Works for exhibition.
Still at Large written and presented by Nicholas Still
Single screen video with six channel sound, 11 mins, 2015.
The video at first seems to be a film essay about Holy Island, written and presented by architecture writer Nicholas Still. But there is another voice that has mysteriously imposed itself on the soundtrack, possibly during the editing process, another voice as well as that of Still, a female voice which describes a figure on the run from an unspoken crime who is up to his neck in the sea – in the manner of one of St. Cuthbert’s prayer methods, in which a trance is induced by the chill of the water. The voice describes, over the soundtrack's relentless motorik beat, the fugitive’s ‘hyperthermal’ apocalyptic reveries as he watches from the waves. Thanks to Richard Stephenson Winter and Melanie Dagg. More...
Single screen video with stereo sound (also text only version), 6 mins, 2012.
This video work takes us through the mind of Jack, a self-educated man, or, in his own words, a ‘cerebral forced-growth Lighter-Retch’. His homemade video letter shows us the dark streets, and dark rhubarb forcing sheds, that he prowls — images which are accompanied by his idiosyncratically spelt writing which also appears on screen. More...
HOMER —— HEPHAESTUS
From the Storey Gallery website: "Storey Gallery jointly commissioned, with Litfest [Lancaster Literary Festival], a text-based art work by visual artist Paul Rooney for the 1st floor corridor of The Storey. It was installed in 2011...It is centred around a supposed artwork consisting of the two names of ancient Greek representatives of writing and sculpture — Homer and Hephaestus. The fictional installer of this artwork has apparently overstepped his brief and added a series of footnotes, spiraling out across the surrounding walls, creating a complex and humourous narrative."
Two screen video with stereo sound, 8 mins, 2010.
The footage on one screen is of the petrol station shot in 2001, on the other screen are the same views re-shot nine years later. The subtitles on each screen appear to be having a sardonic conversation with each other about fonts, the weather, the passing of time, music and silence, why an artist would want to re-make a video work nine years after making it, personal and artistic regret, and failure. More...
Purchased in 2015 by The Arts Council Collection.
Thin Air by Dr Annette Gomperts
The Psycho-Vocalic Discoveries of Alan Smithson
Vocal monologue and noise for lecture theatre, with projected still images and accompanying book, six channel sound, 60 mins, 2009.
PDF of the book.
Belgian architectural historian Dr Annette Gomperts and her collaborator Paul Rooney have produced Thin Air: part academic lecture, part science-fiction story. Thin Air highlights the legacy of 1970s Leeds Polytechnic student Alan Smithson, who claimed that ‘voices’ he had recorded in the Polytechnic’s H Building were sonic manifestations of memories that had been somehow preserved in the electromagnetic ether of it’s rooms through a process which he called ‘site-anamnesis’. Smithson also asserted that the particularly radical and eventful — and ultimately tragic — history of the building had contributed to it’s facility for preserving and recalling the charged moments of remembrance. More...
Julian Cowley (The Wire) review of the work.
Abi Bliss (Frieze) review of the work.
Single screen video with stereo sound, 25 mins, 2008.
In a dark, apparently derelict Liverpool cinema, Tony (played by Tony Schumacher), an amateur comedian and gumshoe detective, chats with other comics in the ticket queue and the bar. He talks of his recent visits to his past life regression therapist, and tells some of the jokes he has written about it. At various points the other male and female comics in the cinema relay messages to Tony from an unknown and unseen man who is trying to contact him. There is clearly something unpleasant that Tony has stumbled on at some time in his past, something that he is impelled to uncover further, despite the risks. Will Tony’s past catch up with him before he does? Originally commissioned by Tate Liverpool. More...
Purchased in 2012 by the Victoria Gallery and Museum with funds from The Contemporary Art Society.
Alex Hetherington (AN Magazine) review of the work.
Tony Schumacher's memories of filming the work.
La Décision Doypack
Vocal monologue and music, with 16mm film (also text only version), stereo, 27 mins, 2008.
The work is inspired by a real web memoir by a retired Australian food-packaging company manager, who remembers walking the night-time streets of Paris during the turbulent events of May 1968. The dominant monologue of the work (spoken by John Eastman) — which is accompanied by rock music, sound effects and 16mm film images of drama students awkwardly 'acting out' the narrative — extends Gregory’s memoir into fiction, playing with contradictory writing styles, from consumer product description to romantic poetry. It is partly because of this connection with real life and real events that the work’s imaginative confabulation and formal artifice is thrown into relief, underlining the melancholy comedy of our attempts to do justice to the past. Originally commissioned by Radar and Matt's Gallery with funds from Arts Council England.
Skye Sherwin (The Guardian) review of the work.