Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mark McGowan: The Reenactment of the Death of Jade Goody

The Reenactment of the Death of Jade Goody (video still) - Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan’s recent performance/installation, titled The Reenactment of the Death of Jade Goody, took place at the Guy Hilton Gallery in East London on May 3rd. For the performance/installation McGowan recreated late British reality TV star Jade Goody's deathbed.

The depiction of Goody’s dying moments has been deemed a controversial exhibition by the media. However, McGowan has stated, “It was not ironic, funny, shocking or disturbing. It was a very emotional experience and of the many people who attended, two people openly cried. Not for Jade, but for their own loved ones who they stayed with and held their hands as they passed away.”

Mark McGowan says, 'It was absolutely extraordinary and beyond expectation, everyone was incredibly emotional. The cardboard boxes that Jade, Jack Tweed and Jade's mum Jackiey wore, were really inspired and captivated peoples imagination.”. The set features a bed on which the artist playing Goody lies while those depicting loved ones sit at the bedside holding Goody’s hands. The performance involves no dialogue or sound in that it is designed to be a tableau representation of what Goody’s final hours may have looked like. The performance/installation, which lasted just over two hours, was attended by over 200 people.

Mark McGowan: Kick George Bush's Ass. Photo courtesy of Charlie Smith, London

Mark McGowan’s work is often provocative. For example, at SCOPE NY 2007 McGowan performed his infamous Kick George Bush's Ass performance during the Collector and Press Preview. However, McGowan has made it clear that The Reenactment of the Death of Jade Goody is a tribute to Goody, who died of cervical cancer at the age of 27.

Concerning criticism over the performance McGowan has stated, "I understand it's provocative and sometime that is my aim, to provoke people. I've been accused of jumping on the Jade Goody bandwagon, but the truth is I think people are just too hung up about death in this country.”.

Mark McGowan on

Links of Interest: interview with Mark McGowan interview with Mark McGowan #2

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
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