23.3 — 5.6.2006
artist(s): Sophie MacCorquodale
curator(s): Enrico Lunghi
What clouds don't say is a parallel installation of two films presented by the young English artist and filmmaker Sophie MacCorquodale who received the The Crosby Homes Award (Manchester Art Gallery), a prize awarded to encourage the production of a new work.
The more intimate video entitled Doll and Doug shows a couple of old folk reciting, or trying to recite, love song lyrics. The way they look at each other shows the great tenderness and complicity they really have for each other and which no song lyrics are ever going to be able to express.
Landscapes shows a large scale, panoramic projection view of a completely deserted tourist beach in Spain. A usually overpopulated holiday location is presented here before the rush of tourists looking for somewhere heavenly. The deck chairs are ready, the restaurants have put out their menus, etc. Everything seems to be bracing itself before the crowds descend. Everything is still, except for some passing clouds, which lend the place an atmosphere that is romantic but weird. This is the calm before the storm.
Part documentary, part narrative, Family - made by Sophie MacCorquodale in conjunction with the artist Jonathan Wilkinson - reflects the nightlife. The artists infiltrated as nightclubbers using the Family club in East London to celebrate the revival of the 1980s, the great decade for clubbing. In Richard Mortimer's clubs, these characters, a little out of step, try to recover the atmosphere and the glamour of famous discotheques like Visage or Studio 54. The transvestite and playback shows are testimony above all to the exhibitionistic pleasure of people making a highly theatrical spectacle of themselves.
Slayer rules (produced by Sophie MacCorquodale and edited by Jonathan Wilkinson) is a kind of documentary on the fans of the speed metal band Slayer which has been going since the 1980s and in that time has enjoyed considerable success among its loyal fans. The most fervent fans have really got them under their skin, and in some cases are prepared to have the six letters of the band's name (which means 'killer') engraved on their arm. Although the group itself does not actually appear on screen, the accounts given by numerous fans interviewed either before or after their UK concerts reflect the energy the Slayer band passes on to them. This energy gives them something to live for and helps them release any aggressiveness they may have in a positive way.