This much is certain was an exhibition curated by the 2004 final year students on the MA Curating Contemporary Art course at the Royal College of Art, London. The exhibition featured File under Sacred Music.
File under Sacred Music (20 mins DVD with sound) is Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard's re-make of an infamous bootleg video documenting The Cramps legendary performance at Napa Mental Institute, California in 1978. Also included in the exhibition is File under Sacred Music (This much is certain) - the original notes and shooting script from which the project was made.
Details of File under Sacred Music (This much is certain)
This much is certain consisted of four parts: an exhibition, a film programme, talks and a publication. Together they explored the significance of the document and the documentary in contemporary life and art.
Artists participating in the show were:
Miriam Bäckström, Daniel Baker, Gerard Byrne, Dexter Dalwood, Jeremy Deller, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Huang Yongping, Emily Jacir, John Massey, Aernout Mik, Museum of Jurassic Technology, Kirsten Pieroth, Jamie Shovlin, Jeffrey Vallance.
Installation view of File under Sacred Music (This much is certain)
The 216 page publication that accompanied the show includes 'Nests, Puke , Frames and Baby Faces' a new essay by writer and critic Tom McCarthy - his first-hand account of the events on the day of the filming of File under Sacred Music along with previously unpublished photographs documenting the making of the project.
"Two different events, two different
event-zones, might have been taking place simultaneously, superimposed
over one another in the kind of quantum-logic way the real Cramps,
fans of trashy sci-fi, would have loved - but the raw power of Zone
One, the Orphic gig-zone, made it impossible to remain safely enclosed
within Zone Two, the conceptual art zone. At the same time, the very
process within which Zone One was framed made Orphic abandonment impossible,
for me at least. I felt exhilarated and uneasy at the same time..."
Images from the preview of This much is certain [Photos: Rob Stearn]
The This much is certain film programme ran every day at the RCA in a specially constructed mini-cinema. Over thirty films were screened, including two selected by Iain & Jane - On the Seventh Day In Waco by Bill Hicks and Kevin Booth and Vinyl by Alan Zweig.
This much is certain
13 March to 4 April 2004
Images from the This Much is Certain artists' dinner