John Strutton: Grease Madonna

03.10.14 – 22.11.14

Video by Heidi Smith, colour, sound, 11:52 min, 2014

To mark the closing of his current exhibition Grease Madonna, John Strutton has invited Portsmouth based artist Heidi Smith to respond to the fourth chapter of his video 'Helvetica Sex'. Contemporary tattoo culture bears little connection to the more historic marking of meaning and fraternity that criminal and naval cultures used to ascribe to this act of bodily decoration. In Kafka's short story 'In the Penal Colony' inmates are tattooed with their specific crime thus wearing their sentence in the flesh. Today's more fickle and fashion orientated form of inscription has led to the rise of the cover up tattoo in which previous designs or allegiances are worked over to form a new motif.

Heidi Smith presents a new video and performance in which she will have the name of a previous sweetheart tattooed over by her current boyfriend.