Makiko Nagaya and Doug Fishbone performances at the Fun-No Fun Show

28 January 2010

Makiko Nagaya and Doug Fishbone performances at The Fun-No Fun Show, AMF Bowling Leeds.


The Art Bowl

The Fun No Fun Show

A project organised by students of M.A. Art & Design, Leeds Metropolitan University with invited artists:

Doug Fishbone / Katrin Lock & Tim Brotherton / Makiko Nagaya / Harold Offeh

Carl Allport / Sarah du Feu / Phillippa Dyrlaga / Marion Harrison / Natasha Howe / Liz Kaye / Alex Keating / Eirini Kountouri / Sarah McLinn / Tracey Means / Darron Mohammed / Tamara Seabrook / Rory van Millingen / Rosamund Walker

The Art Bowl at AMF Bowling, Merrion Centre, is the first of a series of events organised by the M.A. Art and Design, Leeds Metropolitan University, to be held on January 28th, at 6.00pm. The concept of staging an art event in a social space such as a Bowling Alley originated at Roy World Bowling Alley in Cardiff in 2000, curated by Makiko Nagaya, and has diverse precedents in the many key examples that conjoined art, everyday life and its ordinary pleasures. A trajectory might be drawn across, from Degas' paintings of circus performers, jockeys, crowds at the race-track, to the early performances and cabarets of Dadaism and Fluxus; the populist street posters and actions of the Situationists in the 60s, through to the emergence of an American scene in New York in the 80s, derived in equal measures from an underground; night-club, disco, Warhol and Punk, married to the trash mainstream of Vegas and Miami's suburban sprawl: the subcultures of entertainment meet daytime TV.

David Robbins entered a third inclusive term more concretely and effectively into the art/life equation so as to modify and off-set the earnest 'utopian' drive in the aspiring realism of its binary opposition, one that the historical avant garde had only alluded to as subject matter - entertainment. Robbins identifies in The Velvet Grind (1989) the necessary inclusion of 'fun' that has since characterised much of the contemporary global landscape of material consumption. What crosses a multiplicity of degraded cultural and media formations, can be relocated in both underground and mainstream, as a nomadic disposition of habitus where energetic fields of creative possibilities of entertainment are affirmed, within the trash of cultural material. Such affirmations might be contested and won in the provisional, sports arenas of a city, such as bowling alleys, at a time when the love affair with the ideology of American values is on the wane.

The new coordinates of art, life and entertainment are slowly emerging, changing our assumptions of the certainty promised of capital that that has so far marked out and fixed the grin on the globe's ' fun / no fun ' divide.

" Addressing entertainment means addressing the coordinates of the aesthetic of reality in American life. This is important work at a time when the world's obsession with American culture is abating. We can no longer assume that American culture will have many consequences, not the least of which is that inflated, self-congratulatory, award-bestowing popular culture we wallow in will be challenged to reverse its retreat into parody and irony. Surely this is a good thing. I am calling for the planting of the flag of a third culture that might draw upon the virtues of both contexts, art and entertainment. By processing entertainment through the sensitive faculties of art, we can discover the patterns of entertainment culture in order to determine those aspects of mass-media culture most worth preserving. And by injecting the experimentalism of art into entertainment, we can produce more satisfying models of entertainment and eventually blackmail our irresponsible entertainment culture into becoming a civilising force. " From Art after Entertainment, David Robbins, The Velvet Grind, 1989

A group of art and design students from the M.A. Art and Design of Leeds Metropolitan University have negotiated a deal with AMF Bowling Centre, Leeds, to host a series of events at its venue. The first event has invited Doug Fishbone, Katrin Lock & Tim Brotherton, Makiko Nagaya, and Harold Offeh, as guest artists to participate and perform in the context of collaborative works produced by the group specifically installed for the event at the AMF Bowling Alley, Merrion Centre, Leeds.

AMF Bowling Centers, Inc. is the world's largest owner and operator of bowling centres. Since the introduction of the automated pinspotter in 1946, AMF has been a leader in the bowling industry.

AMF Bowling Merrion Centre, Leeds LS2 8BT
Opening 6.00pm,
Performances start at 7.00pm
Free Admission
3 games for £5 and Drinks offers
M: 07986 084 697
E: Pete Lewis
Supported by Leeds Metropolitan University