Category Archives: Tent Talk

dOcumenta(13): Doccupy, Picasso in Palestine n Hitler’s bath.

Last month we hit the Black Forest, Germany for the dOCUMENTA(13) press week – major contemporary art fair that only happens every five years –  to see some art and get drunk at the press parties.

First, the parties were really really tres fun – we loved the fact we were allowed to take over Kassel train station to boogie on down to a DJ whilst trains were still truckin in n out, bewildered passengers wading through the crowds with their luggage, dazzled by disco balls. Can you ever  imagine Cameron n co allowing such festivities in St Pancras? Nope, neither can we. We hung out on a platform guzzling wine n talking to lovely artists from Berlin till 3am! Marvellous eve. Other parties worth a mention was the vodka bash in the oldest gothic church in town (and we’re talking the birthplace of fairy stories here – the Grimm bro’s hometown) where we enjoyed cocktails and Pink Floyd style psychedelia on the light display front. All in all, great incentive for starting up a zine. Thank you, Documenta, for all that.

So, we encountered on our first day the increasingly familiar site of  a pop up kinda camp site, right in front of Fridericianum, the main exhibition hall. I said to my colleague, ‘I bet you that’s Occupy’ n he said ‘Nah, it’s just some artistic thing, we’re in the middle of nowhere.’ However, upon approaching the tents n having un petit chat with their residents, my suspicions were confirmed. We were informed that the anti-1% protesters  had made their way from Frankfurt (the biggest Occupy hub in Germany) to Kassel, to make a stand against both the exhibition’corporate sponsorship and general Capital/Merkelism – thus ‘Doccupy.’

In response to the tent town, dOCUMENTA’s Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev said “I welcome the ‘doccupy’ movement in Friedrichsplatz, which has grown over the last weeks. It continues the wave of democratic protests that have been spreading across many cities in the world. It enacts the possibility of re-inventing the use of public space and appears to me to be in the spirit of the moment and in the spirit of Joseph Beuys who marked documenta and its history significantly, embodying another idea of collective decision-making and political responsibility through direct democracy.”

In all fairness to dOCUMENTA, it really did incorporate some   powerful political art. We especially enjoyed the ‘Picasso in Palestine,’ whereby a film made by director Rashid Masharawi and Hourani is exhibited, documenting the process of preparing, transporting and exhibiting the work of Picasso to the occupied Palestinian territory (the only ever masterpiece to be displayed here), alongside a drawing after Picasso’s painting by Amjad Ghannam, a prisoner at the time of the painting’s arrival, that was sent to Hourani as a postcard from Glabou Central Prison.

Picasso in Palestine

We were also asked to sign petitions on the second floor of  Fridericianum to make the Earth’s ozone layer part of the ‘National Hertitage,’ thus protecting it from man-made harm. Quite a sensible idea, non?

Another crazy political piece was a photographic series (which we not allowed to photograph) by Man Ray’s lover and muse Lee Miller, who was employed by the American Army JUST after WW2 to photograph the dregs of Nazi Germany. Along with snapping a lot of dead Nazi’s, she took the unbelievable measure of posing naked in Adolf Hitler’s bath. In 1945, the year of the dictator’s death, with her apparent ‘access all areas’ pass, she nipped into his apartment in Munich and got stuck in. Well, if that’s not controversy, I just don’t know what is.

You can see a pic here


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Tent talk: ‘Bryn Phillips and the Big Society’ at OLSX

Despite Boris n the bankers insisting that the Occupy camp is full of useless,  jumped-up ‘crusties’ or over-privileged  gap-year students, we know to the contrary. The camp has been awash with academics, artists and musicians. Yeah, Banksy’s been there, Rage front man made a cameo but, as ever we find ourselves drawn to the more hidden and captivating delights of the counter-culture. Pop band ‘Bryn Phillips and the Big Society’ is one of our all time faves, and even the police couldn’t resist praising our front man as he played on the steps of St Paul’s. We had a lovely natter and vino with Bryn in his little tent RE the band, the OLSX demands issued to the Corporation of the City of London, as well as an Occupy Manifesto.

Regardez the below vid of BP in action

Now, you were very instrumental in writing and ensuring the ratification of these demands of the Corporation of the City of London. What was so significant about these particular requests?
Well, it was really bizarre to discover that the City of London Corporation, first of all, is a local authority. Looking into it, the councilors who are elected are actually voted for by businesses according to the size of their workforce. So the bigger your workforce, the more votes you get in elections and that’s a really unique situation. What it means for the residents who live inside the square mile is that they are constantly out-voted. There are about 9,000 residents in the borough and they are out-voted by quarter of a million workers about issues that affect them as residents which is undemocratic.

The second part is that the City of London, not the local authority, but the actual corporation itself, has a cash fund and they have not, for a thousand years ever released their accounts. They’re using their trade associations – their guilds and ancient liveries as lobbying tools, to lobby government departments. So, effectively The City has a clear conduit of influence within government itself. It is able to reverse decisions made by government when it ought to be following the wishes of the people who elected that government. So we will elect a government and The City’s lobbyists will kneel on that government to make them change their mind and subvert that democratic process, not just as a local authority but as a lobbying organisation that lobbies on behalf of the global financial industries. That’s not democratic. It’s wrong.

The beginning of an Occupy Manifesto? Reads like blimmin Shakespeare.

Is this just a starting point? Will more demands be issued?
I think the demands that were made were eminently reasonable. I think that they hit the city just where it hurts them. We were asking them to submit to the Freedom of Information act, to publish all of their accounts since the financial crash. Now, one thing I can tell you is successive mayoral speeches by the Lord Mayor of the City of London to Prime Ministers and the Chancellor of the Exchequer at The Guildhall [which took place between 2003 and 2009, leading up to the recession and since] have called for less regulation and to alter taxation as well. They’ve called for a lowering of taxation for corporations to suit their own needs and not those of the people. This is surely unconstitutional and wrong.

So what’s this Occupy London Manifesto?
The Occupy Manifesto is a manifesto written by the global Occupy movement. It’s focus is on the way that power has been monopolized by unaccountable global power elites within a corporatist system of governance, which is quite modern and hierarchical.

Now dear, I understand you’ve made some sacrifices in being here..
I took four weeks off from the studio finishing a record that was attracting a lot of attention. But to be honest, I wanted to do it and it’s nice anyway, that instead of writing lyrics I’m here writing manifestos and statements that garner global global attention.

I’m sure you have gained lots of inspiration for new tracks too.
Oh totally, I’ve got some real inspiration for some songs. As ever I shall be focusing on the more negative aspects of society. One song shall actually be entitled ‘New Age Fascist.’ LB!

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Tent talk: “Giving up money” – OccupyLSX Outlaw ‘No Name’

We have had the most amusing and intriguing of times at Occupy London Stock Exchange. As you may know, the tent town is on everyone’s lips this week, with St Paul’s very public soul searching and the Corporation of the City of London’s reluctant back tracking over whether or not to evict the activists. You can read all about the canvas creation on every mainstream rag and for propaganda dodgers, The Guardian is being kinda radical right now and covering the whole thing with a good level of honesty … 

So, La Bouche doesn’t wanna bang on too much about the camp and the politics surrounding it. Instead, over the coming months, we would like to pay homage to some of the characters kipping on the concrete. Tonight, we met someone, who claims to lead the life of a true outlaw. A man who takes thinking outside the box (something we’re very much preoccupied with) to the extreme. Let us introduce “No Name,” our friend who will not be shackled to the system by two types of paper: money and a birth certificate.

LB: So, we were intrigued by your employment of common law.

Yeah, so for example, if I get arrested and go to the police station, it will go round and round in circles with getting asked the same questions. Date of Birth? I say ‘I cannot tell you that information.’ I do not sign anything in a police station because that’s a contract. If it does go to court, I stand there and say ‘I’m here as a friend of the court. I believe there has been a mistake. I wish to seek remedy in the way of a proper notice.’ And If they ask for a name – which they do – I say ‘do you require the name on the birth certificate?’ To which they will say yes.  I will say ‘If it says on the birth certificate ‘Crown Copyright,’ how can I be liable for anything the crown claim to own?’ So if the crown own that name, it’s not yours. If you claim to be that name then you’re liable, if you’re claiming to be that name on the birth certificate, all statutes and acts are acting upon that person. The law society has got its own language which looks and sounds like English but it’s not at all. Just like the word ‘person,’ actually means corporation. So when you’re admitting to being a person, and giving a name, you’re admitting to be a corporation that they can act upon and commerce.

So if you stand there and say that you’re a friend of the court, and there’s been a mistake and you wish to seek remedy in a way of proper notice, ‘a friend of the court’ is legally defined as someone who is presenting facts to a courtroom. The mistake being that you’re not a name, you’re much much more and the name that they require is crown copyright. You wish to seek remedy in the way of proper notice just to be honorable, but how can they send you a proper notice when you’re a live human being, when they need to send it to a corporation?

No Name in action below…

So… what you do is, like, finding loops?

Mmmm, is it finding loops? No. Because the police swear to uphold the law. There is one law, which is common law. The law of the land. Rules of society, which are only given the force of law by the consent of the governed. So, if you really find out how not to consent to their silly game, cos it is but a game, then you can really have some fun.

So birth certificates… Are they like a barcodes to you or something?
They’re tools of slavery. You can’t tell the slaves all to wear a white band. They’ve created this thing called a straw man and when the straw man who had no brain went to see the wizard, a controlling banker behind the curtain, who wasn’t able to give him a brain and so instead he gave him a certificate. A name backs the value of the pound. Everyone knows we’re traveling towards a cashless society. So I’d rather live without money.

How have you lived without money?
Without a name I can’t claim anything. I’ve taken the full ticket out of the system. I’ve stopped using money. I found a fiver here in the tent the other day under the pillow, and it was no good to me, so I kept it in my pocket until I saw the the guy that gave it to me. When I gave it back, I said ‘ I can’t use this, by using that you’re enforcing slavery and creating more debt for your brothers and sisters’. It’s a bit far out but someone has to do it so people realise that you don’t need money. Money has never made anything. You can’t plant money, you can’t eat money. you can’t wear money.
I’ve learned how to live outside that perception and mindset . It’s a prison. A prison without bars, made out of paper. Money and statutory instrument. Pieces of paper controlling people. Where, as since giving up money, I can’t see anyone controlling me now.

I’ve learned foraging skills, which I wouldn’t have had time to do, if I was working. I’m finding out who I am inside. I also hitch and I go to festivals.

Where do you live?

I live in my body. I’m a spiritual being having a physical experience! LB


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