Alan Butler. He’s a strange one. Difficult to be around. Difficult to describe without using obscenities. Though at times his art can be fairly harrowing to experience too, it is almost always worth the effort. ‘I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant’ is Butler’s biggest solo show to date and opens in TBG&S tomorrow night. The cumbersome title for the show, which can be shortened to IKTYBYUWYTISBINSYRTWYHINWIM for, eh, brevity, is taken from a quote from former US State Department spokesman Robert McCloskey during a Vietnam war briefing.
Butler’s work usually consists of a barrage of references to our digitally saturated world full of neon lights and banner ads. Here he works with appropriated (stolen) material to create remixed videos, drawings and installations. Using the kind of insane and inane crap that one comes across online, his show will raise questions of politics, ethics and taste. There’s a method to most of his madness though and between the factory-commissioned fine art paintings and hallmarks of hyper-consumerism you slowly start to get a glimpse inside his warped mind and see that he might have some very valid points and it would be entirely reasonable to elect him as our new leader. Though this isn’t going to be a show for the light-hearted or those suffering from epilepsy, it will be the kind of show that everyone, especially those who find most art exhibitions too stuffy and uninteresting, will find to be a breath of fresh, if chaotic and violent, air. To better explain the kind of thing you can expect, Alan Butler has made a helpful video to entice you to the show.
The show opens tomorrow, Thursday 21st October, at 6pm and continues until 27th November. More info on the TBG&S site. Unfortunately I won’t make it to the opening, but if you do and you’re around town afterwards, I’ll be DJing in The Bernard Shaw at //Slash As Soon As You Hear which is part of Bodytonic’s BeatYard Weekender. There’ll be all sorts of mad shit going on down there, including short films, palm readings, DJs, some sort of photo-shoot set-up and I will, apparently, be over-seeing limbo contests, piñata games and nacho consumption. Full details on the FB event page.