A performing area made of hardboard and parcel tape. A projection screen on either side shows footage shot in Light Square in Adelaide. Each camera shot out of opposite sides of the car simultaneously as it circled the square, occasionally pausing at traffic lights.
At each end of the space is a laptop showing video excerpts from Return of the Living Dead Part II, Weekend, Alphaville and Bande à Part. Actors fight, cower, run, act the fool, dance, play dead, stagger down corridors and watch aerobics on TV.
In silence, three performers – Paul Dungworth, Sheila Ghelani and Matt Adams – copy what they see on the screen frame by frame. Rabbit Run by Eminem comes in very loudly. Then silence. Then Eminem plays through again. A hermetic shootout, the participants facing away from each other, raptly focused on the small screens. Fin.
The work lasts 19 minutes and reprises a short section of Stampede (1994) in its playful exploration of the influence of cinema. The work stages a mimesis proliferating out of control, where each role is layered upon another. Godard’s love of westerns is embodied in the fooling of Franz and Arthur acting out Hollywood action in Bande à Part. But the play acting gradually takes on a sinister force and results in a ‘real’ shootout as the climax of the film. And the zombie movie is perhaps the most self mocking of all genres; Return of the Living Dead Part II even features a Michael Jackson lookalike zombie in the climactic scene.
In Light Square the performers then bring a deadly seriousness to their inherently flawed attempt to copy what they see. Every edit makes a mockery of their task. The soundtrack imports a bombastic seriousness for a couple of minutes, then leaves them back where it found them.
A commission by the Deptford X festival, performed at the Laban Centre in London in April 2004.