Will You Dance With Me?

In 1984, British filmmaker Derek Jarman took his Olympus VHS camcorder into Benjy’s, a gay nightclub in East London’s Mile End district, and taped patrons dancing, talking, sitting, and drinking. Until recently this film has remained buried in an archive, but has now been unearthed by producer Ron Peck.

Join us for a rare screening of this previously lost footage in the context of Mathew Parkin’s installation slope-tend-big at Grand Union as part of Shout Festival 2016. The screening will be preceded by a discussion between Parkin, Fierce Festival’s Director Aaron Wright and Luis-Manuel Garcia, lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Pop Music Studies at the University of Birmingham. They will be touching on themes of social dancing, queer space, community and utopia. As the night progresses a dancefloor will emerge as DJs take to the decks as the film loops on late into the night.

Mathew Parkin (b. 1987, Wakefield, UK) explores social issues of digital space, queerness, intimacy, language, privacy, bodily care and the position given to the artist. He is currently working mainly with diaristic and documentary moving image, however work has included sculpture, installation, writing, photography and online work. Recent projects include Like a floral knife, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh (2016); I Believe in you, IMT Gallery, London (2016); Film Open touring, Spike Island, Bristol, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, Transmission, Glasgow, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, S1 Artspace, Sheffield and the ICA, London (2015); Sunscreen, part of The Leisure Principle, EM15, Nottingham, Venice and Online (2015); Group Occupation Residency, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall (2015); Bar Commission for Vogue party, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham (2015); £1 Fish, S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2014); Commissioned text for Too Much, Two Queens, Leicester (2014); Still Wearing Each Other When Alone, Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2014); 45683968, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Leeds (2014); Power Up, SALT+POWELL York (2014); but it could be a Levi’s advert (With Tom Ireland), Flatfile, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2014); One Touch, The Telfer Gallery, Glasgow (2013); Performance Fetish, SWG3, Glasgow (2013); LAN Party, Two Queens, Leicester (2013); When Passive Aggressive Strategies Fail to Get Results, Supercollider, Blackpool (2012); and Dovble Trovble, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2012). Participant of The Syllabus programme 2015/16, he is currently on the MFA programme at Glasgow School of Art.

Aaron Wright took up the role of Artistic Director of Fierce in April 2016. He is a curator and producer of Live Art and formerly worked as Programmes Manager at the Live Art Development Agency (London), following an initial traineeship funded by the DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries scheme in 2010. At LADA he co-curated international programmes of Live Art and spoke regularly on the subject. Aaron has also worked as a guest curator and consultant programmer for the National Theatre, The Arches and Cambridge Junction, as well as co-producing club night Knickerbocker at The Yard Theatre. Aaron also worked with performance artist The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein and is a member of the Steakhouse Live collective. He holds an MA and a BA from the University of Birmingham and is a trustee of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Dr Luis-Manuel Garcia is a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham, with previous appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin) and the University of Groningen (Netherlands). His research focuses on urban dance music scenes, with a particular focus on affect, sexuality, creative industries and musical migration. He is currently conducting a research project on ‘techno-tourism’ in Berlin while preparing a book manuscript based on earlier research,  entitled, Together Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor.  He is also a member of both La Mission (a Berlin-based art collective / label / ‘zine) and Room 4 Resistance (a ‘queer-forward’ club night in Berlin that features people of color, transfolk, and women in leadership positions)

In 1984, British filmmaker Derek Jarman took his Olympus VHS camcorder into Benjy’s, a gay nightclub in East London’s Mile End district, and taped patrons dancing, talking, sitting, and drinking. Until recently this film has remained buried in an archive, but has now been unearthed by producer Ron Peck.

Join us for a rare screening of this previously lost footage in the context of Mathew Parkin’s installation slope-tend-big at Grand Union as part of Shout Festival 2016. The screening will be preceded by a discussion between Parkin, Fierce Festival’s Director Aaron Wright and Luis-Manuel Garcia, lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Pop Music Studies at the University of Birmingham. They will be touching on themes of social dancing, queer space, community and utopia. As the night progresses a dancefloor will emerge as DJs take to the decks as the film loops on late into the night.

Mathew Parkin (b. 1987, Wakefield, UK) explores social issues of digital space, queerness, intimacy, language, privacy, bodily care and the position given to the artist. He is currently working mainly with diaristic and documentary moving image, however work has included sculpture, installation, writing, photography and online work. Recent projects include Like a floral knife, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh (2016); I Believe in you, IMT Gallery, London (2016); Film Open touring, Spike Island, Bristol, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, Transmission, Glasgow, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, S1 Artspace, Sheffield and the ICA, London (2015); Sunscreen, part of The Leisure Principle, EM15, Nottingham, Venice and Online (2015); Group Occupation Residency, New Art Gallery Walsall, Walsall (2015); Bar Commission for Vogue party, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham (2015); £1 Fish, S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2014); Commissioned text for Too Much, Two Queens, Leicester (2014); Still Wearing Each Other When Alone, Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2014); 45683968, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Leeds (2014); Power Up, SALT+POWELL York (2014); but it could be a Levi’s advert (With Tom Ireland), Flatfile, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2014); One Touch, The Telfer Gallery, Glasgow (2013); Performance Fetish, SWG3, Glasgow (2013); LAN Party, Two Queens, Leicester (2013); When Passive Aggressive Strategies Fail to Get Results, Supercollider, Blackpool (2012); and Dovble Trovble, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2012). Participant of The Syllabus programme 2015/16, he is currently on the MFA programme at Glasgow School of Art.

Aaron Wright took up the role of Artistic Director of Fierce in April 2016. He is a curator and producer of Live Art and formerly worked as Programmes Manager at the Live Art Development Agency (London), following an initial traineeship funded by the DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries scheme in 2010. At LADA he co-curated international programmes of Live Art and spoke regularly on the subject. Aaron has also worked as a guest curator and consultant programmer for the National Theatre, The Arches and Cambridge Junction, as well as co-producing club night Knickerbocker at The Yard Theatre. Aaron also worked with performance artist The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein and is a member of the Steakhouse Live collective. He holds an MA and a BA from the University of Birmingham and is a trustee of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

Dr Luis-Manuel Garcia is a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies at the University of Birmingham, with previous appointments at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin) and the University of Groningen (Netherlands). His research focuses on urban dance music scenes, with a particular focus on affect, sexuality, creative industries and musical migration. He is currently conducting a research project on ‘techno-tourism’ in Berlin while preparing a book manuscript based on earlier research,  entitled, Together Somehow: Music, Affect, and Intimacy on the Dancefloor.  He is also a member of both La Mission (a Berlin-based art collective / label / ‘zine) and Room 4 Resistance (a ‘queer-forward’ club night in Berlin that features people of color, transfolk, and women in leadership positions)