In conversation with Rob Kennedy

Panel House Style A
House Style, exhibition installation view, Photograph: Keith Hunter

In conversation with Rob Kennedy


Co-curated by Panel, with Annette Lux and Steven Cairns, and organised in partnership with the British Film Institute Archive, House Style presented a series of short film commissions by designer Hilda Hellström, writer Travis Jeppesen, artist Rob Kennedy and musician and composer Daniel Padden, exhibited at Tramway. Reconsidering and repositioning stories from the Roundabout cinemagazine series, the films set out to explore the ways in which cultural identity, status and style can be understood through design, industry and image making.

Cinemagazines first appeared in British cinemas during the early half of the 20th century, proliferating after the Second World War with many series broadcast into the late 1960s and early 1970s. Produced by the Central Office of Information (COI) to showcase British manufacturing and promote the ethos of the British Commonwealth, the Roundabout cinemagazine series offered a mix of official opening ceremonies and factory production lines, and bore glamorous witness to a Britain projected exclusively to cinema audiences in Asia throughout the 1960s and ‘70s.

Rob Kennedy talks to Laura Richmond here about his video work for the exhibition, What are you driving at? and its exploration of power within the promotional feature, including expressions of technical innovation, cultural composition and image construction in contemporary media.