Roderick Buchanan is an explorer of people, places, forgotten histories and the political implications of the everyday.
Using 35mm film, video and installation, his work embraced the colourful life of a renegade Scottish exile (Thomas Muir Help Desk, 2003); a football club’s European Winners Cup run charted by newspaper coverage (83/03/2003); and the relationship of one nation’s history to another implied in his most recent film of soldiers from different infantry regiments (History Painting, 2004).
Buchanan belonged to a generation of artists whose work framed subjects, which are already out there. From apparently simple subjects he makes raw but tender portraits of, for example, skaters (Out, 2000) or footballers (Tombez la Chemise, 2002) as analogies for broader social behaviours.
Buchanan has favoured 35mm film to pinpoint and linger on detail that could otherwise disappear on video or pass unnoticed in real life. Camden Art Centre brought together a selection of Buchanan’s key works since his last show in London in 2000, drawing renewed attention to this highly socially conscious and sensitive artist whose interests lie firmly in everyday life.
A new book titled Portraits by Roderick Buchanan, with texts by Jan Verwoert and Steven Bode, was published by Film and Video Umbrella on the occasion of his exhibition at Camden Art Centre.