Gareth Long
Kindappers Foil
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Gareth Long’s exhibition Kidnappers Foil looked at the production of history, the figure of the amateur, and the recycling of media through the lens of itinerant filmmaker Melton Barker. From the 1930s through the 1970s, Barker traveled around the United States producing different iterations of the same film with casts of local children, titling them with slight variations on Kidnappers Foil. He made more than three hundred versions of the film, though fewer than thirty are known to survive, which have been rescued and preserved by the Library of Congress and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image thanks to the diligence of archivist and scholar Caroline Frick. Commissioned by Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, in 2014 and restaged in an expanded edition at the Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, in 2019, Long’s installation treated Barker’s films as unlikely readymades, projected simultaneously in the gallery to reveal the differences that emerge across the many takes on one script and the varying milieus in which they were captured. It is an unusual vantage on the history of cinematic production in the twentieth century.

Mousse Publishing October 2020 1st edition 112 pages Softcover 14.80 × 21.00 cm ISBN 978-88-6749-417-0 English

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