Grayson Perry’s next Channel 4 series will be his “most ambitious yet” – an exploration of the landmark events in the lives of people across the world.
Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage will see the artist travel the world as he reinvents ideas about birth, coming of age, marriage and death for the modern secular age. In the series, airing next year, he will spend time with communities in the Amazon, Indonesia and Japan to see how they treat these key moments. He will then collaborate with British families to devise rites of passage ceremonies that will mark these crucial moments in their lives.
The final result will involve a ceremony that Perry will help the families to design, using ritual art objects that the Turner Prize-winning artist will make.
“In its international sweep, and its focus on the universal experiences we all go through, this will be Grayson Perry’s most ambitious series yet,” said Channel 4 in a statement.
“Grayson believes in the power of ritual to help us make sense of our lives, and thinks we are in danger of losing our way when it comes to marking those important moments today.
“Religions all have their rituals – weddings, funerals, christenings– but the UK is now one of the most secular countries in the world, so they don’t always resonate with everyone. At their worst, they can feel empty and impersonal. And in a modern Britain of divorce, blended families and gay marriage, the traditional ceremonies don’t always fit with the way we actually live our lives.”
In addition, Channel 4 has commissioned a 90-minute one-off programme to explore gender-fluidity in the UK.
Genderquake will shine a light on the subject by bringing together ten young British people from across the spectrum to live under one roof for a week.
The experiment will involve participants from the LGBTQ community embodying modern definitions of gender and others representing more traditional identities – all with strong opinions on the subject. They will be asked to take part in activities that will help them explore their differing views – and possibly change them.