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Mike Stubbs

Cultural Quarter 10:00, Color, Stereo, GB, 2003

Sphinx Award

A piece that raises ethical questions on social voyeurism as well as social behaviour. Looking at the surveillance-like images, edited in a very subtle yet very manipulative way, we stand perplex on the social interaction of an unspecified suburb community, witnessing what seems an almost common routine and leaving us with feelings of disconnection, despair, and an overall state o shock, of not understanding the reality that is presented in front of us. By registering a daily reality that we usually want to close our eyes for, Mike Stubbs confronts us with a meticulously detailed social drama and manages to open our eyes in a most powerful and sustaining way. (Jan Schuijren on behalf of Jury)
Cultural Quarter presents the relationships of observation in the city to its citizens, whilst begging ethical questions about surveillance, the gaze and human behaviour. It exposes some of the gaps between developers’ dreams and citizens’ perceptions of what cultural space means and how to use it.
The film casts a precise and pertinent eye on a daily urban reality in an unspecified British suburb. Presenting a fine balance between reality and its representation, the film’s subtly edited movements shift its perspective back and forth between reportage and a form of social voyeurism. The work questions how ideas about “them and us”, social coherence, family and community ethics are constructed.