La Décision Doypack
Stereo sound work with single screen 16mm film (also text only version), 27 mins, 2008.
The work is inspired by a real web memoir by a retired Australian food-packaging company manager, Mackenzie J. Gregory, who remembers walking the night-time streets of Paris during the turbulent events of May 1968. The dominant monologue of the work — which is accompanied by rock music, sound effects and 16mm film images of drama students awkwardly ‘acting out’ the narrative — extends Gregory’s memoir into fiction, playing with contradictory writing styles, from consumer product description to romantic poetry. It is partly because of this connection with real life and real events that the work’s imaginative confabulation and formal artifice is thrown into relief, underlining the melancholy comedy of our attempts to do justice to the past. Thanks to John Eastman. Commissioned by Radar and Matt’s Gallery.
Julian Cowley (The Wire magazine). Jan. 2010 interview referencing the work.
Colin Serjent (Nerve magazine). Summer 2009 article referencing the work.
Jon Cronshaw (Art Fist blog). March 2009 interview referencing the work.
“While smartly debunking hallowed notions of 60s cool with a dose of everyman pedestrianism, the artist addresses the bittersweet futility of trying to bring history back to life.” Skye Sherwin (The Guardian). 13/2/2009 preview of the work.
Nick Ahad (Yorkshire Post). 23/1/2009 article referencing the work.
JJ Charlesworth (Art Review magazine). July/Aug 2008 review of the work.
“With a drastic economy of means, in this exhibition Rooney furthers his ongoing probe into the mechanisms of language, laying bar the invention at play in the recollection and narrating of the past.” Coline Milliard (Modern Painters magazine). July/Aug 2008 review of the work.
“The success of this piece is underscored by Rooney’s ability to maintain an analytical perspective as maker, for he appears to flirt with but never actually fall for the charms of his chosen media.” Rebecca Geldard (Time Out magazine). 12/5/2008 review of the work.
Jessica Lack (The Guardian). 19/4/2008 preview of the work.
Director and offline editor: Paul Rooney
Script: Paul Rooney, with main acknowledgements to: ‘Ahoy – Mac’s Web Log’, Mackenzie J Gregory; ‘The Prelude’ (Text of 1805), William Wordsworth.
Music: Paul Rooney, incorporating excerpts from: Teenie Weenie Boppie, France Gall; Symphony No. 40, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Kindertotenlieder, Gustav Mahler
Actor on voiceover: John Eastman
Actors on screen: Harry Wright, James McNulty, Julia Kampani, Qing Wu, Stephanie Prowting, Shenelle Manwaring, Colin Cromer, Monica Adorno, Pippa Tilbury
Lighting camera: John Adderley
Assistant camera: Chris Hill
Assistant director: Ed Adam
French translation and voice: Nathalie Granier
Drums: Colin Cromer
Film lab: Soho Images
Thanks to: Nick Slater, Dr. Daniel Watt, Robin Klassnik, Jackie Kerr, Loughborough University, University of Wolverhampton, Arts Council North West, Sally Renshaw, Len Thornton, William Raban, no.w.here lab, Peter Smyth, Micro Music Liverpool, Universal Music Group