Shortlisted for the Turnerprize 2012
Chetwynd is a painter and performance artist based in London. She has been shortlisted for the Beck’s prize and was a mojor contributer in the 2009 Tate Trienial. Critics have described her work as exttemely silly, purposely amateaurish and sometimes border-line pornographic due to their abrasive sexual explicity. Her pseudonym “Spartcaus” is taken from the Roman slave and ngladiator who led an unsuccessful uprising against his slave masters. Over the course of her career she has, aided by a ragtag acting troupe of friends and family, staged interpretations of both historically-important cultural events and films of the last four decades. Chetwynd’s more notorious works include “Erotics and Bestiality” a show and exhibition concerning the life of Emperor Nero (famous for his extravagant sex life), the music of Bat Our of Hell by Meatloaf and images from the Hokusai print which features a women having sex with squids.In response to some of the critiscism that her works are merely silly sexy fun Chetywnd stated “My work is meant to be taken really seriously… If you watch this and think this is ‘ridiculous, messy crap!’ then you’ll be missing the flexation gland in the side of your head you need to enjoy contemporary art.” Her most recent work “Odd Man” is concerned with minimal influence British citizens have over the electoral process and the hypocrisy of democratic politics; visitors to the exhibition were asked to submit a vote before beckoned in, depending on their choice they were subjected to various pieces of unusual interpretive drama or rejected entirely, rejected from the performance on the basis of their arbitrary vote. It is a straightforward means of expressing what Cheywynd believes to be the unfairness and futility of citizen participation and influence over the British political system and demonstrates the silliness of politicans non-actions and meaningless promises. I enjoy Chetwynd’s improvisational style, her hand-made costumes and the interactivity of her dramas; I also admire her boldness and willingness to play with issues from human history and current affairs along with popular culture.