7-channel video, 2003
In The Persuaders, Leber and Chesworth have built up their video installation around changing crowd patterns of the human voice.
Entering the space, we are confronted by seven urgers. These seven figures alternatively cajole, admonish, and abuse us – for sins real or imagined. As the installation unfolds, the outbursts combine in unpredictable ways forming changing patterns of tension and release.
The work was created from video recordings of seven individuals watching live football broadcasts in their own homes. In these excited states, the human utterances are at the borders of language.
Commissioned by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne for solo studio exhibition (2003). ACMI Collection.
'The Persuaders is a new kind of symphony, a sonic pattern of truly felt, deeply embodied sounds uttered by impassioned devotees - it dramatises the surges of energy that go into and come out of people operating at the edge of sociability and at the end of their tethers.'
- Ross Gibson, POL Oxygen Magazine, Sydney, August 2003
'It is soon apparent that each watches their own game – a different game, at a different time – time is fragmented, cut up, represented by the artists as an accidental composition of conjunctions – and disjunctions – of sound and gesture . . . While one watcher regards us with sullen silence, another erupts in a fury that passes just as quickly as it arises. Emotions flicker across faces, and move through the body in twitches tics and grand gestures – seven individuals alone in their rooms urging on different teams, in different places, at different times, all at once.'
- Tony MacGregor, Catalogue essay, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 2003
'A fascinating theatre of dissociated yet associative, mediated voices . . . Through the deft manipulation of sonic and performative minutiae...the piece possesses all the fragile beauty of an Eric Satie study.'
- Jonathan Marshall, RealTime No.57, Sydney, October 2003