The only time I’ve visited a communist country was when I went to Poland in 1980, not long after Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government was first elected in Britain. I first visited the former East Germany in 1997, eight years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and a few months after Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ government was elected. Recalling these experiences many years later, White Hole questions the idealisation of life in other places, times and political systems, while also lamenting a time when we could at least imagine that the grass might be greener on the other side.
“It’s a simple but very powerful juxtaposition of image and sound which reverberates as the film loops, working dialectically to express positives and negatives, beliefs and realities, history and present, forwards and backwards. We’re reminded of a time in the middle of the last century when there was a strong belief on both sides of Europe that a better world was possible – that there was a light at the end of the tunnel – with each side looking to the other for inspiration. And we’re reminded of the opposite, the reversal of progress, with that idealism and confidence evaporating into our current lack of an alternative politics, and how our political and economic life goes steadily backwards across the continent as social and collective bonds are loosened by implacable neoliberal market forces.” Mike Quille, Morning Star, December 3rd 2014
“… What might console, in a limited way, is the deep formal and inferential gratification of White Hole, a film of such impeccable economy – a few minutes, a mirroring structure, two photographs, a bit of chat, decades of geopolitical change mordantly trapped between – that you can’t believe it didn’t already exist; that it wasn’t always out there, waiting to arrive.” Martin Herbert, Art Monthly, December 2014
An alternative version of this work (without titles, for seamless looping) is available for gallery installation.