Wednesday, August 06, 2008
What Are You Looking At?
'WOMANS ROLL', A.I.R Gallery, London, UK. 1976
The collaboration between COH (aka Ivan Pavlov) and the legendary Cosey Fanni Tutti, COH Plays Cosey, starts off as an aural exploration of the male gaze, but it quickly cuts deeper than that. More than anything it's an exercise in extreme artistic trust. Cosey provided vocal gestures and phrases which Pavlov twists, cuts, and spins into rhythms and melodies. The intimacy of the affair is almost uncomfortable to listen to at times, but never so uncomfortable that the tension is lost. Cosey has been investigating issues of power via performance and music from her days in Industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle through her long collaboration with her partner Chris Carter. There's something great about the way she opens herself to someone with whom she doesn't have such a close relationship. The gaze turns inward through the mirror of another. It's a miracle of a record, and in the liner notes Cosey hints at the tables being turned next time out. Hold on.