Mark Leckey's new short film on Channel 4
16 November 2012
Leckey's film for Random Acts, Pearl Vision, is a self-portrait of
material obsession, wherein the subject plays a snare drum. The
snare is the object of extreme focus in the short and is depicted
with the fetishistic idolatry of a commercial, bordering on a
religious symbol. Reflecting on his own desires and the values of
middle-class society, Lecky is not judgmental in this short but
maintains a clear voice, presenting us with a shiny and enjoyable
reflection on material culture.
Brand objectification and style iconography are common themes in Lecky's previous work. His exhibition, See We Assemble, for the Serpentine Gallery in London, collated and reduced various cultural commodities into brand names, from Henry Moore, to Samsung, to Hyde Park, Lecky created little expos of these in each room of his exhibition.
Placing artists, galleries, attractions and appliances on an
even keel, Lecky creates a cross-section of pop culture that is a
more accurate and non-judgmental depiction of society's devotions
than what might usually be decreed. There is also perhaps an
insightful comment to gleaned on the nature of the present and how
little we can say what will be of value in 50, let alone 100 years
time. Lecky introduces us to See We Assemble and talks us
through some of his ideas in a video for the Guardian, and the exhibition has
been reviewed in The Independent and Aesthetica Magazine.
In his 2003 work Parade, we are treated to a collage of various shops and streetscapes while a shadowy figure decked out with bouffant, cigarette and jeweled fingers is superimposed in front of these images. As the banal street images merge into those of decadence and luxury, we are invited to wallow in the 'parade' of excess that has emerged. Giving the perspective of the outsider, this film presents the sensuousness and image-obsessed nature of popular culture. Dale McFarland illustrates these themes in a thoughtful reading of Parade for Frieze Magazine.
Described by Jonathan Jones for the Guardian as a 'pop anthropologist', Lecky is an artist who has experienced the intensity of pop scrutiny that the Turner Prize bestows. Lecky talks of this experience at the time and upon reflection. With the attention and expectation that this award generates, it is no wonder that Lecky has turned to introspection with his foray into self portrait with Pearl Dreams, providing a refreshing new angle on a pervading theme.
Tune into Channel 4 at 00.25 to see Pearl Vision broadcast for the first time. Find out more about the films co-commissioned by FACT for Random Acts here.