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The World Within Us

Terry Flaxton

UK, 1987
16 minutes
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

“By 1987 I had decided that I should go back to the root of my art and so became was primarily interested in the construction of art and my interest had moved toward narrative, as an ignored area within tradition academic video art as a potential area for artists to work within. The mores of the time set by the dominant institutions of taste worked against the use of narrative as a useful function in video art because it was seen to be colonised by Hollywood – as their interests had been conditioned by a previous generation of image workers and artists via the development and concerns of avant garde film-making – early video art was after all a response to these issues remediated in a different form from film – video. In fact by the time of writing, February 2010, narrative is positively de rigueur in terms of artists involvement. However, back then my work was appreciated by Channel 4 and specifically Illuminations and so this work was commissioned by John Wyver for the Ghosts in the Machine slot. The World Within us was influenced by the cinema of Tarkovsky and Tavernier and the writing of John Cowper Powis: “She listened with the patience of women of all ages, as men, as they are won’t to do, muse upon things greater than themselves”. My friend was dying of cancer, Tavernier had shown us in Sunday in the country, an old painter who though talented, had never committed himself to a true act of art and Tarkovsky had questioned fundamental acts of intellectualisation in his film Stalker. All of this came together for me in the World Within Us – which was about what its title suggests. This won prizes at Montbeliard and Locarno and was shown around the world.” – Terry Flaxton