THE SIMPSONS’ TREEHOUSE OF HORROR
The third outing by No Homers Club returns to familiar territory after the Mesozoic spectacular of Isla Nublar. But it’s no retread of their first two shows – this celebration of The Simpsons’ annual Halloween-themed episode is as varied as the roster of artists involved. After listening to everyone’s favourite anti-band ORGAN FREEMAN sweat out The Stonecutters’ Song, or QUAD COLLECTIVE’s performance of Poe’s The Raven, you can peruse the artworks while drinking a Flaming Moe. Or a Red Stripe – some people get more involved than others. The displays fall into two main categories. The first is the gloriously nerdish, or the nerdily glorious, such as Kill List by ‘Great Scott!’ Duffey (all the artists have scarified their names for their title cards), a tableau of the characters who’ve gotten it most often in the neck over the past three decades of Halloween specials. For info, Homer and Bart have 16 deaths each, and Ned Flanders next behind them with 11. The second category is works which use the Simpsons as a springboard for the artists’ imagination, such as Martin ‘Captain James Tiberius’ Kirke’s Ned’s Inferno, an astonishing oil painting that could be an ‘…in response to’ the William Blake exhibit at Tate. Also worth a mention is Philip Marsden’s cod-Audubon Pigeon-rat, and the painstaking detail of Chris Zombieking’s test tubes, each containing a foetal Simpson.
One of the more thought-provoking pieces is a print by Kay ‘Murder on the’ Dale. So familiar by now, the glowing red titles of Weirder Stuff are surrounded by yellow analogues of Dustin (a ‘well cast’ Nelson Muntz), Joyce, Eleven et al. The homage creates a Jacob’s ladder of pop culture nostalgia: The Simpsons has just signed with Fox for a record 30th season. Stranger Things, that Twitter-clogging phenomenon, is set just over 30 years ago in a world which, though possessing only real, geographical Springfields, would produce the Simpsons universe before the decade was over out of the same zeitgeist which is now so appealing to fans of Stranger Things. Though the last few seasons have improved, it is worth noting that Dale’s print is probably a better-handled (and funnier) cultural reference than the show itself would be capable of nowadays. It should be noted that tonight’s exhibits are heavy on the first eight seasons. In a similar vein to Weirder Stuff is Ria Hell’s Glitch Krusty. It’s beautifully simple, almost classical – the murderous Krusty doll sold to Homer in ToH III in glowing white against black static (on that note, the only criticism of tonight is the lack of frogurt, cursed or otherwise. But there are donuts aplenty). With shades of the titles to Black Mirror, it’s subtle, old and new at once. This digital klown could be the literal poster boy for the latest success from No Homers Club.