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'Happiness' performance by Mark McGohan @ Sartorial Gallery 24.3.9

From:     LuckyJimm
Category: Art
Date:     25 March 2009
Time:     06:57 AM


Last night I went to the busy opening of Harry Pye's 'Getting Better' at the Sartorial Gallery in Kings 

Halfway through the evening, a compere announced a performance entitled 'Happiness' by Mark 
McGohan. A space cleared at one end of the white room.

To gentle keyboard accompaniment and with his back to the audience, McGohan stripped to his 
boxer shorts. Then he put on a tight pink crop-top, pink-creme tights, a frilly pink tutu, and ballet 
shoes. His bare stomach bulged out. Next came an elasticated pig's trotter.

He picked up a pen and wrote on his top HARRY PYE + JADE GOODY.

A graceless middle-aged man, he started to ape a ballet dancer's pirouettes, trying some jumps and 
throwing himself towards the audience.

The chattering crowd paid renewed attention to their drinks.

Finally he ran in a desperate circle, hands aloft, then lay down on the floor, as if dead, though we 
could see his heavy belly breathing. Somebody started to clap, and the performance was over.

Was he mocking or celebrating the recently deceased Jade Goody? I prefer to see the latter. 
Perhaps his routine mimicked her life. An unremarkable, undistinguished member of the crowd, he 
sought to transform himself, without shame or embarassment, as if to say "I may be ugly and 
graceless as I humiliate myself in front of an audience. But this is my beauty and my redemption 
(though it will also be my death)."

Or maybe it was just a grown man prancing around in a tutu.

I got myself another drink.

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