Animal Drum : a cinepoem collaboration with Joshua Alexander

ANIMAL DRUM from Josh Alexander on Vimeo.

ANIMAL DRUM is a short, conceptual poetic film about disease, menial work and the remnants of the British Empire. It was born out of a collaboration between two fellow and former employees of a major British Museum institution, and draws on shared experiences of the potential, and actual, vapidity of assumptions of improvement and beneficial pedagogy in such institutions, as well as shared negative experiences of a vast, global tourist deluge. In that sense, the film was born mutually, conceived by the two artists at the same time, and created without much dialogue yet with a certain sense of synchronicity.
Animal Drum calls on the miserabalist, absurdist traditions of post-war European avant garde theatre and poetry. By employing the red herring of the Comedia Dell Arte ‘plague doctor’ mask, as a juxtaposition to the glossed over friendliness of a contemporary ‘happy’ urban landscape it invokes deliberate absurdity in its visuals as well as its text. It is London shot, environment specific and includes performance footage from the Science Museum late where SJ Fowler was invited to create a new work in response to the Exponential Horn installation.
Animal Drum is the first in a series of films that explore the sad, macabre, abstract threat of contemporary London culture and psychological geography.