29th October 2016
York College Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Newcastle based artist Cath Campbell. There Will Always be Cowboys is a dreamlike film-poem that takes the viewer on a journey through the American landscape from Oklahoma, through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and ending in California.
The route follows the ‘Mother Road’, a name coined by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath, a novel that documents the lives of the dustbowl migrants – high plains farmers who fled drought and dust storms during the great depression – and as such There Will Always be Cowboys makes an intentional connection between this historical mass migration and the contemporary political climate across the Western world.
Deliberately lo-fi in its process and aesthetic, the film is made by collaging together clips from amateur travel videos found on YouTube. The dialogue in each clip is translated by Google automatic captions, and the resulting subtitles are full of slight mis-translations that provide a disquieting and poetic quality to the narrative. The clips are stitched together to create short film-poems that refer to the idea of the ‘stream of consciousness’– a literary device in which the writer attempts to remove rational thought, instead presenting the inner consciousness of the characters. The use of found and incidental imagery of American life creates a narrative sequence that is heavy with romantic reference and familiar cinematic imagery interrupted by strangely banal and absurd moments from the minutiae of the personal lives of the original authors.
There Will Always be Cowboys is the latest short film by Cath Campbell taken from her on-going series ‘Canary yellow with royal blue’ following classic literary, cinematic and historical road trips across the American landscape.
The exhibition runs from 31st October - 1st December 2016 in the York College Gallery, opening times: Monday to Friday 9.00am -5.00pm
Cath Campbell (Born 1972 Ilkeston, UK) studied Fine Art at Newcastle University, and continues to live and work in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Her work encompasses drawing, photography, sculpture, digital printmaking, installation and large-scale architectural interventions. With a particular interest in the socio-political meaning invested in an object or image when dislocated from its original surroundings and placed within a new context, Campbell appropriates, collects and collages found images and materials, then through a process of manipulation, repetition and rearrangement, she re-presents these to question the disconnect between reality, desire and experience.
Cath has work in several public and private collections and is represented by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead.
2016 My mum was a beatnik/canary yellow with royal blue, Baltic 39, Newcastle, UK
Canary yellow with royal blue, DLI and Durham Art Gallery, Durham, UK
2014 Everything we do corrects the space, Workplace Gateshead
2012 Ideal Mexico, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK
2009 Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover, Open Space, Cologne, Germany
2007 Possibly Maybe, Cragside House, Northumberland, UK