ARTIST PAUL HAZELTON REFLECTS ON MOONBOW MARGATE
Throughout Summer 2011
Paul Hazelton is an international artist, presently preparing for a commission for the New York Museum for Art & Design, born and grew up in Cliftonville, Kent. Throughout the summer project, Paul was pivotal to the success of the Moonbow Margate intervention, with many of the interesting artworks and performances that appeared having in some way Paul’s prints on them.
Paul Hazelton's thoughts on the project:
'My first intervention at Moonbow was the window; a response to another artist who suggested that all Moonbow was missing was a Daniel Buren window. The result was a pastiche of Daniel Buren’s window piece at Turner Contemporary Borrowing and Multiplying the Landscape. Unknowing to the artist I became his unwitting assistant, whilst also borrowing and multiplying from Daniel Buren’s piece.
The idea for the What is Food? show came about from discussions I had with John McKiernan about the Moonbow (Cliftonville) project and how this (and food generally) relates to regeneration. It seemed a natural progression to have a show about food following John’s intervention at the disused greasy spoon café opposite the Lido, which, with minimal effort he transformed into Moonbow Jakes. What caught my imagination was how the café’s sticky greasy residue had been gradually replaced by good food and coffee and how in turn the space became a magnet, which inadvertently exposed the community to a variety of forms of art.
What is Food? was originally planned for the old greasy spoon café opposite the Lido but ended up at the Golden Garter Bar at the Lido. The change of venue, which was a much larger and a completely different kind of space, necessitated a change in the scale of the work.
I decided to create a mini gym, which comprised of a cross-treader and two pedal machines. One of the pedal machines entitled Exorcise Machine, powered a light source, which when lit revealed hidden text within a collage. Based on and using imagery from Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights together with images from medical and biological journals and 70’s recipe books such as Fanny and Jonnie Craddock’s Cookery Programme, the collage was about combining medieval and contemporary grotesqueness and creating links between ingredients, symptoms, food processes, disease, desire, power and sex.
As well as exercising ones cognition Exorcise Machine functioned as a sort of exorcism; expelling, as well as ones fat, ones desires and demons.
Also in the show was an Amphibious Tesco Shopping Trolley with rudder that I had dug out from the harbour and Species of Feces – a series of text pieces exploring dirt, grease and rot.
Much what we eat we excrete - passed through the system, food is changed in its consistency and constitution. Consumerism that feeds off of greed feeds us with what we think we need. The resultant mass consumption excretes a society of the needy. Remedies for various maladies such as delayed food intolerance and chronic obesity replace traditional recipes. Addictive additives toxins and mutagens in food are changing our metabolisms. Chemically bound we become more excremental – flabby sweaty misshapen.
With the Lido space being much larger than the café John decided to combine the What Is Food show with another planned show Cliftonville Now.
For Cliftonville Now I loaned On Margate Sands by Anat Ben-David and Lido by Werner Zellien.
On Margate Sands is a reworking of Kurt Weill’s 1928 song Die Muschel von Margate: Petroleum Song with excerpts also from The Wasteland, T S Eliot 1922 and Margate, Chas & Dave 1982. Recorded on vinyl it was commissioned by Limbo Arts and accompanied a performance by Anat Ben-David as part of Dead Season Live Art 2010. On Side A is Miss Silhouette Sirens, which is a reference to the Miss Shapely Silhouette Lido Pool Margate Beauty Competition, 1950. The image on the record sleeve, which shows multiples of Anat Ben-David also references this.
Lido was originally shown as part of Metaphysical Margate [read here] at Substation Project Space. In 2004 Werner Zellien was commissioned by the architects Snohetta and Spence to provide photographic documentation of the development of their original, controversial proposal for the Turner Contemporary building in Margate. With the original design not going ahead Werner was left with a series of images of the town’s empty spaces, loaded with a sense of what it had been and what it might become.
For myself, for the launch of the Lido project and the opening event Cliftonville Now, I created a drawing performance/intervention Mirrors Mirrors on the Wall. Once the more stylish and opulent of places, Cliftonville is now losing to the allure of Margate. Mirrors Mirrors on the Wall was about recapturing something of what has faded and about reflecting something of what is emerging. I realised, as I was performing this piece; drawing onto the mirrors, that Cliftonville was like Margate’s conjoined twin – it is part of the same place.
Paul Hazelton is an artist and curator based in Margate. His sculptures are exhibited internationally and are often intricately constructed using household dust, or cut paper, stuffed toys or other materials. He is also the founding member and director of Limbo Arts, an artist-lead organisation based just off Margate High Street at Substation Project Space. Having lead Limbo for the last decade, Paul has brought an array of projects, exhibitions, concerts and artists to Margate. Whether making art, curating, organising or initiating projects, Paul's primary aim is always the same: to force something into existence or to transform something that already exists. His work often focuses around ontology, myth, decay and creation. Recent projects and shows include: Dirty Little Secret, Indica on 11th, New York (curated by Wendy Worth Asher), Art of Giving (exhibition and auction), Saatchi Gallery, London (curated by Alice Herrick for House of Fairy Tales), Shoebox Auction & Exhibition, Haunch of Venison, London (hosted by Kids Company and the Bryan Adams Foundation). Dead Season Live Art, Substation