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East-West (The nearest place from where to begin a journey)

Hunter, Roddy (2006) East-West (The nearest place from where to begin a journey). [Show/Exhibition]

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Creators: Hunter, Roddy

Art Surgery with Newlyn Art Gallery invited Hunter to Penzance to research and develop a site-specific performance project as part of a season of off-site work. Hunter’s on-going interest in ‘civic image’ led to investigation of the formative influence of trade upon the development of the town. Over several visits to Penzance, Hunter developed speculative lines of enquiry into mythologies of the trade route between Marazion [near Penzance] and Jaffa, Palestine/Israel, to determine its influence in the contemporary social epistemology of Penzance. Initial interest lay with the town’s cenotaph near the outdoor Jubilee Pool. This was useful given its Middle Eastern origin and its prevalent use in the West to commemorate military campaigns. From this point on, Hunter searched for other signs of the East in West and it did not take too long from there to discover and explore the mythology of how Penzance came to adopt the image of John the Baptist’s head on a charger as its civic seal. Perpetuating this mythology became a more vital part of the commission than verifying its authenticity. The commission concluded with an installation and ‘report performance’ in a committee room of St John’s Hall, the text and images of which are evidenced in the publication ‘Civil Twilight & Other Social Works’ [172 pp, Trace: Samizdat Press, March 2007]. The installation comprised a vitrine, maps, ingots of Cornish tin (the commodity of trade between Penzance and Jaffa), measuring tapes, an antique ‘History of Israel’, red ink, feathers, and a compass. Monitors showed overlaid images of trade/nautical maps of Cornwall and Palestine and Hunter’s ‘headless’ figure holding ingots of tin to face the camera while standing at the foot of the causeway linking Marazion with St. Michael’s Mount.

Date: 22 July 2006
Event Location: St. John's Hall, Penzance, Cornwall, England
School/Department: School of the Arts
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/204

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