Lizzy Deacon

Lizzy Deacon, ‘VIP MECCA’, 2023. Photos by Ollie Harrop
Lizzy Deacon, ‘VIP MECCA’, 2023. Photos by Ollie Harrop

VIP MECCA (2023)

Single channel moving-image on a 4K screen, 10min 15 secs

VIP MECCA is a single-channel moving image work, continuing Lizzy Deacon’s long-term investigation drawing on specific behaviours and individual histories of the non-fictional characters that she interacts with in both IRL and URL domains. 

The work follows the protagonist, Frankie from Chippenham, and two girls and through a non-linear narrative as they traverse a range of locations and environments – a party island, a boxing ring, a YouTube challenge, a luxury car, a low-budget music video. Just turned 21 and on his third gap year, Frankie goes to a party island to practise and assert an alternate model of masculine power that he’s learnt online. Hoping for sun and sex, Frankie’s holiday fantasies play out. Surrounded by nice cars, and dressed with expensive brands and hot women, he uses the model of a hyper-visibility of wealth as a persuasive display of power, as if to inspire compliance/recognition/a transfer of wealth, and a call for others to treat him in a way that he suggests he’s been treated in the past.

The spectacle of fighting is a central motif in the film. Tied up in histories of sport, entertainment and performance, fighting is figured as occasions where expectations, power, the absurd and class are visually manifested and constantly redefined. In this way, Deacon uses fighting as a way to explore social tensions and hierarchies, as well as symbiotic intimacies that are caught in flux.

Watch the full film here:

Lizzy Deacon is an artist based in London and Margate. Her work explores specific social dynamics in relation to fictional and non-fictional tragedies, critiquing the power that is present in these situations. Deacon’s storytelling features darkly comic and satirical characters, which she develops through the process of intense improvisation. Her interdisciplinary practice employs video as well as drawing, text and performance. Deacon has a number of ongoing collaborations.

She has recently exhibited at Associação Audio-Visual CUT, Macau (2022), The 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan (2022), LUX Moving Image, London (2018), London Short Film Festival, Rio Cinema London (2022), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2022), Serf, Leeds (2019), WetDovetail Gallery, Middlesbrough (2020) and has had her work featured in Columbia University’s Journal of Art Criticism, New York (2020). Together with her long term collaborator Ika Schwander, she has been awarded The Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for an Emerging Experimental Video Artist (2022), The Video Power Distribution and Mentoring Award (2021) as well as residencies at AUST, Lisbon (2021) and The High House, Norfolk (2021).