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Class Division in Barcelona

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Peter Wareing, La nuda vida, two channel HD video. 1 hr 52 min (day), 44 min (night) Peter Wareing, La nuda vida, two channel HD video. 1 hr 52 min (day), 44 min (night) Peter Wareing, La nuda vida, two channel HD video. 1 hr 52 min (day), 44 min (night) Peter Wareing, La nuda vida, two channel HD video. 1 hr 52 min (day), 44 min (night) Peter Wareing, La nuda vida, two channel HD video. 1 hr 52 min (day), 44 min (night) Peter Wareing, La nuda vida, two channel HD video. 1 hr 52 min (day), 44 min (night) Four Peter Wareing photos: I am a dangerous African animal; Don't laugh this could happen to you; Rich + rich, poor + poor, zero equality; This doesn't end here.  Four Peter Wareing photos: I am a dangerous African animal; Don't laugh this could happen to you; Rich + rich, poor + poor, zero equality; This doesn't end here. Peter Wareing, I am a dangerous African animal, photo Peter Wareing, This doesn't end here, photo

Made over three years the HD video has similarities with Yuk King Tan's coloured video,' Scavenger' (2008) which shows an elderly woman in Hong Kong with her low trolley, collecting stacked up cardboard for recycling. Wareing's film, however, has a very different atmosphere, that of subterfuge and stealth - because much of what he documents occurs at night in a kind of urban wilderness. It is much more intense, examining the lives of the economically marginalised and their strategies for survival.

Christchurch

 

Peter Wareing
La nuda vida

 

5 February - 12 March 2016

New Zealand film/video artist, Peter Wareing, here presents a new two-screen, b/w film, La nuda vida, set in the industrial area of Barcelona. One projection is filmed in daytime (1 hr 52 min), the other night (44 min). It looks at the activities of the chatarreros, local gleaners who eke out an existence by collecting scrap metal for recycling, loading up supermarket trolleys to push through the streets of Poblenou - the city’s building, construction site area - constantly looking for usable metal detritus. The film is the main element in an installation that also has four photographs of graffiti pointedly positioned by its entrance.

Made over three years the HD video has similarities with Yuk King Tan’s coloured video, Scavenger (2008), which shows an elderly woman in Hong Kong with her low trolley, collecting stacked up cardboard for recycling. Wareing’s film, however, has a very different atmosphere, that of subterfuge and stealth - because much of what he documents occurs at night in a kind of urban wilderness. It is much more intense, examining the lives of the economically marginalised and their strategies for survival.

Something here also reminds me of Chantal Akerman’s great film, From The East (1993), with its low illuminated shots of Eastern European street-life and queues of waiting bus-patrons. Wareing’s slow moving, peripatetic individuals are foils to the prosperous drivers of cars on the motorways that speed past on their way home from work. The roving pedestrians (usually African immigrants) on the other hand connect with the angry graffiti Wareing has photographed. The motorways have high sound-proofing walls, buffers that symbolically separate the two classes.

The show’s title (translated as the bare life) alludes to the concept la vita nuda, developed by the philosopher, Giorgio Agamben, where some citizens have participatory rights by virtue of their humanity and others are excluded.

An elegant installation, especially with its night-time film footage, La nuda vida, has changing relationships continually developing - because of the different time cycles for each of the two screens. Different cross-connections surface with each unique screening, new meanings popping up with new formal correlations and symbolic overlaps. This allows a sensitive and individual interpretation to be postulated for each emerging occasion.

John Hurrell

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