'Search for the Disco King': The Bowie Lounge

Andy Webster (Artist), Bowie Lounge (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchExhibition

Abstract

The site & context for this project are live shows by The Bowie Lounge.  The Bowie Lounge is an artistic response to the work of David Bowie, a re-staging of his songs, readings, poems, dance and art happenings inspired by those of the early Beckingham Art Lab. First performed in 2013 and updated in light of Bowie's death in 2016, both times to great acclaim, the Bowie Lounge seeks to engage people with Bowie's words and music in a way unlike any other show; and is conceived not as a tribute band, but a moving and exhilarating homage to perhaps the greatest rock star of his or any other era. "Thematically inventive, boundary blurring theatre, building on, rather than retreading, David Bowie's legacy." David Bowie Glamour - The Fanzine "This isn't just some karaoke tribute band. What they do is way beyond that. Movement, dance, theatre, poetry. The performances of the songs are simply exquisite, and the choice of numbers immaculately judged...The Bowie Lounge deserves to be huge. Do see them when you can." Nicholas Pegg, Author of the Complete David Bowie “What an extraordinary experience…visually and sonically overpowering and completely unique…still not really sure what I experienced but it and everyone involved was utterly brilliant.” Mark Jenkin (Film-maker – BRONCO’S HOUSE, BAIT) 'A strange and wonderful experience, The Bowie Lounge blends music, painting, theatre and dance to create something which is joyful, melancholic and really rather moving. I absolutely loved it.' Mark Kermode, BBC Film Critic "Alternating moments of devastating melancholy and joyous celebration." Kirsty Newton (Cornwall Today) "the best music event Cornwall has seen in 2016" Lee Trewhela, The West Briton The project takes place as the band perform their live set, and consists of real-time re-filming /remixing of Bowie video with several cameras fed across multiple screens. Images from the original videos, through re-filming, analogue processing, and circuit bending become distorted, blurred and fractured – the images stutter, glitch and are overwhelmed by noise. This process of reshooting, and post producing creates a space between the earlier form, a rupture of sorts, breaking from well known, iconic imagery towards distant refrains, partially remembered glimpses and fleeting patterns. The imagery from the earlier videos is all but lost, no longer iconic representations but now worn out, bent, damaged, degraded, collapsed, distorted forms. Occasional but peripheral glimpses of Bowie flicker and quickly dissolve – instability, contingency, temporary instances of things dominate. Through this process the iconic and familiar breaks down, nothing is permanent and fixed – all of Bowie's back catalogue is in transit, subject to review, restaging, reanimation – a low fi, future mystic rewiring. 'Search for the Disco King' was first performed at Port Eliot Festival and Exeter Phoenix in 2017. It has subsequently been performed at the Regal Theatre Redruth in 2018. It will be restaged at the Port Eliot Festival 2019, and at Apollo 50, a festival to mark the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Lunar Landing, Goonhilly Space Station, Lizard, Cornwall, 2019.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 20 Jul 2017

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    Webster, A. (Artist), & Lounge, B. (Artist). (2017). 'Search for the Disco King': The Bowie Lounge. Manuscript in preparation. Exhibition