'Gov Island' is the final instalment of 'Thank God That's Not Me', a triptych of short films that construct a discourse around public shaming through the tropes of the spectacle and reality television.
Generated from an amalgamation of transcripts from both Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign statements and ITV’s high-profile ‘Love Island’ episodes, ‘Gov Island’ functions as a demonstration of Trump’s use of reality television tactics throughout his politick, mastered during his time on the American Apprentice, specifically his skill at belittling his opponents in order to procure power. What emerged was an almost seamless transition between the two inputs, as if they were from one source.
Full film available upon request.
Actors: Callum Guilfoyle.
Camera Operator: David Jackson.
About the project:
The open architecture of social media has acted as a catalyst for public humiliation - as a space in which an individual has the opportunity to speak their mind and blend into a formidable crowd of voices. Building a thriving panoptic system of ‘call-out culture’, users mobilise as a collective voice, policing online networks and forming a mass prosecution, indifferent to the lasting consequences of their victim. This growing acceptance of everyday humiliation became a point of interest that
encouraged this project.
Using my self-designed methodology of sourcing interviews, deconstructing transcripts and creating new scripts, I created a style of film that lies between documentary and reality TV, manipulating voices to expose new narratives.
The films are not composed for a specific user but designed for display in a gallery space, to be viewed by a audience to initiate a discourse around the relationships between entertainment and humiliation and how shame has infiltrated our perception of control and power. Shown consecutively, they are intended to operate in a way that gets the viewer thinking about the ethics of these relationships.
Considered alongside the axing of ITV’s Jeremy Kyle, following the suicide of one of his guests, these films question the layered and often problematic forces at play in reality television and the user generated content of our digital age.