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On-line version ISSN 2309-9585
Print version ISSN 0259-0190


HAYES, Patricia. The production of Red: aesthetics, work and time. Kronos [online]. 2016, vol.42, n.1, pp.103-120. ISSN 2309-9585.

This article considers the installation Red from several vantage points. There is an almost photographic quality to certain long industrial landscape shots from East London in the documentary film. As they are spliced together with interviews about labour struggles at the Mercedes plant at the beginning of South Africa's democratic transition, the temporal and visual displacements evoke Adorno's notion of the exchange structures of history. Too much happened in that time to be processed and it must be refabricated and revisited: Red is one mode of doing so. Kracauer's approach to film is invoked with its emphasis on the simultaneous happening of recording and revealing. The material elements in the installation that reference the beds and uniforms of workers (and their ingenuity) are read alongside the aeronautical and subterranean experiments of Nadar in nineteenth-century Paris, who posed mannequins as humans underground in order to overcome the technological limits of photography at the time and to fabricate the real. The article ends with an exploration of other film works by Gush that deal with work, leisure and inventiveness, some of which arise almost incidentally from his journeys to document Red.

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