Aping the Beast is Serena Korda's ambitious, theatrical rendering of animal symbolism and folklore - as creation story. The central spectacle is a towering monster puppet handmade in latex, reminiscent of early B-movies such as Godzilla or The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Within all her work Korda is interested in the way secular beliefs and superstitions are channelled through images in popular culture.
Rosie has worked alongside Serena to choreograph performances alongside the exhibition including The Awakening in which the portentous beast is roused to its full terror in a ritual performed featuring wizened old men known as ‘Boggarts’ – characters from Lancashire folklore performed by school-children, believed to malevolently wield destructive powers. The performance convenes the human agency of the local community to bring the inanimate creature to life, exorcising its menacing tyranny.
The performances are accompanied by Alexander Tucker and Daniel O'Sullivan's musical project Grumbling Fur, who perform an original score live on stage.
Aping the Beast sees the Aping the Beast is co-commissioned by an Artsadmin Jerwood Commission, Camden Arts Centre, London and Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.
Photos by Justin Yockney