- Part of...States of Play: Roleplay Reality
FF Gaiden: Control, 2015
Single-channel video with sound (21.54 min); installation environment
In FF Gaiden: Control artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy use the virtual space of Grand Theft Auto V GTA V) in ‘Director Mode’. This deletes all of the missions, characters and weapons from the game and, instead, the diverse landscapes and customisable avatars of GTA become a model for digital storytelling and re-enactment.
This piece was produced as part of FACT’s Criminal Justice programme, which works in collaboration with military veterans in prisons in Liverpool, diving into the reasons behind why so many prisoners in the North West are ex-service people. In this work, GTA becomes an alternative landscape for inmates and their families, through which to voice their experiences of being both ‘veteran’ and ‘offender’.
GTA is a game infamously synonymous with violence, but here it serves as a platform for the expression of experiences of societal control, and for sharing personal stories from within a very impersonal system.
David Blandy (b. 1976) is a Brighton-based artist, and Larry Achiampong (b. 1984) is a London-based artist. They have been working together exploring their friendship, and wider issues of empathy, race and power, through film, performance, and socially engaged practice.
FF Gaiden: Control is commissioned and produced by FACT, supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation. With thanks to HMP Altcourse, Keith McDonnell, Tony Connolly and the HMP Altcourse gym team, HMP Liverpool and Partners of Prisoners. Courtesy of the artists.