DaDaVisions looks at representations of the body and how physical and mental agility is used to define self-worth and judged against likelihood to succeed. In this sense flesh and neurons become economic currency: those whose bodies are less or differently capable are deemed aesthetically and financially ‘unviable’. We big to differ. Although created by deaf and disabled artists or looking specifically at disabled issues, content is intended to reach all audiences – including non-disabled – and provoke debate, introspection and re-evaluation.
Intended as an annual commissioning opportunity, DaDaVisions will purposely pound a drum for deaf and disability art by utilizing the opportunity afforded by the growing network of giant, outdoor LED video screens across the UK – managed by the BBC on behalf of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games 2012 and each respective city authority. These screens are typically 26 metres square and up to 10 metres high with speakers.
Often sited in the heart of the urban retail sprawl, these digital soapboxes offer an unrivalled canvas as a showcase for cultural, creative and community content. By actively pursuing artist film and video featuring alternative body images to the mannequins in surrounding windows, both skyline and preconceptions will be reformed.
For pilot in 2009, four artists have been selected following a curatorial theme relating to the regional emphasis of Body & Economy. Following premiere in Liverpool on Tuesday 17th November 2009, the work will transfer to all other screen cities (20 at present), from Edinburgh to Dover, Greenwich to Cardiff, Birmingham to Plymouth on the 5th December. This date marks 1,000 days to go until the Paralympic Games 2012.
Produced in association with Asta Films and Sparkle Media. Executive Producers Bren O’Callaghan (BBC) and Ruth Gould (DaDa). Supported by Liverpool City Council, Phil & Alexis Redmond and Northwest Vision & Media.
Alison Jones: Portrait of the Artist by Proxy
If you could never see your own reflection again, would you trust others to describe your appearance? Alison Jones has done just that, asking strangers to describe what she looks like as her visual impairment means she can no longer see herself. Using these human mirrors, she has created a sound ‘portrait’ delivered via the public-space speaker system, complemented by CGI typographic transcription that offers a fresh and purposefully loose approach to literal subtitling.
Caroline Parker: The Rose
A pioneer of signed song using British Sign Language for 20 years, deaf actress and comedienne Caroline Parker/Caro Sparks has collaborated with post-production specialists Sparkle Media to blend live action with animation inspired by ‘The Rose’ by Bette Midler. Famously satirised using perfunctory sign in the cult movie Napoleon Dynamite, Caroline hopes to dispel myths that deaf people are unable to appreciate music and song other than via drab translation. By stripping the track of the familiar soundtrack, augmented images are paired with gesture and movement – releasing an interior world.
So Many Excuses: Who Do You Think You Are?
Formerly known as No Excuses in their 80s/90s heyday, these three fiercely determined agit-prop writers, actresses, performers and MCs have re-written the classic comedy sketch relating to the British class system from a 1960s episode of The Frost Report, featuring John Cleese and the Two Ronnies. The original exploded the futility of labelling others via ‘type’, which is revealed to be nonsensical and with blurred boundaries, rather than defined. In this affectionate pastiche the trio explore the classifications of who is more or less disabled by those who are themselves affected.
No More Excuses are Ali Briggs, Mandy Redvers-Rowe and Mandy Colleran.
Gina Czarnecki: Pixie Dust
Working with persons affected by missing limbs either via amputation or birth, artist and filmmaker Gina Czarnecki intends to advance future certainties in bioscience and present manipulated footage of limb re-growth in the context of breaking news. These images will be presented as evidence of scientific fact, highlighting the pervasive strength of scientific images to portray “truth”. They will create a tension between fact and fiction, reflecting the myths, hyperbole and the potentialities surrounding the future of prostheses and regenerative medicine.
AWARDED LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC INSPIRE MARK