THE WORLD WON’T LISTEN

LIVE PERFORMANCE. 60 MINUTES (1996)

The World Won’t Listen was Forsyth & Pollard’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 event took place at 30 Underwood Street Gallery on 22nd November 1996. The work 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.


INVITATION TO THE PERFORMANCE

“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.”

David Barrett in Frieze, March/April 1997

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Read the full text of David Barrett’s article on the Frieze web site