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Spartacus Chetwynd

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

I do believe in rules. They allow you to be free Spartacus Chetwynd



Spartacus Chetwynd makes paintings, performances and sculptural installations with handmade costumes and sets, which conjure an atmosphere of joyful improvisation.

For the Turner Prize she presented a performance called Odd Man Out involving a puppet version of the story of Jesus and the criminal Barabas and a puppet oracle who dispenses advices  and predictions from such as  “80 per cent of people are smarter than you” or “you are a potential attraction for the other sex”.

This performance addresses ideas of democracy and the consequences of decision making, even if it looks spontaneous, rough and funny.

NON-CONFORMISTS is printed across the wall of her installation in giant letters and she explained “At best it’s called punk and at worst it’s just a mess”.

Chetwynd’s performances are heavily influenced by theatre and film, especially Fellini, and references art history and literature.


“It’s about having a lot of freedom in what you do, and not worrying what others do.” Spartacus Chetwynd Chetwynd's work is spontaneous and rough for the use of cheap materials but it gets to the point, it is really expressive. I am interested in the contrast between the funny movements of the characters acting in the performance and the serious ideas that they are addressing through this work. I like how Chetwynd’s made the puppets: she used any kind of material making them grotesque: something between the scary, funny and disgusting. I should think about making a performance with my puppets, making them move, even if I appear in the performance I don’t mind.


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