2007-02-27 : You never quite know what you could walk into in this city
On Saturday night I caught up with Nagi, who I met out in Shimla at the Microsoft course. The plan was to go to a pub in Shoreditch for a friend of his’ birthday do, then head up to Graham from work’s housewarming.
So I turn up to this pub – The Foundry – after eventually figuring out which one it is (they don’t seem to be big on singage – the most prominent thing on the front of the building was a big neon sign saying “Purple Tin”. It’s not exactly a dead giveaway…). Anyway so upon entering the pub I found Nagi, and got chatting with Hazel and a couple of the others, and through conversation it turns out that there’s a photo exhibition on downstairs, so ever the keen patron of art, I nip down for a look. Now, it wasn’t exactly what sprang to mind as typical exhibition fare. The first thing to note was the little posters directing you into the gallery bearing the words “snap your chap”.
It turned out that the exhibition was in fact Snap Your Chap – a collection of penis photographs accumulated by London artist & filmmaker Lawrence Barraclough. The premise of the exhibition was to promote awareness, discussion, and hopefully reduce taboo and embarrassment among blokes on the topic of penises.
It was pretty surreal – walking into a room to be faced with a wall of 3-deep 1 foot by 1 foot colour photos on knobs of all shapes & sizes. Weirdly, not confronting, and definitely not pervy. It was just, like, todgers !
Barraclough’s journey started with a film he made, dealing with his own obsession at not being particularly well hung, and subsequently trying to unseat the ridiculous taboo and obsession with size that western culture seems to have. Judging by the submissions he’d received, the tendency was more towards the diminutive than the elephantine.
There was also a film crew there interviewing people about their thoughts on the gallery – so if you’re flicking channels one day and see my face backdropped with a wall of winkies, hopefully this blog entry puts it all into context.
It’s always said that “art is the audience”, and in this case you were invited (provided you were male, of course) to participate in the exhibition in the form of a small tent and a Polaroid camera. Just yer tackle though; it had to be anonymous. So… I don’t think anyone needs any hints to figure out what lifetime dream got crossed off my list that night.
Obviously it was a double-polaroid job…
Of course as probability would dick-Tate (excruciating, sorry), the likelihood of randomly running into someone you know is dramatically increased when you’re unexpectedly surrounded by genitals – Toby & chums were out for the evening and had wandered in as well.
No idea if he had a go in the tent though.