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2013 | Video

I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed[1]


Deller’s video opens with close-ups of the hen harrier, an endangered species of raptor, across the lush terrains of Britain. The bird’s talons become the claws of a car-crushing machine clutching a Range Rover car and crushing it. Deller addresses the 2007 incident in which the British prince Harry was suspected of hunting a couple of hen harriers on the royal Sandringham Estate.

Killing for fun is reserved for the privileged who can get away with it. Indeed, in this case, although an investigation had concluded that no one but Prince Harry hunted on the estate, no legal action was taken against him.

Yet in Deller’s work the prey becomes a hunter. This reversal of roles is nature’s perfect revenge on owners of costly, polluting terrain vehicles in general – and on the Range Rovers driven by British royals in particular. The story woven before us depicts the moment when the distorted distribution of resources reaches a point of eruption, unleashing a bewitched animal counterforce that claims back lives that had been taken.

The work as a whole is an extensive piece woven from elements in Deller’s body of work: a host of images and associations including a huge, inflatable bouncer in the shape of Stonehenge open to the public, and different protests and marches. It presents various exaggerated identities moving continuously to the soundtrack of a tin drum orchestra performing Ralph Vaughn William’s symphony in D minor, the 1980s acid track Voodoo Ray, and above all The Man Who Sold the World by David BowieThe tin drums come from the Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, some of the last remnants of British colonialism. The contrast between traditional Caribbean instruments and Western music estranges familiar tunes so that we can hear them anew with fresh ears. The surprising connections between the moving images and the soundtrack create a kaleidoscopic of good and evil magic.

 

[1]

      [1]      David Bowie, from The Man Who Sold the World

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

English Magic

2013 | Video

I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed[1]


Deller’s video opens with close-ups of the hen harrier, an endangered species of raptor, across the lush terrains of Britain. The bird’s talons become the claws of a car-crushing machine clutching a Range Rover car and crushing it. Deller addresses the 2007 incident in which the British prince Harry was suspected of hunting a couple of hen harriers on the royal Sandringham Estate.

Killing for fun is reserved for the privileged who can get away with it. Indeed, in this case, although an investigation had concluded that no one but Prince Harry hunted on the estate, no legal action was taken against him.

Yet in Deller’s work the prey becomes a hunter. This reversal of roles is nature’s perfect revenge on owners of costly, polluting terrain vehicles in general – and on the Range Rovers driven by British royals in particular. The story woven before us depicts the moment when the distorted distribution of resources reaches a point of eruption, unleashing a bewitched animal counterforce that claims back lives that had been taken.

The work as a whole is an extensive piece woven from elements in Deller’s body of work: a host of images and associations including a huge, inflatable bouncer in the shape of Stonehenge open to the public, and different protests and marches. It presents various exaggerated identities moving continuously to the soundtrack of a tin drum orchestra performing Ralph Vaughn William’s symphony in D minor, the 1980s acid track Voodoo Ray, and above all The Man Who Sold the World by David BowieThe tin drums come from the Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, some of the last remnants of British colonialism. The contrast between traditional Caribbean instruments and Western music estranges familiar tunes so that we can hear them anew with fresh ears. The surprising connections between the moving images and the soundtrack create a kaleidoscopic of good and evil magic.

 

[1]

      [1]      David Bowie, from The Man Who Sold the World

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis