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Walk-Through

Redmond Entwistle

UK, 2012
18 minutes, B&W/colour, 5.1 surround
Original format: HD video
Available formats: BluRay / HD Digital file / HD Video

Walk-Through explores the site, design and philosophy of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, as a starting point for posing wider questions about contemporary pedagogical models and their relationship to new forms of social, political and economic exchange that have emerged since the 1970s .

On one level we are presented with a tour of the CalArts campus, analysing the history of the building and the origins of its democratic ethos. A studied voiceover articulates the rhetoric of CalArts founding mission which, when read through the current moment, pinpoints an early form of cultural capital. Slowly the tour starts to shift to a second series of vignettes in which students gather in a classroom to attend a fictional recreation of Michael Ashers Post-Studio class. Whispered lines are fed to the principal speakers, and first person speech is interrupted with the reading of bureaucratic documents, detailing the literal financial and infrastructural underpinnings of the institution. As the discussion progresses we begin to understand that what is being staged is an exercise in assessing the parameters of the institutions legitimacy and the legitimacy of the class as a space within which to speak, as well as individual speech itself as a principal tool of democracy.