The Total Destruction of Margate was a sci-fi performance art extravaganza created for Limbo Arts 2011 live art season Art Lands On Alien Landscape.
Art Lands On Alien Landscape was curated to coincide with Turner Contemporary’s opening season and “discussed the idea of alienation, looking at how regeneration interacts with (or perhaps stands apart from) the historical identity of a location.” (Limbo Arts)
The Total Destruction of Margate drew inspiration from sixties Doctor Who and the BBC’s economical yet inventive use of costumes and sound effect to terrify children and enthral adults. The aim was to create a broadly accessible piece, but as with all good sci-fi, it projected critical concerns about what the contemporary world in which was created.
Margate faces big changes. Would the new museum really be able to regenerate the town? Or, as suggested by one resident who remembered Margate’s hey day, would the money have been more wisely spent on a massive new sun deck? Would Margate tradional clientele feel embraced or excluded by the strange world of contemporary art? Boutiques, coffee shop and artist studio were already springing up around the new museum, but could they ever really sit comfortably alongside the more traditional sea side arcades and chip shops or would one drive out the other?
Sea Monster stories often arose from people’s fears and anxieties. Margate abandoned amusement arcades, Victorian alleyways, crumbling tower blocks and closed up shops disguised by painted facades made the perfect backdrop for a B Movie story.
The Total Destruction of Margate unfolded at venues throughout Margate during the afternoon of Saturday 7th May.
A free art / sci-fi publication to accompany the project was also published by Limbo Arts
Photos by V Morris
Special Thanks to Limbo Arts, Prangsta, Jim Lockey, Theo Morris, Sheree Morris, Kitty Newman, Hannah Cutler, David Bangs, The Shell Grotto and the people of Margate.
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