Dan Starling's The Kidnapper's Opera

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 7:30 pm
The Kidnapper's Opera
Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk

The Kidnapper’s Opera is a video-artwork based on a true story: On December 21, 1990, several young men, some of them teenagers, kidnapped the daughter of Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison in Vancouver. After receiving a $200,000 first payment on their ransom demands, the kidnappers decided to go on a shopping spree in a rented limousine; they were caught later that day conspicuously spending large amounts of cash at local shopping malls. Inspired by a quotation from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera – “What is the robbery of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” – the film considers how inequality is psychologically experienced in our society. The explanation for the behaviour of the teenagers focuses on the false desires of fortune and personal grandeur created by advertising, the media, and a sense of lack perpetuated by globalization. Structured like a play, each scene of The Kidnapper’s Opera is set and shot uniquely. Dan Starling, 2013, Colour, HDCAM, 90mins, Canada.

Dan Starling is a visual artist from Vancouver who works in a variety of mediums (drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance). Starling studied at Emily Carr University in Vancouver and Städelschule in Frankfurt and teaches at Emily Carr University.