Paul Rooney’s solo show at Storey Gallery consisted of one solitary piece. This purposely sparse presentation of the artist’s film La Décision Doypack creates a sense of theatrical occasion, enhanced by the evening opening and scheduled screening times.
On entering the gallery, a gently lit island of carpet subtly indicates the appropriate place to congregate. The leggy audiovisual equipment, which is installed on stands, is dotted at the four corners of the island. The audience sit, it goes dark, and the film begins.
The 27-minute film, shot on 16mm, is inspired by the memories of an Australian food-packaging company manager who visited Paris during the events of 1968. The multi-layered narrative is visualized with self-conscious acting and film making techniques, and uses real life events and fictional construction to investigate the way in which history only exists when actively recalled in the present. The film demonstrates however, how flawed that recollection can be, revealing the comedy and melancholy involved in any attempt to represent the past.
La Décision Doypack (16mm film still), Paul Rooney © 2008, commissioned by Radar and Matt's Gallery.
Produced for Storey Gallery by Suzy Jones