MEANS TO AN END
Credits:Filmed in Lochee, Dundee, Scotland Commissioned by the Copper Summer Residency, Cooper Gallery, Dundee With the participation of Alasdair Dewar Music by Ottavio Bolzoni 4’ HD, Sound (2011)
We hear the narrator of Valentina Bonizzi’s short film Means to an End say “Dust filled air,” as if that phrase is enough to describe his circumstances. That phrase, indeed like the film in which it is spoken, is a both a hint and a poetic provocation. Through a visual exploration of the path taken by a security guard of the now abandoned Stack Leisure Park, punctuated by his sparse observations we are introduced to the ragged aftermath of the collapse of industrial communities.
The Stack Leisure Park in Lochee took its name from the chimney, Cox’s Stack, which was built next to the Cox Brothers’ jute mill in 1866, which had been the largest in the world just two years before. The weavers who worked long hours at the mill once lived in small tenements managed by the mill owners. Once the mill was shut down, the buildings were transformed into a leisure complex and a residential housing space. Now, after another economic and historical shift has caused the complex to be virtually abandoned, one lone man, employed by the owners to lower their insurance rates, has become the guardian, and the park’s laconic oral historian.
The film is a musically and visually layered rumination on abandonment, how it can become cyclical and how taking up the role of observer and chronicler can disrupt that cycle.
Text by Seph Rodney