'Crisis? What Crisis' - A signed, limited edition lithographic print by Chris Orr.
“This was not said by Jim Callaghan, the then Labour Prime Minister in 1979, but was invented by a Sun newspaper Journalist to satirise the situation at the time. My idea was to use the title, seen as a newspaper hoarding headline, to spark off a picture packed with near disasters. It started from seeing Harold Lloyd’s silent comedy film “Safety Last” made in 1923 where Harold hangs off the arms of a clock. Everybody around him makes useless attempts to rescue him.
It was in 2019 that I started the work, long before we knew the word Covid, or all the tragedies and farces that are now part of everybody’s experience. The lithographic print was completed early March of 2020 at Curwen Worton Hall, but first appeared in The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition rescheduled to October. It hit the spot and most of the edition was sold there.
Things to look out for include: the attempts to offer solace to the poor clock hanger by way of cups of tea, glasses of wine, towels, small first aid kits, flowers, a life belt and a gun. Meanwhile somebody tries to pull a rabbit out of a hat, take photographs, video the event, report to world news, make a drawing and provide a short plank. The rest of the World carries on regardless.
I have always been interested in pictures that tell stories. Of course ,images of near tragedies remain forever close to the tragedy, but never into or beyond it. The charm of the silent film comedies is that the heroes always emerge unscathed, but not chastened. There is another film coming.
Gericault’s painting 1819 painting “The Raft of the Medusa” gives us a moment after the wreck, but before the rescue. We are left to speculate on what has happened, and what might still happen. Paintings and prints have no time in them except that of the materials they are made with. The sailors are forever in this frozen moment, and my central character will always be hanging from the clock".