Tim Etchells & Hugo Glendinning
Kent Beeson is a Classic & an Absolutely New Thing / 2001 / 12'

Floating Ip
Manchester, UK


Kent Beeson is a Classic & an Absolutely New Thing

"I am going to have a great big house and a basement romp room with a big high-definition colour TV and all the latest gaming consoles and a big fridge always full up of beer and coke and I will be like Elvis Presley always larking about with the guys and like Tom Hanks in Big rich guy’s apartment and able to do anything. And I will have all the girls I want around all the time just hanging around by swimming pool and they will wear those bikinis that are more or less just a piece of string"

Kent Beeson is a Classic & an Absolutely New Thing is a spiraling twelve-minute monologue, exploring one man’s ambitions of show-biz affluence in America, but the dream crumbles as it runs up against the limits of a flustered performance.

The plan for the video was for a single shot with no edits; the text delivered in an unbroken stream. But during the event, shot in a series of noisy and distracting Seattle locations, the actor was not sure of his lines. The resulting document shows him breaking off, looping back, commenting on his own performance, getting annoyed, laughing and endlessly repeating the same lines as he stumbles through the text. The work is thus a dance between the text and the unpredictable contingencies of its own enactment. The I it proposes < always a fractured ambition < shifts from one-off verbal fantasy to repeated mantra.


Tim Etchells,

My work begins from a set of personal concerns, strategies and obsessions. Its manifestations are diverse and created in dialogue with the possibilities of different media and contexts. Much of my work has been collaborative in some way – I have led the performance group Forced Entertainment since its inception in 1984 and I have worked extensively with photographer Hugo Glendinning as well as done projects with a range of visual artists, choreographers, programmers and others.

At one level, my work is concerned with liveness and presence, with the unfolding of events in time. At the center of these pieces is something (an event, an idea, an object) that is at the same time obscured and exposed, unraveled and assembled. The processes, mechanisms and economies of this appearance and dissapearance are the subject of my practise.

My strategies relate to gaming and playing, to the dynamics of liveness and provisionality and to the processes of cataloguing, ordering and listing through text and image. Many of the works aim to explore the relation between what is seen and what is said or read as the structure and economies of language are considerable preoccupations for me. My work often evokes structures from popular culture, from movie genres, or from language itself, relying on the viewer’s embeded knowledge to create a play between what is expected and what is offered. As a result, the work often shifts between recognition and coherence on the one side and strangeness or incoherence and on the other.

I have written and published extensively on new performance and installation in books and in journals including Performance Research, ArtPress and Frieze. I have taught workshops, given lectures and run projects extensively in the UK and in Europe in a variety of contexts, from Das Arts Amsterdam to Tisch in New York and Goldsmiths, London. My collection of short fiction, Endland Stories, was published in December 1998 by Pulp Books whilst Routledge published a selection of critical writing and performance texts, entitled Certain Fragments, in Spring 1999. A third book, The Dream Dictionary (for the Modern Dreamer) was published by Duckworth’s in June 2001.


Floating Ip

Floating Ip is a gallery sited in a basement in Ancoats, Manchester, running two programmes alongside each other in the Plan Chest and the Project Space. The space operates a basic programme of shows throughout the year, alongside archive, performance, events and outreach activities aimed at strengthening the artistic infrastructure of the city and its strategic connections with artists and curators in other cities. It is an artist run space which promotes the specific qualities of practice in Manchester which does includes engagement in debates fuelling artistic ambition elsewhere.

8 Loom Street
Manchester, UK
+44(0)7890 497422