Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Weds 10th Dec: Julie Verhoeven: "Whiskers Between My Legs" at The ICA

Yesterday Julie Verhoeven opened the doors to her new exhibition "Whiskers Between My Legs" at The ICA set in the Reading Room Space of the Gallery.  My photos here are zoomed in details of the complete immersive installation which feels like you have perhaps entered a ghost-train grotto dimension of her studio.  Hangers are flung around mid-air as if Faye Dunaway's impersonation of Joan Crawford has ripped thru like a tornado from Mommie Dearest.  Loo roll is unravelled in trails like the Andrex Puppy has fled the Minotaur thru the labyrinth.  These cobwebs of pound shop paraphernalia bind together her beautiful soft sculptures of embroidered, appliqu├ęd, quilted, padded and stuffed props.  Each surface is re-textured with paint, glitter, vinyl or trimming.  When you emerge back out of the catacomb of kaleidoscopic colour you can buy a piece from the ICA shop to sprinkle a dash of the psychedelia into your own home interior (Julie's answer to the scatter cushion "Rainbow Rim" or "Touch Of Rasta" )
Her new fashion film is screened on monitors framed by loo seats, lifting the lid to its latest couture solution since Leigh Bowery's "Alternative Miss World" costume.   The film uses her signature tissue-box style signifiers to question the social status of femininity and how its represented in popular culture.   It looks visually lush and questions perception of taste, especially with the hilarious soundtrack of disco clips and Abba's Voulez Vous................... visit the show before the 18th Jan to get your dose of marvellous medicine to the mainstream. 
Head over to photogher Annie Collinge's site to see her portrait series of Julie here.

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