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American Dream | The British Museum

Elbow were very pleased to be working for the first time with designers Nissen Richards to deliver all the AV’s for this celebration of American printmaking.


For the American Dream we were initially tasked with creating three pieces of media. One illustrating print techniques along with archive footage of key protagonists within the exhibition. The second piece was a diptych exploring the social context of the artworks and giving visitors an opportunity to glimpse into the social history which gave the genesis of their creation. Sometimes this was overtly political and other times simply taking a completely new look at the everyday and mundane minutiae of life. Whatever the connection it was an arresting revelation of the artists attention to detail and their ability to force us to look afresh at something we thought we knew.

The third offering was a triptych affording the opportunity for the artists to explain themselves and reveal their processes. Through the medium of the three screens we were able to underline their emphasis to powerful effect.


In addition to these ambitions and having visited a number of print studios as part of our research, we felt it would be great to include a more immersive offering which would give the visitors a sense of the rhythm and sounds of a working studio. We produced a single take overhead projection of a screen print in production. The soundtrack is simply the music of the machine itself and the focused effort of the printer on his print run. 

Elbow is always delighted to be back at the British Museum and even more so when Time Out is recommending visitors to "make time for the video installation".

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