Live Art

The Role of the Village Idiot, 28 March 2009

An afternoon of public art/street performance based on ideas and suggestions by the artist and writer Paul O'Kane.

"Obviously we have the holy fools, Shakespeare's court jester, the Dada art movement, but the village idiot is something else: he/she is something other, something familiar, somebody we all know and recognise in our local communities. Here we will attempt to investigate the role of the village idiot, the question of a necessary expulsion that may lie at the heart of the formation of any community, the emotion of shame and how that relates to modern day life, street theatre and public art. Mainly using gesture and small props the artists will attempt to engage with the everyday happenings in Peckham Square". Mark McGowan, event organiser.

Sarah Rose Allen's work consisted of attending with 3000 hand-rolled rods each made from a single sheet of newspaper. The rods functioned as an idiot-object: a record of idiotic behaviour past, having taken many, many hours to roll, for no particular reason. The artist set out to divest herself of every single rod before she returned home, using whatever means presented themselves during the afternoon.

Peckham Village Idiot from Sarah Rose Allen on Vimeo.