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After a Mural I Painted in Grade Four
2013, HD video, 34 min. Produced by the Koffler Centre of the Arts for the exhibition We're In The Library, November 2013

In 1971 Coca Cola released a commercial featuring dozens of young people from many nations assembled on a sunny hillside, harmonizing “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” The beautiful image dovetails strategically with the commercial ambitions of a multinational corporation, but is also stirring and heartwarming nonetheless.
It is also a familiar image. Similar utopian gatherings can probably be seen in mural form in every primary school in the world. “Children holding hands around the world” is a ubiquitous conceit. Yet Coca Cola’s global harmony lasts a mere sixty seconds and a primary school mural depicts a static, snapshot instant.

For this piece, twenty children enacted this utopian moment in real life, stretching it to an extended period of time. The instructions were simple, they were asked to "hold hands in a circle, smile and think happy thoughts." Any control over the participants’ reactions was relinquished after that, and a huge spectrum of behavior resulted. This video charts the event minute-by-minute, from the instant their directive was given to the time the original utopic ideal became unrecognizable.

Carl Cammidge, Nigel Crichton, Sidney Crichton, Caleb Howard, Mielle Kadosh Redinger, Kobi Lyon Louza, Soleil Louza, Romer Louza, Selina Mostyn, Jovin Nolan, Keji Nyaksuk, Kian Reilly, Charlotte Rotstein, Lev Shalom Wibisono, Zachary Thompson, Fred Nicolae Uhlyarik Degen, Julia Vaisman, Tami Vaisman, Haley Varone-Evans, Finnegan Woolrich.

Cinematographers: Barbara Arsenault, Lee Henderson

Editing: Lee Henderson

Thanks to: The Koffler Centre of the Arts, Mona Filip, Heather Nicol, Sketch, Artscape

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