One Mans Terror Is Another Mans Freedom - The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin 2007

The idea of effecting change, making a difference, seems extraordinarily difficult, even naive. The truly committed appear as fanatics or fundamentalists, or, more mildly, as quaint throwbacks refusing to accept the fact that the sixties are over. Jodi Dean - Enjoyment as a Category of Political Theory One Mans Terror Is Another Mans Freedom was a body of work that was developed while on an 8-week residency with Platform in Vaasa, Finland. At a time when the erosion of freedom of speech and expression propagated by a post 9/11 politics of fear, the topic of art is not an easy one. What started out as a project exploring the representation of the Radical Act soon became a project informed by the concept of the Real and the Radical Gesture defined by the individuals desire to retrieve their own Reality. I incorporated techniques associated with social protest to develop a body of work that documents and explores the desire of individual autonomy. Interacting with the local community in direct actions while accessing local media equipment such as web cams and a local TV station camera (which is accessible and manipulated by telephone) to document these actions.

 

One Mans Terror - Single channel video 7.06 mins 2006

This forms the basis for the video work One Mans Terror. While the work mimics that of a mundane surveillance video (including a whimsical soundtrack provided by the TV station!), as we follow the unknown protagonist our attention is drawn to the scale and beauty of the surrounding environment, questioning the frivolity of the task being undertaken. What compels an individual to undertake such a task? The use of documentation is re-occurring within the show. A selection of placards incorporate historical imagery that inform both the Cause and Effect, adopting a style reminiscent to another political era, that of Thatcherism, the miners strike, poll tax riots etc. and the Punk ethos of do it yourself.

One Mans Terror - Single channel video 7.06 mins 2006 

 


One Mans Freedom - Single Channel Video 7.40 mins 2006

For the project One Mans Freedom I was interested in investigating the possibilities of modifying the perception of the public to the use of Platforms Gallery space as a working space. An advert was placed in a local newspaper, as well as run on a local radio station and leaflets distributed around the city inviting anyone interested in contributing to a project based on dialogue, offering them the opportunity to express their own personal ideals and concepts, the choice of topic to be completely open, with no form of censorship. Each participant to be given up to 15 minutes to talk on their chosen subject and all talks recorded for use in the exhibition One Mans Terror Is Another Mans Freedom at Platform. One Mans Freedom is the culmination of that project that went on to develop its own interactive narrative, which is part of the presentation of the work.

One Mans Freedom Single Channel Video 7.40 mins 2006