Walk of Shame Tate Britain

Following their Shame Show at MK Gallery in 2013 Mertle Merman, aka performance artist, Caroline Smith and 'Cardinal' Paul are re-uniting to explore a selection of artworks in the Tate Collection.

Join their Walk of Shame

Topics: [In Every Dream Home] [performance] [Tate Britain]

The Shame Show

Caroline Smith
Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith and Paul Green: The Shame Show

Thursday 30 May / 6.30pm

The Shame Show is an interactive game/variety show hosted by Mertle (performance artist Caroline Smith) who will be subverting notions of popular entertainment as she investigates concepts of shame with her audience.

The evening will be divided between Mertle’s probing her guests in a series of interviews with guests such as a psychotherapist, philosopher and unrepentant ne’er do wells and a participatory game show where the audience can confess and relieve themselves of their burden of shame.

Like a deranged flashback from the golden days of light entertainment combined with an informal supper club, where the canapés of shame absolve the participants of their negative emotions, The Shame Show is an emotional exorcism that deals with psychological complexities in a manner that is both surprising and enlightening.

Caroline Smith is a performance artist whose work explores the peripheries of stand-up comedy and art. In her Mertle persona she has looked at people’s complex relationships with food and eating disorders. Mertle herself is from another time, the 1950’s, where a housewife was as adept at emotional self-restraint as she was with making a Victoria sponge and consequently she acts a repository for people’s intimate moments of self-doubt or insecurity . Mertle becomes a non-judgemental listener and the audience become increasingly aware that beneath the confidently domestic exterior is a woman who shares their insecurities and self-doubt.

For this performance Caroline will be collaborating with Avant-Gardening whose ongoing curatorial side project In Every Dream Home a Heartbreak takes a fresh look at sexuality and gender representation in non-mainstream culture. Avant-Gardener Paul Green will be animating the space with moments of shame in popular culture and the two will use the performance as a way of exploring future collaborations.

MK Gallery

Topics: [In Every Dream Home] [Milton Keynes] [performance]

In Every Dream Home, a Heartache

Mertle Merman
Mertle Merman

As part of Wide Open School at the Hayward Gallery, in Fritz Haeg’s Sundown Schoolhouse of Queer Home Economics at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre. SE1

Advance tickets available from Southbank Centre website

In Every Dream Home, a Heartache

a day of events and activities co-curated by Paul Green of Avant Gardening

Sunday 17 June 11.00 - 20.30

The received images of housekeeping in contemporary Western society are generally based on mid-century concepts of domestic havens; a nuclear family with clearly defined gender roles and power structures. Any deviations from this norm were given short shrift in the post-war world of the mid-20th century, so where did the queer voice fit into this seemingly perfect construct and how have perceptions altered in recent times? During the day Avant Gardening will be looking at the tensions between the role of the gay person as 'the other' and the juxtapositions between the concepts of domestic bliss, the outsider and the concept of a queer home economics.
Drawing on the high camp imagery of both mid-century domestic bliss and even camper negative stereotypes of gay 'outsiders' from popular culture we will be creating a fanzine that explores the role of home economics in the popular imagination. As part of the creation of a fanzine we will be looking at alternatives to the traditional perceptions of domestic bliss, considering the pressures of conformity and the contemporary view of a gay household. We will also be considering the rituals of domesticity employed to keep the spectres of dirt and disorder from the home and will be joined by Mertle (performance artist, Caroline Smith) for her Butoh inspired cleansing rituals. As Mertle herself explains:
Now, you might have a question about cleaning an aspect of your gorgeous homes-and-garden. Perhaps your nautical theme has left your carpet dripping wet. Your pedigree partner puked up and stain busters refused to bust. Or you may – dirty blighters that some of you are- have a question about cleaning your actual selves. Who knows.All questions will be answered by Mertle. The best will win a Prize. At the very least you can scrub off that perma-stain. To ask Mertle your question visit http://www.carolinesmithonline.com/2012/06/mertle-mermans-butoh-manifesto-and-tent-cleanse-at-the-hayward-gallery-london/
We will also be joined by Radical Faeries; White Rose and Faerie Query who will be on hand to talk about the international community of Radical Faeries.
Artist Paul Harfleet will be talking about his work and his interests in the implications of identity, citizenship and its influence on the navigation and memory of the urban environment. He augments and re-contextualises various sites and objects by allocating them with new meaning or significance often through drawing, photography and intervention, from his on-going Pansy Project which involves the artist planting pansies at the site of homophobic abuse to his current focus on masculinity, cultural homophobia and the iconography of punishment and execution.
Overseeing the day’s activities will be artist Paul Elwick and Avant-Gardeners Paul Green and Polly Brannan who will be facilitating the production of the fanzine - an old school, lo-fi, cut and paste publication to be created by the participants at the day. The Avant-Gardeners will also be offering wild flower seed prescriptions and hosting a potluck lunch - so bring your delicious delights to share with everyone! Throughout the day we will be intermittently relaxing to a specially compiled playlist of music that ricochets from the fuzzy sounds of vintage rock to sensual classics ripped from the soundtracks of the annals of exploitation sinema.


Topics: [collaboration] [fanzine] [film and video] [Hayward] [performance]

artwork by polly brannan
website by the useful arts organisation