#4 Review: Cos & Serpentine Galleries Presents: Park Nights 2016: Brian Belott, with Billy Grant, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Matthew Thurber and Tyson Reeder
While not directly related to my MA dissertation, this week's Park Night performance affected me. It was delightful and unexpected, leaving me thinking about images and situations for days after. The Serpentine Park Nights is sponsored by COS, which draws fashion/art audiences and so this performance's promise of a fashion show was well placed.
What really struck me was the ability of the narrator to get me to go inside my head, by closing my eyes and just through suggestive narration, and participate in the performance with my imagination. He also managed to get the audience to explore a different part of the architecture of the pavilion--by seating on the floor.
The audience was bewildered, confused, impatient at times, laughing, uneasy.. I was almost in tears by the experience.
The 'fashion show' was ridiculous and absurd--and could easily have been a *insert avant garde label here* runway show. With heavy techno music, models entered wearing were deconstructed t-shirts, garment tags showing, a shoe on a shoe on a shoe, trousers with pockets and pockets and pockets (which made me think of Dali and Schiaparelli's 'Tear Dress' collaboration and also of his paintings with drawers coming out of torsos--showing the innards) "But..I NEED TO PULL OUT EVERY POCKET BAG TO SHOW YOU THE CONTENTS OF MY POCKETS!". There were models eating-yes eating!-humming, getting electrocuted, hitting each other pulling each others hair. A man in a lampshade hat! Graduation gown with patches (totally on trend with the high-school trend) (and is getting a degree the most fashionable thing you can do? hmmm yes honey) Models of all ages, ethnicities, shapes...(fiction is more diverse than reality). It ended with models in minimal coats forcing open their coats which were fastened by garment security tags which made a cricketing beeping noise and the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist barging down the 'runway' with a suitcase that had soft toys exploding out of it. And Brian Belot's head on fire...
The full performance is available on https://vimeo.com/177224376.