VIEW SOURCE: GAZELLE TWIN
10 October 2016
At this year’s edition of The Long Progress Bar, we’re asking a new generation of thought-provoking artists, activists and academics to explore the question: what is progress?
In this edition of View Source, UK artist, composer and producer Elizabeth Bernholz of Gazelle Twin responds to the question with a book, artwork and piece of technology that has recently interested, inspired or influenced her.
The Suburbs Dream of Violence (Kingdom Come) will screen at The Long Progress Bar on 8 September at Brighton Dome Studio Theatre. Taking its title from J. G. Ballard’s final novel, Kingdom Come is a concept performance, devised by Gazelle Twin, in collaboration with filmmakers Chris Turner and Tash Tung.
Kingdom Come by J.G. Ballard – “the suburbs dream of violence”
The Bentall Centre, Kingston upon Thames, London.
“I’m interested in the negative side effects, or even the implosion of progressive ideologies, particularly the fallout from 1980s-90s capitalism – these, I think, are two central themes in many of Ballard’s novels, which are based in the London suburbs, where he lived.
His final novel depicts a Metro shopping centre acting as a kind of monolithic and benign force, a mecca for a tribalised middle class, whose sole purpose is to consume and with that, protect the centre from any disruption or non-conformists. In increasingly violent acts, immigrants and outsiders are targeted by tribes marked by the emblem of St George’s cross. Along with High-Rise, its illustration of humankind’s unstoppable return to feralness via pockets of fascism, is one of the primary inspirations for my latest live project and forthcoming 3rd album."
Untitled #122, (1983) by Cindy Sherman
“This portrait of a woman in a generic business suit, with wild hair part-concealing her face and fists tightly clenched speaks volumes to me. It’s like a pagan costume that reflects centuries after centuries of one cultural form. What interests me about it most is the wildness of the figure, rather like she’s been raised in the wild, but the wilds of a city rather than the woods. It’s the notion of the ancient taking over the present – another kind of feralness, a kind of self-protection or self-loathing, the extremity of one type of life. This photo was one of the chief inspirations for the costumes used in Kingdom Come.”
Gazelle Twin performing at Rewire Festival in Rotterdam earlier this year.
“Treadmills feature in the live performance of Kingdom Come – to me, treadmills carry quite negative connotations and they’re a strong symbol a kind of existential nightmare – not just because they remind me of gyms. They’ve become an icon of contemporary life, binding the human body and lifestyle aspirations to technology; keeping it trained like a human hamster wheel, giving the illusion of moving forward and of making progress but always remaining maddeningly stationary.”
The Long Progress Bar 2016
A one-day festival of talks, screenings and music, The Long Progress Bar celebrates radical imagination and explores new methods of empowerment, collective action and technological progress.
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