‘Four Fatrasies’ is an exhibition that marks a new and important development in the dialogue between Glasgow-based artists Alex Pollard and Clare Stephenson. Both influenced by decadent French literature and its fascination with medievalism, dandified amorality and the notion of excess to the point of collapse Pollard and Stephenson will present a hyper-theatrical, sculptural installation over the four floors of Pump House Gallery that integrates the viewer within a total collaborative art-work.
A fatrasie is a medieval nonsense poem, overtly paradoxical and strange by its nature, it disrupts any semblance of established logic or rationalism through repetition and absurdity. Pollard’s work focuses on the rituals and exaggerated styling of medieval and Victorian dandies. Drawing from Victorian paintings and caricatures, the paintings collide neo-romanticism and pastoralism with the covert languages of Polari (a secret language spoken in gay sub-cultures) and medieval prison slang. He will also exhibit a series of ‘Bum Sovereigns’ (large black cast–rubber coins with bottoms represented on them) as well as a pair of bespoke medieval sports shoes produced by an Italian sportswear manufacturer.
Stephenson will be showing several large-scale screen-printed androgynes in flamboyant drag, which are based on small photocopy collages. In these collages profanely plundered and fragmented images of baroque and medieval sculpture are enlarged to an absurd scale, with disembodied hands and faces floating in a cloak of benday dots. These printed figurines, and some Duchampian miniature versions of her previous work, will be arranged as a form of posing furniture that will both observe and present Pollard’s work.