Saturday, 30 July 2011

Dedominici at Latitude

Richard Dedominici's brand of lecture performance may not be entirely appropriate for a sunny festival in a cabaret tent. Then again, given his propensity for agitation and awkwardness, I'm not sure he is entirely appropriate anywhere. Great Dedominici moments in my life include his speech at the National Review of Live Art, when he launched his own archive (sample entry: "this is like Disneyland, in so far as there are plenty of queues"), the day he hunkered down with my mother to discuss the problems of Watford's art-ignorant mayor, and the arrest in Edinburgh after he asked whether the cannon at the castle could take out the new parliament.

His latest obsession - following on from trying to create a Croydon-Watford rivalry - is the lack of physical exercise inspired by the Olympics. His technique of taking a surprise fact - here, the salient point that the arrival in a country of the Olympics sees an immediate downturn in actual sporting activity by the citizens - then exploding it through absurdist shattershots has led him to campaign for more dogging.

His suggestion that we gather in a car park for a spot of action research during Paolo Nuntini's set is warmly greeted - certainly, watching a pair of middle-aged strangers achieve uncomfortable orgasms in the back of a Ford Escort, while raining spunk on the windscreen and chasis beats an hour of most MOR music - but Dedominici's research is still in the planning stages. An attempt to design an Olympic torch in style of a golden dildo, an interlude by Pop Era (pop plus opera), a coda in which he invents words to the Cagney and Lacey theme tune: Dedominici is not quite ready to present the International Dogging Federation to the world. Against quick fire comedy and loud music, the hour is fragmented and less forceful than his previous forays into political art.

As always, there is a serious point behind the tomfoolery: Dedominci is a sharp social commentator and Dogging for Gold has a moral intention that belies the surface crudeness. Not only does it allow him to pursue one of the phenomenon that makes up the spectrum of sexuality in the UK, but is rarely discussed except pruriently, he pokes fun at the Olympics. He even avoids easy jokes about the Lisa Simpson giving head logo.

Dedominici's moral universe is slowly coming into focus. He casts himself as harmless, a Live Art jester, yet his vision of the UK - lulled by media, lurking in the bushes and unthinkingly slipping into a corporate-controlled sleep.

No comments :

Post a Comment