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Project Arts Centre presents
Dates: 11 Nov - 01 Jan
Show Time: 11.00am - 8.00pm
What sort of artists would allow themselves to be involved in a sitcom based in the art world? According to common clichés, they would perhaps be narcissistic or arrogant or obtuse or opportunist. You might think that art is given a hard enough time in the media without ‘insiders’ holding themselves up for ridicule too. Early in 2011, however, an unlikely group of artists, comedians and writers worked together on The Last of the Red Wine, a radio sitcom based in the artworld. Used to being the subject of their own work, the collaborators instead cast themselves in a collective farce, written and performed in the course of one week.Put together quickly, this sitcom was never going to be of industry standard. It was quite amusing in places and embarrassingly not in others; but the main point of interest was how a group of people with such different ideas of what is funny worked collaboratively, without anyone incurring too heavy an insult or injury. The next instalment of the sitcom at Project Arts Centre, The Last of the Red Wine (the prequel/sequel), dissects the mix of people and personalities involved in the original project and examines the processes of self-representation in their individual practices.This collection of videos, audio, photographs and sculptural installation ridicules, jokes and pokes fun at the character of the sitcom artist. Compared with the clichéd representations of artists garnered from television programmes – screened here in clips edited by O’Reilly and Colin Perry from such classics as Upstairs Downstairs, Blackadder and General Hospital – it reveals further absurdities about art and acts as a pastiche of the artworld.There are a range of colourful characters including Doug Fishbone, who it turns out is a smooth-tongued chancer, Hayley Newman a resourceful exhibitionist, Kim Noble a divisive wrangler, Sally O’Reilly a relentless absurdist, Michelle Owoo a coercive trickster, Caroline Smith an over-emancipated housewife and Bedwyr Williams a disgruntled ghost.The exhibition is rather like the mythical lion with the head of one lion and the body of another – it is not entirely clear which bit is in earnest and which bit is just plain ridiculous.
With many thanks to the Rubicon Gallery for their support of the exhibition.
Kim Noble is a performance and video artist, and was one half of Perrier Award-winning, BAFTA-nominated experimental art-comedy duo Noble and Silver. Kim’s work uses a provocative and humorous style to expose the human condition: notions of death, sexuality, gender and religion are picked at with dry comedic use of tragedy meshed with absurdity. His multi-disciplined approach has led him to work across theatre, TV, film, art and comedy; his broad output includes writing/co-directing a Channel 4 series, performing in comedy venues and at multi-media events at West End theatres, having his work displayed in art galleries, and producing a modern day manifesto for the British Library. He no longer smells of wee.
Michelle Owoo is a comedy performer, improviser and producer based in London. With a degree in French & History of Art, her translations of Dada manifestos by Picabia, Tzara and their contemporaries have been published by Tate in The Dada Reader, edited by Dawn Ades. She also has an MA in Creative Producing for Theatre & Live Performance from Birkbeck, University of London. Michelle is interested in art in the public realm, site specific work, and outdoor performance and installation using projection and illumination. Previously performing at Tate Modern, the Barbican, the ICA and the Liverpool Biennial, she has also appeared at numerous theatres and comedy clubs across the UK including the Soho Theatre, Jongleurs, Hackney Empire, and the Edinburgh Festival. Her TV credits include a live improvised drama developed for the BBC, in which she played the lead role. Other projects include working with Artichoke on Antony Gormley’s One and Other commission for the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square (2009), and her current production of a multi-sensory theatre show for children, an Arts Council Unlimited commission for 2012, set to tour festivals in the UK next summer.
Sally O’Reilly is a writer, contributing regularly to many art and culture publications, including Art Monthly, Art Review, Cabinet, Frieze and Time Out, and has written many essays and short fiction for international museums and galleries. Her book The Body in Contemporary Art was published by Thames & Hudson in 2009 and she was co-editor of the thematic, interdisciplinary broadsheet Implicasphere (2003-8). She has also curated and produced numerous performative events and was co-curator of the Hayward Touring Exhibition Magic Show (2009–10). She was writer in residence at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2010–11), and has written, produced and edited several documentaries on art and esoterica, and is currently writing a novel, Crude, about crushes and oil rigs.
Doug Fishbone was born in New York and now lives and works in London. He often uses satire and humour within his film, performance and installation works to examine consumer culture and the mass media in a critical and disarming way. Selected solo exhibitions include Elmina (2010-2011) and Hypno Project (2009) both at Rokeby Gallery, London; The Idea Store, Gimpel Fils, London (2006) and 30,000 Bananas in Trafalgar Square (2004). Selected group exhibitions include Dublin Contemporary, Ireland (2011); Rude Britannia: British Comic Art, Tate Britain (2010); Busan Biennale Expenditure, Busan, South Korea (2008); Laughing in a Foreign Language, Hayward Gallery, London (2008); British Art Show 6, Newcastle, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester (2006). He performs regularly at both international and UK venues, including appearances at ICA and Southbank Centre, London.
Colin Perry is a freelance art writer based in London. He writes for art journals and magazines such as Frieze, Art Monthly, Afterall, ArtReview, Modern Painters and MAP. He has written numerous essays for books on contemporary art, artists’ catalogues and monographs. He is a freelance Project Editor, and is currently producing a book on exhibition histories for Phaidon Press. Other recent work ranges from curation to panel discussions and includes the video work, Do I Really Look Like That with Sally O’Reilly, ICA, London (2011); the film screening Experiment / Bodies / Witness: Artists Film and Video from the 1970s, Camden Arts Centre, London (2010); and collaborating with artists such as Mark Gubb at Hinterland in Nottingham (2009), and Alex Cecchetti at the Publish and be Damned book fair, London (2009). Recently, he lectured at ISCP, New York and at University College Falmouth, UK (2011).
Bedwyr Williams is a Welsh artist living and working in Caemarfon, Wales. His work includes stand-up comedy, sculpture and painting, posters and photography. Drawing on his own personal experiences, his take on the world is at once satirical and deadly serious, revealing both his and our own complex neurosis and idiosyncrasies. Solo exhibitions include The Jynx, 1857, Oslo (2010); Nimrod, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool (2009); Methodist to my Madness, The Bakery, Annet Gelink, Amsterdam (2009) and No More Mr Nice Guy, Store Gallery, London (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Ernste Tiere, Kunstverein Bonn, Germany, and SHOW, Jerwood Space, London (2011); The Eccentric, The Idiosyncratic and The Unpredictable, Schirman & de Beaucé, Paris (2010); Gallery, Galerie, Galleria, Norma Mangione Gallery, Turin, Italy (2010), and Behind, Monitor Gallery, Rome, Italy (2008). Bedwyr has a forthcoming solo exhibition at IKON Gallery, Birmingham (2011).
Caroline Smith is a performance artist whose projects lie in the intersections of writing and performance, and are produced for site-specific outdoor spaces, theatres and galleries. Her themes explore comedy and alter ego; complicity and exchange to offer opportunities for audiences to transgress the mundane; to reveal what lies hidden, dormant and often unspoken. Smith’s Eating Secret, performed by her alter ego, Mertle Merman, has been selected for Tate Modern, The Roundhouse, Arts Depot, the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, and the Cochrane Theatre, London (2009). She has performed as ‘Q’ at Clifford Chance, Vogue Fabrics and South Bank Centre, London (2011). Her first performance, Spank was performed in the Tramway for the National Review of Live Art, Glasgow (2008), where she was Elevator Artist; Albany Theatre for the International Symposium of Intimacy, London (2007); Rich Mix Studios and the Whipping Rooms (for the collective, OMSK) in the East End (2008); as well as in numerous site specific venues. Her work has featured extensively in the press. Currently, she is a Teaching Fellow and Principal Lecturer in Performance Writing at the University of Greenwich, London.
Hayley Newman is interested in performance, humour, subjectivity, documentary practices and fiction. She is currently working on an artists’ book based on her experiences as Self-appointed Artist in Residence in The City of London. The book will be published by Copy Press in 2012. Her commitment to working creatively around the current economic, social and ecological crises forged The Gluts (Hayley Newman, Gina Birch and Kaffe Matthews) and their eco-electro musical Café Carbon which they took to the Copenhagen Climate Summit (2009) and subsequently performed at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, and Café Oto, and also at Modern Art Oxford (2010). Other works include Milton Keynes Vertical Horizontal, UK (2006/8), a public artwork in which a coach was driven around the notorious Milton Keynes road grid system in until it ran out of diesel. In 2009 she worked with Andrea Mason on Capitalists Anonymous, outreach for bankers in the wake of the economic crash. She lives and works in London and is represented by Matt’s Gallery. She is a part-time lecturer at The Slade School of Fine Art and a reader at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.
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