La Decision Doypack — Paul Rooney at The Storey Gallery

Reviewed by Kev McVeigh

La Decision Doypack is a 27 minute film presentation by Paul Rooney.  Prior to the showing viewers are shown into a waiting area, the resource room it is called.  There they can sit and wait or peruse books by Rooney or volumes by other writers and artists.  It seems a selection deliberately chosen and so it transpires as the film itself references most if not all these works.

At this point it is necessary to use the P word.  Post-modernism.  Rooney’s recursive, multiple images and referential texts attempt a dialogue within itself.  The plot, as such, involves a salesman attempting to negotiate a deal for the packaging innovation Doypack but he arrives in Paris during the 1968 student riots.  He is also a would be actor, and the film basically contrasts his acting tutor’s demand for naturalism with the heightened language of marketing.  As the riots develop and are then stifled (surrealistically by the descent of cling film and vacuum packaging over the city) all becomes a performance, the life, the marketing, the protest.

To say then, that I enjoyed La Decision Doypack would be correct, it has moments of great humour, and some of us do gain pleasure from reference spotting: Warhol, Wordsworth, Barthes, Stanislavski, Thunderbirds?  At the same time it is a confused, confusing piece, of charm but also perhaps a touch overlong and repetitive.   This is I realise deliberate, but it is incompletely effective. 

La Decision Doypack shows daily at 6, 7 and 8 pm until December 18th.  I may go back to watch it again, which perhaps reveals my feelings.  I liked it, I wasn’t totally convinced, I felt I got some of it and I missed some of it.

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