A screening of Public Figure, 2021
by Ryan Ormonde and Madalina Zaharia


On 21 February 2021, Public Figure, a film by Ryan Ormonde and Madalina Zaharia was screened as part of a single household private event in the back yard where Rollaversion Gallery is located. After the 9-minute screening, the police payed us a visit. An individual, living in the high-rise building overlooking our premises, had called the Metropolitan Police when they noticed that a projector screen was being installed. They reported that an event was about to take place with an estimated 20 people attending; we almost made 20 people in the audience including the 15 strong police force. Rollaversion is looking forward to making exhibitions again, for a more interested audience.


Do I dance how you expect?’ The body of a poet is tracked in four connected domestic locations, corresponding to four poems: ‘Song of Jack’, ‘The Making of Him’, ‘My Orange Dance’ and ‘Opinion.’ This film is the result of a collaboration between two friends, poet-performer Ryan Ormonde and artist-filmmaker Madalina Zaharia, based on Madalina's observations of Ryan's poetic process.

Through this exchange, the poet and the onlooker are collectively staging a particular sense of ‘publicness’, a certain type of relationship that relies heavily on the tension between the body and the voice, and has its source in practices of embodied poetry and writing. What is it to present yourself in a poem as well as on screen? The filmed body is captured at odds with the disembodied voice in voice-over. Moments of lip-synch simultaneously bridge and expose the schism. Queerness is delineated through its oppositions. Oranges will fall.