We’re all guilty of using “Americanisms”. My friend from Aberdeen is the spokeswoman for DUDE, I revel in the AWESOMENESS of everything and even my dad is partial to throwing in a BUDDY every now and then. The biggest explanation as to why we’ve adopted so much American slang is surely the influence of US film and television. For example, the main character in The Big Lebowski is The Dude- everyone wants to be The Dude, he made milk cool again, for God’s sake. Thanks to Mean Girls we were both reacquainted with “skank” and introduced to “skeez”, and programmes like Friends, a show that plays several times every day in syndication and has done so for nearly twenty years, are responsible for the “Oh my God” and “like” pandemics that spread across the English speaking world. Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno, has been praised for the way in which she managed to engage with and portray the way American teenagers actually speak, and because of the movie’s worldwide success, we have picked up some Juno-isms like “food baby” and wanted to be as smart, witty and irreverent as she can be. While we might not all go around repeating every new word we hear on this week’s episode of Girls or chronicling the way Jersey Shore cast members speak, the language and phrases British audiences are exposed to by the US media definitely have the ability to shape the way we talk.
To Have A Voice collects seven painters in a fairly big group painting show, including works by Hernan Bas, Kaye Donachie, Moyna Flannigan, Chantal Joffe, Bruno Pacheco, Gideon Rubin and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The exhibit explores contemporary figurative painting and its ability to give a fresh perspective in light of the legacy of the past. It looks at why the artists choose these particular characters to voice new perspectives, and whether there is anything new to be said through this medium given the diversity of today’s world where anyone with a camera phone can brand themselves ‘artists’.
Certainly, the artists are talented in approaching their subjects from various angles. They’re obviously aware of their own subjective interpretations, neither trying to be completely truthful, abstract, nor conceptual. However, no clear cut themes is a bit of an artsy way of saying it’s subject to your own interpretation, which means it will be a bit confusing.