Magazine article Artforum International

Mark Leckey: Cabinet Gallery

Magazine article Artforum International

Mark Leckey: Cabinet Gallery

Article excerpt

Mark Leckey

CABINET GALLERY

The initial idea was simple: On YouTube, Mark Leckey discovered the audio recording of a Joy Division matinee gig he'd attended in 1979, at age fifteen, the memory of which deeply affected him-leading him to wonder if he could compile important memories from his life through film, ads, and music found online. The resulting film, Dream English Kid 1964-1999 AD, 2015, could be considered a dystopian romance. It begins the year Leckey was born, 1964, with footage of early Beatles television broadcasts; the work is not only about music as a point of collective memory but also about the rapid evolution of networked technologies in the late twentieth century. Forgotten landscapes of telephone and electricity pylons reoccur; scrawled on a chalkboard we see the word lekke--British slang for electricity and a wry self-reference; a series of animated images drawn by Joey the Mechanical Boy, an autistic child who believed he was a machine, also appear. The end date of 1999 marks, among other things, the birth of the Internet and the beginning of Leckey's art career with Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, a dreamlike journey through the dance-music scenes of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s.

Dream English Kid is twenty-three tightly edited minutes of short phrases of imagery and sound that repeatedly crescendo toward a series of never-quite-reached climaxes, often dramatically cut at the point of no return. These cycles are punctuated with allegorical images--for instance of the moon--as markers of time: Among these are depictions of the unmanned NASA moon landing in 1964, a blood moon in 1983, the total eclipse of August 11, 1999. Similarly, a reappearing cad rendering of a bridge that Leckey played under as a child serves as a metaphorical bridge between decades; it shows up as Harold Wilson speaks of the "white heat" of technology through a car radio in the '60s; later it appears, its rendering bloodred, as a site of nuclear-war fantasies after a dramatic passage on the Korean plane shot down in Soviet airspace in 1983. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.