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Daniel Mudie Cunningham

Monkey Bars | 2015

Monkey bars by Daniel Mudie Cunningham. photo Vera Hong
Monkey bars by Daniel Mudie Cunningham. photo Vera Hong
Monkey Bars. @
Filmed in a semi-brutalist park in Kandos NSW that was redeveloped and ‘contemporised’ several weeks after shooting, ‘Monkey Bars’ depicts three wise man-monkeys cavorting on the monkey bars and playground equipment. The performance is set to a mash-up of eco-apocalyptic ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ by The Pixies and ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’, a breakup song by The Monkees. ‘Monkey Bars’ is conceived as the ‘lost B-Side’ of ‘Dog Eat Dog’, a music video Daniel Mudie Cunningham released in 2013. In ‘Dog Eat Dog’, the artist gorges on platters of hotdogs in a dog suit, edited to a music mash of ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ by The Beatles and ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ by The Stooges. ‘Monkey Bars’ uses the same logic of forced associations through wordplay and music puns by mixing unlikely rock songs with hungry, sexed-up plushies looking for love in all the wrong places. This work continues Cunningham’s interest in queering the tropes of popular culture and music video conventions to flip the record on how meaning is regenerated in a world of remakes and covers. ‘Monkey Bars’ was presented in the laundry at Kandos Projects during Cementa15 and is now held in the Kandos Museum Collection.

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Filmed in a semi-brutalist park in Kandos NSW that was redeveloped and ‘contemporised’ several weeks after shooting, ‘Monkey Bars’ depicts three wise man-monkeys cavorting on the monkey bars and playground equipment. The performance is set to a mash-up of eco-apocalyptic ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ by The Pixies and ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’, a breakup song by The Monkees.

‘Monkey Bars’ is conceived as the ‘lost B-Side’ of ‘Dog Eat Dog’, a music video Daniel Mudie Cunningham released in 2013. In ‘Dog Eat Dog’, the artist gorges on platters of hotdogs in a dog suit, edited to a music mash of ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ by The Beatles and ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ by The Stooges. ‘Monkey Bars’ uses the same logic of forced associations through wordplay and music puns by mixing unlikely rock songs with hungry, sexed-up plushies looking for love in all the wrong places.

This work continues Cunningham’s interest in queering the tropes of popular culture and music video conventions to flip the record on how meaning is regenerated in a world of remakes and covers.

‘Monkey Bars’ was presented in the laundry at Kandos Projects during Cementa15 and is now held in the Kandos Museum Collection.

Check out the video here