David Shrigley's Laughterhouse

by Abi Crompton

So you clicked through to because there was a David Shrigley goat staring at you? Well done.

What could these two things be to warrant such excitement you ask? It’s very simple you see:

1: David Shrigley

2: Goats

Yep, that’s right. The much loved David Shrigley’s most recent exhibition Laughterhouse can be seen at the unassuming project space in Hydra, the original function and morbid past of the converted slaughterhouse prompted the June - September video focused exhibition. Humor and reliability is something you can consistently identify in Shrigley’s work and what makes him so damn loveable, to see these ideas twisted and reconsidered in the Laughterhouse exhibition definitely make for an evocative experience. The focus of this work is shown in the compiled video piece with a star-studded Scottish goat cast making noises that are uncanny to those of human beings. The film's interpretation is reliant on the viewing context, Shrigley felt that removed from the Deste Foundation Project Space it may be understood as entirely comedic however inside the walls of the slaughterhouse the interaction evolves and perhaps takes on a more sombre tone.

David Shrigley described the exhibition as “a conversation about the context of comedy, and when things are funny and when they stop being funny.”  Also touching on the ethics of meat production and the responses we have regarding it. This exhibition may not be what you expected from David and that’s why we love it, it makes you think, reconsider and question all in the one viewing.

Another reason to get on board with this project is for the opening event alone! Three musicians on top of the cliffside building performed a piece based on the film creating what Shrigley described as “a crescendo of goats”, not only that, the guitars used were designed by none other than David himself, reiterating the importance of music, performance and sound for this work.

Sadly we can’t all make an impromptu trip to Greece so take a look at this video instead! This work is uncharted territory for the Third Drawer Down favourite as he delves into a live-action film like never before, the completely experimental Laughterhouse is worth checking out. Take it from David himself, “it’s quite peculiar, it’s melodic, it’s kind of funny but kind of quite strange.”

And finally, we leave you with this photo of David climbing a rock in Greece captured for artflyer network. Plus an educational video.