Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives…

Before Bare/not come together to discuss the focus of their next projects (and whilst we don’t have anything concrete to post on the blog…yet…) I thought I’d post about some of the ideas we’ve been throwing around for the upcoming shows, to prove that we haven’t just been twiddling our thumbs and resting on our laurels (thumb twiddling aside, we have far comfier sofas to rest on)…feel free to weigh in in the comments if you think any particular project stands out or if you’re interested in getting involved…

Without further ado…

Or perhaps a tad more ado…

1. A grand Czech-tacle

Jaromil Jires' Valerie and her Week of Wonders

Czech New Wave cinema was a mixture of disillusioned young communist film-makers and a tradition of bohemian folklore, writhing together in a colourful, soft-focus orgy of heavy-handed puberty metaphors. Films such as Valery and her Week of Wonders (as immortalised in the Of Montreal song St Exquisite’s Confessions, and beautifully post-modernised in this Joanna Newsom mash-up) and Vera Chytilova’s sassy, Derek Jarman style, pop-punk romp Daisies are two of the most ocularly indulgent of the era.

Vera Chytilova's 'Daisies'

Valery and Her Week of Wonders and Daisies both capture the exuberance and style of the French New Wave without the po-faced, Brechtian fourth-wall breaking, deconstruction of cinematic mores typical of directors such as Godard, which render the Gallic charm a tad dry at times. These films have strong female leads, anarchic fun, a veritable discombobulation of lunacy, a vein of political concern and above all, a tenuous but engrossing narrative to stop the action from entering Magical Mystery Tour territory.

Bare/Not want to take these Sofia Coppolla-esque visuals and Chytilova’s bacchanalian absurdism (think animated heads dancing away from bodies, cream cake fights and multi-coloured dance sequences – usually the mainstay of Adam West in Batman mode)  and hold a Czech New Wave film night with a small exhibition of artwork inspired by the films. We may even provide some fruit dumplings, kolach (essentially Czech cake) and Bear Paw cookies, and maybe even a shot of the green stuff for those with stronger constitutions.

A daisy covered in blood, just one of the subtle metaphors for 'the joy of womanhood' in Valerie and her Week of Wonders

We’re also interested in continuing the theme and producing a range of nights exploring marginalised, forgotten or just damn insane cinema, accompanied by art and food inspired by the films. We’ve been looking into Hungarian cinema, Japanese surrealist horror such as Hausu and Cuban and Mexican New Wave cinema. We have chosen specific eras because of the vibrancy and strong cultural identity of the imagery, which easily passes from the cinematic into the fine art arena.

2. The Artful Todger

Artist Jo Young (whose work was shown in our Caged Bird Sings show) has an obssession, which she shares with adolescent boys. This obssession goes by many euphemisms, schlong; trousersnake; purple-headed, one-eyed monster; boom stick; ba-donk-a-donk and Captain Winky. But it’s best known as the penis, by now a commonplace motif in the art world after a smorgasbord of breasts. Artists such as Marina Abramovic, Spencer Tunick, Gilbert and George, Ryan McGinley, Mapplethorpe, David Livingstone (Big Dick) and, er, Pricasso have all used the humble penis in their work, desensitising the public and making the phallus as acceptable as cream tea.

Young’s Artful Todger book is a project she has been developing over the last two years, assembling a collection of light hearted and fine art joysticks to produce a lapdance for your peepers. With an eye to involving Everyman, Orchid and Cancer Research UK charities, to raise awareness of testicular cancer, Young and Bare/not will collaborate to produce an exhibition that’s strictly not for the little ‘uns.

More Bare/Not Projects to come tomorrow…


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