'Hercules: Rough Cut', 2015
Stills from 'Hercules: Rough Cut', David Blandy, 2015
Installation view of 'Hercules: Rough Cut', David Blandy, 2015
Photo credit: 'Dave Morgan Photography, 2015'
Hercules invented hip hop. Named on the basketball courts of crumbling civilisation, street lights powered block parties, merry go rounds broke the beat back to back, hop from track to track, each transition a labour, fruit from the quest for the funkadelic and the apache, the bongo beating out the beat, unique configurations induced visions from the oracle, it began.
Hercules: Rough Cut, David Blandy’s new commission for Bloomberg SPACE, explores empire, civilisation, London and language in a hypnotically rotating, mutating installation of video and voice. It is the latest work for The Homecoming, Bloomberg SPACE’s 2015 programme also featuring commissions by Adam Dant, Gayle Chong Kwan and Melanie Manchot responding to the history and architecture of the City of London.
Hercules: Rough Cut refers to the Roman version of the Greek Heracles, a series of stories rife with internal contradictions and gathered from multiple sources that has inspired artists and writers through time. Drawing on Bloomberg’s vast archive of global financial news footage, Blandy layers and amalgamates images of the agricultural, the economic, the cultural, the political and the industrial on four screens that revolve and turn next to a large-scale projection. His pulsing poetic rap narrates an alternative history of the City of London (and the world) informed by mythology, war, disease, injustice, technology and development. He references the language, style and cadence of Roman declamations, Thomas More, Samuel Johnson, William Blake, 1950s Beat poets and contemporary street talk.
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Image: Studio wall images