This work is part of the rewind archive.
Duration: 3 mins
Year: 1984Original formats:
3/4" U-MaticMedia types:
VideoType of work:
“Blue Monday by Rik Lander (1960-, UK) and Peter Boyd Maclean (1960-, UK), known collectively as the Duvet Brothers, juxtaposes images of affluence, privilege and prosperity (for example, men in top hats, school boys attending Eton, a man lighting a cigar with a five-pound note, the Royal family etc.) against images of fascism (Oswald Mosley and the black-shirts’, police fighting with protesters at a political demonstration, and so forth). This is followed by by a full-screen text graphic ‘Rich Get Richer … Poor Get Poorer’, rapidly cut to a music track by the pop group ‘New Order’. This sequence is followed by images of a surgeon working in an operating theatre with the superimposed caption ‘Private’, This text/image superimposition is keyed into a tracking shot of an over-crowded graveyard, panning across countless tombstones. A shot of the Russian Red Army on parade in full uniform intercut with images of the police manhandling striking protesters swiftly follows. This image of the marching soldiers continues, digitally compressed and framed into a square in the bottom right of the frame. All of this imagery is edited together seamlessly, with skilled use of slow motion, image mixing and graphic effects to aid the montage, all cut to the beat of the music track.
… The skillful deployment and montaging of ‘found images, the collision of text and graphics, and the creation of meaning via the inter-cutting of images from diverse sources has much in common with an effective propaganda tool from an earlier period – photomontage. However, the Duvet Brother’ output is ambiguous, as they produced tapes that spanned both sub-divisions of the Scratch genre. It could be said that the work is less about politics and more about the pleasure of manipulating images and sounds. Blue Monday is appealing because of its rhythmic montage and rapid pace, and I am certain that the rather heavy-handed political message was less important to the night-club audience than the relentless movement of its highly orchestrated imagery.”
Chris Meigh-Andrews, A History of Video Art, The Development of Form and Function. Berg, 2006.
Flier for ‘Scratch Video’, Arts Festival – The Arts and Politics, Undated. pdf here.
‘The Duvet Brothers’, unidentified advertisement for the screening of ‘The Duvet Brothers scratch Video’, undated. pdf here.
Unidentified interview with ‘New Order’ with reference to Duvet Brothers’ ‘Blue Monday’, undated.pdf here.
‘Scratching Deeper’, article on scratch video by Michael O’Pray.pdf here
Flier for the screening of ‘Blue Monday’ at ‘The Days After’, an event in support of the miners during the 1984-85 strike.pdf here