Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard are the recipients of the 2008 Great North Run Moving Image Commission. The Great North Run is the world’s largest half-marathon, with participants running between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Sheilds in the north of England. The commission forms part of the annual cultural programme, curated by Beth Bate.
Forsyth & Pollard’s film, Run For Me, charts the course of the run, aiming to embody what it means to the runners, as well as exploring the larger themes of how we choose to shape and test ourselves and how we communicate that to others. The artists filmed participants in the 2007 Bupa Great North Run in the week prior to the event and on the day itself in, in specially constructed video booths at the start and finish lines. The footage is spliced together so that a new in-depth narrative becomes a collective commentary, reflecting the psyche of the race itself. Exploring experiences such as “finding your rhythm” to “trying to overtake Scooby Doo in the last mile”, Run for me creates a compelling portrait of the Bupa Great North Run through the people that take part and those who support them.
Run For Me is an honest and heartfelt portrait of the event, tapping into the mindsets and motives of those who take part. From the endurance of training through to crossing the all-important finish line – ultimately Run For Me reveals with crushing honesty what makes us who we are, runners or not.
The film was shown for the first time at BALTIC in September-October 2008. A London premiere of the film was presented in association with Artprojx at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square on 17 October 2008 and was followed by a Q&A with the artists and Andrew Graham-Dixon.
The title of the film is taken from a song by Richard Hawley, which can be heard over the closing credits. A limited edition print designed by Chris Bigg (v23) and signed by the artists was available from BALTIC during the exhibition.