Prime Time is the title of both a new film commission and the first major solo exhibition in a public gallery by the artist Rob Crosse. Through his films and photographs, Crosse studies the collective and private behaviour within organised social groups made up predominantly of men. Focusing his attention towards amateur societies, such as a slot car racing club or a railway signalling group, Crosse spends long periods of time with the participants who become the eventual subjects of his work. Through this research and personal involvement, his work becomes a platform from which to construct intimate and reflective portraits while unearthing unexpected moments of exchange between his subjects.
Crosse’s latest film Prime Time (2017) will be shown for the first time in the exhibition and has been commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella (FVU) with Grundy Art Gallery. The film focuses on a group of older gay men who are part of a social society called ‘Prime Timers’ as they undertake an organised cruise. The filming of the ship’s interminable journey towards the horizon becomes an allegory for the search these men undertake by coming together to enrich their lives through communal activity. Prime Time examines what it means to be in the prime of one’s life and seeks to challenge the hyper-visibility of youth, and its primacy as a measure of desirability, to the exclusion of older bodies.
Alongside the presentation of his work, Crosse has selected works from the Grundy’s collection to display in an adjoining room. This is intended to act as a prelude to his work and to draw out threads from the films that relate to themes and concerns found within the gallery’s collection, and vice-versa. The exhibition coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the de-criminalisation of
homosexuality in England and Wales and celebrates the LGBTQ community who live in, work and visit the resort of Blackpool.
The preview for the exhibition will begin at 2.30pm on Saturday 1 April. All welcome.
20/05/2017 — 19/08/2017
Shirley Baker: On The Beach
This summer, Grundy Art Gallery presents a significant new exhibition of the Salford-born photographer and social documentarian Shirley Baker (1932-2014). 'On the Beach' takes a look at holiday-makers from both Blackpool and the sun-drenched Mediterranean resort of the Côte d'Azur. The two bodies of photographs, taken five years apart in the 1970s, reflect upon these two very different seaside settings and explore our cultural imagination with regard to ‘the body’ and its potential for pleasure.