DashnDem & Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen @ DCA
DashnDem’s Imagine Being a World Leader adorns Gallery 1 of the DCA with all the artifice of the political Summit; a red carpet, the backdrop of a stately home and rows of chairs facing a podium flanked by Summit flags. But on closer inspection the space is more like an interactive classroom; booklets and posters explain how to act like a politician through hand gestures and speech patterns. Local schoolchildren are the vehicle through which these traits are exposed, allowing the viewer to rethink methods of political power and sway. Staged to coincide with the upcoming American Presidential election, this is a fun and thought provoking display.
In Gallery 2 Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen’s From the Edge showcases a series of the Dane’s films exploring family relationships and habitual environments. In Rendezvous, opposing screens project migrant Indian workers in Dubai with images of their family at home in India. This creates an emotional atmosphere, highlighting the difficulties of separation and longing for one another. Tales from the Periphery is told from the perspective of young people growing up in deprived areas in Europe, expressing their hopes and providing a more uplifting alternative to the usual media analysis of the areas they come from. The last of these films, No Place Like Home, explores the countryside around Dubai, emphasising the contrast between the developing city and its surrounding desert.
In partnership with the Discovery Film Festival, both these exhibitions focus on the outlook of young people, and provide an alternative outlook to the usual coverage of politics and the periphery. [Katie Rice]