Aesthetica Magazine Issue 39

February / March 2011

Inside this issue, we’re exploring some of today’s most innovative artworks. Russian born, Anna Parkina explores history and perceptions with Fallow Land opening in San Francisco. Haroon Mirza probes cultural and social history with his latest sculptural installations and audio compositions. Susan Hiller, known for fusing conceptual and minimalist art, takes London by storm with a retrospective at Tate Britain and simultaneously shows new works at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize announces its shortlist, and curator Stefanie Braun offers a glimpse into this year’s Prize, and we explore the works of two emerging female photographers.

In film, Marc Evans talks about his latest feature, Patagonia. While Rachel Millward, Director of Birds Eye View Film Festival discusses this year’s programme. In music, The Epstein is the band to watch in 2011 and we look at the art of packaging. Awarding winning journalist, Leo Benedictus, chats about his debut The Afterparty, a vignette of our self-obsessed culture and Elaine di Rollo discusses her new book Bleakly Hall set in post-WWI Britain. In theatre, we explore the inner workings of improvisational theatre, and a round up of this season’s must-see productions. Finally, gallerist Simon Oldfield chats about what it takes to run a gallery.

Leap Year

Leap Year delivers an emotional and graphic examination of loneliness through the listless life of journalist Laura.


Bella is a beautifully shot film, and has a narrative that viewers will relate to, easy to watch because of its deep exploration of personal choice.


Slingshot follows a group of petty criminals or “tiradors” (in local slang), in a slum neighbourhood in Manila.


By turns sinister and tragic, Catfish makes use of the various social mediums and communications that replace face-to-face contact in the modern world.

Open House

When Alice is imprisoned in her own house by the psychotic David, it isn’t long before David develops a misguided relationship with his prisoner.

I’m Still Here

I’m Still Here is the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated actor Casey Affleck, a bizarre portrayal of a year in the life of acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix.

Birds Eye View

Birds Eye View’s Rachel Millward talks about how their popular film festival applauds the creativity and brilliance of women in film.


Marc Evans’ latest film, Patagonia, looks at the idea of homeland, history and belonging through a parallel narrative.

Simon Oldfield

Simon Oldfield is the director of Simon Oldfield Gallery. Over the past few years he has established the gallery as one of London’s most exciting new spaces. Aesthetica speaks to the gallerist.

The Epstein

Oxford five-piece The Epstein’s, debut I Held You Once is a mesmerising mix of warm American West Coast-style folk rock, with a spectral cinematic sound.

Music Packaging

Plastic jewel case? Boring. Although it’s been part of the scene for years, indie artists are waking up to the potential of unique album packaging.

Dustin O’Halloran

Lumiere is a departure from O’Halloran’s previous work, adding strings and subtle electronics to his piano work and using ensembles to develop a deeper texture.


Telekinesis is Michael Benjamin Lerner, coupled with guitarist Chris Walla. 12 Desperate Straight Lines follows up their debut album, Telekinesis!

Esben and the Witch

Taking their name from a Dutch folk story, Brighton trio Ebsen and the Witch has been building an almost spectral image of themselves since releasing 33 in 2009.

Daniel Martin Moore

Daniel Martin Moore’s In The Cool of the Day is quiet and subtle. Encompassing serene vocals with emotive piano, it’s an album that grows on you.

Joan As Policewoman

Listening to Joan Wasser’s (aka Joan as Police Woman) voice it is hard not to be enchanted by her sheer effusion.

Wild Palms

What’s immediately striking from the first belt of Lou Hills’ soaring vocals is the rising momentum in this album.

Improvised Theatre

Improvisational theatre and performance has experienced widespread popularity on TV and radio, but to what extent do props and visuals inform performance?

Elaine di Rollo

Elaine di Rollo is the author of Bleakly Hall. Set at a hydropathic in post-WWI Britain, we see values change, and meet characters dealing with war’s aftermath.

Metafiction with a 21st Century Twist

In The Afterparty, Leo Benedictus combines reality and fiction to present a funny, but ultimately moving account of the ups and downs of being a celebrity.