COMMON CULTURE: NOT NECESSARILY IN THE RIGHT ORDER
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Common Culture is a collaborative artists' group consisting of David Campbell, Mark Durden and Ian Brown. Reflecting on the numerous festivals that take place in Nottingham, Common Culture have further developed a theme explored in previous work: art's ability to critically and humorously, intervene in and comment on, complex social situations.
Not Necessarily in the Right Order is a video installation that responds to Nottingham's diverse multi-cultural demographic by exploring the social significance of carnival and festival as one of the few public opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity, signify a demand for recognition and re-imagine cultural identity.
Working with locally based performers and musicians, the video depicts the process of rehearsal for a new carnival of the future. Unlike Nottingham's existing festivals - Mela, Carnival and Goose Fair - the context and identity of this new festival is ambiguous, with no recognizable group identified as the focus of the celebration.
Acknowledging the centrality of music in the construction and expression of cultural identity in 'carnival', Common Culture have worked with Nottingham-based musicians to engineer a unique musical soundscape. The collaboration with local musicians extends from the video, into the sound track; weaving together and transforming both traditional and emerging 'folk' musical forms in order to celebrate Britain's vibrant multicultural heritage whilst speculating on its potential future.
The flow of movement, and its interruption, is a central theme of the video installation, replicating typical characteristics of carnival procession. Any attempt to smoothly orchestrate the improvised music is also ruptured by an episodic narration, which reflects on both the activity taking place and wider issues relating to the concept of 'carnival', cultural representation and identity.
Founded in Liverpool in 1996 Common Culture have exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad including solo exhibitions in New York, London, Athens, Porto, Manchester and Derry and have participated in numerous group shows including Shopping (Tate Liverpool, 2002-3), the Shanghai Biennale in 2006 and Manifesta 8, Spain 2010.