Gut Reactions: Watch, Read, Chat

Gut Reactions is a series of Study Room Sessions with Phoebe Patey-Ferguson as part of our Study Room Ambassador scheme. It is an opportunity to take some time to watch and discover exciting material from the archive, in a relaxed and open setting.

The current Gut Reactions series will present Heroes of Infamy, as chosen by Phoebe. 

The sessions will run all year from 7:30-10pm on the last Wednesday of every month. See below for further details 

LADA is wheelchair accessible, and provides gender inclusive bathrooms.

Programme Info 

Wednesday 27 June: Johanna Went

“Johanna Went regards monstrosity with great tenderness, and makes use of its power” – C. Carr on 'Twin Travel Terror' (1987)

Cult club performance art hero Johanna Went created powerful carnivalesque performances. A convergence of visual, aural and tactile sensations combined with high decibel impact and tremendous energy release erupted from her extraordinary presence and intricately monstrous sets and costumes. 

“Johanna Went screams, sings unintelligibly, chants in hypnotic codes, turns her voice into a noise synthesizer, jumps up and down, and moves incessantly, tearing things to shreds and throwing oversized props and costume-carcasses at the spectators. The spectators often reciprocate her mischief by tossing these abject trophies over their heads or hurling them back at the stage. Physicality literally compels the performance and audience alike, circumscribing them in a zone of communal experience like an erotic charge — released from the clashing flesh between a hurricane and a deluge. Electricity is in the air, penetrating those who are present in a Went performance at the molecular level” – Meiling Cheng 'In Other Los Angeleses', p.292

Phoebe will give an introduction to the incredible work of Johanna Went. We will be able to watch selected works by Went, look at performance documents from the archive and discuss her work. 

All welcome! – Please bring snacks and refreshments as you so wish. 

Past Events 

Wednesday 30 May: Karen Finley

Following from Karen Finley's appearance at Femmetopia Festival on 28 May, curated by Phoebe Patey Ferguson, Phoebe will be screening Finley's awe-inspiring, incantatory and shocking A Certain Level of Denial (1994).

A passionate and raw rallying cry against the deadly discriminatory policies of the authoritarian government in the AIDS crisis, this brutal and gut-wrenching performance by Finley gives a roaring voice to the suffering of a generation.

LADA will also be hosting an Unbound bookstall selling Finley’s Grabbing Pussy amongst other titles at the event.

Wednesday 29 November: Yoko Ono, 7-9pm

“If you keep hammering anti-abortion,

We’ll tell you no more masturbation for men.

Everyday you’re killing living sperms in billions,

So how do you feel about that, brother?”

– Yoko Ono, ‘What a Mess’, 1973

Yoko Ono is one of the world’s most significant living artists. Although she has been a household name for decades, the importance of her artwork, her writing and her music is often overlooked.

Ono was one of the few women associated with New York’s avant-garde music scene and the ‘neo-Dada’ Fluxus movement. Her work is forcefully full of feminist provocation, political activism and artistic experimentation.

Yoko Ono is a pioneer of live art practice. Since the ground-breaking Cut Piece was debuted in 1964 she has been both caressing and smashing the boundaries of acceptability, taste and form.

For our first Gut Reactions of the season we will be passing through Ono’s gentle peace maxims to explore the screaming, railing, destructive, cutting, courageous, controversy-seeking Ono.

Wednesday 31 January: Laurie Anderson

“Cause when love is gone, there's always justice.
And when justice is gone, there's always force.
And when force is gone, there's always Mom.
Hi Mom!”
– O Superman! (1982)

Laurie Anderson is a force of outer space energy bequeathed to us on earth via the transmission of outstandingly beautiful music, performance, art and writing. 
Anderson's work encompasses popular culture, experimental art, daily life and electronic ghosts. SInce the 1970s Anderson has created astonishing assemblages of the animal, the human, the alien, the digital, the technological and the transcendent into magnificent visual and aural compositions. 

The first Gut Reactions of 2018 will be shooting us up out into the sublime universe of Laurie Anderson. 

Wednesday 28 March: Ana Mendieta 

“Art is a material act of culture, but its greatest value is its spiritual role, and that influences society, because it’s the greatest contribution to the intellectual and moral development of humanity that can be made.” — Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta created beautiful and deeply profound artwork that challenges colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy through connections with the natural world.

Mendieta's work explored the emotional and sensual qualities of materials, through performance, sculpture, film, photography and other image making techniques. 

In this Gut Reactions we will be sinking into the powerful world of Ana Mendieta through the books and films in the LADA study room  with an opportunity to discuss these together in an informal and friendly environment. 

Wednesday 25 April: Sophie Calle

Sophie Calle's work is astonishing, unexpected, often ethically questionable, raw and full of vulnerability

Stuart Jeffries: “Why did you become an artist?”
Sophie Calle: “To seduce my father”
– Interview in the Guardian, 2009

From letting strangers and friends sleep in her bed (The Sleepers, 1977), to secretly following a man she had met at a party around Venice (Suite Vénitienne, 1979), to nearly being sued for constructing a portrait of a filmmaker from his private information (Address Book, 1983), to the analysis by 107 women of a break up letter she received (Take Care of Yourself, 2007), to the 11-minute film that shows the death of Calle's mother (Couldn't Capture Death, 2007) Calle has been consistently pushing at the boundaries of art, morality and decency. 

For this month's Gut Reactions, we'll be getting up very close and far too personal with Sophie Calle. 

We will be watching 'No Sex Last Night (Double Blind)' (1992) and looking together through other documents related to Calle in LADA's Study Room. 

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