Motor Vehicle SundownPerformance
Motor Vehicle Sundown is an intimate audio-based performance for two audience members in a car parked in the middle of a busy city.
Framed as a decaying historical theme park ride at some unspecified point in the future at which the car has long since ceased to exist, the piece invites you to journey through the history of our relationship to this most mythologised of objects and the dream of America with which it is so intimately bound up. Listening on headphones, you navigate your way through rolling fields and along endless highways, gazing out of the windows at a world of your own invention.
Collapsing the mundanity of our everyday experience of the car into the fading grandeur of the empire it helped shape, the piece playfully invites its audience to consider how their own desires continue to be influenced by these distant and decaying stories of independence and freedom.
Created by Andy Field
with the voices of Ira Brand and Chris Bailey
Framed as a simulated ride in an amusement park of the distant future that houses the very last surviving car on earth, this small, simple but hugely evocative piece operates both as an elegy and a satire. At the end you stare out of the windscreen at the long road ahead: you know that you are in 21st-century Battersea, but all you can see are the smoking ruins of the past. – Lyn Gardner
Motor Vehicle Sundown is not so much a narrative as a meditation: on the memory of being driven, of wanting to be able to drive (as a child not a teenager) – and the peculiar movie-centric fascination we have with the States.The America it eulogises is, from a British perspective, both familiar and exotic; tangible and elusive, and the success of this piece is that its form mirrors its dreaming content, ending as it does in a twilight of windscreen wipers and rain. – Tom Wainwright
To perform the piece yourself, find a friend, decide which of you is going to be the driver and which the passenger and then download your respective audio tracks onto your phone or portable audio device:
Wait until sunset and find a quiet location to park your car away from any other traffic, perhaps the roof of a multi-storey car park or a back alley or a quiet cul-de-sac. Turn the engine off, step out of the car and when you are ready press play simultaneously on your audio devices, ensuring your headphones are plugged in and ready to go. If the track is working the first thing you’ll hear is radio static.
The rest of the instructions you need are contained within the audio itself.
Previous dates include:
Latitude Festival, Suffolk
caravan showcase, Brighton
Battersea Arts Centre, London
Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
Embrace Arts, Leicester
National Rural Touring Forum, Coxwold
Forest Fringe, Edinburgh
Summerworks Festival, Toronto
Fusebox Festival, Austin
Madrid Fringe, Madrid
Festival of Live Art, Melbourne
Abrons Arts Centre, New York