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Lost High Street

Paul Rooney

12 minutes, Colour, Stereo
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

A VHS tourist video, circa 1987. A tourist on an open-top bus tour around Edinburgh, voiced by the artist, is unsure of his own past life, mixing what he thinks are his own memories with misheard fragments of the tour guide’s spiel. The narrative eventually takes a bleak turn as it is revealed that the tourist could be stuck forever on a tour that never stops, an endless series of circuits around a city that may be the capital of a disturbing foreign empire in the grip of cold-war paranoia. The tourist fears he may be dead, killed by the empire’s security forces because of an act of espionage he has unwittingly committed. This means, he thinks (though he is never sure of any of this), that he is now condemned to repeat his final act, the filming of a bus-top tourist video, in a blossom filled, sun-drenched city, forever.

Commissioned by The Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.