Can Stop Us Now features the song 'Stalin wasn't Stallin'
memorably covered by Robert Wyatt on his 1982 album 'Nothing
Can Stop Us', a record that has become an exemplar of a
strand of politically engaged independent music which now
seems to represent a model of engaged practice that is increasingly
distant and impossible.
wasn't Stallin' was written by Willie Johnson, originally
recorded by the gospel a capella group The Golden Gate
Jubilee Quartet in 1943 to celebrate Stalin's stand against
Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union.
The work shows individuals walking through parks and
streets past glimpses of financial and political landmarks
of contemporary London. Each person sings fragments
of sound that over time combine into a complex and rousing
Can Stop Us Now talks of ghosts of solidarity and
aspirations of agency that still underpin ideas and
mythologies of contemporary art. It generates a virtual
gathering that both articulates and layers occluded
models of political understandings of the world. Choral
expressions of a song from a past political model of
the world contrast against the buildings and developments
that constitute the socio-cultural infrastructure of
London, global capital and the international rich.
view at Dilston Grove, London, May-June 2014
song of collective political identification and associated
utopian desires collides with the contemporary idea of the
flash mob, seeking to explore ways that opposition to dominant
beliefs have and continue to be expressed - through gatherings
and group action - but are now mediated and expressed through
electronic and digital media.
by Leo Chadburn, based on 'Stalin Wasn't Stallin' (Willie
Johnson, 1943). The singers for Nothing Can Stop Us Now
are: Bishi Bhattacharya, Leo Chadburn, Tom Herbert, Laura
Moody and Sophie Ramsay.