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Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... heart of Sensation. Richard Shone mentions, as literary and cinematic parallels, Iain Sinclair and Derek Jarman – I imagine he is thinking of Jubilee and, perhaps, The Last of England – and goes on to make a telling comparison between the Chelsea and Notting Hill Gate ambience of Sixties Pop Art (Hockney in Powys Square, right where Performance was ...


Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier, 4 January 2018

... National. When I saw the original production at the Cottesloe in 1992 I found I was sitting behind Derek Jarman. I knew Derek slightly since he had been in the adaptation of Orton’s Prick Up Your Ears, and I knew, too, that he had been diagnosed with HIV. On my way to the theatre I had grazed my hand slightly as I ...

The Last London

Iain Sinclair, 30 March 2017

... 120 miles of snarled-up tarmac replaced the symbolic remnants of the Roman wall.In 1988, Derek Jarman made The Last of England. It featured royal weddings, the Falklands War, distressed street footage and rituals of exorcism around the decommissioned Millennium Mills in Silvertown. Punk tribes were expelled onto the river, cast adrift in ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... being in the Hole made her feel completely alone. She voiced poems by dead artists and authors, Derek Jarman and Steve Moore. In this ‘underground/grave-like setting’, as she described it, she felt ‘as though the audience could choose to bury you at any moment’. She summoned up a quote from Paul Celan: ‘There was earth inside them, and they ...


Iain Sinclair: The Thames, 25 June 2009

Thames: Sacred River 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Vintage, 608 pp., £14.99, August 2008, 978 0 09 942255 6
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... hats and turbans of men whose past was untraceable to any European eye’. Where the film-maker Derek Jarman, a figure who might have broken free from the fevered microclimate of The Great Fire of London, saw the downriver reaches of Silvertown, with its abandoned flour mills, as a site for dervish dances and the rituals of a punk apocalypse, Ackroyd ...

Serious Mayhem

Simon Reynolds: The McLaren Strand, 10 March 2022

The Life and Times of Malcolm McLaren: The Biography 
by Paul Gorman.
Constable, 855 pp., £14.99, November 2021, 978 1 4721 2111 0
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... Sioux said of her penchant for swastikas), modern folk devils like the Moors murderers. In Derek Jarman’s punk film Jubilee (1978), Jordan – the SEX shopgirl who wore the clothes and projected the attitude, making her ‘the first Sex Pistol’, according to Jarman – recites a monologue: ‘As a child my ...

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