THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE

2015 | 00:37:00 | United Kingdom | English | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: European Film/Video, Mental Landscape, Politics

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A kind of warped Folktale, the video follows two women through a bizarre, broken landscape of collapsing signs and imploding meanings, on a pilgrimage to the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, to cure their green baby. In this fantastic, primitive-future world, the difference between technology and magic has become incomprehensible. Our characters become entangled in a cargo-cult of Margaret Thatcher, and buy a Maggie doll which spouts quotations to guide them when they pull its string. Red, Green, and Blue characters – that could be distorted versions of long dead political factions – appear to them amongst the many trials of their journey. The title explores the idea of the image of Margaret Thatcher as an after-burn on the collective memory of British culture.

"I am interested in belief systems, ideas of truth, power and pleasure, and how cultural memories are re-made and distorted according to the needs of each era."

—Jennet Thomas

“…The film gaily highlights contemporary fears (in this case, of uninspiring politics and our dependency on technology) via wicked satire, as a result planting seeds of doubt – and therefore debate – among the laughs. Thomas avoids slipping into moral instruction by placing the conversation in an irreverent world; the low-budget aesthetic (including the artist’s trademark unsteady special effects and handmade costumes) suits the film’s nod to present-day austerity.”

 —Laura Robertson, Art Review, October 2015

Commissioned by Grundy Gallery. Original music by Leo Chadburn.

 

Premiere

Grundy Gallery
Blackpool
2015

Exhibitions + Festivals

University of the Arts London, UK, March 2nd, 2016

Grand Union, Birmingham, UK, April 9th, 2015

Primary, Nottingham, UK, April 16th, 2015

OUTPOST, Norwich, UK, April 23rd, 2015

The Cube, Bristol, UK, April 30th, 2015