When my show Again, A Time Machine opened on 5 April I broke all records for attendance at a Space Studios event in London. I had another great turn out for the close of the exhibition last night. But then that’s hardly surprising. First off there were readings by Katrina Palmer, Bridget Penney and me. I kicked off with a couple of pieces from old books (Memphis Underground & 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess), and concluded this section of the evening with my usual headstand reading from Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie. Katrina read a couple of new stories and a passage from The Dark Object – part of the Semina series I edited for Book Works. Bridget read a long passage from Index – also included in my Semina series.
After that there was music in the courtyard (mostly selected by me although after a couple of hours someone else took over on the tunes front) and a barbecue. There was also plenty of booze. But better yet there were kung fu films inside where we’d had the readings earlier. First off Godfrey Ho’s schlock po-mo classic Scorpion Thunderbolt (1988). Fight and sex scenes featuring b-movie micro-star Richard Harrison are cut fairly randomly into a Hong Kong horror movie that’s been bought off the shelf. Copyright is infringed left, right and centre, on the soundtrack – the most extraordinary example being the use of Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene for a sex scene in a porno cinema!
We followed this with Jimmy Wang-Yu’s Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976) – another copyright infringing martial arts classic! Aside from a shed load of crazy and entertaining fights, the flick also boasts an uncleared kraut rock soundtrack, making it a truly formidable example of cultural hybridity. Many of those present who were unfamiliar with these movies were truly amazed by what they’d been missing out on…. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see them projected onto the big screen because I was talking to more people than I can remember…. I won’t attempt to list them all but among the more recognisable art world figures I will mention Clunie Reid, Elizabeth Price, Simon Bedwell and Chris Dorley-Brown.
And even those who opted for nosh, booze and chat in the gallery courtyard had a great time – since I’d programmed so many groovy sixties and seventies soul sounds. And of course everyone also had a final chance to take a gander at my fabulous mini-retrospective! Yes it was so great someone stole a piece of work at the opening – not that this was the first time this had happened to me; you’d have to go all the way back to the opening of Desire In Ruins at Transmission Gallery in Glasgow (May 1987) to unearth the initial incident of this type in my art world anti-career! And finally many people were left spaced out at Space – suffering from Stendhal Syndrome after getting to take in some of my visual work!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!