Sunday, 17 April 2011

Gentlemens' dinner & prize photography....

....The second in what I hope will turn out to be a long line of gatherings like this. After a successful Chinese lunch a couple of months ago, Bugsy herded us like cattle, once more, to eat some exceptional, erm, cattle.

We gathered at Le Relais de Venise, (L'Entrecote), which is widely regarded as amongst the finest steak frites in London. In fact, we didn't gather, we queued from midday, as no bookings are taken.

Once in, we didn't need to choose, as they only serve from one set menu. Salad / Steak & chips, (for which you get two portions of the latter).

I was bowled over, I really was. The salad, although simple, was great. And then the steak was melt-in-the-mouth-incredible. I was transported to a Parisian Bistro, whilst in the heart of Marylebone.

Also, I hadn't appreciated that the menu fixe included a second helping of the main course. Well, I was astounded. Delighted.

Some plumped for desserts and coffees too, as the chatter went on and on.

It really is a great social event, getting us altogether, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And what is so good, is that it's not a boozy social. Or a drink-to-get-drunk affair. In fact, it's far more cultural, as was proved by going to a post dinner exhibition.

The Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, hosted by the Photographers Gallery, was relocated around the corner in the Ambika P3 Gallery, (part of the University of Westminster).

An incredible space played host to four shortlisted photographers, Roe Ethridge, Jim Goldberg, Elad Lassry and one of my all time favourites, Thomas Demand. In fact, the industrial, vacuous space looked like it could have been a vast cardboard structure, created by Demand himself, and we were his subjects.

The works were varied and interesting, but none really sparked huge excitement in me. As ever, Demand's work is flabberghasting, but I have seen it before. Jim Goldberg's eye opening images highlight socially and economically devastated countries.

Jim Goldberg, Guardian 2009

But for some reason I think Roe Ethridge will win. Bold, simple imagery. Either high brow or simple, they seem to hold that little bit more, that you can't quite put your finger on.

Roe Ethridge, Old Fruit 2010

All in all, a fantastic afternoon. Brilliant in every respect. Where's next?!

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