Billy Childish and Jimmy Cauty: Brexit Ghosts 5
Billy Childish and Jimmy Cauty discuss the Brexit cunts…
Please don’t hit me…But…
…my dad says he refuses to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… He believes that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word… But my mum says you’re a cunt!
JIMMY CAUTY: Radical Artists of the Future …
… will be Funded by The State For The State: Fuck the Fucking Fuckers!
The L-13 Light Industrial Workshop*, founded by Steve Lowe in 2009, is a studio/publisher/gallery that provides a vehicle/platform for a small group of artists to support their individual and group practices through exhibitions, publishing and other creative projects.
L-13 has been described as “… a co-operative severance from the art world values of success, failure and authorial identity, achieved through a vast imaginative enterprise and resulting in a potent intensity of meanings” **.
Lowe ceased to present onsite exhibitions in 2013, and whilst he continues to support the endeavours of other artists (particularly with Billy Childish and Jimmy Cauty), the space at L-13 is now predominantly the Harry Adams studio where he makes paintings with his long time collaborator in art and music, Adam Wood.
*formally known as the aquarium and THE AQUARIUM L-13, founded 2003 / 2006 and The L-13 Light Industrial Worksop opened in 2009.
** Neal Brown – Harry Adams: The Lay of the Land, Art&Space 2013
Buy the prints here.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Billy Childish was born in Chatham, Kent in 1959. After leaving secondary school at age 16, he worked at the Naval Dockyard in Chatham as an apprentice stonemason. Initially denied an interview to the local art school, during six months of employment at the dockyard he produced hundreds of drawings that gained him entry to St. Martin’s School of Art. Childish’s defiance to authority and his insistence on integrity and personal style above the formalities of educational requirement led to his eventual expulsion from art school in 1981. Childish then embarked on an artistic, literary, and musical odyssey exploring a broad range of worldly themes including war, history, social protest, art hate, religious philosophy, as well his own experiences of alcoholism, and the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. Over 35 years of continual creative activity Childish has gained a cult status world-wide; writing and publishing over 40 volumes of confessional poetry, 5 novels, recorded over 100 LPs, and painted several hundreds painting.
Billy Childish has had solo and group exhibitions internationally including New York, London, and Berlin. He was included in British Art Show 5, which toured throughout four cities – Edinburgh, Southampton, Cardiff, and Birmingham. In 2010, he was the subject of major concurrent survey exhibitions at the ICA in London and White Columns in New York.
James Cauty’s roguish and voluble approach has earned him a cult following for work that remains radical, responsive and darkly comical. He produces work that draws on and responds to contemporary culture, very often sampling it and sending/selling it back as recoded realities. In billboard and stamp projects Mickey Mouse was sent to Iraq in ‘Operation Magic Kingdom’ whilst Julie Andrews danced across vast rubbish heaps, crushed cars were sold to second hand car dealers as art and riots have been rendered as tiny models in jam jars.
He rose to fame in 1989 when he formed the KLF with Bill Drummond, and following a string of number one hits they continued their collaboration with the K Foundation that orchestrated a series of high profile art ‘actions’ – describing these actions as a “brit award buried at Stonehenge, bad crop circles and a wicker man” and “a major body of cash and a box of matches”. In 1994 they burnt 1 million quid.
This was followed by similarly bizarre activities with ‘K2 Plant Hire Ltd’ and in 1997 ‘Advanced Acoustic Armaments’ (“home made sonic weapons and a dead cow”).
In 2002 he started to produce the contentious ‘Stamps of Mass Destruction’ with Blacksmoke – an imagined art collective, and pursued the art of philately with a new imagined collective the C.N.P.D. (Cautese Nationál Postal Disservice) 2004-2008.
His most recent work has been focussed on the making of 1:87 riotous scale models as small world re-enactments, often displayed in upturned jam jars as A Riot in A Jam Jar. His new exhibition The Aftermath Dislocation Principle continues this preoccupation with small world re-enactments as a vast 1:87 scale-model landscape (equivalent to 1 sq mile in miniature) which has been desolated, deserted, destroyed, burnt and is devoid of life apart from 5000 or so model police that attend this apocalyptic aftermath; a kind of bizarre twisted model village experience, where Cauty continues his fascination with subversion, consumerism and entertainment through creative exploration and dark humour.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Richard Marshall is still biding his time.
Buy his book here to keep him biding!
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Saturday, July 2nd, 2016.