It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Returning to Returning...

An outing to an art gallery brought amazing results. It was Nick Relph and Oliver Payne. A show of videos. It seemed worthwhile from the write-up. 'Contemporary video'. I try to stay out of the galleries but...
This blew up on me. Everything we saw was good but the film 'House and Garage' rattled me for days. Here in my exile in the (self-conscious) political scene, we try to forget the big bad world out there whilst concentrating intensely upon it. This film constantly returns to a strangely handsome wiry youth in white Reeboks, townie-style. He justs wants to not work his job, to not fit in to life in Home County commuter town. Not be what he must be to survive. He perches on a dilapidated wall and reads, the camera edging nearer. Oscar Wilde. Or again, you feel like he's slacking work on a municipal park bench. Reading Edgar Allen Poe. This is exile. I knew it. Class boundaries. The politics of reading in people from working class backgrounds is fascinating, but more so, crucial to survival. My Dad knew it and it saved him (and me). Instinctual getting the fuck out. He ended a night-shift and stood by the Medway - I should jump in the river now and end this misery of family life and factory labour. Or, another thought prevailed. Go read a book and learn something. Expand and survive. Okay, so this has great potency for me. It's a newly learnt father tale. Something of a myth for me really. But it's also real, and something resonant in my heart for both the poignancy of it being my Dad and for the knowledge that this is what so many working class people face.
Blew up on me, because from my limited outlook, trying to find the libertarian impulse in all I meet, I realised that a culture that I can't grasp..garage fans in white reeboks and casual wear and cars..struggles alongside..we struggle alongside...for return from capitalist nightmare and a sense of home. And this is the culture I grew up around but rejected in my teens because it seemed bought off. Impossibly framed by things, by chimera. Or I rejected it because I rejected everything..and I still don't know why even though I'm happy I did. And I'm happy for this realm of things in common that I sensed in this great film. This great art film! There may be hope. Hope they don't blow it.
I can't explain much more about the connection between this film and myself. I have urged my fellow exiles to see it so that more can be said. Or at least more can be felt between us.
For FREE LOVE and COMMUNISM and keeping your trainers white-as-fuck! 80BPM

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