The Melvins will be touring England with the three films of Cameron Jamie, BB, Spook House, and Kranky Klaus, this event is being commisioned by Artangel
11/17/2003 Liverpool, England FACT
11/18/2003 Norwich, England Norwich Playhouse
11/20/2003 Milton Keynes, England Woughton Centre
11/21/2003 Southampton, England Turner Simms Concert Hall
11/23/2003 Exeter, England Phoenix Arts Centre
11/25/2003 Brighton, England Sallis Benney Theatre
11/26/2003 Cambridge, England The Junction
11/28/2003 London, England The Forum

read more for the updated press release...

Press Release

Spook House
Kranky Klaus

Three films accompanied by live soundtrack music by The Melvins
An Artangel Commission
November 2003

Directed by Cameron Jamie and co-produced with Artangel

All of my projects, whether documentary, fiction, or whatever, are all somehow linked and connected like little planets to one another. Some artists create worlds that they want to exist. Inside my world everything seems to be dead and brought back to life in a zombie-like state.
Cameron Jamie, 2003*

American artist and filmmaker Cameron Jamie’s investigations into violent suburban rituals are revealed in his new films Spook House and Kranky Klaus — urgent, unaffected and alarming journeys into the heart of vernacular culture. Spook House and Kranky Klaus will be screened with Jamie’s earlier film, BB, and accompanied by specially created live soundtrack music from legendary US rock band, The Melvins.

Every October, before Halloween, people throughout the US transform the interiors and exteriors of their homes or take over abandoned structures to create spook houses. Amidst banal rows of houses, home-grown installations emerge. Front lawns become cemeteries, kitchens become mausoleums and dismembered ‘bodies’ are prepared for cannibal feasts. Homespun performers play out macabre dramas in dark corridors and outside in the streets ‘vigilantes’ and ‘vampires’ take over the town. Filmed in the white working-class suburbs of Detroit, Spook House is part-performance, part-entertainment, a community grand guignol serving as a clandestine theatrical outlet for pathological expressions of fear, horror and death at the margins of American culture.

In Jamie’s second new film, Kranky Klaus, something even stranger is going on. In the snowbound villages of central Austria, on 6 December every year, villagers congregate in homes to await a visit by a benign St Nicholas bearing seasonal gifts. They are also waiting for the Krampus, a strange mythical beast with huge horns and shaggy coats and serious attitude. As St Nicholas rewards the good, so the Krampus punish the bad, overturning tables, mauling parents and menacing children to the very limits of acceptable intimidation.

Accompanying Spook House (2003) and Kranky Klaus (2003), is the UK premiere of BB (1998-2000), Jamie’s acclaimed earlier film. Since 1998, he has been documenting suburban LA teenagers creating their own backyard wrestling events. Kids fly through the air, jump from the tops of garages, slam and smash each other with chairs and ladders. It is never clear whether they are playing for fun or doing it for real. The combination of slow-motion black and white Super 8 images with the dark pounding soundtrack exudes a feeling of brooding aggression, reinforcing what Jamie calls “a purgatory state of being”.

Formed in 1984, the highly influential band, The Melvins, are considered to be the founding fathers of grunge. Their music has a slow, ominous and claustrophobic intensity, based on the minutiae of song construction, repetition and dramatic emphasis.

UK tour dates and venues: FACT, Liverpool (17 November); Norwich Playhouse (18 November); Woughton Centre, Milton Keynes (20 November); Turner Simms Concert Hall (21 November); Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter (23 November); Sallis Benney Theatre, Brighton (25 November); The Junction, Cambridge (26 November) and The Forum, London (28 November).

A programme of talks and events accompanies Spook House, BB and Kranky Klaus including Cameron Jamie in Conversation with Alex Farquharson, Cameron Jamie and The Melvins, Noël Noir, an alternative Christmas panto and Backslang, a short film responding to Jamie’s BB project.

For further information and images please contact:
Janette Scott Artangel
Press and Publicity Associate 31 Eyre Street Hill
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. London EC1R 5EW
T: 020 7713 1400

1. Cameron Jamie* Extract from an interview with Jens Hoffmann, Flash Art, March/April 2003.
2. Cameron Jamie was born in Los Angeles in 1969. He lives and works in Paris. Selected solo shows: 2003: Christine König, Vienna; 2002, Jablonka Galerie, Cologne; Centre National de l’Estampe et de l’Art Imprime, Chatou (France); 2000: OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz; 1999: Praz-Delavallade, Paris. Selected group shows: 2002, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; 2001, Exploding Cinema, Rotterdam Film Festival; 2000, Presumed Innocent, Musee d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux. His book on pro-wrestling, Exquisite Mayhem, co-edited with Mike Kelley was published to acclaim in 2001.
3. The Melvins have been highly influential for some of the most pivotal musicians and bands of the last two decades of rock music including Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. They have produced 18 albums including Gluey Porch Treatment and Stoner Witch and toured with Mudhoney, Kiss, Nine Inch Nails, Primus and Mike Patton (Faith No More).
4. Cameron Jamie will be in conversation on 27 November in London; Backslang is by artist David Blandy and young people from The New Avenues Youth Project, Westminster; Noël Noir is by artist Donald Urquhart with actor ChrisRobson and performers from Cardboard Citizens, the UK’s only homeless people’s theatre company.
5. Artangel has pioneered new ways of collaborating with artists and engaging audiences in an ambitious series of highly successful commissions since the early 1990s. By producing the best art, in the best possible conditions, Artangel has become a central part of the cultural debate, both in the UK and abroad. For further information see Artangel gratefully acknowledge the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for supporting the research and development of Artangel’s programme of commissions. Artangel is supported by Arts Council England and the private patronage of the Company of Angels. 

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