20 March, 2018 – Frieze.com
“Raqs Media Collective’s new commission on the ground floor of Assembly House in Newcastle visually expands the book’s thematics in an installation encompassing films, banners and digital print. Central to the work is an episodic film, Provisions for Everybody (2018), exploring Orwell’s writing, tracing his journey from his birth place in India through to his journalistic travels across England. The film combines hand held footage with aphorisms from Orwell’s writing such as ‘The world is a raft sailing through space with, potentially, plenty of provisions for everybody.’ It’s a typically vivid image, and one that begs the question; how can we translate that potential into something achievable?
The film is pervaded by a forlorn quality. The mining collieries of Northumberland are now museums that translate the region’s industrial heritage into one of its new economies: tourism. In one slow motion scene, a group of woman dance together in an old community hall, articulating a social bond forged through everyday encounter. The dream-like sequence suggests a nostalgia for a community that has become increasingly atomized and precarious…”