Multiple screen video installation developed for Central Space Gallery London
Video stills from Conversazione
Loss of Freedom
Installation using montage of multi-layered sound, developed around an oral history account of an elderly woman traveller living under the Westway flyover in Hammersmith with a sound design by Ray Beckett. The visual material was filmed at the traveller site and at other events in collaboration with local community organisations these included filmed material from a production of Frankenstein by the Co-sign deaf and hearing theatre company. The work expressed the continual pressure for institutionalisation and conformity at odds with the utopian view of technological networks at the time. In the gallery I erected a barricade of 19th century neo-gothic church pews into a long pile to suggest an atmosphere of institutional hush.
View the CONVERSAZIONE Gallery
'A zig-zag of church pews processes with chaotic angularity down the gallery. A video showing simultaneously on three monitors begins with a white horse, archetypal symbol of the free spirit, rolling in the dust then galloping languorously, its coat gleaming in the sunlight. Seen in slow motion, the image dwells unashamedly on its own beauty. But on the soundtrack the submergence of Faure's Requiem in insistent traffic noise alerts one to the likely disruption of this romantic idyll. The camera pulls back to reveal that the horse, worried by a snapping black dog, is running freely but circling on a patch of concrete beneath the Westway. A woman's voice complains of appalling conditions in sites such as the Westway intersection, remembers when travellers were free to roam, accuses Thatcher of wanting to round up and gas all gypsies and insists they will fight for their lifestyles since 'if they put us in a house they might as well put us in prison'. A subsidary theme to the loss of freedom is the inability to be heard - a performance by deaf and mute theatre company is followed by a drum marathon in aid of the homeless.