2009 – 10: Amy Feneck

Amy Feneck’s work is concerned with the observation and re-interpretation of social collectivity. Working with performance and the moving image, Feneck explores the role that political and social ideals take in our everyday life.

Feneck with students from Hackney Free and Parochial School looked at early British documentary filmmakers and the Free Cinema movement of the 1950s, to explore how the moving image is used as a tool to survey society. Students made a series of social documentaries surveying issues, individuals and sites of interest, as a way to construct a vision of their local community.

Drawing on research made during her residency and at the Hackney Archives, Feneck’s new film Government Workers operates as an observational documentary of the current Hackney Free and Parochial School building. Constructed in the early 1950s, the school building is very much a part of the post-war utopian education, housing and social project. The film focuses on these aspirations in their current setting, reflecting on the educational values and ideals that the school and its community now embody.

Exhibition: The School Looks Around 8 June–2 August 2010

The School Looks Around was a visionary book aimed at mobilising young people to document British life at the time of huge social change following World War II. This book, published by the Association for Education in Active Citizenship was the inspiration for Feneck during her residency at Hackney Free and Parochial School. The exhibition presented material from the original publication, alongside Fenecks newly commissioned film Government Workers.  Shot on 16mm this film interrogates the current values and ideals of education by observing the day to day activity of a state run secondary school.

The School Looks Around was initiated and co-curated with General Public Agency.