Small Talk

Rooney, Paul
In his text, sound and video works Paul Rooney creates poetic narratives built around the ‘voices’ of semi-fictional personas. These ‘voices’ are not single entities, but rather a collection of many different voices both fictional and ‘real’. Slipping easily between documentary and fiction, Rooney’s work draws attention to its hybrid state, and emphasises formal artifice for comedic effect. The two-screen video work Small Talk meditates on failure, repetition and lost opportunities. While one of the screens shows a remote petrol station filmed by the artist in 2001, the other shows the same petrol station filmed nine years later. Although they have no sound, both films have subtitles that conduct a wry conversation with one another. As in many of Rooney’s films, the tone of Small Talk is pitched somewhere between comedy and melancholy.
  • Artwork Details: running time: 8 minutes
  • Edition: 1 of 3
  • Material description: Two screen video with stereo sound
  • Credit line: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist.
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: ACC28/2014



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