Thursday, 16 February 2012

OKO @ M1 > Dark Heart, PSL [9 February 2012]

Take Me Higher: an expanded cinema experience inc. OKO > M1 > Dark Heart.

OKO created and performed "Leeds 78", an expanded 16mm/ 35mm slide piece for M1 > Dark Heart, an event series programmed by Derek Horton & Chris Bloor for Glamourie. Glamourie, curated by David Steans, is currently on show until 31st March at Project Space Leeds.


The performance appropriates and re-works Leeds 78, a film produced in 1972 to support Leeds’ bid for the Commonwealth Games in 1978.

Mark came across a 16mm print of the film in 2010. The film remains a bit of a mystery – there is no online documentation or discussion about it that we could find. This is perhaps unsurprising, as Leeds was unsuccessful in the bid.


The film contains some beautiful shots of Leeds International Pool (now demolished) and Leeds Kirkgate Market (currently under threat from outside developers). There is also a section devoted to the construction of a Commonwealth Olympic Village, shown as an architectural model, which was never built.


Repeated viewings of the film led us to reflect on the ways in which Leeds is seen from the outside, and from the inside-out, about how cities evolve and change, about a struggle for a sense of identity, about what is lost to history, and what is found, or discovered, or re-discovered.



The stories that we uncovered through our research drew us to compile a playful but critical slide commentary that accompanies the film. The commentary was inspired in part by Anthony McCall & Andrew Tyndall’s Argument (1978) and consists of 78 35mm slides, which are projected alongside the film. Each time the film is performed, the slides are evaluated and re-edited so that they remain current.

Many thanks to Derek Horton for the documentary photographs above of Leeds 78 at M1 > Dark Heart, Project Space Leeds, February 2012.

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