John Adams, Intellectual Properties, 1986

John Adams
Intellectual Properties, 1996

16mm film, 60 mins

Adams's strategy of simultaneously constructing and deconstructing a narrative text finds its most accomplished expression in Intellectual Properties. Shot on 16mm film in Boston, USA and Newcastle upon Tyne, England, this six-part fiction is an ironic, stylized discourse on representation, reproduction, production and reality. "The theme is power, as related to politics, economics, mass media, advertising, modern myth, art and business, money and personality; illustrated by means of jokes, stories and anecdotes, both autobiographical and observational," writes Adams. Deftly manipulating the cinematic and media codes of narrative fiction, he tells a meta-story of contemporary art and life. Tales of John Wayne, Rolls Royces and filmmaking are linked by a lecture on copyright. Formally structured on the concept that sound qualifies image, each segment uses a different anecdotal soundtrack to recontextualize recurring visual material, until the narratives converge in the final sequence. 

Related Information

John Adams
Project Title:
Intellectual Properties
Projects UK