THE VERY VERY END

2013 | 00:09:00 | United Kingdom | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: New Releases, Single Titles

Tags: Death and Dying, Future, Literature, Politics, Science, Time, War

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"In The Very Very End, Barber points to his medium's plastic possibility by somehow traveling into the future and the past, nodding to Neville Shute's apocalyptic 1957 novel On The Beach, while setting an end-of-days story in a 21st Century holiday resort. At least thirty-seven nuclear strikes have gone off and it's the end of the world, but glassy club is playing and everyone is still watching TV — watching images, we're told, of the beginning of the universe — while they wait for "the radiation" to make them "vomit and grow weak". Barber's voiceover has him sounding calm, accepting. This is perhaps — intentionally, obviously — part of the problem. "People keep believing that it’s going to be OK," Barber says, "but it’s not." Stirring classical music intercedes, tugging the emotions, and, as in the artist’s scratch videos, science-program and blockbuster-style imagery intended for very different purposes is upended, re-contextualized. You recognize that, in an ideal world, such moves might snap a populace out of torpor. This isn’t an ideal world though."

— Martin Herbert