INTERVIEW - How To Disappear Completely
Adam Steiner talks to Stella Backhouse about the Disappear Here project.
Coventry Ring Road may not be everyone’s idea of poetry, but a new artistic collaboration called Disappear Here is aiming to challenge this idea by turning the road Coventrians love-to-hate into a star of twenty-seven short poetry films. The results will be premiered at FarGo Village on March 16th.
The project – which received financial backing from Coventry City Council and Arts Council England – recruited a group of nine film-makers and nine writers to reflect the nine junctions of the road. They worked in pairs to produce a series of five-minute films.
Project Manager, Adam Steiner, said the idea for Disappear Here grew out of an earlier collaboration which involved filming on the roof of the arcade car park in the city centre. Fascinated by the interesting views and panoramic perspective of the city bounded by the road, he decided he wanted to explore the relationship between the two in more depth.
He said “unlike other ring roads, Coventry’s is an architectural superstructure, enmeshed with, and encircling the city. The hard, sharp edges of its Brutalist design give it bulk and weight and make the buildings around it look small and fragile by comparison”.
As for the project name, Disappear Here is partly a reference to the old saying ‘Sent to Coventry’ - meaning, of course, to behave as if a colleague or neighbour were not there. But it also speaks of the double-life of the the road itself. For travellers by car, it is a place of onward movement, but also of anonymity.
Pedestrians, meanwhile, have no choice but to negotiate the subways and dead-zones created by the road. On the project’s blog, these are described as ‘anti-locations’ and ‘places stripped of possibility where it seems, ironically...almost anything could be allowed to happen’.
Mr Steiner said he hopes the project will draw on these opposing experiences to encourage people to look again at the ring road. The film-makers – some local, some from further afield – will present a variety of perspectives, ranging from the accessible to the unexpected.
“It’s too boring not to take any risks with art and culture” he added. “It needs to be different and interesting – otherwise what’s the point?”
Disappear Here - LAUNCH - 16/3/2017 - 7pm @ Fargo - CV1 5ED
Stella Backhouse blogs @grumblingA