Thuistezien 313 — 24.01.2022
As one of the final acts concluding the multi-faceted Douglas Park exhibition, ‘Post-Terminal & Ex-Ultimate’ (14.05.2016 – 26.06.2016) at West Den Haag, Pete Um (Cambridge, UK) performs an array of his eclectic miniature sound-poems while wrangling with his self-proclaimed role, as a Douglas Park impersonator impersonator. Um, a tape-poet performing contradiction with sardonic humour and an unreliable mini-disc player. With his complex idiosyncrasy, Um challenges, in reflexive terms, normative histories of popular music and its repressions.
The whole scene is rather surreal, its playful absurdity wrapped in a sort of artistic lament creates an uncanny atmosphere. Throughout the set, Um attempts to validate his existence, particularly as part of the finissage for ‘Post Terminal & Ex-Ultimate’ and the struggle of identity, authorship, and recreation. I mean, re-creation. Um, being the unique one-man show he is, apart from his physical likeness to Park, finds himself performing extremely personal music while proclaiming that he is Douglas Park. No, a Douglas Park Impersonator. Wrong again, a Douglas Park Impersonator impersonator. And with the literary death of the author, as the Douglas Park virus spreads, all become infected and start spreading Douglas Park, turning everything more into Park with every moment. If ‘Post-Terminal & Ex-Ultimate’ could be seen as Douglas Park’s scientific laboratory, then UMparxon8shonz is Park’s Frankenstein, animated brilliantly by Pete Um.
Text: Hendrik Hohlfeld