Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Alighiero Boetti, Tate Modern, review

imageA rewarding new show at the Tate Modern reveals that conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti took as his subject the very foundations of reality, says Richard Dorment .

The Italian conceptual artist Alighiero Boetti didn’t do things by halves. Fixating on an idea, he followed it through to its logical conclusion — no matter where it might lead, how long it took to get there, or how absurd the conclusion turned out to be. And ideas just poured out of Boetti. In a life-size bronze self-portrait made at the end of his life, the artist stands under a cascade of water as though trying to cool down a brain literally steaming with them.

Mercury Prize 2011: PJ Harvey wins for the second time

PJ Harvey has become the first artist to win the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize for a second time.


The 41-year-old musician – who had long been the bookies’ favourite – triumphed with her release Let England Shake, which was inspired by conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Polly Jean Harvey beat acts such as chart-topper Adele and Brit-winning star Tinie Tempah to the £20,000 prize.

She previously won the Mercury Prize a decade ago – on the day of the September 11 attacks.

Harvey wore a full-length white dress with a white leather bodice shaped like a strait-jacket – the design of which had been inspired by her album – to attend the ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Harry’s Arctic Heroes, BBC One, review

Benji Wilson reviews the first part of Harry’s Arctic Heroes (BBC One), in which Prince Harry accompanies four wounded soldiers on a polar expedition; plus Channel 4’s one-off drama Random.


As I sit here typing, knowing that my greatest struggle today will probably consist of changing a printer cartridge, the scale of my admiration for the severely injured soldiers who decided to trek to the North Pole in last night’s Harry’s Arctic Heroes (BBC One) is somewhere approaching intergalactic.

Four British soldiers, all badly wounded in Afghanistan, set out on an unsupported walk to the Pole. Their injuries had smashed them to bits both physically – two arms and a leg amputated; a broken back and 32 operations between the four of them – as well as mentally. Every one of them just wanted to be back soldiering; they never will.

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