It for Others (2013)
54min · Documentary · 1 January 2013
With 'It for Others', Irish artist Duncan Campbell has created an impressive study of the web of ideas that we enshroud things, art, consumption, life and death with - nothing less. Combining essayistic combination of gorgeous archive footage, animation and a new performance by Michael Clark Company, his latest work elaborates on Chris Marker and Alain Resnais's essay film 'Les statues meurent aussi' (1953), where the Western exoticisation of African art is presented in an elegantly questioning meditation about how we see objects and movements, and endow them with meaning - be it a wooden African sculpture, a packet of cigarettes, the touch of a hand or the exchange of consumer goods. 'It for Others' refers both formally and discursively to a great number of modernistic art movements and theories, but brings them up to date with a twist, which simultaneously undermines the coolly aloof analysis that we are first presented with, and subsequently anchors it in real situations - namely the civil war in 1970s Ireland and a contemporary Chinese sweatshop, where Che Guevara t-shirts are produced on the assembly line.
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