Artist-filmmakers Barnaby Dicker and Thomas Goddard are collaborating on a film; a fictional reconstruction, to be precise. As alter-egos Marlow and Conrad hired by the shadowy Alpha Mail Order Shipping Co. they must solve a convoluted puzzle, journey up the rivers Taff and Tawe, locate the Kong, and nip a philanthropic urge in the bud. All in a day’s work (expenses paid), they reason.
Among the documents sent from Head Office they find a message:
Make sense of the wilderness of contemporary ideals. The unearthly glow of technology, advertising and news. Memory verses sense of memory. No real memories… Perceptions of memory, mutated with time, finished by total experience. Reunite all morality, all progress, with the land. Voices calling: “Keep up.”
South Wales Branch.
First problem: There is no South Wales Branch; it was divided into Swansea and Cardiff branches in 1890…
In the mode of after dinner chat, Goddard and Dicker will discuss live onstage the challenges they have faced re-entering nineteenth century industrialist society. The audience can expect stomach settling (tonic water based) drinks and printed matter; a poetic assault of tastes and textures, sounds and images. Part conversation, part read-through, part commentary, part press conference, part Q&A, part local history lecture, part fictional reconstruction, part urban pastoralist notebook, part amateur social archaeology, part mutant adaptation, part Rimbaudian travelogue, ALL experiment.
Barnaby Dicker is a researcher, artist-filmmaker and curator. He teaches at the Royal College of Art, London, University of South Wales, Newport, and University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. He is a founding member and organiser of Art’s Birthday, Wales. Barnaby recently directed the video component of Sound Affairs’ mixed media show Michelangelo Drawing Blood (which toured last year and is showing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe). The Grip of the Octopus (A Schematic Serial in Black and White) was commissioned for Outcasting: Fourth Wall in 2012.
Thomas Goddard works across design, drawing, photography, film and performance exploring the relationship between place, community, culture and fiction. Recent works include customised football wall charts, an odyssey across Wales, an archive to a lake monster, a short horror film, portraits of social division and apocalyptic animations. This year Goddard received a Locws International Public Art Commission with the cross-platform The Life, Death and Afterlife of Lizzie the Elephant. He was recently selected for the Oriel Davies Open 2014 and for group exhibitions curated by Bearspace, Mermaid and Monster in London and Aid and Abet, Cambridge. His From Ape to Adam to Apocalypse series was exhibited as part of Chapter’s AITB programme. Goddard was the first artist in residence at BBC, Wales for which he is currently working on two films.