The New Flesh at Hayward Gallery London

Friday 21 July 2006 21:00 - 01:00

In a major Hayward Night for the Gallery’s Undercover Surrealism exhibition, animate! joins forces with Halloween to present The New Flesh, a visceral evening of musical and cinematic interventions exploring Georges Bataille’s trademark themes of sex and death, and the legacy of his dissident surrealism in popular culture.

Buck 65 vs Eraserhead: “Basically, I’m going to use turntables, a sampler, some junk, a hammer, a bucket of water and a custom pump organ to provide a new score for David Lynch’s Eraserhead. I’m looking to match the darkness and weirdness of the film with the ‘music’ and add my own stamp to it. There will be dust and drums and tortured steel. I hope to make it a nightmare that people will not want to awaken from…”

Canadian-born Paris-based leftfield hip hop genius meets David Lynch’s surrealist masterpiece head on in this battle of wits to out-weird each other. Buck 65’s love of hip hop is coupled with his love of Tom Waits and hard rock anthems, and his collaborative work includes The Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Seasame Street, and Biz Markie. Fans include Aphex Twin and Vincent Gallo, both similarly uncompromising, and Buck’s own heroes range from MixMaster Mike to Spiderman to the aforementioned David Lynch. Eraserhead (1976, US, 89 mins) needs little introduction, other than to say it took five years to make, broke up the director’s marriage, and when it was released in 1976 its weird logic and surrealist take on nuclear families, parenthood, sexuality and urban life caused shockwaves in punk-strewn Britain.

Buck 65 will also separately perform spoken word as part of the event.

Andrew Kotting + inflatables on the Faroe Islands for In the Wake of a Deadad

Andrew Kotting In the Wake of a Deadad: Andrew Kotting’s idiosyncratic and wayward style has long been a strong presence in British independent filmmaking, especially since his acclaimed feature Gallivant (1996, UK, 99 mins). From 2003 he has been AHRC research fellow at University College for the Creative Arts. In the Wake of a Deadad is the first presentation of a new body of work made during his fellowship.

The piece is a powerful, often uncomfortable reflection on the recent death of Kotting’s father - his ‘Deadad’. It’s a journey through the psychogeography of personal memories, hidden histories, loss and reconciliation, including two large inflatable sculptures bearing the images of Kotting’s father and grandfather. These tombstone shaped portable monuments toured the world with Kotting to locations significant in their and his lives, and the giant inflations come to the Hayward to create both a comic and melancholic performance.

Story of I © Jo Ann Kaplan 1997

The New Flesh provides a rare chance to see the highly explicit and provocative mistress-piece Story of I (1997, UK, 21 mins), Jo Ann Kaplan’s improvisation on Georges Bataille’s infamous Histoire de l’Oeil. The film is a gender-twisting meditation on the erotic extremities of human desire, a highly explicit journey through the sexual foundations of Western visual culture and the intimate terrains of male and female bodies. With a feminine hand, Story of I plucks Bataille’s central metaphor from its original context and re-invents its erotic vision from the inside out. The eye is the vagina and, seen through the blood, urine and tears, it looks at itself in a mirror.

animate! presents The New Flesh Incarnate: This special selection from the animate! catalogue ventures into flesh narrative territories and visual forms way beyond the frame-by-frame confines of conventional animation, chosen to reflect Battaile’s obsessions with sex and death - from the outrageous bestialities of Cowboys through the menstrual visions of Cage of Flame and the sexualised cityscapes of What She Wants to the tongue-wrenching Expelling the Demon, voiced by Stephen Berkoff and premiered at Nick Cave’s Meltdown.

Cowboys - That’s Nothin’ animate! commission © Phil Mulloy 1991

The writhing clutch of animate! transgressions includes: 15th February by Tim Webb, Cage of Flame by Kayla Parker, Cowboys by Phil Mulloy, Expelling the Demon by Devlin Crow, Kingdom Protista by Andrew Kotting, Perpetual Motion in the Land of Milk and Honey by AL + AL, Rotting Artist by Anne Course & Paul Clark and What She Wants by Ruth Lingford.

Buzzard & Sassoon’s Audio-Visual Swap Shop offers Surrealism Remixed: VJ Buzzard Buzzard and laptop maestro Gadi Sassoon together create high-energy AV improvised mash-ups. Tonight they attack the surrealist film classics in an eye-popping visual extravaganza to arouse the flesh.

Paul Buck presents Laughable Pubes: Paul Buck is the English voice of cult Belgium avant-garde experimental outfit 48 Cameras. Acclaimed for his Artaudian, Sadean-style vocalisations often compared to Diamanda Galas, his performances are packed with sexuality and the exploding power of language, which he makes fight for its life. Paul is responsible for an extraordinary treasure-trove of work, from performance art, film, media, to writing and translations. He has worked with Marc Almond, made two albums with Melinda Miel, written over 50 books, including The Honeymoon Killers, Lust, Violations and Walking with Myself. Most of these are heavily sexual novels, plus he has translated Bataille and created the Bataille Festival in London, titled Violent Silence.

And that’s not quite all, folks… a final going-home goody bag for insatiable flesh-eaters with strong stomachs:

James Woods in David Cronenburg’s Videodrome © Universal Pictures 1983

Videodrome (David Cronenberg, 1983, Canada/USA, 87 mins): Cronenberg’s seductively sinister early eighties cult classic stars James Woods and Debbie Harry in a viscerally visionary tale of snuff movie extremity, delirious priesthoods of the new media age and the terminal possibilities of the human body. Way ahead of it’s time, Videodrome remains deeply unsettling viewing, a perverse techno-nightmare parable of the scary limits of power’s encounter with flesh.

The evening contains material of an explicit nature.

Belvedere Road entrance
Hayward Gallery
South Bank Centre
Belvedere Road
London SE1 8XZ
nearest tube: Waterloo
admission: £10, booking essential, last entry 23:00

Friday 21 July 2006 21:00 - 01:00 Hayward Gallery website › map ›

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