Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Vice April Literary Reviews

Vice April Literary Reviews

Valerie Phillips
Longer Moon Father

We ran a great shoot that Valerie shot for us in the magazine last month so it is safe to say from the outset here that we are fans. Big fans. Hunk a junka ginmormous fans! Dada. We said it. Happy? Ok, wanna know why? Well, it’s pretty simple really. She takes really great photos. Her subject matter, composition, and setting: all great. This may sound elementary but you would be amazed how many photographers email us every single fucking day with overwrought and underthought pieces of crap. Valerie’s simple, fun shots illuminate her subject and allowing a sense of personality and immediacy to radiate through her work. Just by looking at her shots you kind of feel like maybe you could be friends with her. And if you like cute girls (or in this particular case a cute girl) in not so many clothes then you’re in luck.


Number 15

Eighty Eight Shades Of Grey is a handsome black and white ‘zine which harks back to a time of photocopiers, typewriters, staplers and little else. It’s basically from a better time and a better place and I don’t really want to share it with you but now I am here I guess I have to. As an offshoot of the loosely Nottingham based Beastmangoat collective the ‘zine shares similar preoccupations as the groups other ventures: skateboarding, drinking, punk rock music and walking around with both of your eyes open (highly underrated, try it). There are some great photos, a couple of bits that might be poems, some cut and paste thingys and a few great first person narratives. Basically it’s a little black and white collection of good stuff stuck together for you. Get it before it is gone.


Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen
Lars Muller

Going to the Serpentine is always a barrel of laughs ‘cos you know you are going to turn up at this statuesque 1930’s building slap bang in the middle of Kensington Gardens that looks like Mr D’Arcy is gonna come barreling out of in pursuit of some maiden at any minute and just as you round the corner: bam! Every year since the beginning of this here decade that you sound a bit stupid trying to abbreviate the owners have thought it a great idea to whack a temporary pavilion outside the main building. Invariably the Pavilion looks like something The Predator would orbit planets in waiting to hunt for prey. But in a totally good way. The contrast between classic brick and mortar and whatever the hell this year's cuckoo-crazy architect and design team of choice decide to knock their temporary structure up out of really works. This year is no exception. Kooky Dane Olafur Eliasson and Norseman Kjetil Thorsen didn’t let anyone down with their 2007 structure. It looks kind of look a marquee where the replicants would hang out in Blade Runner. If you missed it or you just like getting stoned and looking at intricate architectural patterns then you won’t want to sleep on this here retrospective of the whole thing.


Peter Grasner
Hatje Cantz

Holy crap. Literally holy crap. In half of the places Grasner shoots in this collection of photos the people probably think that shit is holy because shit comes out of you and you came out of God son. This book represents a yearlong journey through Texas and captures a terrifying American underbelly that is light and smiles and dark crushing despair all at once. Ghosts of the present haunt Grasner’s photographs far more immediately than the ghosts of Texas past you might assume he’d be gunning for. The areas blind support of an unjust war and God’s desire for freedom they site to justify it with are the recurrent themes and Pete really know how to pull his punches. It’s sucker to the temple after sucker to the temple. By mid way through you are exhausted and nauseous. From guys walking the Calvary Cross with the help of stabalisers to classrooms simultaneously showing the time in Texas and Baghdad it’s scary stuff. Shame we can’t say our hands of clean of the whole mess.


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