AboutAlma Enterprises is pleased to present Who, What, Where, When, Why and How a solo show by British artist Rod Dickinson. The show will be the UK premier of his new video installation that was made in collaboration with Steve Rushton. The show marks an important return to Alma's previous focus on exploring the potential of the performative as a mode of critique and exposure within art practice.
Who, What, Where, When, Why and How interrogates the historical form and role of the presidential speech and governmental press briefing and is set in a meticulously constructed press conference environment, where two actors deliver a simulated forty five minute press briefing.
The script is composed solely of fragments of speeches and press statements from the cold war onwards and focuses on the way in which similar declarations and political rhetoric have been repeated and reused by numerous governments across continents and ideological divides to justify acts of aggression and state sanctioned violence.
The viewer is drawn into the speech by the seamless and forceful delivery of the actors, whilst the documentary sources of the script are revealed simultaneously on two presidential style autocues which display the scrolling script of the speech and expose it's repetitive, fragmentary and modular structure.
As a result the language and method of constructing such rhetoric is highlighted alongside its visual and theatrical syntax. The repetition of this methodology throughout recent history and the seamless flow of the briefing reveals how this method of social control has remained an effective tool for justifying state aggression, often recasting it as a humanitarian act or the solution to an impending danger.
During this exhibition on January 13th 2011 the Showroom, London will host a live performance of Closed Circuit, a companion piece to Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
The video installation is a recording of a live performance of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How that was first produced at SMART project space in Amsterdam in 2009 and was performed by Albert Welling and William Neenan. The script of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How is co-written by Steve Rushton, a writer and co-founder of Signal:Noise, a research project about the pervasive role of feedback mechanisms in contemporary culture.