Earlier this year, Christina Chant put on an art show, Bill You Murray Me. She invited all her friends, and anyone else who might be interested, to submit work. The only condition: the piece had to have something to do with the actor.
For all its stated premise that “no talent is necessary,” as Chant put it, the Murray show inspired some extraordinary pieces, from a stained-glass portrait of the actor to a mannequin dressed as Steve Zissou (Murray’s character from the 2004 movie The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou). There were boots, a knitted piece, drawings that looked as though they’d taken five minutes, and paintings that were probably laboured over for hours.
Now, Chant is preparing a follow-up: on Saturday (July 7), she will return to the FALL Tattoo and Art Gallery, home of Bill You Murray Me, for Zig-a-Zigallery: A Spice Girls Art Show.
“We wanted to have a female focus this time,” says Chant, talking to the Straight at a Commercial Drive café.
“The other reason is for the nostalgia—I think a lot of people, especially in my age demographic, spent a lot of time emulating the Spice Girls, getting dressed up like them and singing their songs.
“But there’s a group of people who really can’t stand them as well,” she adds. “And I like that for the tension aspect, for the hatred pieces the show might generate.”
At 25, Chant is at the right age to have gone through a Spice Girls phase. She recalls dressing up, along with friends, as the group (she was always Baby, because she had blond hair). And Spice World, the 1997 Spice Girls movie, was the first DVD she ever bought (at an HMV in a Port Coquitlam mall for $38).
Along with the art, Zig-a-Zigallery will feature some Spice Girls–related entertainment. A reenactment of a segment from Spice World is one possibility; at the very least, Chant expects the Spice Girls themselves—well, a drag version at any rate—to make an appearance. As well, Mark Woodyard will play some specially remixed Spice Girls tunes, and Chant is encouraging people to send in home movies and photos from their own Spice years for display.
And of course, there’ll be some wild and wacky art. Chant expects a final tally of between 50 and 75 pieces for the show—a respectable number, to be sure, if not quite in the Bill You Murray Me range. (She ended up with 150 Murray works and a full house on the February opening night of the show, and sold $2,000 worth of art.)
The creativity promises to be just as high, though. A few weeks before Zig-a-Zigallery, Chant had already collected a knitted piece and a realist painting of an obese Ginger Spice in a Union Jack bikini. Another work finds the intersection between Insane Clown Posse and the British all-girl group, and there will be no fewer than three Dune-inspired pieces as well.
“It’s absurd what people come up with,” says Chant. “It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the Spice Girls. But I think because we give people free rein, and they know our submission criteria is very broad,” she adds with a laugh, “they know they can go for it. And why not?”
Just after our interview, someone emailed Chant to say she was working on a contribution to the show—a pair of customized platform Spice Girls shoes.
Zig-a-Zigallery: A Spice Girls Art Show is at the FALL Tattoo and Art Gallery from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday (July 7).