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File under Sacred Music

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Uploaded on Jul 30, 2007

Taking as its starting point Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's desire to duplicate and capture 'liveness', File under Sacred Music takes an infamous video documenting a live performance by The Cramps for the patients at Napa Mental Institute, California, on 13th June 1978 as the original source to remake. Captured on blurred and grainy black and white film, this unique social document has been swapping hands at record fairs and via the internet since the early eighties.

Forsyth and Pollard began by re-enacting that legendary performance in order to film it and remake the rarely seen video document.

The band came together around the core of Holly Golightly, a legendary solo artist as well as a founder member of Thee Headcoatees, as guitarist Poison Ivy. Holly was joined by Bruce Brand, a key figure in the Medway scene, as guitarist Bryan Gregory and John Gibbs from The Wildebeests and Holly's current band as drummer Nick Knox. Fronting this formidable group of musicians with his own explosive presence and mesmeric performance was Alfonso Pinto from The Parkinsons.

Alongside putting together a band, Forsyth and Pollard engaged in ongoing discussions with members of Core Arts and Mad Pride, who were invited to attend the performance and filming, which was staged on a specially constructed set in the ICA Theatre on 3rd March 2003.

File under Sacred Music marks a significant and ground-breaking development in Forsyth and Pollard's practice and addresses one of the most important questions facing all kinds of performance today: what is the status of the 'live' and the 'real' in a culture now obsessed with simulation and dominated by mass media and mediation?

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