Text by CLOT Magazine
Since 1991, British artist Vicki Bennett (People Like Us) has been working across the field of audio-visual collage, repurposing pre-existing footage from both the experimental and popular worlds of music, film and radio. Bennett has developed a recognisable aesthetic repurposing pre-existing footage to craft audio and video collages with an equally dark and witty take on popular culture.
As People Like Us, she samples original recordings from a palette of contemporary media and technology and creates new collages with a dark yet humorous look at popular culture. Embedded in her work is the premise that all is interconnected and that claiming ownership of an “original” or isolated concept is preposterous and redundant.
Until November 13, People Like Us is presenting at the Barbican the project Gone, Gone Beyond, an immersive a/v spatial cinema work that breaks the rectangle, smashing the thin screen into tiny fragments, looking beyond the frame, climbing through to see what’s behind. In this 360º format, time and space become elasticated, with the use of collaged video furthering the reflection on how information comes to us as fragments and that nothing is fixed. A new narrative thread is woven into the mind of each viewer every time the work is seen, limited only to that exact time and space – just as the Heart Sutra reminds us that the only constant changes, and everything is related with no fixed source.
Commissioned by Naut Humon, the founder of the immersive theatre project Recombinant Music Labs CineChamber, GONE, GONE BEYOND is a ten-screen / six-speaker piece with seamless wrap-around projection spatialised soundscape where the audience sits inside. It uses edited collages sewn together in a giant patchwork. Pull on a thread and watch whole new narratives expand and unravel all at once on a 360º palette. The project has been a work in progress since 2017 and is showing in feature-length format for the first time in 2021.