Knaves of Radiance

Five Knaves males masculinity in front of the US embassy under the Nine Elms pavilion wearing very colourful clothes and evident protrusions

A rare image of the Knaves, in full force, just before the official Cucumber Duel took place. Happened on the 30th August 2018 in front of the United States Embassy in London, under the Nine Elms Pavilion.

This is one of the most notable public appearances of the Knaves, who since June 2017 had been challenging themselves in a variety of manners: banana duels, nuts duels, whistle duels, cucumber duels. 

2018, Performance (1 h 30 min), Nine Elms pavilion, London, UK

commissioned by Nine Elms on the South Bank

Opening: Guarding routine

Knaves Pink Guard Green Guard Paul Coombs Antoine Brutel Luca Bosani

The Pink Guard and the Green Guard protecting the Knaves and the pavilion prior and after the official duel took place.

Knaves Pink Guard Green Guard Paul Coombs Antoine Brutel Luca Bosani
Knaves Pink Guard Green Guard Paul Coombs Antoine Brutel Luca Bosani unidentified performing objects spears

The Guards follow a precise movement routine inspired by the London Queen’s guards routine.

Confrontation: Cucumber Duel

Knaves Cucumber Duel Luca Bosani

At a given signal the Knaves start the fight

Knaves of Radiance Cucumber Duel Luca Bosani
Knaves of Radiance Cucumber Duel Luca Bosani masculinity hyper masculinity

Details: Protrusions

Contender 01: Knave (eggplant purple over banana yellow)

Contender 02: Knave (banana yellow over eggplant purple)

Closing: Cucumber Duel

None of the people present seem to have understood who has won the duel, but everyone remembers the peculiar protrusions of which the Knaves were making a great show off.

The Knaves (versions on paper)

Knave of Radiance (Hunter), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 25×25.5cm.

Knave of Radiance (Shy Joker), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 25×25.2cm.

Knave of Radiance (Do you wanna fight?), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 25x26cm.

Knave of Radiance (GunBoy), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24x25cm.

Knave of Radiance (Muerte), 2018, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 23.5x24cm.

UPOs (Unidentified Performing Objects)

UPO (my fear is greater than my courage), 2018, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, gesso, acrylic polymer varnish on cotton, 66x118cm. Uncertified.

UPO (my courage is greater than my fear), 2018, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, gesso, acrylic polymer varnish on cotton, 65x115cm. Uncertified.

UPO (Pink Guard), 2018, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, gesso, acrylic varnish on cotton, 65x115cm. Uncertified.

UPO (K.O.R. eggplant purple), 2018, Materials after analysis: Poly(ethenyl acetate), cellulose, acrylic polymer varnish, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, steel, silicone, cotton, aluminium, butadiene rubber, 40x22x65cm. Uncertified.

UPO (K.O.R. 01)UPO (K.O.R. 02) performing their own destruction after the last Knaves of Radiance public appearance. Find out more here

UPO unidentified performing object burning, fire

UPO (K.O.R. 01), (29th June 2017 – 24th April 2019)

UPO unidentified performing object burning, fire

UPO (K.O.R. 02), (29th June 2017 – 24th April 2019)

UPO (K.O.R. hot pink)UPO (K.O.R. electric swan) were born from the ashes of UPO (K.O.R. 01)UPO (K.O.R. 02).

UPO (K.O.R. electric swan), 2019, Materials after analysis: Silicon rubber, cellulose, fake fur, steel, silicone, cotton, aluminium, butadiene rubber, 46x25x27cm. Uncertified.

UPO unidentified performing object Luca Bosani hot fluorescent pink

UPO (K.O.R. hot pink), 2020, Materials after analysis: Flexeine, urethane, silicone, cotton, butadiene rubber, steel, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, polystyrene, cellulose, aluminium, 52x38x14cm. Uncertified.

UPO (K.O.R. electric swan), 2019, Materials after analysis: Silicon rubber, cellulose, fake fur, steel, silicone, cotton, aluminium, butadiene rubber, 46x25x27cm. Uncertified.

UPO unidentified performing object Luca Bosani hot fluorescent pink

UPO (K.O.R. hot pink), 2020, Materials after analysis: Flexeine, urethane, silicone, cotton, butadiene rubber, steel, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, polystyrene, cellulose, aluminium, 52x38x14cm. Uncertified.

Opening: Banana Duel (extended session)

2017, Performance (1 h), Guest Projects, London, UK

Two male identified characters stare in each other eyes wearing an extremely colourful jacket

The two opponents intensely look in each other eyes just before the Banana Duel will commence.

Male looking person smoking an electric cigarette while laying on the ground, wearing a pork sausage scarf

In the meantime, on the ground, a solitary knave is enjoying the taste of his e-cigarette.

Two male identified people standing inside buckets full of fluorescent paint, in front of them two pairs sculptural shoes known as unidentified performing objects by Luca Bosani

The knaves dip their feet in buckets filled with fluorescent paint and stand still for 90 seconds. This is a clear sign that the challenge is about to start.

Confrontation: Banana Duel (extended session)

Male identified person holding a banana as if it was a gun

After five rounds, walking following the perimeter of a square, the Knaves begin pulling out their weapons from underneath their jackets.

Two men pointing two bananas against each other as if they were guns. Image reference Andy Warhol Elvis.
Male identified person holding two bananas as if they were guns. Image reference Andy Warhol Elvis.

When there are no bananas left inside the jacket, they continue to extract more fruits from underneath their shirt.

Two opponents during a banana duel, looking sad and angry, wearing extremely colourful jackets and white shirts.

The duel is extended in time (1 hour) and the confrontation is repeated countless times.

Man wearing a pork sausage around his neck as a scarf, looking bored and not interested.

Closing: Banana Duel (extended session)

Two men pointing two bananas against each other as if they were guns. Image reference Andy Warhol Elvis. Bananas on the floor, fluorescent paint spilled on the ground.

The duel closes with an unexpected final confrontation: the last weapon is pulled out from inside the buckets filled with fresh paint.

This might look like an hero but he is a loser, pointing a banana full of fluorescent paint as if it was a gun.
Loads of bananas squashed on the floor, slippery, cartoony

The Knaves (versions on paper)

Knave of Radiance (Ejaculation), 2018, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 25.2x25cm.

Knave of Radiance (Suicide), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24.5x25cm.

Knave of Radiance (The Shark), 2018, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 25×25.5cm.

Knave of Radiance (Knight), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24.8x25cm.

Knave of Radiance (Smoking Wolfman), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24.5x26cm.

Knave of Radiance (Torero fighting a Picasso bull with a smile), 2018, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 23.8x24cm.

UPOs (Unidentified Performing Objects)

UPOs developed in 2020, reimagining UPO (K.O.R. heart) and UPO (K.O.R. sword).

UPO (Lustrous Felon in xanthic yellow)_Luca Bosani 2020

UPO (K.O.R. in xanthic yellow), 2020, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, linseed oil, acrylic polymer emulsion, pastel, eye-liner, marker, pen on viscose and polyester, 65x60cm. Uncertified.

Lustrous Felon (xanthic yellow) 60x60cm_ Luca Bosani detail 1
Lustrous Felon (xanthic yellow) 60x60cm_ Luca Bosani side web
UPO (Lustrous Felon in persimmon orange) 2020_ Luca Bosani

UPO (K.O.R. in persimmon orange), 2020, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, linseed oil, acrylic polymer emulsion, eye-liner, marker, pen on viscose and polyester, 65x60cm. Uncertified.

Lustrous Felon (persimmon orange) 60x60cm_ Luca Bosani detail 2
Lustrous Felon (persimmon orange) 60x60cm_ Luca Bosani detail 1
Lustrous Felon (persimmon orange) 60x60cm_ Luca Bosani side web

Currently impossible to locate. Latest appearance: Interior and the Collectors, Lyon, FR (winter 2020)

UPO (K.O.R. banana yellow), 2017, Materials after analysis: Poly(ethenyl acetate), cellulose, acrylic polymer varnish, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, steel, silicone, cotton, aluminium, butadiene rubber, 45x25x28cm. Uncertified.

Knaves of Radiance: The first Banana Duel

2017, Performance (20 mins), Royal College of Art graduate show, London, UK

Repeated four times over one week.

The two contenders repeatedly rub their shoulder one against the other.

A third Knave, wearing football boots with metals studs, dictates the phases of the duel stomping his feet on the ground and creating a drawing on the concrete floor.

None of the Knaves were physically injured during the four Banana confrontations.

Play Video

Video documentation (2:30 min).

The Knaves (versions on paper)

Knave of Radiance (Emotional Footballer?)_Luca Bosani 2017 23x24.5cm new

Knave of Radiance (Emoptional Footballer), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 23×24.5cm.

Knave of Radiance (The Male Gaze), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24x26cm.

Knave of Radiance (Romance), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 23.5x25cm. Private collection.

Knave of Radiance (Score), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24.7x25cm. Private collection.

Knave of Radiance (Psycho Wizard), 2017, Watercolour, acrylic, stickers, pen and pencil on paper in glass & wood box frame, 24x25cm.

UPOs (Unidentified Performing Objects)

Vestito di Luce, Suit of Lights, UPO, unidentified performing object

UPO (K.O.R. heart), 2017, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, gesso, acrylic polymer varnish on cotton, 68x118cm. Uncertified.

Vestito di Luce, Suit of Lights, UPO, unidentified performing object

UPO (K.O.R. sword), 2017, Materials after analysis: Reflexeine, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, gesso, acrylic polymer varnish on cotton, 66x115cm. Uncertified.

The objects below don’t exist anymore. They performed their own destruction on the 24th April 2019.

UPOs unidentified performing objects

UPO (K.O.R. 02), 2017, Poly(ethenyl acetate), cellulose, acrylic polymer varnish, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, steel, silicone, cotton, PVC, aluminium, 50x20x28cm. Uncertified.

UPOs unidentified performing objects

UPO (K.O.R. 01), 2017, Materials after analysis: Poly(ethenyl acetate), cellulose, acrylic polymer varnish, pigment, acrylic polymer emulsion, steel, silicone, cotton, PVC, aluminium, 40x30x25cm. Uncertified.

Knaves of Radiance: The Whistle Duel (Singolar Tenzone)

2019, Performance (45 min each), two sessions over two days, Kunstram Bacchanal,  Kunstraum, London, UK

Day 1

Singolar tenzone (XV century Italian expression) means planned consensual duel between two men of the same social class, equally armed to defend their honour.

Play Video

Video Documentation (1:00 min)

The Knaves insult each other using archaic expressions from their mother tongue: Italian and Portuguese . They intimidate the enemy while never getting in physical contact.

Day 2

The duel took place over two days, two sessions of 45 minutes each.

The only weapons available were a megaphone and an furry whistle for each contender.

Final confrontation

The Knaves extract the whistle from their underwear.

As a final confrontation and in extreme proximity they whistle in the opponent’s face until exhaustion.

Despite a great effort no one of the presents understood who won the duel.

The Knaves (versions on paper)

Instation view: Collective Ending, Absinthe§2, London, UK

Absinthe Install_Luca Bosani_Singolar tenzone 1 new

Knave of Radiance (Red Sun), 2019, Watercolour, acrylic, pen and pencil on paper in glass & hand-made mdf frame, 20×68 cm.

Knave of Radiance (Blue Moon), 2019, Watercolour, acrylic, pen and pencil on paper in glass & hand-made mdf frame, 20×68 cm.

Curated by Rosie Hermon (Nine Elms on the South Bank), Linda Rocco, Isabel Blanco (Guest Projects), Thomas Cuckle and Hannah Conroy (Kunstraum), Collective Ending (Absinthe §2).

with: Tom Ribot, Rafael Escardò Espejo, Joe Mackay, Paul Coombs, Antoine Brutel, Hugo Lami. 

Photography: Nine Elms on The South Bank, Federico Guardabrazo, Giulia Brescianini, Masayuki Watanabe, Mark Benedict Cheong, Nat Urazmetova, Collective Ending.

 

© Luca Bosani