New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (b.1973, London, UK) is a British artist whose practice mixes performance, sculpture, painting, installation and video. She studied Social Anthropology at University College London before studying art at the Slade and the RCA. She has performed and exhibited internationally, and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2012 for Odd Man Out at Sadie Coles HQ (restaged at Tate Britain, London). In 2014 her film Hermitos Children 2 was shown at Studio Voltaire, London, as part of a major solo exhibition.
Her performances and videos harness elements of folk plays, street spectacles, literature and multiple other genres. They generally employ troupes of performers – friends and relatives of the artist – and feature handmade costumes and props. Through improvisatory, irreverent and carnivalesque dramas, Chetwynd’s work traverses a panoramic range of subjects.
Acquired through Testing Media, a scheme designed in association with the Art Fund to support the acquisition of significant contemporary works presenting particular challenges around display and conservation, Chetwynd’s Brainbug is a large-scale performative sculpture. Based on the leader of a bug colony in Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers (1997), the tent-sized Brainbug is animated in ‘low energy’ by a few performers on the inside to make it look alive, and by a full dance, with costume dancers, for the performance Home Made Tasers. This is the first time one of Chetwynd’s performances has been acquired for a public collection in the UK.
Presented by the Art Fund and the Contemporary Art Society, 2014