HELEN ANNA FLANAGAN — SUNDAY
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VIDEO STATION — COMMISSIONED WORKS
Public speaking is regarded as an elusive domain, an abstract component of more tangible worlds, a vehicle leading both the speaker and the listener to the landscape of fact or fiction. The voice, the speech and the sound license experience, reflecting and influencing personal and social structure.
Six artists and their collaborators look into the mechanisms of speech, diving inwards through moving image practice. Ancient rhetorical training and the ecology of the non-human, insistent spirits of radio frequencies speaking about the past through lost dialects or speculative scenarios starting from contemporary social and psychological conditions. The four commissioned Video Station works approach public speaking phenomena and discursivity through a wide array of subjects, whispers, voices and gestures, as short fiction films, video art and hybrid docu-essays.
The artists and their proposals were selected from an international open call supporting the production of collaborative and transdisciplinary moving image works.
SUNDAY, BY HELEN ANNA FLANAGAN, SINGLE-CHANNEL VIDEO, 2020
“Sunday is a short fictional film that thinks about the medium of radio and how it was formerly used in the twentieth century as a technique to encourage productive labour in factories. The radio and beat of the music helped control the workforce on the assembly line, creating a constant upbeat-tempo to produce. Using this notion of the radio as a controlling, motivating and affective soundtrack for efficiency, the work experiments with how radio could be reimagined under certain contemporary conditions.
Sunday uses radio transmission involving the figure of the radio agony aunt, a disembodied voice that offers anonymous callers advice. A lady, known as Sandra, calls up talking about how numbers, rhythmic machines and voices are slowly taking over her fatigued body and obsessive mind, working much like the beat of an infectious song. The work originally existed as an experimental fictional radio dialogue and has been translated into a short film that reflects on the mechanised body and mind, thinking further about ‘the beat’ as an omnipresent force.” (text by Helen Anna Flanagan)
Actress: Loveday Smith
Camera #1: Albert Kuhn
Camera #2: Helen Anna Flanagan
Sound recording: Taco Drijhout
Sound design: Helen Anna Flanagan & Samuel Rodgers
Written, directed and edited by Helen Anna Flanagan
With additional support from HISK, Belgium and Generator Projects, UK
Commissioned in the frame of Quote—Unquote: Video Station
HELEN ANNA FLANAGAN (1988, Birmingham) combines real events with fictitious narratives to produce video, installation and performance. By constructing and imagining scenarios – often making use of the category of the absurd – she looks to investigate social structures and the political subtext of the everyday, focusing on affects and emotions, labor and the body. She has exhibited widely and shown in a number of international festivals, such as Go Short International Film Festival (NL), Sharjah Film Platform (AE), November Film Festival (UK), Proyector Plataforma de Videoarte (SP), Film and Video Poetry Symposium (USA), Plymouth Contemporary (UK) and Art Rotterdam (NL). Helen is the winner of the 2019 IKOB Feminist Art Prize and is part of the post-academic residency at HISK in 2019 and 2020. Based between Ghent, Rotterdam and Birmingham.