“How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone” *
‘Mans Not Ready’ attempts to suss out the links between popular cultural production and the way in which we negotiate the construction of a subjective self. Using a schizophrenic engagement with both historical and material references, including gender performance, maligned cult figures and Vogue Magazine, Barclay attempts to re articulate the objects, signs, mannerisms and postures which become culturally produced. These materials, through a synthesis of sculpture, painting and installation are used as a way to suggest an alternative reality, where reinvention and embellishment become the mediums for navigating desire, seduction, status anxiety and dominate conceptions of identity.
As a way of further extrapolating the ideas around the exhibition, the opening will be accompanied by a reading from the Leeds based writer and publisher Mick Mc Cann who will read an excerpt from his book, Coming out as a Bowie Fan In Leeds, Yorkshire, England -The Memoirs of A punk Romantic, Published By Armley Press 2006 (www.armleypress.com).
Coming Out As A Bowie Fan In Leeds,Yorkshire, England, to my mind, is a document of historical and cultural importance. McCann weaves his memoir through British cultural life, articulating a new paradigm, amongst the tired stereotypes, and lazily established meta narratives that usually define the north of England. As a bricolage of footballstylelipstickfuck ingmusiclanguageviolen ceandBowie, McCann’s memoir makes for an indiscriminate megamix, providing ample material in which to fashion subjectivity, play with alternative identities, whilst at the same time challenging and subverting received ideas of class and gender stereotypes’. Simeon Barclay