Anja Kirschner and David Panos have been collaborating on long-form video works since 2006. Their films employ popular culture references juxtaposed with historical and literary sources, in order to reimagine established narratives through a method of storytelling and allegorical associations. By reworking the past they are able to interrogate the future.
Set in the flooded ruins of a dystopian East London, POLLY II: PLAN FOR A REVOLUTION IN DOCKLANDS draws on references to soap opera, science fiction, satire and Brechtian ‘Lehrstueck’. It alludes to Polly, 1728, John Gay’s censored sequel to the popular Beggar’s Opera, 1727, which resurrected the character of the robber Macheath in the disguise of the African pirate captain Morano, scheming to take revenge on a colony in the West Indies, and is populated by many of the characters made popular by Gay and Brecht. The film features the naïve and incorruptible Polly, the vengeful whore Jenny Diver, and the treacherous and greedy Peachum – fencer, thief-taker and king of the beggars – and portrays them surviving in a lawless zone, set to be redeveloped into luxury waterside living, as a comment on the social struggles against gentrification and privatisation.
- Artwork Details: running time: 30 minutes
- Material description: Digital file, SD, PAL, 16:9 Anamorphic
- Credit line: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist.
- Theme: Urban Scene
- Medium: Film and Audio Visual
- Accession number: ACC13/2013