Parade : Parade
2019
3 minutes 45 seconds
Two channel video, Full HD, colour, sound

Parade : Parade is a reimagining and an inhabitation of an image.

The image is a sketch by Pablo Picasso made for the development of the costume design

of a Pantomime Horse for 'Parade' – a 1917 ballet from Diaghilev's Ballet Russes

with music by Eric Satie.

The ballet performs a one-act scenario by Jean Cocteau

in which a series of Vaudvillean acts attempt to lure an audience inside

to pay to witness their performances.

In its time, this ballet, by an intense coalition of modernist 'geniuses', provoked a riot.

 

Without knowledge of 'Parade', I had fallen in love with Picasso's sketch

because of how it spoke about performance, transformation,

and the cooperative necessities of making an image with bodies.

I shared it with my friend, artist Sharon Smith, who revealed that she had had the very same image taped above her desk for many years.

Loving it for the same reasons.

 

Disappointed with the realisation of the costume design in the original Parade ballet.

I worked with costume designer Josa Marx to reimagine the Pantomime Horse

with a greater fidelity to the drawing.

Sharon and I then became the Horse in a performance for video.

Later recording an improvisation of a text that I wrote that speaks to ideas of performance as labour, the specialised skill of that labour, and the class politics of entertainment.

This investigation of these questions is thickened and complicated by us

 – two women artists from working class backgrounds -

reimagining and in some ways offering a correction

to the work of some middle class modernist 'greats'.

 

It is also a love letter from me to my friend.

Director of Photography: Ashton Green