John 'Hoppy' Hopkins in Shoreditch, a communist headache?

On Thursday night I took in the opening of the Hoppy (John Hopkins) exhibition Against Tyranny: Talking about a Revolutionary at Idea Generator on Chance Street in Shoreditch. The displayed photos date from the early and mid-sixties. Mostly they seemed to be straightforward examples of photojournalism and celebrity portraiture. There were also some freak graphics by people other than Hoppy, but connected to him via his involvement with the underground newspaper International Times. So what Idea Generator presents us with is very much an official history of one phase of the London counterculture. That said, it looked a little odd in east London, when so much of what was on display depicted west London more than 40 years ago.
The opening was too packed to be able to see the images properly, but what most interested me was coverage of ‘ban-the-bomb’ demonstrations. I didn’t clock Hoppy’s Doctor Steve Abrams portraits which I’ve roundly criticised elsewhere (do a word search to get to Abrams and Hoppy on this page) for:  “mimicking the depiction of male doctors and female hysterics in nineteenth-century medical paintings. Since some viewers were inevitably going to make a connection between these publicity japes and the earlier imagery upon which they so strikingly draw, Abrams left himself wide open to criticism for generating negative perceptions of both women and recreational drug users.” If these problematic images were on display, they were hidden in one of the nooks it was impossible for me to enter because of the crowds already there.
I couldn’t see enough of the show to make any real judgement of it; and beyond Joe Boyd and Hoppy himself, I spotted very few familiar faces from the sixties. I did manage to grab hold of Malcolm Dickson from Street Level Gallery in Glasgow, and as we needed to catch up, we ducked out for refreshments elsewhere. So I guess I’ll go back and see the show properly later, it is on until 19 July. The place was just too mobbed, with endless flashbulbs going off and professional film-makers getting in my way, to be pleasant.
Moving on, I hadn’t posted anything on YouTube for more than six months until yesterday because I was fed up with being censored on that site. As I’ve said elsewhere: “YouTube actually removed a parody of a Fluxus film for violating their rules. This was a countdown from 10 to 1, no images in it at all, just numerals. Presumably the problem was the joke title 10 Erotic Movies – it had more than twenty thousand hits before being taken down by the authoritarians who run that platform. If YouTube won’t allow a film like this, then Web 2.0 is a joke and we need to move on to Web 2.1, where we control the sites we’re posting on!”
But right now there is a new video of mine up on YouTube entitled Does Modern Art Give You A Headache? Check it out, and see how it emerged from an earlier blog on this site: Performing Localities: Recent Guatemalan Performance Art On Video.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-20 12:39:23 +0000

comments on the way
@Harold Pinter

Comment by The Fake Steve Abrams on 2009-06-20 16:21:22 +0000

There is no truth whatsoever in the false rumours that the Kansas senate is actually a front for the CIA!

Comment by Shoredtich Twat on 2009-06-20 17:10:03 +0000

The opening was awful, some old person from the sixties had too much to drink and puked over my new jacket! I don’t like old people, they leak body fluids everywhere!

Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-20 17:35:37 +0000

On Puking by Harold Pinter
Oh poo…
No, pu-re-pu-pu-pu-ke!
@Harold Pinter 2009

Comment by Root Boy Slim on 2009-06-20 18:10:01 +0000

Boogie Til You Puke!

Comment by White Boy on 2009-06-20 18:37:25 +0000

I could puke all over you!

Comment by Joan Webster on 2009-06-20 18:39:51 +0000

On Puking Over Harold Pinter
I puke your words out of my body
I piss your pathos
My pores expel your onomatopoeia
Ex – ex – ex – spell
All Rights Reserved Joan Webster 2009

Comment by Hollywood Brats on 2009-06-20 18:48:14 +0000

I’m gonna be, gonna be sick on you! Down your face and your dress and your legs and your shoes, sick on you!

Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-20 18:49:25 +0000

Joan baby, I’ve dumped you on account of your ultra-feminist behaviour. No quasi-poetry of yours will bring me back to you.
Point of no Return by Harold Pinter
No-no-no Joan,
Never again…
Trippy is the answer.
Id. Ego. Super-ego.
©Harold Pinter 2009

Comment by Old Person from the Sixties on 2009-06-20 18:53:30 +0000

Stewart, I lllllloved your new jacket

Comment by Joan Webster on 2009-06-20 19:01:42 +0000

That’s all you’re good at dumping! Ha ha Harold you obviously didn’t read my poem of genius as it was critique rather than reconciliation and for your information I have given up being a feminist and become a man.
xxxxx kissey kissey

Comment by comrade I. on 2009-06-20 19:34:40 +0000

comrade L.B., ou es-tu?

Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-20 19:36:32 +0000

you’ve become a man, Joan? No kissey-kissey then!

Comment by Contemporary Neurotics Network on 2009-06-20 20:02:23 +0000

Frankly, modern art gives me ballache.
Bring on Web 3.0!

Comment by Joan Webster on 2009-06-20 20:22:12 +0000

No just a stereotypical hysterical female

Comment by Tony Hatch on 2009-06-20 21:37:21 +0000

I thought this blog was well presented with nice riffs on the horn. I give it 8 for presentation, 6 for content and 6 for Star Quality. I hope to see you back next week.

Comment by Comrade Luther B. on 2009-06-21 08:07:37 +0000

Je suis en Kiloran et Londres.

Comment by Msmarmitelover on 2009-06-21 08:11:01 +0000

Oh I wish I’d known about this opening. I love Hoppy’s work. I met him at Christmas at the Getty/Redferns party and bought his book from him. I particularly loved the photograph of the prostitute’s room.

Comment by Sceptic on 2009-06-21 09:27:52 +0000

8-6-6 out of 100?

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-06-21 10:53:09 +0000

What about 36-22-36? And that’s not out of 100; it’s my figure if you’ll cough up for the surgery!

Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-21 13:43:01 +0000

The Cough by Harold Pinter
©Harold Pinter 2009

Comment by Sceptic on 2009-06-21 13:44:15 +0000

you need to put on a few pounds, Trippy

Comment by a poem on 2009-06-21 17:41:31 +0000


Comment by Harold Pinter on 2009-06-21 21:00:15 +0000

Well I can give him a few – pounds that is.

Comment by Old Rope on 2009-06-26 15:40:44 +0000

I’d give him one. He’s well fit.

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