Street Photography

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Who's Jack

Who's Jack issue 33
page 65

Baked Beans & Champagne
candidate artist Pandemonia

words: Ruthie Holloway
image: Dafydd Jones

Pandemonia, if you've not met her before, Pandemonia is a life size blow up doll that actually walks and talks. All 7 feet of this inflatable beauty wears PVC head to toe, better than Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and all in the name of art. From her blonde plastic locks to her stockings, Pandemonia's plastic facade is, amongst many things an art concept, a disguise and most importantly the key tool she uses to make a statement about popular culture and commercialism as an artist.

Meeting Pandemonia, in a fantastical sense, is not far off the feeling you might get if you ever got the chance to enter a real cartoon world of fairytale kingdom. In an artistic sense it is intended that you are confronted by a parody of popular culture – plastic artificiality up close. “You are all surface and no substance,” she was once told. As As opposed to performance art, Pandemonia is the embodiment of her own art concept (a contemporary for Grayson Perry perhaps), as well as being a mobile advertisement for her own artistic statement: a reflection of a culture obsessed by celebrity and image.

So from whence did she come and when? Pandemonia appeared in London a few years ago and has been frequenting various art viewings, fashion shows and other events, where she will be noticed on the London scene. mixed reviews occur when people come across Pandemonia. “Every body I meet has a firm opinion of what I am and I can tell you, all their opinions are quite different,” she says. At a Damien Hurst private viewing, fashion designer Pam Hogg once remarked, “ At last! Someone is giving me some competition for my yellow hair!” whilst another onlooker commented that she “must be wearing a thin suit.” Now that would be an invention!” Pandemonia exclaims (And a very lucrative one were it to evolve I'm sure), Reflecting a satirical take on commercialism and a “paradox of fame and anonymity”, artist Pandemonia, is a most unforgettable, not to mention ageless sight to behold. Perhaps you think she is making a satirical comment about society obsessed with fame and image, or perhaps you think she is in fact, an ambassador for such a society. Either way, one thing is certain: if you ever get a glimpse of her, she will leave you with a lasting impression.

A fer Q and A's with Pandemonia:

What have been your most successful appearances or experiences?

Getting put into print. And putting Marlboro back in the Independent!

What is difficult about being Pandemonia?

Going through doors

What is your biggest ambition?

I want to do a floating sculpture show over Oxford Street as a temple of commercialism.

What do people say when they get to see the person behind the PVC-ness?

A lot of rumours get circulated about who Pandemonia is. In truth we all live behind masks and identities. Pandemonia is just the embodiment of an ideal. I could be any one.

Who's Jack