Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen and DashnDem make Discovery Film Festival shows in Dundee

By Ben Miller | 11 September 2012
A photo of a young child wagging a figure while making a speech on a stage in a suit
DashnDem, Imagine Being a World Leader (2008). Video still© Courtesy DashnDem
Exhibition Previews: Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen – From the Edge; DashnDem – Imagine Being a World Leader, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, until November 18 2012

In some imaginary paradise of straight-talking, the current American Presidential election is being bluntly dissected to resounding applause by those whose futures the ballot boxes will affect.

Working out of Birmingham under the name DashnDem, British artists Dash Macdonald and Demitrios Kargotis have imagined something of that very scenario, working with children from Blackness Primary School to introduce them to leadership and public speaking techniques.

The results will undoubtedly entertain and provoke here, but they’re just as likely to make more sense than the real podium takers.

Imagine Being a World Leader is one of two exhibitions being welcomed at DCA as part of next month’s Discovery Film Festival, an international cinematic soiree in Scotland aimed at young people.

And the second visiting artist, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, is a Dane with a single screen video piece, Tales from the Periphery, and a two-screen installation, Rendezvous.

The first explores the lives of young people in deprived areas of Europe, reflecting Nikolaj’s lengthy residence in suburbs of Paris and Aarhus, where he held workshops for teenagers in areas renowned for crime and unemployment. That reputation, as the self-portraits show, is partly a figment of media-seeded collective thinking.

Rendezvous sounds equally revealing: Nikolaj follows migrant Indian workers in Dubai, then overlays his findings with footage of the departees’ families.

Their story contrasts with the image of prosperity many hold of the region, augmented by No Place Like Home, an experimental documentary on the vast surrounding desert areas in an area of the world being redeveloped at breathless pace.

  • Open 11am-6pm (8pm Thursday, 12pm-6pm Sunday, closed Monday). Open daily throughout Discovery Film Festival, October 20 – November 4 2012. Admission free. Follow @DCAdundee on Twitter.
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