Filmed in a semi-brutalist park in Kandos NSW that was redeveloped and contemporised several weeks after shooting, Monkey Bars depicts three wise man-monkeys cavorting on the monkey bars and playground equipment. The performance is set to a mash-up of eco-apocalyptic Monkey Gone to Heaven by The Pixies and (Im Not Your) Steppin Stone, a breakup song by The Monkees.
Monkey Bars is conceived as the lost B-Side of Dog Eat Dog, a music video Daniel Mudie Cunningham released in 2013. In Dog Eat Dog, the artist gorges on platters of hotdogs in a dog suit, edited to a music mash of I Wanna Be Your Man by The Beatles and I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges. Monkey Bars uses the same logic of forced associations through wordplay and music puns by mixing unlikely rock songs with hungry, sexed-up plushies looking for love in all the wrong places.
This work continues an ongoing interest in queering the tropes of popular culture and music video conventions to flip the record on how meaning is regenerated in a world of remakes and covers.
HD single channel video with sound, 3:20 min
Performers: Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Elliott Bryce Foulkes, Tom McDonald
Camera: Vera Hong, Craig Bender
Editor: Vera Hong
Remix conceived by: Daniel Mudie Cunningham with Andy Rantzen
Music: (Im Not Your) Steppin Stone by The Monkees, 1966; Monkey Gone to Heaven by The Pixies, 1989
Music engineer: Campbell Drummond
Thanks: Ann Finegan, Alex Wisser, Miriam Kelly
Filmed on location in Kandos, NSW, 5 October 2014
Commissioned for Cementa 2015, Kandos Projects
Cementa 15, Kandos Projects, 9 - 12 April 2015
Alaska Studios Group Show, 30 September - 18 October 2015
Fishers Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 31 October - 12 December 2015