Lee Campbell (London, UK): Polari Puppet

  • 20 Dec 2020 5pm UTC
  • dur 25min

A performative reading of the text delivered via Zoom that pushes Zoom’s visual aesthetics as a means to frame. The text was written by me to accompany the exhibition Radical Ventriloquism which I curated earlier this year at Kelder Projects, London. The reading operates as a self-portrait of all different levels of me; on the tape recorder, me speaking with back turned and me reading that disintegrates and gets mashed up by the end. A collision between me reading a lecture and reacting to the sounds of (my voice but distorted) gay slang Polari on shuffle there and then. But more than a self-portrait – a triptych of multiple ‘I’s: me ‘speaking through’ the finger, me speaking with my back turned and me on the tape recorder. Only some people can understand the Polari slang and therefore makes you think about who the audience is in terms of levels of understanding.

BIO: Dr Lee Campbell is an artist, experimental filmmaker, curator, lecturer at University of the Arts London and founder of Homo Humour, the first of its kind project on contemporary queer male film and moving image practices that explore humour and LGBTQ+ storytelling. His recent moving image work revolves around his personal autobiographical perspective and explores (gay male) identity and desire. Comedy is an integral part of his work. He uses it to engage, disarm, and highlight. He also describes himself as a queer punk performance poet and has recently performed as part of INCITE!, SPEAK= AT HOME, London Queer Writers, SPORK! QUEER & STILL HERE and POETRYLGBT. He completed a BA in Painting in 2000, a Masters in Painting in 2007 and received his doctorate PhD in 2016 and was part of the artist studio programme Conditions between 2018-2020. Key performances include Whitstable Biennale 2008 and artist residencies at The Banff Centre, Canada 2012 and Spazju Kreattiv, Malta 2019. In 2009, his performance work was featured in a publication written by Bob and Roberta Smith called Hijack Reality: How to Guide to Organize a Really Top-Notch Art Festival. Between 2007-2011, he regularly performed as part of Testing Grounds. His recent films have been selected for many international film festivals including Queerbee LGBT Film Festival in London, SPLICE Film Festival, New York, MicroMania Film Festival, MicroActs International Artist Film Festival 2020, and The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, Kansas 2020, HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels, Visions 2020 selected by Hetain Patel, The Nunnery, Bow Arts Trust, London, Southampton Film Week and STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA. In 2020 he has been featured in John Hopper’s Inspirational magazine, appeared as a guest speaker for Tim Kirk’s ZERO Q: 20 QUESTIONS WITH INTERESTING PEOPLE FROM THE LGBT COMMUNITY and featured twice already this year on Queerguru.com.In 2020, he was a panellist on the LGBTQIA+ REPRESENTATION IN FILM DISCUSSION PANEL at The Gilbert Baker Film Festival USA.