A Tradition I Do Not Mean To Break
This event has now finished. Until Aug 16 2009
Time Out says
Pagans swooning around in frilly frocks, a geeky white guy who thinks he's a soul man, and a surrealistic retelling of an episode in the life of a celebrated Victorian painter. 'A Tradition I Do Not Mean To Break' showcases three young artists collected and supported by the Zabludowicz Collection in its remarkable restored nineteenth-century Methodist church in Chalk Farm. It definitely beats your usual ramble around Camden Market.
Mind you, what goes on inside the heads of this more recent generation of artists takes a bit of getting used to.
If anything ties these three together, it's a common fascination with the distance between the figure of the artist and the rest of the 'normal' world, determined by his or her eccentric appropriation of bygone cultures and identities. So in her videos, Tereza Buskova draws on the heritage of traditional Slavic Easter dances to create a more mythical world of fertility rites and erotic symbolism, nudity, white body paint and lace veils.
Henry Coombes's impressive short film, meanwhile, pitches the Victorian landscape painter Edwin Landseer into a weird encounter with an aristocratic patron and his family, which goes from stifled drawing-room manners to David Lynch-style psychosis in the blink of an eye. And David Blandy's archive/video-library/hangout (you can play 'Guitar Hero' if you tire of his own work) recaps his ongoing excavation of those contemporary popular cultures that work over ideas of personal heroism, suffering and self-discovery - the street existentialism of martial arts movies, soul music and hip hop - as seen from the cultural rootlessness of the British suburban experience.
Far from asserting the authenticity of cultural tradition, these artists break it, fake it, and renew it for themselves.