Joanna in Whitstable

I walked along the Whitstable sea front, at just before 10 am, to get my first view of the Kent Cultural Baton gleaming in full sunshine. I am sure this baton designed by Nicole Mollett will enable many interesting projects as well as giving much pleasure through its very “being” as it travels around Kent.

After participating in the “workers of Art” piece inside the Baton and talking to many who had also come to launch the baton I went to explore the Whitstable Biennale. The Guides and posters are clear and aesthetically pleasing. I decided to aim for  Adam Chodzko’s films in the Old Nelson Inn, and UR-NOW The ruins of the contemporary, a film programme curated by Brian Dillon in the Horsebridge Arts Centre.

I passed through the narrow streets full of people all out to enjoy one of the best summer days so far. I passed though the idyllic Whitstable, the fishing town now discovered and celebrated by many from elsewhere. Just as I was seeing similarities with the Habitat summer catalogue I hit the High Street and found the Old Nelson Inn. Oh the joy of good work really well presented.  Adam Chodzko’s films still keep me thinking and feeling – they are uncomfortable, they are interesting, they are beautifully edited and they thrive on their complexity.

Along the road I found the Horsebridge and the room where the UR-Now screenings were. Again beautifully presented the space empty except for some extremely comfortable black bean bags. I entered to a reenactment of an interview with Jean Paul Satre on his relationships with women – Simone de Beauvoir and all the others followed by a fascinating short of musical instruments being shot to pieces and the sound piece resulting from that process. Unfortunately I had to leave before the end of Harun Farocki’s “workers leaving the factory” because of the time limit at the parking lot. The girl at the desk said I could come back another day and maybe I will manage it, I would really like to.

Today I had a wonderful time – I came away inspired and revitalised the way that ART CAN do it.