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Harrison and Wood

This video brought to you by Tate.org.uk

Welcome to the world of Harrison and Wood, a pair that you could describe as an art-world equivalent to Laurel and Hardy. Their films, showing their dead-pan antics as they dangle precariously from a ladder, slide on office chairs around the back of a moving van, and submit themselves to a drenching from dozens of watering cans, are both hilarious and thought provoking. Join this duo as they explore collaborative art.
Created by Tate.

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Video transcript

[Music] you I'm John Wood I'm Paul Harrison and we're in a studio in Bristol I guess you could describe it as being a very nice workshop a very cheap TV studio that would be the it's a very kind of basic spice and I've been here in here about five years six years 10 10 years yeah 10 years kind of see it as a big garden shed where we come and Potter about all our videos are shot in here construct different sets and adapt and change it and adapt it to whatever the video that we're shooting at that time is when we began it always had one or both of us doing some kind of performative action that was the architectural space that we were in and it first began that much more geometrically using sort of objects that we've built around the human figure and what boxes you could fit in or what happens if you stood on a semicircle things like that - then how a person interacts with an object it maybe in a different way whether it's a plank of wood or or a chair hitting you the work in the tight collection is called 26 drawing and falling things which we finished in 2001 and it's a series of 26 videos based on the human figure interacting with everyday objects or architectural spices one of them was shot in the back of a van it was us two sat on two office chairs we built out the back of the van so it looks like a kind of cue spice we slide around in it a sort of crashing bang into the walls we did it across Bristol in the kind of you know everyday traffic which which turned out to be a slightly suicidal we thought about that first of all it was really it was hysterically funny for us and we'd spent just kept laughing unable to keep straight faces because it was such a weird sensation to be sliding around in our vehicle as it was moving until a bus pulled out on us and we are I sort of smashed my um head and neck as I sort of flew down deliver everything but um after that it became not fun to shoot it at all and it was just like let's just get it really quick and get out of here we are always trying not to repeat ourselves we're always trying to push either house trips down we can make something that it's still watchable or how densely we can push the ideas into like one piece of work pretty much all of them start with a with a drawing or a series of drawings so there's this a kind of whole editing process of deciding what the overall structure of the video will be and what goes in it and what doesn't go in it so there's this whole kind of filtering process through drawings the filming process will take us a long time to either through getting you take that we're happy with or getting a take that actually works and at that stage it's very often slightly like an ordeal or trying to get it right [Music]