Abandon Your Culture

Abandon Your Culture

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Project


Abandon Your Culture

This month's project is a clip from a video called Abandon Your Culture by Malcolm Payne. Shown first on the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in 1997, the video will have its next airing on the 16th Worldwide Video Festival in Amsterdam.

In a gallery, the work is presented as a large-scale video projection with multi-track sound. The theme of the piece is "how identity as the producer of culture is ingrained by the generational desire for self-replication through cultural markers. The work acts to kick to pieces notions of culture, ideology, identity, history, mythology, etc".

A series of sequences record repetitive sets of interactions between two children attempting to build a wall of bricks, which progressively blocks out the screen. An adult suddenly enters the frame (shot at child height) at the stage of the wall's completion. Advancing towards the structure he kicks it apart. The children's structure is analogous to "a clean slate" upon which their identity may be formed.

The text or Sutra spoken from background intones: "abandon your culture...I have no culture, abandon your abhorrence... I have no abhorrence, abandon your abomination... I have no abomination, abandon your affection... I have no affection, abandon your agony... I have no agony" and so on through the alphabet, finally ending with "I have no view, abandon your viewpoint... I have no viewpoint, abandon your wants... I have no wants, abandon your will... I have no will, abandon your wisdom... I have no wisdom, abandon your wish... I have no wish, abandon your womanhood... I have no womanhood, abandon your world... I have no world."

The work was made entirely using digital video and edited similarly.

Payne was assisted in production by:

Performers: Ryk Joubert and Leon Davies
Sound design: Warrick Swinney
Camera: Peter Tischhauser
Production assistant: Carsten Rasch
Arts and Culture Trust
University of Cape Town Research Committee


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