Hill Screams film still of Victoria Melody

Originally exhibited and commissioned by the Millais Gallery, Southampton. Funded by the Arts Council. The exhibition was called Ventilation. There is an accompanying exhibition book.

Each individual has their own unique pattern of perceiving, feeling and responding to anger, and although this pattern may vary from one occasion to another, there will nevertheless be some fairly predictable and habitual responses.

Still form Venthead a film by Victoria Melody
A film still from Enactment a film by Victoria Melody


‘Enactment’ presents Victoria Melody’s research into ‘Venting’, what do you do when you get angry? ‘Enactment’ is a film in which the public responding to a newspaper advertisement re-enacted their personal venting techniques to camera.

Hill Scream

This video diary is a laborious process only to release a build up of anger that lasts momentarily. After driving around and finding a suitable location, Victoria walks up the hill and sets up the camera, runs back down and then runs back up towards the camera that is placed in front of the spot where she intends to scream.

That is exactly what Victoria has done for years. It is a record of her misery turned into slapstick by the speeding up of the camera. Like a Laurel and Hardy sketch where a painful fall, or a humiliating moment is made laughable. The artist wants you to laugh with her, not to indulge her with pity, after all the sadness is only in the moment, the only part you see. What happens after the hill scream? Nothing probably, life continues, maybe calmer, maybe more bearable, maybe exactly the same as before.

Vent Head

The prototype and promotional video of Vent Head are a way of creating a solution for peace. Not on a grand scale, but peace within the home, place of work or mode of transport. This work consists of a narrative, where the artist releases her analysis and research in an un-regimented fashion. Melody uses this film as a kind of soapbox on which to poke fun at our society through irony and subtle condemnation. She questions the marketing strategies of our consumerist society and wonders whether peace could also be marketed in the same way, as it is “probably the best place to reach the mass’s consciousness”.

A garish and camp home shopping channel studio is the main base for the story to unfold. A reporter acts as the mediator for various features to take place within the film including a ‘ George W Bush’ who claims to have stopped waging wars as a consequence of using Vent Head. The show is presented with histrionic enthusiasm, by the characters Richard and Judy.

The strains within their relationship become clear as the show progresses particularly when Judy embraces the opportunity to use Vent Head, hinting at that not everything in show business is as cool as it appears. Their faked-tanned cheesy smiling faces, missed auto-cues and repetitive advertising style “…only £19.99” create a facade that is falling apart around them.
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Creative Team

Creator & Performer – Victoria Melody