The Wire's Global Ear visits Cork in their August 2011 issue. Daniel Spicer takes a look at the Quiet Club, Strange Attractor, Black Sun (Cork), Wölflinge, SAFE, Vomit Nest, The Guesthouse, National Sculpture Factory, Sonic Vigil and the Crawford Art Gallery.
Well, my evening has been made tonight! Some strong words here from Bernard Clarke of Nova - RTÉ lyric fm recommending my upcoming show at the Galway Arts Centre on Sat May 19th. Thanks so much to Bernard for his support.
" There are some musicians who entertain us, fine; some who stimulate us, better; and then some who immerse us in something so powerful that, almost, primal emotions surface instantly; making us ultra-defensive, or, finally open to illumination. One of the latter is Vicky Langan. So if you're in the West this coming Saturday evening and you feel like really stirring up a storm in yourself, check her out at the Galway Arts Centre at 8pm. You may love her, hate her, be astonished, be repelled-but you will not be unmoved. Promise. In a world of bland s**te we need to treasure artists like this -even if they burn... "
Bernard Clarke reading "Themes and Variations" as part of Child of Tree: A Celebration Of John Cage, Triskel Christchurch, Cork, 28 January 2012. Photograph by Robin Parmar.
Photo by Bríd O' Donovan
To help mark the celebrations for the fifth anniversary of The Black Mariah gallery here in Cork, I was invited to open for Lydia Lunch with a short performance. The space was very different to any other place that I've worked in before and I felt very alone in the piece, apart from hearing some cameras clicking halfway through.
When I hear that tonight’s Lydia Lunch spoken word event will be opened by Wölflinge, it makes perfect sense. Once – and possibly still – an adjunct of the extended United Bible Studies collective, for many years a creative force in her own right, and renowned for pushing the boundaries here in our back yard with Black Sun and multiple collaborations, Vicky Langan aka Wölflinge is about the only local act who could effectively complement the show tonight, or with the kahunas to do so. Plus as tonight’s event is hosted by The Black Mariah gallery, both performers typically stretch across the grey area between music show and performance art. It should make for an interesting evening.
Wölflinge appears unannounced from the darkness at the back of the stage, unassuming as ever; readies an array of pedals, and preps for the performance by partially disrobing. Bare breasted, and contact mic in mouth, the crowd are soon pulled into a kind of uncomfortable intimacy with the performer, as every gulp of saliva and flutter of breath from inside her mouth is amplified to the level that you would normally only hear if the sound was coming from your own head.
Small jars are produced and held at ear level, upturned, allowing the contents – a thick, viscous, inky black liquid, to pour slowly out and cover the naked skin. Breathing, shallow and deep, is accompanied by various clicks and pops from the mic. This performance seems to follow on from recent collaborations with First Blood Pt II where the two are locked in close quarters and at times almost primal screaming into each other’s mouths. Tonight’s solo performance is more vulnerable, and is like an assault on the senses which culminates suddenly when the bodily sounds are thoroughly distorted into a fierce howl, before dissipating, and Wolflinge, now an exhausted figure streaked with black on her skin leaves the stained surroundings of the stage and steps back into the darkness from whence she came. I glance at my watch: the entire performace took no more than fifteen minutes. Impressive for the levels of intensity reached so quickly, most of the audience don’t seem to know what to make of it. Its wordless evocation of female agression and physical vulnerability is a fitting counterpart to the vocal diatribe we are about to experience. “The body is an experimental canvas, full of puss and cum”, we’ll hear later, and that take is foreshadowed here.
Read the rest of the review here:
Black Sun returns to the Triskel on Saturday 31st March for a night of powerful intensity. We welcome artist and composer John Wiese (USA), Wölfbait, the Irish premiere of 80’s Serbian underground film 'Personal Discipline' and a performance from First Blood Part II & Wölflinge. Doors 8pm.
John Wiese (www.john-wiese.com) is an artist and composer from Los Angeles, California. He works primarily in recorded and performed sound with a focus on installation and multi-channel diffusions, as well as scoring for large ensembles. His ongoing projects include LHD and Sissy Spacek, but is known for his collaborations with many artists as diverse as Sunn O))), Wolf Eyes, Merzbow, Thurston Moore, Bastard Noise, No Age, Smegma, Kevin Drumm, Cattle Decapitation, and C. Spencer Yeh as well as his work as a solo artist. He has toured extensively throughout the world, covering Europe, Scandinavia and Australia as a member of Sunn O))), the UK as part of the Free Noise tour (a tentet including Evan Parker, C. Spencer Yeh, Yellow Swans, etc.), the United States alongside Wolf Eyes, and recently performed in the 52nd Venice Biennale with artist Nico Vascellari. While releasing albums on a variety of international labels, Wiese often releases work on his own label, Helicopter.
You've no doubt heard the rave reports regarding John's recent album for the great PAN label, Seven Of Wands and know his astounding back catalogue that finds itself filed under noise but isn't done justice by that narrow pigeonhole, with a technique more akin to the scientific precision of the late and legendary Maryanne Amacher, combined with tape collage, bloodyminded humour and a raft of sublime collaborations. Live, there's a deft artistry to John's work that sets him ahead of most others working in his area, his live shows as searing and explosive as they are intricately constructed.
This upcoming Black Sun will be shaken by a piercing cry of defiance swelling up from an astonishing and all-but-unknown zone of film history. Miroslav-Bata Petrović and Julijana Terek’s Personal Discipline (1983), without doubt the rarest film Black Sun has yet presented, is a product of the early ‘80s Serbian underground. Throbbing with punk attitude, it details a private ritual enacted by writer/performer Terek spilling onto the street in an irresistible upsurge of self-assertion in the face of repressive societal indifference. The pounding rhythms of Petrović’s aggressive editing combine with Terek’s beguiling concentration to create an experience liable to leave the viewer gasping for breath... We are delighted to be giving Personal Discipline its Irish premiere!
Also lined up is the debut Cork appearance from Wölfbait. I saw these guys in Dublin back in January and my eyes were rolling in their sockets it was so good. Delivering total UNGH! with perfect vocals.
First Blood Part II & Wölflinge return again for bewildering and raw, intimate action.
Dispatches 2011 (outlining projects at the National Sculpture Factory from 2011)
"Wölflinge created a vunerable, visceral & physically charged sound-performance where Langan's body was tested to its limits, lying in a pool of manure while performing on a piano harp all the while labouring under its weight. Langan's discomforting and troubling rituals bring an intensity to the shared performance and a shared physical experience."