December 27, 2009

Review of the Year: 2009

Tis’ the light-hearted season of reviews of the year. Not that anyone cares, but I might as well play the game too – a personal review of my top cultural experiences.

Best Exhibition of 2009: I saw a lot of shows this year and straight away the problem of how you compare one thing with another rears up. The tour de force show was “Holbein to Tillmans” exhibition at the Schaulager in Basel

I blogged it back in June ( Also worth consideration, coincidentally seen at the same time was “The World of Madelon Vriesendorp” at Basel Architekturmuseum. A strong contender for show of the year would have to be the Darcy Lange exhibition at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. . Blogged in January, I’d also recall Grazia Toderi’s excellent video installation “Fantasia” at Base in Florence, . Though you can’t include your own curating in this sort of review, I think “Not At This Address” at Bury Art Gallery was a cracker too. And the name in the gold envelope is “Holbein to Tillmans” at the Schaulager.

Best Museum: Moominvalley Museum, Tampere, Finland.

Best Film: I realise now that I saw very few films this year so this category is a bit thin on the ground. With no claim to greatness other than I am a fan, I give this one to the new Star Trek.

Best music: will seem a funny mix; Norwegian Jazz - Håkon Kornstad: Dwell Time contemporary music - various works by Luigi Nono indie-pop from everything everything and 17th Century Tobias Hume’s Poeticall Musicke - this one can go to whichever I am in the mood for.

Best Book: Phil Davenport’s “About Everything” was a great piece, though as I saw it from early draft stages, so I feel a bit too close to it; Tony Lopez’s “Darwin”, of course, and the other book I particularly enjoyed was Carol Watt’s “When blue light falls”; however, the one that I reached for when thinking about this was P.Inman’s “Ad Finitum

Out of a lot of sound works I heard this year, the Best sound work ‘award’ goes to Ben Gwilliam for his ice-vinyl playing of 'molto semplice e cantabile'.

Best Poetry Reading both Ron Silliman’s readings, at Bury and at Birkbeck, were great to see; but the Text Festival gig was more adrenaline filled for me because of the experiment in juxtaposing Hester Reeve, Claus van Bebber, and Catriona Glover, which meant that I couldn’t really relax to enjoy it. So the reading that I most personally enjoyed was the Bury Poems (Carol Watts, Phil Davenport and Tony Lopez) event.
From art to luxury:

Best Hotel: Marriott London Grosvenor Square

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