Faisal Abdu’Allah – Double Pendulum

29th June - 17th July 2011

CREATE 11 festival, The View Tube, London, UK

London 2012 Olympic artist Faisal Abdu’Allah collaborated with professional athletes and world-class leading scientists to create ‘Double Pendulum’, a film exploring breathing and movement. As part of CREATE 11 festival, over 500 people attended the film premiere, screened outdoors at View Tube with the London 2012 Olympic stadium as a backdrop. 

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.

Abdu’Allah also created ‘Double Pendulum’, to run for a duration of 9 minutes and 58 seconds, the same length of time as Usain Bolt’s 2009 100-metre sprint world record. 

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, 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.

Double Pendulum on the Guardian website.

Image: © Faisal Abdu’Allah, Double Pendulum, 2011, photo Daniel Thomas.

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