This year our output of press releases is reaching prodigious proportions. OK, that is hyperbole; we have only released three so far with another one (announcing the launch of the publicity drive for the 2009 Weird Weekend) overdue, which will appear when I get around to it!
However, this one, released a few minutes ago, is mildly amusing:
Jonathan Downes, director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, [CFZ] the world's largest mystery animal research group is the last person that one would expect to be part of the radical chic art world. However, on Saturday 17th he will be appearing at The Senate Room in the Royal Academy that was formerly the Museum of Mankind, in London as part of the season called GSK Contemporary (series of contemporary art exhibitions and events), curated by artist Gail Pickering.
Gail wrote: "My response has been rather than present my own work but to use the time more as a discussion with invited guests producing a day of talks/performances/screenings. Taking as a staring point the role of animals within contemporary culture and our relationship to them. I'm viewing this in an expansive sense and focused initially – perhaps inevitably as an artist – on their representation both in art, film and history. It's out of this research that I continually come back to the proposed 'mystery' of animals and the universal desire for observing, locating, producing (in art, science)."
Jon, who as well as being a cryptozoologist and author, is also a composer and musician, will be talking about the relationship between mythology, art and science, as part of a day which includes performance, music and lecture. It promises to be an amazing day, and best of all - it's free. See you there...
Check out the website for this season of events:
This is probably not the place to note that the late, great John Lennon said that "avant garde" was French for bullshit!
NOTES TO EDITORS
* The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation. It was founded in 1992 by British author Jonathan Downes (4 and is a non-profit making (not for profit) organisation registered with H.M. Stamp Office.
* Life-president of the CFZ is Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his groundbreaking youth work organising the ‘Operation Drake’ and ‘Operation Raleigh’ expeditions in the 1970s and 1980s.
* CFZ Director Jonathan Downes is the author and/or editor of over 20 books. Island of Paradise, his first hand account of two expeditions to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in search of the grotesque vampiric chupacabra, will be published in the next few weeks.
* The CFZ have carried out expeditions across the world including Russia, Sumatra, Mongolia, Guyana, Gambia, Texas, Mexico, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Loch Ness, and Loch Morar.
* CFZ Press are the world’s largest publishers of books on mystery animals. They also publish Animals & Men, the world’s only cryptozoology magazine, and Exotic Pets, Britain’s only dedicated magazine on the subject.
* The CFZ produce their own full-length documentaries through their media division called CFZtv www.cfztv.org. One of their films `Lair of the Red Worm` which was released in early 2007 and documents their 2005 Mongolia expedition has now been seen by nearly 50,000 people.
* The CFZ is based in Jon Downes’ old family home in rural North Devon which he shares with his wife Corinna (52). It is also home to various members of the CFZ’s permanent directorate and a collection of exotic animals.
* Jonathan Downes presents a monthly web TV show called On the Track (http://cfzmonthly.blogspot.com/) which covers cryptozoology and work of the CFZ.
* The CFZ are opening a Visitor Centre and Museum in Woolsery, North Devon.
* Following their successful partnership with Capcom www.capcom.com on the 2007 Guyana expedition, the CFZ are looking for more commercial sponsors.