Critique

Ishmael Annobil reviews Tapfuma Gutsa's gutsy exhibition at the October Gallery, London: Renje Sandanga (Vast Desert): "If, while roaming the Namibian Desert or the Ogaden, I happened upon a buffalo horn strapped to a rock, I would either fear cabalistic activity in the area or accept my delirium earlier than others. That said, I might ride that delirium till I could break the cipher, and then dare the heat to obstruct my flight into the ethereal light. And if I lived to tell the tale, I am sure I would be a Tapfuma Gutsa."

Nick Bryan dissects The West Wing, the hugely successful drama series about the inner workings of the White House: "By maintaining a delicate balance between drama and comedy, cynical realism and hopeless optimism, the show was never evasive about its desire to attract an audience who were willing to think as they watched, to accept that in the world of politics there is not always a black and white answer, and not every day will have a happy ending, but enough of them do to make it worth getting up in the morning."

Part parable, part fantasy novel, part laugh-out-loud satire, American Desert is the story of Theodore Street, a college professor on the brink of committing suicide. But then a car hits him and severs his head from his body, causing him to come to terms with himself. As reviewer Nick Bryan observes, "Percival Everett seems to be writing a down-to-earth, thoughtful exploration of what the fantastical scenario of returning from the dead would really be like."

"Comic books seem to be enjoying a real mainstream resurgence of late," Nick Bryan asserts. "Films like Sin City and Batman Begins are achieving both critical acclaim and real box office results, and copies of the original graphic novels are taking up shelf space in ‘proper’ grown-up shops like HMV....But most of the comic book community continues to be annoyed with the perception of their product as entirely devoted to men in tights punching the lights out of each other."  

"Romantic representations of Ireland can be described as fictional accounts which are typically based in the West, and strive to be propagandist in their evocations of a land, fostering the beliefs of the Cultural and Literary Revival, emphasising the pastoral and portraying an idyllic landscape; both physical and of the mind," critic Lynne Noland asserts.

The emergence of cinema was linked to a public interest in visual spectacle as a form of mass entertainment: "People want to be the secret nosy neighbour, who, instead of peeping messily through their Venetian blinds, can sit in their living rooms and be privy to the ‘emotional pornography’ of people’s behaviour behind closed doors, " Lynne Nolan discusses.

Dupe, a one-man show by legendary American director, actor and tutor Roy Faudree, is the epitome of post-modern theatre. "In this dialogue, the caller, eclipsed by his wife's successes in Celluloid City, calls women names, coughing up neurotic theories to circumnavigate the woman mystique." This review was first published in the first issue of Circa21, July 19, 1995

Ishmael Fiifi Annobil surveys the ironic and mind-boggling publishing desert of Wales. He dives under the cape of enterprise, offering anecdotal incidents in the country's journey to Self Rule; centering on its unprecedented lack of publishing nous or protocol, thanks to its inept and myopic Arts Council.

Ishmael Annobil's review of the Dark Lady: Cycle of Mysteries (work in progress), an ultra cutting-edge theatre exposition by director Kathlin Gray and the Theatre of All Possibilities: "There is that sense of incredulity associated with watching Theatre Of All Possibilities make one of their phenomenal quakes across the artistic strata. Then there’s the dawning – that steady unfolding of raw nature norm. The Dark lady was the epitome of that process."

Lana Mullen visits Antony Gormley's Blind Light at the Hayward, to unravel the Gormley phenomenon: "Rather than struggling to find the hand of someone nearby, or to see something other than shades of haze, why not stop for a moment and absorb the ‘clarity’? Ask yourself ‘where am I?’ If you respond inside, you’re wrong. If you reply outside, you’re wrong yet again. As impossible as it sounds, you have stepped inside a box in order to be transported ‘outside' ".

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