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In 2001, in an unnamed Asian country, a man known as F.R., was given $700 USD by his father and told to make something of himself. F. R. founded a multi-million dollar clandestine company that secretly exports fetish wear to the West. The dozens of mostly female workers believe themselves to be sewing body bags for the US Army, jackets for psychiatric patients and props for circus animals.

Avalon combines documentary footage from the factory with staged scenes, shot on a purpose built film set, speculating on the end users of the products. The staged scenes, based upon extensive research and interviews with real life persons, present an actor playing a fictional client of a dungeon, undergoing a role-play session purporting to provide intense psychological experiences.

Avalon takes the story of F.R. as the point of departure for a complex meditation on the links between affect, labor and commodity under contemporary global conditions. Juxtaposing the world of the stage with the world of the factory, and performativity with production, the film probes the different but interlocking forms that work takes today, from the production of goods to the production of subjectivity.

Avalon (2011), single screen, HD video.

image: video still


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