Mat Do at Jan van Eyck Academie / Maastricht

Mat Do
Solo Presentation – Club UK (Prologue)

March 2020

Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht NL

Photos: Jan van Eyck Academie

I’m gonna take drugs and then basically keep myself alive – Ha ha with water because I am so scared of dying. Do you know what I mean? It is like, it is… maybe that’s something about, you know, the nineties though, it’s like the fear. The post-eighties decadence. Yeah but, don’t you think that with everything that happened between 1990 and 94 really, well 96 I suppose, to a certain extent. But like, all that, I mean I, I was, I was definitely living vicariously through my sister. Are you there? You there? No. I lost you for a bit. You back? Yeah. Yeah. You’ve frozen, but can you hear me though? Yeah. I think you’re back. You’re back. Yeah. Am I back? And we’re back. What you saying’? Well, I was just saying’ – caus’ you know, I didn’t experience – I remember, like, I was really into, obviously I was really into Grunge, like really into Nirvana, so I was like, I suppose my, but at the same time I was really into Jungle and Drum n’ Bass.Yeah. Same. Same. And, you used to go to under sixteen Jungle nights, there was a Jungle night for under sixteen’s at Zero’s nightclub, in Southend, by Southend airport runway, it’s kinda like on a trading estate and they did an under-sixteen’s night once a month called Outrage and it was a Jungle and Drum n’ Bass night. Yeah, we had T-Rage.
Right – Where was that? It was in Epsom. In a club? No, it was in the leisure centre. Ha ha – it was run by gyp… you wouldn’t get, but where like a pirate radio station from, they were from Wandsworth, I think they used to do Club UK a lot, but they ran it. It was really rough. T-Rage, it was worse than raves. But I always remember going, I would, you know, I would, I would, like change my attire to like, I would borrow my sisters MA-1 bomber jacket and like put on my Reebok Classics and like errrh. Yeah, I would change, I had no allegiances let me put it that way. Like I… No, well, no. And I used to wear, I would happily, I had an AWOL record bag, you know “a way of life” – Oh yeah, very nice – Really cool, but I used to use that at school, as my school bag, but at the same time I would have a Nirvana patch on it or something – Woohoo. Juxtaposition – Well yeah, but I suppose what I am saying is, I dunno like, caus’ I didn’t really, and this is what I was talking about, I don’t know necessarily like, erm, what I am exactly trying to say, but this kind of being at the peripheries of an experience, like, knowing that all this stuff was going on. I remember the news stories, Leah Betts, because she was from Basildon and close to us and stuff, it was like quite, like prevalent or whatever, but then, yeah, and my sister was going out clubbing, erm and she was still quite young, seventeen or whatever, erm and there was a big club scene in Southend man, like huge. Club Art was big, and like, they had like, yeah there was, it was kinda like, yeah, it was like, rampant, but I never really got to experience it as I was just too young so you, so you were on the periphery of it, and looking back, you know, back at these photographs, and kinda I dunno, there is a certain idolisation that you project on to a time, and you probably have a better idea, because you are 4-5 years older, but, yeah, like, I dunno, I seem to want to furnish that moment in history as like, like, I kind of, I think I do kind of agree that it feels like the last big counter-cultural moment the UK’s had, like it feels like, after that Capitalism most definitely won. Do you know what I mean? It feels like there was no, no… – Well, I think it was, yeah, I think it was neoliberalism – Yeah – That won really, just to be, I don’t like using that word very much, but I think in this sense, it absolutely was and huh, like I was reading erm, there’s a piece, Rowan Moore has just done a piece in the Guardian about, the errh, the millennium dome, and about – Right, cool – And about how it was such an important New Labour project and it was flawed and stuff, and it’s quite interesting when you think about that in terms of, like, sort of where raves ended up, do you know what I mean?Like, this sort of professionalised, like, spectacle. And I don’t think, you know the stuff in the dome was meant to be like a rave in any, in any way, but just that big spectacle in a hanger, I think its got the same sort of connotations, and it’s like, rave’s ended up in, like you know, as I was saying, when they moved from fields to leisure centres and sort of big arts complex, when they did sort of become professionalised and like medicalised and sort of, not sanitised I don’t think, but – Managed – Yeah, managed. It’s about management. Yeah, that’s a really good way of putting it. Yeah, they became managed and which, which, what I, that’s what I caught, that’s what I got, it was the managed end of it. We never went to, like, raves, or anything. But when we were kids, I mean, it was defined by like, a threat of violence really, it was, they were always, it wasn’t the drugs so much, it was just they were quite moody and you would probably get mugged – Ha – Well, we thought you, we thought you would, but Club UK likewise, we thought it was rough, I can’t remember why we thought Club UK was rough. My sister hated it. She said it wasn’t very nice. Yeah, no, they’re not. They were sort of quite, by that time, they were, you know, quite, dodgy, quite dodgy really – Yeah – Erm, and that’s why we didn’t, like we were too, we were just too scared to go to Club UK, I think we probably heard some stories of people getting mugged outside or inside or whatever, and it wasn’t until we were eighteen, nineteen, that we started going, that you know, we, we, a couple of us went to something, you know, but it was, yeah, yeah, that’s why, that would be the reason why we didn’t go to start off with, because, I don’t know man, it’s interesting, I think the thing that I find, this is a pointless thing to say really, but what I find most interesting about it all, about the photos, is like, when you go into the detail, when you zoom into, like that difference between the sort of broad nostalgia and then really looking into the detail of something, like the water bottle – Mmmmm – it’s like that, it’s like using that as an access point from a fairly, sort of erm, banal, like family photo, into a, using that to access like a sort of wider, like a wider cultural history, but like through a specific, like detail, it’s nice, it’s interesting. I think it’s quite rich – Erm – relationship between the two, there’s quite a lot that you can draw out, between like the individual and like society, or the collective, or whatever – Hmmm – about how you experienced it, but with, you know like, you always used to talk about this idea of archaeology, but almost like, a sort of history or archaeology, like an archaeological look at how, at these, sort of cultures but from, it’s just like quite a weird perspective isn’t it? Yeah. It’s an interesting perspective, from like a very minor part of a, into a broader history, it’s nice. Yeah, just a, yeah, yeah, I mean, I think video is the way to go about it as well, when you were first talking about it, when you were talking about your presentation, it seems clear that a video is really good. What it seems to, what it seems to be kinda like, broadcasting, yeah, it’s, so I have got like two, so I’ve got…

Management’ – (Skype 03/12/19) – (2020)
A partial conversation between Mat Do and Ross Jardine