The Bigger Picture recommends… film and video from Cornerhouse’ Central Asian Project artists: new work from Dinu Li, and past selections from Ruth Maclennan.
Lens based media artist Dinu Li’s practice addresses the construction of identity – individual and collective, shaped by the forces of cultural, social and economic trends. Li’s video Chronicle of a Dream Foretold (2006/7), utilizes the manipulation of time and the multi transferring of photographic stills, film and DV material to blur the boundary between documentary and fantasy. Inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960’s film of The Rolling Stones’ rehearsing their song Sympathy for the Devil, Li worked with a local Kazkhstani rock band Motor Roller in a studio recording their latest song ‘Dreams.’ These scenes are supplemented by abstract vignettes as diverse as equestrians, mountain landscapes and train journeys.
The Ruth Maclennan and Volker Eichelmann video, Pigeon (2003), was specially made to be shown in cinemas as a split second interlude between the advertisements and the main feature. It was commissioned as part of an ongoing series, ‘A-Clips’, produced in Berlin and London. The forty-five second film stretches time to draw a portrait of pigeons in the city. Shot at pigeon-eye level, blown up to full screen size, the pigeons reflect some of the peculiarities and suffering of their human counterparts. At the same time, the film captures the textures, colours and sounds of the city as they might appear to a pigeon.
Calling All Workers (2004/5) by Ruth Maclennan explores the controversial idealism and institutional controls behind the practice of group exercise in the work place throughout the twentieth century. It draws on references to callisthenics, Busby Berkeley films, modern dance, Tai Chi, and movements gleaned from contemporary office life, through a reconstructed performance in the London School of Economics. The choreography was devised in collaboration with choreographer Susanne Thomas. The soundtrack, composed by Quentin Thomas, uses office and factory sounds. www.ruthmaclennan.com
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