Studio International

Don’t Art, Fashion, Music – Chicks on Speed

Don’t Art, Fashion, Music
Chicks on Speed

Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA)
5 June–8 August 2010

by THE EDITOR

Chicks on Speed, a constantly evolving multi-disciplinary art group originally from Munich, make a brilliant impression in their first major solo exhibition in the UK this summer.

In the DCA upstairs exhibition space, the collective sing, dance and entertain through several screens and recordings, with their colourful, playful messages plastered across the walls and tied into the details of the installations. The main room houses a stage, with a large screen in the centre and various interesting displays. One smaller room exhibits a range of brightly coloured, and dangerously high platform heels, or ‘guitar stilettos’. DON’T ART FASHION MUSIC is something of a post-punk wonderland, a tea party where Tracey Emin, Barbara Kruger and Sid Vicious would all be perfectly at home – a bright, brazen, brilliance.

Now infamous, worldwide, for their chaotic, energetic style, Chicks on Speed met over a decade ago at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Those original members (Melissa Logan, Kiki Moorse and Alex Murray-Leslie) were over the years joined by A. L. Steiner, Kathi Glas, Anat Ben David, Faustine Komplewjski, Kroot Juurak and Vice Cooler (or so they are known). Their name was originally derived when a gallery employer said they worked as fast as “chicks on speed” when hanging exhibitions – and there is also something aptly delirious in their DIY styled art – their whimsical, celebratory triumphs. Tongue in cheek and admittedly silly, there is something refreshing in art that is entertaining and does not take itself too seriously, and certainly there is an audience for it in a part of the country where rain is oh too common in July and August.

Courting fashion, music and performance art, the DCA is hosting collaborations between Chicks on Speed and local and international artists, and screening related films in the cinema downstairs – including Brit Chic, Raw Deal, and Bauhaus: Mythos der Moderne. The DCA Print Space, furthermore, has been turned into a Pop-Up Shop, featuring work by Chicks on Speed, as well as other new artists. For such a multi-disciplinary and expansive collective, the DCA is clearly an ideal venue.