“Artists are so bizarre and come from such strange places”: Glenn Ligon interview below

Amanda Beech, Final Machine (2013)

Amanda Beech

Left-leaning liberals from middle class homes should hate the discourse which runs through Final Machine by Amanda Beech. Instead it could give them a masochistic thrill.

The action runs fast, the soundtrack faster. This is punctuated by gunshots, not always easy or even possible to follow the arguments. But you catch enough to get the gist.

Here is a celebration of black ops. There is a justification of real politik. The American drawl adds to the flavour of tooled up expediency. Everything we know is wrong, in the world of this piece at least.

But no one should be surprised if we have had to leave some of our humanistic tendencies at the door of LGP. The script, for there is a lengthy one, comes in part from CIA training lectures.

And it’s been sliced together with the text of a book by philosopher Louis Althusser. So they might even trick you into signing up. Come for the Marxist theory; stay for the right wing coups.

Visually the piece is just as enticing/compelling. It unfolds on three consecutive screens: red, amber, green, just as if arranged to programme us to GO.

Because you will see things you won’t forget: RVs gathering to sinister purpose in the Mojave desert, modernist architecture lost in unspecified jungle, a highway running through nocturnal Miami.

The impression of spy craft is enhanced by the visual motif of the moving circle behind which the action unfolds. You half expect a corrupt, brutally pragmatic Bond to appear with revolver in hand.

He doesn’t but the piece goes on. The bullet reports are exhilarating: perhaps not meant for us, at least not yet. Movie goers will side with anyone, given enough aural popcorn and visual punch.

Final Machine can be seen at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, until 31 March. See gallery website for more details.

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