Thursday, 16 February 2012

StAnza and REWIND Screening

Enjoyable StAnza event at DJCAD Lower Foyer Gallery tonight gave a great introduction to the festival which will run from March 14th-18th in St Andrews. We were treated to a variety of poems and tempted by the massive selection of events StAnza has to offer; book launches, workshops, poetry readings (sometimes accompanied by cake), live music and art events. 

And yesterday evening the RECORD>AGAIN exhibition at the Centrespace played host to the REWIND Screening event, which presented videos from the 70's to the early 90's like David Hall's TV Interruptions (1993).

And the poignant video documentation of One, (1971) a performance in which 4 labourers were paid to spend 8 hours shoveling dirt in an obscure game of 'pass the parcel' while the tune for Happy Birthday played continuously in the background. 

The documentary made clear that on the same day Apollo 14 astronauts were digging up rock samples on the moon - footage of this act was being shown in many shop windows. However, at the window downstairs from the performance space it was the work being acted out by the labourers above that was shown via live CCTV feed. The narration tells us that the two scenes became almost indistinguishable as the day continued and the soil covered the performance space.

Though the parallel between the actions on the moon and the performance was highlighted throughout the video so were the thoughts of each person involved (and this included the imagined thoughts of spectators on the street). Reflections of going to work or of being in employment, expressing a sense of purposefulness even with the labourers in the gallery whose task seemed almost senseless, were central to the goings on. 

While the good news from 2012 - unemployment in the UK only rose by 48,000 in the last quarter of 2011, bringing UK's unemployment rate to 8.4% (BBC).

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