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If you want something done, just do it yourself. Heckel’s Horse Jr. at The Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution (details below) is my version of the Heckel’s Horse exhibition that’s been continuously talked about for nearly ten years, but never allowed. All the big plans for a Heckel’s Horse solo show have been repeatedly booted into the long grass, seemingly forgotten, re-emerging then seemingly forgotten again, stuck on an endless merry-go-round of hot air. Why not just do the exhibition myself? After how many years do you eventually call time and recognise the lying grin fuckers? Ten. It’s not as if those stopping Heckel’s Horse haven’t lied about me before. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been deliberately de-attributed from collaborative work Billy and I have done together. What’s to say the deceitful bastards aren’t planning to do the same with the Heckel’s Horse paintings?
Liar 1: These are nice oil transfer drawings.
Liar 2: Yes, they’re by Billy Childish and Edgeworth Johnstone.
Liar 1: Who’s Edgeworth Johnstone?
Liar 2: Some no-name nobody Billy collaborates with.
Liar 1: Let’s just say they’re ‘by Billy Childish’.
Liar 2: What about this Johnstone?
Liar 1: Fuck him.
Liar 2: Shouldn’t we, at least, ask him about this first?
Liar 1: Nah, fuck him. Just get someone to drop him an email saying this is all legit and already done and dusted.
Liar 2: So, not even be honest with him about dishonesty about him?
Liar 1: That’s right. Problem?
Liar 2: No, it’s genius!
If they did it for oil transfer drawings, they’d do it for paintings.
Do the Heckel’s Horse show myself, or continue waiting on a decade old promise from proven liars? Repaint them myself. Book the show myself. Exhibit them myself. All painted by Heckel’s Horse Jr., after Heckel’s Horse.
The Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution and Stuckism’s rule, “The Stuckist is opposed to the sterility of the white wall gallery system”:
A white wall gallery with no white wall gallery system. A local community centre and library run largely by volunteers. No client list. You don’t need a degree, thesis or family connection to exhibit there. The Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution‘s not a white wall gallery, whatever the whiteness of its walls. The Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution is Black Ivory Printmaking & Audio Club, but white.
‘The Stuckist is opposed to the sterility of the white wall gallery system and calls for exhibitions to be held in homes and musty museums, with access to sofas, tables, chairs and cups of tea. The surroundings in which art is experienced (rather than viewed) should not be artificial and vacuous.’ – Stuckism manifesto point 18.
L-13 published Heckel’s Horse prints, did the Heckel’s Horse website and worked on each of the three group shows Heckel’s Horse has been in. There’s been much publication success to be grateful for, thanks to Billy and L13. They’re currently working on a Heckel’s Horse book, but for such a substantial and major body of work, Heckel’s Horse is yet to be published on anything like the scale it deserves. Whatever the art world rules are, they don’t include being allowed to just hang them in a big room and invite your friends round. If the art world has a manifesto, it’s nothing like the Stuckist’s. The art world rules are irrelevant to Heckel’s Horse Jr.
Heckel’s Horse Jr. is free.
Heckel’s Horse Jr. is Stuckist.
Heckel’s Horse Jr. is unshackled.
Heckel’s Horse Jr. still has his bollocks.
Who cares about the Stuckist duty to explore our neurosis and innocence through the making of paintings and displaying them in public, thereby enriching society by giving shared form to individual experience and an individual form to shared experience?
My hang of Ron Throop’s first Black Ivory solo show: Why aren’t thousands of people queuing up outside? Eurovision sold out in 36 minutes. Where is everyone? I feel kinship with artists like Ron, Emma Pugmire and Shelley Li. The shunned artists Charles Thomson and Billy Childish I think, wrote for the best in the Stuckist manifesto. Artistically homeless, jumping from hostel to hostel, never landing in proper long-term housing. Places like The Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution are gold dust, but they’re not the answer:
Exhibition Title: Heckel’s Horse Jr.
Venue: Highgate Gallery at Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution
11 South Grove
London N6 6BS
8th March 2024, 6 – 8.30pm
Exhibition runs until
21st March 2024
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