Ugly Duck, London: 11th September 2021 Arnolfini, Bristol: 2nd October 2021 Norwich Arts Centre: 21st October 2021 Colchester Arts Centre: 10th November 2021
I’m Here is a new performance by Franko B, in collaboration with Anthony Martin. Known internationally as a pioneering performance artist, Franko B revisits his seminal bloodletting works for the first time in 15 years through 360° body-mapping techniques.
The deep cuts, at times exaggerated and distorted, are interwoven with 7000 images from the internet, to show a global history of war, abandonment, homophobia, freedom, displacement, famine and sex through the lens of the camera. The performance confronts the viewers with an emotionally charged choreographed experience that ultimately equates the pain of the individual with the open wounds of society.
The past is part of our present. It never left us but is evolving rather than repeating; it is continuing to allow us to make the same mistakes. I believe this is valid for both the personal and political. I’m Here is trying to express these two connected worlds. It doesn’t revisit the past romantically or melancholically but questions and reinterprets it.
Throughout 2021, I’m Here is touring across the UK to: Arnolfini, Bristol; Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester; Globe Gallery, Newcastle; Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich; Ugly Duck, London.
On 11th September 2021 there will be three performances of I’m Here at Ugly Duck, London – 18:30, 19:30, and 20:00
I’m Here is a collaboration with a/political and supported using public funding by Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant.
Born in Milan, Italy, 1960. Franko B moved to London in 1979 integrating into the anarcho-punk scene. He began performing in nightclubs, including the legendary fetish night FIST and, by way of his blood performances, was later responsible for bringing subversive body art into the leading art institutions including ICA, Tate Modern, and Arnolofini.
A pioneering artist, Franko B uses his body as a tool to explore the themes of the personal, political, poetic, resistance, suffering and the reminder of our own mortality. Trawling the media everyday, his body of work responds to contemporary politics through the lens of the vulnerable individual. His practice spans curating, drawing, installation, performance and sculpture.
After graduating in Engineering and Graphic Design, Anthony Martin created his design studio in 2005. In 2009, he became the assistant of contemporary artist Andrei Molodkin, working alongside him on the development of the experimental art space The Foundry, built from a 19th century metal foundry in Midi-Pyrénées, France.
He has also worked on the production and graphic design for projects with renowned artists including Santiago Sierra, Andres Serrano and Erik Bulatov. In 2017, Anthony Martin integrated into the non-profit art organisation a/political as Production and Design Manager, affirming his visual signature, conceiving and producing large-scale industrial sculptures, paintings and installations worldwide.
a/political explores radical knowledge through the principle of Cultural Terror. Working with artists and agitators, the collective platforms voices that undermine the dominant narratives of our time. a/political functions through interventions, commissions and a collection of modern and contemporary art.
Ugly Duck: Operating since 2012, Ugly Duck is a London based arts organisation that supports under-represented voices and emerging artists. Their programme enables makers, community groups, professionals and the public to come together around unique cultural experiences and curated events. They have converted a beautiful empty Victorian warehouse in SE1 into a busy creative space which became, and still is, the home to countless rising artists.