‘After Medication: Random Treyfs and Artknacks’ follows an exhibiton ‘Ape Forgets Medication’ held at Londonewcastle Gallery in London in 2016. Chris Petit’s catalogue essay for that exhibition stated: “Jonathan Meades is not afraid of what he likes, at a time when taste, and careers, are increasingly rounded, dictated, honoured and curated. Curators – culture’s lollipop ladies – guide the gormless spectator across the abyss of misapprehension, safe to the other side. Meades by contrast is a caged beast: he knows we are all apes in the end, given to dressing up, prone to lapse. A broad career of print and performance conforms to the old dictate of never apologise, never explain – a laudably bloody-minded, even heroic stance in an age of abject apology, Mexican-style outpourings of national grief and obligatory breakdown on camera, where the interviewer’s first question is: tell us what you are feeling right now.”
Jonathan Meades is a writer, journalist, essayist, film-maker. His books include three works of fiction – Filthy English, Pompey and The Fowler Family Business – and several collections including Museum Without Walls, which received 13 nominations as a book of the year in 2012. ‘An Encyclopaedia of Myself’ won Best Memoir in the Spear’s Book Awards 2014 and was shortlisted for the 2015 Pen Ackerley Prize. Roger Lewis of the Financial Times said of the work that “If this book is thought of less as a memoir than as a symphonic poem about post-war England and Englishness – well, then it is a masterpiece”. He has written and performed in 60 television films on predominantly topographical subjects such as shacks, garden cities, megastructures, buildings associated with vertigo, beer, pigs, and the architecture of Hitler and Stalin. His last film was Ben Building, on the architecture of Mussolini. He has just finished shooting Matrix Hubbing Performative Pain Badgers on language, specifically the bathos of jargon and the glory of slang. It will be transmitted on BBC4 in the new year. His most recent book is The Plagiarist In The Kitchen, described by the Financial Times as ‘the year’s best cookbook’. In May and June The Whitechapel Gallery and the National Film theatre staged a retrospective of his films, Here Lies Jonathan Meades.