If you’re in Birmingham this Friday head over to Ikon Gallery in Brindleyplace for the opening of three new exhibitions, including the literary-inspired For The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up – Hommage to David Lodge by Philippine Hamen.
Friday 23rd September, 6-8pm
Celebrate the opening of three new exhibitions – Žilvinas Kempinas,Sara Barker and Philippine Hamen: For The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up – Hommage to David Lodge
Philippine Hamen, For The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up – Hommage to David Lodge (2015). Laminated beech, steel, upholstered foam.
French design student Philippine Hamen presents a new hybrid piece of furniture in Ikon’s Tower Room. It is inspired by David Lodge’s short story, The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up (first published in 1966), about a man who is tired of getting up every morning to live the same joyless life, day after day, until one morning he decides to stay where he is.
In reality, he didn’t love life anymore. The thought pierced him with a kind of thrill of despair. I no longer love life. There is nothing in life that gives me pleasure any more. Except this: lying in bed. And the pleasure of this is spoiled because I know I have to get up. Well, then, why don’t I just not get up? Because you’ve got to get up. You have a job. You have a family to support. Your wife has got up. Your children have got up. They have done their duty. You have to do yours. Yes, but it’s easy for them. They still love life. I don’t any more. I only love this: lying in bed.
The hero, or perhaps anti-hero, decides not to get up – ever. The consequences are unexpected, for himself and others. Hamen has made a “lounger desk” for Lodge’s character and in a sense for the writer whose imagination conceived him. With an appropriate ergonomic structure, including a ‘face hole’ usually found in massage tables, it enables the user to read or work lying face down and thereby questions the long-held association of verticality with the activity of work, whereas horizontality is mostly associated with idleness. Hamen’s lounger desk assuages any guilt we might feel when lying down, reconciling the work space with the domestic sphere.
Please note Ikon’s Tower Room is only accessible via a number of steps. The exhibition is supported by Fluxus Art Projects.
The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up and Other Stories by David Lodge is published by Vintage on 15 September and will be available from Ikon Shop or online at http://www.ikon-gallery.org.
Event: David Lodge and Philippine Hamen in conversation
Saturday 8 October, 4.30–7pm
£8 per person, £6.40 concessions Ikon Gallery and Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2ND
Designer Philippine Hamen and writer David Lodge discuss Hamen’s work For The Man Who Wouldn’t Get Up – Hommage to David Lodge at an event chaired by arts journalist Rosie Goldsmith. The event begins at 4.30pm at Ikon Gallery with a drinks reception and special viewing of the current exhibitions, followed by the talk at 6pm at the Library of Birmingham. To book visit http://www.birminghamliteraturefestival.org or call 0121 245 4455.