Alexander Small © 1998 - 2019 all rights reserved

Run(g) Out - 2010


Video Projection for Chester Performs at Chester Roman Gardens October 2010
Collaborative Project with Jonathan Alibone

Run(g) Out is a video installation that depicts a climbing male figure, dressed in a suit and bowler hat, projected against a rope ladder hanging from the city wall.   The figure, although apparently engaged in the act of climbing the ladder, is seen to make no progress in his ascent.  Moreover, the film is continually looped so that his climb appears interminable; he never achieves his goal or reaches his destination.

The absurd and unexpected situation evokes the iconography of the surrealist Renee Magritte, the slapstick comedy of Charlie Chaplin, and even the bureaucratic nightmares of Franz Kafka.  The precarious position of the climber is reinforced by the use of the rope ladder, a device associated with emergency escapes and rescue, and a reference to the title of the piece (a ‘run out’ is a climbing term used to describe a lengthy distance between two points of protection which in some, but not all, cases might be perceived as frightening or dangerous).  Whether seeking to escape or to find ‘enlightenment’, the climber will never attain his goal, find the truth or satisfy his desire, just as he is doomed never to reach the top of the wall.


Alexander Small and Jonathan Alibone © 2010 - 2012 all rights reserved