A Civilian Remake 2010

2010, Forum Box, Helsinki

B/W images from the archive of the Imperial War Museum in London (images H-042528, H-042530, H-027025, H-026999, H-027000, H-027001, H-027002, H-027003, H-027007)
Installation views by Yehia Eweis

A Civilian Remake is a double take to highlight how armed conflicts are reported based on master narratives and how taking the viewpoint of a sole person embodies conflict. The exhibition consisted of an installation based on a photo from the Finnish Defence Forces’ archive depicting the aftermath of an air raid during WW II and a video work implemented as the fictitious interview Too Good To Be True.

Too Good to Be True

Video Hannu Kärenlampi, sound design Pelle Venetjoki, performers Mark Ward and Sean Crowley.

Interviewer Sean Crowley:
“Mark Ward - your book Too Good To Be True has recently appeared on Ouse Publishing. In your work you look at the scope of how the Second World War has marked its presence in feature films. You have a both personal and professional approach. Your grandfather Tom Ward was a stand-in in a war movie from the 1940’s. Let’s begin with the personal course.”

Writer Mark Ward:
“Well, yes, my grandfather Tom Ward was a stand-in for a war movie called Too Good To Be True. The film was shot in Kent in 1949. What’s special about it is that it wasn’t released. The film reached a preview audience and was then archived for good. Too Good To Be True was judged to show the British through a non-heroic lens. You could say that the film was too pacifistic to be true to the post-war values.”

The aim of the video work is to disrupt (watching) fiction as being exposed to a mechanism of casting roles, placing the spectator in predefined roles and positions drawn by the master narrative.

The exhibition poses questions on targeting. Are artworks addressing the spectators to generate an individual spectatorship or a mutual experience? What happens when artwork triggers a singularity, when the viewer declines master narratives?

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