Death from Above
Single channel HD video
2017
163 minutes 39 seconds, colour, stereo, 25 fps PAL
Edition 5 + 2 A.P.

 

Death from Above started life much earlier with my video work titled Heart of Darkness (2000), based on Nicolas Roeg’s 1993 film adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella and was filmed through a kaleidoscope with the original audio intact. Ten years later I made a series of individual films that collectively make up the three-channel video installation titled The Great Man of History Template (2010), consisting of the feature films Apocalypse Now (based on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness), The Mosquito Coast and Lord of the Flies all filmed through a kaleidoscope as detailed in Heart of Darkness (2000).

Death from Above concludes the series using the re-released director’s cut of Francis Ford Coppolla’s Apocalypse Now, titled Apocalypse Now Redux as source material. This suite of works (Heart of Darkness, The Great Man of History Template, Death from Above) collectively and individually articulate and unpack popular, cultural representations of Western males entering, occupying and attempting to coerce a state of primacy within non-habitual contexts. Also of concern is the threat of danger, disaster and chaos attendant on the historical archetype of this activity. Though the Western canon is strewn with a litany of examples of this subject, the chosen source material in the literary works The Mosquito Coast, Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now – as mediated through the three original motion picture versions – and by extension Apocalypse Now Redux – detail the terminal consequences of such males abandoning morality in favour of perceived liberation – closely followed by moral and ethical chaos, individual mental collapse and ultimately a violent death.