18th June 2009
Now on YouTube!
To support the nomination of the participants to the Happening for the 1998 Turner Prize I commissioned a film of the event. 30 hours of video shot both on the day itself and in the six week lead-up were professionally edited into a twelve minute film which was sent to the Tate Gallery along with the names and addresses of those who had indicated a wish to be nominated by filling in a card. Two minutes had to be cut from the movie in order to get it up on to YouTube. Not an easy task by any means but it had to be done. You will find it here.
I was not eligible myself for the Turner Prize because there is an age limit of 50. We did not make it to the short list. The reason, I maintain, was that they did not want to invite us all to the traditional dinner that they give to those lucky ones when the short list is announced. Doubtless our partners would also have been invited and they would have needed nearly 800 prawn cocktails. And that’s just for starters.
The movie has a sub-plot provided by a an American Film Library who chose that same day to send a unit to the bridge to update their stock footage. This is done, it would appear, once every ten years. I would dearly like to know what happened next, there.
I am hoping that it will be possible, one day, to produce a full-length documentary about the Happening and will be happy to make my footage available to a TV production company for that purpose. It was, in all truth, a very special event. Unique in Art, unique in the history of London Bridge and memorable for everyone who walked across the bridge that day. Even for those who attempted not to get involved. I say “attempted” because it is in the nature of a Happening that those who do not participate but are there when it happens are a part of it, whether they like it or not. The YouTube video will do more than bring back the moment. It also shows how we looked eleven years ago. Scary!
There is more about the Happening here.