Anna Ridley’s Independent productions company – known for Dadarama and Ian Breakwell’s Continuous Dairy both Channel 4
Ian Breakwell’s Continuous Diary and Dadarama series are broadcast on Channel 4. Produced by Anna Ridley
Both series were produced by Anna Ridley’s Annalogue Productions. Ridley had previously put together the 1976 Arena programme on video art for BBC2 which featured David Hall’s This is A Television Receiver. Uniquely, Dadarama and the Continuous Diary gave the artists direct access to studio facilities and sought a place for video works as television shows in their own right, without the usual explanatory accompaniment. In a Channel Four brochure, Sarah Kent wrote of Ian Breakwell’s series: “I optimistically forecast that once we see what they can do with the medium, those dreary arts programmes that explain their subjects to death will soon be superseded by the real, live thing. And who knows, even the news may eventually look better.” Continuous Diary was broadcast over six weeks from April to May 1984, a total of twenty-one programmes of varying duration. The shows were drawn from the often surreal observations of everyday life Breakwell had been recording in various media since the 1960s: the artist described the series as “a celebration of the ordinary rather than the exotic – the opposite of ‘Whicker’s World'” [Sarah Kent, ‘An Artist’s Diary’, in Channel Four brochure, 1984]. As well as restaging some existing material for television, the series included new commentaries which made satirical use of the medium: for example, the artist’s studio in Wapping was on the route of the London Marathon, and Breakwell decided to observe the spectacle for one of the shows. The final programme centred on a party celebrating Breakwell’s birthday. It was followed by another nine installments of Ian Breakwell’s Christmas Diary over Christmas 1984, and the series Public Face, Private Eye in 1991.
Dadarama, shown in various timeslots from late February to March 1984, featured works by Rosemary Butcher, David Cunningham, John Latham and Stephen Partridge.