Chance, History, Art...
Interview footage with six practicing artists – Anne Bean and John McKeon (music and performance double act); Stuart Brisley (performance artist); Rita Donagh (painter); Jamie Reid (graphic designer); Jimmy Boyle (artist serving a life sentence) – is interspersed with materials (slides, stills, cuttings, etc.) which ‘illustrates’ their output. Reference is made to the work of the Surrealists, including the eye-cutting sequence from Un Chien andalou, a 1948 radio broadcast by Antonin Artaud accompanied by stills and self-portraits of the artist, footage of the recent reverential “Surrealism Reviewed” exhibition, and an indication of the sources of Surrealists drew on, in particular an extract from Melies’ Trip to the Moon. Also making use of written texts and intertitles, the film speculates about chance, history and somewhere along the line, art. Works included “McKracken Going South” (Bean and McKeon performance); “180 Hours” (Brisley); “Evening Papers” (Donagh); “Swinging Holiday” (Reid record cover); “Gulliver” (Boyle).
Monthly Film Bulletin, Great Britain, 1979 By Jane Clarke