The continuous motion of the camera moving smoothly backwards and forwards on its track, coupled with the slow, haunting intensity of Schubert’s music and the sound of the rhythmically lapping waves is intended to induce a hypnotic, trance like mood of disorientation in the viewer ... The dramatic soundscape ... makes the ending seem ... a startling intrusion which reminds us of how fragile a peaceful idyll is, as if the glass pavilion of dreams has been invaded by darker forces from the other side.
(Quoted in The Other Side: A New Work by Ian Breakwell, [p.3].)
Breakwell has made work in drawing, painting, collage, photography, prints, performance, 16mm film, video, objects, slide projections, light and sound, choosing whatever medium seems most appropriate for conveying a particular idea. From 1965 much of his work took the form of diaries, combining collage and photography with text. Rather than recording personal thoughts, feelings and experiences, Breakwell’s diaries bear witness to a process of detached observation of others in the world. Even when he refers to himself, it is in the third person. His focus is on ordinary people and the poignant, absurd and sometimes disturbing moments which break into mundane reality. He has commented: ‘ordinary people can become extraordinary if pushed to their limits’ (correspondence with the author, 2nd June 2004). The dancers in The Other Side are non-professional, local people rather than actors. Their elderly status, coupled with the film’s timeless imagery and nostalgic music suggest a reference to death in the repeated shattering of the idyll. The title appears to confirm this.
The Other Side was scripted and edited by Breakwell and produced in an edition of two.
The Other Side: A New Work by Ian Breakwell, exhibition brochure, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea 2002, reproduced front cover
Dale Mcfarland, ‘Anthony Reynolds Gallery: Ian Breakwell’ Frieze, Issue 67, May 2002, reproduced in colour
Katy Greaves, ‘Surface Tensions’, Blueprint, No.193, March 2002, pp.30-3, reproduced p.32 in colour