Slade School of Fine Art UCL
Gower Street London WC1E 6BT
I was born in Guildford, Surrey and received a BA (hons) at Middlesex University before gaining a Higher Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at the Slade School. In 1995 I took up a DAAD scholarship in the class of Marina Abramović at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg after which I was awarded a research scholarship at the University of Leeds, completing my PhD in 2001. I started teaching at the Slade School in 2011 and am co-ordinator of the practice-led PhD option within the department.
I am interested in performance and performativity, documentary practices, humour, subjectivity and fiction. Over the past few years, I have worked both individually and collectively and have learnt as much about how collectives function as I have about how I function as an individual. My commitment to working creatively around the current economic, social and ecological crises forged The Gluts (Hayley Newman, Gina Birch and Kaffe Matthews) and our eco-electro musical Café Carbon which we took to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 and subsequently performed at Whitechapel Art Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, Café Oto and Modern Art Oxford in 2010. For Café Carbon we wrote songs about food and climate; cheap chicken, food-transportation, over-consumption, water, allotments, mechanization and the beginning of modernity were all on the menu at Café Carbon.
Other work has included Milton Keynes Vertical Horizontal (MKVH, 2006), a public event in which volunteers were driven around the Milton Keynes road grid until their coach ran out of diesel. MKVH (the screenplay), published in 2008, was based on this journey. The book built on ideas around intersubjectivity, memory and narrative, commenting on peak oil with particular relation to the car-dependent culture of the new city of Milton Keynes.
In 2009, writer Andrea Mason and I inaugurated the self-help group Capitalists Anonymous (CA), a forum for people to come and confess their capitalist tendencies. Originally set up for bankers in the wake of the economic crash, CA was seen as a therapeutic intervention that took place on the steps of the Royal Exchange in the City of London.
I have recently finished writing a novella based on my experiences as 'Self-appointed Artist-in-Residence' in The City of London. The book will be published by Copy Press in 2013.
The Slade appointed me in 2011 to help set up the new practice-led PhD option within the school. Prior to this I was Graduate Tutor at Chelsea College of Art and Design where, alongside my supervisory duties, I worked to develop research-student culture within the college.
I have supervised four doctoral students to completion and am currently supervising five MPhil/PhD students in the School.
Revealed: Government Art Collection2013
The first touring exhibition from the Government Art Collection, in which over 160 works from this 114-year-old collection are ‘revealed’ under one roof.
Head to Head2013
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Castlefield Gallery holds an annual Head to Head exhibition. This year it featured new work by myself and Emily Speed. Programmed under the gallery’s 2012/2013 overarching theme of World In Transition the work explores the relationship between the body and architecture.
Revealed: Government Art Collection2012
Revealed brings together a diverse selection of nearly 200 works of art, ranging from the historical to the contemporary, which form part of the Government Art Collection. The exhibition will be the first time that these outstanding works, usually displayed in British Government buildings across the world, have been brought together. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has been chosen as the first venue outside London to display this intriguing exhibition. The fascinating selections for the exhibition have been made by well-known people and groups including artist Cornelia Parker, historian and cultural commentator Simon Schama, politicians including Lord Mandelson and Lord Boateng, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and staff from 10 Downing Street.
The Engine Room Festival2011
Morley College, London
A Celebration of the life, works and legacy of Cornelius Cardew at Morley College, London The engine room exhibition is a selection of sonic and visual artworks by established and emerging artists from across the globe. The works share a common ground in that they have all been inspired in some way by Cornelius Cardew’s music and/or ideologies. The works programmed in this exhibition were selected from an international call for works which attracted over 50 submissions from over 15 countries. the engine room exhibition showcases the far-reaching influence that Cardew continues to have on artists working across a diverse range of disciplines and media today. The exhibition includes sound installations, graphic scores, video works, acousmatic works, and interactive works. Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) was a tutor at Morley College in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and left a lasting impact on the College as well as the wider British contemporary music scene, perhaps most notably through the Scratch Orchestra, which grew out of his composition classes. Cornelius was widely known in Britain and throughout the world not only for his avant-garde compositions but also as a political composer and for his position in contemporary music. As a musician and concert organiser he was responsible for many first performances including Boulez's "Structures " with Richard Rodney Bennett at RAM; as well as the music of Cage, Stockhausen, La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Wolff, Rzewski, etc. As part of the commemoration of 30th anniversary of Cardew’s death, Morley College is holding a festival and conference focussing on the composer and the themes of his life and work. The festival will include key-note addresses, academic papers, an exhibition of works from both emerging and established artists, presentations, workshops and performances, courses, an exhibition of archived materials, as well as a round table discussion by some of Cardew’s former colleagues and students. The Engine Room Festival & Conference 2011 is organised by Morley College and is kindly supported by the Southbank Centre.
THE LAST OF THE RED WINE (THE PREQUEL/SEQUEL)2011
Project Arts Centre, Dublin
“Oh come on Simon, he’s made some good projects. Remember the hedge fund he did at the ICA managed by monkeys? He earned two million pounds! Didn’t even have to pay the monkeys!...” Early in 2011 an unlikely group of artists, comedians and writers worked together on The Last of the Red Wine, a radio sitcom set 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. 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. Presented as a selection of videos and installations, it reveals the further absurdities of art and the artworld, as experienced by serious artists with ridiculous ideas.
Government Art Collection: Selected by Cornelia Parker: Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain2011
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
This display of over 70 works, hung from floor to ceiling in a kaleidoscope of colours, offers an original and personal selection by artist Cornelia Parker on the Collection’s breadth and function. Titled after a well-known phrase used to remember the colours of the rainbow, the display includes works from across the colour spectrum. Parker has selected works whose dominant tones range from the luscious red draperies in Daniel Mytens’ full length portrait of Lady Anne Montagu, 1626, to the bright yellow of Martin Creed’s neon sculpture THINGS, 2000, from David Batchelor’s vivid shelf-like No. 5 (Green), 1999, to the royal blue background in Andy Warhol’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1985. The display also includes achromatic works such as Grayson Perry’s humorous black and white etching Print for a Politician, 2005. The Government Art Collection has promoted British art and artists for over a hundred years. Usually on display in more than 400 locations all over the globe, it includes paintings, sculptures and other works of art from the 16th century to the present day. This display is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing programme opening up important public and private collections for everyone.
Fraternise – the Salon is a special event curated as part of the fundraising scheme Fraternise: established in 2005 to reflect Beaconsfield’s core values and nurture a community of artists who demonstrate their support in practical terms by providing the potential to secure Beaconsfield’s future. Exhibiting artists include… Franko B, David Birkin, Ansuman Biswas, John Burgess, Matthew Burrows, Tony Carter, Tamsyn Challenger, Jules Clarke, Ben Cockett, Susan Collis, Michael Corkrey, A. David Crawforth, Mikey Cuddihy, Shane Cullen, Michael Curran, Judith Dean, Mark Dean, Nicholas Deshayes, Adam Dix, Richard Elliot, Robert Ellis, Tracey Emin, Laura Emsley, Alexa de Ferranti, Peter Fillingham, Edwina fitzPatrick, Rebecca Fortnum, Eloise Fornieles, Stephen Fowler, Rachel Garfield, Mary George, Mathew Gibson, Bruce Gilbert, Colin Glen, Lucy Gunning, Matt Hale, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Denise Hawrysio, Damien Hirst, Rachel Howard, Marc Hulson, Kate Janes, Sarah Jones, Simon Lawson, Peter Liversidge, Sarah Lucas and Olivier Garbay, Maria Marshall, Ross McNicol, David Mollin, Charlotte Moth, Hayley Newman, Paul Noble, Monika Oechsler, Peter Owen, Tom Ormond, Peter Owen, Lily Paine, Tom Paine, Tamsin Pender, Susan Pui San Lok, Monica Ross, Aura Satz, Boo Saville, Michael Shaw, Naomi Siderfin, Bob and Roberta Smith, Julian Stallabrass, Dafna Talmor, John Timberlake, Caroline Todd, Roman Vasseur, Jessica Voorsanger, Mark Wallinger, Joseph Walsh, Roxy Walsh, Amelia Whitelaw, Keith Wilson, Erika Winstone.
Super Farmers' Market2010
Handel Street Projects, 19-21 Sicilian Avenue, Holborn, WC1
Super Farmers’ Market is the second in a series of group shows that teases at the possible proximity of two forms of specialist consumption: fine food and fine art. The first Farmers’ Market took place in London’s Wigmore Street in 2008, showcasing 24 producers, and was herded by farmer and de-curator Fedja Klikovac, Director of Handel Street Projects. And just as the weekly Farmers’ Market offers the discerning customer informed selections of the very best produce, so this annual version does with art, combining the idea of a selected exhibition as an exercise in connoisseurship with the recognition that art is nevertheless also a commodity. This year’s show, curated by two experts in the field, Mary Anne Francis and Lucy Heyward, is themed around the idea of ‘upcycling’: the current trend for taking low-grade artefacts that might be destined for landfill and enhancing their value by means of handwrought interventions. To this end, 32 artists have been asked to produce artworks using low-cost supermarket goods: groceries, cleaning materials and discarded packaging. Continuing the Farmers’ Market theme, artists are encouraged to resource their materials locally. This year’s produce comes from the following sources: Rasheed Araeen, Phyllida Barlow, David Batchelor, Stuart Brisley, Richard Deacon, Braco Dimitrijevic, Mary Anne Francis, Martino Gamper, Lucy Gunning, Lucy Heyward, Susan Hiller, Andy Holden, Koo Jeong-A, Ian Kiaer, Sharon Kivland, Darian Leader, Sarah Lucas, Hayley Newman, Tina O’Connell, Lucy Orta, Nicholas Pope, Giorgio Sadotti, Saso Sedlacek, Jane Simpson, Bob & Roberta Smith, Rasa Todosijevic, Zlatan Vukosavljevic, Richard Wentworth, Franz West, Alison Wilding, Gerard Williams, Elizabeth Wright.
Emporte-moi/Sweep me off my feet2010
Mac Val, Paris
“It might seem like a trivial subject at first (…) but it has unsuspected depth. The emotions of being in love are infinitely complex,” say Frank Lamy and Nathalie de Blois, curators of « Emporte-moi / Sweep me off my Feet ». The exhibition deliberately shuns irony, demonstrating how contemporary artists continue to re-work the textbook rhetoric of love through forceful reinterpretations that shuttle between rapture and despair. MAC/VAL’s goal in this new group exhibit is not so much to investigate Love as it is to give free reign to emotions. The videos, photographs, sculpture, and installations of some forty-odd internationally acclaimed artists provide us with a fresh look at the feelings of love while skirting the pitfall of cheap sentiment. The exhibit’s evocative title « Emporte-Moi / Sweep me off my Feet » sets the tone: works housed at MAC/VAL for its new season, evoking the intense fervor of love in a way that strikes a chord with visitors. It takes artists to interpret this large repertoire of emotions with such virtuosity.Couples, soulmates, infatuation, passion, love songs, tears, and tales of kissing each in turn play a central role in the exhibition. The challenge, thus, is to define Love in contemporary terms. What do the outlines of this « map of tender sentiments » look like? It is with that in mind that the curators selected works that spark a compelling, immediate dialogue, distilling the exquisite elixir of powerful emotions. Their shared characteristic is a lasting impact, which reveals itself gradually, morsel by delicate morsel, while maintaining a certain mystery. The exhibit design offers visitors an abundance of echoes, cross-references and surprises. It is acartography of Love, or rather of emotions, which at MAC/VAL is not just a sequence of prefabricated experiences, but rather a subtle itinerary of initiation. Emotion is this exhibition’s shock wave, a form of upheaval, which elicits affect.Also to be found are symbols and mythology. Rest Energy by Abramovic and Ulay, for example, which serves as the exhibition’s visual signature, is a modern reinterpretation of Cupid: a couple pulls the arc together, the bowstring taut and poised to shoot an arrow straight to the heart of the inamorata Marina Abramovic. Sweet love? Love-hate? The ambiguity of emotion is one of the exhibition’s driving forces. The lightheartedness of love sometimes gives way to the difficulty of loving and being loved. Love and its transports are explored in every form: photography (Pierre et Gilles, Bas jan Ader, Lygia Clark), drawing (Jorinde Voigt), video (Andy Warhol, François-Xavier Courrèges, Douglas Gordon, Sophie Calle, Cécile Paris), installations (Ange Leccia, Cerith Wyn Evans), sculpture (Kevin Francis Gray, Fionna Banner, David Altmejd) and objects (Carsten Holler, Christelle Familiari, Jana Sterbak, Anne Brégeaut), in a grand and intimate epic covering the past four decades. Withstanding all tests, including that of time, the visitor drunk on emotions is granted the rare opportunity to look beyond appearances, at works which are not just skin deep and don’t deliver slick, comfortable truths.
Emporte-moi/Sweep me off my feet2009
Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec Quebec, Canada
MiniFlux is a collection of over 1000 props used or referenced in Fluxus musical scores, made into roughly worked miniature plasticine models. These are accompanied by a printed list of all the objects, which range from a full orchestra and an elephant to a tuba and a piano. Hayley Newman has a long interest in Fluxus strategies, events and humour; in particular how everyday objects are used in performance work. A Fluxus music score was a series of notes that freely allowed anyone to perform any kind of work from the score. The reader could perform the work in a concert situation, at home or simply through their imagination. Many of these notated performances require props, and it is these objects that the artist has presented in miniature plasticine representations. Music played a central role for Fluxus artists, influenced by John Cage’s compositional strategies and the notion of chance in art. MiniFlux includes a wide range of musical instruments, in addition to the items often used to attack instruments including saws, hammers and a tractor. MiniFlux encourages audiences to actively look and make connections between the list and the collection of plasticine sculptures. The list may suggest new performances in the minds of the readers and therefore the list itself becomes another score. The installation celebrates Fluxus’s humour and vitality and moves away from photographic documentation as the central object of performance art.
‘Common’ is a novella written over the summer of 2011. This period of time encompassed a crash in global markets caused by the downgrading of American debt, turbulence in the Eurozone and protests/riots that started in London before spreading across Britain. Written through the voice of ‘Self-Appointed Artist in Residence’ events in the book take place over a day, mixing together personal experience, observation and fictional imaginings of the City of London. The book aims to bring together the past and present/personal and political and to make sense of the current crash by osmosis; through spending time in the City of London itself. The book asks; how can we make sense of the economic crash? How might subjectivity and political agency help create a text that is both immediate and reflective? Is it possible to make sense of crisis from within the moment(s) of crisis? This work draws on two key literary references. The mysterious gothic atmosphere of Edgar Allen Poe’s story ‘The Man of the Crowd’ helped me find a tone of voice and develop the narrator’s persona as outsider/insider/detective/artist. The semi-autobiographical novel ‘W, or the Memory of Childhood’ by Georges Perec was a model for autobiographical writing, uncertain memory and the use of fantasy to create allegory. The novella 'Common' is a metaphor for collapse (social, environmental and economic). Performances recur throughout, from my own performance interventions in the City to the performance of markets and the performances of trader’s in the ring at London Metal Exchange. Material on banking and economics appears in footnotes as rolling news; a stream of polemic that replicates the screens watched in lobbies across the City itself. ‘Common’ uses humour to expose the incongruences of power. It is a satire that raises serious issues about social and economic inequality.
Unlimited buy-one-get-one-free edition, signed and free at point of purchase when you buy a piece of rubbish destined for landfill.
Out of Memory is a series of 10 bromide prints marking the locations of performances that happened in London between 1961 and 2004. This edition features photographs taken at the sites of performances by artists including Fiona Templeton, Bobby Baker and Stuart Brisley. Places such as Covent Garden, Vauxhall Cross and Fleet Street form part of the edition.
This book documents a performance by British artist Hayley Newman held in Milton Keynes in March 2006. Entitled Milton Keynes Vertical Horizontal, the piece consisted of a continental coach, inhabited by the artist and seven local volunteers, being driven around the infamous ‘grid’ road system of the town until the coach ran out of diesel.
A box set including 1,500 photocopied notes and a VHS cassette relating to the 2001 exhibition 'The Daily Hayley'.
Throughout the 1990s Hayley Newman’s unique performance work has been deliberately varied; working with sound, text and photography both in collaboration and alone she has evolved a practice, that is both expressive and analytical of performance strategies and schema. Performancemania is the first comprehensive publication of performance works by Newman. The book offers an overview of 34 performances made by the artist between 1994 and 2001 as well as including 21 ‘fake’ performances from Newman’s 1998 documentary series Connotations – Performance Images. Works presented in the book are discussed within Newman’s self-interview. Identifying itself as a performance, the self-interview presents an analysis of textuality in relation to the mediation of performance both within and beyond the event of action, looking at text as score, document, prediction or testament.
‘Facing’ took place at the Cornerhouse Gallery, Manchester in March 2012. It was funded by the Arts Council England and curated by Louise Adkins with The International 3 and MIRIAD. The performance took place in the context of ‘Between’, a series of performance events taking place during the exhibition changeover. ‘Facing’ was a solo performance about the face, expression and relating to others. In the first of its three sections, I expressively animated used dishcloths, each of which had a face embroidered on it. These cloths replaced my own face in the performance. At the end of the performance the audience were invited to wear T-shirts with single punctuation marks printed on them. Sporting an exclamation mark or a semi-colon, people stood next to each other, creating emoticons(a representation of the face made using punctuation) together. The two sections were connected through a monologue, in which I spoke of links between invisible labour embodied by the used dishcloths and the T-shirts (which like many high street garments in the UK were likely to have been made in sweatshops.) ‘Facing’ asked questions about how we relate to each other through the face; how do we read, represent and communicate emotion? What happens (as with the anonymity of sweatshop labourers) when a face is no longer present? Continuing to focus on the relationship between personal and political forms of expression ’Facing’ drew on two texts; ‘Face to face’ by Emmanuel Levinas and ‘Punctuation’ by Adorno. In ‘Punctuation’ Adorno’s writing around expression and punctuation inspired reflection on the contemporary emoticon. While, ‘Face to face’ enabled a working through of the relationship between performer and audience, helping to formulate wider considerations of ethics and labour beyond the performance itself.
A party at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool, where we danced for 12 hours in an attempt to imagine peace. pOLITICAL PARTY was part of the John and Yoko 'Bed In' re-enactment at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool.
Bankspeak : The Royal Exchange, City of London, 17 June 2009 - 19 June 2009. Capitalists Anonymous meeting. Duration: 1-2pm daily. In 2009 Andrea Mason and I inaugurated the self-help group Capitalists Anonymous. This version, titled Bankspeak, was established as a forum to enable people to come and confess their capitalist tendencies. Set up for bankers in the wake of the economic crash, C.A. was seen as a therapeutic intervention that provided ‘a supportive environment in which to share… stories of greed, excess consumption, shopping addiction and explore… fears or excitement about what’s next?’ For more information visit Capitalists Anonymous
What do we want? Poetic action Creative action Poetic passion We are fans of activism We are fans of political action We are artists and musicians The video that begins with Kaffe sitting at a table in the snow and ends with tantrums on an empty London tube train. ‘Café Carbon’, by The Gluts was performed (with varying degrees of success) on the streets of Copenhagen during the climate summit. In Copenhagen, people were asked to choose a dish from a menu of songs, which The Gluts then performed. Short starters; Stone Cold Soup, Cheap Cheap Chicken and GMNO, followed by longer Mains; Rook Pie with Hoover Sauce and Spaghetti Carbonorama, and sweet desserts such as Arctic Roll, and Passionfruit Pie. Two current favourites are Locally Grown Worm, Cabbage and Potato Salad and Hairy Chest Pie. Hayley and Kaffe are vegans, they ride bicycles and live their lives in a way that is in tune with climate activism. They are concerned about climate change and are keen to do something more to promote information and action about the surrounding issues. Gina drives her car, is a big fan of lights, which she collects in skip loads. Gina is concerned about climate change and has done absolutely nothing about it. In the beginning, Hayley Newman asked Kaffe Matthews if she wanted to write the music for her burgeoning idea of a climate musical, Kaffe agreed. Hayley poured over texts, wrote reams and reams, threw most of it in the bin, and then came up with some great ideas and wonderful words. Songs began to emerge, but the idea for a musical was put on a back burner. Copenhagen was looming and the two of them planned a trip on the climate train to Copenhagen for the climate Summit and decided to perform in streets and cafes there. Meanwhile, they met Gina Birch when all three were players at Jem Finer’s Longplayer Roundhouse performance in London, last Autumn. Hayley asked Gina if she would join them in Copenhagen and make a video of the trip. Gina said yes, wondering how she could really reconcile her lifestyle with this new role she was taking on and meanwhile Hayley and Kaffe plotted that Gina would also do some performing. As she got immersed in the project, Gina started leaving her car at home, walking a lot more and changed her lightbulbs, ate less meat and took up knitting. She knew this would make little or no difference at all, but was aware that her change in attitude was a part of the whole process of a much bigger change. So in the beginning, Kaffe made the music, Hayley wrote the words and Gina made the video, but all interconnect and change and transform and the resulting work is a collaboration of all of three, in all areas. Eat, enjoy and begin to feel the difference. Exhibition produced by AV Festival 10 and Vane. Supported by Arts Council England. Part of AV Festival 10: Energy International festival of electronic arts featuring visual art, music and moving image 5-14 March 2010 NewcastleGateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland www.avfestival.co.uk www.cafecarbon.net
Gina Birch, Kaffe Matthews & Hayley Newman are collectively The Gluts. They performed their repertoire of Café Carbon songs at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009. In their performances audiences were offered the opportunity to choose from a menu of songs including starters, main courses, desserts and drinks. For Café Carbon, they wrote eighteen songs about food and climate, which again took the form of a menu of starters, main courses, desserts and drinks. Subject matter was as diverse as cheap chicken, food transportation, over consumption, droughts and flooding, allotments, mechanization and the beginning of modernity. Wearing black 'up-cycled' costumes (made from charity shop finds which would otherwise have been dumped in landfill) The Gluts sang along to their backing track of 80s style eco-electro. For their Sprial residency at Camden Arts Centre, The Gluts will make music videos/viral videos from a selection of songs from the Café Carbon cycle Useing the studio to plot, make props, film and rehearse the works. The videos would be made in a variety of styles; from intervention into public space, to Busby Berkley styled dance routines.
Café Carbon is a musical performance written by The Gluts (Gina Birch, Kaffe Matthews and Hayley Newman) originally performed in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference. Café Carbon offers a menu of music about food and climate: the audience choose songs and they sing them.
Café Carbon is a musical performance written by The Gluts (Gina Birch, Kaffe Matthews and Hayley Newman) originally performed in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Change Conference. Café Carbon offers a menu of music about food and climate: the audience choose songs and they sing them.
The Performance Years (Sculpture) is a fictional account of the life of a young artist who begins to explore time and subjectivity by videoing herself in her studio. Unsatisfied by this, she moves her studio onto the street. Like many young artists, Lucy started out making sculpture at art college . As the course progresses she considers the readymade before beginning to link what she is doing in the studio with the outside world. Lucy begins to make performance works that find their way into social situations that begin to test her limits…
In December 2009 The Gluts facilitated a night of presentations by artists, musicians and activists who took their creativity to the streets of Copenhagen for the Climate Summit in 2009. For this one-night-only event we performed songs from Café Carbon interspersed with presentations by invited artists and activists; The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, The People Speak (and their Planetary Pledge Pyramid), Question Time, photographer Kristian Buus and filmmaker Emily James, who all shared stories of the summit hosted by Mikey Weinkove. The evening also included a take-away live-press zine, designed and printed on the spot by The Ladies of the Press*.
The Gluts are an environmentally crusading girl-band comprising Hayley Newman, Gina Birch and Kaffe Matthews. We formed in 2009 to write ‘Café Carbon’; sixteen songs about food and climate change, which we took to the Copenhagen Climate summit in December 2009. ‘Café Carbon’ was performed on a specially commissioned climate train and at the summit. Together we collectively wrote music, made pop videos and the documentary film ‘The Gluts go to Copenhagen’. After instigating the project, I worked as researcher, lyricist, performer and producer; Kaffe Matthews wrote music and contributed to lyrics and Gina Birch edited our videos, wrote music and contributed to lyrics. We all performed. We sang about global food production, growing your own food, food waste, water shortage and excess, famine, modernity and extinct animals. In ‘Café Carbon’ we asked questions about how artists might take creative action to contribute to political change. More specifically, how the female voice might manifest itself in this realm and how humour and music work in relation to rhetorics of protest? Key references were: the lyrics and writing of Bertolt Brecht including A Short Organum for the Theatre; the music of Cornelius Cardew, particularly Consciously; the protest album There’s Me and There’s You by Matthew Herbert. ‘Café Carbon’ drew on agricultural and industrial history, seen in relation to current debates. Vandana Shiva’s book ‘Soil not Oil’, about climate change, peak oil and food insecurity was a key reference point for the project. Through ‘Café Carbon’ we wanted to construct a dialogue of awareness: food security, food imperialism, supermarkets and oil, vibrantly illustrating the current disenchanted global image of food production, by championing the fact that food is not a luxury, but a basic requirement for human life. The project was funded by Arts Council England and AV10 festival, Newcastle. It was performed at the AV10 festival; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Cafe Oto, London; Camden Arts Centre; London and Modern Art Oxford.
For one night only, Cabaret Duchamp drew together artists, performers and provocateurs. Will Gompertz, the BBC Arts Editor and author of What Are You Looking At? compered this event in the spirit of Marcel Duchamp, the dada of Dada. Cabaret Duchamp was programmed to celebrate the exhibition: The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns. Artists and performers featured: Martin Creed, Dog Kennel Hill Project, Stewart Lee with Tania Chen and Steve Beresford, Margaret Leng Tan, Hayley Newman and Ai Weiwei.
Collaboratively written, improvised and directed, The Last of the Red Wine is the art world’s attempt to represent itself more accurately in mainstream entertainment. Circumventing common misconceptions and clichés, it will instead revel in such realities as the farce of artspeak, the tragicomedy of the auction house and the slapstick of incomprehensible performance. Daily public workshops and script readings in the gallery will lead to evening performances and live rehearsals in the theatre. An introductory symposium sees an open discussion on the representation of art in the media. The ICA Theatre will host contextual screenings followed by improvised performances fleshing out scenes and dialogue as it develops.