For Camberwell Arts’ 20th birthday, Caspar Below founded the Camberwell Arts archive to document the history of the grassroots arts organisation through artefacts, photos, documents and oral history recordings. The archive is being deposited at Lambeth and Southwark Archives. The five year collective project aims to provide a record, but also a narrative of the artist-led annual alternative art festival, with its tradition of DIY culture, audience participation and using local businesses as venues.
TEMPORARY MONUMENT FOR THE VICTIMS OF MODERN DAY HIGHSTREET ROBBERY: A BUS CONDUCTOR KIOSK ON DENMARK HILL WAS REINCARNATED AS THE PAYDAY LOAN CENOTAPH, A SCULPTURE COMMEMORATING THE UNKNOWN VICTIMS OF FINANCIAL PROFITEERING.
On Saturday the 15th June 2013, the bus conductor kiosk on Denmark Hill was reincarnated as the Payday Loan Cenotaph, a sculpture commemorating the unknown victims of financial profiteering. A modern-day monument for Camberwell, complete with wreaths, the Cenotaph – meaning literally, ’empty tomb’ – bore memorial inscriptions to the unknown debtor and flew white flags signifying innocence and surrender. In an appropriate additional narrative of despair, attack, collapse and the hope for redemption, the opening ceremony was accompanied by a local citizen directing a casual tirade of verbal abuse and aggressive posturing at passers-by, and the simultaneous collapse and eventual recovery of his companion, both residents of the pavement adjacent to the Cenotaph. For 48 hours this monument served the people of Camberwell and the passers-by on their buses, before going the way of all material things.
AN ALTERNATIVE MEMORIAL EVENT, USING THEMED COCKTAILS AND STORY-TELLING
Four “Liquid Memorial” cocktails, especially designed by Caspar Below for the 2012 Camberwell Arts Festival and the Stormbird pub. These historical cocktails, new creations and variations of modern classics have been introduced to commemorate local stories, characters, occasions and events. For the price of a drink, punters could own a piece of it.
The Ruskin Shooter – An enlightened drink of white vermouth, gin and Kümmel
A drink in honour of the Camberwell-based Victorian artist and critic John Ruskin. After a harrowing experience at the Father Redcap music hall, he found that there was no truth in art and is rumoured to have had a vision on Camberwell Green. Shortly after his vision, he asked his friend Oldfield to include the biblical scene of Sin Entering Into the World (Romans 5:12) in the design of the ornamental east window at nearby St Giles.
Order this drink to come to your senses.
The Stop and Search-A southeasterly gale of mint and brandy on ice
A chilly start to the evening, with a predicted increase in roadside stop and searches. With numbers of pre-crime arrests anticipated to go up during the Olympic season, highs of oppression and profiling may cause strong winds later on.
Turn yourself in and ask at the bar for a Stop and Search.
The Camber Tosh – A murky mixture of dark rum, cassis and ice
A beverage of superficial benefits, enjoy the Camber Tosh to commemorate generations of people who travelled to the Camber Well, believing it would provide relief from their ailments.
The Camber Well was rediscovered in 2009 in a back garden on Camberwell Grove by a local archaeologist. With usage of the well possibly going back as far as 3000 years, its reputation for healing the crippled may have given the well its name of “camber”, from Latin “camurus” for crooked or bent.
Today crooked or bent people still have a thriving business in Camberwell, peddling false hope and quick money to both the gullible and greedy.
The Bitter End – The finite taste of dark rum and blackstrap molasses
A drink not only for the anaemic, the Bitter End is a memorial drink to the disappointed Camberwell revellers of social change, who didn’t get to benefit from the fruit of their labour.
Raise a toast to those trade unionists, radicals, those rawdy people on Camberwell fair, the NUWC, those chartists, squatters and mad campaigners on the green and those abortionists, civil rights, anti-racism and housing campaigners, feminists and republicans in the backrooms of pubs.
Order the Bitter End with a straight back and the determined look of the underdog in your eye.
Come to the the Pub Crawl of particpating pubs on the opening night (blurb and flyer underneath).
The Liquid Memorials are a selection of especially designed and locally themed cocktails on local stories, histories, rumours and events. Come and enjoy the Ruskin Shooter, The Stop and Search, The Camber Tosh or The Bitter End throughout the festival.
Pub Crawl on the opening night
16th June 2012 Throughout Camberwell, led and compered by Frog Morris: T: 07941125901; www.frogmorris.net
Start 7pm at the Stormbird in camberwell
Caspar Below, Mat Collishaw, Garudio
Studiage, Lynn Hatzius, James Topple & Colin Riddle A group exhibition celebrating some of Camberwell’s best-loved pubs – commissioned and paid for by local drinkers. Join us for the Camberwell Pub Crawl, as Frog Morris leads a performance art tour on the opening night, putting a unique twist on traditional pub culture. From Comedy Bingo to the UnWrong
Pub Quiz, darts to dancing with Swing Patrol, what more could you want from a good night out?