Exhibition: The People You’re Not, Gallery 1, Cornerhouse, Manchester, until February 27 2011
In last summer’s Rude Britannia comic adventure at Tate Britain, next to a terrifically off-kilter display of fantastic art curated by Harry Hill, a sobering epic sprawled inside a darkened room.
George Cruikshank’s The Worship of Bacchus may have represented a grave warning against the perils of hedonism in the mid-19th century, but now Hill has given it a Heat Magazine twist for this cheeky exhibition at the Cornerhouse.
The comedian and artist was one of 60 respondents to a call for unrealised proposals at Cornerhouse, suggesting a recreation of Cruikshank’s work featuring some of the best-known alcoholics of our time.
His vision has been created by artist Bren O’Callaghan, replete with Kerry Katona, Liza Minnelli, Lindsay Lohan and George Best delivering cautionary tales of bottle supping from six Victorian-style toy theatres.
“The paperwork says I’ve got two years, but first I need a nap,” said O’Callaghan, talking about the commission in June 2010. “Then I’ll think about it some more. Then another nap is called for. Followed by a chat in the pub and a bag of cheese and onion crisps.”
All of which is just the start of the silliness – Norman Clayture, a singer-songwriter who wears wooden underpants while singing songs with titles including Mama Didn't Want Me to be no Ladyboy, has made Free to Stroke, a “soul-baring” look into his world through his private letters to fans.
Equally singular steampunk type Edward Barton’s application simply asked groups to improve his work, so a bunch of artists have taken one of his songs – I’ve Got no Chicken but Five Wooden Chairs – and augmented it with new footage, blurring the line between the on-stage and private personas of one of Manchester’s maddest men.
- Open 12pm-8pm Tuesday-Saturday (6pm Sunday). Admission free.