TELL A STORY. TELL A JOKE. TELL IT LIKE IT IS. DO WHATEVER TAKES YOUR FANCY. RANT FOR A MINUTE, RHAPSODISE FOR AN HOUR. OR JUST HANG OUT AND HAVE A DRINK

We loved the idea behind Anthony Gormley’s 4th Plinth – to give ordinary folk a chance to be represented – so we’ve nicked it. But here’s the twist. Why not do it on a park bench in a disused shop in Camden Town, rather than a plinth on Trafalgar Square?

Everyone, and anyone, is welcome: locals, strangers, tourists, musicians, artists, businessmen, housewives, writers, young, old, in-between. Just turn up, have a beer, and if the mood takes you, hop on the bench and play a song, read a poem, tell a funny story or just stand there, watching us, watching you. Oh, and there’s always the chance that no-one will use the bench at all….

Our starting point was Bench Marks, Stephen’s weekly Time Out column (www.benchpoetry.blogspot.com ) on the human stories behind park bench inscriptions, so a dustbin installed by the bench will brim over with hundreds of crumpled photocopies of the column: if that’s your thing, sit and read about as many as you like, take ’em home, or chuck ‘em on the floor.

So it’s a celebration of real lives, innit. (But then again, it may just be a bunch of drunks in a room slugging back beer.)

Email talesfromaparkbench@googlemail.com if you want to say hello.

LOOK! THERE’S ALL THIS TOO:

Room 2

Don’t miss a video installation of the Youtube classic “The Dog & Carrot”!

Room 3: Kent-based photographer Julia Riddiough’s Do You Remember Me, which questions the foundations of documentary photography by using found images to create a new narrative sequence. Does truth in imagery exist?

+ No-one is Boring, a celebration of the arbitrary nature of living in a city. Buy a piece and help us eat that day

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TALES FROM A PARK BENCH

www.talesfromaparkbench.wordpress.com /‘C22’, Chalk Farm Road, LONDON NW1

AUGUST 3-9 2009

 Tales From a Park Bench is a temporary installation by local residents Russell Loughlan, Charlotte Haigh and Stephen Emms that will run for just one week in August in C22, a pop-up gallery on Chalk Farm Road.

 What would happen if the idea behind Anthony Gormley’s 4th Plinth – to give the supposedly ordinary a chance to be represented – was transposed to a park bench in a disused shop in Camden Town?

“Our starting point was actually Bench Marks (www.benchpoetry.blogspot.com) , my weekly column in Time Out that covers the quiet, often touching lives behind park bench inscriptions,” says Stephen Emms, “but when we read about the Gormley show, something seemed to connect the two and Tales From A Park Bench was born. Ultimately it’s about the democratization of human stories; the idea that no-one is boring.”

Every evening locals, strangers, tourists, musicians, artists, businessmen, housewives, writers and everyone else can come along and perform on the bench: tell a story, tell a joke, tell it like it is, or do whatever takes their fancy. Take to the bench and rant for a minute, or an hour: there’s no time limit. And there’s always the chance that no-one will use the bench at all.

 “People will be encouraged to engage in story in some way,” says Emms. “A metallic dustbin by the bench will brim over with hundreds of crumpled photocopies of the Bench Marks column, so people can either sit and read about other, completely unrelated lives, or tell anyone listening about their own. Whilst the world media spotlight is on the 4th Plinth, our little project is going on simultaneously in Camden Town, a celebration of regular lives and real life. Then again, it may just be a bunch of drunks in a room slugging back beer.”
Room 2: Kent-based photographer Julia Riddiough’s Do You Remember Me?  

Do You Remember Me? questions the foundations of documentary photography and the ‘truth’ in imagery by using found images and creating a narrative sequence from a random selection. The viewer is left with their own perception and interpretation. The project presents ideas around the subjectivity of memory, identity and truth, highlighting the twilight difference between fact and fiction. What dilemmas do ethics, editorship and authenticity pose to the creator, editor and author? Are our memories vague and quixotic? Is the person we remember the person we perceive? Does truth in imagery exist? 

Room 3: No-one is Boring, by Stephen Emms, Russell Loughlan & Charlotte Haigh, is a celebration of the arbitrary nature of living in a city: unloved pieces of everyday text (lost dog notices, postcards, letters, graffitied road signs) are immortalized in salvaged frames bought cheaply from markets or charity shops. 

 Work by other artists to be announced

 Different events will take place every evening, with a full line-up to be announced asap.

DO YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, OR EXHIBIT ANY ART? OR SELL SOMETHING?

Email us: talesfromaparkbench@googlemail.com