Jarvis Cocker Becomes Human Exhibition in Paris Art Gallery

    Jarvis Cocker is known for being an exceptionally eccentric, professorial type, as well as an entertainer, so becoming a human exhibition is, in some respects, just the next logical step in his existence.


    Apparently, Cocker’s been struggling with some existential questions like, “what is music?,” “what is the future of music?,” and “what would happen if I installed myself in an art gallery, rehearsed, and invited people to play/interact with me?” To Cocker, the eaisest way to resolve these questions (especially the third) was to install himself, along with his band, in a Paris art gallery for five days, from noon to 7pm each day. The exact details of Cocker’s antics are too numerous to comfotably recount here, so read below the letter from Cocker himself.




    Back in October 2006, when I was asked to edit The Observer Music Monthly in the UK, I asked the question “What is Music for?”. Two & a half years on I would like to shorten that question to: WHAT IS MUSIC?


    I have lost count of the number of articles proclaiming the imminent or actual death of the music industry. Does this mean that music can now go back to being an art form again? & If so, is it the first art form to begin adapting itself to the post-capitalist society we now find ourselves living in? Or is it just something you get free when you buy a mobile phone? Digital content.


    What happens if you get a band to rehearse in an art gallery instead of a rehearsal space?  What if you invite members of the public to play with the band? Or invite them to submit song titles which the band then have to base an improvisation upon? Could a live band provide the accompaniment to an aerobics class? What happens if you play music from 12 noon til 7pm, 7 days a week? &  What if you invite the kids from the local school to come round on their Wednesday off?


    From Tuesday 5th of May until Sunday 10th of May I will be occupying  Galerie Chappe, 4, Rue Andre Barsacq, 75018 Paris, France (+33 1 42 62 42 12 www.galeriechappe.fr) from 12 noon til 6/7pm each day (maybe later some nights) & attempting to answer these pertinent questions. I will be assisted by the members of my band: Martin Craft, Steve Mackey, Tim McCall, Ross Orton & Simon Stafford plus, at various times, we hope to be joined by other musicians currently living in the Paris area. 

    & THEN

    If you live locally please come down & join in this experiment. If you don’t you can follow its progress on www.jarviscocker.net which will run for the duration of the installation (more details soon). Each day will be archived & re-broadcast for the convenience of those living in different time-zones.


    A selection of Rankin’s photography for my soon-to-be-released album  “Further Complications” will be on view during the course of this show. These images are an integral part of the exhibition & will also be offered for sale through the gallery.


     MONDAY 4th  MAY – Set-up day. Closed to the public (though no-one can stop you looking through the windows).

     TUESDAY 5th MAY

    12 – 2pm – BAND REHEARSAL

    2 -3pm    – BRING AN INSTRUMENT (members of the public are invited to bring an instrument with them & play along with the band. Amplification will be available for electric instruments).

    3 – 4pm –  YOGA CLASS (with a qualified instructor. The band will provide suitable live accompaniment.  Participants must provide their own yoga-mat.).

    4 – 5pm – IMPROVISATIONS ON A THEME (throughout the course of the exhibition a box will be available in the gallery into which members of the public can post titles, phrases, suggestions, lyrics or anything else that the band can then base improvisations around. During this hour the band will create a number of pieces based on  selections of this material).

    5 – 6pm – GUEST PERFORMANCE ( an invited guest will play with the band)


    12 -2pm – BAND REHEARSAL

    2 – 4pm –  CHILDREN’S DAY ( French children traditionally have Wednesday off school. The band will supervise a number of music-based children’s activities over the course of these 2 hours. Parental supervision is required for children under 11).

    4 – 5pm –  RELAXATION  ( the band will provide musical accompaniment to a relaxation class. Participants should provide their own exercise mat).

    5 – 6pm GUEST PERFORMANCE ( see Tuesday 5th May)


    12 – 2pm – BAND REHEARSAL

    2 – 3pm   –  IMPROVISATIONS ON A THEME ( see Tuesday 5th May)

    3 – 4pm – PILATES CLASS (with a qualified instructor. The band will provide suitable live accompaniment. Participants must provide their own exercise mat)

    4 – 5pm – BRING AN INSTRUMENT (see Tuesday 5th May)



    FRIDAY 8th MAY

    12 – 2pm – BAND REHEARSAL


    3 – 4pm –    AEROBICS CLASS





    12 – 2pm – BAND REHEARSAL

    2- 3pm     –  BRING AN INSTRUMENT

    3 – 4pm   –  DANCING ( the band will play an hour of music designed to encourage people to dance. Dress appropriately)

    4 – 6pm –    SET-UP FOR OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE (weather permitting)

    6 – 7pm –    OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE ( the band will play a short open-air concert just outside the gallery)


    SUNDAY 10th MAY

    12 – 2pm – BAND REHEARSAL

    2 – 3pm  –    QUIET HOUR ( an hour of the softest music the band can play)

    3 – 4pm  –   GUEST PERFORMANCE

    4 – 6pm  –   REVIEW OF THE WEEK ( the band will play music written over the course of the past 6 days)


    This is a very rough schedule & will be subject to change at the drop of a hat – but it does give some idea of the kind of things that will be happening. Updates will be available during the course of the exhibition through the gallery’s website.