Grand Union is pleased to present slope-tend-big, a project by Mathew Parkin for SHOUT Queer Arts Festival 2016. The gallery will be transformed into a queer social space, with a changing installation of artworks and a public programme of events. Parkin will present his own work, alongside that of invited artists and writers, to form a wider conversation about queer artistic practice.

Parkin will present new edits of video footage taking diaristic moments of queer food sharing, lesbian parenthood, dancing figures and eroticised male bodies, along with interviews and new writing. These videos are presented as looping mirrors, churning moments of privacy and introversion within the social space of the gallery.  The installation will also contain new photographic works on fabric, partitioning and sectioning the space, creating more private moments. Free condoms and lube will be available to take away.

The gallery space will be shifting throughout the week, hosting a mixture of film, residencies, discussions and discos. Queerzone3000, a non-profit organisation committed to the furthering of arts, education and technology within the global LGBTQIA community, will be inhabiting Parkin’s installation developing a film titled Do You Really Want to Hurst Me, exploring the social histories of Birmingham’s Hurst Street and it’s surrounding communities. They invite the public to inhabit the space with them, sharing their stories and participating in the project.

Parkin has created a selection of artists films to be shown; featuring work by  Jamie Crewe, Moyra Davey, Christopher Kirubi, Paul Maheke, Alex Padfield, Marlon T. Riggs and Rehana Zaman. These videos speak of desire, eroticism of the body, of female identity and of mortality.

To close the project we will screen Derek Jarman’s  Will You Dance With Me?, an archive of unedited footage from Benjy’s, a gay nightclub in East London, filmed in 1984. Jarman’s video highlights social rituals, mating rituals, as his camera swoops across the packed dancefloor. It is a safe space, reminding us that night clubs and meeting places had a social efficacy in their time, and continue to do so. The film will be followed by a discussion with Parkin, Aaron Wright and Dr Luis-Manuel Garcia around community building and utopia through the dance floor, followed by a disco into the night.

A poster will be available to take away, containing a newly commissioned essay by Laura Guy.


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