Goin’ Back (The Birds/The Byrds x 32 + 1)

I wouldn’t admit to being a great fan of “video art”. I often find it to be pretentious and uninteresting – and sometimes downright silly. But in recent years I’ve come across some good quality works which I’ve liked. There was one at the Leeds Art Gallery during our visit last Sunday.


While exploring the galleries upstairs we could hear a haunting sound coming from one of the rooms. Going inside we found a video work playing – Goin’ Back (The Birds/The Byrds x 32 + 1) by Mark Dean.

In Goin’ Back (The Birds/The Byrds x 32+1), 1997, Dean combines the moment when Tippi Hedren wakes up to relive the horror of being attacked by the birds in Hitchcock’s classic film with two lines from the song Goin’ Back by legendary sixties American group The Byrds: ’1 think I’m goin’ back, to the things I knew so well in my youth. I think I’m returning to those days when I was young enough to know the truth’. The momentary film clip is slowed down to last the same amount of time as the sample of music, and then both are played backwards and forwards – one bar forward, one bar back, two bars forward, two bars back – until they have progressed through the full thirty-two bars of music.

The work lasts for 9  minutes and the overall affect was eerie and hypnotic. You can see it for yourself here*


* Video on the web site is at lowered resolution, and does not reproduce the experience of works installed for exhibition

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