May 18th, 2006


Wuthering Jans

Jan Family are a group of ex-Royal College of Art students whose design work shares the same conceptual and social accents as Åbäke. Since Åbäke are currently teaching at the RCA, it's quite possible that they're even ex-pupils of the group.

The idea of Jan family is that design is a series of proposals for new social possibilities, that each new design allows a new form of social interaction, a suggested etiquette. "How To Reach Out", a show in London last September by Ingrid Jan Hora (every transient member of the Jan family takes "Jan" as a middle name while they're working with the group; the founder members are Nina Jan Beier and Marie Jan Lund) lured visitors in with an inflatable clear plastic sausage that extended the gallery space all the way to the door of the adjacent video shop, rather like Vito Acconci's famous conference table. The work inside showed groups of people all sharing the same jackets and ties, or clusters of chairs linked together. Nice metaphors for "family", for putting the collective above the individual.

Today I'd also like to point you in the direction of the archives of the Institut National de L'audiovisuel: 100,000 TV and radio broadcasts from France, including lots of Gainsbourg and Brassens, if you're into that kind of thing. Personally, I'm more intrigued by this spooky video (complete with VHS artefacts) of Kate Bush singing "Wuthering Heights" at Efteling Gardens in 1978. It's a lovely example of how something spooky (Kate's talent, youth, choreography are spooky, along with the fact that she's playing a ghost who climbs out of a tomb and is accompanied by black-faced KKK members) is made more so by the electronic spookiness of glitches. Bush really is Sadako from Ringu here (but dancing better).