Peter Wareing

Exterior Signals: From Ronnie (1981) to W. (2008) (2012)

13 min 32 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

Wareing’s satirical essay evokes the disorientating effects of American political leadership in the late 20th century.

Wareing begins with handheld footage shot midway on a bridge, his camera lurching and unsettled. We see Wareing tapping himself on the head, as if to correct his thoughts.

Six simultaneous scenes appear within the one screen, including a man in a cowboy hat talking to camera, scenes from a domestic space, a low budget Western and a static shot of the bridge. A scrolling text describes advice to Nancy Reagan from an astrologer. The cowboy is instructed by an off-camera voice to say "The difference between a good guy and a bad guy... is written in the human heart".

Mid-way through the film the image cuts to a series of dramatic film noir scenes in New York City. Over the top Wareing describes the making of Jean-Luc Godard‘s film Pierrot le Fou.

"In the opening of Jean-Luc Godard‘s film Pierrot le Fou (1965), Jean-Paul Belmondo reads from a book about the 17th Century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. It describes Velázquez’s late paintings, the formal approach to his subjects (the royal family and their attendants) and the political environment at the time. It speaks of hopelessness and malaise, and out of touch political leaders. This ode serves as a reflection of today’s malaise born from an uncontested hyper capitalism, the political face of which begins with Ronald Reagan and has its spectacular flowering under George W. Bush in late 2008."

Artist Statement

Other works by Peter Wareing

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