Sam handing out his cups at the Intervention…




An evening of intervention and engagement devised by Sam Gonçalves & Anna Olafsson.

Screening films by Sam Gonçalves,  Anna Olafsson & James Newrick.

Friday 30th March at Generator Projects, Dundee //  7-9pm

Warning: You may be invited to engage.

‘Intimacy Without Relationship’ Exhibition continues to 8th April 2018

“As I developed this piece, I imagined it as a comment or deconstruction of previous work I have done. Perhaps on the nature of the viewer’s relationship with the screen, or breaking down the ‘materiality’ of using audio as a central medium. But it occurred to me that the smallest, indivisible, units that make up my work are not screens, sound waves or physical spaces. They are, instead, stories taken from lives of people I met and interviewed.

Over the years, working mainly in non-fiction, my first step in a given project is meeting up with someone (often after an email/phone introduction) and hearing their story. The final step in that process is a version of that story, projected through my personal perspective. This is not rare; from politicians’ speeches and social media content to entire categories on Netflix and millions of hours of YouTube, society has built an industry on mining people’s stories for some form of profit.

The cups on the wall represent hundreds of conversations I’ve had with strangers, most of them gathered on the lead up to the exhibition as I attempted to have conversations with at least 500 strangers. They also represent previous interviews for short films, podcasts, articles and more. I was interested in presenting them as the ‘string phone’, that curious homemade toy. The further apart you are from someone, the more fascinating the game becomes – something that could easily describe my previous work.

700 cups // 700 stories // 700 opportunities to misuse them

The string cup-making area is a physical rehearsal of this process, going through the motions of using ambiguous representations of long gone, precious, extracts of human interaction in order to create a product, a toy. It’s a satire of the documentary process, but also an invitation for you to join in the murkyness.

The work of three makers has had a significant impact on ‘Intimacy Without Relationship’. Karan Mahajan’s insightfully personal writing on small talk and the shape it takes in different cultures. Miriam Mallalieu’s ‘An Encyclopaedia of Existing Knowledge (Structured)’, which allowed the viewer to gain and lose focus on an extensive representation of an enormous source material, picking up patterns and themes along the way. And finally, the films of Joshua Oppenheimer for their inward critique of his own process.

This piece is by no means a definitive repudiation of non-fiction art. It is, instead, an attempt to look into dismissed implications of this kind of work and an invitation for the audience to experience the inevitable ethical murkiness.

Special thanks to Chris Long for lending his voice for the film’s narration and Anna Olafsson for the conversations that helped hone down the piece.”

by Sam Gonçalves