The Horror Show!
We are co-curating the autumn exhibition at Somerset House this year. The Horror Show! is an exhibition celebrating those who are drawn to the dark side.
Featuring Gareth Pugh, Gazelle Twin, Noel Fielding, Pam Hogg, David Shrigley, Ben Wheatley, Mark E. Smith (The Fall), Jamie Reid and Derek Ridgers (and many more yet to be announced), these mavericks take inspiration from the fiendish, freakish and phenomenal to tell a tall tale of modern Britain. The exhibition is presented in three acts – Monster, Ghost and Witch – with each representing an era of British history from the past 50 years. From 1970s punk to modern witchcraft today, the subversive is constantly re-shaping British cultural identity.
The Horror Show! summons the spirit of the funfair, setting the stage for a spellbinding spectacle of art, music, fashion, film and design. Through the weird and wonderful lens of some of our country’s creative iconoclasts, the exhibition reframes the political turbulence of the 70s and social division of the 80s, to the hollow hedonism of the 90s, hurtling at full pelt into the 21st century. It reveals a resoundingly British spirit of rebellion, showing how the state of the nation is inextricably linked to the desire to seek out something outside of the norm – or even of another world.
The Horror Show! is co-curated by Claire Catterall, Somerset House’s senior curator with Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, artists and filmmakers resident at Somerset House Studios.
Image: Jamie Reid, Monster on a Nice Roof, 1972