Now is Early
2 October – 2 November 2007
Now is Early by Newcastle based Matt Stokes includes the award winning 16mm film Long After Tonight which earned Stokes the 2006 Beck's Futures Prize, this is accompanied by an ongoing body of work Real Arcadia. Matt Stokes' practice is marked by anthropological enquiry and his abiding interest in how social events and informal movements bind people together. Stokes is interested in pop culture and in particular music culture were he focuses on the ability of music to shape lifestyles and beliefs.
Long After Tonight recreates the magic of the Northern Soul scene on Super 16mm film by uniting original 'soulies' inside St Salvador's church in Dundee, parts of which were used during the 1970's for some of the city's first 'Northern' nights. Stokes' carefully choreographed camera work is timed to match the pounding beats, flitting from the sweat drenched bodies and trances of the dancers to the surrounding religious imagery. By staging the event in the unique gilded interior of the church nave, Stokes creates a connection between the location and activity, as expressions of faith, commitment and shared purpose.
Real Arcadia documents a series of illegal 'cave raves' held in the Lake District Area in England in the early 1990's. For this work Stokes has gathered memorabilia associated with the now defunct acid house organisation 'Out House Promotions', and has partly presented it in a museum like context. The work initially focused on sourcing and archiving ephemera associated with the group, such as; hand-made flyers, photographs, mix tapes, to t-shirts, transcribed conversations and local media coverage. Through this activity a few of the surviving components from the 'cave' sound-system were found, which has led to a reconstruction of the speaker-stacks used by 'Outhouse'.