York Art Scene. Performance Art At The Beautiful Meme: Patrick Heath, ‘sweetheart.’ June 2011.

York and Art are cosier bedfellows than ever before. We sent loyal art hound Thomas Kershaw to unturn a truffle or two. He came back gorged with illumination. Tom – we love ya!

Last night’s ArtWork at The Beautiful Meme was about as trippy an experience you’d get walking into a creative design agency’s office. I’ve been to the ArtWork happenings before, and have found their at times deliberately alienating events a little confusing. What’s that all about – installing a performance at the end of the week to jaded rat racers to witness while quaffing wine and swapping business cards? It must be said, The Beautiful Meme’s director, an imposing Tom Sharp injects a much needed eye for detail into this kind of thing. Potentially disastrous, a piece of performance in the context of an office could so, so easily slip into unintentional hilarity. Dom Jolly, anyone? But this gig was tight – all details involved in the piece were nodding in the same direction, from the especially empty conference room to the cardboard box covered AppleMacs droning with disjointed, flirty and confessional monlogues. Full marks to The Meme crew for maintaining their rising reputation as an international player with a military eye for the smallest detail. The performances themselves were, for want of a better word, and at the danger of repetition, ‘trippy’ – you try standing in a strange office at the end of a busy week filing invoices and then watching two attractive twentysomethings rip each others’ clothes off, blind fold each other, feed each other with the sweeties that have been left to bejewel the floor, the shelves and the work spaces, and generally ‘get it on’. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen ping pong balls ricochet off walls in Amsterdam adult shows. But this inculcated a more pleasing and strange stirrin’ in the loins. Erotic? Hell yeah! It’s been a while since Art has actually engendered such a response, and though I must say there were other responses too – the sweets were poignant, the physicality was intense (kudos to main man Patrick Heath and co-performer Lauren Marie), the music was cute, and the ballet in the main office space from impossibly lithe performer Yazmin Robson was simultaneously impressive and kooky – the main response this art liker took home was a definite red blooded one. It’s refreshing to see Art to have the courage of its convictions: Heath and co went out to colonise the office space, and, man, did they take over it. I was gratified to be thrown such a curveball at the end of the week. Head of Arts at York City Council Jill Cooper was in attendance and I tried to ask her what it was all about but she was deep in conversation with some arty type from St Albans, so I approached Greg McGee, he of youtube fame and director of eponymous contemporary art gallery ‘According to McGee’. I’d heard that McGee was a local effusive supporter of edgy art, but he must have been having an off night, as he shrugged off my insistence that this gig was the sexiest ArtWork gig yet. “Contemplate it a little more” he intoned, like some kind of hirsuite Obi Wan of the Yorkshire art scene. Greg, mate: two goodlookin’, half naked hot creatives nibbling gob stoppers from each others’ mouths? Sounds sexy to me!

By Viv on June 22, 2011


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