Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Is there room for humour in art?

Jumping for joy... Lepus Animatus, Hyungkoo Lee

" This narrative, togther with the relative size of the creatures, reminded the viewer less of untrammeled Darwinism, than of old-fashioned cel animation. Tom and Jerry, to be precise and then, looking closer, one discovered that in fact it was. To be specific: resin approximations of the bones of MGM's best loved double-act, complete with the implication that they had been actual, living creatures. And for the cartoon fan, it got worse: in the nest room, laid out as if after an autopsy, was what looked suspiciously like, the skull of Goofy." -Shane Danielsen (Tuesday 14 August,

In this current climate, is it morally wrong for artists to be anything other than deadly serious? What happens if they just want to make us giggle?

Monday, 27 December 2010


For many people, the family photo album is a treasured possession. Why don't we treat old home movies the same way?

"But home movies we don't take seriously - we don't look after them, they are left in attics or shoved in top drawers" says Robin Baker, head curator at The British Film Institute.

Today it's easy to shoot footage of holidays, parties and local events to share with friends, family and complete strangers, thanks to digital cameras and social media websites such as Youtube and Facebook. But filming the minutiae of daily life is something the British have been doing for about 100 years, and amateurs record the kind of seemingly mudane details, which are packed with clues about times past.

"Now you can shoot all the time and the result can be rather long and boring" -Robin Baker British Film Institute.

I love watching old home movies, especially if they're shot in public spaces. It's like having a time machine that gives you an accurate idea of how people really dressed and behaved in decades past, without having to rely on faulty memories and movie cliches.