Swimming and Walking Experiment, Centre Point Fountains, 1984 / 2016
Digital pigment print onto Harman Baryta paper
Edition of 75
44.18 x 30 cm
Photo: Grayson Perry
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About the artwork
To coincide with the Neo Naturists at Studio Voltaire, the first historical survey of their work in a public institution, we are pleased to launch a new limited edition print that has been exclusively selected from the Neo Naturists Archive.
Following their experience with Marilyn at the Henley Regatta, the group wanted to test further the effects of being nude in more public settings. This performance took place in the fountains at the foot of the iconic Centre Point Building, one of the first skyscrapers in central London.
At the time, there had been a number of stories in the press about streakers at football games. Christine Binnie was struck by the fact that in such stories the streakers generally ran away from the police, but were inevitably still arrested. In the ensuing Swimming and Walking Experiment, the performers avoided arrest, but did have an extended discussion with a passing policeman about the difference between indecent exposure and insulting behaviour.
About the artist
The Neo Naturists are an important live art collective initiated in 1981 by Jennifer Binnie, Christine Binnie and Wilma Johnson. The group emerged as a part of London’s subculture that arose from the squatting community in the aftermath of Punk and the emergence of the New Romantic club scene and the advent of Thatcherism. During this time a creative energy developed in the UK that sat outside established institutional practices of the time, creating its own network of activities, events, economies and personalities.
The Neo Naturists were a part of a cultural network of collaborators and peers that included figures such as BodyMap (Stevie Stewart & David Holah), Leigh Bowery, James Birch, Jill Bruce, Michael Clark, David Dawson, Peter Doig, Boy George, Maia Norman, John Maybury, Sophie Muller, Simon Foxton, Bruce Lacey, Andrew Logan, Grayson Perry, Genesis P.Orridge, Psychic TV, Derek Jarman, Princess Julia, Marilyn, Philip Sallon, Test Department, Jill Westwood, Dencil Williams and Cerith Wyn Evans.
Studio Voltaire has been supporting artists for over twenty years, through our renowned programme of exhibitions, performances, events and education projects as well as providing affordable studios.
We have gained a reputation for championing both emerging and underrepresented artistic practices, often at key stage in the artist’s career. These have included Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Phyllida Barlow, Ruth Ewan, Elizabeth Price, Jo Spence, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, Richard Slee and Cathy Wilkes.
The gallery also provides an important UK platform for international artists, often providing them their first-ever presentation in the UK. These have included Nairy Baghramian, Thea Djordjadze, Nicole Eisenman, Judith Hopf, Paulina Olowska and Henrik Olesen.