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Gibraltar

Margaret Salmon

United Kingdom, 2013
17 minutes, 40 seconds, B&W/colour, Stereo, 4:3
Original format: 16mm film
Available formats: BluRay / HD Digital file / DCP

Filmed on 16mm in B&W and colour and featuring a percussive jazz soundscape of Max Roach recordings, Gibraltar dissects the small cosmos of the famous rock, opening up dialogs concerning bio-anthropology, history, tourism, folklore and spectacle. Part circus show/zoo and part social-science experiment gone wrong, the magnetism of the rock itself lends a mystical quality to the situation. Looming above the landscape below, the giant object imbues the primate’s identity with intriguing military and folk narratives, making the place a kind of kitsch nationalistic/historical destination for foreign travelers.

Approached as part amateur nature program, part street film and mystical intervention, the film follows a mostly observational approach, recording the monkeys and humans as they interact and mirror one another. This “observational” footage ultimately morphs into an experimental work, weaving together iconographic as well as organic, improvised narratives, images, sounds and music.