DAVID is a dark meditation on cruising, cultural tropes and the nature of violence by the increasingly celebrated art photographer and film director Ivar Wigan, and is based on a poem by award-winning Latinx poet and author Miguel Cullen. Make no mistake, Wigan is a fast-rising creative talent on a seemingly stratospheric trajectory, and his fine art photography series, whether it be The Gods, about the Deep South, or Dancehall, a nuanced and balanced eye into Jamaican cultural mores, are major opuses that belie a rigorous and disciplined fashion modus operandi. In fact, it is no small testament to his stylistic talents that among his collaborators thus far, he includes the likes of Drake (Nocta) and Virgil Abloh (Louis Vuitton), as well as the inimitable street-wear brand Supreme. His first longer feature, (Kassandra, 2022), which documents a murder in the South of France already holds no less than seven awards. Shorts set to poems by establishment dropout wordsmith Cullen are something of a go-to for directors on the edge, and have previously appeared in the style sphere, which is little surprise given two of his poetry books have been Evening Standard and Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year over the pond, with his searing collection Paranoid Narcissism particularly feted.
The film that these two leading creative rebels have dreamed up together premieres here on Flaunt, and opens with a variety of viewpoints suggesting multiple skewed readings – effortlessly mashing up interlocking Renaissance ‘David’-statue imagery and neon-soaked street cruising culture with distinctive wordplay. It was shot DIY-style as a video diary that Wigan kept close during the time he was living in Alabama, and splices imagery from the likes of a Native American graveyard in New Mexico, a burning ritual in Park Royal, in London, and shots captured over New York City by night. As such, it takes the viewer on a unique psychogeographic journey from Ladbroke Grove in London, where the film burns through the flintiness of inner-city blues to a macabre El Greco-style Passion scene and an Old Testament sculpture flash (that feels like a modern take on the kind of God-soaked psychedelic swirl of early West Coast celluloid). The film then fluidly spins us through rural scenes of predatory play, youthful blushes, violent capture, and hunting themes to describe use and abuse – all stippled with colloquial slang and a febrile, almost skater, cadence.
Director: Ivar Wigan
Poem: Miguel Cullen
Soundtrack: Daniel W J Mackenzie
Script and Video Edits: Esther Sorooshian Feaver and Federico Velar