EWAN MACBETH
Mark

I Declare a Thumb War (2020)
2K video, 5 minutes, looped

I Declare a Thumb War is a re-enactment of a propaganda photograph from the beginning of the so-called ‘war on terror’ era. The image, depicting a soldier playing a friendly ‘thumb war’ game with a child, originates from an official military webpage. The work re-stages this absurd state-sanctioned imagea false utopian ideal and orientalist fantasyimagining it as a veteran’s trauma.

Francois Truffaut famously once said “there’s no such thing as an anti-war film”, as cinema by its very nature glorified conflict. However, by subverting the language of war cinema itself, making it slow, unreal and non-violent, this repetitive act questions the idealogy of perpetual war.

Cinematography: Christiaan van Leeuwen & Andreas Drosdz
Production Design: Marcus van Binsbergen
Sound Design: Filip Degernäs
Titles: Stefanie Vogl
Supported by Creative Scotland
 


Divided Together
(2018)
HD video, 04:45, looped

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ” ―  George Orwell,  Politics and the English Language (1946)

Divided Together portrays the leader of an ideologically ambiguous government while he has an awkward and leering interaction with a make-up artist who is preparing him for his televised address to a newly-invaded country. The work deconstructs the spectacle of the political arena to show how power plays out on a micro and macro level. If politicians are actors, the obscene is their mise-en-scène.

Writers: Ewan Macbeth & Tom Roberts
Cinematography: Zhibin Quin
Editing: Lotte Louise de Jong
Sound Design: Salvador Miranda
Titles: Andreas Drosdz 
Supported by EYE Filmmuseum

Mass Production
(2016) 
HD video, 4-channels, 15 minutes, looped

Mass Production is a video installation that shows four perspectives of a newspaper printing press, shot in unbroken long takes. Filmed within Euronews, the largest newspaper printing factory in the world, this set is just a small fraction of the News Corp empire, which is owned by billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Over the course of the 15-minute video installation we witness the making of 60,000 newspapers. In order to both appreciate and reduce its size and power, the factory is portrayed in a series of abstract details.

Cinematography: Jack McCombe
Sound Design: Filip Degernäs

© 2020