Universal Penis is an involuntary painting on the exterior wall of Dronfield Woodhouse Scout Hut. It has been there for years resisting periodic attempts to clean it off. It has never been subject to a paint-over.
I’m sure that involuntary painting versions of the universal penis exist around the world. I look forward to seeing them.
LONG LIVE THE INVOLUNTARY INTERNATIONAL!
Dronfield Woodhouse, UK
The Involuntary International return to ‘Threads’ .. screenshots of our Facebook pages following a particular thread of comments .. each screenshot might be seen as a work in itself a piece of wallpaper ready to be pasted up on the gallery (wherever and whatever that might be) wall.
As lockdowns around the world begin to ease The Involuntary International too splutters back into action. We have not been totally still but have been thinking about how the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic affects how and when SUBSTANCE will eventually manifest itself and we assure you that it will.
It’s difficult to say when at the moment but we will inform you as soon as we know. In the meantime we encourage all members and future members of The Involuntary International to actively re-attune to their surroundings and go to work discovering, photographing and posting Involuntary Paintings, Sculptures and Music to The Involuntary International’s suite of Facebook groups – Involuntary Painting, Involuntary Sculpture and Involuntary Music respectively.
We will also be posting images, sounds and information here so keep visiting back.
“If I announce on this bright morning that I am a member of The Involuntary International it is not because I find the slightest need for, or importance in, a doctrine of any sort, it is only for the convenience of myself and a few others that I take up the issue of adherence.”
“sometimes the shit might look beautiful especially when it’s polished but in the end it’s still shit and most of us wouldn’t want to step in it or for that matter live in it.. of course not all things that look like paintings but aren’t paintings are shit.. and yes our images might be said to aestheticise their subjects .. however there is an aesthetic to the things we see we identify as ‘not art but might be mistaken for art’ within the gallery of the street as met … photographed or not.. keep on shooting and sharing”
As we prepare for SUBSTANCE our next exhibition of Involuntary Painting, Sculpture, Music in México City I urge us all to consider what’s happening beyond the image beyond the photograph out in the gallery of the street. We have to be careful to not fall into the trap of venerating a kind of poverty porn .. beauty of the shit.. shit is shit.. a run down building is just that.. we can become accustomed to the crap that surrounds us including the way that society allows towns and communities to become derelict that life expectancies are actually declining in poor communities .. people – us – can get used to these things .. we attenuate them out of sight out of hearing.. THE INVOLUNTARY INTERNATIONAL says stop and look at the overlooked .. don’t just photograph and certainly don’t sign the photo posted here.. start to think about what you what we might do to change things for the better no not through regeneration of buildings for the already rich the social cleansing model but with and for the communities that already live in that place this place their place..
Friends – comrades – It will be hard for any show to be bigger than Involuntary México in Metro Hidalgo.. it’s a beautiful and huge show / project .. a metro station that’s become the biggest public art space in the world.. that’s the ‘work’ in the end not the individual pieces which too are amazing in that they are pictures of the ‘overlooked’ from around the globe by great artists and ordinary joes and janes side by side .. it’s the whole thing and when one understands that the metro is the domain of the ‘workers’ the poorest and that mostly no adverts are up alongside the images .. the whole yes – gestalt! Involuntary México, the vision of our co-founder (along with Millree Hughes and myself) of The Involuntary International Aldo Flores – the magician!
As we move to new shows in more traditional spaces we accept that no museum or gallery will ever be a better situation for Involuntary Painting.. they cement the subversion of the spectacle back into the spectacle.. and this too will be interesting.. different.. It’s these ideas these thoughts that we need to now explore publicly .. including the welcoming and initiating of polemic around what art is, has been, can be and might be. Onwards friends!