Crossroads is a new video commission complete with replica Juke Joint Shack that will tour to Turner Contemporary, Margate as part of an Arts Council England National Touring Exhibition initiated by Spike Island. The work has also been developed with the support of 176, Zabludowicz Collection. Blandy has previously undertaken a Spike Island off-site residency in 2007 whilst developing this new body of work.
Crossroads (2009) has developed out of the artist's investigation into the mythology surrounding the legendary Robert Johnson, a bluesman with three gravestones, 29 recorded songs and only two known photographs. Crossroads [italiscised] retreads the well-trodden path of the white man looking for a genuine blues experience. A figure roams the landscape, yearning for Blues authenticity, re-enacting clichéd images from popular culture; guitar picking on porches, walking dusty roads, finding the crossroads. The landscape seduces, but undermining this romantic vision is the appearance of an inverted Minstrel, an alter-ego who haunts the journey. The film is also a portrait of the Mississippi Delta, a place that is still deeply, but not officially, segregated. In this quest for the authentic, the search for the Blues becomes a wider search for self, one man's search for reconciliation with a plundered culture.