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Beagles & Ramsay

 

 

Glitter Island   -  Beagles & Ramsay 2006

format: sculpture/ installation, two monitors, two photographic prints
Image:  ‘Glitter Desert’ 84cm x 128cm C-Type 2006 Courtesy of the artists

Originally exhibited in the exhibition 'What Makes You And I Different', Tramway, Glasgow - Scotland, the piece Glitter Island by John Beagles and Graham Ramsay is presented to us as a glittering golden 'island' complete with fake palm tree. The artists speak to us from within two TV monitors in a dialogue that is so faint as to be incomprehensible in a self-parodying comment on celebrity. The images of themselves languorously draped over the 'sand', dressed in eighteenth century dandy-esqe costumes, the glittering gold surface seducing us and becoming almost hypnotically alluring. But all is not well on this paradise island...The arrogance of the poses and expressions on the faces mask an unease that the tide is already on the turn, that having reached this place of perfection and bliss, disintegration and decay is but a breath away, that the words they whisper to us in Latin have little currency or meaning for the viewer, that all that glitters is, indeed, not gold.

 

 


 


New Meat - Beagles and Ramsay 2004

“Theatrical convention is exploited [..] thoroughly by the artist duo Beagles and Ramsay. Their video performances of a pair of ventriloquist dummy self-portraits mimic English music hall entertainment, in which burlesque, slapstick, melodrama and the grotesque were encouraged. Both absurd and sinister the ventriloquist artists and their doppelganger puppets echo the demonic theatricality of the dolls used in works by artists such as Paul McCarthy and Tony Oursler [..] Having used various morally ambiguous duplicates of themselves in earlier work to explore the distasteful and tragic aspects of daily life – from the notoriously unhealthy Scottish diet to child criminality, from political disenfranchisement to the cult of celebrity – ‘New Meat’ satirises the current conventions around the production and consumption of art. “

 


 

New Meat - Beagles and Ramsay 2004
duration: 5 minutes 27 secs
Images:(Stills) Courtesy of the artists



   


Sanguis Gratia Artis - Black Pudding Self-Portrait -  Beagles and Ramsay 2004

RECIPE
2 pints of fresh blood
(1 pint extracted from Beagles and 1 pint extracted from Ramsay)
1 pint of cream
12oz cooked pearl barley
1lb bacon fat and suet
Intestinal tubes from a pig or cow
1 or 2 onions, finely chopped
6oz oats, soaked overnight
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Images: Courtesy of the artists                          

   

In the work ‘Sanguis Gratia Artis’, exhibited at PS1 MOMA Contemporary Art Centre, New York, Beagles and Ramsay made Black Puddings out of their own blood. Black pudding is a type of sausage made by cooking blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled. In Britain the dish is generally made from pork blood, although it exists in various cultures from Asia to Europe with pig, cattle, sheep and duck blood. In tapping their own blood in order to make some very special black puddings, the blood sausages are not the appearance, the surface, of the artists but the stuff of their bodies. After turning themselves into a low-quality meat product the sausages were then cooked and offered to visitors to the exhibition.


   



Beagles and Ramsay’s collaborative practice aims to create a body of work capable of articulating the absurd, disturbing and humorous character of contemporary culture. Within large-scale theatrical sets, utilising various artistic mediums, they have deployed a stable of fictional characters and doppelganger selves who have excessively consumed the products of late capitalism. Displaying symptoms of mental and physical mutation, the actions of these fictional and doppelganger selves have all been flavoured with a ribald, caustic humour. Recent exhibitions include, "Hertie Querty" Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Blode Ziege, Galeria Nuno Centuno, Porto, Portugal, 2011 "Rubble Stir", The Glue Factory, October 2010, Edinburgh Art Festival Summer 2010, "The Shoe Show" Glasgow International Festival April 2010, "Uncle Chop Chop" Embassy, Edinburgh 2009 and The State, Glasgow, 2010 "Warehouse of Horrors" SWG3, Glasgow November 2009 "Song Show" Artlab, University of Western Ontario, Canada October 2009 "Running Time - Artists Film in Scotland from 1960 to Now" Dean Gallery, Edinburgh October 2009 "Radio Trionfera" Villa Romano, Florence, Italy September 2009. Past exhibitions include: Zenomap, Venice Biennale 2003; Videodrome, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Dub’l Introoder, Transmission, Glasgow; and PS1, MOMA Contemporary Art Centre, New York, 2004. 


http://www.beaglesramsay.co.uk/