Single Screen, 9 minutes
Throughout the video, Commonwealth, focus is shifted between three distinct types of ceremonial activity taking place within Sheffield Town Hall: the citizenship ceremonies, the council meetings and a one-off brass-band performance, which was orchestrated at the artist’s request in one of the Council’s ceremonial chambers.
The edges between these different contexts become blurred; fragments of sound from one location bleed over into the frame of another, offering an aural sub-text in which unexpected parallels and analogies are made. The film draws attention to the points where the collective identity of a group becomes frayed at the edges, to those brief interludes within a ceremonial performance when the mask of duty or anonymity momentarily falls to reveal signs of the individual beneath.
Commonwealth was produced as part of Yorkshire Artspace Society Residency Program and was funded by the Arts Council and the Esmie Fairbrn Foundation.