USA/UK, 1983, 50 minutes
Colour, Sound, Video
Culture of Domination is about unemployment, specifically in San Francisco in 1982. Three sections deal with the theme in different fashions, and in different styles. Interviews in the street, a dramatised conversation between ex-autoworkers, an impressionistic montage, all deal with the central subject but in oblique ways, that reveal more about the people themselves, the almost schizophrenic attitudes, and the intense confusion that exists in a culture devoid of legitimate ideological critique. The material is the focus of a constant attemp to reveal the relationships between image and object, to show the work as a video-construct, so that viewing it becomes more than pursuing a narrative, absorbing information.
"The language and rhetoric of political confrontation from the '30s and '60s has been appropriated. The forms of documentary story-telling, exposure genres (with their compromised notions of 'true' as opposed to 'false' realities)... the whole idea of work that conforms to classical form has become synonymous with the image of aggressive bourgeois propaganda and 'truth'... [The first section] was edited to condense and disrupt the narrative flow, treating the video image to constantly subvert its givenness, irritating and confusin with the ambivalence of whether the instability was a result of strategy or technical insufficiency, leading constantly back to the viewing situation and the role of the videotape in it..." - M.D., 1983