Do those who object to contemporary art prefer community parades?
Howl is a celebration of 15 significant moments in art history. A ritual procession starring a live sculpture of Captain Cook, thousands of sunflower seeds and a killer whale named Tilikum. A requiem that is unquestionably queer, arguably dangerous and probably obscene. Performed by three women. Scored by Mozart himself.
Created by Willoh S. Weiland, Lara Thoms and Lz Dunn, Howl commemorates controversy – from the furore aroused over a feminist self-portrait and the outrage at a rainbow being burnt repeatedly in a public square, to the indignation of artists arrested on suspicion of bio-terrorism. Howl energetically probes the reactions art can invoke, and the perspective that history permits.
Performed in a processional mode with an aesthetic that merges high art with community parades, Howl takes the moment of reception of works of art – canonical works, obscure works, disruptive works – and Inscribes that moment onto the body. Onto the performing body. Onto bodies parading, bodies enjoying, bodies defiant, bodies objectified, bodies often naked. It enters into a dialogue with the work whose reception it displaces. In parading its admiration, disdain and passion for one particular canonical line, Howl presents a polished, proud subversion that might just change our experience of those works forever.