What was the ‘last book to be banned in the UK’ and what else could we learn?

Artplayer would like to draw everybody’s attention to a fascinating documentary being made later this year by one of our channel holders. With your help, hopefully.

The Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books are collaborating with filmmaker Clara Casian to produce an experimental documentary exploring the history of alternative publishing in Manchester. They have launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign towards the research and production costs of the film. Please watch the campaign video and join the quest!
This new film will trace a recent history of experimental publishing in Manchester and the UK via the history of Savoy Books. Savoy Books are an independent publishing house based above a locksmith shop in the South Manchester district of Didsbury, founded and run by Michael Butterworth and David Britton. In 1989 they published Lord Horror, the last book to be banned in the UK under the 1959 Obscene Publications Act; in part a response to Britton’s time spent in Strangeways prison, and Savoy’s constant persecution by the corrupt Police force at the time.

An experimental and innovative approach to storytelling will utilise previously unseen footage dating from the 1980’s and 1990’s, featuring visual records from Alan Moore, Michael Moorcock, John Coulthart, Michael Butterworth along with found and archival footage sourced from the BBC and Northern film archive.

The film will also necessarily approach censorship debates, considering the cultural and political context of the sensationalism around obscenity trials. There are a range of exciting one-off rewards for donating including original limited run screen-prints, early Corridor publications, Savoy titles and t-shirts. Special rewards packages to arts organizations!


Text by Kati Jägel


Presentation changes everything

Susanne Kriemann is given the prime wall of the main gallery space at Arnolfini for her first solo exhibition in the UK – and she paints it yellow. The yellow wall serves the purpose to reflect light on the real (or the other) works on display, that is, the archive photographs set up in a metal construct inspired by the Construction School in Brisbane. In addition to reflecting light, the yellow paint actually casts a ghostly shade of colour on the photographs which are thus, effectively, colour-graded but only in certain moments of time (daylight hours) and only for the duration of the exhbition in that space. Through such play with light and colour – which is, as Kriemann herself points out, the central element of photography in general –  the exhibition becomes a performance that changes in time. Presentation is immensely important to Kriemann as she uses the playful elements such as the wall and the metal structure to suggest certain kinds of readings that link the documentary photographs from early photo history to surveillance cameras to the present moment of reception.

There is so much more to discover about Kriemann’s work in the video, such as the beautiful abstract compositions consisting of overexposed film strips which have been photographed and become double, or even triple photographs of the original subject.

Be prepared to be enchanted…


“Susanne Kriemann: Modelling (Construction School)” runs at Arnolfini from Saturday 04 May 2013 to Sunday 07 July 2013, 11:00 to 18:00. More information at: http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/susanne-kriemann-modelling-construction-school

Text by Kati Jägel