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For those of you with short memories, or who were unable to attend the exhibition, I will run through its artists and detail some of their exhibits. Stefan Szczelkun's felt covered and smoke belching wendy house was not simply a post-modern pastiche of Joseph Beuys, it was also a means of making the viewer re-evaluate their attitude towards childhood. Hannah Vowles and Glyn Banks burnt their work not simply as an episode in the reinvention of Fluxus and Auto-Destructive Art, but also to demonstrate the role of destruction in the construction of glamour. Rather than losing their glamorous appeal, the burnt paintings actually 'appeared' more glamorous as a result of their incineration. Stewart Home (working as Karen Eliot) presented a huge wall painting of a junkie shooting up, with the intention of revealing the role of the glamorous victim in the social (re)production of Power. Tom McGlynn came from New York to present to an English audience his demolition of the appearance of glamour in consumer society. He did this with an exact scale enlargement of a calf from a children's farm yard toy set. The heroism and glamour of the increased size was nullified by the magnification of the numerous flaws pre-existing in the piece of plastic junk McGlynn used as his model. Ed Baxter, Andy Hopton and Simon Dickason, used spiked sculpture as a metaphor for the links between glamour, violence and destruction. Gabrielle Quinn explored the ethereal glamour of decay with an installation of decomposing heads. Rick Gibson served visitors to the show with food and wine, while wearing a see-through plastic vest lined with living worms. This performance was intended to bring to mind a very literal anal/ogy between glamour and corruption. And to really ram home the message that glamour can be, and is, constructed from the ugliest of materials, the most nihilistic of urges, the floor of the gallery was lined with coke. This last gesture was bitterly ironic, contrasting as it did the heat and history implied by the fossilised fuel to the ' cool' atmosphere pervading both glamour and the under-heated gallery. Thus if glamour is usually viewed as a 'desirable' given, the Ruins of Glamour/Glamour of Ruins show can be seen as a continuous performance in which 'artists', objects and audience, endlessly deconstruct and reconstruct 'glamour' - a process that eventually results in the exposure of the mechanisms underpinning this oppressive reification.

Ruins of Glamour/Glamour of Ruins
Chisenhale Studios, London December 1986.


In the feudal epoch, glamour was a 'magic power' the neurotically repressed imagined 'witches' held over them. Likewise, in the bourgeois era, glamour has always been a projection on the part of the 'straight' adult' whose repression as a child has separated them from a conscious knowledge of their own sexuality. In western society, the child is a victim and object, desired, and as far as possible, denied any subjective role in their 'sexualisation'. This sexualisation is itself subsumed within the more general repressions of 'socialisation', a process that assumes, while simultaneously attempting to deny, that babies are born with a 'natural' propensity towards polysexuality. That this discipline, which aims at the reduction of sex and sexuality to an orgasmic and penetrative function, should be necessary at all, demonstrates the 'naturalness' and extent of polysexuality.

So while repressed polysexual urges form the base of western sexuality, the denial of this 'reality' forms the ground level of consciousness in those subjected to such a regime. Thus paedophallocracy comes to express itself by projecting the role of child/victim onto a different, but still subjected, other. Historically, this has usually meant wimmin. However, with the rise of 'male' fashion, the greater part of those in western society have now taken on, at least in terms of appearance, the role of glamorous victim. This could be taken as confirming Camatte's thesis that capital has 'escaped' and is now an autonomous entity that oppresses a universal human class. Equally, it could be seen as vindication of Baudrillard's assertion that there is no longer any basic reality, and that the meaning of roles has become banalised by contagious hyperreality. However, Baudrillard's postulate fails to explain the daily 'reality' of sexual oppression, while Camatte fails to resolve the problem of why costumes, such as that of the judge, have remained unaffected by fashion/glamour and still function effectively as the signifer of a dominant role.

Glamour, beauty, sexuality, and truth (it should be remembered here that law is based on precedent), have always been equated with youth. Many children are naturally blonde, all lack underarm hair, and their skin has a smoothness that is aspired to by the 'glamorous' adult. All of this is sufficient to demonstrate that paedo-erotic urges are rechannelled into the cold oppressions of glamour, that the glamorous adult is modeled on an idealised vision of children.The child is viewed as an innocent and those who imitate their physical appearance acquire by inference an uncorrupted 'nature'. Glamorous individuals who come before courts are given harsh sentences precisely because they have transgressed these laws of appearance.

First published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition Ruins Of Glamour/Glamour Of Ruins,  Chisenhale Studios, London December 1986.

Follow on exhibition Desire In Ruins

Vermeer II Stewart Home solo show

2010 Gallery Work by Stewart Home

Becoming (M)other at T/1 Artspace

Very short film of Stewart Home installations including this one

4 minute film of Refuse installation in Sweden


Stewart Home portrait 2004Stewart Home portrait 2004Stewart Home portrait 2004

Ruins of Glamour/Glamour of Ruins, collaborative installation at Chisenhale Studios, London December 1986

Ruins of Glamour

Ruins of Glamour

Ruins of Glamour

Ruins of Glamour

Shots of the collaborative installation "Ruins of Glamour/Glamour of Ruins" at Chisenhale Studios, London December 1986.

In a world dominated by illusion, it comes as no surprise that censorship is popularly misperceived as a form of repression. Although it has been demonstrated time and again that consciousness is an effect of a closed system of exclusive focus, 'literate' consensus maintains that censorship and silence are 'barbaric'.

Censorship, with its anti-individualist implications, is to be welcomed.  However, the problem with censorship is that it tends to reinforce the idea that there is a realm of 'self-expression' which can be suppressed.  It thus leads to consumption being viewed as essentially passive, rather than active and productive. Likewise, it reinforces the absurd notion that there are centred subjects capable of attaining positions of power through adherence to a mystical doctrine concerned with mechanisms of 'political domination'.

The censorship debate has, rather unsurprisingly, been centred around the question of a 'right' to 'free expression'. This so called 'right' has never been 'enjoyed' by the vast majority of the population in western society, many of whom are in any case uninterested in constituting themselves as 'bourgeois subjects'. Consciousness is a semantic swindle, kill your desires and live. Suppress, by refusing to participate in, the sham of interpersonal and social relations. Overthrow the human race. Above all, it should be noted that the Neoist Alliance does not exist. Que Sera Sera.
(Re)written for Re:Action 1 but not used.