Lapdogs is constructed as a broadcast ‘trailer’, a synopsis of a future programme in a ‘reality’ television style. It’s a clone of a popular broadcast media format entitled Faking It.
Lapdogs collapses down two versions of class, one historic and the other contemporary. The historic is that inscribed within the premise of the Faking It series – borrowed from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalian, itself based on a scene in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and better known as My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn – class marked by education, occupation, taste, aspiration, and – after Marx- rights over ‘the means of production’. In this traditional sense of class, the labour of the working class person is expropriated by RDF media.
RDF media also own the property rights to the Faking It TV format. They sell those broadcast rights worldwide. Immaterial properties have been described as ‘the oil of the 21st Century’ and the begining of a new class divide. So the contemporary figure of the working class [the street waiter Abbas] is doubly exploited. First labour as entertainment, second as property.
The Lapdogs film, part of the exhibition Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie curated by Nav Haq and Tirdad Zolghadr, was at the Arnolfini in Bristol and the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo.
More at neilcummings.com.