THE GOLD MINE OF GOLDFRAPP'S MIND
Ever since witnessing Alison Goldfrapp tour the Black Cherry album (phenomenally sexy beats) and seeing her backing dancers, beautifully ripped women with horse tails and gigantic headpieces that hid their faces like well-balanced chess pieces, I was hooked.
Goldfrapp’s promo has always been dominated with images that merge the beautiful with the bizarre so when I heard that Lady Frapp herself would be the first to take the reins of Manchester Lowrys Performer as Curator series I knew something spectacular would await. I wasn’t disappointed.
Sex and fairytales have always scampered hand in hand amidst the Goldfrapp landscape and this exhibition is a collection of paintings, sketches, film work, kitsch tat and sculptures that explore metamorphosis, transformation and the coming of age.
Of course, like all good fairy stories, this is no scare-free skip through the woodland, it has teeth and claws.
Original copies of Grimms’ Fairy Tales, illustrated by the old school Master of ink and watercolours Arthur Rackham, sit alongside ceramics like ‘Bat Girl’ by Czech born Klara Kristalova. ‘Struwwelpeter,’ a terrifying character from Germanic folklore who cuts off the digits of thumb suckers with a giant pair of scissors lurks next to the sketches of Hans Bellmer, a surrealist famous for his distorted doll series.
Clips from films such as
‘Lost Highway’ by David Lynch have their place next to the work of Lotte Reiniger, a woman who was one of the first silhouette animators when cinema was still in its embryonic form.
In keeping with the winking witchcraft at the heart of this show, the infamous booty-shaking sorceress scene from the cult classic ‘The Wickerman’ loops on repeat, keeping the tortured Edward Woodward trapped in perpetual loop of hormonal rump rolling madness. It’s a classic.
Films made by Alison Goldfrapp in collaboration with Lisa Gunning are also on show, including a beautifully shot video for 'Annabel' which is one on of the tracks from Goldfrapp’s new album Tales of Us. We'd love to feature these stunning female artists in future programmes at the Victoria Warehouse exhibition space.
It really is fascinating to be given the opportunity to peer inside such a unique and prolific woman's mind. You can really start to piece together the glorious puzzle of a psyche that puts a serene operatic voice inside savage worlds of were-women and fantasy horror.
We'd love to have artists and curators of a similar ethos utilise the Victoria Warehouse new art gallery and exhibition space, the platform is yours to play with.