Akeroyd Collection


Evan Ifekoya, Disco Breakdown, 2014

Disco Breakdown is a performance video, one in a series of four ‘music video’ works that seek to ‘queery’ the music video format. Here, the artist sings lyrics to an accompanying song that references electro-clash and early electro; a precursor to hip-hop and rap in the 1980s that made extensive use of drum machines and early analogue synth sounds. They talk of working late in their studio, with a heavy workload. Twitter and social media are bombarding them with bad news. They should be on the picket lines, throwing their body behind political causes, the lyrics lament. Instead, they dream of ‘dancing in the discotheque’ as the disaffected, flat chorus repeats over the lo-fi electro tune. The artist dances for camera in a lacklustre yet charismatic way, and this is interspersed with found footage of exuberant and intense parties from the heyday of disco, taken from the Prelinger archives. The Prelinger Archives is a collection of films relating to U.S. cultural history, the evolution of the American landscape, everyday life, and social history, and by pitting their own private party against these moving images, the artist positions themself between a rock and a hard place; the need to be productive at work trumping the desire to party, the impulse to dance in the studio preventing them from being out on the picket line.

Nonetheless, the rejection of certain forms of control, and the occupying of this non-productive, liminal space, is presented as an embodied political position in its own right. Not least of all because it empowers the artist to hold space for QTIBPOC visibility and allyship.

MediumSD Video, colour, stereo, 4:3
Duration3 minutes 16 seconds
Editionof 3 + 1 AP