Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
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The World Won't Listen

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The World Won't Listen
The World Won't Listen

The World Won't Listen was Iain and Jane's first live art event. It was also their first experiment with the diametric status of the 'tribute band'. The event, a 'mock gig', took as its starting point the music and legacy of The Smiths - one of the most revered English bands of the 1980's, and included a performance by The Still Ills.

The World Won't Listen
The World Won't Listen The World Won't Listen invitation card (front and reverse)

"One Friday night last November, artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard presented 'The World Won't Listen'. This was a one-night-only, live art performance at 30 Underwood Street, which took the form of a gig by The Still Ills, a Smiths tribute band. The artists described it as a 'mock-gig' even though it had all the ingredients of a real one, but then again I guess it also had a few others, too." More...

David Barrett, Frieze

The World Won't Listen
The World Won't Listen

"What is not real, I ask, about this gig - this band even - for the fans? 'But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore. No, we cannot cling to those dreams.' And yet, in amongst this ecstatic abandon, stood the art crowd - a mock-crowd? - concentrating on the scene, trying to understand it. Put to shame, rather, by their lack of passion. And so our opposite expectations became manifest through reception: the art coterie were self conscious , distanced and alone, while the fans were engulfed, swept away, part of the crowd, the band and the music." More...

David Barrett, Frieze

The event notably succeeded in challenging notions of artifice and authenticity, but also, through the immediacy of the live experience, amplified the tensions between pleasure, obsession and ironic distance. The event took place in a basement in the east end of London, and was attended by many Smiths fans as well as a traditional 'art' audience.

The World Won't Listen
The World Won't Listen audience member

"The stage was invaded. 'Morrissey' was kissed. 'He' threw flowers. They threw them back. There was a collective will that this was actually HIM, the God of obsession himself... Only my I'm-watching-performance-art attitude kept me from singing out loud... Indeed by the end of this paradoxical night, I found myself rueing the fact that, as the band had made their way past me toward the stage, I hadn't reached out and touched Morrissey when I had the chance. For no reason, other then so that I had. So that I would know that I had actually, really, touched HIM. 'Am I still ill?'" More...

David Barrett, Frieze

The World Won't Listen

The World Won't Listen
30 Underwood Street Gallery
London N1 7JX

22 November 1996
From 7pm - For one night only

 

 

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Work in this event
The World Won't Listen

Related work
The Smiths is dead

Press about this event
'Reel Around The Fountain' Frieze

Other live art events
A Rock 'N' Roll Suicide
The Kids are Alright
The Smiths is dead
Doing it for the kids

Frieze: "Only my I'm-watching-performance-art attitude kept me from singing out loud. No, it wasn't like those days. Indeed, by the end of this paradoxical night, I found myself rueing the fact that, as the band had made their way past me toward the stage, I hadn't reached out and touched Morrissey when I had the chance. For no reason, other than so that I had. So that I would know that I had actually, really, touched HIM." More...

 
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