I went along to a talk and screening of some video work at the Phoenix Gallery, Brighton as part of Open11. Simon Roberts presented this new work, a multichannel video and sound piece, which documents a journey around Britain during the 2010 election campaign. The sound, taken mostly from radio coverage of the campaign, gives the work a sense of narrative and moves it along in an interesting way as it takes us through different regions and events. The 3 channel video allows us to see events each single day from a different viewpoint simultaneously, and panning shots reveal extra information about and around some of the single images which appear in “The Election Project”. Mostly the technique of filming through the passenger window of a motor home allows a candid view of unaware passers-by, but the occasional more direct encounters add a touch of humour.
“Landscapes of Innocence and Experience explores the changes that have affected Britain economically and politically over the last three years. This 3-channel video projection, shot from the passenger window of a motor-home, documents a journey around the country during the official four-week period of campaigning for the 2010 General Election, finishing in Westminster on the morning of 7th May, when no overall political party had formed a government. The film goes in search of incidental spaces and moments across Britain’s urban and rural landscapes set against a soundtrack of ambient noise and radio news bulletins. It explores our new predicament in this era of austerity and the shifting perceptions of the country’s economic and political geography, with its many anxieties;a rediscovery and revaluation of where we find ourselves today.”