The Showroom

Aaron Williamson: Wild Boy


20 April – 29 May 2005

For Wild Boy the artist Aaron Williamson inhabited The Showroom gallery for a period of six weeks to enact the figure of Victor Aveyron, a child found to be living in the wild in southern France at the end of the eighteenth century.

Wild Boy considers the enigmatic figure of Victor and what his legacy to deaf people and culture might have been. In a world in which physical perfection becomes more and more of an ideal, Williamson has made a powerful comment on the history and importance of difference. Williamson's approach as an artist is formed around a desire to deconstruct the behavioural norms and orthodoxies of society. Through often purposefully irrational, unusual or even anti-social behaviour and action, performance can reveal how ideas of social rectitude are maintained. His work is driven by preoccupations concerning the way in which meaning is constructed and transmitted though language and the way in which hearing and gesture interact and define our relationships with one another. Wild Boy extended these preoccupations further by questioning the distinctions between individual and collective freedoms, and moral and sensual values today.

Aaron Williamson has created performances for exhibitions at the V&A Museum, London and the Banff Centre, Vancouver. His Lives of the Saints was shown at the Tate Modern as part of the Live Culture exhibition in 2003. Williamson is a past recipient of The Arts Council of England Helen Chadwick Fellowship (2001-2), and the Live Art Development Agency's One to One Bursary.

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    Event Gallery talk by Laurence Harvey