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William Hunt Playing the Goat  23 October–20 February 2016
Still Yourself and Calm Your Boots"  HD Video © William Hunt 2014. Commisioned by PEER London. Courtesy: IBID Projects London, Rotwand Zurich, Petra Rinck Düsseldorf.

William Hunt
Playing the Goat 

23 October 2015–20 February 2016 

Playing the Goat
 brings together two films that combined create a fascinating yet awkward tension for the audience. The film A Moment’s Hesitation (2012) takes the form of a documentary interview in which the artist responds to questions regarding his motivation for his work. Hunt’s answers, and his practice, hover between dedicated protagonist and an unnerving commitment to extreme situations. Primarily performance based, Hunt has often tested his body’s abilities under the influence of gravity or other acute physical forces, orchestrating situations in which he sings and plays instruments.

However, the professional discussion collapses into the personal when the artist tells the interviewer about a planned performance to crash a car. The personal becomes apparent as the viewer realises that it is the Hunt’s wife who is the interviewer. What the viewer really witnesses is a couple having an intimate discussion about his ambitions, her fears and their compromise.

Still yourself and calm your boots (2014) is the resultant work posited in A Moment’s Hesitation. Commissioned by PEER, London, Hunt tackles velocity and the effect it has on his body by driving a car at high speed and crashing it into a concrete barrier, after which he performs a song he has written for the occasion. Hunt produces a complex moving image that captures the morbid thrill, confusion and intense physical and psychological effects of a car crash, while also exploring the precarious path between intention and action. The high-definition video footage allows for closer scrutiny of the artist’s body enabling the viewer to analyse in minute detail the physical effects of the crash – and his musical performance. Combined the films create an resounding awe and awkwardness shifting between Hunt’s emperical fascination of the physical and the psychological impact of the car crash of not only the artist and his loved ones too, but for the audience too.