Push Comes to Shove

Video/sound installation in collaboration with Denise Hawrysio

Analogue & Digital, Fieldgate Gallery, London, 2007
Transcentric, Lethaby Gallery, London, 2008

John Wynne


Push Comes to Shove is a collaborative installation which superimposes ‘found’ soundtracks onto 2 Super-8 films shot by Denise Hawrysio in the 80s. The films were part of a series made by attaching the camera to various machines or devices; in each case an invitation was made to the operator(s) of the devices to participate in the making of a film. There is no editing or manipulation of the footage outside of the camera. The soundtracks are unmanipulated clips from a suspicious telephone conversation found on a cassette tape bought for 25 cents from a street vendor in New York City and a police radio recording made in the South London squat in which the artists lived using an old hi-fi receiver found on the street. The speakers used in the installation were found on the streets of London. It’s up to the viewer to decide which soundtrack goes with which film.

Above: as installed in Fieldgate Gallery
Below: stills from the videos
Bottom: as installed in Lethaby Gallery

For the 3-monitor version in the Lethaby Gallery (see below), a third film made by Hawrysio in the same manner is added, but the soundtrack is restricted to the New York phone conversation mentioned above: here the sound rises up the columns of speakers as the tension in the coversation rises until eventually one of the subjects mutters "Motherfucker" and hangs up. This word comes only from the speakers at the top of the columns.