Experience Bruce Lacey with the Bruce Lacey Experience

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‘Professor’ Bruce Lacey is perhaps undoubtedly the star in the crown of British eccentrics. Many Supersonic attendees will be too young to remember the era when Lacey’s avant-garde performances that created an on-stage fantasy which juxtaposed a particular British zeitgeist between the 50’s and 70’s. However, let me tell you that Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller has teamed up once again with Nick Abrahams, and created a cinematic extravaganza that draws consistently on the satirical nature of the nation’s customs.

Lacey’s mechanical constructions have oscillated between robotic sex symbols to tool kits for aspiring shamans to a Flea Circus. However, what remains the same is that he is one of the most exciting performers of the last Century, despite his status as a relative ‘unknown’. Many have attributed this back to his incredible foresight. Much like Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 who predicted that one day we would all be watching televisions the size of walls, Lacey was unbelievably ahead of his time. He is inter-disciplinary, a collector of talents. His foresight is difficult to comprehend, now that we exist within a sea of celebrities who seem to be a jack of all trades, but a master of none. It is this, amongst other things that Deller and Abrahams have chosen to explore.

The Bruce Lacey Experience celebrates both Lacey’s work and his life, tracing back to how he used his initial training as an electrical mechanic to further his interest in the eccentric world of television. He has worked both backstage and on the stage itself, and it is this hybrid of talents which make him such a riveting object of fascination. There is no doubt that the film will be an addition to the festival line up that will inspire, engage and hopefully encourage a ‘make and do it yourself’ attitude amongst revelers.

If film is your thing, why not have a look at the rest of Supersonic’s amazing cinematic line-up. With ‘Bullshit Detector‘ and ‘The Luxury of Empire’ running alongside the Bruce Lacey Experience, festival goers will experience a selection of sentiments and ideas that differ between each recording. From the DIY ethos of Bullshit Detector, in its understanding of the cultural significance and the legacy of CRASS records, to the intimate portrait of Oxbow on the French leg of their 2009 European tour, each film offers an exploration of the relationship between art and music in ways that will undoutedly stimulate your senses.

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Oxbow Orchestra, one off collaborations and more

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To celebrate the 10th edition of the festival, we are proud to host a number of special collaborations where you can see known performers embarking upon unknown sounds. One such performance we are proud to present is Oxbow Orchestra. Expect strings, woodwinds, brass, operatic backing vocals and classically contained renderings of the Oxbow song book, featuring Eugene S Robinson and Niko Wenner from Oxbow and an Orchestra who will deliver songs new and old in a format unaccustomed to the blood and sweat of a typical Oxbow outing. The textbook definition of ONCE IN A LIFETIME. This ties in very nicely with the first film announcement which will be The Luxury Of Empire, a very intimate portrait of Oxbow at the peak of their artistic maturity, candid interviews and live footage reveals the trials and tribulations of this band. The film programme is coming together nicely with Jeremy Deller’s ‘The Bruce Lacey Experience’ and a number of films curated by Jason Forrest at Network Awesome.

From one large scale event to a couple more (well it is our tenth birthday after all!) Lash Frenzy will perform Vir Heroicus Sublimis’ as an improvised noise collective, featuring members of Anaal Nathrackh, Beestung Lips, Benediction, Sally and Einstellung. Another distinctive pairing will see KK Null and Birmingham’s own ORE in sonic battle.  In many ways, KK Null’s collaboration with Lash Frenzy at Supersonic 2010 (with ORE’s Sam on tuba) acted as a proof of concept for the sound of ORE, so it’s entirely fitting  to bring the two entities together this year.

The issue of creating art in challenging times is one close to the festival’s heart and an exciting panel discussion will see the topic dissected by some truly inspirational practitioners.. The discussion is called ‘You Can Be You’ and will feature an array of maverick artists including Penny Rimbaud, Jarboe and Eugene Robinson. Offering an insight into some of the hows and whys of maintaining an independent spirit whilst on the very edge of the avant-garde, the panel will debate such topics as, how is the drive to make art is sustained under sometimes-difficult circumstances? and after many years of writing and touring music, will the desire to create ever be satiated?

Given the success of Imperfect Cinema’s cinematic workshop last year, we have invited the team back to host a free workshop exploring DIY modes of filming and cinema only this time, the footage people gather using Super 8 cameras will be edited and used as visuals for Drunk in Hell’s performance. All in all, an exciting opportunity for festival goers to be part of the performance and for them to utilise the unique industrial backdrop in a highly creative way. If you’re interested in booking a place, email [email protected] with ‘Imperfect Cinema’ in the subject line.

 

Vinyl Rally will be a large-scale installation combining sound art, video art and kinetic sculpture into every kid and kidult’s dream-hybrid; an immersive participatory play-set playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports in a video game played within a real world setting! Classic first person video racing is simulated as remote control cars with styli attached, race across a track constructed from a mass of disused vinyl records. This installation will be realised by Australian artist and glass eating expert Lucas Abela AKA Justice Yeldham. Who’s excited to have a go on this mean machine?

 

Phew! Lots more info to come, as well as day tickets and volunteering opportunities. Weekend tickets are available to purchase via https://supersonicfestival.com/tickets and don’t forget, if you want to see these sorts of ambitious projects continue, you can support us via our We Fund campaign

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The Bruce Lacey Experience

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For his new documentary the Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller and his sometime accomplice Nick Abrahams turn their attention to fellow film pioneer and iconic performance artist Bruce Lacey.
Three years in the making the film examines Lacey’s remarkable legacy as a painter and sculptor (creating extraordinary mechanical devices in the 1960s), an avant-garde filmmaker (alongside Dick Lester and Bob Godfrey) and as an all-round cultural chameleon, working with The Goons, The Beatles and even folk-rock super-group Fairport Convention. An intimate portrait of a self confessed ‘silly bugger’ and true visionary artist who, at the age of 85, still lives the bohemian dream; creating art and magic in a farmhouse near Norwich.

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