Butt wanted to bring the sex back into homosexuality, but also the coolness and the artistic heritage…BUTT empowers you to get into this stuff and take it on board - there are a lot of different ways to be gay…
(Alex Needham, 2017)
In January 2018 Chelsea Space presents After BUTT: a new film by Ian Giles exploring the cultural and social legacy of BUTT magazine (2001-2011); a publication made by and for gay men, noted for its iconic pink pages and candid interviews.
Within the filmmaking process, Ian Giles continues his employment of first-hand research, participatory workshops and verbatim theatre as structures to produce a social network. The magazine, ¬BUTT acts as a locative device to consider gay histories, the presentation of gay men within mainstream media and links between medical advances and sexual freedom. Working with a group of young gay men in a series of workshops, the script is a result of a collective vocal exercise to re-narrate the recollections of the men who originally founded the magazine from transcribed interviews with the artist.
Presented in the gallery is the film made from the final workshop where the young group re-voice the original interviews as an act of storytelling between generations; we hear the group sharing sexually charged narratives and frank reflections. The work also interrogates BUTT’s imbalances, raising questions around the magazine’s handling of race and gender. There is a playful relationship with language in the film: words becoming transferable between originators and speakers, to construct an oral portrait of the magazine.
Ian Giles (b. 1985, Gloucester) was a LUX Associate Artist. Recent exhibitions, screenings and performances include: Multiplexing II, Cineworld Cinema, Glasgow with LUX Scotland (2017); AsToAsIsTo, in collaboration with the Youth Forum, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Connected Works, Harvard University, Cambridge USA (2016); m-Health, Cell Project Space, London (2015); The Decorator and the Thief, The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2015), On Air, Tank.tv (2015); Free Time, Poole Museum (2015) Videoclub: Selected IV (nominated by Jessica Warboys), national tour including Nottingham Contemporary (2014); The In Between, Carroll/Fletcher, London (2013); 21st Century Screening, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012); Glasgow International Festival (2012) and Whitstable Biennale (2010). Ian completed his MFA in 2012 at Slade School of Fine Art and his BA in Fine Art in 2008 from Chelsea College of Arts.
The editing of After Butt was supported by a residency at Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland during autumn 2017. Special thanks to Chelsea College of Arts Library and Gustavo Grandal Montero. Interviewees: Gert Jonkers, Jop Van Bennekom, Michael Bullock, Paul Kopkau, Adam Baran, Felix Burrichter, Cesar Padilla, Juan Quiceno, Stuart Comer, Paul Flynn, Alex Needham, Andreas Larsson. Executive Producer: Emily Rudge.