An Advert For The Army
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 7–Sat 12 Apr
The question of how much we must compromise our principles in order to live our lives is one that has plagued cultures for as long as we’ve recorded them; it’s as much part of modern drama as it was in Electra and Medea. But a particularly contemporary take on the issue is bound to involve the current conflicts that Britain is involved in.
Kieran Lynn’s new work addresses the age old issue quite directly, depicting a filmmaker employed to make a recruitment commercial for the British army. ‘He, like so many artists, is struggling to pay the bills, and having to bend in ways that he really doesn’t like to. On one level, it’s just about how artists have to get by,’ Lynn explains. The extent to which this character is compromised is instructive: ‘He arrives in the desert for the first time, and he’s using two real soldiers to make the film. They work for him during the day, then at night they’re out on patrol.
‘The filmmaker is completely alien to the dangers they face. He’s seen these wars on television and in films, but has never imagined that real people have to go through this, facing danger day to day. The information we get is media controlled and it’s very hard to imagine that there are people who are there,’ Lynn adds, alerting us to an ignorance of suffering that might have implications for all of us.