Today I’m off to the launch of ‘Bedlam’ at the Old Vic Tunnels, along with Geoff Glendenning (who since leaving has job as Marketing Director of Sony Playstation has done some incredibly interesting/edgy creative projects) and to meet his friend Antony Micallef, who’s work is obviously part of the show. In case you don’t know about the event, here’s a quote from the press release: ‘Following the astounding success of Hell’s Half Acre in 2010 and Minotaur in 2011, Lazarides Gallery and The Old Vic Tunnels are joining artistic forces for the third and final time coinciding with this coming Frieze Art Fair, running from 9 – 21 October.
This exhibition goes against the grain of society to bring you ‘Bedlam’ a term coined from ‘Bethlam’ London’s Hospital for the mad. The infamous mental institute is the oldest in the country of which came to epitomise the brutality long associated with lunatic asylums all over the country dating back to 1247.
The meeting of minds between Lazarides Gallery within London’s foremost artistic platform The Old Vic Tunnels will creatively explore the well-intended beginnings of this legendary institution, to its final disgrace and reform. It will certainly leave you questioning your ‘compos mentis’ an experience that will showcase the line between genius and madness has never been so thin.
Artists so far confirmed to contribute include: Vhils, Conor Harrington, Doug Foster, Ian Francis, Kelsey Brookes, Karim Zeriahen, Klaus Weiskopf, Lucy McLauchlan, Artists Anonymous, Michael Najjar, Till Rabus, Jonathan Yeo and Antony Micallef.
“Bedlam over the years has become synonymous with madness, chaos and pandemonium, it seemed like the perfect theme for a world gone mad. Be afraid.” Steve Lazarides, Owner, Lazarides Gallery.
‘Most people that work in theatre are MAD, everyone involved in the art world is crazy, Steve Lazarides is probably the craziest of them all, which is why Bedlam, the historic mental asylum, is the perfect backdrop for an art show, a stones throw from the original site. Built around the same time as the Old Vic Theatre it drew almost as many crowds; for a penny one could peer into their cells, view the freaks of the “show of Bethlehem” and laugh at their antics. I guess nothing changes….’ Hamish Jenkinson – Director, The Old Vic Tunnels.