Performance art broke new ground in the 1970s; here its roots are explored in the context of traditional calendar customs as opposed to fine art. Unusual, dynamic footage of North Lincolnshire's Haxey Hood and Padstow's Mayday Obby Oss traditions are presented alongside tense performances by Natalia LL, Ewa Partum and Jerzy Beres.
The footage of North Lincolnshire's Haxey Hood tradition looks otherworldly, shot on a crisp and distinctly cold early January morning. The film uses tense music and moments of unusual sound collage to heighten feeling and underline its ideas. Stuart Brisley is a performance artist - and a painter, collagist, filmmaker and more - with works in several major international art collections, including the Tate. Ken McMullen makes feature films which explore in experimental form the social and political legacies of Marxism, among other subjects. His film Ghostdance features the noted political philosopher Jacques Derrida, with whom McMullen had a dialogue. Brisley and McMullen also worked together on the films Resistance and Arbeit Macht Frei.