Lucie Stahl and Will BenedictThe Village Gossip Meets the Newspaper Photoroman

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Press release

In her dreams Jane Marple was funny yet poignantly critical. In one such dream she found herself back in the dreaded and competitive atmosphere of parenting a child through a primary school science fair. Where all around her were the co-labourings of father and daughter and mother and son, she had left her younglings to their own devices to discover themselves as amateurs. The theme of this year’s fair, though not outwardly stated, was the crustacean-like-vagina. Ebony and ivory molluscs and oversized sandpaper red lobsters were corralled into little booths, pushing at the boundaries of their allotted space. In form, the exhibition resembled Mr. Toads Wild Ride with a bit more moodiness, as the fair this year was surprisingly empty. She viewed a few collaborators off past a huge purple Amazonian flower but was otherwise feeling remarkably alone which to Jane was always a comforting initial sensation. Though the complex aroma of the various displays was palpable the overall effect was decidedly mild, more akin to those strange new attempts by Hermes to produce pond water or sand scent. Jane came to the end of an aisle and vaguely recalled that her children might need help but on turning the corner was confronted with the most profoundly disturbing presentation yet. While the preceding samples of grotesquery had lain still, this enormous horned vagina cooed and gurgled and as she shuttered in amazement, that part of her body, which she had forgotten existed, exited. It was sand coloured as seemed to be typical of much of the exhibit but with highlights of rose and white around the peaks of its horny shell, it had black beady eyes set on what appeared to be bright white perfectly round tailed eggs which it gently grasped in it's giant pincer before giving her a brief glance and returning to the horned folds from which it had come. Jane woke with the vanity of great dreaming, thanked God she never had to exercise her parenting skills, made tea and pondered where Britain had gone so terribly wrong.

Will Benedict, 2011