Few sights can be as alienating as a group of healthy grown adults spassing out in imitation of the most retarded members of our wider society.
Such scenes are the enduring images of a 1999 film by Lars Von Trier called The Idiots. The Danish director’s community of spass-ers act out one mentally backwards flashmob after another.
Parallels can be drawn with a group art show, such as the one at CAC in Brighton, in which five artists are presented at one remove through a spassed up film by Andrea Slater.
The Idiots du jour, who occupy the subterranean gallery for just four days are, in no order, Mike Stoakes, Huw Bartlett, Daniella Norton, Josh Uvieghara and Lou Allison.
Having been sent works by all of the above, Slater appears to have displayed them in her home, then gone into a spasm of video art.
The camera pans up down and around taking us on a dizzying id-driven gallery tour. We can all spass, like Slater who “saw the banality of her experience and loved it” (cf. gallery notes).
Von Trier’s film provides the soundtrack, with quotations chosen to highlight the Utopian potential of this truly bad taste behaviour.
And as things get nude in Von Trier’s film, so they do when Allison paints direct onto photos of the great and the good, including Sepp Blatter, Pope Benedict XVI, Nick Clegg.
And then there is Stoakes’ collage Would You Adam and Eve It which brings in Massacio to reference the lost paradise. As if Eden was one big spassfest, which perhaps it was.
Paradise is also shortlived at Community Arts Centre, Brighton, since this film, which opened Saturday closes later today (21/11/12).