Peachy: the Grotto

I had derived considerable pleasure from organising and mounting the Text & Image entertainment known as David Gale’s Peachy Coochy Nites, in which a presenter presents to an eager audience a succession of 20 slide images at precisely 20 second intervals, whilst delivering a verbal commentary on each image. The format, invented in 2003 by the architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture in order to curtail the tendency of young architects to bang on interminably when given a presentation opportunity, is versatile. It was soon appropriated by artists for whom it served to curtail constructively the tendency of that group to respond at great length to the enquiry ‘What are you up to?’

In my role as curator of the Nites I hunted down a variety of willing presenters – artists, performers, a physicist, a green activist and so forth – the majority of whom found unusual ways of working within the stern constraints. A few days before each monthly Nite I would send out publicity to an ever expanding mailing list. Prior to mailing out I would, necessarily, ascertain the availability of Peachy. I had to satisfy myself that he could be drawn forth. I don’t quite know why I thought of it like that. At first a wisp, then a vapour, then, not uncomfortably, Peachy began to rise from the fumes and assume a presence.

Over the course of my long residency as Curator and CEO of the Peachy Coochy Nite (a text and image entertainment) it was my regular pleasure to prefigure this London-based cult occasion with publicity materials that strive to capture the tone of the diverse and eruptive evenings that reflect human ingenuity under unnatural constraint yet remain refreshingly devoid of spiritual value. Ten days or so before each Nite I despatched to an ever swelling mailing list an informative electronic notelet. These stylistically unadorned and matter-of-fact advertisements have, by dint of their spartan transparency, garnered a covey of keen collectors whose completism I shall now satisfy.

I invite the reader to savour the archive here, or by clicking on ‘Peachy – the Ads’ on the top bar of this page.