Common Culture Cabaret

Campbell, David, Durden, Mark and Brown, Ian (2016) Common Culture Cabaret. [Show/Exhibition]

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Official URL: https://macbirmingham.co.uk/exhibition/cabaret

Abstract

Common Culture’s solo exhibition ‘Cabaret’ includes the major newly commissioned moving image work Vent, made in response to the unruly traditions of popular entertainment. Commissioned for MAC, Birmingham as the main work in Common Culture’s solo exhibition Cabaret, the multi-channel video installation explores the seductive allure of the entertainment industry, a space where individual creative ambition is processed as formulaic spectacle. Vent examines popular culture’s obsessive fascination with the excesses and indulgences of ‘celebrity’, and the public’s consumption of exploitative talent and confessional television shows. Combining traditions of cabaret and forms of presentation modeled on televisual spectacle, Vent deploys impersonation and ventriloquism to unsettle the absurdly narcissistic and confessional nature of celebrity culture, highlighting the in-authenticities of the entertainment industry.
Ventriloquism is a familiar, if unsettling performance device feeding off audience fascination and gullibility, it’s deception, foregrounded by the obvious mechanistic nature of its performance, is compelling, and alerts us to the fact that things may not be what they first appear to be. The idea of ‘throwing a voice’, essential to ventriloquism, is in Vent deployed to ‘speak’ the babble of contemporary television celebrity interview and talent shows, where manipulation, deception and self promotion are the currency of cynical entertainment

Vent appropriates dialogue culled from confessional celebrity interviews, re-presenting it through the multiple voices of a voice impersonator to create a large, scale, multi-screen video installation featuring three distinct but related time-looped videos featuring a ventriloquist, a ventriloquist dummy and a seated television studio audience. The interplay between the three components work takes the spectator into the warped and skewed value systems of people detached from the everyday world, and into the fascinating allure of dysfunctional celebrity spectacle, homing in on their vanity, addiction and infidelity to create an immersive and unstable viewing experience.
Developed in the wider cultural context of Britain amidst the Brexit referendum, Vent uses the format of a dysfunctional ventriloquist routine to foreground conditions of spectatorship that question our fascination and trust in contemporary cultures of consumption and compliance and their compelling power to beguile and delude.

Find out more about the exhibition at:
https://macbirmingham.co.uk/exhibition/cabaret

Read Aesthetica Magazine’s Q+A with Artist Group Common Culture at:.

http://www.aestheticamagazine.com/q-and-a-common-culture/

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Subjects: W100 Fine Art
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: David Campbell
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 08:54
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/28011

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