Monday, 25 August 2014

Well All White

Thinking about the genius of Bruce Lacey over a cup of tea the other day, I recalled the strange automata featured in the Godley and Cream directed video for Herbie Hancock's Rockit. (No, that wasn't intended as a subtle dig at Herbie's wooden performance style, though I did see him play once and it was a decidedly underwhelming experience). The spastic humanoid figures are reminiscent of Lacey but their designer was British artist/inventor Jim Whiting, who appears to have had a brief period of popularity in the mid-80s in the UK before finding greater success abroad, not the first time the British have failed to appreciate their creative talent.

Here posh nob Hugh Laurie interviews Whiting for ITV's South of Watford arts programme in 1986 (replacing common man Ben Elton in the second series of SoW). Neither Elton nor Laurie are natural interviewers; their 'talents', such as they are, lay elsewhere. 

Watch out for the pervy men and a brief sticky pubic hair situation, enough to make you wince.

Whiting is clearly somewhat deranged but rather likeable, and has apparently become a big name in 'Extreme Arts', which is apparently something to do with scaring drugged people festivals. Perhaps working in the margins is the safest place for artists.

Gluttons can see a live version of Rockit with some of Whiting's kinetic characters on Channel 4's The Tube here.

No comments:

Post a Comment