Variety Programme

28 Mar 2015

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Harris Museum & Art Gallery

Preston, United Kingdom


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Artists from The Varieties exhibition will be performing alongside presentations by two of the UK’s most inspiring and well known curators Gavin Wade, Director at Eastside Projects Birmingham and Adam Sutherland, Director at Grizedale Arts, Harold Offeh and Clarissa Corfe


Adam Sutherland (Director, Grizedale Arts) and Gavin Wade (Director, Eastside Projects) will talk about their curatorial practices.

Mark Bleakey will perform Three Movements of funny in which he re-enacts and breaks down actions and gestures of stand-up comedians. Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Richard Pryor’s habitual actions are repeated, exhausted and reframed. The archetypal setup of the mic stand is used as a break, and in various versions banal actions such as eating a Creme Egg or text is read aloud.

Florence Peake will perform an adaptation of her work Swell the Thickening Surface Of with Harold Offeh drawing on aspects of his practice. The performance takes the singular action of shaking to see how far the meaning and reading of one gesture can be stretched. Moving on a circuit through the museum, Peake and Offeh explore how this action shifts their own perception, energy and state of being. Swell the thickening surface of was first developed at TINTYPE and David Roberts Art Foundation. Florence Peake is an Artsadmin Associate Artist.

Harold Offeh will perform a serpentine dance on the balcony of the neo classical balcony of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. The dance is a homage to the now nearly forgotten late 19th century variety dance performance documented by filmmakers such as the Lumiere brothers. It was usually performed by a female dancer spinning in a flowing dress that created a spectacle of shape and colour. Offeh’s presentation will cover some contextual materials and the process of making the works for The varieties.

Mexico will host the interlude for the afternoon. Interested in the role of ephemera, merchandise and social media and the way it engages the original experience, Mexico will offer a range of bespoke refreshments.


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