Workers (Leaving the Factory)

Nancy Davenport

28 October 2008

Coming/Leaving (2008). Single-channel projection.

Coming/Leaving (2008). Single-channel projection. 4’ 41”. Liverpool Animation (2008). 8-channel video. 11’ 50”. Blast-Off (2008). Single-channel video. 4’ 17”

For the first half of the looping Coming/Leaving, inspired by Claude Lelouch’s cult car film of the 1970s – C’était un rendez-vous, featuring a frantic eight-minute Ferrari drive through the streets of Paris – Davenport mounted a camera on the front of a car to animate a highspeed commute to the Jaguar car plant in Halewood, Merseyside. The car drives through the factory and parks outside it, where workers run and walk out at the end of the day, an homage to the Lumière brothers’ La sortie des usines Lumière [Workers leaving the factory], widely considered the first motion picture screened in public.

Davenport constructs an animated frieze from still photographs of workers, mostly on break, in the Halewood Jaguar factory, which loops across eight monitors in an endless cycle. Against the background of Ford’s recent sale of Jaguar to Indian Conglomerate Tata, the piece reflects on changing conditions and representations of industrial production in a globalized economy.