Artist Bedwyr Williams is interested in worst-case scenarios and their effect on people. His performances, films and installations often involve comic narratives about dystopian futures, in which serious concerns are undercut by moments of absurd humor or banal observations. Previous projects have seen Williams build an observatory in homage to amateur astrologers and adopt a range of different personas, including a one-eyed preacher, the Grim Reaper and a character known as “Count Pollen”.
For his solo show in Turin, he will present Echt a film installation depicting a dystopian near future in which a fast-track feudal system has left Britain divided among new chieftains. In this new world where social status is determined by consumption, compulsive accumulators are kings. These hoarders have set up their new courts in former dancehalls and nightclubs, and are accompanied by a host of Williams’ acutely observed characters.
His curious and fantastical film imagines a future in which an apocalyptic event has forced humanity to reform society, having disregarded previous rules. Williams’ vision does not reward the audience with a peaceful and harmonious perspective; it rather provides a caricature of our nowadays-compulsive instinct of goods collecting. The future represents, one more time, an excuse to rethink our own lives and the mechanisms regulating it, on present days.
A performance and film workshop led by Bedwyr Williams and Tai Shani that explores representations of ‘The Demonic Self’. The workshop will incorporate, costume and prop making and monologue writing culminating in a film which draws from a personal, shameful experience in the past to project into the future an emancipated demonic version of yourself, using the magnificent city of Turin as backdrop to construct this theatrical, malevolent self-portrait.
The four day workshop based in the museum will incorporate visits to The Museum of Cesare Lombroso and CESNUR Center for Studies of New Religions as well as locations in the City which may inform the project, The Piazza Statuto with the Monumento ai Caduti del Frejus and Palazzo del Diavolo for example.
Bedwyr Williams will give a presentation about his past works which relate to the workshop as well as introduction to the project and it’s aims over the three days. In the afternoon a visit to The Museum of Cesare Lomroso the father of Italian Positivist criminal anthropology and sites that realate to black and white magic should provide some food for thought.
Participants will take part in exercises designed to tease out their demonic alter egos before working on scripts for their monologues
Visit to the flea market at Porta Palazzo with the possibility of sourcing inexpensive costumes and props. Afternoon Filming of Monologues and review of footage as a group
Conclusion of the workshop
BEDWYR WILLIAMS (b. 1974, St Asaph, Wales, based in Caernarfon) gained his BA at Central St Martins College of Art and Design (1997) and his MA at Ateliers Arnhem, NL (1999).
He uses multimedia, performance and text to explore the friction between ‘the deadly serious’ and ‘the banal’ aspects of modern life. Williams is known for satirizing the relationship between the artist and curator by creating absurd scenarios for them to appear in. More recently he has explored, through video, themes of dystopia and mankind’s significance in the universe.
Recent and forthcoming solo shows include Barbican Curve Gallery, London, UK; Limoncello, London, UK (all 2016); The Whitworth, Manchester, UK; VISUAL, Carlow, IRL; g39, Cardiff, UK; Vestjyllands Kunstpavillion, DK (all 2015); Tramway, Glasgow, UK for Glasgow International; MOSTYN, Llandudno, UK (2014); Welsh Pavilion for 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, IT (2013); IKON, Birmingham, UK (2012); and Kunstverein Salzburger, AT (2011). In 2015 he was shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award and he is a shortlisted artist for Artes Mundi 7, 2016. Plus international group shows.