To The Shelter
February 13 2010
On the late-winter afternoon of 13th February, Marcia Farquhar will be leading a short guided procession to the seaside shelter where TS Eliot sat in 1921 looking onto Margate sands. ‘I can connect/ nothing with nothing’, he wrote. Taking this as its rallying cry, Farquhar’s expedition will seek the heart of nothingness and nonsense in Margate’s bleak wintry front.
Exploring the physical, historical and social terrain between Dreamland and Wasteland, the tour is one of a series of works in which Farquhar, the consummate visitor, assumes the role of guide and host, often leading bemused locals through landscapes with which they’d previously thought themselves familiar. Here, on the eve of St Valentine’s, Farquhar will be remembering Madame Sosostris, a famous clairvoyant, with a spell of amateur fortune-telling. Belladonnas and drowned sailors may dance to the sound of a pleasantly whining mandolin.
Cups of tea will be served in the Substation before and after the tour, with roasted chestnuts on the beach inbetween. Andrew Kötting’s short film ‘That’s the Way to Do It’, based on Farquhar’s life-size Punch & Judy performance The Cabinet of Horribly Violent Glove Puppets, will also be playing in the Substation. Farquhar herself spent the early years of her life just across the Estuary in the seaside town of Felixstowe, over which sweep the same Russian winter winds. On this occasion, the art gallery will offer some shelter, and the shelter will offer none.
Marcia Farquhar is an artist working in performance, photography, video and object-making. Her site-specific works have been staged and exhibited internationally in museums and galleries, including lecture theatres, kitchen showrooms, pubs, parks and leisure centres.
Farquhar’s performances are conceptual in nature and often precariously balanced between the prescribed and the unpredictable – socially open, broadly embracing of circumstance, and resolutely focussed in the live and unrepeatable moment. They have also made frequent and subversive use of popular cultural forms such as TV cookery, pop-psychology, the Punch & Judy show, the fashion catwalk and the guided tour.
Farquhar was born in London and received her MA in 1998 from Stuart Brisley’s department at the Slade School of Fine Art. She lives and works in London and Berlin. Recent work includes the book Marcia Farquhar’s '12 Shooters', a 192 page document of her collaboration with 14 artist-filmmakers, published in the Summer of 2009.
Click here for Marcia's website.