File under Sacred Music

2003

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
'File under Sacred Music' is a re-enactment of a free concert, originally performed by the punk band 'The Cramps' for the patients of the California State Mental Hospital in Napa, California on 13 June 1978. Having purchased the original videotape of The Cramps' performance, Forsyth and Pollard put together a band of known musicians, and arranged for a set to be specially constructed. Following a six month period of preparation and research, Forsyth and Pollard's reenactment took place on 3 March 2003 at the ICA in London and was watched by members of mental health organisations. The resulting footage was then heavily edited and degraded in an attempt to recreate both the content and the damaged black and white aesthetic of the original tape. This process included several days spent refilming from dusty TV screens, using seemingly ancient technology, and physically damaging the videotape. Forsyth and Pollard's meticulously 'authentic' result therefore addresses questions surrounding the status of both the 'live' and the 'real'. As both artists were under the age of seven when The Cramps' performance originally took place, 'File under Sacred Music' takes 'liveness' beyond the limitations of actually needing to be at an event. Helen Loughlan
  • Artwork Details: running time: 19 minutes 45seconds
  • Edition: Ed 3 of 10
  • Material description: single channel digital video file and DVD
  • Credit line: © the artists. Courtesy the artists and Kate MacGarry, London.
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: ACC13/2008

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