Ars Gratis Artis

Randy & Berenicci

1979, 42:00 minutes, colour, English


Against a backdrop of ruin, citizens of a brave new world construct a ritual far removed from function. Observed by no one, compelled by no one, they nevertheless continue the maintenance and worship of the now useless instruments of a former strict control.

A low-budget made-for-video epic drawn from a series of performances by Randy & Berenicci, Ars Gratis Artis employs rear projection, miniatures, specially constructed mechanical devices, opulent sets, and dry ice to investigate the roots of ritual.

“Making use of many techniques, including rear-projected slides, background ‘mood’ music, specially constructed models and over-dubbed speaking parts, they examine the creation and continuation of ritual activity… What do they worship? Cameras and the images they produce.” - Lisa Steele, FUSE, January 1980

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