Maz Murray is an artist and filmmaker based in London and Basildon. Maz uses satire, surrealism, melodrama, and humour to talk about queer and trans identity, class, and the complexities of public life. They repurpose and subvert pop cultural tropes such as music video, TV documentary, talk show, social media content and cinema.
This exhibition will include newly commissioned and recent work looking at the theatricality of fabricated spaces, from stage sets to new towns, theme parks to club nights, shopping centres to would-be utopias. Building on Murray’s recent short films and writings, this immersive installation will include sets, props and moving image, reflecting on oral histories of storytelling and pop culture as living archive.
A particular focus will be the figure of the Principal boy in pantomime, historically played by a woman in drag, which continues an archetype found in music hall, mummers’ plays, traditionally enacted by troupes of amateur masked male actors, and mystery plays drawn from fairy and folk tales. The artist aims to draw parallels between the right to roam and the right to self-expression, by exploring journeys across time and place– from country to town to suburb to city – and the enclosure of ‘othered’ identities.