An exhibition of works by Common Culture
The Golden Thread Gallery presents two recent works by Common Culture, Openings Are Always Awkward, first shown at Solar Galeria de Arte Cinemática, Portugal 2009 and the new multi–channel video installation I Dreamt I Was A Monkey – And They Made Me Wear Shoes.
Bad Faith continues Common Culture’s uneasy fascination with the commodity form and its consumption through rituals embedded at the core of contemporary popular culture. Both videos employ actors to perform narratives scripted by Common Culture that reflexively acknowledge both their own labour and that of the actors, as a form of commodification.
Set against the backdrop of high-street consumption, I Dreamt I Was A Monkey – And They Made Me Wear Shoes employs a team of TV ‘soap’ actors to perform a series of roles to suggest the interrelation of characters coexisting within the arena of consumption, from silver-tongued blaggers to despondent beggars, as well as the actors’ own status as a form of malleable and expendable commodity.
In Openings are Always Awkward Common Culture hired Portuguese actors to perform a semi-autobiographical script, written in English by Common Culture and translated into Portuguese. Set in a television studio, the piece draws upon the imagining of three participants as they reflect on their position in the art world and the immanent exhibition of their work. Ruminating on their own failure and bitter disappointments, they ventriloquise their frustration and anger toward an art world they despise, but long to be part of.
Common Culture has been exhibiting internationally since 1996 and currently consists of David Campbell, Mark Durden and Ian Brown.