Futbol Moderne #6 – Wardrobe

In light of England’s demolition of Panama a requiem is needed for the idiocies of English football. The Photocopier’s spare wardrobe is now a shrine to those halcyon meathead days. His text below, written for an exhibition in the East of the Netherlands in 2012, now has the feeling of the Rosetta stone.

Oh, how short our time is on this planet. Try, then, to put the past in front of you whilst ensuring the future forever escapes you...

“Peter Ackroyd tells us that England’s “genius” is essentially a linear one. While Ackroyd explains this by way of Blake, Milton and Romanesque architecture, English football culture can be similarly expounded – especially in relation to “place” and the glorification of our island’s fighting forces. The linear aspect is seen through the shield wall at Hastings, the thin red line at Alma and Waterloo, Haig’s “backs to the wall” order of March 23 1918. This is mirrored in Hodgson’s reliance on 4-4-2, Milner’s legs crumpling as he basically “dug in”, ploughing down the right wing… The 10th century poem “The Battle of Maldon” could have been written for England’s knackered midfield in 2012 – “Courage must be the firmer, heart the bolder, spirit must be the greater, as our strength grows less”. Chat room comments saying Micah Richards would be “first over the top” hints that even after 100 years this idea is still with us. Place too… rows of terraces that once nestled round Ewood Park, Kennilworth Road & Main Road, evoking trench systems like Plugstreet and Givenchy: the (Spion) Kops at Hillsborough and Anfield… Pals battalions, films like Away Days evoking 1979 hoolie loyalties evoke in turn 1880s gangs like Bengal Tigers and the recruiting policies for the local regiment – the right caggy & trainers, your street, the regimental flash, that Norman short back and sides…”

Futbol Moderne #5

British football culture has long fascinated Richard the Photocopier. Its idiocies, its fashions, its smells – its march from being a rabid, unregulated, violent cavalcade to a bovine testing ground for control through entertainment – have been played out in front of him since the mid 1970s.  And very often, he couldn’t be arsed understanding it. It was an ever-present shade, formed from Albion’s darkest, most begrimed and befouled  underground recesses. It needed no explaining, outside of its gloriously unintended role as metaphor for street-level, Walter Mitty-esque British militarist dreaming. These photocopies were deliberately photographed in a manner that left questions, showed edges, felt scruffy, uneasy. And secretly homoerotic. Like the past they depict. Note the amount of bums in the pictures.

Futbol Moderne #4

British football culture has long fascinated Richard the Photocopier. Its idiocies, its fashions, its smells – its march from being a rabid, unregulated, violent cavalcade to a bovine testing ground for control through entertainment – have been played out in front of him since the mid 1970s.  And very often, he couldn’t be arsed understanding it. It was an ever-present shade, formed from Albion’s darkest, most begrimed and befouled  underground recesses. It needed no explaining, outside of it being a perfect help-meet for the heady, Ice Cream War  dreams of British militarism. These photocopies were deliberately photographed in a manner that left questions, showed edges, felt scruffy, uneasy. And secretly homoerotic. Like the past they depict. Note the amount of bums in the pictures.

Futbol Moderne #3

British football culture has long fascinated Richard the Photocopier. Its idiocies, its fashions, its smells, its march from being a rabid, unregulated, violent cavalcade to a bovine testing ground for control through entertainment, have been played out in front of him since the mid 1970s.  And very often, he couldn’t be arsed understanding it. It was an ever-present shade, formed from Albion’s darkest, most begrimed and befouled  underground recesses. It needed no explaining, outside of it being a perfect help-meet for the heady, Ice Cream War  dreams of British militarism. These photocopies were deliberately photographed in a manner that left questions, showed edges, felt scruffy, uneasy. Like the past they depict.

Futbol Moderne #2

Football has always kindled a creative spark for me. I remember very little about my first games from the 1970s but can vividly remember the atmosphere of pent up rage, hard-bitten humour and machismo. And the “Fauvist”, iridescent green of the pitch.

When young my love of football also found expression through my obsession with kits from the 1920s and 1930s. Why, I wondered, couldn’t the 1970s footballer wear the (to me) much more elegant styles of the inter-war years?  During the same time (1977-1983), I was engaged in painting the “Lace War” armies of the C18th Austro-Hungarian Empire. This  venture got out of hand very quickly. Somewhere in my parents’ loft marches every regiment that fought at Waterloo (Airfix HO/OO scale figures) and a fair number of figures depicting the terrible opening battles of the First War.

During 2011-12, I returned to examine this thematic link, discovering that there may be more in it than my pre-adolescent whims let on. These are sketches from a day long “draw-in” in Leiden’s then un-renovated Scheltema. The day also saw me down a crate of ale, with the aid of a cheese sandwich. The uniforms are those from all combatant armies of The Great War.

 

Futbol Moderne #1

The 1970s and 1980s were the era where I began to watch football matches in Lancashire and the North East. Initially accompanied by an adult (a pal’s dad, my dad or my granda) during the mid-to-late 1970s, I attended my first games on my own around 1984, with my first serious away trip being spring 1987 to watch Newcastle United play Manchester City at Maine Road (0-0 if you must know).  Football has always kindled a creative spark for me. I remember very little about the actual games from the 1970s but can vividly remember the atmosphere of pent up rage, hard-bitten humour and machismo. And the “Fauvist”, almost giddily bright splash of green of the pitch. This somehow opened up a feeling I could only express through drawing.

During the same time (1977-1983), I was engaged in painting the armies of the C18th Austro-Hungarian Empire in full; specifically that which had fought during the later Wars of the Spanish Succession (covering 1740s-1760s). Somehow that dovetailed with obsessively drawing footballers from the 1920s and 1930s. Football history was a subject that, back then, was often ridiculed by my increasingly “casually-clothed” peers.

During 2011-12, I returned to examine this thematic link, discovering that there may be more in it than my pre-adolescent whims let on. These are sketches from a day long “draw-in”(accompanied by a crate of ale, which was polished off day-tripper charabanc style, with the aid of a cheese sandwich). The uniforms are those from all combatant armies of The Great War.

Subbuteo Politico #2

My father and my uncles requisitioned Felling Labour Party branch’s Minute notebooks (on which my granda was Chair) in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in order to keep a record of their Subbuteo leagues. In the current climate of mistrust and self-righteousness, I find this an oddly comforting thought. How much fun football seemed back then, channeling the same nerdy impulses into something creative and throwaway, not phone ins or blogs ranting on about stats.

What is encouraging – and something we should remember about the human condition – was the gradual move towards the imagination; the League teams not as interesting in the long run as a set of fantasy teams with their own  stars and villains. You can see that in the main image in this post.

One interesting fact is that the Labour party’s rosette from the late 1940s was dark olive green with a white centre (replete with the words “Vote Labour”) with green and white ribbons.

Subbuteo Politico #1

One of the great things about paper is that it can be commandeered as a trusty helpmate in carrying out a wide range of tasks. My father and uncles did such when they requisitioned my granda’s Felling Labour Party Minute notebooks to make a thorough, near-decade long record of their (very early) Subbuteo league.

It’s worth noting too that the early Subbuteo players were made of card.

Copying and recycling paper to a new purpose; part of our own personal Bhavacakra.

The artists practise what the priests and politicians think is forgotten…

Post Ides Idling #2 2018

These are photographs that I wanted to make into photocopies, but didn’t. Not because of their suitability or otherwise as I’m not sure whether the concept of suitability, as such, plays any part in this particular reproductive process. I still think that the grey furze of the photocopied image does to some extent replicate the film between your sight and inner sight. In that respect anything photocopied (in effect performing the act of taking one step away) brings us one step closer to understanding something.

But sometimes the time between the photograph, or drawing, or the discovery of the objet trouvé, takes time to determine. In this series of posts I also wanted to show you what East Lancashire looks like in winter from the top of a bus. I have one complaint about these buses and that is they are too warm. The heating is always on ridiculously high.

Post Ides Idling 2018

These are photographs that I wanted to make into photocopies, but didn’t. Not because of their suitability or otherwise as I’m not sure whether the concept of suitability, as such, plays any part in this particular reproductive process. I still think that the grey furze of the photocopied image does to some extent replicate the film between your sight and inner sight. In that respect anything photocopied (in effect performing the act of taking one step away) brings us one step closer to understanding something.

But sometimes the time between the photograph, or drawing, or the discovery of the objet trouvé, takes time to determine. In this series of posts I also wanted to show you what East Lancashire looks like in winter from the top of a bus. I’ve had many an adventure on the bus to Manchester, and heard lots of stories, like “what would die first in a desert, a rat, or a camel?”

Who can tell?

Time doing nothing is not time wasted. (Georges Remi).