Cultural Life: Karla Black, artist

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The Independent Culture

Visual Arts: What sticks in my mind is an exhibition by Cathy Wilkes that I saw at the Kunstverein in Munich. Her new installation contained three figures – two women and a small boy.

These figures were mannequins that had become sculptures. They were blackened and clothed and wore wigs. One of the women, standing on kind of bandy legs and upturned, precarious feet was straining her twisted neck and mouth around towards the tap as if she was trying to get a drink.

A short time later I went to Rome and saw, for the first time, Michelangelo's 'Pieta' in St Peter's Basilica, his painted Sistine Chapel and the Raphael rooms in the Vatican. I could see a continuation of some of the aspirations of religious art in what Cathy is doing.

Films: I've been watching Claire Denis films recently – 'Chocolat', 'White Material' (below) and 'The Intruder'. I like the amount of space and time in them just to look. I like the banality. Not that the films themselves are banal. They are puzzling, and some inexplicable things happen in a very definite way.

Television: I've been watching 'The Hour', the new thriller series. I'm not sure if I like it yet. It takes me a while to get into things like that. I think I like it better than I did at first.

Books: I just finished reading 'The Golden Notebook' by Doris Lessing and 'The Summer Book' by Tove Jansson.

Dance: I saw The Michael Clark company at Tramway in Glasgow recently and they really lit up my life.

Music: I've been listening to Feist's two albums, 'The Reminder' and 'Let It Die'. She is properly good in a rare way.

Karla Black is nominated for the Turner Prize 2011. The exhibition will be held at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead ( 21 October to 8 January 2012