Rat's Country
12 minutes black and white BETA SP 1978


A suicide is chronicled.

Rat’s Country begins with a performative prelude by the artist, showing Campbell fanning his hair in time to a new wave rhythm. Animal growls interrupt the reverie, causing him to waken for a moment, glancing offscreen at an unseen prowler, before the beat drives him on again. In this simple preface, Campbell allegorizes everyday life as a terminal flow of distraction. What might puncture this insistent container of everyday life? After this opening movement, a series of photographs appear, conjured from and returning to a white ground, which depict a crime scene, cars gathered, an ordinary house, a shirtless smoking a cigarette, a broken window, an aimed shotgun, and finally a bloodied corpse beneath a blanket. A series of intertitles close out the piece, meditating on a ‘successful’ suicide.” (Mike Hoolboom)

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