‘It was in the year 2012 that we went into the retail parks of England. Here were the new deserts on the outskirts of the towns and cities, the non-places, devoid of history and culture. Here were the blank spaces on Google Maps, the dead zones with barely decipherable names.’
Preface to Pre-enactments
And so begins the declaration of intent – to journey to the consumer non-places of English culture to pre-enact the end times. Here, visions of Ranters, Diggers, Seekers and Fifth Monarchists, joined with the Angry Brigade, King Mob, and Occupy, gave rise to images of dissident writings stamped into the architectural fabric of drive-through retail parks. Presented as tokens of things to come, Victoria Halford’s and Steve Beard’s series of images are an invitation, or perhaps an incitement, to break apart these amnesiac zones of consumption, to remake them into crucibles of social transformation warmed by the distant flames of urban riot and revolt.
Previous collaborative work includes:Voodoo Science Park (Zero Books, 2011); Dark Places John Hansard Gallery, Southampton 2009; as well as widespread individual writing and exhibitions. Perfumed Head by Steve Beard, with cover art by Victoria Halford, was published by Book Works in 1998.
Pre-enactments by Victoria Halford & Steve Beard is published by Book Works as part of Common Objectives, guest edited by Nina Power; edition of 1,000 copies; 56 pages; 27 b/w images, soft cover; designed by A Practice for Everyday Life; 210 x 260 mm; ISBN 978 1 906012 48 9 – Price £8.00.
Common Objectives is a series of quick-fire, rapid-response projects from artist/writer collectives or individual art practices engaged with emerging political struggles, rejecting the idea of culture as a playground for the elite, engaging in the potent mix of free discourse, solidarity and the production of new desires and prepared to break open old worlds, either in the virtual space of communication and networks, or in the concrete world of action, discourse and distribution. Other projects in the series include: After The Night by Everyone Agrees; Bad Feelings by Arts Against Cuts; The Counsel of Spent by Inventory; Even the Dead Rise Up by Francis McKee; Move…ment, a new issue of the journal …ment, edited by Federica Bueti; The Night by Michèle Bernstein, translated by Clodagh Kinsella and edited by Everyone Agrees; and Shy Radicals by Hamja Ahsan.