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Who are todays days heroes and villains?
What constitutes, creates and contextualises either?

Between 26th - 30th March 2018, 1000 – 1600hrs daily, the public are invited into the River Room of Old Bakery Studios to talk and observe the live streamed collaborative work and conversations between artists and guests.

Visitors are welcome to offer opinion, example and instruction whilst work is happening. Even better if you dress up as your GOWER ha GALOW.

The first aspect of this project is to invite artists and the public to come and speak about who are their heroes and villains, and to talk from the two perspectives that define them. We don’t know what will come out this activity. We are treating this as live, active research to help fine tune the journey this will take us on. 

Want to get involved? Have something to contribute? 
Message in the comments below. 

Faye Dobinson and Rob Unett will be creating masks about their personal, and their guests’, heroes or villains, creating from what they represent, stand for or oppose. 

‘We will be using masks as the vehicle with which, we discuss/ interrogate the current cultural currency of image, humanity and the notion of authenticity’

Alongside special guest artists, the public are invited to get involved with this live project, to come and play, dress up, donning their hero or villains mask that Faye and Rob will create for them. 

‘We want us and others to speak from one of or both their heroes or villains perspectives, wearing a bespoke mask that we will create.’

Part installation and part performative, this is a challenging, constructive and reflective social project. 

We will be live streaming our own and participants conversations via the Instagram stories and Facebook live platforms. We will also be photographing and filming the masks to create an exciting and engaging body of raw, collaborative works. 

‘This is something we can potentially learn from, something to reflect on to find common ground and collective goals’. 

We would love for portrait photographers to come and help capture imagery of the masks, worn by guests. We want to create wonderful portraits against the beautifully deconstructed background layers of the old bakery studios. 

To take part make sure you know why you admire who you admire, and why you vilify those that you do. Leave a comment below to book in a time and date. To simply view us in action and talk simply turn up and get involved.

Who are todays days heroes and villains? What constitutes, creates and contextualises either?

Today we are connected through digital communities, we can idolize and vilify in seconds, making and breaking a brand, a business, a person. Forming our own opinions has become tricky when we see what appears to be a constellation of connected, collective views. Being different, thinking and acting against the grain, is not easy or even appealing, often resulting in saying nothing, to avoid combined critiques. ‘One human’s meat is another human’s poison’. There are as many people in the world that don’t agree with you as those that do… maybe even more.

Streams of Images and news cause worship and revolt and all that’s in between, whether ‘fake’ or ‘real’. Is it now more about how we feel than what’s the actual, factual deal? Are our opinions really our own? What we see is undeniably an influence on how we think. Trickery, fakery, propaganda have never been far from us to make us do, feel and be. Are we complicit in this happening? All the media we use, that we see, are algorithms reflecting our lives back to us, bolstering our stand points, making it harder to see the other argument, leaving us unbalanced, unable to debate and critique. It’s all in the edit.

Digital social media gives us a platform to express ourselves, construct an alternative self, created with filters and anonymity. We can opinionate, share, applaud and attack freely-seemingly more so than we do in person. Do the social networks we create become masks we wear to speak our minds? Understanding why we construct masks is gold- it makes apparent the fact that we are being told that we are not enough as we are. We must tweak, alter, adjust to be heard. To be authentic, free from the mask feels a radical act: an act of protest against the celebration of the unreal and an act of self confidence and belief to say this is the real me and this is what I believe in.

Are we more emboldened through the social masks we construct, to speak, challenge and change? Does it take a mask to make a hero or villain because reality isn’t enough?

Traditionally heroes and villains are depicted as totally polarised in perspectives and never the twain shall meet, one must fail for the other to survive. The media suggests we are living in polarized times, evidencing the rapid growth of the hard right, fluctuations of extremist groups and in response a reactionary hard left is emerging. Read the comments section of any social media news posts. With such an extreme divide growing ever wider, creating black and white spectrums, are we able to see, hear, and take on an others perspective? Can we explore the grey areas to come together? Are we at a point where exploring the in-between is the most revolutionary idea to explore and visualise? 

What do we consider makes a villain or a hero’s, can one see and talk from the others perspective? And if we embody the opposite perspective, do we learn from it and does it change the way we think and thus who we feel are heroes or villains. 

To be able to experience or even entertain the possibility of a competing narrative leads to an increase in tolerance, a decrease in posturing and introduces feelings of shared humanity.

To critique is not to criticize- to critique is to interrogate, to break down, to study, to give time. To hold another way of doing things in a space of possibility, albeit temporarily. Critique has a kindness to it for it contains within it a desire to further a discussion and learning, Criticism however leaves nowhere to go in terms of dialogue. It has within it a quiet savagery, an ultimate desire to diminish. 

We are not here to shame: we are here to discuss what is important.

Parking: No parking on site. Please use Garras Wharf or Tescos and walk round (2 mins)

Earlier Event: March 23
Wurlitza – A Cottage on Dartmoor
Later Event: March 29
Milk presents... Joan