Thursday, 21 May 2009

Antigone's life through a lens

Some of us are photogenic, some of us aren't. That's just the way things are. Antigone falls into the former category but add a slice of creativity to the mix and you have the consummate pop star; the Madonna template. Going through her photo albums on HerSpace is like going through her dressing up box, especially the live shows where the knack for putting a stage 'look' together comes to the fore. I asked Antigone to talk me through her pictures in chronological order...

"This was 2003 in the heady days of Etherfox prime time when ubercool Oyster Magazine commissioned a shoot with us because we were nominated for 2 Dance Music Awards. First shoot we'd done where everything was done and we didn't have to pay for it which we thought was pretty miraculous. My nipples have never looked so hot right now (or cold as the case may be...)". Photographer Eddy Ming

"First shoot in London, summer '05. Thankfully the results were rewarding as everything about this shoot on location (then in post) was disastrous - funny now, not funny then - and it very nearly destroyed my friendship with the photographer (lesson: don't do shoots in big cities when you have no contacts and no resources). The location: a rather skanky canal near Seven Sisters, whose grass had been cut the day prior, completely destroying the location's look! Laborious lugging of gear in hot sun including a massive mirror we'd bought that only just fitted into the hire car. Argumentative assistant who constantly undermined the photographer, and who also suffered from bad hayfever. No flash. It was my birthday. But we worked tirelessly and had some great moments. I was dressed in Tsubi via a PR which became more interesting when I discovered that half of Tsubi was my half-cousin. I still love both of these shots". Photographer Claire Letitia Reynolds

"London shoot no 2, Nov '07. It was supposed to be for my album but it didn't end up that way. I don't really enjoy creatively directing as well as starring - I need to bounce off people - so it was a bit tough for me. The first story we attempted flopped (Bowie inspired but a clown arrived), but both of these are from the second when it all suddenly came together and some real magic happened. A lot of them are tres nipply though as very little looks good beneath that incredible mesh dress". Photographer

"Soho Pride 08! This was taken by my lovely press guy at the time aka DJ Jonny Red. The two dancers were a total sir-prize, provided by QX - I was grateful for them even though it meant I ended up coming across as a total disco dolly. Which I can be. At times. Just not all the time. One of them danced with me a few months later for OMO at the Astoria. Just him and me on that massive stage. And me dressed as a Harajuku school girl. Loved it".

"Love this shot. I'd just finished performing at Pride. Notice the delightful lady-portioned bottle of something hideous? It was hideous, but I hadn't realised that yet".

"This is me getting all close and personal with my fuck buddy Buck. Buck began touring with me when I was promoting More Man Than Man thick and fast. I would blow him up then tape him onto an ironing board disguised with black fabric, then drape more cloth over him and his, err, ample appendage. I never did unveil the beast though - too crass even for me! This was at Popjustice's Mobile Disco which landed me a pic in the London Paper, my 15cm of fame. I think Peter Robinson went off me after seeing me and Buck on stage though - well it's not something Little Boots would ever do is it? Look, I'm very cabaret really on stage, and not everyone can deal with that, but it's who I am. My father, who's a well respected novelist, used to always tell me that what you want to be good at and what you are good at are usually totally different. Being an artist is about how you negotiate the territory in between I guess". Photo by Mr Blue

"This London shoot in July last year was initiated by the truly gifted and absolutely adorable Nik Pate, a photographer, illustrator and trained set designer. After photographing me at a show, he said that he'd been so inspired by my performance energy that he wanted to do a shoot with me, so one summer's day we spent 8 hours on a set he'd literally made in a lodge on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Those illustrations behind me were photocopies of various images he then collaged together on a massive 6 foot set. So incredible. This became the obvious album shoot and the AntigoneLand cover is another shot from this series. I love Nik". Photographer

"All three of these are from the same night - a Halloween special of Electroqueer's night down at Barcode in Soho last year. The first is me as Antigone as a black puss, shot by the very talented Mikael ( who's been a champ at capturing me live. The second shot is me as some dubious Cher-inspired moll performing duet Dead Ringer for Love with the inimitable Boogaloo Stu who's become a solid chum, the potty mouth. The grand finale of this dubious pictographic herstory is me getting a bit excited for some black pussy with lovely lesbian Megan and her girlfriend".

Antigone's brilliantly inventive new album, AntigoneLand is out now. Go listen to and buy here!


xolondon said...

Brilliant idea for a post! AND a little dish in there. Seems to me we need to see some of those nipple shots still...

Paul said...

well done. fascinating post :) great idea too! you obviously rock. quite a lot. love me some out of the box thinking!