Last weekend, ‘A Fete Worse Then Death’ celebrated its 20th Anniversary of anarchic art activity with an event curated by Darren Coffield, Sam Walker and Alice Herrick. The Fete ran from 12-8pm on Rivington Street on 19th July 2014 with stalls & live performances from noon until midnight in the Red Market & Gallery. The exhibition continues at the gallery until 31st July 2014. Opening hours: 11am-6pm Mon-Sat.
Fete Worse than Death, was a take on the notion of a traditional village fete staged in Shoreditch in the summer of 1993. Several YBAs including Gavin Turk, Gillian Wearing, Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume manned stalls selling art. The 20th anniversary exhibition of A Fete Worse Than Death hosted by Red Gallery, recreated that experience with new emerging artists, streaming new creative blood into East London, with stalls and challenging live performances.
It created an opportunity for the public to see new emerging artists, creating their work live and at times to participate in the making of the work, an insight rarely available to the public. Michal Cole, a young emerging artist offered free artworks to be cut from bank notes. The public where asked to hand over their cash- only to be cut into silhouettes of their choice. Michal whom has been creating cut -out money pieces since 2008 is a recent MFA Chelsea Art College Graduate whom been shortlisted for the forthcoming “ Young Masters Prize 2014” where she will be exhibiting an installation of the cut money pieces titled” Till Death Do Us Part”. In contradiction to the prestige of the work, Michal offered for one day of the Fete- free artwork, skilfully carved on the spot in-front of a long queue of viewers.
Other live performances included artist Paul Sakoilsky whom offered live portrait drawings as well as an intimate performance: the crowd was invited to cover his (nearly) naked body with shaving foam. This performance that first seemed as macabre emerged as a surprising personal and tender moment, as strangers approached the artist covering him with foam as he set motionless. This fragile moment – as the artist’s vulnerability is exposed created a feel of suspense compassion and intimacy.
The Doodle Pitstop Pinboard Gallery featured another young Chelsea graduate Alex Wood whom together with artist Alice Stallard created an interactive performance inviting the crowd to doodle on paper while engaging in conversation. The performance’s aim was to create a sense of community, a creative exchange of ideas which involved kids as young as 3 as well as adults of all backgrounds. Throughout the day dozens of doodles where mounted on the board featuring versatile creativity by a versatile crowd.
In addition to Fete Worse Then Death event Red Gallery is hosting a contemporary art exhibition of emerging and established artists connected to the area over the past 20 years as well as original memorabilia from the Fete & Factual Nonsense gallery – sold in aid of the Joshua Compston memorial fund and assisting in raising money for a memorial to be erected in Hoxton Square.
There will be a special evening reception with guest speakers at the Red Gallery on 30th July, to mark the actual day of the 20th anniversary of the Fete. Initiated by Darren Coffield, an artist, and Sam Walker and Alice Herrick, both gallery directors and artists. The list of artists include: Mat Collishaw, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst , Gary Hume, Bob and Roberta Smith, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gavin Turk and Gillian Wearing among a selection of new emerging artists representing the future of art in Britain today.