Party on: Clowning around under the big top

THERE'S A BIT of a circus theme coming through today. While I'm not a huge clowning fan (slight problems with horrifying images of Bozo turning into a pathological nutter and torching the big top, for example) my experiences this week have been strangely cathartic. Went to an early preview of Charles Kriel's installation Presenting The Amazing Kriels (June 24 - July 10), showing from Wednesday at chic ad/design collective Tomato (Lexington St, Soho) which was, in fact, amazing. American artist Kriel was born on the road and into a family of circus performers who travelled through smalltown America with their act. Kriel's installation is a homage to his family and his nomadic past. Gaudy, flashing circus lights announcing "CC Kriel" in the window beg for your attention while an array of family snaps - blown up, computer manipulated and laminated digichrome images - make an arresting collage of tribal circus life. Snaps include a candid picture of Kriel's aunt, in sparkly conical bra and fishnets, chatting flirtatiously to her future husband with an elephant smiling at her side; and yes, Bozo himself, Kriel's grandfather, standing with placard, advertising his hoolahoop act. Kriel himself was a child acrobat/ clown and still has the showman about him; as this column went to print, he was threatening to stand outside the gallery on a chair, drumming up business.

Staying with the circus, it was with raging hangover and zero good will that I went to the premiere this week of Que-Cir-Que, the French acrobatics/theatrics threesome who have been wowing Europe with their intense, inventive show. Part of the Islington International Festival (runs until June 27, Que- Cir-Que runs until July 5) at Highbury and Islington fields, Que-Cir-Que is a hybrid of music, street theatre, dance and acrobatics in which a skinheaded "Fool" vies with the "Strongman" for the affections of the aggressively sexual female trapese artist, who rather disconcertingly keeps poking her tongue out like she's trying to stick it her own nose. The two-hour show uses see-saws, pedal-less bikes, even the lighting rig as props for its radical performers. Seeing is believing but be warned: if you take your kids along they'll be bored out their brains (no Bozo) and will whine until you go. So leave them at home and enjoy yourself in peace.

You might not have heard of Ape. It's a quarterly, A3 newspaper stock mag, into its fourth issue ("Summer"), and currently selling for a pound a pop in Tower Records. To celebrate the new issue, the Apers recently threw their second "exotic cabaret" night called Gibber at Spitz Bar (Spitalfields Market) where an glowing array of poets, musicians and total oddballs took to the stage, did their thing and mostly got booed off again. The mag is "creatively yours", full of strange illustrations, stories and poetry, and it's bonkers. I like it. Worth a peek for a mere quid, and at least it's aiming for amusement value, which is more than you can say of most street mags these days.

Musically, congrats firstly to trip hop king Howie B and his Head-on Collision night which went off earlier this week at Crossbar (Pentonville Rd, Islington), the first in Howie's first monthly London residency. An ace night, with Derek Dahlarge along for the ride and a friendly, if somewhat sparse, crowd (not enough PR apparently). A welcome return planned for July 16. Also, great to see Detroit's darling Kevin Saunderson back on UK shores on Friday at The Complex for Quadrafunk. As far as today goes, if you're feeling in the mood for some music, check out Lazy Dog at Notting Hill Arts Club, a fortnightly gig from Everything But the Girls' Benn Watt and Black Market's chief buyer Jay Hannan which started up a few months back. NHAC pulls in a dedicated local crowd and Watt and Hannan's soulful, funky dance has been going down a treat.

On to film, and usually I wouldn't write about something I couldn't recommend, but last night I saw a movie which was so bad it deserves to be harangued from the hilltops. A sense of fairness forbids an all-out attack, so I'll just offer some clues to its name: nucleur mutation, big, ugly mother of a reptile, New York City, Matthew Broderick, special FX, Hollywood tripe. Work it out for yourself. The great unmentionable opens on July 17.

Finally, on a chirpier note, I went to the opening of an awesome new exhibition in Berry House, St John St, Clerkenwell, called Solo x 9: Artists in Clerkenwell (runs until August 8). The warehouse space - a former brewery - has only been in use since April and it's absolutely fantastic. Three huge floors of space, perfect to display the nine young, urban artists. While I am stubbornly hostile to Clem Crosby's single-coloured canvases (eg. a completely black painting, costs a completely daft pounds 8,000. Outrageous, Clem!), I loved Neil Cummings' witty, politicised work. His display cabinets were all made from discarded cardboard and elegantly designed to look like wood, with a collection of various plastic bottles set out inside as if they were precious jewels. Also impressive were Liz Rideal's "photobooth" shots, and Susan Hiller, perhaps the best known of the exhibiting artists, with her Wild Talents video installation. Two complementing programmes played on two separate vast screens, with a small angled television playing a third programme on a chair in the middle. Using clips from horror films, and including stars like Carrie Fisher, Drew Barrymore, the installation was creepy but effective in its celebration of the power of the mind, and the evil possibility. Spooky.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

    £30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

    Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

    £23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

    Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

    Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

    £35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering