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Published on Jun 23, 2006
Looped DVD 34 min 2003/2004
Whodunnit? is a site-specific video projection installation for a theatre. It borrows the form of a classic middlebrow English amateur dramatics drawing-room detective drama but features a multi-ethnic cast and loops back on itself in a vicious circle of suspicion, accusation, betrayal and fear.
Taking the ethnic minority categories on cultural diversity monitoring forms of arts funding applications as a guide, I cast an ethnic spectrum of British actors (Black African, Afro-Caribbean, South Asian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, East European, Latin American, Greek Cypriot, Jewish, Irish) to play the usual suspects interrogated by a hapless English Police Inspector.
As the predictably plodding and melodramatic mystery unfolds, each of the actors' accent starts to shift between a classic Received Pronunciation and a heavy foreign accent corresponding to the actor's cultural heritage.
The identity of the murderer is not the question; the real mystery is, what is the true identity of the individual? At a time when 'cultural diversity' has become a keyword in arts practice and 'multiculturalism' official and managerial, how does such 'ticking-the-boxes' categorisation limit the way we identify ourselves and others in terms of ethnicity, race or culture?
Whodunnit? was made with the support of a London Artists' Film & Video Award from Film London.
Whodunnit? was shown at the Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester in 2004 and at Toynbee Studios, London in 2005