Kevin Kavanagh Gallery screening, 4-5 Jan, 2013

Alan Phelan | Include Me Out of the partisan manifesto | 2012

single channel video projection
11 minutes (with credits)
Screening January 4th 2013 7pm

Watch the video here.

This a short film about a couple having an argument over the destruction and recycling of their DVD collection. The script was developed from a catalogue essay on Phelan’s work by Tony White who used notes given by the artist to constructed a parallel narrative about Phelan’s practice. The film’s seemingly ordinary narrative is complicated by an intense internal monologue which shifts the tension to address the cyclical nature of ideas and how process implicates content. While the characters could represent Phelan, the story is not so literal and it is more the process they engage in that makes the connection.The dialogue and voice-over is not so straight forward however as the narrative described above as the writer, Tony White, has a unique approach to writing fiction. He uses chunks of appropriated text derived from non-fictional sources, as he describes it “cutting-up, remixing and renarrativising fragments”. These included the Žižek notes plus chunks from a recycling website, an Indian site explaining papier-mâché, a text about motoring in the Balkans, and partial transcripts from the Slobodan Milosevic war crimes tribunal.

The design of the film also adds a further narrative layer. The styling, costumes and music soundtrack are based on Gattaca, the 1997 science fiction film yet share none of the genetic –determinist content that the film grapples with. There is however an interesting connection to the debate the film stirred through its flawed science and heroic tragedy not unlike some of the key arguments made by Žižek. Overall the piece takes on the diegesis of the cinematic narrative, only to fall short and end with full closure.