My new exhibition is called ‘Flag of Convenience’ and it’s at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery from Saturday 25th May until Friday 28th June 2019. Admission is free. Flags and what they are made to represent have been a longtime interest – The exhibition will include postcards and badges from the Dunnico eBay account to put the 40-odd photos in their social and historical context. They’ll even be a couple or more new artworks on show. Anyway – here’s the leaflet and stay tuned for some background, outtakes and unveilings.
It may be called ‘Dull’ but hopefully this exhibition at the Brighton Fringe Festival will be anything but. For a start, I’ve got a piece in it. The exhibition has been put together by Sightlines Projects and “examines this most ordinary of words and invites the viewer to pause just a moment longer”.
I’ve droned on before about my 2011 sound installation 100 Breaths Per Minute, which has been shown a couple of times previously, but here’s what it says on the latest caption board:
“What could be duller than nothing? But of course, silence is not nothing – 100 Breaths Per Minute is a minute long and is made up of one hundred breaths. The breaths were the inhalations of announcers on BBC Radio 4, taken just before they began to introduce the next programme. There is a golden rule on the radio: The airwaves must never fall silent! This is in case someone spinning the tuning dial thinks there is nothing on – And as has already been stated, there is no such thing as nothing”.
If you’re a goth and in Whitby this weekend (and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you be) you can see my old video ‘Duppies’ (aka ‘Memento Mori’) being resurrected at Art D’Morte – the biannual gothic show held in conjunction with Marquis Masquerade and the Whitby Dracula Society, which brings art, animation, film and literature together.
I’ve got a couple of pictures in the Lyin’ Politicians Festival being held over what was supposed to be Brexit Weekend, at The Fish Factory Arts Centre in Penryn, Cornwall.
This was based on something I did for my ‘1984 Looks Like This’ exhibition at Salford Art Gallery a few years ago. “The Committee of Public Safety” was the de facto authority in France, after the Revolution, and were responsible for the ‘Terror’.
I’m glad the exhibition was for 2D posters, so I didn’t have to cart the actual ballot box / paper shredder down to Cornwall.
Thousands of school students all over the world took part in strikes to protest about climate change – Here are some photographs I took at Westminster Bridge in London where I was for the opening of the Take Back Control exhibition, which is on until this Saturday (23 March 2019).
Now that all the centenery ‘celebrations’ of the First World War have been and gone, it’s time to look at how (and why) the rituals used to commemorate this and subsequent wars came about. This is a video I’ve just finished which is another look at The Two Minutes Silence – I’ve made videos, audio recordings and still photographs of various silences over the past few years and will probably do so again, but here, for now, is the Daddy of them all…
Filmed at 11am on Sunday 11th November 2018 – Exactly 100 years after the Armistice which ended the First World War. This was filmed on Horse Guards Parade where the artillery gun is fired to signal the beginning and end of the Two Minutes Silence. – But there can never be absolute silence or absolute stillness. The Two Minute Silence begins while the echo of the shot is still fading. Big Ben chimes Eleven o’ Clock (The bells had not been heard for months while the bell tower was being renovated). People pause, but there are still sounds – Car alarms set off by the gun, cop car sirens, wind noise. There is still movement – Leaves being blown, birds flying, flags fluttering, feet shuffling, the London Eye turning. And when the Two Minutes are up, the gun is fired again, the Last Post is played on bugles and then the crowds have to decide what they will say. There is laughter – one of the soldiers can’t get back on his horse… At the end of the First World War, the British government planned a grand parade to celebrate the allied victory. But to the bereaved families and maimed soldiers, it may have seemed a hollow victory. The public mood was more for reflection and remembrance than for more of the jingoism that had marched them off to “The Great War”. But remembrance was wrapped up in a shroud of memorialisation and hidden under a draped flag of Empire. and The memorials, notably the Cenotaph in Whitehall and Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, and acts of remembrance, particularly the Two Minutes Silence, said more about what had been lost than anything that had been won. It was a silence that told them to shut up and say nothing.
The Daily Herald carried a front page editorial on 11 November 1919: “You will be asked to be silent for two minutes to-day, to be silent and pause your labours to remember this day and this hour last year… “What will you remember and what will you forget? … The crime that called these men to battle… The war that was to end war and in reality did not?…