Cardiff 25-8-11

Shades of Nam June Paik’s ‘Global Groove’ in Mark Dean’s DVD projected work ‘Christian Disco (Terminator)’, 2010.

The last time I visited Cardiff was away back in 1998-ish for a meeting with the then Director of Ffotogallery Chris Coppock and the artist Ian Breakwell, who sadly died a few years back. It was concerning the Breakwell show ‘Death’s Dance Floor’ which was premiered at Ffotogallery before coming to Street Level. I managed to see Chapter Arts Centre then, but it has had quite a revamp since then, now boasting 3 theatres, 2 cinemas, a gallery, studios, 2 bars, a rather large cafe, and a multitude of cultural workspaces. The exhibition that was on there was called ‘Fire in the Masters House’, featuring, amongst others, Adam Chodzko, Melanie Counsell, Mark Dean, Michael Dean, and Matt Stokes. The exhibition refers to the song ‘New Millennium Homes’ by Rage Against the Machine from their album ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ and – no surprises here – had the theme of rebellion against authority as the binding element, a rather prophetic one given recent events.


It’s an interesting footnote to make that Chapter was one of a few arts centres that emerged in the early 70s, concurrent with the Third Eye Centre in Glasgow. The notion of arts centres as places serving the community and fostering cross-disciplinaity within the one building was a new initiative then (others included Project Arts Centre in Dublin, the Melkweg in Amsterdam) – albeit, the radical model of The Arts Lab set up by Jim Haynes in London in the 60s really changed what was to follow. But that is history, and is another story…


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1 Response to Cardiff 25-8-11

  1. eyeonwales says:

    Excellent coverage of an underexposed element of Welsh culture. Keep up the promotion, the work of chapter and many others does not get the exposure it needs or deserves.

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