The Neo Naturists in conversation with Catherine Wood, Senior Curator International Art (Performance) Tate Modern, discussing their current large–scale exhibition at Studio Voltaire, as well as their wider practice.
The Neo Naturists are an important live art collective initiated in 1981 by Jennifer Binnie, Christine Binnie and Wilma Johnson. The group emerged as a part of London’s subculture that arose from the squatting community in the aftermath of Punk and the emergence of the New Romantic club scene and the advent of Thatcherism. During this time a creative energy developed in the UK that sat outside established institutional practices of the time, creating its own network of activities, events, economies and personalities.
The Neo Naturists were a part of a cultural network of collaborators and peers that included figures such as BodyMap (Stevie Stewart & David Holah), Leigh Bowery, James Birch, Jill Bruce, Michael Clark, David Dawson, Peter Doig, Boy George, Maia Norman, John Maybury, Sophie Muller, Simon Foxton, Bruce Lacey, Andrew Logan, Grayson Perry, Genesis P.Orridge, Psychic TV, Derek Jarman, Princess Julia, Marilyn, Philip Sallon, Test Department, Jill Westwood, Dencil Williams and Cerith Wyn Evans.
Catherine Wood is Senior Curator of International Art (Performance) at Tate Modern since 2002. She is currently working on programmes and displays for the new Tate Modern in 2016. Recent exhibitions include Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works at Raven Row, London (2014), A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance at Tate Modern (2012) and Pop Life: Art in a Material World (2010). She initiated the online series ‘Performance Room’ in 2011 (Tate/YouTube) and co-directed the opening programme for the Tanks at Tate Modern in 2012, which included the work of Sung Hwan Kim, Ei Arakawa, Tania Bruguera, Boris Charmatz and others.
Wood is author of Yvonne Rainer: the Mind is a Muscle (Afterall One Work series, 2007) and was one of the contributors to Creamier (Phaidon, 2010). Wood is currently working with Tate Research and Exeter University on a new project titled ‘Performance at Tate’ and writing a book titled Performance in Contemporary Art for Tate Publishing (due 2016).
Courtesy of Studio Voltaire, London. Credit: Cathy Ward.