John Scott: Art and Justice

Michael McNamara

1998, 19:20 minutes, colour, English


Art and Justice is a 19 minute documentary that presents an intimate investigation of an important artist's life and work. As John Scott prepares for a major retrospective to be exhibited in Windsor, Canada, the city of his birth, we discover his unique and eccentric work methods, his political agenda as an artist and his status as an important figure in the pantheon of post modernism.

This is an unflinching look at mortality - the frailty of the human body and the strength of the human spirit. Scott has osteoporosis- his bones are literally disintegrating. The painful symptoms have had a devastating effect on his life and his work. He has been injecting mega-doses of calcium and withdrawing small amounts of blood from his body, which he then squirts onto drawing paper. He then smears other colours of paint together with his own blood into an aggressive and angry mixture, blending the sterility of high tech medical practices with the ritual materials of shamanism. The resulting paintings are disturbing enough, but the documentation of this ritualistic process provides some of the most unforgettable and powerful images of any film on any artist.

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