Faisal Abdu’Allah, Double Pendulum
In the Summer before the 2012 Olympics Artist Faisal Adbu’Allah created Double Pendulum, a new film about breathing and movement involving professional athletes and world-class leading scientists. Over 500 people attended the premier at the View Tube in June 2011 which was screened outdoors as part of the CREATE 11 festival as the sun set against the backdrop of the London 2012 Olympic stadium.
Despite being invisible, the air that surrounds us is the most valued element that our lives depend on. Double Pendulum, runs for a duration of 9’ 58” and was determined according to the 100-metre sprint world record of 9.58 seconds set by Usain Bolt in 2009.
Abdu’Allah filmed the training rituals of athlete Jeanette Kwakye, 2007 British Champion 100 and 200 metres; footballer Anthony Grant of Southend United and martial arts 2008 British Gold medalist and European Silver medalist, Ammar Duffus.
These three very different types of sports professionals illustrate and map the journey that air takes through the human form alongside an engaging narrative from world-leading scientists from King’s College London and Brunel University. ‘Double Pendulum’, explores how size, identity, gender, class and geography affect the way we breathe, what we breathe and how we move.
With a high prevalence of asthma in elite athletes, and official readings showing an air pollution index of 87 at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium in 2008 (the World Health Organisation consider 50 to be high); air pollution and its effects on our lungs received significant media attention during the Beijing Olympics.
As part of the artist’s commission which was screened from 30 June – Sunday 17 July, Abdu’Allah was in residence at the View Tube from January 2011. He devised and led a series of weekly educational workshops at the View Tube for 11-14 year olds from the local area. The young people involved produced their own short film, which dramatises their own take on air pollution and sport. They met with scientists Dr. Pascale Kippelen and Dr. Lee Romer at the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, Brunel University where they participated in lung capacity tests usually performed on professional athletes.
Art, Smog and the East End, CREATE Festival 2011 talk
On 5th July Faisal Abdu’Allah, Tim Baker PCT and Professor Frank Kelly debated the effects of air quality on art and life in east London, chaired by Curator Alice Sharp.
View Double Pendulum on the Guardian website