They Shoot Horses

They shoot horses

In a small corner of the Royal West of England Art Gallery in Bristol there is a piece of installation art called “They Shoot Horses” by the artist Phil Collins. In consists of two videos shown at the same time on two different walls and together they show the complete footage of an eight hour dance marathon with nine Palestinians in Ramallah. Music from the last three decades is played and the young people are captured in a single take as they dance, stand around or slump to the floor. The random music and controlled freedom attempt to offer an extreme contrast to the political climate dominating their lives.

The artist is one of five to be nominated for the ever controversial Turner Prize this year. Should he win it? Does it belong in our art galleries? If not where should pieces like this be displayed? I urge you to go and see it. The gallery is next door to Habitat – go through the black curtains, find a space on the floor and give it at least fifteen minutes. For me it is compulsive, infectious and uplifting viewing. And personally? Moving images will one day be as common in our art galleries as framed art.

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