Melanie Gilligan opens film narrative on the global financial crisis at Banff’s Walter Phillips Gallery

Popular Unrest • August 14 to October 24, 2010 • Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre
Artist’s Talk: Tuesday, August 3 • 4 p.m. 
Opening Reception: Friday, August 13 • 7 to 9 p.m. 
Petit Mal in Performance: Friday, August 13 • 9 to 11 p.m. 
Presented as part of the 2010 Banff Summer Arts Festival

Banff, Alberta, August 2, 2010 -- London-based Canadian artist Melanie Gilligan brings her latest multi-part film project to The Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery this month. An unconventional narrative that ties together the twisting strands of the global political system and the worldwide financial crisis, Popular Unrest is a visceral, futuristic story of murder, politics and forensics.  

Told with multiple story lines, this satirical, fictional film examines a future in which people are subject to the fickle needs of the global capitalist system. Hotels offer bed-warming servants with every room, people are fined for not preventing foreseeable illness, and the unemployed repay their debt to society with physical energy. Cast with 12 actors, Popular Unrest is partly inspired by the cinematic work of David Cronenberg and by television dramas like CSI and Dexter. The film also follows the conventions of popular TV, with its story lines told in episodic structure.  

In conjunction with the exhibition, Gilligan will perform with her electro-pop band Petit Mal at the Walter Phillips Gallery on August 13. A duo comprised of Gilligan and Ben Seymour, Petit Mal fuses electro-pop, synth and post-punk sounds.  

Melanie Gilligan is an artist and writer who has participated in group exhibitions at Tate Britain, Lisson Gallery, London, and Greene Naftali Gallery in New York. She’s best known for her performances examining the relationships between politics, aesthetics and political economy. Gilligan scripted and directed Crisis in the Credit System (2008), a fictional foray into the contemporary global market catastrophe for Artangel, London. She has also contributed to art magazines and journals including Texte zur Kunst and Artforum.  

Popular Unrest is co-commissioned by the Walter Phillips Gallery; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Kolnishcer Kunstverein, Cologne; and Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver. Supported by Galleria Franco Soffiantino, Turin, and the Arts Council of England.

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