RIFF Movies Archive

Commonwealth



United Kingdom England, 2009, HDV - Color - 9.30

DIRECTED BY:
Katie Davies

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Katie Davies and Rose Butler

EDITING:
Katie Davies

SOUND:
Katie Davies

PRODUCER:
Katie Davies

PRODUCTION:
Katie Davies

STORY DESCRIPTION:

'In the video, Commonwealth, Davies shifts her focus between three distinct types of ceremonial activity taking place within Sheffield Town Hall: the citizenship ceremonies, the council meetings and a one-off brass- band performance, which was orchestrated at the artist’s request in one of the Council’s ceremonial chambers.Davies’ editing blurs the edges between these different contexts; fragments of sound from one location bleed over into the frame of another, offering an aural sub-text in which unexpected parallels and analogies are made. She draws attention to the points where the collective identity of a group becomes frayed at the edges, to those brief interludes within a ceremonial performance when the mask of duty or anonymity momentarily falls to reveal signs of the individual beneath.’ Emma Cocker, (2009)
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

Katie Davies works by establishing professional relationships to institutions and individuals in order to create new work, tactically critiquing the relationship between the individual and the system within which they find themselves operating. Her practice often seems to point to or reflect on the idea of a threshold, where works often concentrate on the nature of the indistinguishable zones and in-between states, or on spaces that are in some way liminal or betwixt.Davies’ work often operates by inhabiting a neutral position or by becoming undetectable or impartial, as a way of drawing attention to or questioning the reason and influence of a system. Operating as a foil, the work of the artist appears to hover between changing and at times conflicting positions, reflecting on what it might mean to occupy more than one position or remain in two minds.Davies has exhibited her work in many exhibitions in the UK and abroad including Are you Serious? Artsdepot, London 2009, Cast Some light, Centre for Contemporary Art, Palestine 2008, Glasgow International 2008, The Millennium Galleries during Art Sheffield 08 and Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2005. She was recently artist in residence at Yorkshire Artspace Society and is Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.

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