Video and audio © Robert Fitzmaurice 2020
To watch the animation Robert created for this exhibition, click here
My response to the call and Bruno Latour’s text was to consider how I could start building resilience to the constraints of social distancing and act as a globalisation interrupter. Since I normally make and exhibit physical art objects I started to think about working digitally with the aim of reaching the widest possible audience at lowest possible cost, both financially and to the environment. After a steep learning curve in video and audio editing I have been able to transfer existing ideas to a new medium that can reach online audiences in a way that is impossible for a unique work installed in a commercial gallery or art fair at one geographical location.
‘Breakers 108’ is a film which combines stills and video of hand-modelled motifs taken from recent work and places these quasi-persons in a new temporal space. The repetitive transfer onto a grid introduces differences and loops that imply both layered and unique identities. ‘Breakers’ primarily references the social and political ruptures caused by COVID-19 but the content and form also point to other macro/micro departures that reflect current tensions but also suggest possibilities for a better future, whether it be ecological, political or social.
In Robert’s work, we recognised that the ‘malleability’ of the clay figures resonated with lots of issues around identity, the new human, possibilities of rapid social and environmental change, constraints of the current paradigm that are key to system change and brighter futures. We found this worked well juxtaposed against the grid formation in the movie – prompting thoughts about standardisation and the confines of the current moment – not only in lock down, but the confines of the imagination, and of our collective struggles to visualise alternative ways of being and living on this planet.
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