Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
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The Hanging Picnic

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The Hanging Picnic

 

 

Joshua Compston and Liz Friend at The Hanging Picnic
Joshua Compston and Liz Friend at The Hanging Picnic

The Hanging Picnic was conceived and produced by Factual Nonsense and centred around an examination of the means and metaphors of the art of picnicking intertwined with an open air art exhibition. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard exhibited Down on the Farm (version 2), a revised version of a work concerning an incident that Iain had been involved in at the 1992 Reading Festival, from their Goldsmiths degree show which had closed the day before The Hanging Picnic.

In addition to the curating and subsequent hanging on the railings of Hoxton Square 'objects' by over 25 artists, The Hanging Picnic also presented an essentially private act made 'grossly' public - the picnic. The event, including the process of its curation and organisation was featured as part of a documentary on Joshua Compston and his role as FN's director, directed by Liz Friend and commissioned and screened by LWT.

Details of Down on the Farm (version 2)

Details of Down on the Farm (version 2)

Details of Down on the Farm (version 2)
Details of Down on the Farm (version 2)

Iain and Jane's work Down on the Farm exposes an unlikely incident from Iain's past. At the Reading Festival in 1992 Iain threw cottage cheese at the band The Farm while they were on-stage.

Details of Down on the Farm (version 2)
Detail of Down on the Farm (version 2)

The exhibition on the railings featured work by:

Art in Ruins, Phillipe Bradshaw & Andrea Mason, Andrew Capstick, Helen Chadwick, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Andrew Herman, Gary Hume, Mick Kerr, John Lundberg, Maria Marshall, Elizabelth Manchester, Renato Niemis, Tim Noble, Orphan Drift, William Shoebridge, David J Smith, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gavin Turk, Jessica Voorsanger, Sebastian Wong, Piers Wardle, Sue Webster and Max Wigram

Back of the invitation to The Hanging Picnic
Inside the invitation to The Hanging Picnic

Two days before the event, Joshua wrote to each of the participating artists. In his letter he said of the project:

"The whole of Hoxton Square is not the exhibition playfield nor is the exhibition meant to be what might be termed 'site interventionist'. Thus as a result, unless a strong case can be argued for such an approach, the work must situate itself within a mirroring of the hanging on the Bayswater Road. This is as much to set up a feeling of "walls of art" that must be penetrated in order to visit the picnic as it is a desire to follow closely the real practice upon which it is based."

Joshua Compston (1 Jun 1970 - 5 Mar 1996).
Joshua set up Factual Nonsense, his gallery and project space, in Shoreditch, London in October 1992, shortly after graduating in art history from the Courtauld Institute in London. Aiming to establish a cultural revolution of some kind, he intended his space to be 'a forum for all elements disenchanted with the laxity and ennui of current thinking'. Between 1993 and his tragically premature death in 1996 at the age of twenty-five, he organised exhibitions and performative day events in Hoxton Square, as well as commissioning the pages of Other Men's Flowers from his artist friends.

Front of the invitation to The Hanging Picnic
The invitation to The Hanging Picnic

The Hanging Picnic
Hoxton Square
London N1

8 July 1995
12 noon - 8pm

For more information, read the book by Jeremy Cooper:
No Fun without U, The Art of Factual Nonsense

 

 

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Related works
Words & Pictures
Issue 3 contains 'The Fall of Stalingrad', a preface by Joshua Compston

Related sites
No Fun without U - The Art of Factual Nonsense by Jeremy Cooper

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