A Night with the Neo Naturists

24 August 2016

A Night with the Neo Naturists celebrated the subversive 1980s performance group, founded by Christine Binnie, Jennifer Binnie and Wilma Johnson. The event took place as part of their retrospective at Studio Voltaire, 2016.

A Night with the Neo Naturists includes film, live performances and music evoking the spirit of the original works’ anarchic innocence. This was the Neo Naturists’ first live performance with the full original line up of founding members since 1986. They presented a special collaborative performance with Ana da Silva and Gina Birch, founding members and songwriters of The Raincoats with Anne Wood.

The Neo Naturists were part of London’s subculture that arose in the aftermath of Punk, the emergence of the New Romantic club scene and advent of Thatcherism. They performed wearing little more than body paint celebrating the naked female form, their performances were “bodypositive” and celebratory, in stark contrast to the increasingly commodified, “sexually packaged” body widely promoted in the 1980s.

The seminal post-punk band The Raincoats last performed at the ICA in 1980. The ‘godmothers of grunge’ created a sound that, while inspired by punk and rock music that had come before, was uniquely and uncompromisingly powerful and female.

Supporting acts included: Jill Westwood & Antal Nemeth, Christine Binnie & Paul Murphy and a DJ set by Peas in a Pod (Will Larnach-Jones, Joe Scotland & Julie Verhoeven).

Presented in partnership with The ICA, London.
Generously supported by Yana & Stephen Peel.
Additional support from Arts Council England, The Henry Moore Foundation and Thomas Dane.

Read more about the Neo Naturist retrospective

Images from A Night with the Neo Naturists

  1. Neo Naturists Exhibition Guide.

  2. The Neo Naturists are a performance art group founded in 1981 by Christine Binnie, Jennifer Binnie and Wilma Johnson.

    Performances include: Neo Naturists, Andrew Logan's Alternative Miss World at Olympia, 1981; Flashing in the British Museum, British Museum London, 3 March 1982; Black Rapport Day, Thames Beach Wapping, 17 July 1982; Sexist Crabs, The Zap Club, The Royal Escape, Brighton, 1 June 1983; Swimming and Walking Experiment, Centre Point Fountains, Tottenham Court Road, London, August 1984; Sellotape dresses with Marilyn, Crowndale Road, 1984; Neo Naturist Cheer Leaders, with Leigh Bowery and Michael Clark, Royal Opera House, London, 9 February 1986; and Mother's Day Performance, Cave of Desire presented by Psychic TV, Heaven, London, 5 March 1989.

  3. Adrian Ellis
    Andy Keate
    Cy Wol
    Daniel VG
    Esther Bunting
    Ian Ani
    Jill Rock
    Jo Pearce
    Katherine Campbell
    Keira Greene
    Kim Coleman
    Melissa MacDonald
    Natasha Cox
    Paula Nua
    Penny Marlow
    Rebecca James Shere
    Richard Worral
    Sivan Lavie
    Steve Ritter
    Susie Green
    Tony Ash

  4. Courtesy of Studio Voltaire, London. Credit Tom Carter.

Studio Voltaire
1A Nelsons Row
London SW4 7JR

Open Wednesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm.

Registered Charity No: 1082221. Registered Company No: 03426509. VAT No: GB314268026