A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole

This Captivating Collage And Music Video Is An Insight Into The Magical, The Morbid And Mankind

Winston Hacking’s video for Andy Shauf’s The Magician is the music-video version of up-cycling: taking discarded books, long-forgotten photoshoots and adverts for products no longer on shelves and ‘breathing life’ back into them. The result: a quirky, magical and all-encompassing journey through time and space.

One can’t help feeling like the children in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, as they entered the mystical world of Wonker for the first time; everything’s different, surreal and boundaries between reality and make-believe deliciously blurred. A nostalgic mix of the swinging sixties and summers spent driving around in a blur combined with an almost scientific edge, an undercurrent of experimentation, a feeling of unease about the outcome.


From desert landscapes and ice-cream sundae’s replacing eyeballs, we are never sure what to expect next and it is all we can do to try and take in the vast array of colours, shapes, images and atmospheres before we are moved on. There is a morbid undertone to the collage, creatures’ half-woman half-fish waver in the background, detailed skulls and slightly disturbing headpieces made out of bone and cigarette-clutching hands. A morose curiosity from both creator and audience, it is not only an insight into Winston’s mind but into our own: I found myself grimacing at times yet almost always pausing the video to give myself more time to study the grisliness of it all. However, the tone of the music creates space between some of these darker, more startling images, as we feel almost that we are on a time-travelling machine: we stay constant, it is just our minds, and indeed Winston, playing tricks on us.


Winston’s collage playing alongside Andy’s mesmerising music is like falling down the rabbit hole of collaboration – it’s nonsensical but simultaneously totally believable. We buy into Winston’s world and when the video ends and we look away from our screens the world seems all the more mundane, predictable, and we feel the urge to delve back in to the collage again.

We spoke to Winston about the creative process, and the thought process, behind this musical masterpiece.

The Plus: How did you come up with the idea and why collage?
Winston Hacking:
I didn’t really have a concept for the video, I just sort of let the technique of “paperteering” naturally evolve into this creation.


TP: From where did you find the vintage images and was the searching process long?
Everything is from a tangible source – nothing from the internet. Mostly thrift stores and the garbage. My mom gave me some old post cards and that became the backdrop to the video. Some were sourced by fellow collage artist Andrew Zukerman. The more you let art saturate all aspects of your life, you begin to find things naturally.


TP: Andy’s face was ‘built in’ different subjects, what’s the message you are trying to deliver?
All of the collages are done in a stream of conscious manner – I just select images I am attracted or disgusted by, and then start to see where they naturally fit together. Perhaps it is a window into my tastes, or maybe something that I find funny. I am more interested in what other people see in all of the combined images – I try to hide some things in there so that it takes a few views to see everything.


TP: How was the collaboration with Andy?
Andy is a great musician and as an artist understood that the best art is made with little interference – so it was very easy. I just came up with a loose idea of what I wanted to do and then the collage process steered it in different directions. Toronto photorapher Geoff Fitzgerald photographed Andy and then sent me the footage in Montreal. I then put the footage of Andy on an Ipad and collaged right overtop of it.


TP: What are your views on collage artworks?
I am a big fan of the art form of course. Some artists that have inspired my work are Andrew Zukerman, Mangopeeler, IDM Theft Able, Martha Colburn, Harry Smith.


TP: If you are not an artist, filmmaker, art director, what you would do?
If we are talking about some sort of dream scenario I would definitely be a goaltender getting paid to play beer league floor hockey or running the worlds craziest mini put/sculpture garden.

TP: What is next for you and Andy?
I think we will be making some more videos for his album.


“The Magician” by Andy Shauf from the album ‘The Party,’ available May 20 on ANTI- (World Excl. Canada) and Arts & Crafts (Canada).

Pre-order CD / Vinyl: andyshauf.com/
Apple Music: found.ee/Astheparty_iTunes
Spotify: found.ee/Astheparty_Spotify
Official Site: andyshauf.com
Twitter: twitter.com/andyshauf
Facebook: facebook.com/andyshaufmusic

Directed By: Winston Hacking
Director of Photography (Performance Footage): Geoff Fitzgerald
Additional Image Sourcing, Paper Cutting: Andrew Zukerman
Colour Correction: Frame Discree