Simon Roberts was mentioned by my tutor in our introductory telephone conversation after I discussed the idea of relinquishing control as part of my strategy for assignment 1, specifically ‘When did you last cry?’.
When Did You Last Cry? (2011)
‘When did you last cry?’ (2011) is a three channel video installation accompanying Roberts documentation of the 2010 general election. (The Election Project) Three cameras, fixed and pointing in different directions, filmed his travels around the country during the election campaign with the soundtrack featuring interviews with various politicians, layered and overlapping each other while the images presented dwell on differences and similarities – one screen shows the camera moving, another stationary, a pedestrian walks out of the frame only for a jogger to enter the next screen. (The title refers to a question asked to Nick Clegg during the campaign which he struggled to answer.) Watching the video, I find myself looking for similarities and differences in each of the frames, examining whether shots are from the same time and geography or are from somewhere completely different. The work emphasises to me that perhaps the most important aspect of a documentary project is selection and editing.