The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

Pub Karaoke Photography Exhibition at Scratch Preston

karaoke photography, garry cook, scratch preston, new continental, theatre

Getting people to look at photography is hard enough at the best of times. When it’s published in the form of an exhibition and it is also documentary photography, that job is even harder.

Which is why I’ve spent the last 18 months developing photography performance. The easiest way I can describe what it is, is this: photography exhibitions shown in a theatre space in front of an audience, using elements of performance.

The performance side of it is obviously what I am least enthusiastic about, and what I am most uncomfortable with. But the process and the results so far have exceeded my expectations in terms of impact and audience reception.

These are the pieces I’ve written and performed so far:

Outsiders
Central Lancashire Homesick Blues
Photographing Fags, Freaks and Fighting (interview preview)
Northern World
Pub Karaoke Photography Exhibition
Worn

This post depicts the April 2016 performance of Pub Karaoke Photography Exhibition, for the second Scratch Preston, held in the theatre space at the New Continental (care of They Eat Culture), Preston (hosted by resident performance group Tin Can People).

My liveliest piece of work, PKPE exhibits two photography projects – one of my own and one by conceptual artist Claire Doyle (with photos taken by Rosie Burrows) – while I sing two popular Karaoke songs.

If you’re interested, the songs are I Feel Love by Donna Summer and Don’t You Want Me Baby by Human League. The lyrics of each song have been changed to reference the photography projects, one about unhealthy living, the other about breastfeeding. If you like ironic humour wrapped up with bad singing and giant photographs, this performance will be right up your street.

For the second song, I am assisted on vocals/exhibiting duties by another artist. Usually Claire Doyle herself, this performance I was ably assisted by performance artist/actress Charlotte Brown, pictured below).

(I will upload scans of the feedback comments for this performance once I’ve fixed the scanner fault caused by my computer’s Windows 10 update.)

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karaoke photography, garry cook, scratch preston, new continental, theatre

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2016 by in Uncategorized and tagged .
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