September 24, 2023

Marina Abramović review – the artist is strangely absent

Royal Academy, LondonKnives, arrows, guns, nakedness… the performance art pioneer’s blockbuster 50-year retrospective underlines her bravery, yet sells it short with off-key re-enactments by stand-insWill you make it through the door of the Royal Academy, where two young people currently face each other, naked, like a pair of human gateposts? Not if you are too tactful (or too portly), afraid of grazing their bare bodies with a sharp buckle or zip. But there is a secret bypass into the next gallery that allows you to watch footage of the original and more startling performance of this artwork, in any case, and avoid the keyed-up RA queues.Imponderabilia was first staged in 1977 by the Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović (born 1946) and her German partner Ulay. A television monitor shows mortified visitors in overcoats pushing rapidly between the eye-to-eye artists. What’s lost today is not just the potential for shock or social embarrassment but the intense emotional connection between Abramović and Ulay. The stand-ins hired for this lavish retrospective resemble, by contrast, detached and slightly fragile models. Continue reading...
September 24, 2023

Kosovan PM Albin Kurti says talks with Serbia have reached dead end

Kurti claims EU special envoy to talks has lost neutrality and there is ‘no moving further with this method’EU-brokered talks between Kosovo and Serbia have become so one-sided that they have reached a dead end, Kosovo’s prime minister has said.More than a decade of European-led mediation efforts, most recently in Moldova and Brussels, have failed to normalise relations between the two countries, and Belgrade still refuses to recognise Kosovo’s independence, declared in 2008 under a UN-sponsored plan. Continue reading...
September 23, 2023

Cleo Sol: Heaven review – soulful succour from the Sault singer

(Forever Living Originals)Part of the enigmatic London collective, the singer-songwriter’s third album is a balm of cool, dreamy reflections on faith, love and courageNot much is known about Sault, even though the mysterious London collective have released 11 startling albums over the past few years. Their output exists without exegesis: no interviews or photos. They have yet to play live.The soul singer Cleo Sol is a big part of Sault. But compared with them, the enigmatic vocalist is – almost – an open book. We know what she looks like. We know she was born in London as Cleopatra Zvezdana Nikolic; her parents (Jamaican and Serbian-Spanish) are thought to have met in a jazz band. She has a social media presence; she plays live. Earlier this year, Sol sold out two nights at London’s Royal Albert Hall. (It was easier, complained some on Twitter, to get tickets to Beyoncé.) Continue reading...
September 22, 2023

Belgrade: the city where dirty air is seen as a ‘consequence of economic growth’

Critics decry lack of political will in Serbian capital to clean polluted air that residents say they can ‘feel and taste’When the Yugoslav prime minister Džemal Bijedić promised to clean the country’s air at a conference in Belgrade in 1974, a reporter from the New York Times wrote that there was little hope of early relief for the city’s residents, who felt the pollution was getting worse. “The choking, sulphurous atmosphere of Belgrade and several other major Yugoslav cities reddens eyes, shreds nylon stockings and ruins pianissimo passages in the concert hall because of the nearly continuous coughing it causes in audiences,” the writer said.Half a century later, residents of Belgrade are still holding their breath. “I have asthma and it’s killing me,” says Dejan, 40, a graffiti artist and MC who runs a paint shop in the industrial Palilula district. “It’s not smog, man, it’s a black fog. You cannot see.” Continue reading...
September 11, 2023

Germany call time on Hansi Flick’s chaotic reign as Euro 2024 looms | Andy Brassell

Manager could not replicate his success at Bayern and while the DFB dreams of Klopp, Nagelsmann looks a more likely successorThe chorus of boos that ushered Germany’s team from the field at full time after Saturday’s humbling at home to Japan might have taken supporters of a certain vintage back 26 years, to Le Tournoi. It wasn’t only about Roberto Carlos’s banana free-kick and the emergence of Paul Scholes, but about French supporters venting their frustrations with their national coach, Aimé Jacquet. When France lost to a late Alan Shearer goal in their second game of the tournament in June 1997, cries of ‘Jacquet démission’ (‘Jacquet resign’) tumbled from the stands of the Mosson in Montpellier.If Hansi Flick had hoped this nadir would be the first step on a similar path to glorious redemption, it quickly became clear that there was to be no reprise of that scenario. The Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) announced his sacking on Sunday afternoon while Germany’s basketball team were midway through a magnificent victory in the World Cup final with Serbia – underlining, on one hand, the clumsiness and the dysfunctional workings of the body at board level, and on the other communicating the sense of panic that led them to this point. Continue reading...
September 8, 2023

USA stunned by Germany in Fiba Basketball World Cup semi-finals

USA upset by Germany 113-111 in last four of World CupAndreas Obst scores game-high 24 points for GermanyThere will be no gold medal for the US at this World Cup. And for the second consecutive time in Fiba’s biggest tournament, there might not even be any medal at all for the Americans.Instead, it’s Germany on the cusp of a world title. Continue reading...
September 4, 2023

Serbia’s Boriša Simanić loses kidney after taking elbow at Basketball World Cup

Player had two separate surgeries after injury during gameSouth Sudan’s Nuni Omot issues apology for incidentA Serbian player has had a kidney removed after taking an elbow to his midsection during a game against South Sudan at the Basketball World Cup.The Serbian basketball federation confirmed on Monday that Boriša Simanić underwent two separate surgeries. The first came after last Wednesday’s game during which Simanić fell to the floor after taking an elbow from South Sudan’s Nuni Omot. Continue reading...
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