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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Alex Proud and The Strand Gallery present the first UK exhibition from performance and installation artist Millie Brown: Muted Chronology. 14th – 18th May 2013


credit: © Millie Brown
Vomit = Erbrochene = vómito = zvratky = vomito = рво́та = استفراغ = αργκό = vomitus = kusmuk = vomi
Before each session, I would eat a banana and two piranhas I had proudly fished. That would be the last meal at 12pm before the session. Then my Barranquinos friends and I as the only foreigner would go to the pineapple field where a big tent was set up for the 9pm session. We all had a bucket for our own vomit. I discarded it as I never vomit or if… I can hold it until I find a private space. On the first two sessions, I went out to give Mother Nature of the Amazonia a bit of my own self. On the third session, my head was spinning, my body was knocking and the hallucinations were powerful. I stayed out in the field for a very long time, looking at the full moon like a trapped animal dripping litres of dark liquid. Eventually, I went back to the tent, sat there until dawn and walked for an hour to my hut. My body ached but I felt liberated with a strong energy.
The majority of Brown’s current work involves drinking coloured Soya milk and regurgitating the liquid over large canvas or white clothing while recording the process. The resulting films are stylised and choreographed which makes the viewer in a slightly voyeuristic position. The corporeality of the scenes directly confronts issues of the body, human nature and gender by drawing on current issues and ancient symbolism. Her art is not vulgar and one can feel a lot of beauty in it (she doesn’t eat for a day or two and the vomit is a non smelly liquid). On that occasion at the Strand Gallery, one can regret there are only one vomit-art canvas and a “Nam June Paik” video installation showing recorded vomiting sessions.
Brown is primarily renowned for her colorful performances where she 'vomits rainbows' in various forms of media; live, short film and on canvas. She says of her work: “I have an inherent desire to push my own boundaries within my art. By creating art from the very depths of my own physical being I am able to challenge people's perception of beauty, expressing raw elements of human nature and in turn challenging myself both physically and mentally”. Both Millie Brown and Marina Abramović’s work explore the relationship between performer and audience, the limits of the body, and the possibilities of the mind. When one hits the physical body inside first, the other one hits it on the outside, creating a high level of meditating process one way or another. Abramović’s work stands for a longer stamina. Body rejection-wise, Millie’s work is also a reminder of Pasolini’s Theorem (the son pissing on his painting), Warhol’s Oxidation, Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ, Chadwick’s Piss Flowers or Gavin Turk’s oxidisation (presently @ RiffleMaker Gallery, Soho).
Brown has collaborated with innovative talents such as Nick Knight, music director Ruth Hogben and her work is celebrated by global phenomenon Lady Gaga who chose Millie Brown to feature in her own performance video: Brown vomits shimmering liquid over the singer in an experiential and grotesque pop music video.
Millie Brown was born in England to bohemian parents and spending much of her youth in Spain and the South of France where her nomadic tendencies originated. Aged 13 and unable to relate the French children of her neighborhood, Millie befriended local street punks. From then on, sleeping in abandoned buildings and driving around Europe in trucks became part of her everyday adventures. After a brief summer stint in L.A., Millie returned to London at the age of 17 where she embarked upon her artistic journey in performance art and film.
A founding member of London’s !WOWOW! collective -- which has produced such luminary talents as fashion designer Gareth Pugh, jewellery designer Dominic Jones, photographer Matthew Stone and artists Adham Faramawy and Boo Saville -- Millie Brown makes up part of London’s new youth talent pool in the heart of the world’s cultural hot bed.

While recently acting on a panel of expert art dealers for Channel Four’s newest series of Four rooms, Alex Proud acquired a unique vomit-art canvas made by Brown and has now commissioned a special exhibition of her video installations to go on display at his central London gallery. The Strand Gallery will exhibit an on-site video installation (showing a series of Brown’s films and collaborations) and a large work on canvas: titled ‘Muted 01’.

Until Saturday 18 May 2013: 11am till 6pm. Free entrance. The Strand Gallery, 32 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6BP.

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