Hannah Ellul

In the Buckinghamshire tradition of 'Mayor Making', elected officials are publicly weighed on taking and leaving office to ensure they have not been getting fat at the people's expense. If they are judged to have grown as they leave office, the town crier announces their original weight, adding the words... "AND SOME MORE". Public derision ensues. The ways in which pageantry preserves and distorts historical memory as it seeks to instil civic pride is seen here through the prism of the complex dynamics of one particular local tradition. Themes emerge of mob rule and the public humiliation of authority figures, and the question is raised of to what extent such unsettling forces remain latent in the amusing pantomime which is enacted today. The works imagine a recasting of the pantomime as a ludicrous performance where an impossible demand asserts itself in earnest.


National Biennale: Derby 2010

Visual ArtsOliver WoodH