Binge, 2008

Binge records the habitual scenes of spectacular weekend intoxication to be found in any British high street. Addled by over-consumption, revellers spill onto pavements, littering doorways and street furniture, bodies out of control and in peril. The series of large-scale photographs explore the degree to which depictions of individual intoxicated consumers are analogous to the representation of excess, exploitation and collapse in the social body.

Openings are Always Awkward, 2009

HD Video Projection

This video work uses actors to perform a comic satirical script, written in English by Common Culture and translated into Portuguese. This autobiographical work draws upon the kind of banter and jokes that the three members of Common Culture have between them: ruminating on their own shows, the awkwardness of openings as well as their frustrations and anger towards the greed and stupidity within the art world. The script also plays with the fact that Common Culture have hired others to perform their act*, foregrounding the issues of translation and ventriloquism.

Comic Battle, 2008

3 screen video projection

In a Brighton pub, three British comedians were hired to tell jokes in response to topics suggested by Common Culture and each was simultaneously filmed as they battled for attention. Our interest in British comedians centres on the raw competition between them and the way humour is able to construct particular cultural identities through the articulation of global and local issues.

What about transcendence?, 2009

HD Video Projection

Sliding between the Romantic tradition associated with the British Landscape and the stereotypical relationship between woman and nature, the camera tracks the face of an emotive female figure and the beautiful English vista upon which she gazes.

Private Dance I, 2009

HD video Installation with Mirrored Wall

Set amidst the strained glamour of a Lap Dancing clubs Private Dance lounge, Common Culture hire the services of a dancer to continuously perform ten of her 20 dances. Pausing after each dance only to replace her bra, she methodically executes her routine, balancing boredom with well-crafted eroticism.

Private Dance II, 2009

1 monitor video installation

In this version, a close up of the head of a Lap Dancer concentrates on the expressions of the performer as she tries to stave of the boredom and awkwardness of her routine as it is repeated to camera.

Dead Eyes, 2009

3 monitor video installation

The work of nightclub bouncers necessitates that they have a particular way of looking at customers, a capacity to show their strength and control through the way they engage with people by the look they project. As each seeks to hold their look for twenty minutes duration, the videos become about acts of endurance. In the insistence on a hard resilient looking to camera, the videos resist the humanist tradition underpinning a lot of portraiture. Little is yielded or revealed to the camera, despite the lengthy takes.

Trophy, 2009

Finally, Common Culture celebrate their success in Portugal with a trophy to mark the occasion of this show.

Openings are Always Awkward
Actors: Alexandre Falco, Olinda Favas, Ricardo Leite, Romi Soares
Organisation and translations: Joo Leal
Sound: Pedro Santos
Camera: Ana Joana Amorim, Jos Pedro Magano, Hugo Moreira

Also thanks to
Olvia Maria Marques da Silva, Joo Leal, Jorge Campos, Cesrio M. F. Alves, Jos Quinta Ferreira, David Bethell, Katie Shipley, Staffordshire University, University of Ulster, University of Wales, Newport

© 2020 Curtas Vila do Conde