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Stewart Home and Chris Dorley Brown
The Age of Anti-Ageing
Exhibition: 17 October - 6 November 2014
The Function Room
upstairs at The Cock Tavern, 23 Phoenix Road, London NW1 1HB
open: when the pub is open
admission: free

Journey to the heart of London's Bohemia in the 1960s and back again with writer and artist Stewart Home in search of his mother. Home's first collaboration with re-photography specialist Chris Dorley Brown re-staged Julia Callan-Thompson 1966 fashion shots, morphing mother and son in Becoming (M)Other, while the novel Tainted Love, explored the life and death of the model, aspirant actress, club hostess, hippie, and drug user. 10 years on, in The Age of Anti-Ageing, Home poses again and Dorley Brown re-morphs the photos, while Home's new book The 9 Lives of Ray the Cat Jones charts the career of Julia's cousin Ray, a notorious burglar and fugitive. This exhibition brings together the two sets of morphs and launches Home's new novel.

The Age of Anti-Ageing takes its title from the most recent in a series of post-photographic collaborations between writer and artist Stewart Home and photographer and filmmaker Chris Dorley Brown. Consisting of eight morphed photographs, this work will be shown alongside Becoming (M)Other, Home and Dorley Brown's initial collaboration from 2004, based on fashion spreads from 1966 featuring Home's mother, Julia Callan-Thompson, a club hostess, model, aspirant movie actress, pioneer of the hippie trail and hard drug user whose circle included Alex Trocchi, Marianne Faithful and William Borroughs. Julia's fast life and untimely death were the subject of Home's 2005 novel Tainted Love. A decade later, Julia's cousin Ray, a notorious burglar and jail breaker whose underworld career spanned the greater part of the twentieth century, is the inspiration for Home's latest novel, The 9 Lives of Ray the Cat Jones published this autumn by Test Centre and launched in conjunction with this exhibition.

In 2004, photographs from the twenty-two year-old Julia's modelling portfolio were re-posed by her 42 year-old son and re-shot by Dorley Brown, whose multi-media practice is strongly committed to documenting transformations of human physiognomy and the urban landscape over extended periods of time. Using a digital morphing technique, Dorley Brown extracted equal amounts of visual information from each set of shots combining them to create a series of uncannily anachronistic and androgynous composite portraits. For The Age of Anti-Ageing Home and Dorley Brown responded to the growing interest in life extension science they had noted among their contemporaries by deciding to repose their 2004 restaged photographs a decade on and combine them with the images from 2014. In theory the result should have been an image of Stewart Home as he would have looked in 2009, but despite the rationality and precision of the morphing technique these images portray a peculiar, timeless figure in whom traces of the collapsed identities of mother and son are still apparent.

Callan-Thompson's fashion photographs are documents of swinging sixties London. While the defining faces and places of this era are now mostly gone or changed beyond recognition one of its most potent legacies is a fixation with youth and novelty evident in the big business of anti-ageing products and lifestyles marketed to the baby boomer generation and their descendants. This social obsession with cosmetic regeneration reaches far beyond the beauty industry affecting the urban environment as much as it does the individuals who inhabit it. The exhibition venue for The Age of Anti-Ageing is The Function Room, upstairs at The Cock Tavern, Somers Town, one of the London's few remaining community locals, and still relatively unscathed by the frenzy of development and the cosmetic enhancements that have transformed London.

About the artists

Stewart Home was born in south London in 1962. After dabbling in rock music, in the early eighties he switched his attention to the art world. Starting with live art actions and collective installations, this eventually led to one man shows at galleries such as White Columns in New York (2011) and Space Studios in London (2012), and more recently a 2013 Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts. Home works with various aesthetic mediums and uses social media as well as galleries as a showcase for his process-based work. Home has published 15 novels, 1 collection of short stories, and 6 books of cultural commentary. Many of these books have appeared in translation around the world.

Chris Dorley Brown was born in 1958. Since the early nineties he has been collaborating with artists, filmmakers, curators, performers and writers as well groups and individuals in the public sphere in a variety of cultural contexts, primarily outside the art gallery, (radio, print, cinema, television, the internet and architecture). Alongside these activities Chris is creating an ongoing photographic archive of the London Borough of Hackney where he lives. Continuum, an ebook related to this project was published by FushionLab Inc earlier this year. A film project 15 seconds: Part Three can be seen as part of the Welcome Collection (Online) from December.

The Age of Anti-Ageing is curated by London-based curator Clare Carolin whose recent projects include The Surface of the World, currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila and Regina Jose Galindo's Tierra, currently on show at the Guggenheim, New York and also shown earlier this year at Tate Modern.

What fab new lipsticks! The shades are just groovy. They go, go, go with your kookiest outfits. And the prices are low, low, low! Choose from Max Factor's great young range: sweet young pinks, pink secret, pink velvet, sunset pink, pink diamond. (Max Factor lipstick advertising campaign from 1968 featuring Julia Callan-Thompson)

The 60s are well and truly over. Naked self-interest has destroyed any sense of solidarity there once was on the drug scene, and our little world is an increasingly brutalised place. I'm glad I' m not young any more (Stewart Home in Tainted Love, 2005)

This was the press release for The Age Of Anti-Ageing show at The Function Room.

Becoming (M)other exhibition by Stewart Home and Chris Dorley Brown

Market Forces Stewart Home on his relationship with the art world

Tilt at Building F 2013 London solo show by Stewart Home

Desire In Ruins

Vermeer II Stewart Home solo show

2010 Gallery Work by Stewart Home

Very short film of Stewart Home installations including this one

4 minute film of Refuse installation in Sweden


Stewart Home portrait 2004Stewart Home portrait 2004Stewart Home portrait 2004

The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home & Chris Dorley Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home & Chris Dorley Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Hme & Chris Dorley Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home & Chris Dorley Bronw detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Hme & Chris Dorley Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home & Chris Dorly Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home  & Chris Dorley Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing by Stewart Home & Chris Dorley Brown detail
The Age of Anti-Ageing morphs by Stewart Home & Chris Dorley Brown (2014). When exhibited there is an extra non-image panel with text that explains the work, while also being an integral part of the work.