In March 2006, Milton Keynes Gallery commissioned MKVH (Milton Keynes Vertical Horizontal) by the artist Hayley Newman. The conceptual premise of the project – to drive a bus of volunteer passengers around Milton Keynes’ notorious grid system until it ran out of diesel – was especially apt for a city that grew out of an American model of a car-dependent culture. As ever in Newman’s projects, her often ironic, provocative and surreal propositions find meaning when they brush up against the everyday lives and experiences of the participants and audiences they engage.
This publication is more than simply a document of the project, it functions as a touching and humorous score to a road movie of an altogether different order. In the claustrophobic world which Newman creates, the monotonous Milton Keynes landscape provides the constant backdrop to the idle conversations of our protagonists: their musings on art, politics and music. Their fears and passion collide with the real-world events of newspaper reports and radio broadcasts… and throughout the surreal effigy of Tim looks on…
Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, 2007, 94 pages, colour and black & white photographs throughout, 11cm x 18cm.