Leeds 78

2012 | oko collaboration | 16mm found footage & 78 x 35mm slides | expanded cinema performance | 25:00

Leeds 78 was created for M1 > Dark Heart, programmed by Derek Horton & Chris Bloor for the Glamourie group show at Project Space Leeds.

The performance appropriates and re-works Leeds 78 (1972), a film promoting Leeds’ bid for the Commonwealth Games in 1978. The film exists as a relic from another age: there is next to no documentation or discussion of it. 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 to reflection upon the ways in which Leeds is seen from the outside, and from the inside-out, about how cities evolve and change, about Leeds’ continuing struggle for a sense of identity, about what is lost to history, and what is found, or discovered, or re-discovered.

The stories that OKO uncovered through research resulted in the compilation of a critical, playful slide commentary that accompanies the film. The commentary was inspired in part by Anthony McCall &  Andrew Tyndall’s Argument (1978) and consists of seventy eight 35mm slides, projected alongside the film. Each time the film is performed, the slides are evaluated and re-edited so that they remain current.

Screenings: M1 < Dark Heart, Project Space Leeds (2012)

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