The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'iain forsyth'
This afternoon, I went to The Hospital, a gallery in Endell St., Covent Garden, to see a video installation titled Anyone Else Isn't You, by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard (the artists behind the reenactment of that Cramps gig in the mental hospital, and a number of Smiths-themed installations in the 1990s). This video work (named after a Field Mice song, which played at the end of it) was about the way people's lives and relationships are influenced and mediated by music, and consisted of fragments of interviews with 12 people talking about such things as mixtapes they made for/received from lovers, songs they couldn't listen to any more because they were associated with relationships gone bad, records associated with specific times of their lives, and other anecdote (one woman mentioned a friend who did so much acid he thought he was living in Pet Sounds). The people were mostly in their late 20s/30s, and the music they mentioned ranged from the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Belle & Sebastian to the Velvet Underground; the video went on for about half an hour.
There is also a booklet with the exhibition, featuring writing on the subject by Momus, Steve Lamacq and one JJ Charlesworth.
Two London-based artists reenact a Cramps gig at a mental hospital, bringing real mental patients into the venue. The original gig was played in a Californian mental hospital in 1978, and only poor-quality video tapes exist of it.
The band's hair, outfits and guitars were copied from what little can be made out in the bootleg video, but the audience were free to dress, act and dance as they wished. The overall "realism" is in the documentation, with the artists' video being scripted to ensure the same pulls, camera jumps and lack of focus as the original. The film will later be re-shot from a TV screen and copied from videotape to videotape until the desired breakdown in quality is achieved.
Some at the ICA were worried that they may be accused of exploiting those with mental health problems; mental health charities were concerned that they might be renting patients to the art world; and the artists themselves were wary of getting out of their depth.