Draeger spent his two weeks in residence transforming Springhill Institute into a film set for a remake of the club scene in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up, where a band (the Yardbirds) is playing a wild beat song for an unmoved audience. In the original film, the movie’s protagonist enters and forces himself through a stony crowd. Frustrated with a bad cable connection, Jeff Beck, the groups lead guitar player, smashes his guitar into the amp, then tramples on the instrument, completely shattering it. He throws its remains into the audience, who take this as a signal to go wild. While the band plays on, the audience stages a riot over the broken guitar. The protagonist grabs the guitar neck and leaves the club. In Draeger’s version, however, Jeff Beck throws the guitar neck into an empty nightclub, giving a fitting anti-climax for the sedate audience.
The scene was re-enacted as closely as possible to the original- including the swinging 60’s costumes and a new, young Yardbirds line-up (The Paisley Riot with Nick from The Glory as Jeff Beck).
Thanks to The Paisley Riot and Nick from The Glory, to Chris Keenan for shooting the footage, Chris Poolman and Martin Humphries for helping build the set and making the shoot run smoothly, to Peter Dixon and Joel Murphy for their equipment loans, and especially to Gregg Cox for putting his heart into building a guitar that was destined to be destroyed.
And of course special thanks to all of the extras.
Christoph is a Swiss artist based in New York. His work reveals a very direct obsession with both catastrophes and their media representation, and often with a splice of Hollywood.
Project supported by Pro Helvetia, The Swiss Arts Council