Bob & Roberta Smith present the University of Misunderstanding at Eastbourne Towner

| 16 May 2012
An image of a colourful piece of graphic art spelling out the words join the art party
© Bob & Roberta Smith
Museums at Night 2012: University of Misunderstanding, Towner, Eastbourne, May 19

Remember that piece of art you made at school which is still dodgy enough to lie hidden in an attic? Or the instrument you’re not sure you can play without terrifying nearby cats?

Bob & Roberta Smith – the pseudonym of Patrick Brill, the cheeky artist who’s taken his flamboyant signs to the Tate and his taste for cheerful anarchy everywhere – wants you to bring them to the Towner this Saturday night, then join in an adults-only nightclub soundtracked by rock band The Guillotines, legendary Brighton rockabilly night Born Bad, and Smith’s own band and radio station. Leave your shame at the door.

“It’s very unusual to hear of an art gallery being turned into a nightclub,” says local councillor Neil Stanley, issuing a mild understatement to a gallery about to add a dancefloor to its reputation for versatility in the name of contemporary art.

“It’ll be an amazing event full of music, art and a chance to go back to your student dates. Collaborating with an iconic artist gives it a really exciting twist. It’s a great idea – nothing like the south coast has ever seen before.”

Towner “won” Smith thanks to a 55% slice of the ballot in the hotly-contested Connect10 competition, but it remains to be seen whether a similar majority of the voters will be brave enough to bring their dubious former artworks to the region’s largest gallery, where Smith will judge them in a new competition before putting them on display.

In any case, he’s devised a “curriculum” for the evening which should prove a learning curve for everyone. Particularly if there’s terrible dancing involved.

  • 8.30pm-1am. Tickets £8/£6, book online. Earlier all-ages session with Bob & Roberta Smith takes place in the gallery 12pm-4pm.
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