and soul" of those borderline times as they where up to 1983. My first experience of London and of my being an immigrant, a second rate or third rate person begging in 1981 in the heart of the arts and performance institution, when I was told that "us" make the Contemporary" and from you and your country we want Flamenco.. (The director of the Arts Council International Department ) the trauma that this generated, the fact that after few years I got sick of being always a subaltern, tired of trying to make things that were not indebted to the Anglo Masters.
And there I was back in London this time on my late 30's on the verge to arrive at 40.
We started a Band as a Situation an Action and Event, we played and performed in Five Years, we hung out the hood and meet other peoples, those will invite us to their gig's a bit up there or round here. We performed with them and them with us. Some end up quite known ..as in the case of The Libertines, or Selfish Cunt, who's guitarist had being "my guitarist" Dirty Snow guitarist.
Those times became an estrange borderline, we had Sept 11 and I happen to witness almost again similar issues that affected our friends or collaborators in the 80's, an spirit that finished off our 70's Marxist post-punk ...dreams.
The sound of Dirty Snow was impregnated of all this memories of London in 1978/82. Memories of a past that diluted itself in fashion and superficiality, in celebrity culture and easy success. It was all coming back, slowly but surely. It infected the boys in the bands highly and artist and friends too.
It was the Winter ages all over again, the neo-liberal counter revolution being paying us for fools....
This was Shoreditch in 2004, 05, 06, 07... for you, an abducted discourse and simulacra of bohemianism. For few like me, or maybe for me only as still never fully integrated in the British ways in their islander manners, this was just the inversion of Eurotrash in to Euro Jet Set a sort of inverted Internationalism where all this hipe was made. The whole of Dark Star challenging ethos, became co-opted by the likes of Dazed and Confused and some of the British younger artist that then will get published fanzines with punk and drawing, situationist angst.. even if Dark Star was distributed in The Serpentine, Conor Donlon Books etc.. and other places included Dylan's in Covent Garden in 2002. It was amazing to see my Zine next to the mags of past youth like ID, from the times when in Dylan's I got to know about ZG and Kathy Acker.
Gentrification swarming and I drowning in the Britt narcissism.
As always our lives=art tightly involved in its own demise.
Here are a series of images and sounds etc that belong to the process of those times, that link with late works and that can be traced... all of them connected too with that other London.
The life as art as life, the will to take things to uncharted places as in deep deirve, detour... of practices and modes of communication. Band as Ritual as Medium, Fanzine as Journal as Diary collage, Installations with sounds film video and publications and pics of Roses and the buildings of the Estates I lived with. Our rooms, my depression, my pills ... addiction, evasion, nihilism as a dark future for the "evil flowers" I found during those years. The damned beauty of this London boys, their bands their dreams.. all clashing with the counter neoliberal spread, with Cocaine's white....
16 years later Zoe Mendelson from Wimbledom (Dr Zoë Mendelson, Pathway Leader, BA Fine Art Painting, Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London) curated a show called Punk in The Suburbs and she invited me to show some of the material from that early period. You can see just tow pics. The show was very modest, but still it was great to get a bit of recognition by anyone in London.