Stan Douglas b. 1960
Win, Place or Show (1998)
The title of the work refers to the classic horse-race betting options - a subject that features in the content of the two protagonists' dialogues, but also alludes to the combinatorial analysis of race finishes and combinations. Planning feasibility and control are two of the ideological components that also featured in modernist town planning after the war.
Donny and Bob, the two protagonists in the scene, are temporarily sharing this one-person flat. They correspond with the stereotypes in a TV series that was produced in Vancouver in 1968, and represent typical white working-class males of that period. The action scenes lead from discussions about conspiracy theory and the chances of betting wins to conclude with a fight between the two men. They are shot from 2 x 10 camera positions. [É] The acted scene is repeated in a loop on two inclined screens set up next to each other with a small gap between them, but the actors positions in relation to the space and each other constantly shift from repeat to repeat. The 2 x 10 camera shots were transferred to two DVDs. These are digitally controlled to show new combinations within the scene as acted, which lasted six minutes. This would mean a projected playing time of about 20,000 hours, over two years, before any one combination of images was actually repeated.
Under the images is a soundtrack of endless rain and a radio that can be heard in the distance. The sound of the rain is linked in the film with a single view from the window of the apartment. This occurs regularly but not uniformly, and shows a panorama of the city at night in pouring rain. The town buildings reflect a modernistic planning model that also features in the set, producing the typical working-class home such planning would create. The quiet radio noise that is just audible in the background seems to be emanating from a radio on a chest of drawers, though the radio sound is actually fed in from the regional radio station of the current exhibition venue.