My films celebrate the homemade and the amateurish. I am compelled by the figure of the amateur enthusiast and the resourceful nature of home video and fan-made productions. In previous films I have formed a Ten Pin Bowling team, made a short remake of 1993’s The Three Musketeers and have competed in a local soapbox derby.
I adopt a self-made approach: I shoot things on a smartphone; I involve friends and non-actors as performers; I use cardboard and paper mache to build props, sets and costumes. For me the homemade speaks of aspiration; it engages with our need for identification with, and distance from, the ideal. I locate my work in this space of aspiration, between intention and outcome, which gives opportunity for the creation of something changed and new.
It is through collective making that I engage with amateurism and politics of taste. The assembling of my work has an ambivalent attitude towards authenticity utilising modes of imitation and repetition to explore our relationship with notions of prowess and achievement. The objects and costumes created by and for my practice are themselves explorations of ideas of legitimacy and taste through revelling in a joy in making and imagination.
My practice is an investigation into the generative possibilities of poor imitation and the bad copy with regard to the performance of masculinities. My works articulate a struggle to perform, they present fictions that insist on their legitimacy through various repetitions and reenactments. To imitate poorly and to fail productively is to open up space for imagination.
The Battle From Outer Space
Smartphone video, 10mins.
Starring Anaïs Comer and Billy Sassi
Camera: Philip Speakman
In an unspecified moment in time two spacemen from Earth are stranded on a distant planet while a war rages back at home. They wait to be retrieved and returned to Earth but can't seem to make contact with their colleagues back at the base.
Our two unnamed spacemen spend their time expressing discontent at their idleness, playing unknown board games with space rocks and role-playing their imagined part in the war.
The work stems from thinking about how our current moment interacts with contemporary anxieties about productivity and raises questions about the value of our time and activity. What does it mean to slow down, to stop moving forward, reduce productivity and waste time? How does this affect our understanding of our roles in society, in particular what does it mean if we can’t personally ‘fight’, can’t go to ‘war’ against the Coronavirus?
This film seeks to explore notions of amateurism and their aesthetics; how that interacts with politics of taste and how this may be used to engage with ideas of masculinity.
Smartphone video, 11mins looped.
Having heard reports of UFO sightings in the area, two guys look for signs of a visit. Shot from their point of view as they share a smartphone to document their search, they discuss what their plans are if they do encounter aliens.
While they look to make their mark on the world their conversations indicate how they see their role in society, their aspirations and their desire for a purpose.
The Three Musketeers (2018)
Smartphone video, 10mins.
The Three Musketeers has the most film versions of almost any story; Wikipedia lists at least twenty six. This is my remake based on the 1993 iteration of the film.
Made in the LCC Studio in the Elephant and Castle shopping centre over a month-long period through a series of workshops open to the public. The film involved participation from my peers and the public to construct sets, costumes and to perform.
It is six scenes selected from the 1993 film played and replayed with the performers freely switching and combining roles.