Who Wants to be a Hero Now? (2005-06)
A theatre performance & networked installation exploring iconographies of heroism & our hopes to be better than we are.
“I have become a limitless being where no one can endanger me I am captivating in my pursuit of something extraordinary and unique I never fail I have become untouchable as I wait poised in order to fulfill a destiny filled with glory I am traveling at the speed of light full of exuberance and I fear nothing I have become divine” Natalie McGrath, performance text
Context: iconographies of heroism, Red Army Faction & post ’68 radical cool, rock ‘n roll celebrity & failure, pre-web 2.0 crowd sourcing, the beginnings of ‘post-truth’ culture.
This 2006 networked installation for tEXt festival was an interactive thinking and performance space that asked questions about media driven iconographies of heroism. The materials in the room – questionnaires, maps, the daily papers, performance scripts – were offered for public interaction; manipulated both by the gallery visitors and during a number of timed performance interventions.
A webcam shooting black and white stills at 5 minute intervals offered visitors the opportunity to frame and mediate themselves as celebrity heros on the world wide web. Each image was fed into a web page where for the next 5 minutes it was displayed alongside short videos curated from a public call. Each image was also ‘floated’ into the exhibition space immediately after it was taken from a black and white printer set high in the gallery resulting in an accumulation both of action and missed opportunities.
Throughout the tEXt Festival, Blind Ditch offered a series of performance provocations in the space in which fragments of choreographic action and dialogue from the theatre work ‘Who Wants to be a Hero Now?’ were mixed with texts from the Baader Meinhof trials and distilled to form a series of close up loops that engaged with a visiting audience. The online stills performance combined with live feed videography and a series of poetic video and sound edits to translate, manipulate and comment on these actions. For 15 days, each moment of interaction created a trace of what happened – filling both the online and physical spaces with more and more questions, diatribes, musings, rantings. Exploring people’s decisions towards drastic action, and how the media manipulates and affects our understanding those actions.
- May 2005 performance Exeter Phoenix
- May 2006 Installation tEXt Festival
WHAT WAS SAID
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Paula Crutchlow – writer/director
John Levack Drever – sound design
Daniel Harris – videography and software manipulation
Henning Hegland- devising performer
Volkhardt Mueller – scenography/videography
Cat Radford – devising performer
Natalie McGrath – contributing writer
David Williams – devising performer