Duncan Campbell produces films that look at representations of the people and events at the heart of very particular histories – figures such as John Delorean and Bernadette Devlin. Combining archive material with his own footage, his work questions the authority, integrity and intentions of the information presented. For Scotland + Venice 2013, Campbell has taken Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 film ‘Les Statues meurent aussi’ (Statues also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and value of objects. In the exhibition, Campbell presents the older film alongside his new work, a social and historical examination of cultural imperialism and commodity that combines filmed footage, animation and archive footage. ‘It for others’ includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company that seeks to illustrate the basic principle of commodities and their exchange.
Outset Scotland supported the commission of new work by the three artists featured in Scotland’s national presentation at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, curated by The Common Guild. Scotland + Venice is a partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland. The work will return to The Common Guild in Glasgow in 2014.
From the 2014 Bafici Catalogue
Campbell’s work is crossed by a very personal affluent of audiovisual rewriting, with a dialectic that fuses the essay format with intuition, shedding light on hidden elements in the creases of Western society while the spectator is invited to disarm the mono-formal language imposed on us from official watchtowers. Presented in the Venice Art Biennale, his latest work starts off from Marker and Resnais’ The Status Also Die to offer reflections on the cultural legacy behind objects of all kinds, and what do they reveal about the society that created them. It for Others also questions itself about the treatment some of those objects have received from dominating powers, and unearths traces of colonial looting with the use of found footage, animated segments, and even zenithal choreographies in glorious black and white that present themselves as a silent and minimalist counterpoint to the geometries imagined by Busby Berkeley.