The Slapstick Mystics With Sticks

Joanne TathamTom O'Sullivan


Book, 18 x 12.5 cm, 80 p, language: English, publisher: All Horizons Club, ISBN: N/A.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: M HKA Collection, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/991).

Literary synopsis

The novella takes the form of a Bildungsroman, with a young man returning to his small home town after his first year away at University. The plot focuses around his increasing involvement with a local amateur dramatic society and his coercion into performing within their presentation of a play.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks novella exists within a wider project that focuses around a play scripted by Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sulllivan in 2001. This play has been presented as both a performed work and a published script and corresponds with the one in the novella. Although the title of the project and of any individual works within the project is The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks , the title of the play is ‘Thou Art That!’. The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks was first presented as a performance at St Columba Gaelic Church, Glasgow (2001) and was then re-worked for a commission for Frieze Projects (2004). The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks script, along with photographs of the first performance, were shown as part of a solo exhibition at Cubitt, London (2002). The script has been read and published in a number of different locations, including Frozen Tears (2004). The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks novella was produced in the midst of this ongoing project. The book was commissioned for Village Hall Roadshow (2002), a curatorial project by All Horizons Club (Chris Evans / Duncan Hamilton) that took place at village halls across the north of England. The novella was then re-exhibited at Kunstverein Braunschweig in “The Best Book About Pessimism I Ever Read”, an exhibition curated by Lucy McKenzie (2002) and has been shown a number of times since this.

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