Jamie Shovlin’s Hiker Meat examines the degree to which a film director (or artist) has control over their works’ intended message, meaning and historical legacy, exploring the inherent tension within processes of collaboration and adaptation in any creative endeavour.
The project is a partial adaptation of an earlier work by Shovlin, Lustfaust: A Folk Anthology 1976–81 (2003–6), an archive of material created by the fans and musicians of a fictional German noise band. Contained within this archive is a narrative sketch for an exploitation film entitled Hiker Meat, for which Lustfaust composed the soundtrack. Using these found notes as a starting point Shovlin is producing a large body of work which acts as a homage to, and deconstruction of, exploitation horror films of the 1970s and 1980s.
The work begins with the realisation of Italian director Jesus Rinzoli’s original vision for the production of Hiker Meat, which derives from the Lustfaust archive. Shovlin has produced a rough-cut, collaged film, consisting of over one thousand clips of found footage, each from a film produced during this notorious period. Celebrating the relationship between the audio and visual particular to the genre, this is the first in a number of interrelated processes that will result in the real-life development of new screenplays, film scores and Foley recordings for Hiker Meat, created by a host of collaborators.
For the opening night of the exhibition at Grand Union, Lustfaust performed their live score to Rinzoli’s infamous film. Using sixty televisions and an assortment of sound equipment and musical instruments, the band composed and reconfigured the imagery and sound of Hiker Meat. The configuration they left formed the remaining exhibition at Grand Union. This installation of sound and video loops simultaneously highlights and deconstructs both Rinzoli’s film and the grindhouse era that spawned it. Each television functions as a navigation tool within the space and the larger installation, whilst the scattered speakers play fragments of the newly composed score, dialogue and Foley sound effects. The installation could be read as both archive and proposal, exploring the fine lines that separate truth and fiction, reality and invention, history and memory.
This exhibition was kindly supported by Arts Council England, Art of Ideas and Fishmarket Gallery.