Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
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The Kids are Alright

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The Kids are alright collage backdrop by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
The Kids are alright collage backdrop by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (1998)

On the 8th of March Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard staged their fourth major live art event The Kids are Alright. Following their impressive ICA debut with The Smiths is dead, Iain and Jane continued their obsessive excavation of revivals, imitation, nostalgia and fakery with The Kids are Alright - a live art event featuring a suitably cataclysmic live performance by a Who tribute band plus an exclusive screening of their short film Made in England. With The Kids Are Alright, attention was shifted from a singular band to an era, a stylistic and all that it went on to influence.

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright
Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

The most unusual and effective element of The Kids Are Alright was the film. Made in England was born out of the desire to create a support act to 'warm up' the audience. Excited by the idea of Karaoke films without ever having seen one, Iain and Jane set out to make a short film which could function in the manner they felt a karaoke video would.

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright
Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Having obtained the original master tapes for a recording of Substitute performed by the Who tribute band, a new mix was produced, minus the vocal track. Taking this as the soundtrack, the lyrics of the song were then produced as rolling graphics by young design team 'Pretty, You May Be...', forming one half of the 'split screen' film. Iain and Jane spent a day in London's Carnaby Street shooting footage which centred around Dan Howard-Birt walking the length of the street, cutting a strange presence dressed in authentic period Mod clothing previously used in the filming of Quadrophenia.

Made in England
Made in England
Made in England
Made in England
Made in England
Made in England
Stills from Made in England

Made in England, the resulting film, was projected large-scale onto the back of the stage at the event prior to the band's performance, provoking the entire audience to chant along with the on-screen lyrics.

Still from video documentation of The Kids are AlrightStill from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

"Who says that throwaway' Top 40 pop hits can't be the legitimate launch-pad for serious art? The '90s have seen gaps between so-called high and low culture closing, and fast. Who better than artists - talented peers grooving alongside us at clubs, processing meaning out of the gigs and pop flotsam everyone holds so precious - to see that these supposedly wide gulfs are filled at last? The coming wave of younger American and British artists have confidence in pop culture, their obsession with the soundtracks underpinning our lives forges a cool, inter-disciplinary approach to art and life alike. Artist / curatorial collaborators Forsyth and Pollard echo the feelings of this next generation with total accuracy and a refreshing devil-may-care attitude." More...

Susan Corrigan i-D Magazine

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright
Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

The Kids are Alright
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall
London SW1Y 5AH

20 March 1998
From 7pm.


More stills from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright

Still from video documentation of The Kids are Alright


 

 

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Work in this live art event
The Kids are Alright
Made in England

Related press
'Pop Art' i-D Magazine

Other live art events
A Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
The Smiths is dead
Doing it for the kids
The World Won't Listen

Related shows
Host

Related sites
Institute of Contemporary Arts

 
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