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30 October 2009

Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson of the Disabled Avant Garde have published two new films satirising the current state of disability arts. Take a look and weep.

Amazing Art - a film by the Disabled Avant-Garde

Despite being appallingly disadvantaged by their tragic circumstances, against all odds known to historical record, the Disabled Avant-Garde have developed their artistic skills to such a pitch that they are able to sell their ‘amazing art’ at fashionable art fairs for decent prices.

Follow the DAG to their ‘art therapy’ drawing and pottery classes and see how ‘ready made jam’ was invented! Marvel as the punters flock to the DAG’s stall in Hoxton, loading themselves high with purchases of ‘limited edition’ artworks and of course, pausing to stroke their little doggie! All the money was in a good cause – to fund an ongoing process of art therapy for the artists themselves!

A satire on the aesthetics of commercial art and the low expectations of disabled people as conceptualist art-makers, Amazing Art is a sly mockumentary complete with patronising voiceover commentary (by Penny Pepper).

Damaged Dance - a film by the Disabled Avant-Garde

Ever wondered why disabled people are often employed for things they are entirely unsuited? The para-olympics, ‘stand up’ comedy, crafts art, and, above all, contemporary dance. Wince-along as the Disabled Avant-Garde, newly ensconsed in their lush new studio, meet the world-renowned ‘able-bodied’ choreographer Madame Commander to devise a dance piece to launch a new public fountain in Wolverhampton.

Share the Madame’s horror as she realises that one of her dancers is ‘wheelchair bound’ and the other as deaf as the proverbial lamppost he seems to have bumped into. The tightly constructed film builds to a crescendo when, in broad-daylight on a cobble-stoned plaza, the DAG - draped in silver foil - cut a bunch of hot moves as the appalled single-figures audience titters in discomfort.

A satire on the body-aesthetics of contemporary dance, ‘Damaged Dance’ also depicts (for the first time!) the often-discussed ‘disability ghetto’ of tick-box arts funding.