Attenborough Naftel is a collaborative project between artists Chris Attenborough and Sean Naftel. Both graduates of the Burren College of Art , National University of Ireland, Galway. attenborough naftel has been creating inteventionist installations and events in the USA and in Ireland since 2008. Their installations democratize aesthetics to activate the space, and engage the viewer (often unknowingly) to become a participant. Once known as PEACOCK, attenborough naftel has evolved into a multinational collabortive project, far beyond its early beginings as PEACOCK.
We create installations that are based on the experiences and spaces we interact with and the places our imaginations wish we could. Each piece becomes an entity of its own, unreflective of the installation that came before. Yet running throughout the entire body of work is a mashing of cultures and ideals that comments, provokes, and laughs at communal histories; creating at first a smart ass response, that through further investigation leads to the underbelly of the common threads that exists throughout disparate communities.
Yard Sale represents our first collaboration with De Buck Gallery, and featured a room-scale installation resembling the all-American ideal of a yard sale, adapted for a Chelsea gallery. Attenborough-Naftel's DIY aesthetic supported and celebrated the desire to gather and play. Like our past work, Yard Sale appropriates the visual cues from this summertime event and encourages the audience to transcend from merely a viewer, and become an active participant. Yard Sale functioned much as it's traditional namesake, selling the wares by gallery artists including Zevs, Kelly Reemtsen, Ruby Anemic, Hans Kotter and Mahmoud Hamadani, as well as numerous ephemera from previous Attenborough Naftel installations
Winnebago d-23 (Tailgate mancave / camper)
The D-23 Winnebago by Attenborough-Naftel came with two different options the Tailgate Mancave made for your favorite Events and the Custom Camper Edition made for a 4 person romantic getaway weekend. Both models focused on the weekend and how young adults wish to spend them.
Attenborough Naftel’s interest in the shared human experience has taken us to block parties and juke joints, winter cabins and art fairs, traveler’s caravans and even to planet Mars. It is now taking us tailgating; a uniquely American pre/post event pastime. Normally centered around sporting events and concerts, the tailgate party, also known as tailgating, is a community building and fortifying event.
Why is it that tailgating isn’t found at other events? Sure you can see the random wedding tailgate party, but why is this idea of like minded people coming together to celebrate a shared event not universally embraced. Attenborough Naftel is looking to change this paradigm and interject tailgating into other social activities.
We have been examining key aspects of tailgating and what makes it such a desirable situation for social gathering. This has led us to also research the ‘man cave’ phenomenon. These two types of situations are closely linked through social practices of eating and drinking and game playing. Both situations are, also, closely linked due to their existence on the near periphery of the ‘main event’. With the man cave this tends to be a separation from the family dwelling. What sets tailgating apart is its connection to a specific cultural event, i.e. Superbowl, baseball game, hockey match, etc. There is no reason why this banding together peers, this camaraderie of people so interesting in one thing shouldn’t do the same before, during and after any major event.
The Custom Camper is focused on leaving all the hustle and bustle behind and escaping for the weekend. The camper has everything you need to pair up with another couple and spend the weekend exploring. While the Mancave is focused on the party, the Custom camper is focused on regenerating.
qax 2013: Block Party
Attenborough Naftel was asked to create an interactive installation as part of the Block Party. Block Party was an event to celebrate the move of the QCA to the new Astoria Arts District. QCA invited chefs, dancers, musicians, & visual artists from around the borough to activate this event in not-so-common ways. Our contribution to this was Stoopball Challenge, an over-sized Queens style stoop. These differ from what you would find in Brooklyn, much lower and more narrow, less ornate.
AFair was a combination of a city block party and country fair that took place in a remote Irish village. It looked at the vernacular structures that surround relaxation and entertainment in small, close-knit communities. All pieces were bartered for or made from found materials.
PEACOCK was invited by Monster Truck Gallery (Dublin) to present a portion of the A Fair (the ticket booth and popcorn cart) during the Dublin Art Fair. Art Fair goers purchased tickets at one end of the fair and then had to navigate to the popcorn stand (at the other end of the fair) in order to collect their popcorn cone encouraging fair goers to wander through gallery booths either looking for tickets or eating popcorn.
The Git Inn
The Git Inn was a mash-up dwelling of a Juke-Joint and a Traditional Irish Pub creating a new vernacular structure. The pub was fully operational, with its own “blended whiskey”, poker tables, soundtrack, bartenders, bar nuts, Budweiser tall-boys, mash-up video of a “foot ball game”, graffiti, and drunks