Ourhouse E3 feat. BAD COPY
18 April – 27 May 2012
Ourhouse E3 feat. BAD COPY is Nathaniel Mellors’ third exhibition at Matt’s Gallery. It includes the latest episode of Mellors’ absurdist video series Ourhouse Episode 3, The Cure of Folly and a new animatronic installation, BAD COPY, developed from a double character played by Roger Sloman in The Cure of Folly.
Previously in Ourhouse...1
A mysterious male form has appeared in the front room of the bohemian Maddox-Wilson family home. The imposing figure is a looming, white-haired man wearing a white tracksuit and trainers. It barely moves. The family does not recognise it as a human being. They refer to it as ‘The Object’ and struggle for words in its presence. The Object’s inanimate appearance is superficial; it is able to control language inside the house. At night The Object appears in the library where it begins to eat and regurgitate the family’s books. The specific pages The Object consumes affect the story; the family is forced to play out different episodes under the influence of the books The Object has been eating.
Ourhouse Episode 3, The Cure of Folly
At the beginning of Ourhouse Episode 3, The Cure of Folly we see The Object consuming books on Flemish painting, including images of Hieronymus Bosch’s masterworks The Haywain (1510) and The Extraction of the Stone of Madness (1494). The latter depicts a surgeon removing a stone from the forehead of his willing subjugate; the work presents the abstract ’madness’ as object (pebble) within a hermetic narrative of castration.2
Following The Object’s consumption of these pages the house (Ourhouse), its patriarchal 1970’s owner Charles ‘Daddy’ Maddox-Wilson (Richard Bremmer) and his glamorous younger wife ‘Babydoll’ (Gwendoline Christie) are threatened by a newly materialised group of ’medievalists’. A disconsolate cluster of men are rounded up and led, on a haywain, towards the house by the pregnant, feminist mystic ‘The Hek’ (Honeysuckle Weeks) and her hench-women Xantho and Sigourney. They "want the stone of madness"... The Cure of Folly also features Roger Sloman as ‘Doctor Tony’, a pre-reformation sexist who puppeteers his own alter-ego ‘Father Griffin’. They are the basis for the new animatronic installation BAD COPY.
In this, Mellors’ fourth instalment of the Ourhouse series, the membranes between fantasy, reality and the production and consumption of narrative become even further conflated than before.
Produced by NOMAD, London.
Associate Producer Gwendoline Christie.
1 Nathaniel Mellors absurdist video series Ourhouse (2010 – ongoing) mixes formal aspects of TV drama and situation comedy with contemporary art concerns. Episodes 1, 2 & 4 were first exhibited at De Hallen, Haarlem (2010) and British Art Show 7 – In The Days of the Comet (2010-11). There have been subsequent, alternative presentations of the series and / or works at ILLUMInations, 54th Venice Biennale (2011), I.C.A., London (2011), :Hypercolon:, SMART Project Space (2011) and The Nest, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen (2011-12).
2 See gelded badgers; Fraingerishness.