Grace Schwindt: ‘Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society’

28 June – 2 August 2014
Exhibition launch: Friday 27 June, 6–8pm

Eastside Projects presents ‘ONLY A FREE INDIVIDUAL CAN CREATE A FREE SOCIETY’, a new film installation by Grace Schwindt revisiting discussions she witnessed as a child surrounded by leftwing individuals in Frankfurt, Germany. The dialogue running through the film is from an interview that Schwindt conducted with a leftwing activist influenced by the 1960s and 70s political landscape, shaped by the Frankfurt School, the Outer Parliamentary Opposition and the Baader Meinhof Gang. The interview was recorded via telephone as he was driving his taxi from the countryside to the city. The taxi driver appears throughout the work as one of a series of carefully choreographed elements that come together in a script, which might be better described as a score.

Rather than aiming to gain a better understanding of the past, Schwindt attempts to take a system apart – to undo it. Nothing is assumed to be neutral and every movement, word, gesture or colour is understood to have cultural, social, political or economic implications. The artist constructs her own processes of translating language into vivid material, choreographing dancers, set, props, costume, lighting, sound, camera movement and words as elementary forms carrying symbolic power. Each element is equally important and should be read together as a melody where the words or functions of ‘chair’ or ‘terrorism’, ‘clothing’ or ‘freedom’ have equal status.

At feature film length ‘Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society’ is the product of an extensive rehearsal period with eleven dancers and a dramaturg over a period of 5 weeks using diagrams to map out a detailed choreography. The film draws on thirty costume makers crafting costumes using aluminium, cardboard, silk, velvet, as well as extensive post-production video compositing. The film is projected across a large curtained set in the gallery partly mirroring the shifting landscape of the film.

Schwindt creates a narrative that questions how freedom was, and is, understood, who has access to it and what political and social structures need to be in place to create a free society.

Duration 28 June 2014 - 02 August 2014
Times Gallery is open Wednesday–Saturday 12–5pm
Cost Free
Venue Eastside Projects
Address 86 Heath Mill Lane Birmingham B9 4AR, ,
Contact 0121 771 1778 / /

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