Pretty Pollytics

Made for HOST - Re-inventing the Museum, curated by Mario Rossi Hastings Museum and Art Gallery Shown shortly after the 2001 general election
pretty pollytics

Three animatronic toy parrots sit in a row, they are identical except that each one has a small coloured rosette pinned to it’s breast. Facing the parrots, at close proximity, are a pair of tannoy speakers. Every now and then the speakers produce a short pronouncement, which the parrots then repeat back enthusiastically, becoming more and more garbled as the message becomes distorted in the process. After 45 seconds or so they fall silent until the next pronouncement. The pronouncements consist of short pledges or policies relating to museums and art galleries drawn from the manifestos of the three main political parties, there is a balance between the source parties, and the voice is that of a generic campaigning politician rather than an identifiable individual. Given the similarity of the party manifestos, the origin of many of the statements remains ambiguous. The piece highlights the bland sameness of the major British political parties, and mimics the braying, unthinking repetition we are so used to hearing and seeing on televised debates from the house of commons.
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